If the Holy Spirit is united to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son (the Triune God), It cannot deceive neither God nor Christ, as God cannot be deceived nor deceive. Therefore, if the Spirit can only lead the Church as one, then how can so many claim to be in a Church of God? How can the Spirit be divided against Itself? How can one church affirm Biblical truths, and another not? As there is one God, one Triune God, there is one Church; not churches, not sects, not denominations.
I’ve been quiet about this – at least in the details. I will continue to be quiet until more is understood. I first wrote a letter to a monastery in June, and have been slowly gaining in communication since then via email and phone calls. I will be visiting a monastery from Thursday August 7th through Sunday August 10th. In lieu of a stipend to stay at the guest house, I’ll be working with the sisters for a few hours each day. If I’m really diligent and finalize the vocation questionnaire, I may be able to speak with the Novitiate during recreation one evening.
I’ve told my spiritual director, and three additional friends, the specific details. My parents are not aware. My sister, once she reads this blog post will know precisely the information that is here and nothing more. How come? What happens when you spread your business everywhere – is anything respected? Is it honored? Is it accepted? I’ll bet you a student loan that the answer is ‘No’. Everyone runs roughshod all over your thoughts, your desires, God’s desires for you, and so forth; suddenly everything is up for debate.
In my previous experience in trying to enter the DSMMEs (Thank goodness I did not; I loathe teaching.) I was told a great number of things:
~ we should use this to get more drinks at the bar
~ you’re a lesbian
~ you’re a disgrace
~ you’re neglecting your responsibility
~ you’re throwing your life away
~ do you know how other women will touch you?
~ what about sex?
~ you should go do all the things that you can’t do once you enter
~ that’s a blessing
~ you’ll save your family
~ what grace
See how the vast majority of responses are negative and bitter? How focused they are on an erroneous thought that I’m losing something when I enter religious life. Rather, consider what I gain, in a non-materialist way: God. I have Him. All of Him. His full and complete attention. I get to respond to His love for me in a unique way, a way that I was created to do. I have the ability to work in cooperation with God.
This world will kill you; it will kill me. It will slay me to death with pride, lust, sloth/laziness, anger, greed, gluttony. I do not choose this world. I was born in the world at the time God wanted me to exist here, but He did not make me or you to be immersed in it to the extent that you can lose yourself in it. He bought you and me at the price of His Son’s Flesh, Blood, Soul and Divinity hanging tattered and exsanguinated on a Roman cross at the behest of the Jewish elders.
Keep me in your prayers, I’ll pray for you – you can leave requests in the comment box or you can (I think?) email or message me.
The Situation Thursday June June 5th:
I went to a middle school to work with a client and he was sent on referral to the office. Every time there is something that is “unusual” and “related to treatment” I have to complete an Incident Report. I wrote one last week, and my supervisor wanted me to change one small thing, and I changed it. She said that she “didn’t feel” it was my job to inform and discuss the situation with the caregiver. She suggested I call the school to follow-up on whether the school planned to inform the caregiver. She continues to say that I need to find a way to address the incident with the caregiver without being the one to report it first with her (as I question the school, they feel pressure to tell the parent, then I can follow up).
Then said supervisor denies calling it an incident, to which I suggest shredding the confidential document (if it’s not an incident, we don’t need the report). She then counters it’s an incident, and doesn’t understand why I didn’t address it; then asks why I didn’t collaborate with a teacher, and that I let the teacher “suffer all year” because I never gave her interventions (the teacher conducts a Special Education class all day, every day); that I need to call the school to clarify whether the parent has been informed. To which I say that the school did not appear to perceive it to be a big deal, but I think it’s a relevant issue to our/my clinical work.
Towards the end of it all, people were walking out of the room, and she eventually said that “you’re not working with me” and “we’re not a team” and “I don’t feel we’re on the same page”. She throws in a line about being “ethical” (Ethical in such a manner as to call me out in front of others?); asks why I’m thinking of discharging the kid, which I reminded her that in May she informed me to discharge him by June 20th. She say, “Oh, right. Yeah…”
Friday afternoon while I’m out working in the field, she sends an email stating “I thought more about your incident report last night. Would like to follow up with you and find out if anything else developed today.”
