More Insights From Gregory The Great and Thomas Oden
Autonomy above goodness, is the choice we make daily.
We began with a pure “We.” We were made in the image of a pure “We.” When “I” became alive, it moved from individuality (the gift we give to the pure “We”) to Individualism (the I taking from the pure “We”). The corrupted “We” can be as dangerous as the corrupted “I” (Ayn Rand – Anthem, Corrie Ten Boom on nationalism), and the corrupted “I” can be toxic to the “We” and to itself.
How do you administer your gift to the need of the community, without drawing your strength from their appreciation?
Something in a pastoral leader must always turn him or her back to the people. Administration, organization and visioneering must never steal this call.
Contemplative and Outward — always fighting for balance.
Romans 7 — we long to do good, but struggle to do it. The longing speaks of the ImageBearer we are. We are bent; we are a mix. Many of the most damaged people come from the most conservative backgrounds, that emphasize how nasty people are and can be. Likewise, liberal traditions that say that we are all good, produce people without the capacity to live in light of their great weakness.
It is a small thing what others think of me, or even what I think of myself — it is only what God thinks of me.
We spend so much of our lives being slaves to others’ opinions of us. Then we
“If you can serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter.”
Therese de Lisieux (died at age 24; Mother Theresa took her name from this Theresa, not the great Theresa (of Avila), but the “little” Therese (of Lisieux) — to do small things with great love — to never miss a chance for some small kindness)
People notice that you would be an unbelievable friend, so they look to you. But caregivers often have too many friends, and they’d love to be yours too. They then try to leave relationships.
ENFP is the common pastor’s type. 50% of Presbyterian pastors are this. Naturally pastoral.
“Few learnings are more important to the pastor than to learn when to keep silent and whenn to speak. Two equal dangers must be avoided: either pspeaking what should be left unspoken or failing to speak what must be spoken. The pastor must at times be like a bell — an open, clear, ringing public witness.
But bells are irritating if run incessantly. Bells are best heard sparingly and at the uniquely fitting time, especially at special, celbrative times. The spiritual guide must bot wate speeck loquaciously but must save speech for the opportune moment of its greatest effect, when, symbolically, one may be able to “ring the bells” of another’s more awareness or self-understanding.
Excessive loquacity is a little like lechery, like one who spreads his seed promiscuously. Good speech is more like a garden that is carefully weeded or a plant well-pruned. One produces a progeny of excellent thoughts with spare, well-ordered speech. But by spreading oneself out “in immoderate wordiness, he has an issue of seed, not for the purpose of progeny,” but for self-asserive egocentricity.”
From The Care Of Souls In The Classic Tradition, Thomas Oden, p. 66-67