Every day I invite God into my life.
Catholicism, Matthew Kelly asks many interesting questions and he presents
many topics for contemplation. One of
the questions is “What do you live for?” He tells the story of
Abraham Lincoln calling in a soldier and asking the soldier to deliver an
important message. The soldier tells
Lincoln, “Sir, I would die for our cause.” Lincoln says, “Son, I have thousands of
men who will die for our cause. What I
need is one man who will live for it.”
I love that story. It made me
question myself. What do I live for? Where do I spend my time, talent and
Catholicism is a
three hundred page book which is distributed for free. I received it at my church in Cary N.C., St
Michael the Archangel. I think we were
encouraged to give it to someone who has “fallen away” from the
church but I felt I could use something to reenergize my faith and so I brought
it home and promptly put it on my shelf.
There it sat for several months along with a whole stack of other
“mean to read” books. Do you
have any like that?
One day a fairly
new friend and I were discussing the Church and she began to tell me about
Matthew Kelly and his book, The Dynamic Catholic. She’s seems more sure of our Church than I
and I was interested in what she had to share and quite taken with her
enthusiasm for this author and his passion.
I then realized his book was sitting right there with us. It felt like I was being directed by Spirit,
by God, to read this book. I began using
it as a prelude to my journaling in the morning, as I like to do with different
reading material. My intention is to read
something inspirational at night, I have recently been focusing on the New
Testament, and something motivational in the morning. For the last few weeks, I’ve been reading Rediscover
focus on the faults of the Catholic Church.
It’s no different than focusing on the faults of the world, the government,
any organization, friends or family.
It’s very easy to sink to the level of non constructive criticism. It’s easier to go to a negative place than to
a positive one and the Church is a magnet for that criticism. It has had many serious problems as an
organization, devastating behavior that cannot be justified. When I refer to
the Church, I am referring to the hierarchy.
The patriarchal leaders who determine the philosophy and tenor of
Catholicism. Even with all its blemishes the Catholic faith has provided me with the
tools to help me deepen my faith and to grow in my relationship with God. Matthew Kelly’s book has helped me, my Small Christian Community
study group, another study group called the Women of Grace and recently a few
One of the
concepts presented in the book The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield
is that there are no coincidences; everything that happens is
“supposed” to happen. We are
always in exactly the place and time within which we are created to be. The choice of what we do and how we choose to
perceive the situation, however, at that moment is completely ours. One of
my daily prayers is “Come Holy Spirit fill the heart of Your
faithful. Enkindle in me the fire of
Your love.” It warms my soul to say that prayer. It truly is the desire of my heart. I want to live a Christ centered life of love
and forgiveness and service and when I say that prayer and invite God to fill
me with Divine Presence, I feel hopeful.
“Ask and you shall receive, knock and it will be opened.” In my quest to unite my will to the will of
God I have been drawn to activities and people who are guiding me, inspiring
me. I once had a friend who always
seemed to be running into people, even strangers, who needed her help. I asked her about her propensity towards this
mission and she told me she asked God everyday to send her people she could
help. It seems so simple, doesn’t it, if
we can just remember to ask? I’m a great
believer in answered prayer.
My faith is
growing. My relationship with my God is
becoming stronger. Thank heavens because
it makes my life richer and more peaceful.
I find more and more opportunities to learn about my faith and to sink
deeper and deeper into its comfort.
Looking back on the last year alone, I can see several invitations I’ve
said “yes” to which have led me to a more appreciative attitude
towards Catholicism. The strongest
influence has been the newer friends who have entered my life and have chosen
to reach out to me and include me in their lives. It’s been a tremendous joy, an honor and a
privilege to become their friend. Each
presents their faith in a different but vibrant, loving way and I am inspired
by it. Recently, one of the women said,
“I love my Church.” I love my
Church! It was wonderful to hear someone
say that. I too am guilty of focusing on
the faults and not the beauty of my faith.
“I love my Church.” I’m
not there yet but perhaps with my daily prayer the Holy Spirit will lead me to
fall in love with it too. I know I’ve
fallen in love with the men and women of my church who are in my life and who
with each encounter lead me into that rich, deep relationship with God I so