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Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord: Intentional Discipleship and Commissioning {week 10}

week10Welcome to the Jesus is Lord series! This course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today is the LAST CLASS! Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality

INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP

Father Dean gave a concluding talk on intentional discipleship and our parish with respect to stewardship and mission, and the New Evangelization.  

He read a snippet from Blessed John Paul II’s Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America:

How can we fail to emphasize the role which belongs to the Virgin Mary in relation to the pilgrim Church in America journeying towards its encounter with the Lord? Indeed, the Most Blessed Virgin “is linked in a special way to the birth of the Church in the history … of the peoples of America; through Mary they came to encounter the Lord”.(18)

Throughout the continent, from the time of the first evangelization, the presence of the Mother of God has been strongly felt, thanks to the efforts of the missionaries. In their preaching, “the Gospel was proclaimed by presenting the Virgin Mary as its highest realization. From the beginning — invoked as Our Lady of Guadalupe — Mary, by her motherly and merciful figure, was a great sign of the closeness of the Father and of Jesus Christ, with whom she invites us to enter into communion”.(19)

The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization.(20) Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent. America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, “in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization”.(21) Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America.(22)

With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. In the prayer composed for the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as “Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization”. In view of this, I welcome with joy the proposal of the Synod Fathers that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated throughout the continent on December 12.(23) It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples (cf. Jn 2:11), will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early Church (cf.Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.

Stewardship – in order to make that transition, it’s a substantial leap going from ownership to stewardship. We live in a capitalistic society…that’s not the paradigm that we should be living by. We are caretakers of the gifts that God has entrusted us to. And we have the freedom to not be incarcerated by all we own that we can do exactly as Christ wants us to.

Father Dean finds himself over the years at St. William using the words intentional disciples more and more and in various contexts, from parishioners to the office staff. And, from that perspective, we want to do things with intentionality. If St. William hires a new position i.e. coordinator for volunteers, we don’t just want to form volunteers, but rather we want to form and sustain them. He believes those in attendance this evening {the room is filled with JIL attendees and elective course attendees who are JIL graduates} are the ripest crop of those who are able to commit themselves intentionally to Christ to use their gifts and talents to benefit our institution, the Catholic Church, not just St. William but the body of Christ.

 

The harvest is great, but the laborers are few – let’s change that.

We don’t want warm bodies to fill tasks, but rather

follow through with intentionality and purpose.

 

This evening we have our volunteer coordinator here – he has created a survey for volunteers and to find ways to play to their gifts and talents, their charisms. How is the best way we can care for these gifts and grow them so that they can flourish?

It is his desire, hope, and prayer that whatever we do as a parish community that we do it with a sense of intentionality. That things don’t happen by accident…let’s desire to do the work of the Church – Go and make disciples of all nations…Jesus’ first and foremost command was to go make disciples.

“We want to improve future semesters. We want that continued desire to encourage or suggest…Father Dean jokes perhaps we can strong arm ONE other person to come and give Jesus Is Lord a try for next semester. Our parish is over 6000 families and continues to grow. We have a great harvest before us. And you are the laborers, not being formed accidentally, but intentionally.”

It’s amazing to Father Dean to be pastor and to sit back and think about how God is working in this community. Definitely in ways he’s never seen before in his 25 years of priesthood. He commends everyone for their dedication and intentionality to be disciples that Christ has asked us to be.

Thank you and encourage others to explore opportunities to grow in their faith and the Kerygma, the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

COMMISSIONING

At this time, Father Uche came up and explains the invitations and their purpose. Attendees are encouraged to prayerfully decide how many invitations they would like to take, no less than one invite and as many as they think would like to come to graduation next week. Attendees walk to the front and take the number of invites they’d like and then form a circle around the entire room. Yes, this is a LOT of people! Father Uche then takes holy water and blesses these invitations and the attendees in their commissioning of bringing the next group of JIL attendees in for the January session. Here are a few pictures from the commissioning.

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PERPETUAL HOMEWORK 

Though the class has now ended, you can continue with daily homework in the form of praying each day read. Reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

 

 

Categories
Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord of My Sexuality {Week Nine}

SEXUALITYchrist-king3Welcome to the Jesus is Lord series! This course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today’s class is about Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality. Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My TreasureIf you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current class and contain testimonies from different people presented in the text below. Check back next week for the final installment which will cover Intentional Discipleship & The Commissioning. 

TEACHING & SCRIPTURE

 

With all the expertise in the parish on this topic, Father Uche jokes that he doesn’t understand how he gets stuck with the talk on sex. 😉

So, he throws out two words. And we’re going to play Word Association.

Catholic Church + Sex

no

sacred

scandal

marriage

guilt

chastity

birth control

NFP

Rhythm method

Outdated

Think about it. If we have these knee-jerk reactions and we are Catholics in the Church who know what’s going on, can you imagine how the average person outside the Church thinks of those two words?

STORY. Father Uche shares an incident while he was doing his Spanish immersion. There was a German lady at breakfast each day who he noticed did not say grace. He asked if he could say grace with her, and she rejected him. I guess she’s not Catholic, he thought. What church do you go to? She said she didn’t believe anything. For this poor boy from Nigeria {his words}, this was earth shattering. Where he comes from, everyone believes in something, even if it’s something like a rock…or his microphone.

Well, she took him to the cleaners – took him on a tear about the Catholic Church and said it was mysoginistic and homophobic.

Everything she said about the Church sounded horrible.

His response was something along the lines of well, some of the things you said…yes, are true. That part is true. But do you know why we do that?

And there was a long silence.

People have that reaction to the Catholic Church, but they rarely know why they have the reaction they do.

 We need to challenge people to go beyond the surface of the Church.

 Why do people think the Church is…outdated?

The idea that the Church says NO to sex…could not be further from the truth.

Do you know why?

Father Uche says if you look at a parish like St. William and compare us to the average American family, I think we have a couple more kids than everybody else. And we know…they don’t just arrive in the mail. So…there is a process in place. There is a plan. Somebody has given us a directive on how we are able to do things.

We have {already learned that we need} to live a Christian life that is complete and comprehensive. If we understand the underlying foundation of making Jesus the Lord of our life, then it naturally affects all aspects of our life. If you disagree there is a plan and that we are all here by accident, then whatever you say might make sense. BUT, if you believe and AGREE that there is a design and a plan…that there is an order, then we have to live according to that plan.

EXAMPLE. Father Uche drives a Chevy Malibu and it serves him well. And he loves beer…two kinds – Guinness and the rest! Guess what? He loves Guiness so much that that is what he is going to put that in his gas tank.

What will happen?

Attendees: You can’t do that!

Are you going to tell me I can’t put beer in my car? Who are you to tell me I can’t do that?

 What is your reaction?

 You’re stupid.

You’re a bad person.

Your car will break.

It won’t go far.

It’s a waste of beer.

Putting beer in is not part of the design of the car.

Father Uche: That’s your opinion. I don’t care, I will do what I want. You, with your gasoline-based morality are trying to dictate to me what I should put in my car.

 

And that is the same thing that happens with the human body.

BUT, we are different than some mass-produced Chevy Malibu.

 

Do you think God is at least smart enough to know how our bodies work? God says I know what will make you happy and what will make you break down – do this, this, this, not that, this, etc.

If a dumb guy is going to put Guinness in his car, you could just let him…

If we want our car to work optimally, we have to treat it the way it’s meant to work.

It’s sad the amount of ignorance there is on THIS topic {of sexuality}.

 

Hosea 4:6 My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.

 

This Scripture has notable application on our topic this evening. When God made us, He gave us an owner’s manual – do this and don’t do that.

 

When people talk about the Church and sex…ordinarily, we wouldn’t care what’s going on down on Sixth Street, but our attitude should be concern for others.

The Secular Response – Get the pope out of my bedroom. But, if we are prophets to bring the message of Jesus Christ to others, that will make you happy. The response wouldn’t be one of demanding the pope get out of our bedroom. The secular worldview is one in which the Catholic Church doesn’t want you to have fun, but the reality is that the Church wants you to have fun that doesn’t hurt you…fun that will last.

Look at my body, Father Uche says.

{immature crowd}

 The word body causes people to snicker.

STORY. He saw a billboard one day with a provocative woman. The ad was selling…SHOES. Seriously?? was his response. That’s what you’re selling me? SHOES???? Who is the genius that came up with that marketing?? It took him 70% of the time he looked at it to figure out it was for shoes.

Women love shoes! They don’t need the extra stuff in advertisements. When ads are suggestive and provocative, all we see is is that person sexy? Is she hot or not?

That is not how we should look at the human body. I cannot get to know who someone is except through their body. The body is much more than what our culture tries to tell us. Our culture tries to degrade our bodies.

St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:20 For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

Your body is much more than what our culture tries to tell us that it is. 

Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.

When we look at the human body, we see something that is much more than physical. This is the body that will be RAISED. This is the body which will be with God forever. Sometimes we think this body is rotten and corrupt and only our soul will go to heaven – this is WRONG. We believe in {and profess each week at Mass} the resurrection of the body.

 We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

Your soul and your body go hand in hand. We are not spirits trapped in our bodies.

We are made for communion with another. If a martian observed us, it would notice that there are two basic types of human beings based on how we walk, talk, look. It would notice that these two types like to be together. It is something that is hardwired in us, that we are not created for ourselves…we are created for communion. Even in the sexual realm.

No one is created to be self sufficient.

God designed it such that you need the other person.

 

You need someone else to complement you.

Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.”

The sharing is special when it comes to sex. God says this is SO special that we are meant to share it with ONE other human being. Sex is SO good that we become co-creators with Him.

 God made man and woman to complement

each other sexually and it was not a mistake.

It was a plan.

