Called To The Ministry
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me
and perfect love,
sense and knowledge,
That I may carry out
Your holy and true command.
Saint Francis of Assisi
In 1986, I applied for a position as Youth Counselor with the California Youth Authority. In 1989 while waiting for my background investigation to be completed, I incurred at the job I was currently working at, an injury resulting in leaving my left knee permanently disabled.
During the following three years, which included arthroscopic surgery and rehabilitation, I started to reminisce back to a time of early childhood. During this pre-teen era I aspired to be called by the Most Holy Trinity into a religious vocation.
In 1989, being 35, having a Masters Degree in Education specializing in Special Ed conferred upon me and having my professional career direction physically thwarted, I heard the same still small voice that spoke to the Prophet Elijah, speak within my heart.
Over the next ten years I sought after spiritual direction to verify that what I was discerning was an authentic Divine calling into the religious life and not just my youthful adolescent imagination toying with myself.
It was discovered the Blessed Trinity was not calling me to join a religious community.
As Saul of Tarsus received the name Apostle Paul, my religious name is now Br. Alcuin Bernard Bonaventure+ (see footnote)
Having a contemplative life following the Order of Saint Benedict (O.S.B.) and Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O./Trappists) charism of prayer, work, and study, combining with the Franciscan charism of hospitality and the corporal works of mercy, defines now my life journey.
In the gospel of Mathew Chapter 23:8-9 it is written,“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
This cuts to the heart of all those that call themselves within the Christian ministry Messianic Rabbis or Priests with Apostolic Succession, Father. I am sure that they have been confronted with this scripture and continue to use the their titles; I have chosen to follow the words of our Lord and to use simply a + after my name to identify that I am a Christian minister of the Divine Word and Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.