Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thank them for their service

Cloistered Nuns
Just the thought kind of scares me.  At first it seems a little weird.  What do they do all day?  They pray.  But is that really all they do?  I didn't really understand it.  But then I listened to this program on "The Good Catholic Life" (a local radio talk show) and reflected on the following line from Pope John Paul II (which I first wrote about here)

"Yes, God alone is our true and unfailing support, just as love and prayer are the only sure spiritual levers with which it is possible to lift up the world."- Pope John Paul II (1994)

It was then that I realized that the women who spend there days in prayer are not doing it for themselves, they are doing it for the Lord and for us!  They are not spending there time praying for themselves but they are praying for the Church (for us).  They might not be physically feeding the poor and ministering to the imprisoned or even evangelizing to their neighbors but they are serving the poor, the imprisoned and their neighbors in a much greater way.  They are bringing the sufferings and pains of the people and of the Church to the Lord.  Although it may not be visible to outsiders they are directly serving the needs of the suffering.

Through Prayer!

It reminds me of how we often thank our soldiers serving in the military (as we should).  We thank them for giving up their life (at least part of it) to serve our country (and us).  They are separated from their friends and loved ones as they devote themselves to others.  In a similar way a woman entering a cloistered convent is giving up her friends and loved ones to devote herself to prayer.  This prayer is a service to us all and it involves a great deal of sacrifice on their part.
We should thank them for their service.  We should thank their families for the sacrifice that they make as well.  To me it seems like an unbelievable sacrifice and an unbelievable service.
Thank them.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two thoughts on an amazing evening

I attend an amazing Catholic worship event the other day.  It was a last minute decision.  A friend of mine invited me but I was busy then at the last minute it turned out I could go.  She was still going and I was able to meet her their.  It was well worth the drive.  It started with a dynamic and inspiring Catholic speaker.  Then there was a great Catholic band which played some praise and worship music followed by a powerful time of adoration and ended with some more music.  All throughout confession was being offered as well.  I wasn't sure about going at first but am so glad that I did and hope to be able to get to it again (it is help every month!).  
Throughout the entire evening I came away with two important thoughts that I would like to share.
First:  I left there overflowing with God's love and joy, ready to sing praise to the Lord and open up my life to Christ.  It was a powerful experience and I can only assume that many others in the room felt so filled with his love and joy as well.  This is great!  I would have loved to stay there all week.  But we as lay people need to remember that it is our job to be filled with this love and joy and then spread it all over the world.  We need to share the love with our families, we need to bring this joy to our co-workers.  Our job is to bring Christ out to the people of the world that we live in.  This isn't something that we can keep to ourselves.  When we are inspired we need to share that inspiration with our world.

Second:  The speaker was great, the music was amazing, the community was incredible but was really made the evening was adoration.  This was what really mattered.  This was why we were all there.  This was what brought us all together.  This was what the speaker spoke about.  This is what the musicians sang about.  Christ.  Christ was there.  We were praising him.  We were adoring him.  He is what made it all so powerful.  He is what we need to share with the world.
I really don't think the evening would have been the same without adoration.  It would have been nice.  It would have been inspiring.  But it would have had something missing.  I think it is important to remember this.  No matter how good we are or how enjoy able you life is if it is missing Christ it is missing something essential and it will never be the same once Christ is added.