05/07/2020 08:34 AM
|Young Adult Bible Study|
Recently, I was having coffee with the Director of Evangelization and Discipleship, and told him of the idea we had used some years ago of offering people an opportunity to participate in the bible study The Seven Last Words of Christ as a Lenten Journey suggesting that instead of people simply giving up something like chocolate, or desserts for Lent that they be challenged to give up 60 or 90 minutes a week to participate in the bible study. Later we talked about the young adults at the church and I mentioned that the Lenten bible study might be useful to do with that group.
A week later one of the other staff at the church called and asked to have coffee and discuss the Lenten bible study group. We agreed and a week after talking she called to ask if I would be willing to lead the small group. She had recruited 9 other young adults. We met and made introductions, and then began the first chapter—then the Coniv-19 Stay Home restrictions began, and the remaining chapters were completed by Zoom meetings. Though a little stilted everyone applied themselves and each week the participants seemed more enthused about what they were learning.
The parish staff person who initiated the study discussed with me the idea of a follow-up study and asked if I was willing to lead it. I was, but since by wife and I were older than most of the group by 40 years or more, I suggested that she discuss with each of them individually their desires in doing a future group together. And in addition, ask how they felt about asking me to continue leading. Everyone wanted to continue and wanted us to continue leading. Next week we begin Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
This group was a joy to lead, and each really prepared each week in depth, consequently, I concluded that there probably are a lot of young adults who would be responsive, if they were just asked, and were provided with small group bible studies.
03/26/2020 09:45 AM
|What is your "essence"?|
Some years back, I took my school staff through a short exercise. It went something like this:
When you squeeze an orange, what comes out? Orange juice… yes. And how about a lemon? Lemon juice… yes, that’s right. With this reality, we can basically say then that the juice is the “essence” of the orange and of the lemon. When they are squeezed the juice that comes out of them is their “essence”.
So what comes out of you when life’s trials and tribulations squeeze you?
I’ve marveled at the way that God is stripping us of our idols during this pandemic crisis. Sports, money, entertainment, food, comfort, the basic freedom to do what we want when we want to do it are all being stripped away… and it makes folks uncomfortable. You can tell what your idol is by what makes you the most uncomfortable when you lose it.
God has the most wonderful way of bringing a greater good out of evil. It’s a gift to discover our idols and have them stripped away—uncomfortable, but good. If we don’t know we have an idol, we can’t purge it out of our lives. God’s granted us a huge gift—a world-wide examination of conscience as it were, a gift of self-knowledge so that we can return to Him in humility and be reconciled.
What is your ‘essence’ then? Have your figured it out? What’s been coming out of you lately through this world wide squeezing of humanity?
It comes in the form of how you respond during this time of crisis as God reveals your idols and squeezes you. Are you lashing out at others? Condemning? Panicking? Hoarding? Losing your peace in some form or fashion? Spending hours scrolling the news and social media out of fear or curiosity? If so, God’s granted you a great gift of self-knowledge, an opportunity to take this to Him in one of those drive through reconciliation lines and surrender at His feet.
All is grace. God is in this difficult time and never leaves us orphaned. He’s bringing good out of this terrible situation both collectively and individually. Let us not miss the opportunity to see the greater good He is calling His people to. Nothing is accidental. Don’t miss what God is doing. Embrace it in humility and be reconciled to Him.
-- Anonymous (in other words... I don't know who to attribute this to)
09/23/2019 01:44 PM
|What God can accomplish working through one person.|
“God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.”
-- Saint (Mother) Teresa
She, Mother Teresa, started each day in communion with Jesus in the Eucharist and then went out, rosary in her hand, to find and serve Him in “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.”
Observing Mother Teresa’s life, we realize that a highly dedicated life both attracts others and gives them the impetus to get involved. At the age of twelve, the future Mother Teresa felt a strong call to serve God. She felt called to be a missionary and to spread the love of Christ. At the age of eighteen she left her parental home in Skopje, Albania to join the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns located in Dublin, Ireland with missions in India and she was assigned to teach at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, India.
Mother Teresa was a person of profound prayer and deep love and her twenty years in Loreto community were filled with profound happiness. She was noted for her charity, unselfishness and courage, her capacity for hard work and a natural talent for organization.
She started each day in communion with Jesus in the Eucharist and then went out, rosary in her hand, to find and serve Him in “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.”
Mother Theresa had no funds and depended on Divine Providence to provide the items necessary to carry out her mission. One of her first projects was to establish an open-air school for slum children where she was joined by voluntary helpers and the received the financial support necessary to continue her mission. Out of this grew a band of sisters, former students and others who were committed to serving the poor.
On 7 October 1950 the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. Today the order comprises Active and Contemplative branches of Sisters and Brothers in many countries. By 2015 there were 5,150 sisters serving in 139 countries; 340 brothers serving in 21 countries; and, 35 priests serving in 5 countries.
The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labor bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love, and the surpassing worth of friendship with God.
“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” Saint (Mother) Teresa