Obedience September 12
[The superior's] role in community interaction and deliberation is one of creativity and leadership (Const. 9.3).
The story is told of a man who was ordained a priest at the age of sixty-five. He was a successful banker during his life and, at his retirement and after the death of his wife, he felt a calling to the priesthood. He approached his bishop, who sent him to a seminary with a program for older candidates. The old man was ordained and his children and family were overjoyed. Some time afterwards, a younger priest met him and had a question for him. He was captivated by the situation of the older man. He wanted to know how the older priest’s life in the world influenced his pastoral vision. The young priest asked, “Father, what is your ministerial vision, given all the experience you had before being ordained?” He responded, “I see my priestly task as guaranteeing that the precepts of Canon Law are all observed.” The young priest was astounded. Such an answer was not possible! Was that the pastoral discernment of this man of the world? What a disappointment! The young priest left, convinced that the “signs of the times” and the creativity they asked for were a far larger and more fruitful ministry than simply the imposition of Canon Law. Would that all Christian leaders, including religious superiors, shared this opinion!
A big nose without nostrils has no value. (Toucouleur)