Blessed John Paul II tells us something along the same lines when he talks about the nuptial meaning of the body, spousal giving of oneself. And because of that, there is a secret glow in your heart that comes alive with joy because you are fulfilling one of the reasons you were created. We are made to give ourselves to other people. And in this communion, the man and the woman are perfectly matched, designed for each other.

But, just like anything in creation, this plan of God can be abused. St. Augustine says, evil is always the absence of good.

The devil cannot create.

The devil cannot make anything.

All he does is destroy what God is already made.

The same thing with sex. Human sexuality is amazing. Sex is so awesome that without it, none of us would be here today! It’s good, but knowing that it is good, means knowing it can be used for evil. Any good faculty can be used for evil.

The self gift has to be FREE. The freedom of the self-giving reflects God’s freedom in loving us. Because the love between a man and a woman reflects the love that God has for us, that He chose to love us freely.

The self gift has to be TOTAL.

It has to be FAITHFUL because it reflects the love between God and Israel. The Church is always referred to as the Bride of Christ. He is always faithful to His Bride.

It has to be FRUITFUL. It is not an option to say I don’t want that one. God intends for this self gift to bear fruit. God is always pouring out His gifts to us. He is pouring out for you and I.

Father Uche touches briefly on

Annulments:

It is not Catholic divorce. There is NO such thing as a Catholic divorce.

We believe no human being has the power to break up what God joined. But sometimes consent can be lacking. If a marriage lacks any of the four qualities {free, total, faithful, fruitful} BEFORE the marriage, that’s when an annulment can occur. There was a defect at the root, and one of the essential qualities was lacking.

Contraception:

There is a risk we run when we condemn others for using it, but we have to acknowledge the plan for our lives. There is an order to our lives…and it’s difficult, and it’s tough, but it’s possible. Father Uche issues a challenge for us to investigate the Church’s position and why the Church says no to contraception and the contraceptive mentality.

It goes against the fundamental plan God has in place for us. Does this mean that the Church says you SHOULD have 30 children? No, not necessarily. The Church wants you to be a responsible steward of your sexuality.

Analogy: using contraception is like giving God disinvitation to a wedding party. You can’t invite everyone because your resources are limited. So, you invite 50…but then you send a DISINVITATION to the ones who can’t come. Here’s where it’s going to be, but you are NOT welcome. You send them all the juicy details and then tell them they can’t come. There is a difference between not inviting someone and then flat out disinviting them.

Natural Family Planning: It is not Catholic contraception. It’s all in the motive. Contraceptive mentality says to God we’re going to engage in this act, but we don’t want a child. Just as with the challenge to research the Church’s position on contraception, go and investigate what the Church says about Natural Family Planning. Learn about it and make an informed decision. The science proves the efficacy of NFP.

TESTIMONY

Scroll down to the bottom and click on the link to the St. William Adult Faith Formation page – it will load up the class on sexuality. At the 55:00 mark, the testimony will begin. This is from a previous semester.

Q&A

  1. What is the Church’s stance on medical sterilizations in the scenario where pregnancy is likely to cause death of the mother? That is an area that is still contentious among some circles. The Church exists for life. We are not going to put the mother in a situation that would cost her her life. Having said that, sterilization is not the only way to go. It is always about preserving life. The Church never actively supports abortion. In the process of saving a life, something else happens, then the principle of double effect occurs. The primary action was to save a life, not cause the loss of a life. We respect the opinions of doctors, but when they suggest something that goes against our beliefs, we need to take that to prayer in how to respond.
  2. What is the Church’s view on getting a tubal or vasectomy? The answer is simple. It is not open to life. It is not permissible. It does not allow the husband and wife to fully consent to one another in the sexual act, so it is prohibited for that reason as well.
  3. How do I handle my dealings with the children raised by homosexual family members with love and compassion? You have to love people authentically. When you really love people, and they know you love them and you are being honest with them and they know who you are? When it comes time for difficult things to be discussed, they may not agree with you or accept what you’re saying at that point, but knowing in the back of their mind who you are and that you love them and that you have not judged them before, it is easier to take in what you have to say. IF you are a person who is always harping on them about their misgivings, then you will be seen as being judgmental. What I would recommend is that you pray about it. This is one of those times when Jesus says He will give you the words to say. Continue to ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration and just love them. Without love, you won’t be able to get through. God Himself does love them.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

  • PRAYER
  • QUESTIONS
    1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE HOMEWORK?
    2. ANY COMMENTS ON PRAYING FOR YOUR PARTNER?
    3. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THE PRESENTATION?
  • HOMEWORK 

Each day from here on out through the rest of the class you will read and reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Jesus is Lord of My Sexuality through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: If you would like to watch, please visit the St. William Adult Faith Formation page to watch the previously recorded class.

 

 

Categories
Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord of My Treasure {Week Eight}

TREASUREchrist-king3Welcome to the Jesus Is Lord series, a course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Today’s class is about Jesus is Lord of My Treasure. Last week’s class was about Jesus is Lord of My TimeIf you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current class and contain testimonies from different people than that which is presented in the text below. Check back next week which will cover Jesus is Lord of my Sexuality. 

