Friday, 14 August 2015


Why, you should be asking, did this arrogant self centered woman with so much to criticize stick with the Anglican Church? Back in the day I'd have called it self-confidence and a questioning mind. 

Be consoled, pride does come before a fall. 

And I'll speed up the story because if I'm getting bored with it you must be too.

To sum up. I'd discovered Gerard Hughes and the God incidence factor. I was also reading a lot of Henry Nouwen. He probably appealed to me initially because I have a partially disabled son but the professor of Divinity, priest and author would greatly deepen my understanding of communion, community and ministry.  

It was an element I was enjoying during my more frequent visits to the Benedictine retreat house. (A couple of days with the sisters, no cell phone and just my navel to contemplate was a lot more regenerative than my expensive trips to  the health farm used to be.) 

Throw in a generous dose each of Benedictine and Ignatian Spirituality  and you've got the picture. A bit of a dog's breakfast but I was loving it. 

The,  during a visit to the convent, I had one of those inexplicable lightening bolt moments. Not wanted. Not expected. 

As usual Fr Andrew, the Community of the Resurrection monk who'd introduced Open Door Retreats to South Africa, was directing my retreat. He asked me to meditate on John 21:1-17. 
I don't think I'd read it before.

If you're one of those folk who can quote the bible chapter and verse, this is your aha moment but please don't get too excited. 

For those of you who don't have retentive memories, it tells of how one night several of the disciples go fishing with Peter. Early next morning they head for the shore with empty nets.  Jesus who has made a fire on the beach, calls out and encourages them to cast their net just one more time. The net was so filled with fish they couldn't haul it into the boat so they towed it.

It's the third time Jesus appears to them after his resurrection. Peter who had denied Jesus three times before the crucifixion is now asked three time if he loves Jesus. Of course we all know the answer to that. Yes, yes and yes.  

Effectively Peter is reinstated as head of the Church and told to get on with the job. 

I had, however, read the Matthew version of this story in which Jesus tells Peter and Andrew "I will make you fishers of men." 

So I put two and two together and got five. My imagination went into overdrive.

I had this urge to walk. Which I did, round and round the garden where the butterfly had helped me believe in God. I was filled with a deep driving sense that I was being called to priesthood.  Me  of all people!!  

When I shared this with Fr Andrew he gently brought me back to reality. I'd need to discern whether I'd had my Damascus moment or if it was just wishful thinking.

If you're not Anglican, I need to explain that we believe one is called by God into a vocation. It's not just something you decide to do. 

Well, being me, I very quickly 'discerned' that God was telling me to have one last glorious go at my successful business. I'd make enough money to be a full time self-supporting priest and probably be the first woman bishop in southern Africa. I'd fill his emptying churches.

What an idiot!

No comments: