RT @asmcentee: "if we reduce the New Evangelization to a program, it's not going to work" AMEN. #disciplescalledtowitness #NCCL2013
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Posted on May 23rd 2013, 13:06
#LumenGentium is a treaty on the #HolySpirit. You can't understand the Church until you understand the Spirit. #NCCL2013
Posted on May 23rd 2013, 13:02
Random Chaos Interspersed with Amazing ‘DiscussionFebruary 15th, 2013
This weekend, many who are catechumens and candidates in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults will experience the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion, respectively. Our prayers are with them, their sponsors, their families and their faith communities as they continue to prepare to be received into the Church at Easter.
Have you been RCIA’d? Definitely is one form of random chaos for which I can be grateful!
Rather to my astonishment I currently find myself director of our regional RCIA program. As an understatement, my involvement has given me a new understanding of “Church.” We have a year-round agenda, so people come and go, and are in different stages at different times. Sometimes, I will admit, it gets rather…. complicated to know who is coming and where others have “gone.” Still, I and a few stalwart catechists show up every Thursday night and welcome whoever is there.
This year the “random chaos” has spiked. In the mix are lots of smaller participants…which is great, but which makes matters yet more complex. Now we aren’t dealing with just one adult, but a child and his/her parents and possibly siblings and godparents and/or sponsors and maybe even grandparents and…like I said, complicated. TRUST – God is working in the mess!
Another example – last week Father Tim came by to talk about the Sacrament of Anointing, even though he was dealing with a head cold. Bob the dog, accompanying a chronically depressed candidate, received his customary compliments. (Hooray! We strongly suspect Bob is no longer agnostic!) Another candidate walked in with her one-year-old daughter, as daddy was working late. A darling little thing who happens to have just learned to RUN! EVERYWHERE! She was immediately fascinated with the artificial flowers in the windows and enjoyed careening with them repeatedly across the room. And don’t forget our perpetually behind schedule grandma with her son and three grandsons. I’ve learned to have extra, as brownies don’t last long when these guys are around!
Between interruptions for more pretzels and brownies, the intermittently wandering dog and the baby insistent on exiting the room (with flowers), we managed to meander our way through the evening. We actually even had some pretty wonderful discussion on the role of the healing ministries of the Church.
That evening I was once again struck by the beauty of this Church I love, of which our RCIA group is such a microcosm. This Church has room for struggling women raising their grandchildren, the emotionally disabled trying to cope, young women learning how to mother, babies who need the care of all of us, eighth-graders desperately seeking God, and RCIA directors trying to bring it all together. And yes, even dogs named Bob, who are also unmistakably signs of God’s love.
This Church is less about the need to have doctrinal statements down cold (not that knowing our doctrine – particularly in this Year of Faith – isn’t important!) and far more about understanding the need for compassion, hospitality and the flexibility necessary in dealing with the realities of contemporary life. This Church comprehends the magnificence of “Here comes Everybody!,” and thanks God for everybody too, who continuously recreate the Body of Christ.
I can handle being RCIA’D in that Church. Can you?
Photo Credit: Rite of Election 2010, Catholic Telegraph