Posts Tagged With: foreign

FORGIVE ME LORD…………..

Sunday 3/28/10 – 5:00pm @ CC’s Coffee on Johnston St.

I’ve been meaning to write in my journal for the past five days, but God kept presenting me with opportunities so I kept delaying it. I wanted to write about confession. I’ll spare you the details, but Tuesday I was in need of the sacrament of Confession. I couldn’t make it to noon confession @ Wisdom, so I tried going to Fatima after work, but the priest couldn’t make it. I know priests are busy, and he probably had a good reason, but this really frustrated me. It’s happened several times before. If it’s that much of a problem to be there, then don’t advertise that you will have confession at certain times on certain days. Anyhoo, so I pass by Wisdom on the way to Ms. Laura’s to see if I could catch Fr. Chester for a minute, but he was out on the road going to an appt. My chances for going to Confession were not looking too good. After our Coreteam meeting, I go back to Wisdom, catch the end of the Tuesday night Mass. I talk to one of the staff members to see if there was any chance I could pull Fr. Chester aside real quick to hear my confession. Instead of some nice, charitable, generic, non-commital answer that would encourage me to make the decision myself, she came at me with a stiff-necked response of “there are scheduled times when the priest is available.” No Duh!!!!! You think I don’t know that? Again, I didn’t expect her to ask the priest for me, but at least have some kind of decency and compassion in the way you respond to me. For God’s sake, I’m trying to restore a connection of grace between my soul and God.

You better darn well make that more of a priority of yours if you work for the Church. At this point, the disappointment was really starting to set in. Then I get the idea to go to the Community of Jesus Crucified to see if Fr. Frey or Fr. Champagne were there. Surely, they, of all people, would be available. Well, as my luck would have it, neither one was there. They were out and about on other priestly duties. At this point, I had just about resigned (consigned?) myself to not receiving the Sacrament. So I’m headed back home on Pinhook Road and I pass by St. Patrick’s. I see a car at the rectory, so I pull in to see if the lights are on. Sure enough, they are. For a split second, I ponder whether or not to disturb the priest. I decided that a slight inconvenience on his part is worth it, if on my part, my soul is restored to God. So, I knock on his door, and after I explain my situation, he mutters something about the situation being ridiculous (not joking, wish I could say I was) and then talks about how he just heard confessions for 2 and a half hours at a penance service, which was “scheduled to give people the opportunity to receive the Sacrament.” Well you know what, I couldn’t make it. Furthermore, ministry doesn’t always happen neatly on our own schedule. Sometimes *GASP!* you have to answer a knock on the door at night, after you’ve already returned home and become all comfy and relaxed. To the priest’s credit though, he allowed me into his house, heard my confession, and absolved me of my sins. As I finally achieved my goal of restoring my soul to God, I reflected on how I got to that point.

I deliberately chose to separate my soul from God by my selfish action. But I knew right away that I wanted to restore my soul as soon as I could into God’s grace and life. As I was making my attempts to go to confession and failing, I wondered if I was being impatient, and maybe if I should just wait until the next day. However, I realized that I can’t stand it when I’m separated from God. I also realized that we are never guaranteed our next breath, and that I might not live to see another day. That being said, I didn’t want my last day on earth to be one that was marked by giving up on trying to reconcile my soul to God. That’s why I drove all over town and went through all that trouble. And you know what? It was worth it. There’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING like experiencing the burden of sin being lifted from your soul through the sacrament of Confession. I felt like that whole series of events mirrored 2 separate bible passages. One was about the woman who kept after the judge to grant ruling on a decision she was seeking. She kept after him to do it. Finally, even if not because he desired to do it, he granted her a ruling because of her persistence. The other bible passage is Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” In other news, I feel like God continues to bless me as I journey towards my vocation as a foreign Catholic lay missionary. Right now I’m trying to live my life by learning to love where God has me at the moment. He is using this time leading up to my missionary training to teach me about patience and obedience.

