Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Man of the Church

It has admittedly been quite some time since I have posted here at Operarius, largely because my summer work has taken me to the Diocese of Knoxville's official blog Life At 25, which has meant that I have had less time to post here. However, it is worth noting that as our diocesan Eucharistic Congress approaches this coming weekend, so does the Rite of Candidacy that will "officially" make me a candidate for ordination. That Rite will happen on October 12th, God willing.

If there is one thing that I have learned over the past few months, it is that some people are slowly starting to notice that there have been a lot of changes in the way that I do things. My daily Examiner column has taken on far more religious content and far less political content. It isn't that I have lost interest in the political world (that is what my degree is in, after all, so I have an abiding personal interest in, and a certain enjoyment of, politics), but there is a genuine realization that now, my personal views could be wrongly taken for the views of the Church at large.

"Now Oatney," you may say, "that is silly. Why on earth would anyone take your opinion for the point of view of the diocese, or the bishops' conference, or the Church as a whole." There are some well-meaning people out there who do not necessarily grasp how the Church functions internally as a body, and so the opinions of one small potato can be blown into the official Yukon Gold Source of Truth. That doesn't mean I'm not entitled to my opinion, but it does mean that I must be increasingly more careful about when and how it is expressed. I should point out that, at least to some degree, I have learned this reality "the hard way."

I don't say all that with a sense of trepidation, lest anyone think that might be the case, but instead with an understanding that my journey of formation is about to enter a new phase. Candidacy means that the Church will recognize publicly, for the first time, that there is a strong possibility that I may be ordained. It means that I will be a "man of the Church," and may be seen as such by some already.

Perhaps most important of all, though, I see a change in myself, one that I believe comes from the Holy Spirit. I am increasingly comfortable that the Holy Spirit has placed me where I now find myself, and even though I don't yet know what ministries I will have if I am ordained, I am confident that if the Lord allows me to be ordained, that he will give me the gifts that I need to carry out what I am called to do, if he hasn't already.

Most of all, though, myself and the men of our formation class need your prayers. Remember us as you remember your pastor, and all the clergy. I know that so many of my brother Aspirants are thankful for all the prayers they can get. I know that I am.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Oatney, you and Nicole must be getting pretty excited about your upcoming Rite of Candidacy!

    I just wanted to thank you for some words of Pope Francis, which you quoted on Examiner.com.:
    "...the Pope responded '...and I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.'"

    I love the Catholic Church, and I love my Baptist forefathers and their great faith, and it is wonderful that we have a Pope who recognizes that we Christians are worshipping the same God!!!