Monday, June 9th, she asked me at noon if I had seen the email. Then she said that she felt something was “off” and she “didn’t say things the way I wanted”. I conceded that I didn’t like how it was not my job to tell the mother what to do, but she thought I should inform the school of their need to inform the parent. On the way to walking to supervision, she avoided eye contact and apologized; did not say for what. After the group supervision meeting, she asked if I wanted to talk about it now, and I declined. She asked why, and I explained “I would just be mad”. We agreed to discuss this on Wednesday at 3pm during my usual supervision time.
– what did she want to talk further about this past Friday?
– what is she apologizing for?
– how did she come to realize that the exchange on Thursday wasn’t appropriate?
What I have learned about her, observing her for the past 1.5 years:
She’s a 59-60 year old Caucasain female of Jewish heritage. She has at least one adult daughter and may have a live-in partner. In terms of how she arrived to being employed as my supervisor: she comes to work as late as she possibly can between 9:30 and 10am, despite stated rule that supervisors arrive to the office at 9am (we’re frequently out in the field prior to this); she leaves as soon as she can, despite most supervisors staying until 4:30 to 5pm. She expresses surprise that other supervisors know how to complete work from home using the off-site web addresses (it’s how I and all other therapists complete our progress notes after-hours). It’s clear from this and other patterns that she is not enthusiastic about working at our company. Rarely does a woman of her age leave a secure position, replete with 401K, benefits, clientele &c. Something occurred at her previous employer, whether of her own doing or the decision of others, I haven’t learned yet. It’s not my place to know.
Regarding her personality, she likes to view “everything has a meaning” as she stated in the meeting on Monday; she’s very open to new experiences, trying things out. She’s not stuck on convention, very much fulfilling the stereotypical hippie role. She makes statements that things are “groovy”; she likes to avoid trouble and being put on the spot if she thinks it will lead to issues. However, she is very sociable, and does like being in the center of things: lunch groups, walking the block together after lunch with other supervisors, consulting. She deflects blame and has difficulty accepting responsibility. She frequently uses phrases such as “I feel” and “I sense”, she has poor ability to grasp theories, abstractions, and can’t participate in such discussions. She thinks on her feet, does not plan discussions or meetings. She is easily distracted, has difficulty completing projects and meeting deadlines; she has difficulty identifying ways to structure her time so that she can meet deadlines and socialize; she appears to place more importance on the here and now, than to consider future obligations, contingencies. She has made unwise statements against people in the past, and she utilized sweeping statements to hide the issue under the rug, and things turn against the other quickly. I don’t know if ESFPs (Jungian personality theory) tend to shun responsibility but she’s developed a strong knack for this.
I don’t want to match her in the manner of how she maneuvered last week. I’m my own person (thoughts, feelings, history, personality, self-awareness). I’m quietly enjoying the time the use of one simple and powerful statement has bought me: I’d be mad. That’s buying me time, but it’s also a power-laden expression. I’m holding her in time, in space. She has to wait for me, I initiate things tomorrow.
This is me processing information.
Welcome to my mind.
How I would like to start this off on Wednesday is explaining that I want to progress through the incident. I want to hear her thoughts pertaining to the email first: what did she want to discuss further. I want to consider that.
Secondly, I want to know what caused her to apologize on Monday – did she realize that? What is she apologizing for? I would take the time to reflect that her apology in that moment is read as insincere because she avoided eye contact and she did not say the reason why. She did not even acknowledge my feelings, I did that for her.
Thirdly, I want to go into the discussion of (her created) incident. She asked
that I not consider talking with the cg, as it isn’t my “place” or “job”; when I acquiesced, she wasn’t pleased with that. She became flustered. I want to go through this – that I considered what she wanted, and she was still displeased with that. She pursued some unknown object because I gave her all that she wanted, and she reacted and insulted me.
I did not cause a teacher to “Suffer” for a year. This teacher is skilled and a trained special education instructor. She does not need my help. She already implements what needs to be done, and within the confines of the school regulations and the client’s IEP. This is legally required of her.
I did not do anything unethical, I was/am willing to consider alternatives; it was rather unethical of my supervisor to address these statements to me in the open rather than using the office space she occupies. She caused other employees to feel uncomfortable, they left their workstations to avoid overhearing/witnessing.
If it is not my job to call and inform the parent of an incident, then it is even less my job to call the school and ask if they called the parent – this causes a forced action on their part to call the parent if their protocol is to handle issues in-house and only involve the parent if they think it needs that level of intervention/attention.
