I want to thank all 62 of you who were able to attend the “Unleash the Gospel” (UTG) training we offered our cluster parishes recently. You all RSVP’d which helped us prepare the correct amount of the delicious meal. Thank you to all of our busy bees (both staff and volunteers) who made it such a productive and life-giving training. Many of you asked “what next?” The St. Moses Soup and Scripture series is UTG themed, those of you who expressed interest in small-group study were contacted, an April 21 Called and Gifted workshop will identify our charisms, you can invite someone to The Invitation, and new studies and groups are thriving. You may contact Marian Bart to discuss ways you can get involved and contribute.
Now that the journey of Lent has begun, we can join one of these opportunities and focus in a whole new way. As “Unleash the Gospel” reminds us, the purpose of our life is to grow continually in intimate relationship with God. The only way to do that is by striving to follow Jesus Christ closely and imitate him. Following Jesus Christ means we must accept his invitation to give him total lordship over everything in our lives and rely on the Holy Spirit to work in and through us at all times.
Some of the best ways to do this are through daily Mass and private prayer. At my last Bible study, about three people mentioned that they have made the commitment to spend one continuous hour a week in prayer. I think this is spectacular. There are different ways to “watch one hour” with the Lord, so experiment. One of the most powerful and fruitful is to spend it in front of the Blessed Sacrament. It is called a Holy Hour because it is an hour spent with Christ Himself. We as a staff do this together every Monday at 9:30 am and we have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every first Friday from 7 am to 8 am. Both are in the Cathedral chapel and you are all welcome.
If we decided to take up jogging, we wouldn’t expect to run a marathon on the first day, so if you haven’t stretched your spiritual muscles in a while, be patient with yourself. There will likely be hurdles and many distractions, so here are some tips. First I am going to ask you to do something that may feel like a slap in the face: turn your phone OFF! This may make you feel anxious but you will benefit in the long run. Then: 1) Start with Gratitude: Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today. 2) Move to Awareness: Revisit the times in the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-your-self. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them. 3) See Significant Moments: Identify something you experienced in the last twenty-four hours and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person). 4) Embrace His Peace: Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or Him) and to fill you with a deep and abiding peace. 5) Make it Practical: Speak with God about how He is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself. 6) Go Beyond Yourself: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them. Realize though, you do not have to do anything. You do not have to say a particular prayer, or read, or sing, or anything else. Just BE in His presence. Just sit quietly and let Him minister to you with healing love.
Please keep praying for all of the folks who are in our RCIA process: Bernard, Deborah, Terry, Jimmy, Demetria, and Krysta. In fact you do not have to just pray for them, you can pray with them since they are at Mass and some of them are now joining us in the BSC chapel for adoration. Hope to see you there! A Blessed Lent to you!