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RCIA…on her way!

RCIA…on her way!

Today I saw God in my hangout time with one of my friends. We talked about the usual stuff – family, friends, work…and then she shared with me that she decided she was going to go through the RCIA program in the next year.

As soon as she shared that with me, my eyes watered up and I really should have thrown myself at her and given her a huge hug, and instead, I hugged myself, out of pure joy at what she had just shared with me. There was a also a large table between us, so that was kind of difficult to maneuver.

We eventually talked more about faith and what led her to the decision of wanting to become a Catholic, and it was such a wonderful afternoon! Friends of mine who have gone through RCIA have shared with me what that experience was like for them, and most was positive, other than some meetings being boring, etc. But I am so happy for my friend and I promised her that I would start praying for her starting yesterday. 🙂 Please pray for her too!

This will be a long journey, but I know it will be worth it. I’m so glad God placed people in my life where I am able to talk freely about faith and justice. That in itself is a gift!

 

As We Go About our Priestly Work…

As We Go About our Priestly Work…

Let us lead our lives filled with love everyday, the best that we can. Something beautiful to keep in mind, as we go about our days doing our “priestly work.” And so we pray…

How beautiful will be the day
when all the baptized understand
that their work, their job,
is a priestly work,
that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar,
so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his workbench,
and each metalworker,
each professional,
each doctor with the scalpel,
the market woman at her stand,
is performing a priestly office!
How may cabdrivers, I know, listen to this message
there in their cabs;
you are a priest at the wheel, my friend,
if you work with honesty,
consecrating that taxi of yours to God,
bearing a message of peace and love
to the passengers who ride in your cab.

—Archbishop Oscar Romero, November 20, 1977
The Violence of Love, translated by James R. Brockman, SJ

The Future Awaits!

The Future Awaits!

Students are in the midst of discerning their college decisions. Some have already heard from their “dream” schools – some got accepted, some did not…and some are still waiting.

I remember what it was like, many, many years ago…waiting to hear back from schools, then after I heard back, then I was waiting to hear back from the Financial Aid offices, and then after I heard back, waiting to hear back from housing, to freshman programming, to course offerings, and the list goes on…waiting – lots of waiting! Such a stressful, yet exciting time!

Today, I reflected on many of the holy meetings I had with students so far who have stopped in to share some of the latest news they had with regards to college acceptances/non-acceptances. Today, please pray for the seniors who are discerning next steps after graduation. Some are even thinking about waiting a year or so until they hear back from a school where they want to go, instead of settling for a third or fourth choice. Lots of beautiful things ahead! Keep the prayers coming. The future generation needs them!

Call to Justice

Call to Justice

For the past couple of days, I have been reflecting on what I will share at our monthly Cursillo gathering. I was asked to share some words on my work in the diocese with regards to Catholic Relief Services (how appropriate during this lenten season!), as well as some type of sharing about the social justice ministries that I have been involved with.

What a broad topic! Not sure knowing where to start, I opened up Google Slides, and the Title Slide popped up. A blank slide…”Uh, oh,” I thought to myself. Where am I going to go with this talk? Suddenly, I immediately typed three words: Call to Justice.

I realized it is impossible for me to talk about my work with CRS and my commitment to social justice, without first talking about my call to social justice. Without a doubt, I have been called to this ministry in the church and in the world, and it has been such a gift. The intersection I have found between my faith and justice has been such blessing in my life. I can’t talk about where I am now, without mentioning where I have been – what I saw, what I felt, what I experienced. I can’t share my dedication to global solidarity, without first taking time to share some of the initial images I saw when I first stepped off the bus from my first missions trip to the Philippines with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, as a sophomore in college. That changed everything for me. My concept of how big and vast this world was, had forever been shaken. Everything was now different through my being.

My concept of the body of Christ, forever changed shape, and now had many faces, talents, names, ailments, challenges, and joys.

And on Thursday, I have received yet another opportunity to share this with others! What a responsibility. Pray for me!

Encounters with Christ

Encounters with Christ

I saw Jesus today as I drove to the local Catholic Worker and passed through many streets where people were living. I saw Jesus today on the stoop, bent over, tired, battling and enduring, and suffering. I saw Jesus today in my schedule where I had a couple of much-needed free hours to spend with a good friend.

When we have spiritual reading at meals, when we have the rosary at night, when we have study groups, forums, when we go out to distribute literature at meetings, or sell it on the street corners, Christ is there with us. – Dorothy Day

Whenever I have the chance to meet up with my friend, Lisa, I find myself filled with joy and gratitude. Yes, our friendship is that good. Catch up is always fun, and real conversation and authenticity in that, is hard to find nowadays. Not in a creepy way – definitely not! But absolutely in a God’s grace kinda way, that Lisa and I were able to meet and since then, share a friendship where we can process different things with one another, share stories, and ponderings with one another. About things that matter! And are relevant! 🙂

I very much have been drawn to the Catholic Worker movement since I was in junior high school and I was first introduced to the Catholic Worker in Santa Ana. I remember making brownies and bringing them to the Catholic Worker over Thanksgiving, and over various holidays with my youth group. After discovering the Catholic Worker, I remember bringing my mom over with me, and we would volunteer whenever we could. I remember being a high school student surrounded by people experiencing homelessness. It was one of my first experiences catching only a glimpse of what that life could look like and be like. I don’t think I ever had a chance to process those experiences, but the people I met, the experiences I had in that backyard in the Catholic Worker Santa Ana, also known as Isaiah House, has never left me.

Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem that comes up. If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other’s faults and burdens. If we love enough, we are going to light that fire in the hearts of others. And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much. Yes, I see only too clearly how bad people are. I wish I did not see it so. It is my own sins that give me such clarity. – Dorothy Day

Fast forward to today, and I am still an advocate for the Catholic Workers and the Catholic Worker movement. I am grateful to have a Catholic Worker closeby, and have the opportunity to ring the doorbell and be warmly greeted by friends at the door.

When I reflect on people who talk the talk, and walk the walk, the Catholic Workers are some of the first people that come to mind. There is so much richness and authenticity there. While living in community is challenging, I suppose when a one is moved by the spirit of charity, justice, faith, and love, I am confident that anything is possible.

Today, I saw Jesus in my friend Lisa. What a wonderful friend to have in my life!