Thursday, June 7, 2012

Witnesses

When the Lord ascended into Heaven and gave the Church the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we officially began a new chapter in the story of Salvation History. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, is entrusted with the mission to bring the Gospel of Christ to all people and the Holy Father has made it a special intention in our day to renew that Evangelization in cultures that have begun to lose, or have almost entirely lost, that flame of faith. Our culture is increasingly secular and thus in need of that revitalization of life in Christ, but that means that men and women must be sent to begin the process, for as the Apostle Paul reminds us, "How are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?" (Romans 10:14-15). Indeed, our culture needs men and women to preach the Gospel not only in word, but also in deed. While every Christian has the obligation to evangelize in their own capacity, priests and consecrated religious have a special place in this undertaking. Living lives marked by poverty, celibacy, obedience and self-sacrifice, the religious man or woman are sent out as a visible sign to the world that this life is but a stepping stone to the eternity that awaits each of us and, we pray, provide a holy witness after which others can conform their lives. 

With all of that in mind, I would like to point out the addition of a new community to the "Support the Renewal of Religious Life in our Country" column: The Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara. They may sound familiar, as this is the religious community that one of the youth from our parish will be joining on June 12th. You may also recall the 'Helping Girls Become Nuns' post a few months back asking for help in alleviating the debt of two young ladies seeking to enter that same community. Keeping up with them, I have found that they both attained the money needed to pay off debt and begin their life as brides of Christ, praised be Jesus Christ! Thank you to those who assisted them in this. The two of them, alongside the young lady from here and another good friend of mine from the area, will be joining a dozen or so others at the novitiate house in Maryland to begin this new stage in their lives. So I ask that each of you stop right now and offer up a prayer for them. ..... Thank you. If the Lord puts it on your heart you may also make a financial donation to their community (HERE or in the list to the left) to help them as they continue to draw closer to the Lord and prepare for the mission for which they are to be sent out and for which they are so greatly needed.