I believe he’s also teaching me docility to the promptings of the Spirit. There have been so many opportunities in the small, normal, everyday circumstances for me to be a missionary. Sometimes, I’ve responded well, sometimes I haven’t. It feels like I’m doing an ok job in giving of my time and money. I’m not doing a good job of praying with others or having personal prayer time for myself. Being a missionary at work is really hard too. How the heck do I be Christ-like in a place I don’t want to be, and neither do I feel called to be there. However, even if it’s not my permanent calling, it’s where i’m called to be right now. And that means I need to be a missionary there. I know that’s what God wants, and if Jesus can do what he did, then surely I can receive graces his sacrifice to do the difficult things in life that I must do. I praise and I thank God for working slowly but surely in my life and helping me to grow and become a better person. I thank God for the many small victories and countless blessings in my life. I pray for the grace to be able to give my life to God and live on his terms and not mine. I pray for the grace to be able to TRUST him. Gosh, I know this sounds random, but I really do miss the people that were on the trip to Mexico earlier this month. Lord, help me to let friendships and relationships develop under your guidance, according to your plan, and on your timeframe. Thank you Lord for the many blessings of my life that have helped me to grow closer to you. Help me to bring others closer to you. Amen! Glory!

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – THE VIRGIN MARY INTERCEDED FOR ME AND MY DAD

12-11-09 (final part)

Since it was a holy day of obligation, I knew I’d go to Mass. But I try not to let the “obligation” aspect be my only motivation to go. When I asked my dad if he was going to Mass, he said probably not, and of course I was disappointed. But, I decided I would hold him responsible as he did to me when I was younger. I copied some notes from a Lifeteen book and Catechism and left it on his chair at work right before I left to go to Mass. When I got to church, I said to Mary “Mom, I love my father, please pray for him”. 5 minutes later, guess who walked into church and sat right next to me?

It gave me so much joy b/c I knew my prayer had been answered. Getting to share Mass w/my dad was nice too b/c we hadn’t done so in quite awhile. The other blessing was the penance service at St. Ed’s last night. I went to confession w/Fr. Glen Meaux, a missionary priest. Besides giving me some good advice in the confessional, we got to talk missions a little bit. I ended up getting his card and sending him an email later in the evening. Had some questions about missions. Anyhoo, I better finish up soon with this entry. I’m expecting a friend to meet me here soon. God, I also pray that you give me the grace I need to dive deeper into personal prayer and daily Scripture reading. Lord, as I prepare to enter foreign missions, help me to be open to the graces I need to develop the gifts you want to bless me with. Amen! Alleluia! Glory!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – CURIOUS YET UNINFORMED

12-11-09 (continued)

But if feels especially bad when it’s my parents. They love me so much and have done so much for me. They’re the only parents I have (as the priest reminded me in confession) so I need to love them and appreciate them as much as I can. Mission Formation this week was my respite (rest?). God to visit with my buddy Simon Peter, saw Sarah-Kate and Momma Genie, etc……. Even got to have a good talk with Eric Bacquet about mission life. I got some more of the typical grilling and interrogation about missions, but this time (this week) it was from my co-workers. Not bad that they did, but it just shows they’re curious yet uninformed.

I tried to explain as best as I could that I was at peace with my impending decision to enter foreign missions. However, it may be that it’s a reality that’s too deep for words sometimes, cuz w/my coworkers it doesn’t seem to matter what I say…. At least they care. I even got a call from my dad telling me about something he saw on NBC about some recent problems in Mexico. The nice thing was that I could tell it wasn’t a cynical attempt at warning me about the dangers of missions. It was an “I’m at peace and know you will make your own decision but I love you and wanted you to know about this” moment. Seems like God is already starting to prepare the hearts of my parents. Praise You Lord! So here I am, staring yet again at the first day of the rest of my life. Intake 2010 is one day closer, I’m cool with that. Lord God, help me to offer up my life to you, and follow where you lead. Help me to be loving and charitable, and to never turn a blind eye to those in need. Oh wait! 2 more things to mention……………….

.
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – REVEAL THE UGLY

12-2-09 (final installment)

The fact that I found the grace, in the midst of foreign missions, to be carefree, patient, and trust in God, was a sign to me that “Hey, maybe this is where God wants me so my faith can flourish”. I left the trip with a firm desire to continue to develop patience along with my missionary zeal. As far as zeal goes, I think we’re good to go. Patience, on the other hand, is another story. I realize that lasting growth is slow and steady, but it just plain sucks that I failed so miserably today. In one discussion at work today with a coworker that started to get heated, not only was I wrong, but to add the proverbial salt to my wound, he acted how I should have, keeping his cool and patience.

