The following is Associate Rector Areeta Bridgemohan’s monthly opening message from our weekly e-newsletter the St. Georgian. If you’d like to receive our weekly e-newsletter, sign-up here.
“God comes to us disguised as our life.” – Paula D’Arcy
‘The Way of Love’ is patterned after the monastic rules of life. I like the analogy of a rule of life as a trellis; a structure around which the rest of our lives can grow and take shape. We all have core values and commitments that we orient our lives around, sometimes these are expressed formally as in baptism or wedding vows, and sometimes they function as an internal compass, quietly shaping our decisions and responses.
The vows in the ordination service form a trellis. In preparation for ordination, I spent some time reflecting on the vows I was about to make. One of the promises that excited me the most was: “Will you be diligent in the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures, and in seeking the knowledge of such things as may make you a stronger and more able minister of Christ?” This vow articulated a commitment to a life of intentional learning about God, our sacred story, and all of God’s creation. Implicit in that promise, is the idea that we are not expected to have all the answers and that we are constantly in a process of becoming, of growth and learning, and ultimately transformation.
Learning requires a certain posture: it embraces curiosity and questions, it relies on a desire and willingness to receive, and an openness to wonder. These are helpful postures to life in general, which is perhaps our greatest teacher. My spiritual director often refers to life experiences as “earth school”. Experiences that teach us something new about ourselves, something new about God, that expand our capacity for love and healing, providing us with opportunities to grow into the full stature of Christ. I have taken earth school classes in self-acceptance, embracing solitude, to let go of control and trust God… I’ve come to suspect that the curriculum is as long as my life! Where is learning in the trellis of your faith? What class in earth school are you taking right now? How might this faith community support your learning?
May our faith journeys never cease to be a source of learning and growth.
Yours in Christ,