What we consider to be an incident varies by client and diagnosis; it’s not contingent on what parents or schools perceive to be a concern. Next time when there is uncertainty about the relevancy of an incident report, consult with your supervisor rather than questioning my judgement. Now, I have to be concerned about where else you doubt my judgement.
You said that “we’re not working together” and “aren’t a team”. You’re right, we’re not. You are my supervisor. I’m your supervisee. You made it clear that we could not work as a team in September when following my complaint you said “you got me written up”. I did not, and do not get you written up. You made indiscriminate comments that are inherently inappropriate. This is what caused you to be written up. You sought to blame me for your actions. I don’t consider that to be a quality I want in a team member. But I’ve already explained how we are not a team. Teams seek collaboration, compromise and mediation as needed.
I’m tired. I’m hitting the hay.
Do you have an absolute favorite saint?
Perhaps you pray to him/her, wear their medal & frequently ask help.
And there’s the other saint who surprises you.
Seemingly out of nowhere.
My favorites are Ss. Anthony, Benedict & Michael
I ask help of some additional ones like St Dr Guiseppe Moscati
And, there’s St. Joseph.
He’s so quiet – literally in the Gospels; only sometimes being addressed in private devotions. Over the years, I’ve read many stories about the miraculous staircase to the nun’s choir loft, of real estate breakthroughs, jobs found, etc. I never really understood it, how do you get attached to a Saint of which you have no personal reflections? No writings? Almost no presence? Does it not strike anyone else of how funnily he’s absent from the Gospels and we know nothing after the Angel tells him the Child is in danger? Yet, there’s always a statue of him somewhere in every church? He’s hotly contended in tradition: old vs youthful, assumed into heaven or not; how he came to be Mary’s chaste Spouse; so forth.
Years ago, when I was trying to process the reality of my brother’s abortion (my sister & I were informed via her Confirmation letter), I sought the advice of a Christian leader of a student religious group and she wisely suggested naming my brother to make him “more real” and less abstract. The processing stopped there for several years, simply naming him Joseph. But that’s where I got to know St. Joseph. In the past 3-4 years in which I’ve been attending the TLM, I’ve been praying to St Joseph, asking him help in the grieving and adapting process pertaining to the loss of my brother. I prayed his Litany every Sunday, without fail. Eventually, I came to reflect on more than just the loss of my brother, but on him who is Terror of Demons or Lover of Poverty, and Mirror of Patience. Holy cats, that’s what leaks through the silence surrounding him! There’s also the prayer at the end of the litany asking him to be our lord and protector on earth as he protected the Christ-Child & our Lady; to protect the Church from error.
Now, especially on Sundays, I’ve taken to adding on the prayer to St. Joseph after the Rosary, which is typically for October, but that’s been good overall. And finally, my spiritual director told me I should say a novena for my vocation. He didn’t to whom or any other restrictions. I figured, why create a new devotion when I already one. So I ventured down to the local massive Catholic store and got two prayer cards (size, plastic & weight of a gift card) one from Padre Pio & one from St. Joseph. The St. Joseph one had to be said for 9 mornings which is hard for me to manage because I’m a school-based therapist, my mornings are eat-wash up-drive; they’re not very leisurely. So I messed up, but I put in my nine mornings, and that day (actually about 12 days after starting) someone name-dropped a particular monastery. I put them on the list along with 4 other places that were attractive to me; and narrowed it down to just 2 places during my last meeting with my spiritual director. However, if I’m actually trusting St. Joseph to pick the place for me, why do I have two places listed? A plan b does not say trust!
Nope, just one place. I got impatient with sending Mother Superior an email, so I also sent a hand-written note.
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interest and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do help me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son and spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms, I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls – pray for us. Amen.
I live on a budget (You do?)
Yep. (But, how?)
Very guantly. (What?)
I can afford fabric for new outfits, but not ready-made; groceries, but not fast food. Like that. (Sheesh. I want that stuff!)
I want to use my $20/mo allowance (Me, too! Hey, we agree!)
Don’t interrupt me, it’s rude. I was saying I want to use the allowance for canning. (Er, what? What century are we in?)
Whose side are you on? I like old things; “archaic” is my favorite word; long skirts, blouses & a good hat. (Well, I was on your side, but I like this century.)