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Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Just Call Me Al
It was over in 5 minutes. Am now an instituted Acolyte (aka a 'glorified server'). So, besides being able to help the priest and/or deacon at the altar, I am also a communion minister and able to give communion to the sick. Some have called this a 'promotion'. Whatever. What has been instituted in name and function still does not render it useful when it is not put to its potential action. I'm still a seminarian, going through my rounds of the usual activities (that would occasionally see some good in the Lector and Acolyte functions - because this seems to happen only under exceptional circumstances). Pity. Because, these ministries do have their proper and timely role in the every day liturgical activites of the church and outside it. These ministries do have their values but their installation ceremonies usually get overshadowed by the more elaborate ordinations to the diaconate and priesthood. Slipping them into those major ceremonies becomes like a footnote that no one really pays attention to. Perhaps the recipient of these ministries don't either! Anyway, the world isn't going to get any better on account of these ministries....

Perhaps a better sense to all this would be to get in touch with oneself more often with a prayerful and reflective exercise of one's 'Lifeline'. Drawing up one's life experiences from birth to now and looking back to see where God has been a guiding principle in them would help appreciate how our standing is with God and how far we have been going on in the life of faith in Christ. I did something of that nature during my 30-day retreat in Chiangmai with Fr Iker. It was a thought-provoking exercise and a baptism of fire for me to rediscover how much I have been led by the Lord to where I am now. Fr Larry, a Maryknoll priest, was at my friend's place and mentioned this exercise in his sharing to all of us there. It was an engaging evening to be able to share some of his experiences as he related to us his life as a Peace Corps volunteer and later priest in his journeys which includes Malaysia, Thailand, Africa and now China (Manchuria).

Meanwhile, unlike the All Change series, I don't get to be another person after this spiritual makeover. I still have my senses all intact trying to live out each day the best I can. Continue to call me Al and if you are free, perhaps we can go out for a cup of coffee. Be good and peace and joy to you!

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