TEACHING & SCRIPTURE

RECAP from last week: Jesus is Lord of my Time – Sunday Mass, confession, daily prayer time. Father Uche showed us a way to incorporate the daily Scriptures into that daily prayer time.

Today, we are going to look at a passage gives us a general biblical principle before we can make Jesus Lord of our Treasure.

Mark 12:41-44 He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.”

Jesus is interested in what we put in the collection.

In those days they didn’t have a collection basket – they had one giant piggy bank for all to see. He was watching what people put in – one put in “$100” “$20.” Then, this old woman puts in a couple of coins worth about one penny. Jesus wants to make sure his disciples see this because He wants to make a point. It’s possible Matthew the tax collector might have taken issue with the woman’s contribution because it’s clearly less than the others put in.

What we put in the collection is an outward expression of an inner condition.

Jesus is looking first at the inner condition.

Where are you at with the Lord?

How do you see the money and stuff you own?

Let’s take a closer look at the biblical definition of a widow.

1Tim 5:3,5,9 Honor widows who are truly widows…The real widow, who is all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day…Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years old, married only once…

A woman’s husband has died, she must be over 60 and have no other family to take care of her. This is what defines a widow. The widow was in a position of truly giving all she had to the Lord. If tonight, I’m going to have a roof over my head, the Lord is going to provide it. …warm clothes…

And she has only one penny…and she gives from her need – all she has comes from the Lord.

And that is where we need to be in our approach toward the Lord.

The others, even though they were giving more money, were giving from their spare. The mentality is I work for my money, so it’s mine. I earned it.

If that’s where we are, then our inner condition is not correct. The inner condition is very important.

Our approach should be if it weren’t for the Lord, I couldn’t get out of bed, have the ability to perform my job. I couldn’t get a job…if it wasn’t for the Lord.

The question isn’t how much you give – the question is are you giving from your need?

Noe initially responded I need it all! I’ve got five kids!

In Scripture, a measure is given so that anybody and everybody can give from their need.

Malachi 3:6-10 Thus says the Lord, “I am the Lord, and I do not change. And so you, the descendants of Jacob, are not yet completely lost. You, like your ancestors before you, have turned away from my laws, and have not kept them. Turn back to me, and I will turn to you. But you ask, “what must we do to turn back to you?” I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God? Of course not, yet you are cheating me. “How??” you ask. In the matter of tithes and offerings. A curse is on all of you because the whole nation is cheating me. Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put Me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour on you in abundance all kinds of good things.”

Notice that God says to put Him to the test!

The pattern of tithing 10% of household income two generations before in Scripture was lacking – the Israelites would try and tithe. They had 40 lambs, so they would give 4 to the Lord and take them to the temple. But they wouldn’t give their best lambs, they would pick the poorest and sickliest ones. The next generation saw that and said I’m not going to be a hypocrite, I’m just not going to give anything. Tithing was beyond their scope, so God tells them to tithe so He can bless them and challenges them to test Him.

EXAMPLE. Father O’Malley gave talks about the rosary, frequent confession, tithing to a group of 300 Mexicans…and in his {Noe’s} culture, what you put in the collection is called limosa – what you give the beggars. That’s how the Israelites dealt with God…like a beggar.

I’m going to give this to you and you better be happy that I did!

Father O’Malley was very pragmatic in his teaching. It’s real simple – you take the decimal point and move it over two places.

At the time, Noe was putting $5 in the collection…or $22.50/month. However, after hearing Father O’Malley’s talk, he realized he was shorting God $21. Noe came to Mass with a brand new shirt that cost $20 and he felt disconnected and couldn’t place why…then it dawned on him and he understand why he was disconnected. He had bought the shirt with His money – with God’s money. At that point, he was convicted and was ready to tithe, but had questions.

Is this tithing thing retroactive?

Fortunately, the Lord does not take ignorance into consideration, so it’s not retroactive, but now you know!

Father O’Malley said the next time income comes in, just write a check for 10%. That seemed like a good idea until Noe’s check came in…and it was TERRIBLE. He considered it HIS money. But, he did it and he put the Lord to the test and he hasn’t looked back since. He lived for five years on donations with five kids, serving the poor in Mexico and they never went hungry, they even paid for one child to be born in Mexico. They always had what they needed, and the biggest blessing was not money, but in their kids. They’re all content – they were ok with going to Goodwill and knowing how much they could afford. The Lord saw fit to bless their children with full scholarships to college, one of whom has a Ph.D.

Once, Noe did this teaching – not at St. William – and one of the guys said he read in Scripture that we decide what to give and to give it cheerfully.

2 Corinthians 9:2,7 for I know your eagerness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia 2 has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them…Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Someone else said that Jesus never talked about tithing, but we see in

Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TITHING AND OFFERING

Tithing – We don’t give the tithe, we pay it – it’s like the light bill. You don’t get excited about it. You pay to God because it is owed. God decides the amount – 10%

Offering – You give an offering. And you decide how much you give this organization, etc. You offer to the brothers. YOU decide the amount.

