You know how it is, there’s always more paperwork to be done, more letters and email to be read, and what is the next action that needs doing. Well yesterday, today, and tomorrow have been blocked out of my diary to sort collect all that is going on in my life, and then decide how to proceed. The simple way can be shown by questions below
Is it actionable?
What’s the next action?
if under 2 minutes to do it, then do it.
if over 2 minutes,
defer to calendar
next actions list
Thanks to IKEA I have a number of large boxes which are going to the dump full of trash.
But to get to the beginning, it is necessary to collect everything, so I have been going through the mountain of paperwork in stages and doing the above process rather than doing it all at once. Yesterday I was really only able to the first sort – Is it actionable, Yes or No, and if no, is it trash or not? One very large IKEA box of rubbish is heading to the dump today.
Of course, it is not just our material lives that need to have a clear out and a new way of working, we need to do that with our spiritual lives as well. We need to factor that in when planning our work schedule. Making sure that we have time to examine our consciences at the end of each day is important. The Sacrament of Penance is where we can right ourselves with the community of Faith and with God. Talking over what we are doing with our lives with a priest is always useful.
Often people take Spring as the time to clean out their houses, but for me, Advent is a bit like Spring but in the Church’s year, it is the first season, so for me it is the perfect time to make new liturgical year resolutions. One for me has been to take the time each day to pray the Divine Office without hurry. Being able to commit to this involves working a better way of working for everything else… which is why it is back to ‘Is it actionable?’ for me now.
In the Rule of St Benedict chapter 48 the Abbot is instructed to give each monk at the beginning of Lent “a book from the library, which shall read be through consecutively” from cover to cover, during the days of Lent.
While the Ceremonial of Bishops is not a book that I would readily give to a monk for his Lenten reading, but it is a work which if read from beginning to end will provide valuable insights. Such an undertaking might appear to be a rather daunting task and the fact that the Ceremonial of Bishops has been presented as a resource book for those responsible for planning and directing the liturgical ministry of the Bishop, has also contributed towards deterring anyone reading it from cover to cover.
Bishops and other prelates are permitted the use of a mitre.
Abbot Johnston explains about how ceremonial is important not just for Bishops but for all in the Church. Although he was suggesting that the Ceremonial of Bishops would not be quite a book he would give to a monk for Lenten reading, it will probably form part of my reading as we prepare for the great Feast of Christmas and for the whole new liturgical year that comes after it. As a simple priest, I thought that it didn’t really concern me—but now, as Ordinary of FSDM, I am told that it does. For although I am not a bishop, in some respects I look after my confrères in the way that a Bishop looks after his flock. Some things are allowed to me. These external things are merely pointing towards the internal, that of caring for, and being responsible for the Fraternity. The sheep elected their shepherd. I must act — and look — like one.
At the weekend, I bought a book Vademecum which has inspirational thoughts for every day of the year on the subject of priests and priesthood. As a young priest, I hope that it will help to inspire me to be the best that I can.
Today’s reading is from Karl Rahner SJ and he writes
A priest is a human being, a member of holy Church, a Christian, just as you are… when the bishop lays his hands on them in blessing … he does not turn them into angels.
Each of us is not an angel. We are all men. And we all have our failings, our weaknesses but we also have our strengths.
Today I pray that I my weaknesses will not hinder my administration of the sacraments nor the witness of the Church.