Hi L.I.G.H.T. Friends!
I hope you are all staying cool a midst this summer heat that we are experiencing. Before we move into the holiday week that celebrates our country's independence, I wanted to share another comment from our program evaluations with you. I was so happy to read this comment under the PLUS column:
Every year, my understanding and clarity of Jesus are always growing and strengthened.
I think that this sentiment is one that is shared by many as is evidenced by different observations that I hear from L.I.G.H.T. family members from month to month. The goal of L.I.G.H.T. as the model of Faith Formation in our parish is to help us all “Live In Grace and Hope Together” (This is our L.I.G.H.T. motto and our name!) We do this by continually growing closer to our Lord and doing it through the community offered to us in the Catholic Church. So this comment is right on target.
Using L.I.G.H.T. to enhance the faith-life in our individual households is the point. Using L.I.G.H.T. to “start the conversations of faith” in our homes is definitely the beginning of the process. And then we are challenged to go further, to do more. We need to continue the conversation and then go beyond it. We need to truly weave faith into the fabric of family life; into its daily routine; into its very ebb and flow from one year to the next. This is only possible by going beyond L.I.G.H.T. and making faith a priority.
My youngest (yes, you know Ellie!) asked me this Sunday “WHY do I have to go to church?? I want to sleep.” My reply (and I promise, it’s not the first time this question and this reply has been heard in my house) was one that makes sense to a seven year old, yet it is a good reminder for us all. “When we are friends with someone, we need to spend time with them. God is our best friend.”
We need to learn to follow God through faith formation programs like L.I.G.H.T. and we need to spend time with Him, at Mass and in our daily lives.
The end of the story is as you would expect. Ellie (and her American Girl doll), got dressed and we sat in our front pew and hung out with God. While we waited for Mass to begin, I read a wonderful reminder from Father’s weekly bulletin note that fit right in with the way the morning began at my house. It took my lesson to Ellie and brought it up from a seven-year old level to one that really speaks to the heart of living our faith. It also fits right in with the L.I.G.H.T. evaluation comment above. I am including it below and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. If you want to read more of the bulletin from this week, or any other week, you can check it out at http://content.seekandfind.com/bulletins/04/0183/20130623B.pdf
Have a great day everyone!
See you at Church!
For two weeks now, we have been hearing the Sunday celebration referred to as a certain number (11th/12th) Sunday in Ordinary Time. The impression we can get is that “ordinary” is contrasted with “extraordinary”, making these Sundays not so special. But that is not the meaning of “ordinary” in this case. The word “ordinary” in this instance has to do with the mathematical term ”ordinal numbers” (not cardinal numbers) in other words, just keeping things in order, one following the other. The majority of our Sundays have this ordinal title to them. I mention this because the misunderstanding of the word ordinary can incline us to underappreciate the gift that each Sunday offers us. No Sunday is ordinary in the bland sense of the word. In fact no day is ordinary; and Sunday’s role is to help us recognize how much we have to appreciate on any given day.
Sunday in our faith tradition is the day of Eucharist. “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.” So Sunday is meant to be a day on which we tap into and express the gratitude we have for the gifts God has given us. Most especially, of course, the Eucharist focuses on the gift of Christ’s life; his sacrificial love; and his resurrected life - a great deal for us to be grateful for. But in addition we are grateful for the gift of life itself; for the wonder and beauty of creation; for those who love and care for us; for those who both challenge and support us in becoming our best selves. We’re accustomed to hearing Sunday referred to as a day of rest; but the rest is not simply for getting an extra nap in. The rest is for slowing down a bit and taking time to appreciate who and what is around us. That’s one reason it’s a shame that Sunday has become as much a business day as any other. It has become a “busy-ness” day making it almost impossible to be a day of rest - for appreciation. As a result, we appreciate less who and what is in our lives; and less appreciation diminishes the quality of our lives.
“Ordinary” Sundays also remind us that the ordinary events of our lives are more than ordinary. The people we meet, the things we see and enjoy, and even difficult moments can be moments when God speaks to us, making us aware of how near God is or how much we need God. It’s often difficult for us to see our everyday events as being revelatory in that way because of the pace of life and how busy our minds are. We need to be deliberate about trying to see what is around us as more than ordinary. Taking time on an ordinary Sunday to do that –however briefly— can help us have that awareness at other times as well.
So I encourage you to let an Ordinary Sunday be a starting point for remembering to look for the extraordinary gifts of God that come into our lives in ordinary ways. Doing so can make a real difference in each day.