Friday, August 21, 2009

Blasted Back To Reality

After a deeply spiritual Cursillo weekend and a wonderful vacation in Portland, Oregon with my husband, his grown sons and their families, I thought I was settling back into the daily grind pretty well.

Then this morning I read an article that has literally reduced me to tears. Here is an excerpt of the CNS article by Doreen Abi Raad:

Two Catholic bishops in Baghdad, Iraq, expressed shock and concern for their people following a series of targeted blasts that killed 95 people and wounded more than 500.

"With these acts of violence, we are losing everything," Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni told Catholic News Service by phone Aug. 20, the day after the attacks.

"When there's no peace, we can't study, we can't pray, we can't work; we can't even walk," he said.

(CLICK HERE to read the rest of this story.)

What can I do, a virtual nobody from Northeastern Ohio, with no pull, no real voice, no influence? Is it enough to simply be thankful for what I do have and just continue on as I always have?

Last night at our weekly Cursillo Mass before Ultreya, Fr. Ed gave a powerful homily about why we shouldn't just be satisfied to do what's required or expected. He held up in example St. Bernard, a doctor of the Church who defended faith as "not as an opinion but as a certitude", whose feast day we celebrated yesterday.

As I continue to reflect upon the tragic bombing in Iraq that took 95 lives and injured 500 more, Fr. Ed's words continue to echo in my mind: When we face the Lord in judgement, as the scripture tells us we will over and over, the Lord will ask us what have we done, and just doing what's required isn't going to be enough. It's about going the extra mile, doing things out of love.

Is it enough to simply be thankful for what I do have and just continue on?

The knot in my stomach tells me no, it's not enough.

How do I--how do WE go the extra mile?


Anonymous said...

Gina, once again, your honesty and "self education and examination" of our religion that we both hold so dear to our souls has been truly been inspired by The Holy Spirit, with an awesome mediator, FR. ED BRIENZ...... i too heard his homily at our cursillo mass last night. it gave me such joy and comfort so deep down in my heart and soul...because, you see, I am constantly questioning why I can only touch my "small corner" of this vastly messed up world... after all, all I do is make people feel good about themselves and our faith by my many "small" extras. I love to show people that they are worth the "extra", but simple, efforts and love that I offer to everyone I encounter... I have been feeling sorry for myself lately because I am not medically able to physically do more and in much larger areas of the world.... but FR> BRIENZ let my heart and soul know that my mere tiny, simple "extras" ARE INDEED doing just as much good to spread the love of our LORD to others as the big "mission travelers" do.... I may be small in area covered, but FR. BRIENZS' homily let me see clearly, for the very first time, that the pure innocent joy I feel from just doing, and being there for, all my "extras" people that I act lovingly toward in my own little parish and my own little diocese IS INDEED POWERFUL LAY MINISTRY FOR JESUS CHRIST !!!!! I never would have thought before last night that doing something so simple as "keeping keenly aware" of my communities needs during mass, like going out to get water and cough drops and sending them down the pew to the poor embarrased person trying desperatly not to make too much noise while mass is going on, is actually worthy of love...I just always do extra's for people because I enjoy, quite thoroughly, comming to the aid of others, or putting a huge smile on someone elses face for a few moments.. i just thought it was a keen sense of caring and love for others', but FR. actually showed me that my "simple" random acts of extra love and caring ARE INDEED HELPING MY NEIGHBORS TO SEE LOVE IN ACTION... I have been literally physically "ill" all night and all today because of the "uninformed ignorance about the purpose and meanings of our rich CATHOLIC faith,shown by one or two cursillo members after mass with their inability to realize the "SANCTITY" of our church, our priests, and our exposed LORD during adoration times. Without respect and reverence being in a person's soul, perhaps that person jumped the gun a little by making her cursillo weekend "prematurely", and should have waited until she FELT CHRISTLIKE IN HER HEART AND SOUL...... seriously, I am phisically ill from my distroutness about the disrespect of one crushing the spirits of many!!!! i can only pray to GOD to better educate the ignorant, and for our LORD to help repair the crushed heart of a beautiful and much loved priest... I pray that FR. figures out in his soul of souls that "giving his gift" to the many, far out weighs the disrespect of only one....... isn't there something great written about "where two or more are gathered"???... well FR. if you are reading this blog site, please feel in your heart what ALL of the cursillo community feels about your effectivness and abilities, you are one AWESOME CHILD OF GOD THAT WE ALL FEEL VERY BLESSED TO HAVE YOU AMONG US TO SHOW US AND TEACH OTHERS THE ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF KNOWLEGE AND LOVE AND HOLINESS THAT YOU POSESS INSIDE YOU ALWAYS..... thank you Gina for the perfect topic of the day, and thank you FR. for showing my heart that it is right where it belongs, doing what comes so naturally for me........GOD BLESS, Janet Lynn

Gina said...

Janet, the thing that really hit home with me yesterday when I read that article was the simple statement regarding a lack of peace preventing people from praying. What you say here about those agitators after mass yesterday---they disturbed the peace of the rest of us.

How can the rest of us pray? How can the rest of us think straight? What those people did after mass was really at heart no different than the car bombing. The motivation is the same (selfishness) and the effect is the same (destruction of Christian action due to lack of peace).

As for your gifts of love, Janet, as Father talked about giving from the heart--those small acts done with much love, and how he quoted Mother Teresa in this respect--I very clearly saw you. The way you cared for our home and our dogs while we were in Oregon was the ultimate example of this kind of love.

Thank you, Janet, for staying in our home, for bonding with our neighbors, for not just taking the dogs out, but spending time with them--our dogs have terrible separation anxiety--for not just giving Sonny his shots, but for making sure he ate, even to the point of hand-feeding him when he wouldn't eat at first. I think you took better care of our babies than we do. We knew after our first phone conversation that we could relax. What a difference from our last dog sitter, who just came in, dealt the shots, checked the food and left.

We returned to the same peaceful home with peaceful pit bulls, just like we left it, and with a hot meal and some fresh soup in the fridge to welcome us home on top of it.

I think that's what Fr. Ed's homily really hit home for me...the difference between doing something that's expected of you, and doing things out of real love, and I'm as guilty as the next person of not living up to this challenge.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...