Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yesterday's Lunch

I was blessed yesterday to share lunch with Father William Wilson. We immediately have struck up a closeness that can only be in God, and is fueled by the similar ways that we have been formed - though we started from very different places and have come through dissimilar traditions.

I have much to learn from Father Wilson: his focus on the love of God through Christ's Passion and the Eucharist, what he's learned about spiritual disciplines in 25 years as a Trappist monk and seven years in silence, and his theological training (he is quick to point out that our lives are not about religion and orthodoxy, though there is a place for doctrine, but rather about the love of God).

He is so transparent about his struggles, and we share some of the same. We talked about so much yesterday - the power of ego, of the way in which scripture informs our lives in Christ but must not take center stage in our faith, about being open to what the Spirit is doing and recognizing that movement in so many diverse gatherings of believers, and Christian mysticism.

As he remarked yesterday, this is what being Christians is about - people getting together and having discussions about Christ, and sharing the good news of God's love - that it is given completely and unconditionally to each person, without preference or degree, but fully to every individual. Talking to one another about this gift and learning to live within it, this is so much different than being religious.

Because we come from such different worlds in Christianity, when either one of us references a movement or discussion, the other is completely unaware of it - which shows me how the Spirit is doing much of the same work in all parts of the Church even when those parts aren't in regular dialogue.

I am looking forward to Father Wilson, as he prefers it, having some conversation and dialogue with the gathering of believers at Disciples' Fellowship. How amazing - he prefers communal conversation to one person lecturing! Who would've guessed????


Vicki Sullivan said...

thanks for sharing your conversation with Father Wilson. there is quietness and peace once more in your words.

Scott Cole said...

I have had the privilege of meeting, conversing and eating with Father Wilson. He is delightful and I am glad you got to meet him.

Sorry I missed you guys Tuesday. My work life called me away. Look forward to seeing you soon. I am sure after our trip to Yale, we will have much to discuss.

Peace to you!

Scott Cole