Availability and Vulnerability

IMG_3422I’ve been journeying now with the Northumbria Community for many years.  It is a dispersed new monastic community, which has a ‘mother house’ here in Northumberland, but the majority of the  community live in their own settings in different countries of the world.  We live by a rule of Availability and Vulnerability (full rhythm of life here) and commit to the rhythm of ‘Celtic Daily Prayer.’

After just over a year’s noviciate, I was welcomed at a welcoming liturgy around the dinner table on my recent retreat to the mother house in late January.  Here I am with Adrian, who mentored me through the process of becoming a part of the community.  It was a warm family-like time of sharing, very special, very simple and very meaningful at this juncture in my life.

Those two words, AVAILABILITY and VULNERABILITY are challenging ones at the best of the time.  How, as followers of Jesus can we be available to God and others, how can we be vulnerable before God and vulnerable to embrace the other.  These, and other questions, are good discipleship prompts, they keep my on my toes and give shape to my following of Jesus.  They are, obviously, not prescriptive.  Rather, they are provocative.  They allow me to ask ‘how can I live out my vows in this context?’  They are, in essence, words that ask ‘How can I give fully of myself in this situation?’

What shapes your discipleship?  What values are you trying to embrace as you follow Jesus?  How are you connecting with God and others as we live as disciples in the 21st century?

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