We spent today at Canterbury Cathedral on Retreat and for me it was a day not to be missed. The Archbishop was at his best, building on his scholarship and personal spirituality, as he led us to reflect on the theme that every calling or vocation is an invitation to become, gradually, a place where God’s life is revealed.
He left us with so many pointers to mull over during the day that I can’t really do them justice, but his observation that the only way of being a successful apostle is to be incapable of distancing oneself from the weakness of others I found to be particularly helpful. He took this idea forward to reflect that bishops can never, however much they’d like to be, become the spokesperson of a single nation, or cause, or group, however worthy they may be.
Amongst all the words offered and shared today, it will be these two phrases which will stay with me.
One of the challenges of a gathering such as this is to remember the name of the person to whom you have just been introduced. A higlight and a name I can remember was Hector Zavala , Bishop of Chile. I was really glad to be able to meet him as, to mark the millennium, my parish raised money to support USPG in building 15 houses for the poorest communities in Chile. Bishop Zavala brought me upto date on the project and how the funds we rasied had been used and in a short conversation the interconnectedness of the Communion became tangible.