Many of the ingrained remnants of older Catholics’ upbringing and religious culture were recently subjected to rigorous scrutiny, exposure and confrontation at St Mary’s, Carterton, under the guidance of spiritual director, Jim Dooley sm.
In the course of three evenings parishioners and members of the wider community were introduced to three topics:
• The critic voice and the voice of the true self
• Taking responsibility for ourselves
• The energy for intimacy and the challenge of integrity
As part of a focus towards ongoing education, the St Mary’s Parish Pastoral Development Team (Carterton/Greytown), hosted the series of reflections titled ‘Living Our Truth’.
Many Roman Catholics now entering the ‘old age of youth’ will remember the influence the church had over our formative years.
Its teachings, dogmas and expectations were to be wholeheartedly and unquestionably accepted and lived out as those of the ‘one true church’, from a God who seemed to love only conditionally!
Using poetry, music and scripture Jim challenged us to recognise and trust the wisdom of our ‘inner voice’; to shift our personal relationship with God from servant to friend and, in the second half of our lives, to integrate the flaws of our humanity (usually hidden) with our more visible side, so that we become whole – our true self.
The evenings were well attended, well received and well presented. Enlightened and thought-provoking comment from the floor helped to liven the sessions.
Jim used a line from Mary Oliver’s ‘The Summer Day’ which effectively invited us to challenge our living faith in the light of a newly found perspective.
‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’