Saturday, 2 February 2013

Significant milestone- Philip Carter

February 2 is day when many Australian Anglican clergy celebrate an anniversary of their ordination.
It is known as the Feast of the Presentation and marks the time when Jesus was brought to the temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-38) by his parents. It's 40 days after Christmas.
For most of us, these anniversaries pass quietly. Every now and then there is a big one. Such as this year when my friend Philip Carter celebrates 40 years as a priest. 
I have known him for most of that time, and am thankful for his friendship.
He has been married to the lovely (and patient) Helen for most (but not all) of that time.
One of the great mysteries of priesthood is that we are not always sure of what the effect of our ministry might have been. We are after all, and hopefully, tending the inner life which is "hidden with Christ in God"
This has been Philip's important ministry, spiritual direction, helping people to explore the depth of our relationship with God. Many will attest to his giftedness in this area

One of his reflections is below(some would say he just says the same (albeit important) things until we get them through our heads

Perhaps the greatest impediment to peace is a failure of nerve, a lack of imagination. What if we could hear the echo in the human heart of a vision which haunts and lures us – a vision which is the true source of life and its goal – a vision of a deeper communion?
The Australian poet, Kevin Hart, has written a little Haiku poem:

   Each day forces us
   to totter on planks we hope
   will become bridges.

Those planks don’t seem much; for some they won’t be enough. Of course this little poem lacks the rhetoric of the quick fix, the easy answer. But the “planks we hope will become bridges” are real, and small, and within our grasp, and this image exposes an inner stubbornness, a resolute willingness to work with what is and at the same time to be captured by something more. Our future is beckoning, and it shapes us even more than our past.
Is it possible to let go of the self-defeating parables we too often tell ourselves, and to live out of and into the vision of a deeper communion?
I cannot be me without you
and we cannot be us without them,
and together we have a future.

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