I've really struggled with this week's chapter - which is the reason for the tardiness of my posting. If you would like to review the complete study guide for this Session, click here and scroll down to Session 8.
In Chapter 8 of Sherry Weddell's Forming Intentional Disciples we're facing ourselves in the mirror. It's too easy without examining ourselves first to become self righteous or even judgmental , particularly of our leaders. Regardless of the progress any of us have made in our relationship with Jesus, none of have been canonized yet. There are times when we slip, forget, ignore or go from on fire to lukewarm in our journey. We need to remember we can all be seekers. We need recognize where we've been, the guides the Lord has sent to us and to acknowledge often that our faith is a gift from God.
In the book a "seeker is one actively seeking Jesus Christ. He is not yet following Him, but he’s considering it. When he makes the decision to drop his net and follow Jesus, he becomes a disciple." I understand why Weddell is making the difference, but I struggle with the who gets to fit folks into these categories?
I agree with and support Weddell as she states,
“ It is far more important that your relationship with Jesus exist and is real than that it conform to some imaginary template of Catholic perfection. The seeker can be helped to move towards discipleship by exploring what obstacles still exist, and by helping the seeker see how he fits into the Church and what gifts he has to offer.”
Perhaps my difficulty this week comes from the self-realization acknowledging that there are times when I still need the example of “intentional disciples” because I am - at times, still a seeker.
“But seekers need to see what life is like for an authentic disciple of Jesus whose struggles are real—and whose victories are therefore believable.”
That Is that exactly what the stories of the lives of the saints show me. It’s what sharing the upcoming Sunday’s readings in our small faith community do for me. It's what sharing our gratitudes and petitions in prayer together does for me. And by the grace of the Holy Spirit - this Sunday’s gospel, “. . . seek and you will find . . .” So maybe being a seeker from time to time isn't as bad as I first thought?
To get back to the discussion on Chapter 8 at Lawn Chair Catechism, click here.