If you’ve never heard this teaching before, you might have a lot of questions.

Q. Is this from the gross or the net?

Sometimes the offering and the tithes clash – there can be a gray area – that’s why it’s critical to make Jesus Lord of my Time so you can take it to prayer and see what He says. Your tithing and offerings won’t look like what Noe is doing, it’ll be what God wants you to do.

Q. Can paying for Catholic school be considered part of my tithe?

Ask the Lord!

EXAMPLE. His daughter earned some money. She took it to prayer and decided to give 5% to a family member in need and the rest to the church. This is what God revealed to her in prayer, and so it is with us. If you are unsure how to divide up our tithe or offering, take it to prayer!

Q. What if my 10% is not being properly allocated? {someone gave an example of what’s going on in Germany}

Noe shares that his approach is that he is not giving it to a priest, or a church, but directly to God. Once he has given his 10% to God, it is up to the person to whom it was given to render an account with God on how it was allocated.

Q. Is it a sin not to tithe…is God’s love incumbent upon our tithe?

This question comes from a sincere heart – God’s love is not incumbent on tithe. He loves us simply because we are His children, not for what we do, but who we are. God’s blessings come through the tithe, though. It’s not a sin to not tithe, if you’re in a state of ignorance!

EXAMPLE. If the Lord tells me to forgive my spouse, and I refuse to forgive, is it a sin? YES. If the Lord tells you to tithe and you don’t do it, you are disobeying. A blessing is something that brings you closer to the Lord – and sometimes they can come disguised as both good and terrible things that happen to us.

Q. What if one spouse wants to give and the other doesn’t?

If you’re married, the wife OR the husband can not decide to tithe – you have to come together prayerfully to decide.

EXAMPLE. The wife was a school administrator and the husband was a coach. She went home and TOLD her husband they were going to start tithing, and he objected. So, they didn’t. She continued to feel called to tithe, but he didn’t want to. So, she came up with a solution – she would tithe from her check.

Tithing is the antidote to greed.

Q. Building a new parish and you give a generous gift – raising funds to build it. It goes beyond your tithe for three years, does that count as a tithe for three years?

Yes, possibly. But, in all this, do whatever the Lord tells you. Take it to prayer. When the parish puts out a financial report, it shouldn’t affect our tithe if we don’t like where the money is being spent. We are giving the money to the Lord.

Q. Is the 10% broken up among church, diocese, and other charities?

The Lord will place it on your heart where the 10% should go. It’s not cut and dry, the important thing is that you are praying everyday and you are doing what He is asking you to do.

Q. Can an offering be in the form of your time?

No, because we are addressing the monetary side.

Q. Wife stays and home {does not work} and husband works – can the wife ask the working spouse to tithe?

As stated above, the couple needs to come together prayerfully to decide what to give.

Q. Is tithing related directly to YOUR church and no other? Do you give it to the parish where you are registered to or some other place?

The parish where you receive your sacraments should get a good chunk of your tithe, but not necessarily the whole 10%.

EXAMPLE. In 1988, the priest where Noe worked, sent him to a community where he work with families. Because he was there once a month and ministering, he wanted to give half of his tithe to this other location. So, he went to the head coordinator and the coordinator said give it all to the parish. The priest said to give it all to the community. Noe ended up giving 5% to each.

Q. If you donate a vehicle to the church, like St. Vincent de Paul, or giving to the homeless –  is that considered tithing or offering?

It’s considered an offering.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

  • PRAYER
  • QUESTIONS
    1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE HOMEWORK?
    2. ANY COMMENTS ON PRAYING FOR YOUR PARTNER?
    3. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THE PRESENTATION?
  • HOMEWORK 

Each day from here on out through the rest of the class you will read and reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

 

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Jesus is Lord of My Treasure through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: If you would like to watch, please visit the St. William Adult Faith Formation page to watch the previously recorded class.

 

 

Categories
Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord of My Time {Week Seven}

TIMEchrist-king3Welcome to the Jesus Is Lord series, a course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Last week’s class was the Jesus Is Lord of My Talent. If you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current semester and contain testimonies from different people than what’s presented in the text below. Check back next week which will cover Jesus Is Lord of My Treasure. 

 

RECAP FROM LAST WEEK

MORE ON TALENT???

This evening Noe spent the first ten minutes connecting the theme of Talent to Time.

In reading Acts 2:37-42, we see that the Apostles ask

What are we supposed to do?

Verse 38Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you…

Verse 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. – In addition to the 120 in the upper room, the Catholic Church began with some 3120 people.

 

Verse 42: They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. 

Once they made Jesus Lord, their time was now spent in a different way.

They started to do things they didn’t do before …and probably stopped doing things they were doing before in order to follow Christ more closely.

 

Type A Catholics {visit link to review graphics} are submissive to Jesus when they get off the throne and allow Jesus to sit there.

The first thing Jesus does is to have us turn in our calendars so He can tell us what to put in our calendar.

