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Christ is the Center PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 18 March 2008 08:53
Must work on my presentation for the upcoming Evangelical Catholic Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. All about recognizing pre-discipleship levels of spiritual development. All most relevant to questions I've been asked lately.

There was the woman came up to me at a workshop break, just after I'd spoken about the critical importance of intentional discipleship in the discernment of charisms. Her comment: "I don't think I want to go deeper in my relationship with God. Can I still discern charisms?" I sputtered a bit since it was impossible to know exactly what she meant.

Was she stating that she recognized that she wasn't a disciple? Or did she mean that she was serious about her faith but had "hit the wall" and was struggling at this point in her spiritual life - perhaps facing some very difficult decision or reality. All I could do (in public, no less!) was repeat the basic point.

Discipleship precedes discernment because it is out of an extended following of Christ that charisms and vocations emerge.

As Hans Urs Von Balthazar pointed out, Simon, the fisherman, could have rooted around in his unconscious for the rest of the life and never come up with Peter, the apostle. His vocation as Peter was a mystery hidden in Christ that would not be revealed except through an extended relationship with Christ.

And charisms are nothing less than ways that God gratuitously allows weak and broken vessels like you and me to become channels and instruments of the redeeming work of Christ that we celebrate this week.

So talking about pre-discipleship levels of spiritual development is important.

Because Christ is the center and source of his Church.

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