In the first week’s teaching on the ‘Father heart of God' as we sorted out some of the wrong images we may have of God based on our upbringing, we also heard the story of the prodigal son. We gleaned new insights from the father who runs to his son not just out of compassionate love but also to protect him from the shame that would fall on the son when he entered the village as he had squandered his inheritance among the gentiles and so was subject to undergo a shaming custom done by the townsmen.
The final session of the “our Father” was geared for all the participants to have a personal relationship with the Father as Jesus had done so with his disciples. Alongside the teachings were times of reflective adoration and a prayer ministry time to experience the father's embrace and hear words of affirmation. A blessed week indeed.
Testimony of one of the Participants of the School:
During the teaching on the Father Heart of God, I asked God numerous times why He called me to the School of Mission; for I personally know the Father Heart of God, and how merciful and loving He has been to me. I wasn't sure that the teaching was relevant to me. What I discovered was that my challenge was not knowing and trusting God; rather, it is with getting to know, trust and live in communion with other people in a healthy way. My history is such that it knows too well the fruit of rejection, neglect and abuse. I have traditionally and consequently kept people at a safe yet unhealthy distance. I met a Catholic priest earlier on in the year who spoke about how sometimes we just need to be the image of God with skin on so that others can find healing and God in any given situation. What I have found is that the Father Heart of God for me is so big that He has called me to live in this community for five months so that others can be the image of God with skin on to me. I know that through their love and support, I will find healing and a better, healthier way to live; a way that is more aligned to how God originally planned it. I know that, through tapping into His grace, I will be leaving St Gerard's Monastery in March a totally transformed and new creation. What that is going to look like...at this stage, I have no idea; but I am excited by the prospect. Life with my loving Father in heaven is an exciting adventure; and I know because I know because I know that all He wants is the best for me.
- Rachel Blackaby