Queen's counsel VI

February 2002

Life at Queen's is very varied and never dull.  Apart from the Tuesday evening sessions that we have each week, there are occasional weekend days when we study something else, often with some practical work together and residential weekends when we can cover a subject in more depth and get to know one another more.  It really is a rich community to belong to and I hope that I can bring a sense of that back here to Codsall where I feel I belong just as much.

One of our weekends last term focused on understanding ourselves, our personalities and how we respond to all that life throws at us.  This is important not just to gain balance in our own lives but to support others too as they strive in similar ways.  We were led by Sister Elizabeth McNulty and she explored with us the mechanics of reviewing who we are and what makes us tick.

She used an ancient method known as the Enneagram (Greek for nine sides) and I think some of us came away as mystified as we went in.  However, if you read carefully through the Beatitudes (St. Matthew 5: 1-11), for example, the possibilities of identifying with one group or another become apparent.  This can easily lead to increased awareness of the Spirit working through us and to personal growth.

I have since been in correspondence with Liz and she has passed on to me some additional insights that you might like to ponder on this Lent.  "We are each born with: a mind for truth, an instinct for survival, and a need for love" - striving to maintain balance between these brings wholeness.  Put in a more spiritual context, "in Baptism, we receive the three-fold gift of: Faith which enlightens our intellect, Hope which inspires our will and Charity which binds us to others" - the spirituality that we gain from these leads us to holiness.  Frances Havergal puts it well in her well-known hymn:

Take my will and make it thine
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart: it is thine own!
It shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love; my Lord I pour
At thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for thee.

And, with Abu Bekr, father-in-law of Muhammed, maybe we can pray:

I thank thee, Lord, for knowing me
better than I know myself, and for letting me
know myself better than others know me.
Make me, I pray, better than they suppose,
and forgive me what they do not know.

AMEN



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This page was last updated on 2001-12-24


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