The qualities of a pastor are impossible to describe. We can only see them in action. No noise of clamor, but a careful manner of moving through the daily parish activities; clear eyes steadily seeing to the heart; kindness and humility in the presence of others, needing to defend nothing, prove nothing–therefore able to respond with the sureness of the flowing river. Hiding nothing, therefore able to speak truthfully with ease. Can you do this? Can you wait patiently until all the voices that clamor for action settle down? Can you resist the temptation to do what the parish seems so desperately to want you to do until the Spirit of God reveals naturally and gently the next step, and events unfold as they should, without pushing or shoving? The pastor does not seek success. She does not see people as tokens to be collected. Since she does not seek these things, she is available at the level of the soul to all who seek.”
William C. Martin, The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Reflections, page 15.