Friday, November 13, 2009

Dry Spell

I hate dry periods.

It just feels like I’m going through the motions. Go to Mass, follow the liturgy, receive Eucharist. Confession once a month, maybe a Rosary here and there, Lauds and Vespers…sometimes I guess I just don’t want to talk to God. Or maybe it’s that I think sometimes God doesn’t want to hear from me. Perhaps it is a little of both at the same time.

I have trouble, have always had trouble, with the idea of accepting the will of God. Back in my AA days, we said the Serenity Prayer after every meeting and I still say it regularly:
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

A lot of times I ignore the difference of which the prayer speaks. What is this “acceptance” crap, anyway? I don’t like when someone else, even God, seems to impose their will on me or impacts my life in a way I don’t feel it should be impacted. Truth is, acceptance has always been an issue for me. I have trouble accepting the twists and turns in my life that I don’t foresee, can’t change, and affect me in a way I'm not comfortable with. Yet, this is Life. The less I accept the things I cannot change, the more irritable and unhappy my life is likely to be. HOWEVER, I am often equally unable or afraid to change the things in my life that needs changing. It’s almost like I am willing to accept the things I cannot change…as long as they are the things I ought to have the courage to change myself. It is as if I’m waiting for other people and/or God, to make the changes for me. In other words, I have the brilliant dreams about my life, but let everyone else do the work.

Which brings me back to the root of my problem...not wanting to talk to God. Why? Because I know I am not doing all of what I ought to be doing, and doing some things I shouldn’t. I don’t like bringing that truth before God. During the dry spells, I close myself off during the prayers I say. Talking to God in rote while trying to avoid actually communicating with God is nothing but a waste of time. God knows my mind, my heart, my intentions. However, if I don’t allow God in, invite God into my mind, heart, and intentions, how am I to better know God? How can I more fully experience God’s love and what He wants from me if I am unwilling to share myself with Him?

I need to be praying the Serenity Prayer a bit more often, methinks.


Memorial of St. Frances Cabrini
Daily Mass Readings
Wisdom 13:1-9
Psalm 19:2-5
Luke 17:26-37

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Ministry at my parish

I've signed up for the "Welcome Committee" at St. Bernard's this past month and our first to-do is in a couple of weeks.

The Welcome Committee is designed to help new parishioners feel more a part of the faith community at St. Bernard. We get new parishioners signing up all the time - mostly younger families wanting to have their kids baptized, receive First Holy Communion , or get confirmed - have to become a member of the parish as a first step. The majority of the time, these families have not been part of a faith community for years, if at all. It is important to minister in a special way to these newest members of our community.

We're doing follow-up calls with every person/family who signs up as a parishioner for whatever reason; see what they like to do, what ministries they might be interested in. This year we are having a special Mass said on the Solemnity of Christ the King (November 22)for these new parishioners who are interested in attending, followed by a dinner.

This ministry is planned to be extended in the future to reach out to disaffected, non-practicing Catholics, who may have one or more legitimate gripes against the Church. I find THIS particularly appealing, because I was one of the disaffected for a very long time. I am close to people who fit into this category as well. It will give me a chance to help someone the way I was helped - that old AA promise of passing on what was given to you, I guess.

I think this is an important initiative, especially with the Church's current PR problems; we need to demonstrate that we as Church are not primarily after the envelopes thrown in the basket every week. We as Church need to demonstrate that new members are needed, wanted, important voices in the flock; that they are Church, as much as the Bishops on up to the Pope. They by virtue of their baptism and the grace of the Holy Spirit are now the hands, feet, mind and heart of Christ on earth, as much as the rest of the hierarchy and the rest of the congregation they see at Mass every week, or however often they go.

Please say a prayer for our new parishioners as they begin to walk a new path in their faith life. Also, spare a prayer for those of us who will be accompanying them along the way.


Daily Mass Readings
1 Kings 17:10-16
Psalm 146:7-10
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44