 

Going to Mass isn’t the end of what’s asked of us. We’re always working on our relationship with Christ – we want to adopt the come early, stay late mentality.

 

HOW: There are several ways you can connect continually beyond Mass – Sunday readings done Saturday night, come early to Mass, wear proper attire, go to confession each month. You recommit to the Lord through confession, so it’s important to form that spiritually healing habit of going to confession.

Some read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about confession in paragraph 1457 and stop reading…

1457    According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time. (2042,1385)

…after they read “once a year” – BUT, what they fail to do is continue reading…don’t be the person who stops reading.

1458    Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful: (17832468)

Pope John Paul II expanded on this, emphasizing the need for the faithful to make confession a regular, monthly habit because it can only serve to help

  • Form our conscience
  • Fight against evil tendencies
  • Let ourselves be healed by Christ
  • And progress in the life of the Spirit
  • We are spurred to be merciful

Our spiritual antennae are prepared to hear what the Holy Spirit wants to tell us.

Now we will learn how to make private personal prayer time each day…and look forward to our date with the Lord.

TEACHING

FATHER UCHE gave the talk on Jesus is Lord of My Time, which covers a brief overview of Lectio Divina.

To start, Father Uche mentions that in seminary, he had an altar with Mary…everywhere.

These days he still has his special place for prayer, in his bedroom. He has his Jesus space, which includes his chair that faces the crucifix.

He says, create a space, no matter how small or decorated. Put items in your space that remind you that this is your secret meeting place with Jesus – where you come and meet with Him in private.

Tonight we will be covering prayer, specifically Lectio Divina. All this big word means  is “praying with the Words of God.” Praying with Scripture.

There are certain things that are important when it comes to praying with God. As children, we learned how to pray, but sometimes we take that approach into our adult years. Our attention tonight will call us to pray more maturely.

Whose initiates prayer?

God calls man first.

2567    God calls man first. Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, the faithful God’s initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response. As God gradually reveals himself and reveals man to himself, prayer appears as a reciprocal call, a covenant drama. Through words and actions, this drama engages the heart. It unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation. (30142)

When it comes to prayer, God is always at our meeting spot before us because we come at His invitation. All we have to do when we enter prayer is say “I am here.

If your prayer life is off, there is a tug there. Never forget that God is always waiting for us. We don’t have to wait to grab His attention.

Relational Prayer

A-R-R-R

St. Teresa of Avila said, “For mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.” The A-R-R-R prayer is a simple method of coming to the Lord as you are. It can be used almost any time of the day and in just about any circumstance. It can also be used within any other method of prayer such as Lectio Divina or Ignatian Contemplation as a way of conversing with the Lord. The A-R-R-R stands for different movements within the prayer: Acknowledge, Relate, Receive, Respond.

Acknowledge: Openly and honestly without prejudice acknowledge how you are before God. What are you experiencing? What is moving in your heart? Be completely honest with how you are – had a bad day? Say so – don’t mince words. Joyful? Acknowledge where you are first…exactly where you are in that moment. God wants to know.

Marian exampleAt the Annunciation Mary was “troubled” and pondered what the words of the Angel meant.

Relate:  Bring yourself as you are into relationship with God by relating your experience to Him. Speak to him from your heart. This can be hard for Catholics because we are taught from an early age to say rote prayers, structured prayers. And rote prayers are good…but it shouldn’t take away our ability to speak to God from our heart. To just let our heart speak to Him and not treat God like we treat other people – being false. Let Him know the good or the bad.

Marian example: At the Annunciation Mary asked, “How can this be?”

Receive: Listen to what God is doing with the movements of your heart. Receive his presence and the constancy of his love. When you truly enter into prayer, God is there. And you will know that He is there. When you speak to Him from your heart, He will speak to you with the movements of your heart, with the constancy of His love. His love is not on a scale, affected by emotions. It’s always there, it will never be taken away. The only condition that changes it is if you intentionally reject it. Even then, His love is still there. Sometimes we rattle off what we want – and that does not allow God to speak to you. Yes, He will listen to our laundry list of wants, but we should not be so rude as to not let Him have input on our list…or even just say hello!

Let God communicate with you the way that He chooses to – don’t put parameters and expectations on how you think He should communicate with you. If you talk to Him the way you want to, let Him talk to you the way He wants, too.

Marian example: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.”

Respond: What we receive impels us to respond in gratitude and with renewed heart. Pour yourself out in thanksgiving. It is a very important part of our prayer life. Thank Him for the simple things…like good, hot coffee. Thank you for giving me the privilege of knowing You and experiencing you in prayer. Simple. Little things. Pour out yourself in prayer to Him.

Marian example: Mary’s fiat, “May it be done unto me…”

A-R-R-R is the basic structure of how we pray. Follow this structure and it will give foundation to your prayer.

