Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

All Praise and Glory be to God!

(This is a picture of the chapel at St. Clare's Monastery (Poor Clares) in Mission, BC. The picture is taken from the extern of the chapel. In case you're wondering, that's the tabernacle fixed in the grill. Ok, I must admit I thought it was a little weird at first, but then again, hey, at least it's in plain view and not hidden in some corner. Has anyone ever seen this arrangement before? Is it common in cloisters?)

Thanks be to God for His many blessings. He is so gracious. I think that is the theme of my weekend. In fact, I think that is the theme of my life.

Friday my new laptop arrived. I know that we shouldn't be too attached to worldly goods, but after struggling with a dying laptop last semester I'm truly grateful that I was able to purchase a new laptop. I didn't think I was going to be able to afford one but in the end, for various reasons, I was able to. Thanks be to God. Really. I'm serious. Thanks be to God for my new laptop.

Friday afternoon we had Eucharistic adoration at the college. I wasn't sure how many people were going to show up but we ended up having a good turnout. While I tend to spend at least some time in prayer each day before the Blessed Sacrament there is something that truly strengthens your faith and seems to make you all that more aware of just who is before you when you kneel in adoration with others. Kneeling with a couple dozen of my classmates, peers, and even professors before Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament I am given great hope for the future of the Church and I am reminded that although we all come from different backgrounds and have different stories our eyes are all fixed on the same Person, the same eternal goal. I thank God for having graced me with the great blessing of many friends who share this same perspective, who know that in the end, all that matters is that our life is rooted in a love of He who is present in the Blessed Sacrament.

This weekend I went and visited the Poor Clare Sisters in Mission. What a grace it is to visit them. These women spend their lives in prayer. While we're sleeping in the middle of the night they awake to pray for us, the Church. Sometimes I wonder where we'd be without the graces we receive through the contemplative religious throughout the world constantly interceding on our behalf when we do not have the strength, time, desire, motivation, to do so ourselves. What a radical life they live indeed. In a world that many do not believe in God and our societies have wholesale rejected Him, to live a life dedicated entirely to the work of prayer through a supernatural relationship of love with God seems insane. Those who don't believe in God must think these brothers and sisters who choose a life of contemplation and prayer are insane. Truly, it would be insanity if God did not exist. If prayer had no power to effect change it would be madness. But O, that the world would recognize the reality of God, that the world would know the power of prayer, and they would see that the life of contemplation and prayer is not insanity but rather a great gift. While visiting with the Poor Clares I discovered a quote from St. Francis that I had never heard before. . . "We must pray until we ourselves become prayer." How beautiful.

Please pray for our consecrated religious who's often hidden lives bring great strength and grace to all the members of the Church. Please pray for my friend, Donne, who is preparing to enter the Poor Clares this coming April.

After visiting the Poor Clares I stopped by for a quick visit at Westminster Abbey, a Benedictine Abbey I tend to visit a lot. Anyways, I stopped by and said hello to some of the priests I know. I found out that it's the 95th Birthday of their oldest monk, Fr. Crysostom. Apparently, although his health is ailing and he is getting weaker, he concelebrated Mass this morning. Wow. At 95. Just think of all the sacramental graces that have flowed through those hands!

Another blessing for me this weekend was reading The Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and I just started reading it yesterday. I plan on finishing it this afternoon. Wow! I think this may very well be one of my new favourite books. Do you ever pick up a book and start reading it and think "Gee... it's kind of eery how relevant this book is to my life." This is one of those books. It's as if I were to sit down with St. Francis and give him a list of the top things that I am struggling with, that concern me, and that I have been pondering, and he systematically wrote a book to answer to these things. This book is so good I can hardly put it down. I'm reading through it cover to cover right now but I know that I will be turning back to it again to ponder many of the different sections.

And to top off this grace filled weekend I'm going to a staff "Christmas" (ok, I know it's a little late) party tonight for the small Catholic College I attend (and work at organizing "Student Life" Activities. . .).

All that being said, I've been fighting a horrible cold for over a month and now am on some prescriptions to try and get rid of it so if you'd pray for me that my cold would go away I'd be most grateful!