Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcoming The Society of Jesus Compassionate

On last Saturday, June 9, 2012, my voice joined three others in what we believe to be a resounding, "Yes!" to the Holy Spirit's calling.

For several months beforehand a prayer had come forth from my meditations, "Loving Holy Spirit, grant me courage to hear your voice and the humility and heart to follow you." At first the prayer came occasionally, then daily until over the last few weeks it seemed the prayer was in my heart and mind through out the day.

"Loving Holy Spirit, grant me courage to hear your voice, and the humility and heart to follow you."

It's a funny little prayer as it requests nothing too specific but which has an intention which is crystal clear and undeniable.

"Loving Holy Spirit, grant me courage to hear your voice, and the humility and heart to follow you."

I believe, last Saturday in the smallest conference room in a hotel in Arlington, Virginia, four Episcopalians, after much discernment, prayer and conversation, heard the voice of Spirit calling us to follow her. With I believe, much humility and with full hearts, we said yes to her, and set ourselves to follow her, in giving ourselves to the formation of The Society of Jesus Compassionate.

I even felt a little "fear and trembling".

Between Morning Prayer and Eucharist, we four men, a priest and three laypersons, agreed to a very simple rule and vows, and in exchanging these vows agreed to being Vowed Companions to Our Lord Jesus Compassionate, companions to each other, and to all we meet on, as Brother Chad put it, "the road to Emmaus." We are given to a life of compassionate prayer and compassionate living, all following the example of our Master Jesus, "for" as Matthew recalls, "he had compassion."

We are foundlings in a nascent community. We will make mistakes. Eventually, in spite of our best intentions, as we are what we are, all living "under the sun" of Ecclesiastes, we will hurt each other. We will forgive each other too, and still will have hope in each other's companionship through the love and fellowship of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We will love each other as we pray together, work together and find rest together.

On behalf of my Brothers: Chad, Charlie, Father Robert James, and myself, we ask for your prayers as we set out on the road to Emmaus.

"Loving Holy Spirit, grant me courage to hear your voice, and the humility and heart to follow you."

May this prayer never leave my heart and never be far from my lips. Amen.




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