As I write this, I'm at our January formation weekend, and the focus for this weekend is prayer and spirituality. Our instructor and spiritual guide for the weekend is Father Michael Cummins, who also happens to be our diocesan vocations director. Those of you who are from Johnson City or who may have attended East Tennessee State University might be familiar with Father Michael, because he is also the campus minister at the Catholic Center at ETSU, and he has a big challenge-as he told us "I'm a staff of one."
I have a special place in my heart for campus ministry, because I was baptized as an adult in a campus ministry setting, and I know that Catholic campus ministries can be an island of spiritual serenity in a sea of secular doubt and social disorder on our campuses today. One of the things thus far which impresses me about Father Michael is that he has such a deep and abiding spirit of humility about his ministry. I have gotten to the point where I daily pray for an increase in humility, because it is something that I always struggle with. Thinking you are being more humble is one thing, but when I see the humility and the spirit of peace with which Father Michael teaches and carries out his ministry, I know that I still have some way to go in that department. In observing Father Michael, I see that this is a spirit that I want to further cultivate in my own life and ministry in the days, weeks, and months ahead, and I would ask for prayers from all reading this for a great increase in humility in service.
One of the things we've talked about thus far are the positives and negatives in the Church and society today, and how these various factors impact our prayer and spirituality. I've talked about the negatives quite a lot on this blog in recent weeks, but there are also lots of good things happening in the Church that can aid our prayer and spiritual life. One of these is that the development of new media communication, with all of its inherent social baggage, can also be a tremendous aid in the spread of the Gospel and in aiding the faith of people who are already living lives of faith in Jesus Christ, but they need resources made available to them in order to better apply that faith to their prayer life and to daily work and life in the world. New media makes this kind of ministry much more available to people who need it. In thinking about this, I am reminded that I started this blog to be a ministry, even though it admittedly also acts as a vehicle for me to journal a bit about my own formation and spiritual development. If you are blessed by what you find here, how can this blog better serve you?