So very often I hear people describe their lives as being finally "living the dream." By that, I believe they mean that they have been blessed in many ways and could not ask for anything more. Some may consider the "dream" to be living financially secure with an overload of material possessions. Others may see a good and grounded family life as the "dream" they always wanted and now have. Others have dreamt of serving those less fortunate or of serving the Church in some way with the time, talent and treasure of their lives.
I wonder if Peter, James and John thought they were finally "living the dream" when Jesus was transfigured before them? This was both a revelation for them and an invitation into intimate relationship with God. Jesus chose to show them who he really was. He, for some reason, perhaps because of the leadership roles they would take on after Pentecost, did not bring the other nine Apostles up the mountain. Not long after two of these men denied and deserted Christ at his hour of suffering. Their dream resurfaced though, after they knew he was alive and that all the suffering and pain was necessary and redemptive. The Spirit was sent to them and to the others on the first Pentecost to help them reclaim the dream and courageously bring it to our world. That's one reason you and I know about and believe in the love of God poured out in Jesus Christ today. Just think how the world would had been different right now if they had abandoned the dream.
I am here with wonderful young adults at Catholics on Call in Chicago. They are discerning the parts they will play in the Church of today and tomorrow. They have not "arrived" yet and are trying to sort out what "living the dream" means for them. Thanks for praying for them these days.
Note too, that Catholics on Call is coming to NY October 10-12, 2014. Please encourage Catholic young adults who may be looking for something like this to find out more at www.catholicsoncallinalbany.org. (Ages 18-30)
We just finished a talk by Father Don Senior, C.P. to the COC group gathered in Chicago these days. His talk was on the biblical foundation of CALL. Of course, it was excellent. He spoke about the whole meaning of being called and of the inadequacies some people usually feel when they think God is asking them to do something with their lives. He spoke of those in the Gospel, (like the Rich young Man), who turned down the call and how the Gospel never tells us what happened to him later on. Did he realize his mistake and come back? Did he realize 10 years later?
Those gathered for COC in Chicago are serious young adults who are not afraid to ask the questions to begin their vocation discernment journey. It is refreshing to see this in a world that proclaims that it is okay not to be committed to anyone or to anything. To say "Forever" to a spouse, to a Bishop as newly ordained priest, or to God, thorough the profession of vows in a religious community, it is good to know that there are young people out there who are bringing their faith into their decision making.
Thank you for keeping these young adults in your prayers!
I am in Chicago for the Catholics on Call Conference which will begin tomorrow. Today we had a mentor training session and then drove into the city to see the Chicago business district, the Chicago Million-Dollar Mile and other historic sites. For a New Yorker, I was impressed and grateful for the experience.
One thing we did at the business district was look at the buildings which the City of Chicago has marked for historic purposes. It was very interesting to see some buildings that were built in 1892, one year after the founding of my religious Community, the Sisters of the Resurrection. The gentleman who took us on the tour said," I think back sometimes when I walk down this street to imagine how it must have been 100 years ago here. Many of the same buildings but no cars, buses or trains. People dressed differently and life so different than what it is today." That comment sparked my own thought process to wonder what people of the year 2114 will remember about those of us who lived in 2014. What are we leaving as our heritage?
Tomorrow we will meet many young adults from all over the country who want to know how to discern God's Call in their lives. There is a team of laity, religious and priests who will share with them from their expertise, their knowledge and their own commitment to being called by God. I suppose in a real way one could say we are contributing to the future of these young people and the things we encourage over this week will help build the foundation of the church of the future.
If you have read this far in my late night blog, please remember to pray for the Catholics on Call team and for those young adults who will begin their COC journey tomorrow. In the end, God will "make history" in their lives, as God has done with us. I entrust these days into God's loving care and as the lights of Chicago dim, my own room lights are going out for the night.
A blessed night, one and all!
The second reading for our Mass today was from the beautiful words of St. Paul:
Brothers and sisters:
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These words are so hopeful and comforting. I know many people who need to know the great love that God has for them. Life can be very difficult and there are many times we allow life's anguish and distress separate us from Christ. I know that I do this over and over again, although I tell myself in my heart that I "should know better." These words from Paul's letter to the Romans 8:35, 37-39, bring me back into focus and I hope they will do the same for you. If I am convinced that NOTHING can separate me from the love of God which has been poured out through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This love is free for the asking and even when I forget to ask for it. It is totally unconditional in a way that I cannot fully comprehend. May you, dear reader, be blessed today with a deepening awareness of this love. Let us pray for each other so that we may be convinced of this great love. St. Paul, pray for us and lead us to the truth you bring before us today.
Go Figure. Why is it so difficult at times to encourage others to live the life God has created them to live? Why do we expend so much energy, time, and even money to do this? One would think that it is self-evident that to find out one's purpose in life. One would think that every person would automatically switch into a discovery mode when mature enough to understand that life is a gift from a loving Creator. Why don't people realize this as easily as I do?
Hmmm. Sounds a bit pompous, but I most certainly do not think these thought in any sort of "better than thou" kind of way. Why am I so blessed to know from such an early age that God has a specific vocation for me to follow?
I pray in thanksgiving for the parents, family, education, friendships and all the things and people in my life that contributed to my understanding of the who I am called to be. I pray for all those who do not have comparable circumstances and put all their energies into gathering the necessities that they and loved ones need to simply survive. A person who does not know where his or her next meal will come from, zeros in on that need in life. He or she may not have the luxury of thinking about deep down things while surrounded by the very distraction of staying alive. Please join me in praying for these poor.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.