Hey, welcome back to the Practical Catholic.
For those of you who follow the blog semi-regularly, you might know I used to be a baptist youth/associate pastor. It’s been a strange transition, from minister to layman. It’s been a road fraught with difficulties in adjustment, and sometimes uncertainty. I often miss teaching, and I often miss having people to talk to about the Faith.
Luckily, God saw my plight and has offered me a chance to do something I love yet again. My Catholic parish here in town has asked me to do youth gatherings and discipleship twice a month on Fridays. I’m very excited for this turn of events. It’s been awesome to be quiet, and still, and just catch a small vacation to collect myself. I don’t know that I’ve used the time as wisely as I should have, but nevertheless, here we are.
I think if I should have changed anything, in the months I’ve been away from service in the Church, I think i should have liked to worry less, thank God and others more, and simply rejoice that I am alive. But, here we are and everyday is an opportunity to take something good, the day which God has given us, and infill it with righteousness.
I have followed Jesus, not as wholeheartedly as I should, nor as bravely s some might see from the outside, but that’s where God’s grace comes in, and empowers me to do right. I have asked the lord to strengthen me as I prepare myself to enter his Church. I have asked one thing of God, that He might be with me, and lead me in the ways of righteousness.
Mass yesterday was great, we talked through the call of Jesus, that we should hear his words and be wise, and live them out.
This Lent, I am planning on doing a few things.
I am going to take up reading the four gospels, for spiritual formation, and as a reminder of why Christianity is so glorious to me. Jesus, after all, is the reason for my faith.
Second, I am going to make it a journey of preparation, by exercising physically, and eating well when the option is mine. Goodbye processed foods, goodbye additives, goodbye sweet, sweet, Honey-Butter Chicken Biscuit.
Third, I am going to take up laughter. I know this might sound strange, but I’m a very quiet person, and I don’t laugh nearly enough. As a child, I used to laugh all the time, nowadays, I’m far more reserved. While this is well and good for me in some ways, it restrains me in others. I am going to focus on enjoying even the difficult things in life with some sort of graciousness, and reverence, and if all else fails, a good laugh. I’ trying to take seriously Jesus’ command to us that we not worry.
Fourth, with Easter nearly upon us, I am going to take up reconciliation. I am going to make peace with my enemies, and pursue peace. I don’t mean pacifism, but peace. Between people. God orchestrates the world stage and Jesus is the Shepherd of Nations, but in my own life, where it is within my power, I shall have peace.
This fourth method of seeking virtue is going to be the hardest for me. This means putting my issues with various family members and acquaintances and friends aside, and being humble enough to forgive those indebted to me, as well as to seek the grace and forgiveness of those whom I owe.
No, this is not one of those, ‘write 50 apology letters, mail them out and hope for a response’ sort of things. But I do have one letter to write. I have lot of people I owe apologies to.
I seek to be a peacemaker, to embody a small manifestation of God’s ultimate reconciliation of the world to Himself.
Hopefully through these things, I can be found worthy of the marks of Christ. Then shall he reside in me, and I shall make up in this earthen vessel, a treasure, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.
Thank you for your prayer.