“Living a Spirit-filled life is essential for a deacon…”

My brother deacon Scott Dodge over his blog has just posted a wonderful reflection on diakonia, tied to the Rite of Ordination:

In the ordination prayer for deacons their bishop, with hands extended over them prays:

In the first days of your Church
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
the apostles of your Son appointed seven men of
good repute
to assist in the daily ministry….

send forth upon him the Holy Spirit,
that he may be strengthened
by the gift of your sevenfold grace
to carry out faithfully the work of the ministry.

The sevenfold grace referred to are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the same ones referred to when the sacrament of Confirmation is conferred: Wisdom, Understanding, Right Judgment, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, also known as Reverence, Wonder (and Awe). These gifts, along with the fruits of the Spirit, which are set forth by St. Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23 ESV) – are what a Spirit-filled person looks like, lives like. It seems to me, both from my studies and my experience, that living a Spirit-filled life is essential for being a deacon. Theologian Herbert Vorgrimler, in his tremendously worthwhile book, Sacramental Theology, put it well and succinctly when he wrote: “In his person, the deacon makes it clear that the liturgy must have consequences in the world with all its needs, and that work in the world that is done in a spirit of charity has a spiritual dimension.” This is only possible if a deacon is Spirit-filled.

Read it all.

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