Re-Routing–On Ramps-Week 2

Wow!  This was a tough week!  There was so much to take in during Fr. Pierre’s homily. This was not a one-and-done kind of week.  Sunday’s homily (Week 2) and Wednesday night’s discussion, need more than a quick glance.  I think this week was a key week because it is hard to grasp being  a missionary disciple if I don’t have a good understanding of what I am called to do.  Here’s what I had to do this week to absorb all that was said at Mass and on Wednesday night:  I read the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, not once, but four times!  I didn’t read it four times because I felt ignorant, although I am, I read it four times so that it would penetrate my heart.  I wanted to read it like a letter to me, and not like a textbook.  The last time I read it, I put my name in the place of “the laity” or “the faithful”  and that changed everything.  What a responsibility I have–what a responsibility we all have!  Every day in prayer something different would speak to me.    The main thing that I found relevant to my daily life was:

Neither family concerns nor the other secular affairs should be irrelevant to their spiritual life, in keeping with the words of the Apostle, “whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17). Such a life requires a continual exercise of faith, hope and charity.  Only by the light of faith & by meditation of the word of God can one always and everywhere recognize God in Whom “we live, & move, and have our being” (Act17:28), seek His will in every event, see Christ in everyone whether he be a relative or a stranger, & make correct judgements about the true meaning & value of temporal things both in themselves and in their relation to man’s final goal.” Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, 4.

My heart needs to be open to God’s will.  I need to pray about my role as a missionary disciple.  If I don’t take the time to pray about it, I am pretty sure that it is not going to happen.  Prayer changes everything, and it mostly changes me. I need to understand the right order of material possessions and pleasures in my life.  I long for God to permeate every area of my life, including my work, my leisure and my family life.

From my prayer journal:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the gift of this past week.  

Help me move forward this week understanding what it really means to have faith.  Help me to put myself at your disposal so that everything I do, I do for your glory.  I want to be a missionary disciple, but that means that I can not live in fear.  Give me the courage to hand my life over to you, to trust your will for my life, to accept your love and mercy no matter how unworthy I feel.  When I close my heart to you, I don’t find freedom–I find pain and more disappointment.  Jesus, I trust in your love.  I trust you will guide me. I trust you will show me the task that you have chosen specifically for me. I want to advance the kingdom of God, even here on earth, in my daily life.  I pray for opportunities to do this.  Even now, I ask for you to open my eyes to opportunities.  

Thank you for the personal gift of your Son who died for my sins.  Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the sacrifice of the Mass with my family.  Thank you for the families and marriages that make up this parish that are longing to know you. I don’t ever want Mass to be an empty ritual. Forgive me for the times that I am distracted at Mass and I forget that you are present.  I pray for abundant graces for all those who are struggling with their faith,  family or their marriage.  May the Holy Spirit enter the hearts and minds of my brothers and sisters in Christ and me so that we may surrender ever more fully to you.  I want this, I really do, but I need your strength and courage.  We need to be healed as a church and as a nation.  I need to be healed.  Jesus, I trust in you.

 

 

Advertisements

Re-routing….finding the way home

My Catholic church started something new last week—it’s called Re-Routing. What a perfect name! I could use some good, old-fashioned re-routing in my life. Re-Routing is a 14-week series that happens during the homily at Mass, with a deeper dive on Wednesday nights for those who are interested.   I have to admit, I was hesitant at first.  I have always told my self that I am accountable for my own relationship with Jesus.  I still am, but, I have realized I can’t do it alone.  I need the Body of Christ. The goal is for our parish to become a missionary parish full of missionary disciples. And, we become missionary disciples by selling out for the One that has given us everything, including the key to happiness, love, mercy and the promise of eternal life. That sounds amazing and daunting all at the same time! How do I do this in the culture that we live in? Besides that, how do I help a house full of teenagers get to know a Jesus who doesn’t text or have an instagram account? I need help! I’m all in for this Re-routing journey. I have nothing to lose and I’m dragging my teenagers along the best I can. Take a look at our parish website: www.olgcparish.net and click on Re-routing.   I hope you will join me in this journey, whether you belong to this parish or not. Please share your stories, your ideas and your prayers. My church wants to re-route a parish—I want to re-route a culture who sees no need for Jesus.   Jesus wants his world back, but it will only happen if we make the decision to bring our families back to Jesus. We can do this together.

My prayer journal after the first week of Re-Routing:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Thank you for all the trials you have seen me through. Even when I am convinced that you are not always present in my life, I can read through my prayer journal and realize that you were always there—always. Last night, we talked about our experience at Mass. I remember a time in my life when Mass wasn’t an experience—it was a “chore” as my son puts it. I am so sorry, Lord, for not understanding your Presence, for not even taking the time to care about your Presence. Instead, I just showed up every Sunday, counting the minutes for the hour to be over so I could get my “feel good” that I did what I was supposed to do. I am so sorry because I didn’t know You. I didn’t care to know You.

My journey to you has been long, but you have waited patiently for me. I don’t know if I could have ever experienced true joy in my life without you—not  just “good times” that leave me feeling empty once they are gone, but true joy that stands the test of time and brings peace.

Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes, for opening my heart, especially at Mass. Thank you for the heart to experience with awe all that you have done for me personally. It hasn’t always been like that for me. But, now, when I see you nailed to the cross for my sins, I want to cry in overwhelming gratittude.  You must really love me to do that. How could you do that for me? I am so unworthy of that kind of love. Lord, help me to surrender to that kind of love and mercy everyday. Help me to surrender my children, and my life to you.

I love you, Lord. I love you, Father, please, hold me close, especially when I forget who you are and who I am. Amen.

My Teenagers

The night after my deeper dive with Re-routing, I gathered my teenagers (one on face time because she is away at college) for fifteen minutes of family time. I asked them to give me 15 minutes every night to just talk about Re-routing or just pray or just connect. We talked about their experience at Mass. They were honest. I bit my tongue. But, I have opened a dialogue and they are willing participants because just as I want something more, so do they, in their own teenage world. We decided to each pick a day to pray for one another and we would text our prayer for each other (Hey, I need to enter their world!). My daughter asked her friend to join our family prayer time, but her friend responded via face time, “no, that’s okay, you go do your nun stuff.” This is the culture we live in—Jesus isn’t for regular people—only priests and nuns.

Please share your ideas to help engage your teens and kids. You might just help someone else. A great book about the Mass for adults, and maybe even teens, if you can get them to read it is “What Happens at Mass?” by Jeremy Driscoll. It’s short and changed the way I understood and participated in Mass forever.