More Discerning

Though I’ve gone back to regular blogging, I’m also continuing my discernment with the Called and Gifted process. Earlier this evening, I met with my small group for the first time. This is the venue in which the participants share their early experiences of experimentation. One aspect on which we share is our own sense of testing our gift. I mentioned that for me it is a true test. I don’t have a strong feeling if writing turns up as an authentic charism, or if it remains a hobby, a part-time livelihood, or something else.

About ten years ago, my spiritual director suggested I turn my hand to writing books. He thought the Church needed the insights of a lay person writing in Catholic spirituality. I confess I never really explored my gift at that time. If I were to return to it, I suppose it would be a long-term experiment. After all, one can’t really write an essay or two and veru easily say one has written a book.

My concern also is to overload myself with testing. I tend to be very enthusiastic about new endeavors. Already I’ve been testing things on the blog, sorting my feelings and effectiveness with my regular magazine column and a few articles I’ve been preparing for publication and/or submission. I’ve been finding more energy in writing music these days. Another exploration takes place tomorrow, as I join a friend to explore a mutual collaboration on songwriting.

I have to mention a heartfelt aside and thanks to the Catherine of Siena Institute for some really excellent material and resources. I commend the Called and Gifted process and would recommend it to anyone who is searching for their place in expressing the spiritual gifts.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to More Discerning

  1. Patti says:

    “After all, one can’t really write an essay or two and very easily say one has written a book.”

    No, but gather a series of essays and maybe some reflection on the response to those essays and you may bave something.

  2. Fr. Mike says:

    Thanks for the recommendation of the Catherine of Siena Institute resources. The information in the workshop and the entire discernment process has changed my ministry as a priest. In fact, I’ve learned that the Church teaches that helping lay people discern their gifts is an essential part of the ministry of a priest. Unfortunately, learning about gifts discernment-either for the candidate himself, or of the gifst of others-is rarely, if ever, a part of seminary formation.

    We’re trying to change that, however!

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