Worth Revisiting: We Are Made To Love

It’s Worth Revisiting Wednesday! A place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link-up with fellow bloggers! Co-Hosted with Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You.

Just a year ago Sunday, I began this journey in blogging with each of you- sharing of my own faith experience, the gift of discernment and the incredible encounter of God in our everyday realities. This is my very first post and looking back upon it,  I find it utterly amazing where God has brought me, and continues to guide through the joys and challenges of life. Thank you for your insightful comments, supportive sharing, and the very gift of yourselves in making my journey part of your own!


 

Made To Love

While theology may be a verb, my initial inclination to begin this blog…let’s just say has been less than active.  🙂 With that being said, I awoke early this morning with my heart burning to embark on this journey with you-to share my thoughts, prayers and hopes as a Catholic woman of faith.

Today, I am a student of theology, hopeful saint, follower of Christ, faithful mother, wife, friend, woman … and child of God. This last identification is something that while seemingly basic is essential to recognize in ourselves as well as within each other. Created with a beautiful divine spark, we have been graced with love, each given unique gifts and a desire to grow in that love towards our Beloved. If we accept this premise then we can no longer look at others as less than made in the very image of God. This carries both a sense of awe and wonder, and a responsibility to recognize the great worth and the needs of each of God’s creations. Often quoted as Catholic’s most hidden principles, our social teachings guided by scripture beckon us to embrace our discipleship not as a solitary walk but in solidarity as a community of faith. Going beyond ourselves, our families, our parishes, we have been invited to step out in faith to accept the mission that draws us forth to reach those most in need.

Yet, before we set this as a lofty unachievable goal, this begins quite simply in answering the call to love. Over the last few weeks I have had the privilege to teach summer catechesis to an awesome lively group of 4th graders. Covering the Ten Commandments, and the Be-attitudes, they took hold that it all comes down to the Greatest Commandment: to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might, and loving your neighbor as yourself.

Therefore when given a service project to collect personal care items for needy families in our area, our students responded by collecting over 120 items in one week! This brought tears to the eyes of our director of St. Vincent de Paul who further encouraged them to continue in this life of service. It reminds me also as Mother Teresa once said that “What I can do you cannot. What you can do I cannot. But together we can do something beautiful for God”.

Today, how will we answer this call to love one another with great love?

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Worth Revisiting: Bringing Forth Our Gifts

It’s Worth Revisiting Wednesday! A place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link-up with fellow bloggers! Co-Hosted with Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You.

In better discerning where we are meant to be and what we are being called to do, there is usually the internal assessment of those gifts we have to offer. Many times we might feel that we have nothing of value to bring, and thereby discount all that we have been given that God seeks to use. Yet there is courage found in recognizing that God perfects all that is lacking within and is more than ready to fit each of us for the task.  Can we step forward today, and do as the small boy from the Gospels has done..can we offer our gifts from the heart?


Witness to the Miracle: Bringing Forth Our Gifts

In discussion of the Gospel Reading of the miracle of loaves and fish, I asked the children gathered at mass what should we do with the gifts that God has given us? What if what we have is thought to be little? Conversely,  if we have acquired much, and have leftovers, what would we do with it? While,  I thought that I was leading them to provide typical answers of the things that they would buy or do with the new wealth they, much like the boy in the Gospel, truly offered gifts of the heart.

The first little girl said, “I would give ten percent to the church”. 

Another boy answered “I would seek to build shelter for the homeless”

Still another profoundly replied,  “I would keep only very little, enough for my family to be able to live and eat”.

Oh, out of the mouths of babes!  I had to smile, as I then asked, “Do you know that this is exactly what Jesus has entrusted us to do as followers, in caring for the needs of our community?”

As a church, and individually as disciples we need to ask ourselves if we are committed fully both to evangelization and service. This is a demanding call to imitate Christ’s love for humanity both in word and deed, in the tasks of “pastoral mission, communion and participation”.[1] While Vatican II reemphasized these, it was Evangelii Nuntiandi that so clearly issued the challenge for us today as a Church. Here, the Christian ‘life of prayer, the Word, teaching, charity’, and “sharing of bread…only acquires its full meaning when it becomes a witness, when it evokes admiration and conversion, and when it becomes the preaching and proclamation of the Good News”.[2] The contextual situations of poverty, oppression, homelessness, and disease particularly prevalent in the Third World do not allow them to adequately provide for themselves.[3]

Today we too are to answer the directive posed to us by Christ.  First, following the model of Christ, we are called to a greater awareness of the material and spiritual need of those within our local and global communities. In order to do so, requires that we are truly transformed by the gift, and a witness to our encounter with Christ present in the Eucharist. Then, bringing our gifts and resources with confidence, we offer them to God to be blessed, multiplied and shared, turning none away. Finally, we are reminded of our task as disciples to gather our surplus, to allocate it appropriately so that none is lost and that all are filled.

May God bless you in your gift of self, service, and love!

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How fitting is the naming and mission of this Massachusetts food pantry..  http://www.loavesfishespantry.org/  Now, do you know of one in your area? 🙂 St. Vincent de Paul


[1] Francis, Journey to Rio de Janeiro on the Occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day. July 28, 2013.

[2] Paul VI, Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi. “From Christ to the Church’s Evangelizing”. I (15)

[3] Manus, “John 6:1-15 and its Synoptic Parallels”, 69.

Lord Send Me

…On Being Chosen and Sent Forth

As a young girl, competitive athletic teams and outdoor events were not my forte. The last or next to last chosen, I waited to hear my name called and then silently prayed that I wouldn’t prove to be a disappointment to whatever team I was put on. That is not to say that I did not recognize that I had abilities, I was just quite aware that my talents lay elsewhere. With a love of singing and dance I had found a home in performing. Yet, with a love of learning, serving and leadership I found other opportunities that called forth the truly unique gifts that I could offer. Imbued within my very soul, I had been chosen, not because of these gifts but to use these gifts.

“Tortosa catedral Huguet Transfiguracio Ascensio” by Jaume Huguet

I have been thinking of this story lately, the closer we move as a Church to celebrating the feast of Pentecost. Jesus who had been with the disciples, impressing upon them that he was alive and present, encouraging each of their gifts, now visibly departed. How would they continue the work begun by Christ with him no longer there to guide? Promised that they would not be left alone, that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate and comforter was to be with them they were being asked to trust and wait.

These last few months have been both exciting and event filled-from the completion of my final integration paper, speaking engagements, meetings on prospective projects and positions, and commencement.  With each of these there has been the need to carve out quiet time to pray, refill and discern where God is leading me to go next. Not wanting to choose unwisely, and thereby make a mistake, this “reformed” perfectionist has been praying in earnest for clarity. Do you see the irony too? Apparently, I am not as reformed as I had thought in fully letting go and trusting the Spirit to lead, though I know the only way forward is by doing just that.

Seeking a path to serve but uncertain precisely of the details or mission, I find that I too am waiting. Surely this is what the disciples felt in the time preceding Pentecost, and even after.

“Lord, please send me. Open my ears and heart to hear your voice, and fill me with the inner peace to tend to those things placed before me today with love, grace and joy. There is much consolation in knowing that you see our inmost being, and though sinners, we too have been chosen and are loved.”

As we look at the horizon, towards each new day, and those impending moments when we are called forth to put these feet in action, let us pray…

“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

(For thankfully, you are not finished with us yet…)

May this living flame ignite within you today,

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