A great part of my reflection is focused on the life of St. Paul these days, it is perhaps strange to say. I am reading a book on Paul - yes, I will be reviewing it for the Catholic Review of Books, but I used to use a few chapters from it for the Biblical History course I taught way back when. I am really into it, and, even though it's not a perfect and flattering portrayal of the great apostle, it has united my thinking and missionary discernment with him. One thing I find particularly fascinating is that he had to discern the direction his life was meant to go at each step. Paul's life was not like that of a bishop or priest today, which is fairly pre-scripted. He had no models to follow. There were no missionary apostles before him. He was the first: everyone else modeled themselves after him. Sure, there was some general advice available in the sayings of Jesus, but not many specifics, and nothing other than the direct locution of God to base his mission on, that is to say, no canon law or diocesan statutes to defend his rights and spell out his duties.
And so it is for the lay theologian who has no official mandate, but who feels strongly called by God to do what his training has enabled him to do. Now I am doing it, finally. Finally I feel like because it is not 'controlled' by an institution it is or can be truly authentic, truly apostolic. I feel like to be truly apostolic it has to operate in some way outside of a predetermined structure. Rather, I feel as though God Himself wants to define the structure for me. A person who, like me, knows "what it is to have much and what it is to do without," and this is the kind of openness upon which God wants to build something.
I mentioned it on the Review's Face Book page, but let me mention it here too: I need funding to advance the Review, a work that I am convinced is for the good. I am hoping to be able to print the first edition in about a month, and that will require some money. I want to announce here that the good people at LifeSiteNews have taken me on as a writer, but still, you know how unemployment has cost us very much and that we don't have a lot to work from. I will do what it takes to respond to God's call. That is all that my life is about. Help make it easier and fruitful, if you can! Operating in the blind trust of Providence, that doing God's work entails the sort of spiritual cost it does, and that He Himself obliges Himself to you in a special way, this is the new life that I have entered.