My dear husband has suggested that I whine too much in my blog. I have thought about this (briefly) and he may have a point. So, I will try to keep my comments less whine-like and more positive.
Actually went on the annual DRE retreat this year. Mostly because it was given by a friend of mine and I always enjoy listening to him. The talk that stood out for me the most was when we discussed the idea that our formation programs should encompass hand, heart, and head components. That is something I am going to consider more this year. I often think we focus too much on the head stuff. It is easy to fall into that trap since we have limited time and endless topics to cover. More on this later.
It is that time of year when I begin to wonder why people are not inclined to share their faith with others. Yes, I need catechists. And this weekend I am going to ask for them in the worst possible way, by making a general request during announcement time. I will also ask for 120 people to pray for the program, specifically for each class, catechist, the RCIA team and those who come into RCIA. So, we’ll see how all that goes. The last time I asked people to pray, there was little response, which I have a hard time understanding. These people are in church at mass so saying a prayer once a week for someone else doesn’t seem like a problem for me. Of course, the longer I am in Church ministry, the more I realize not everyone thinks like me. What an understatement!
I am starting a book called “For the Greater Glory of God” by Manuel Ruiz Jurado, S.J. which is a spiritual retreat with St. Ignatius. The retreat is based, of course, on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. A dear friend and I are going to work through the book together and seek to find a closer relationship with God and thereby be better able to know and follow His plan for our lives. As it says in the book, “only by following God’s plan will I see myself freed from all forms of slavery and arrive one day to the eternal life of unending Love for which I was created.”
I think of the slavery I encounter in my daily life and that quotation sums up what I want in my own spiritual life. The work though, must be done to attain it.
Sunday’s Gospel was a lesson in prayer. After discussing how and when to pray with the children at Children’s Liturgy, we still had time to talk some more. The homily ran a bit longer than usual. So, I offered the following idea to the children. Pray with ACTS.
A-Adoration, tell God how much you adore Him and love Him
C- Contrition, tell God you are sorry for everything you did wrong today
T- Thanksgiving, tell God thank you for all that you have in your life
S-Supplication- ask God for what you need
They loved it, even if it took some time explaining what all those big words meant. We’ll see how it worked for them this week.
I have come to the conclusion that I am really bothered by the phrase, “that’s just the way he/she is.” I work with people who use this phrase as an excuse for poor behavior, mistreatment of others, and glaring rudeness. If you are a certain way, and it offends others, should you not at least try to change. Or else, you must suffer the consequences of others being “just the way they are.” I notice that people who live their lives spewing that phrase, think it is fine for themselves, but not for you. I mean, it seems only right and fair that is you can be yourself, then others should be themselves as well. But no, that is too much for these people to accept. I must accept their humanity and personality quirks, but they do not have to accept mine. I want to start reacting to people instead of pausing and trying to remember that I work in a church and should be pastoral. I have to understand the unorganized, no concern for time, last minute changes guy. Why does he not have to understand my need to be organized, on time and not make changes unless absolutely necessary.
I could go on; but I won’t. I think I need some time off!
We have a little problem going on in church. It was brought up at our staff meeting yesterday and we were all pretty disgusted. People are leaving their breakfast trash in the pews. A few items include empty coffee cups from Dunkin‘ Donuts and Starbucks, McDonald’s bags, and a half eaten apple. What are people thinking? This is not the movies or a baseball game. Plus, what happened to fasting before receiving communion? We will put a little reminder of church etiquette int he bulletin and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, maybe we’ll start standing at the doors and searching people as they enter!
I attend Mass every Sunday and frequently during the week as well. Most times the daily homily is fine, sometimes even good. Sunday homilies usually leave me crying inside. Not because I am convicted of something I should be doing differently, but because they are painful to listen to. But, this past Sunday I was in Orlando and heard a wonderful homily that will carry me for a few weeks.
The Gospel reading was about following Jesus and the priest spoke about each of the Apostles and how there was something lacking in each of them, yet Jesus called them and they followed. What they were not lacking, was willingness. He closed the homily by saying, “God is calling, are you willing?” And then he sat down and let us think about that for a minute. WOW.