Do you remember being a child and deciding on captains to choose sides for a game of kickball, soccer, or other sport requiring little more than a ball? Kids sat on a curb, waiting to hear their fate. “Surely, I will not be picked last,” each boy or girl thought. But alas, someone always had to be last.
Since 2013, Pope Francis has captivated the world with his remarkable display of discipleship. And just when we think we’ve got him figured out, he surprises us again! “Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God,” were his words to the students at Santo Tomàs University in Manila, Philippines during his January pastoral visit – words he clearly lives by.
People say your kids are grown up and out of the house before you know it. Some say it’s like the blink of an eye. In some ways that is true, although any parent can agree that some years seem longer than others! (Some of those teen years can seem really long!)
But the point is there is a limited window of opportunity to help God mold and shape your children into the adults they will become.
This is the first of 3 documents from The Notre Dame Institute for Church Life that provide important information for shaping the message of what we are offering in a Sustainable Offertory Campaign. A quote from the first document:
“Our results suggest that the American Catholic giving gap is, in part, a direct result of congregational culture: Catholic parishes are less likely to nurture participatory cultures compared to other Christian congregations. Parishioners are also more likely to focus on giving as “paying the bills” rather than “living the vision” when thinking of money. Because many Catholics are more concerned with “paying the bills,” they lack spiritual engagement with money—the belief that proper stewardship of money is a deeply spiritual matter— which further reduces Catholic financial giving.”
We will be providing parishes with proper stewardship of money formation and working to change their parishioners’ vision of engagement.
In The Life of a Christian Steward: A Reflection on the Logic of Commitment, published by the International Catholic Stewardship Council, one reads, “To be most effective in service to God and humankind, Christian stewardship must stem from the liturgical worship in the Church. Here one finds the supernatural motive, the word of faith, and the grace necessary to get the job done.”
The next Avengers movie is almost here and superheroes in film and on TV seem to be taking over. As a person who sometimes still feels like a little kid at heart, I personally love it.
I was thinking there are people I encounter everyday that fit this description. These people bear much resemblance to superheroes. Each new day brings new challenges and new villains to battle.
Many will look at you and listen to what you have to say and actually wonder why you don’t wake up and conform to the world. It is not easy when you find yourself in the situation that you are the only intentional disciple in your neighborhood, at work, or even in your family.
Psalm 23 has always seemed to me to be the peaceful psalm. Its reading consoles those who are troubled. It gives hope to people who are downtrodden. It eases the grief of those who have lost a loved one. The statement that shepherding is anything but peaceful gave me reason to pause.
I believe that we must pray about what our gifts are from God and that we be guided by the Holy Spirit in how we use them. THAT is what will make us extraordinary! God would not make anything ordinary.
When you place everything in God’s hands, you don’t always wonder what happens next. What happens next is part of the miraculous journey of life. If it is a blessing, to God give the thanks. If it is a challenge, accept it head-on and with the fortitude God gives you. If it is a burden, let God help you carry it.