Sunday, August 28, 2016

Meditating on the cross

My husband and I were on our way up north and stopped for gas.  As we were walking into the station I pointed out a wallet on the ground.  He picked it up, did a quick flip open to see if there was identification, closed it and took it into the station.  When it was our turn to see the cashier, we turned it over to her.  Someone saw what we did and said, “That was nice.” The comment caught me off guard because it insinuated that there would have been another option as to what to do with it—keep it.  

The thought had never entered my mind.

Instead, I was thinking how unfortunate it was for the person who lost it.  Surely they would be back soon to get it.  Have you ever thought about all of the personal information someone could glean from your wallet if they found it?
I was reviewing one of the online protection services one day, and they had a great idea.  They said we should list/or even make a copy of, everything we have in our wallet.  If it is lost or stolen, we would know exactly what we needed to recover.

Speaking of online, I bought a rolling carrier for files that I take back and forth to work.  I no sooner made the purchase when advertisements for rolling carriers started showing up in my email and other points of access online.  I find this a bit creepy, but I am not one to hide, and I know it is just the cost of shopping online.

Speaking of cost, have you ever considered the weight of the cross that Jesus willingly carried for us? When we spend time reflecting on his life and death, it opens us up to gratitude and humility. If you would like to expand and increase your appreciation for his loving act, a powerful prayer is to just sit quietly with a crucifix in your hand.  You will be amazed at all that can come from silently meditating on the cross.

I invite you to share your comments.

God bless,

Monday, August 15, 2016

The New Evangelization

I am quickly learning from talking to others that the word evangelization can have a negative connotation for Catholics.  I believe that stems from a stigma associated with the word and a misapplication of its meaning relative to the mission of the Church.

Let's start with what evangelization is not. It is not a specific approach to preaching the gospel that invites or requires one to aggressively push the tenants of the faith on another.  Evangelization always respects the dignity of others while being willing to express the truth.  As the popes say, we should not impose the faith on others, but propose it.  One always has the freedom to accept or reject it due to free will.

That being said, the mission of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel.  There are many people who have not yet heard the Good News that Jesus came in the flesh, as the Son of God, and died to save ALL.  He did not come for just a few people.  Not for a certain population of people.  Not for those who are by all outwardly appearances good; he came for those of us who make terrible mistakes, allow poor judgment to lead us to bad decisions, or who have become lazy Christians!

Evangelization, in the missionary spirit of the Church, is a work of joy!  It is the Christian's ability to speak genuinely about their relationship with Jesus and the impact of the Word of God and the sacraments on their life! It is one's cooperation with the Holy Spirit, the "agent" of the New Evangelization.

We do not have to be bible scholars or theologians, but a healthy foundation of knowledge, and a desire to grow in faith, does give us the beginnings for evangelization.

If the joy of our faith is attractive, our willingness to share it will produce great fruit!

May God bless you and strengthen your discipleship in His name!