“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
We have come a long way since our first meeting. As I prepare to meet with our canon lawyer (Fr. Bryan Jerabek) about AV, I am delighted to note how many of you have stayed engaged since September. I am also delighted to reflect on the beauty of the souls engaged. You are a remarkable group of people.
As you know, the minimum period of engagement for a Sojourner is approximately one year. This means that in order for a Sojourner to be considered eligible to move into the next phase of association, it is necessary for them to have been exposed to formation with an Apostle for a period of approximately one year.
This exposure can come in various ways; the most foundational and important being attendance in our bi-weekly meetings. Secondary and very helpful exposure can come through apostolate work and other activities.
In our case, for some this will be easy because they work with me on a daily basis. For others this is more difficult due to distance. However, if one is able to make approximately 24 meetings in a year (or equivalent exposure), this is sufficient to request entrance as indicated in our statues (under development). This does not mean entrance is automatic. What it means is that we have at least some basis from which to prayerfully determine ongoing association.
There are three possible outcomes of this discernment:
- We discern the Lord is calling you into deeper association.
- We discern the Lord is not calling you into deeper association and that He has called you elsewhere.
- We discern that we have insufficient engagement or information to discern clearly and more time or specific engagement or interaction is required.
This third situation is one that could result in various possible prescriptions to allow for greater clarity in discernment. The Sojourner might be invited to:
- Pursue specific prayer, fasting and/or retreat time.
- Engage with their spiritual director regarding specific questions.
- Undertake specific study or spiritual disciplines.
- Spend more time with the foundational engagement of regular Cenacle meetings etc.
As you can see, participation in the regular meetings is very important. In considering this reality and the fact that you are all busy people with important family, parish, and apostolate responsibilities, I have decided to ensure that we record every meeting for those who simply cannot attend each time but who are serious about their association. What this means on a practical basis is that when I take attendance during each meeting instead of marking an “N” for “No” when a Sojourner cannot attend, I will leave it blank until I am able to determine if the Sojourner watched the video. Once watched, the Sojourner would then notify me through the Cenacle Forum that they have done so and I will mark attendance as “V” for video.
Why the distinction between “Y” and “V”? The reason is that what we are doing is not just about the transference of information. While the Holy Spirit can make up for any lack of time or other hindrances, on a human level, watching a video is far less enriching for all involved than engaging face to face or live through digital means. That said, a “V” still indicates a strong desire to engage in formation even if the meeting is not possible and thus aids our discernment.
I hope that recording the meetings is helpful to you. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below if you have any.
Unum Est Necessarium