|CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz|
By John W. Crossin, OSFS
My experience of the action of the Holy Spirit has been life changing. I have often sought the Spirit’s guidance in prayer—seeking, sometimes reluctantly, where the Spirit would lead me.
My move into ecumenical work two decades ago was led by the Spirit. Suffice it to say that over lunch two Protestant colleagues convinced me that I should seek an ecumenical position. After the conversation I felt a certain peace and some joy. The Spirit often has spoken to me through others and given me interior confirmation. As a result of the conversation, I became involved very much in the ecumenical world and met a new group of outstanding and deeply spiritual people.
More than a decade later, I left the Washington Theological Consortium thinking that I might engage in pastoral ministry. My conversations led me to the Secretariat for Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs at the USCCB for five years instead! This was quite a surprise.
I often try to plan things out. When I was much younger I had ‘Crossin’s 10-year plan.’ Needless to say this plan did not work out exactly. I have come to realize that my need for planning, predictability and certainty stands in contrast to the Holy Spirit’s surprises. I am the one who has a need for clarity!
I have come to realize that ‘God is in charge’ and I am not. No more 10 year plans. My attitude now, at least on my better days is: ‘Speak Lord your servant is listening.’ Listening and seeking to discern God’s will is the most important thing.