Sunday, February 17, 2013

RCIA Notes


Last night I was preparing for an RCIA class I will be helping with this morning. I thought I would share these thoughts with my Franciscan family and other friends as well. These notes are my thoughts in response to the topic “Saying Yes to Jesus”

  • Christ has called you. How will you respond?
  • Review the events you expect to happen in your life tomorrow. Choose one, examine it.
    • I will go to 10 AM Mass. Although not my usual time, I probably will see some of the people I know from St Stephen’s, some who share in the same ministries. For example Barb, perhaps Sue, and others. It is always good to see them, for after spending the week among the seculars, it is good to see others who share my faith. And I will help out with the RCIA class. It is important to me because it is the little thing I do for others, mostly to share my enthusiasm for my faith. We are an Easter people, without being overly confident or presumptuous we should be overjoyed by this as eternity awaits us.
    • I could be lazy and not go to church. That does nothing for me, as it would be a lost opportunity to give my creator due praise, worship and thanksgiving with my faith community. Every ministry, no matter how small, or of little impact, has its rewards.
  • I will, but first…
    • Although I was not born yet when WWII came about, I know from history how so many Americans responded to the call. I’m sure you are aware of the Uncle Sam posters with the words “I want you.” There might be someone in immediate distress, a child for example, falling in a pond. We respond immediately, without hesitation. Likewise, at different times God calls us. Some of us are born into the faith but we do not hear a call until later in life. You, as well, are responding to God’s call in your own way, in God’s time. Do we respond whole heartedly? Or do we go through the motions. Being called is nothing less than a great blessing. It is like our response when a friend asks us to help him move, or an elderly person needing a ride to a doctor.
    • When our interest is peaked to join some organization or other, we don’t just “join”. For example, my calling to be a Franciscan. The first step is discernment and education. I thought about having a Franciscan vocation, I learned about it. So you have discerned  becoming a Catholic, or living your faith more fully. I don’t just attend Mass on Sunday’s but I live my faith and my Franciscan vocation. If you decide to become a Boy Scout leader, you don’t just attend meetings, you learn how to become a leader, you share your enthusiasm, you give your time, talent and treasure.
    • The more active you are in your faith the more rewarding it is.
  • This is a Hard Saying…
    • By its nature the Catholic faith is counter-cultural. We are called to lead a life different than many of our neighbors. In many ways we have become indoctrinated in the secular culture in which we live. But following our faith brings unimaginable rewards.
    • We are very hedonistic, individualistic, since the sixties we have rejected authority. So at times we find conflict with church teaching.  A lot of Jesus’ sayings are hard: “forgive seventy times seven times?” “love your enemies?” “give aid to the Samaritan – read stranger – someone different?” “Don’t kill babies?” We tend to think we know it all. But church teaching is based on two thousand years’ experience, and in this time there have been many great thinkers and teachers. How can I think my conclusions are better than what the church teaches? We are so lucky to have the teaching authority of the church to guide our lives, so we make the correct decisions that will lead to a happy life and eventually salvation. Humanae Vitae was not crafted to make life for Catholics difficult, it was prophetic. Many didn’t like the changes of Vatican II, but the church has been blessed for it. Even today, the church asks us to look to the Year of Faith and to the new evangelization. And those of us who address these calls are that much more happier for it.
  • He went away sad…
    • Jesus told the young man to sell all he had, give to the poor and follow him, because he wanted to change the young man’s primary focus. Our primary focus should be on Jesus and our faith, our spiritual well-being.
    • I am often dismayed when I see so many others spending so much on their diet, health, and material possessions. They worry about their physical, mental, and emotional health, but spend little or no time looking to their spiritual health – the most important.
    • Even a hard working family man with his concerns for his wife and children and job needs to focus on his and their faith. We will drive our children to this and that event, class, sport, shopping, yet we will not read the bible together or have a family night of discussion.

5 comments:

Louis M said...

Tom,
I, too, as you may recall, am a conservative Republican OFS Catholic. I am beginning my return to the OFS this weekend (left after my old fraternity had openly practicing gays running things, among other abuses).
Prayers deeply appreciated.

-Lou

Louis M said...

Tom,

Only 5 posts for 2013?!

Are you OK?


-Lou

Tom, S.F.O. said...

Lou,
Of course, I remember you. 5 posts? Yeah, I've been super busy. Teaching RCIA, elected VM of my Fraternity, etc., etc. But you remind me I should be posting more. I've been sending a lot of emails to my Fraternity members, friends, Respect Life Ministry, etc. But I do have things to say, so I need to find time.
I'm sorry you had to leave your fraternity and hope you found another. Yes, liberals are pervasive in the Order, which is why I do not deal with the Region anymore, and I find the same in the 1st Order. But I find growth in the conservative fraternities. The Order needs us. You have been added to my prayer list during Evening Prayer, please do the same for me.

Louis M said...

Tom,

I've been to 3 meetings (2 at the old fraternity to get help with the move to the new one from a blessed friend who has also transferred out; 1 at the new one. Sunday will be #2. If things go well, I will be re-entering the OFS after that :-) ).

Agree completely about the Region, sadly. The 1st order is getting a bit better, at least out here.

I will absolutely add you to Vespers and Lauds, sir!

Louis M said...

OFS :-)

-Lou, OFS