Saturday, February 15, 2014

Where is He Leading Us?

A Weekend Letter

Dear Friends,

The following may seem, at first, out of place.  Hopefully, you may find some insight for yourselves and possibly for others.

During these last few days, I know that God has blessed me in several extraordinary ways.  To be honest, the "blessings" have stirred up some unusual moments of reflection and prayer, asking for the gift of understanding.  Like Solomon, I am praying for a few grains of wisdom to get to the heart of several conversations about faith that have taken place.

These have been serious, heartfelt discussions with two individuals who are baptized Catholics but for one reason or another have discerned that it was their "time" to leave our Church.  Neither person was brought to this decision by something that caused anger or frustration.  Rather each felt that the Church was no longer providing the spiritual life they were seeking.

Throughout the discussions it was clear that each of these people was searching for a deeper relationship  with God and a church community that that would be an instrument bringing them closer to Jesus Christ and to a community that was alive with faith, confident that their experiences were leading them to a deeper faith and a strong relationship with fellow Christians in sharing their faith.

Mulling over their stories, their experiences, their new found hope, I began to consider our Church's current thrust for Evangelization.  This current effort strives to bring back those who have left our community as well as to renew our own faith in Jesus Christ and our Church.  

This thought captured my attention:  perhaps our Evangelization efforts should strongly focus on the "spirit" in our Church.  The question is simple:  "Why are so many Catholic finding faith, hope and charity in other religions, in so many non-denominational congregations.

Pope Francis, says we need to change our Church to be a Church that is not a fortress, a Church that is not walled in, so self-referential.  This is a dream to see us become a Church that builds bridges.

So much to think about; much to bring to prayer and community reflection.  "Come Holy Spirit, renew the HEARTS of the faithful."

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt