Happy Feast Day to a wonderful intercessor, especially in my life. I get a 'twofer' with this Saint! Patron of both the Deaf and of Writers. He had a deaf servant for whom he created a 'signing system' to be able to communicate with him, which also allowed this young man to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation!! St. Francis de Sales is also the patron of writers, of which I pretend to be and whose intercession in that area I need QUITE frequently!
After John had been arrested,
Simon and his brother Andrew “left their nets and followed [Jesus].” They, in essence, left their former way of life to be a disciple of Jesus. Remarkably they were able to do so, although at that moment, they knew very little of what that would actually entail.
Mark’s account of the brothers’ calling by Jesus, offers few details on what else (if anything), may have been said by Jesus to inspire these men leave all that they knew to now net souls instead of fish. Something, somewhere in them moved, and—maybe despite all reason—they dropped everything and followed.
Nearly 10 years ago, my heart felt a similar call. An encounter with Jesus inspired me to put aside my old part-time Catholic existence and allow my faith to embrace a more permanent position in my life.
Many “nets” needed to be left behind. The hardest came in the form of the snare of gossip. At the time, I loved gossip. It empowered me, delighted me, and gave my life purpose. It was how I determined my popularity among the other women in my town as well as how I (ironically) measured their respect. It was based on the amount and content of the gossip that was shared with me. As for my end of the deal – people found my gossip delivery hysterical, or at least that is how I judged it.
The fear I felt when the Holy Spirit convicted me that it was time to leave this behavior behind, was evidence of just how closely I related this “skill” to my own self-worth. I truly feared I would have nothing to talk about, nothing to share with people, and no one would be interested in including me in their social life. Truthfully, it was nearly a deal-breaker for me in my then burgeoning faith life.
Jesus’ promise to Simon and Andrew would be very similar to the one He offered me. “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” After breaking the gossip habit, I used my freed-up conversation time to share the Good News. I began “Reconciled To You” ministries in 2009, and embarked on a life of using my words to bring people closer to Christ.
It is important to note that this call was not just for Simon Peter or Andrew, nor specific to me or anyone called to formal spiritual ministry. Jesus calls each of us to this incredible service of the Church – of putting aside our nets and become fishers of men.
PONDER:What “net” is Jesus asking you to leave behind in order to follow Him?
PRAY:Lord Jesus, I do believe this is the time of fulfillment, even though at times I struggle to repent and believe. I desire to embrace the call to leave behind any nets that entangle me. When I do, when I boldly step out in faith, I know I will be blessed in ways yet to be imagined. Thank you, Lord, for the invitation to follow you. Please help me, by your grace, to do whatever I must to respond yes!
Copyright 2014 Allison Gingras
This week my husband and 2 teenage sons traveled to Washington, DC with our parish to participate in the annual March for Life. The overarching theme for this year's walk was Adoption, a topic that is very near and dear to our hearts, making their being there (and each for their first time), even more special.
Faith, 8, and I stayed behind and enjoyed our mommy/daughter bonding time. I also enjoyed some HUGE successes with things I am generally either incredible anxious over as I do them or avoid altogether out of fear.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Phil 4:6
2. I stayed home alone. For 2 nights. And I was not afraid. Now again, if this was a list for a 16 year old girl it makes sense to be a victory, but it seems a little out of sync for a (let's say more mature) girl. For many years if my husband, Kevin had to be out of town for the night, I'd invite people to stay with me - my sister, a friend, even on occasion other friend's kids. The times I've had no choice, and stayed home alone without company I've do so deathly afraid. I'd be up all night long in a state of pure panic - though the upside - it was some powerful prayer time! This week was different, I actually enjoyed the quiet and the solitude, and did not once worry about what 'could' or what 'might' happen, I just prayed and trusted.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3
Someone once said to me, "If you don't attend Mass, then everything you learn about the Catholic faith will mean nothing." Within the first lines of introduction to The Mass by Cardinal Wuerl, I started to truly understand what he meant. I love that Cardinal Wuerl (and Mike Aquilina) begins with dispelling one of the greatest misconceptions about the Catholic faith - mainly that it is not Scriptural. Nothing could be further from the truth, PARTICULARLY when speaking about the Mass. I appreciated the succinct chapter on the evolution of the Mass from the Last Supper to it's present form, yet enjoyed the continuing weaving of this history and lesson on the scripture connections throughout the subsequent chapters. Perhaps it is just my very short attention span but I have to note how readable I found this book because every chapter was brief yet incredibly informative. I was able to read in short spurts, which is usually all I have time throughout most days - it is also a great format for anyone wishing to use this book for reflection during Eucharistic Adoration.
This book would make a fantastic gift to anyone in the RCIA program, making their confirmation or has just been away from the Church and is looking to re-catechize themselves on the Mass. Even the most faithful of Church goer will take away a wealth of information from this book. Part One gives the reader a deeper knowledge and understanding of such topics as the obligation a Catholic has to attend Mass, your role in the Mass, even those things we see every week - the furnishings, vestments, altar contents and books. Part Two breaks down the individual segments, rituals and beautiful words of the Liturgy.
So many people say they are bored at Mass, or "they don't get anything out of it". I surmise that when something is not understood, it is incredibly difficult to gleam the most from it. Though we may never fully understand the mystery of consubstantiation, being better versed in what is transpiring before us can only facilitate a more focused participation. That participation in the Mass, that cooperation with the grace abundant in this sacramental celebration will produce even more understanding and revelation. When we learn more, and then bring ourselves into the Mass ready to encounter God, His Grace will do infinitely more than we could ever imagine. As St. James said, "Drew near to God, and he will draw nearer to you." Get a copy of The Mass brush up or delve for the first time into the beauty that is Catholicism - and bring yourself into God's home prepared to encounter Christ in a whole new way!
For a sneak peek here is the first chapter on Scribd: The Mass by Cardinal Wuerl
**I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review**
Well hello Thursday - thank you for always being so punctual - as I really look forward to your brothers Friday and Saturday, and your sister Sunday!! Yes, even "stay at home" moms like the weekend - though anyone who knows my life would probably laugh at my calling myself a 'stay at home' Mom - especially as it denotes "not working". I am a bit of workaholic so today I will look at any chance I took this week to rest: