Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Talking to chaplain interns

I am grateful for CPE programs where such an emphasis is placed on self awareness.

For the second year in a row now I've made a little presentation to the chaplain interns at one of our local hospitals. I talk about spiritual vitality and how important it is to continue a practice of self-examination beyond the CPE experience. It's gratifying for me to talk to these young people. They are amazingly self-aware and eager to share.

I give them a whole page of quotes from famous Christians talking about self-knowledge and how critical it is to the spiritual life. One woman today focused on Augustine's famous "our hearts are restless until the rest in Thee, O God," and she put that together with a quote from Frederick Buechner talking about our "original selves." In tears, she commented that she had never really told the CPE supervisor, who was in the room, the amazing sense of restoration she felt when she first talked to him about being in the program. When we experience even a little of those original selves we do indeed know what it is to rest in God.

It helps me have confidence in the future of ministry to talk to young people like this. And I am grateful for the opportunity.


mompriest said...

lovely...moments like that, experiencing our "original selves" are awesome...

Jan said...

You help so many other people experience their original/true selves. It's nice to hear about your experiences with them and of course with yourself.

Mother Laura said...

Wow, I haven't been back in a while, in part because of being a brand new CPE chaplain intern myself :-). And what a lot of great stuff I found!

So glad that things are looking up for your old church, that you could leave with feelings of loving and healthy resolution, and that they are looking positive and exciting at the new position as well.

And glad you're doing the Advent gratitude posts too--isn't it a wonderful practice? And even better to do it in community for it.