Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Busy bee time

I've got a rather busy week this week ending in a residential at the weekend so not much time at home with Michael which I've been used to a lot lately so it's going to be odd. So I'm worrying about being busy and yesterday I was at the Centre for Youth MInistry parity meeting for fieldwork tutors and we got to discussing the hours some of the students had ended up working on top of study and lectures. They're supposed to do 460 hours in their MAIN placement over three terms and one had done nearly 700 hours on top of an additional palcement and essays and journals and lectures. All the fulltimers were keen to discourage that kind of overworking with real concern for the students and of course ironically I was commenting on it in a week when I myself am VERY busy.

Then this morning at morning prayer there was some FANTASTIC commentary on the busy-ness of leaders in the church:

"That the ruler relax not his care for the things that are within in his occupation among the things that are without, nor neglect to provide for the things that are without in his solicitude for the things that are within. The ruler should not relax his care for the things that are within in his occupation among the things that are without, nor neglect to provide for the things that are without in his solicitude for the things that are within; lest either, given up to the things that are without, he fall away from his inmost concerns, or, occupied only with the things that are within bestow not on his neighbours outside himself what he owes them. For it is often the case that some, as if forgetting that they have been put over their brethren for their souls' sake, devote themselves with the whole effort of their heart to secular concerns; these, when they are at hand, they exult in transacting, and, even when there is a lack of them, pant after them night and day with seethings of turbid thought; and when, haply for lack of opportunity, they have quiet from them, by their very quiet they are wearied all the more. For they count it pleasure to be tired by action: they esteem it labour not to labour in earthly businesses. And so it comes to pass that, while they delight in being hustled by worldly tumults, they are ignorant of the things that are within, which they ought to have taught to others. And from this cause undoubtedly, the life also of their subjects is benumbed; because, while desirous of advancing spiritually, it meets a stumbling-block on the way in the example of him who is set over it. For when the head languishes, the members fail to thrive; and it is in vain for an army to follow swiftly in pursuit of enemies if the very leader of the march goes wrong. No exhortation sustains the minds of the subjects, and no reproof chastises their faults, because, while the office of an earthly judge is executed by the guardian of souls, the attention of the shepherd is diverted from custody of the flock; and the subjects are unable to apprehend the light of truth, because, while earthly pursuits occupy the pastor's mind, dust, driven by the wind of temptation, blinds the Church's eyes."
Fabulous critique of the life of those in full time ministry... and writtn by Pope Gregory the Great in his Pastoral Rule Chapter VII circa 600 AD! Life has not changed much then!?


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Sally said...

this is so true, and so relevant thanks for sharing it