Called to Care for Creation

Both Saint Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis remind us that it is a Gospel imperative that we be good stewards of the earth. What better way to remind us of their teaching than to observe Earth Day 2017 and be good stewards of this precious planet year-round. Earth Day will be observed worldwide on April 22. The first Earth Day was held in 1970, activating 20 million Americans and helping to pass legislation including the Clean Air Act.

Today, Earth Day is a global event and possibly the largest civic observance in the world. For the Catholic steward, this day is an affirmation of Pope Francis’ call to the world to embrace the ethical dimensions of climate change and our response to it in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si. During the 47 years since the first Earth Day, the world has become more conscious of environmental degradation and humans’ role in it. It can feel overwhelming, and we ask, what can one person do?

Pope Francis acknowledges technological fixes, global guidelines, international protocols. He praises solar energy and calls for a decrease in the use of non-renewables. But the pontiff calls for something more radical, more spiritual, and for the Christian steward more deeply challenging: “profound interior conversion.” Climate change, environmental destruction and a change in weather patterns, he reminds us, exert their greatest damage on the world’s poor. The poor are a major theme of Laudato Si, as they are of Francis’ papacy. He challenges us to examine the profit motive that often engulfs respect for nature. He challenges us to consider how the powerful and the rich of this earth are affecting the powerless. Pope Francis reminds us that care of creation is rooted in the Book of Genesis.

He begins his encyclical, the first ever dedicated solely to the environment, with a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, and quotes frequently from his predecessors. This, he is telling us, is a spiritual and Catholic issue. In honor of Earth Day, consider what changes – perhaps some radical – you might make. “Live simply so that others may simply live,” has long been a mantra of the Christian steward. Begin by turning down the thermostat and promising to eschew one-use plastics. Take a reusuable bag to the grocery and a reusable container to the coffee shop. Cut down on frivolous buying. Consider what the “throwaway culture” of which Francis speaks means in your own life. Prayerfully consider your personal relationship to the poor. Make your environmental concerns known to your legislative representatives. “Teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe,” Pope Francis prays to a generous God, “for all things speak of you.”

 

 

Make Holy Week a Holy Time

Do you ever think about how you experience the cross of Jesus Christ? Do you ever think about the power of that cross in your daily life? Is the cross even relevant to your life? It is to stewards of the Lord, who recognize the hope Christ brings through the gift of his cross. They acknowledge that for them, the cross is their only hope. Being good stewards of our life in Christ is not easy, but to embrace the cross is not only countercultural, it seems absurd. Then again, we cannot avoid what Jesus said to his disciples: “If you wish to come after me you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow me. For if you wish to save your life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake you will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). The cross is more readily embraced by people of faith who suffer, are poor, broken, or are the victims of such things as violence, oppression or natural disasters. They see the cross as the hope that no matter what has happened to them, God will see them through.   The Father did it for Jesus who hung on the cross, so surely their sufferings will be redeemed by Jesus’ sufferings. Where people possess much material abundance, comfort and leisure, however, there is a tendency to de-emphasize the cross, to draw away from it.

They can’t touch it or feel it so they wish to “save” their lives by looking to other things: power, wealth, fame, relevance, being the center of attention. What is preached about the cross from the pulpit sounds good, but in reality something more tangible is desired. Christ emptied himself completely in humble obedience, allowing himself to suffer and die out of compassion for the world (Philippians 2:6-11). Good stewards follow his example and work day-to-day to empty themselves and live compassionately; most noticeably by sharing their lives with others. As we approach the climax of our liturgical year, the Easter triduum, let us ask the Holy Spirit for an even deeper awareness of the cross in our lives. Let us find hope in the cross and pray that as we embrace it, we too will experience in a special way the joy of new life in the risen Lord.

Twenty-eight years ago, I was feeling a lot of angst and discontent with my personal burdens.  As Holy Week approached, I took some time to reflect and when I put it all in perspective, I was moved to write this poem:

You were born for me so long ago,

Long before my life began.

And now You’re giving up Your life;

You really ARE the Son of Man.

 

I carry my burdens like a cross;

I wonder what I’ll do.

But MY crosses are not as heavy

As the cross I’ve nailed You to.

 

The image of You on the cross

Haunts me night and day.