LECTIO DIVINA

Lectio – reading: LECTIO DIVINA begins with a prayerful reading of Scripture. This prayerful reading differs greatly from the fast and cursory reading of novels or magazines. It is different from the information-gathering task of reading textbooks or instruction manuals. There is a reverential and prayerful listening; that accompanies the reading. With a spirit of silence and hopeful anticipation, I listen for the words that speak to me personally and intimately. In lectio I read slowly and attentively, honing in on the word or phrase that attracts me, draws me; the words with which God is inviting me to rest.  

The approach is not I have to finish this chapter in two minutes, but instead it’s I have to read these nine chapters and I can spend 10 minutes on chapter one if I want.

The Fathers of the Church have an analogy – so a cow chews on cud, we, too, ruminate…or chew on the words we read. Let the readings strike at your heart as they will. Listen for the words that speak to you personally and intimately. Listen.

Meditatio – meditationONCE WE have found a word or a passage in the Scriptures that speak to us in a personal way, we must take it in and ruminate on it. The image of the ruminant animal quietly chewing its cud was used in antiquity as a symbol of the Christian pondering the Word of God. Christians have always seen a scriptural invitation to lectio divina in the example of the Virgin Mary “pondering in her heart” what she saw and heard of Christ {Luke 2:19}. For us today these images are a reminder that we must take in the word – that is memorize it – and while gently repeating it to ourselves, allow it to interact with our thoughts, our hopes, our memories, our desires. This is the second step or stage in lectio divina – meditate. Through meditate we allow God’s word to become His word for us, a word that touches us and affects us at our deepest levels. 

Think of Scripture that causes you to listen and ruminate. You went to Mass and heard the readings. One line stood out. Use that to reflect and listen

Oratio – prayerTHE THIRD step in lectio divina is oratio – prayer understood both as dialogue with God, that is, as loving conversation with the One who has invited us into His embrace, and an offering to God our very selves including our thoughts, feelings, desires, fears and weaknesses. We allow our real selves to be touched and changed by the word of God.

When we have chewed on it for a while – we let those words lead us in prayer, and we take our real selves to God. God can’t take our bad habits away if we don’t bring them to Him. We have to give them up.

Contemplatio – contemplationFINALLY, WE simply rest in the presence of the One who has used His word as a means of inviting us to accept His transforming embrace. No one who has ever been in love needs to be reminded that there are moments in loving relationships when words are unnecessary. It is the same in our relationship with God. Wordless, quiet rest in the presence of the One Who loves us has a name in the Christian tradition – contemplate, contemplation. Once again we practice silence, letting go of our words – simply enjoying the experience of being in the presence of God.

There are moments in relationships when words aren’t necessary. Simply enjoy being in the presence of God. Come to a place where you can enjoy this level of prayer. This is intimacy that allows you to simply enjoy each other’s company. Rest in His lap and go to sleep if you want. Just. Be.

This is what we are going to practice.

You’ll need your Bible and the passage is John 4:4-26 – take 20 minutes. You don’t have to read through verse 26.

Read, chew, and see what the Lord wants to say to you. 

Feel free to utilize your 20 minutes in any place that is quiet – attendees scattered throughout the campus to find quiet places, from in front of the tabernacle in the main church to the Adoration chapel, the small chapel, outside on the stone benches…anywhere you can find a nice, quiet place. Do not rush through this step or skip over it.

SMALL GROUP

  • PRAYER
  • QUESTIONS
    1. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE HOMEWORK? {read and share why}
    2. ANY COMMENTS ON PRAYING FOR YOUR PARTNER?
    3. WHAT STRUCK YOU ABOUT THE PRESENTATION?
  • HOMEWORK – Each day from here on out through the rest of the class you will read and reflect on the daily readings or the reflections from One Bread, One Body. You can access them by going to the USCCB’s website OR you can download the Laudate app {available on iPhones and Android}. The One Bread, One Body reflections can be accessed through the Laudate app by going through Daily Readings => Reflections.

For more reflection, click to download Praying with Scripture.

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Jesus Is Lord of My Time through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: To view the class from a previously recorded semester, click here

 

 

Categories
Conversion Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord of My Talent {Week Six}

TALENTchrist-king3

Welcome to the Jesus Is Lord series, a course offered for adults at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

If this is your first time visiting this series, I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the series introduction that will give a clear picture of the purpose and content of the Jesus Is Lord course. The introduction post not only outlines the course, but goes over the motivation to share in this class on the internet. 

Last week’s class was the Prayer Session: GrowthIf you would prefer to watch this class, please scroll to the bottom. Keep in mind the recorded classes are not from our current class and can contain testimonies from different people than presented in the text below. Check back next week for the sixth installment which will cover Jesus is Lord of my Time. 

TEACHING & SCRIPTURE

With the Year of Faith coming to a close, we at St. William are moving into an era of the New Evangelization. What does that mean and what does that look like for our parish?

The class , Jesus is Lord of My Talent has been revised to fit the New Evangelization.

Noe asked

What is talent?

 Attendees responded with

  • gifts,
  • skill,
  • abilities,
  • charisms,
  • how we share with others what has been given to us.

A Catholic dictionary says talent is currency that we have to build the Kingdom.