In another heated discussion with another co-worker, I was correct in what I was saying, but the way in which I said it negated any good that could have come from the point I was trying to make. And in retrospect, I wasn’t even completely correct, cuz in making my point, I realized I had adopted the very selfish and self-righteous attitude I was railing against. The good thing about all of this is that I knowit’s God’s grace that is allowing me to see these “ugly” areas that I need to work on. If I couldn’t see them and be exposed to the unpleasant truth of how far I have to go, then my bliss would be the absolute epitome of ignorance. At least I’ve got Mission Formation to look forward to tonight! 🙂 It’s the commissioning Mass for this year’s Intake, and will probably be one of the last few times I see any of them for quite awhile. Till next time……..God Bless!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL- CAN’T GIVE WHAT I DON’T HAVE

12-2-09 (continued)

As the saying goes, “I can’t give what I don’t have”. The same goes for spreading the gospel. How can I do something that I don’t know how to really do? I’ve got to allow myself to be formed by God in the environment that he chooses. I think for both marriage and being a Catholic “evangelist”, foreign missions is where I can learn what I need to. Call it a coincidence, call it random-ness, call it whatever you want, but it was on the Mexico mission that a passion for missions was reawakened. I also realized a couple things. First thing is (as already stated), that I need to be in love with the Lord. Head-knowledge and going through the motions don’t mean much at all, especially if I don’t have an intimate, loving relationship with my Lord and Savior. Second thing is that I think foreign missions is where I’ll learn how to evangelize and be a missionary.

Whether it’s developing missionary zeal, learning how to speak with people about Jesus, or learning what the Catholic Church teaches about missions, I think the foreign mission field is where God wants me to learn all of this. Will God ever call me out of foreign missions? I don’t know. Why did he even call me into foreign missions in the first place? I don’t know that either. All I know is that following God’s call, even if I don’t know the “why”, is the only thing that will bring me true happiness. Another thing God has been showing me is that I need to work on my patience. During our voyage to and from Mexico as well as while we were there, I encountered situations that tested my patience, and by the grace of God, I fared quite well.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY LIFE

Tuesday 12-1-09 / 6:15AM @ CC’s Coffee on Johnston St.

Yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, we can say that about EVERY day but do we really mean it? Do we REALLY feel that way? I know I do. It was a bit difficult for me going back to work yesterday. What I realize is that I’m blessed to have a job and it’s where God has me right now. It’s the environment where I need to work on becoming a holier person. However it’s not where I feel called, so it’s hard to sit still and be patient (literally and figuratively). Seems like God is saying to me “THIS is where you begin to develop your missionary spirit and zeal. Until you enter foreign missions, THIS is your mission territory.” In reflecting back on this mission trip, I truly feel like I am changed and different. I feel a bit like Saul in the book of Acts, living my life more or less on my own terms. Then this mission trip comes along and knocks me to the ground.

This trip really opened my eyes to how dear the poor are to God, and how much God wants us to bring his Word to everyone. This mission trip was also my Ananias, because I was blind and I now feel like the scales have fallen from my eyes. I hope that people can see a difference in me like they saw with Saul….. The other thing to mention is my prayer. I still pray for specific people and situations, but I feel less of a need to have a rapid-fire list that I mentally go through everytime I pray. This trip has helped me to realize that I need to pray to be able to trust God, to really trust him. I also feel led to make the other part of my daily prayer that I could just let go and fall in love with the Lord. Cuz if I truly feel called to missions, and if I truly feel like God is calling me to marriage, then the only way to be true to those callings is to have a heart after God’s heart, and for people to be able to see by the way I live my life, that I am truly, fully, and joyfully in love with the Lord. God Bless!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – NOV 09 MEXICO TRIP – DEAD BATTERY

11-29-09 (last installment)

I also feel like God blessed me with the Joy of the Lord. It’s like I’ve been embedded with this true and unshakeable joy and it’s such a blessing. I felt this joy the whole time I was on the mission trip and felt like I was at peace and at home. When we got back to Big Woods this morning, my car battery was dead, so I felt like that was God calling me to spend the night at Big Woods. I was in no rush to get home, and any chance to extend the trip further and be around FMC more was fine by me. 🙂

I slept till 11 and then I woke up to go find Joe Summers to help me jump my car battery. As I was walking to the main FMC house from the home where I slept, the weather was absolutely beautiful. And as I made my way over, this happy little thought popped into my head “Ahhh. This is the life! I could definitely see myself doing this”. I can’t lie, that thought brought a smile to my face. 🙂

So now as the day draws to a close, I face another week of going back to work. While I’m blessed to have a job, it’s so hard to go back to it when all I wanna do is go on missions. But I know that if God is calling me to missions with FMC (which I think he is), he’ll use this time to start preparing me and my loved ones. Part of that plan is my desire to be around FMC as much as possible and do as much as I can. Praise you Lord Jesus and thank you for blessing me so much this week. I pray that you would continue to help me grow and to nourish these needs of faith that you have planted in me this week. Amen, Alleluia, Glory!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – NOV 09 MEXICO TRIP – PULLED OVER BY THE POLICIA

