Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not just for FOCUS!

In the past two weeks we have been learning how as FOCUS missionaries we will be living out the mission of the Church, which in essence is evangelization. Something I never knew until summer training was that in fact it has been the mission of the Church from the very beginning! She exists in order to evangelize, "so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:21). Isn't this great news?! If you'd like to read a short article published just this week about Pope Benedict XVI's opinion on the Church's role in evangelization click here! Notice how everything comes from a heart that loves. I've definitely been learning the importance of not just doing things to make me come across as a better person, but that truly every action needs to be a movement from the heart, out of love for another person, whether or not someone else is watching. This is what Christians need to work on above all else--cloaking ourselves in love and desiring the good of the other people in our lives!

If you would like to read a more beautifully stated version of the real reason why I will be a FOCUS missionary, please read the following statement from Blessed John Paul II's encyclical, Redemptoris Missio:

Our times are both momentous and fascinating. While on the one hand people seem to be pursuing material prosperity and to be sinking ever deeper into consumerism and materialism, on the other hand we are witnessing a desperate search for meaning, the need for an inner life, and a desire to learn new forms and methods of meditation and prayer. Not only in cultures with strong religious elements, but also in secularized societies, the spiritual dimension of life is being sought after as an antidote to dehumanization. This phenomenon-the so-called "religious revival"-is not without ambiguity, but it also represents an opportunity. The Church has an immense spiritual patrimony to offer humankind, a heritage in Christ, who called himself "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6): it is the Christian path to meeting God, to prayer, to asceticism, and to the search for life's meaning.
That sums up my call to FOCUS in a nutshell! It is no longer my job to sit by and watch people struggle and search when truly "our hearts are restless until they rest in you, oh Lord" (St. Augustine's Confessions). Like I said, watch out North Dakota, here I come! Please keep sending your prayers, I'm sending all of mine your ways as well!

With love,

p.s. Today they showed us this sweet video that summed up the Gospel in four minutes... pretty incredible.

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