Today's first reading - a story from the first book of Samuel - is a great introduction to a series of reflections that ILEMs and CLEMs have written about their call to formation and about the benefit formation brings to the minister and to the Diocese.
Do you remember the story? Young Samuel is apprenticed to old Eli. Samuel is awoken three times by a voice calling his name. After the second call, Eli realizes that it's God who is calling the youth. He tells Samuel: "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'" This is what the young man said at the third call.
The end of the story is important: "Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect."
The homily I heard today put the story of Samuel into ministerial perspective. Samuel was called to listen, to respond and then to act. In terms of Lay Ecclesial Ministers, we are called to listen, respond - be formed - and to act... so that our words and our very lives will be effective and the Kingdom of God may be advanced!
What follows is the first installment in the Formation Series.
I feel that with the knowledge we received from our ILEM journey we can be a big asset to the diocese. We are well-equipped to share Christ without workmates and in the ministry we offer. Personally, I couldn't list all the ways ILEM formation helped me grow as a person, as a woman, and in my personal walk with Christ. The retreats and workshops really helped me in my spiritual life. The importance of silence and the opportunity to meet with a spiritual director really helped me to grow. The school work was hard for me but well worth it!
- reflection by Kate Honan (CLEM 2006)