11-29-09 (continued)

When I look back at all the mission trips I’ve already been on, and how the Lord got me involved with FMC over the past few months, it amazes me. When I think about how much I was blessed on this mission trip, how much I felt at home, and how much joy I feel, it all makes perfect sense. I think it is God trying to open me up to missions. As I said earlier during the week, “God, I give you my Yes, I pray that you help me take care of the rest.” I could go on and on and fill up at least a few more pages in my journal, but I’ll stop here. 🙂

After we finished up our prayer and sharing time, we loaded up and left. Our drive back was another one of my favorite parts of the trip. We saw some amazing desert and mountain scenery and just marvelled at the beauty of God’s creation. We actually got stopped by the Mexican police in the town of Monclova, but luckily all they did was check our documents and allow us on our way. I’ve heard some interesting stories about missionaries having run-ins with Mexican police as well as border patrol on both sides. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit guided us through it without incident.

Of course it was quite a long drive, especially with all the bathroom breaks and other stops. We left at approximately 10am Saturday morning and didn’t get back to Big Woods until 6am this morning. But again, the car ride is half the fun. I really enjoyed the car ride back because of the missionaries I got to ride with; Johnathan Weiss, Bree (intake 09), and Kristin Istre. We talked, we sang, we laughed, we played games, and really enjoyed ourselves. I especially enjoyed having a captive audience of full-time missionaries whose brains I could pick at to learn more about missions.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – NOV 09 MEXICO TRIP – DESIRE TO BE A MISSIONARY

11-29-09 (continued)

I feel so blessed by their presence and prayers at all of the rancho visits and when they come to our medical clinic. I also had the blessing of being on the construction work team and helping a local friend of the Casa de Misiones to do some work on his house. I could see Christ in every one of their faces and fell his presence. It moved my heart so much and these people fascinated me so much that I just wanted to sit and watch them. And I know we went there to heal them and bring the Good News of Jesus, but I feel like their prayers and presence healed me way more than what little I was able to do for them.

The other thing that was a huge blessing for me was fellowship with the other missionaries. I had been frequenting FMC quite a bit this semester and get to know everyone who was @ Intake this year. Getting to fellowship and visit, and do ministry side-by-side with them was such a blessing and helped me to grow alot. I also enjoyed the fellowship with some of full-time missionaries that came on the trip with us. I am so in awe of their holiness and dedication and i deeply desire to do what they do………..

As far as what I would leave in Mexico, it was my fear/distrust that God would not take care of everything in my life & provide for me if I discerned a call to be a full-time lay Catholic missionary. God really rocked my world when he proved to me how he could provide the means for me to be able to go on this mission trip. It has inspired so much confidence in me to be able to trust in the Lord and more freely discern a calling to missions. And as if I hadn’t already given it away, what I take with me is a STRONG desire to be a full-time missionary.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – NOV 09 MEXICO TRIP – BACK HOME

Sunday 11-30-09 / 5:05pm @ Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Praise God for a fruitful mission trip and safe passage back home. After Desert Day on Friday, we came back to the mission house and basically wrapped up and started packing up. We had a time of prayer and sharing which I enjoyed very much. Just hearing how much God spoke to everyone during our time of prayer out in the desert was such a blessing. The rest of the evening was spent eating supper, packing up, and enjoying the fellowship of the other missionaries. As I wrapped up the night, I went into the chapel and Jesus blessed me so much with his presence. I felt so at peace and comfortable in that stillness of prayer in the presence of the Eucharist.

A nice little side-bonus was hearing all the girls giggling and laughing in their room. At the time, I wasn’t really sure why exactly they were so loud and happy. But it brought me joy to hear them being so happy. Saturday was wake up, pack the vehicles, eat breakfast, and prayer/sharing before we left. The time of prayer/sharing was very fruitful. It seemed like b/c we had a small group, we were able to bond more and have a more prayerful atmosphere during the mission. Everybody got to praise God through singing as well as prayers of petition and thanksgiving. In our sharing time, we had to say 1) What blessed us most during the mission, 2)What we were going to leave behind, and 3) What we were going to take with us. Without a doubt, it is the people we ministered to that blessed me the most. I can now see why Mother Theresa was in love with the poor; it’s b/c they are near and dear to God’s heart. (to be continued)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.