“I will NEVER break my covenant with you.” Judges 2:1
by: Michael Mullin
Over the previous 3 weeks, we have published articles about “Our Covenant at St. John XXIII”, and highlighted some actions that members might consider to strengthen their participation in our very active parish community. Worshiping and sharing within that community certainly offer numerous opportunities for each of us to find the ways through which we could become stronger followers of Christ, more helpful members of His flock, more fulfilled in our spirituality. Christ came to bring peace, love, and forgiveness. Each of us must constantly ask what we are doing to live in accordance with His merciful offerings. Are we fully expressing our gratitude, are we truly motivated to increase the strength of our role in His divine plan, or are we really just satisfied to meet the stipulated minimum requirements for attendance and participation?DOWNLOAD THE BULLETIN
The 4th pillar of our parish covenant is titled “CONNECT” and it provides a productive base to help us study those questions. The word certainly has many meanings and interpretations, but it can very clearly be used to express the situation in which a person commits to pay more attention, spend more time, and develop a stronger effort at what they feel could produce greater success in a worthwhile activity. For example, I am sure that many of us want to feel a stronger connection to Our Lord as we recite our various prayers of WORSHIP, yet we also recognize how difficult it is to pay continuous attention to each and every word. Likewise, in our attempts to GROW in our knowledge of the scriptures so that we may feel the benefits of those historical truths in our daily lives, do we fail to fully consider the setting, the time, the relationships of the participants. The key question in those two examples is: Are we willing to just accept those flaws and allow those distractions or weaknesses to be a part of our normal process? Or, are we motivated to seek a more complete participation, to forge an even stronger connection as we adore, give thanks and study the marvelous history of our Church? If improvement is the goal, and we start the process with increased prayer and study, we will undoubtedly find references to the traditional Benedictine practice “LECTIO DIVINA”. Intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of His word, it suggests reading, meditation, prayerful response, and contemplation, as the four stages to strengthen our desire for a more perfect union. We could begin our efforts with a prayer: Dear God, give me the Faith to overcome my complacency and fear, assist me to fully live out your word, lead me to a more perfect union now, and forever, with You. Amen.