The act of humbly letting go of what we are thinking and simply believing can lead to a deeper spirituality, Carmelite priest Fr Greg Homeing told archdiocesan leaders in February.
Priests, lay pastoral leaders and archdiocese staff members joined together for a ministry formation day on 25 February.
Fr Greg, who’s from Sydney, skilfully wove the question of spirituality into the context of the re-imagining process and changes that are happening in the archdiocese. He opened by framing the day around the questions: ‘What is happening?’, ‘what does God see?’ and ‘what should I be doing?’
Throughout the day we reflected on the re-imagining process and the responses to it. Fr Greg suggested that pastoral care, within change, comes from identifying the spiritual response at an individual level and within a community. A Carmelite priest in the 1500s, St John of the Cross, wrote about the Dark night of the Soul. Using this idea, Fr Greg talked through both the active and passive night of the spirit, acknowledging that our spirituality is made up of both our intellect and emotions.
He encouraged us to understand that deeper spirituality comes through humbly letting go of what we are thinking and simply believing.
The other part of this journey is to understand that for each individual the emotional response to change is different.
‘What is it like to be you?’ is a deep spiritual question that enables us to journey in our relationships, walking alongside when there is nothing that can be said or done.
In the afternoon, Fr Greg encouraged us to seek this level of spirituality by creating space to be in the presence with Christ, through prayer. In prayer we can learn to love what we don’t like about ourselves, as God knows and loves us.