I look at what You’ve done for me,

Then I drop to my knees and pray:

 

“Jesus, You gave your life for me,

You died that day to set me free.

Free from sin to rise with You—

That’s what You wanted me to do.”

 

So why do I refuse to change?

I love You so—it all seems strange.

For every time I sin again,

I get a nail and drive it in.

 

…For every time I sin again

I get a nail and drive it in.

 

So why do I refuse to change?

I wish I knew.

It’s all so strange.

 

I love You, Lord.

Please…    Help me change.

 

 

CHOICES:  A or B?

Did you know that one night during the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, Annie Oakley could have stopped WWI from happening?

“What?”  Yes, it’s true.  Annie asked for a volunteer from the audience who would be happy to hold a cigar in their mouth from which she would shoot the ashes.  Usually her request was just met with laughter and her husband would begrudgingly be put in the firing line. But that night was different.

From the Royal box, a young Friedrich Wilhelm II (the Crown Prince of Germany) volunteered.   After some unexpected banter, she pulled the trigger. What happened next set the stage for the rest of modern human history.  If the bullet had landed squarely in Wilhelm’s temple, killing him instantly, there would not have been a World War I.   (He wouldn’t have been in power to react to the assignation of Archduke Ferdinand.)

As a result, there would not have been a  World War II. (There would have been no Treaty of Versailles and no sentiment by which Hitler could have been voted into power.)

Every choice and circumstance sets a different set of results into play.  Many movies have been written about “what if”.  That was part of the premise of the popular Back to the Future movies.

I’ve know of a person who met his wife as she was leaving the Student Union.  He had forgotten something, turned to go back to his car, and changed his mind.  Had he gone back, he would have missed the moment.  He wouldn’t have met her, gotten married, had the children they shared.  It goes on and on.

What about the time you are ready to leave the office and stop to answer the last call of the day?  It puts you 10 minutes behind schedule.  When you get on the road, the traffic is backed up from a serious accident.  If you had left at your regular time, you would probably been part of the accident scene.

These situations are serendipity at its best.  But what about when we are confronted with making a conscious choice in our lives?  What happens when you choose A instead of B?  What happens when you choose to not act at all?  An old rock band, Rush, sang: When you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

The choices you make along your Faith Journey are just as important, if not more so.

We all know that we are expected to attend Mass every weekend.  And each weekend, many people make the conscious choice to sleep late, go to the soccer game, watch the football game.

Do you choose to not further your faith experience?   Our parish offers many opportunities for Adult Faith Formation.  These include Tuesday Scripture Study (1 & 7 p.m.) and Thursday Adult Ed (currently studying the writings of St. Augustine at 1 & 7 p.m.).  And during Lent, we have Food for the Body and Soul on Sunday night at 6 p.m.

Do you choose to follow the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?    Our parish has outreach opportunities to visit the sick, feed the hungry, pray for those in need.  If the parish doesn’t have the ministry you are looking for, you can pursue any of the Works of Mercy on your own or as a family.

EVERY CHOICE YOU MAKE IS IMPORTANT.  Ask God for help; pray before your make them.  Ask for help from people you trust.  Make good choices.

 

Stewardship of Treasure

It has been four years since our parish community began to embrace Stewardship as a Way of Life.

During that time, we formed a Greeter Ministry and have become more welcoming and inviting to our existing community, new parishioners, and visitors.

We came to embrace the idea of being a Shared Parish and have come to know and appreciate the members of our parish who worship and minister in another language.

We began to see even more beyond ourselves and became more involved in ministry and outreach.

We formed a Stewardship Team whose mission is to help each other on their Faith Journey.

Our team has facilitated the distribution of devotionals and books, including three popular Matthew Kelly books.

They also created the annual Covenant with God, a popular tool to assess your level of personal spiritual growth.

Our parish has grown.   In the last 14 months, I personally met with 69 new families who had chosen to become an official part of our parish by completing the registration process.   They saw something good in our parish community and wanted to become a part of it.

Recently, all registered parishioners received a mailing that addressed Stewardship of Treasure.  I respectfully ask that you take some time to read the publication carefully and prayerfully discern God’s intention for you.

Enclosed with the brochure was a pledge card for the diocesan Annual Catholic Appeal.  This appeal supports the programs and services offered by the Diocese to the Catholics in San Diego & Imperial Counties.  Our 2017 assessment is $30,000.  Our parish is responsible for that amount, whether or not it comes from the parishioners.   Please consider helping our parish reach this goal.

