Armodoxy for Today: Spiritual Care Givers
This week is Spiritual care week, giving opportunities to organizations and institutions of all kinds and types to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which they provide. Within the Church, the priest is on the front line of life and is the first-responder to domestic situations. He is the spiritual caregiver to his flock and community, and much more.
In the spirit of Spiritual Care week, I share with you a blessing shared with me, and written by Nadia Bolz-Weber.
A Blessing for a Pastor’s Heart
I imagine it was because of your heart that you went into this work in the first place. So, I imagine you have a heart that wanted to extend beyond itself, to stretch to love God’s people.
So may God bless the parts of your heart that receive their stories so openly, and comfort their sufferings so compassionately, and share their joys so thoroughly.
And may God also heal the parts of your heart that have been wounded by the very people whose stories you receive and whose sufferings you comfort and whose joys you share.
And may God revive the parts of your heart that have grown protectively cold.
And may God protect the parts of your heart that are well-loved by those who know you best.
And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the sorrow of those in your care can move your heart but find a landing place in God’s.
And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the love you give in this work can come through you but doesn’t have to come from you.
And as the love of God moves from God’s heart through your own to those in your care, may your heart soak up all it needs in the process. Because your heart is a human one too, and it deserves to be well tended to. AMEN.
Cover: St. Gregory the Illuminator by night, spiritual caregiver of a people. 2017 Fr. Vazken