When we serve the poor, we are serving the Kingdom. Many people at St. William are already serving the Kingdom. We will focus on allowing Jesus to be the Lord of how {we use our talent when} we serve the Kingdom.

1Cor10:31-33

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God,

just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved.

If I’m giving, the objective is to someway, somehow bring the Lord into how I serve. I can help others have an encounter with Jesus even while I am serving them.

Tonight, we’re going to help each one of us to learn how to serve – or serve better – become a better tool for Jesus Christ.

Matthew 13:45-46

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.

When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.

Two weeks ago {at the prayer session}, we asked the Spirit to stir our souls and we bought the pearl. And the pearl is Jesus. We don’t want to give God good stuff…we want to give Him our best.

What is our best?

Jesus.

We don’t just want to help give someone groceries…we want to give them Jesus, too.

EXAMPLE. The laity can use everyday situations to bring Jesus to others. That’s how we go from Maintenance to Mission. That’s how we go from the Year of Faith to the New Evangelization.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We now have the power to talk about Jesus. Noe mentions an example of giving people homework. They were asked to talk about Jesus to three people. This did not come easy for some. A large percentage of people had a hard time doing this homework. However, whenever we proclaim the Kerygma to others, we have to have a plan for prayer. At this point in the class, we have all the tools necessary to talk to others.

EXAMPLE. A young man came to Noe – he was a drug dealer and worn down by his life. Instead of sharing Jesus with the man, Noe simply told him to go to Mass. Even though there was nothing wrong with what he said, the point is that he misread what the man needed to hear at that moment.  From that moment, Noe decided to share who Jesus is with others by witnessing. Just witness, no teaching.

Next we will look at Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 1975

22 – There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed.

25 – In the message which the Church proclaims there are certainly many secondary elements. Their presentation depends greatly on changing circumstances. They themselves also change. But there is the essential content, the living substance, which cannot be modified or ignored without seriously diluting the nature of evangelization itself.

24 – Finally, the person who has been evangelized goes on to evangelize others. Here lies the test of truth, the touchstone of evangelization: it is unthinkable that a person should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn.

41 – “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

75 – Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit…It is the Holy Spirit who, today just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by Him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the kingdom being proclaimed.

You don’t need convincing or persuasive arguments to bring others to Jesus. You just need to witness and the best way to witness is to share your testimony. People can’t argue with your testimony. Doctrine, people can argue. Testimony, they can’t argue. And it’s personal. You aren’t telling people to do things…you are telling people what Jesus has done for you.

 TESTIMONY

Different emphasis:

  1. “How the Jesus Is Lord course helped me.”
  2. “My experience of the Love of God” or “How experiencing the Love of God started a change in my life”
  3. “How Jesus changed my life”
  4. The difference the Prayer Session made in my life.”
  5. “A moment of repentance in my life.”
  6. “How the community helped me to grow spiritually.”

EXAMPLES

Before

1) Before Jesus Is Lord  

How was your life:

your relationship with God

-Family life      

What happened  

How did you end up at JIL?

How did you feel?

What did the Lord do?

How did you respond?

Changes:

your relationship with God

your personal life

in your family

2) Before I experienced the Love of God:

I viewed God with fear

I didn’t trust God

I was depressed

 

What happened?

Where?

What did God do?

 

How did you feel?

Changes:

Do you still fear God?

Has your relationship with God changed?

Are you still depressed?

 

3) Before I surrendered to Jesus:

religion was a drag  

I was confused about my faith with others?

                                                            

What happened?

How did you feel?

What did the Lord do?

How did you respond?

 

Changes: 

Is religion still a drag?

Are you still confused?

Has it helped your relationship?

 

4) Before I experienced the  stirring of the Holy Spirit:

embarrassed about my faith

I lacked power in my spiritual

life

 

What happened?

What did you think?

What did the Lord do?

How did you respond?

 

Changes:

Prayer life

Do you find it easier to witness?

I can do things for the Lord that I couldn’t do before

 

5) What was going on in your life before the moment of repentance?

Did you go to confession?

What happened to help you get to that moment?

Changes:

Experience the mercy of God 

More peaceful

 

6) Simply tell of an incident in which the community helped you to persevere or grow in your spiritual life.

SMALL GROUP

QUESTIONS

1. Please share your experience of the prayer session. {take time for members to remember}

2. Is there anything about tonight’s talk that you would like to discuss?

3. How do you feel about sharing your testimony?

  • HOMEWORK 

Topical Bible Study_Testimony homework

SUMMARY

Homework is to be done daily – reflect on Scripture and Jesus Is Lord of My Time through the week. If you are in a group, pair up two or three and commit to pray daily for your prayer partner. Small groups come together for a few minutes of question and answer in the large group. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the combox below so that we can help in any way possible.

CONCLUSION

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,
I abandon myself into Your hands;
do with me what You will.
Whatever You may do, I thank You:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only Your will be done in me,
and in all Your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to You with all the love of my heart,
for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into Your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for You are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

OPTIONS: To view the class from a previously recorded semester, click on the video below.