If you remember the video we showed at Mass last September on Covenant Sunday, we mentioned that we wanted to improve communications.  We are ready to do just that!  We are starting a database of parishioners who want to be in touch via email to view reminders of events, notification of funerals, and special services.   Please complete the “Let’s Communicate” card so we can include you as well!

[If you wish to view the video again, it can be found on our web site.]

And lastly, I ask you to discern your financial commitment to the parish.   Your generosity is our only funding.  We rely on you for our operations and our special projects that allow us to maintain our historic church and campus and provide outreach and other special services.

Stewardship is a trinity.

As Grateful Disciples,

our response is to give of our Time,

our Talents & our Treasure.

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Love—The Annual Catholic Appeal

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,  Our recent diocesan synod on marriage and family life, which brought together priests and lay representatives from every parish in San Diego and Imperial Counties, pointed once again to the vibrancy and depth of the Catholic community in the diocese of San Diego.  In tandem with our diocesan task forces on young adults, priestly vocation and Catholic schools, the Synod provided a set of new initiatives for our diocese designed to deepen the life of the Gospel in our midst and make Christ more present to family life, our children growing in faith, millennials and the elderly.

None of these initiatives could take form without the assistance of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA).  Through your generous support, the diocese is able to carry out its work of training new priests, preparing couples for marriage, ministering to the poor, the marginalized and the imprisoned, training parish leaders to bring faith to children in our parish schools and religious formation programs, forming permanent deacons, and caring for the retired priests who have given the whole of their lives in service to the Church.

I invite you to prayerfully consider making a sacrificial gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal this year.  It constitutes a tangible pathway to answer the call for discipleship in the Church today by supporting the life of the diocese which in turn supports in so many critical ways both the life of the parishes and the work of the universal Church.   –  Most Reverend Robert McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND TUITION ASSISTANCE:  With support from the Annual Catholic Appeal, we strive to make Catholic Education both affordable and accessible to every child and family who desires it, regardless of their background, neighborhood, family income or culture.  Tuition Assistance is provided to families who would otherwise not be able to afford sending their children to a Catholic School.

FORMATION IN THE FAITH:  The ACA provides funding for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministries, the Diocesan Institute and Youth Ministries.  These diocesan ministries coordinate training for Directors of Catechetical ministries, Youth Ministry Coordinators, catechists and religious education teachers as well as theological formation for adults.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES:  Following the example of Jesus who “came not to be served but to serve”, Catholic Charities is supported by the ACA in its effort to promote the dignity of the human person and its commitment to the Judeo-Christian version of justice and charity.  The agency assists almost 300,000 people each year through its expansive network of programs and services.

PRISON MINISTRY:  Chaplaincies at 27 different facilities impact the lives of over 25,000 inmates.  These include eight sheriff’s jails, five juvenile detention centers, three state prisons and four federal detention facilities.  Ministry supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal responds to the hunger that many of these inmates have to deepen their relationship with God.

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY:  Young Adult Ministry reaches out and invites this age group to responsible participation in the full life and mission of the Church.  Faith-filled peer ministries and various social, service and spiritual opportunities strive to connect young adults to Christ and His Church.

RETIRED PRIESTS:  Fifty five retired priests of this diocese receive financial support so they can live in dignity, free of anxiety about their means of subsistence.  This support includes providing heath and auto insurance, and nursing care when required as well as supplementing their retirement and pension income when necessary.  Retired priest are also invited to the annual convocation of priests at no charge.

SEMINARIAN SUPPORT:  Our Diocese supports over 16 seminarians who are discerning a call to the priestly life and service in the Church.  Tuition and living expenses average around $45,000 per seminarian.  Three new priests were ordained for our diocese this past year.

 

JUMPSTART YOUR LENTEN JOURNEY

 

“Back in the day”, a young person was supposed to “have their act together” by the time they were in their early twenties.  Some even made career decisions when leaving high school and entering a particular college.  Not everything worked out exactly as planned, but many did.  And most were at least thinking seriously about their future.

Fast forward…  My two children are 31 and 32.  My sister’s daughter is 34.  It was very recently that we looked at each other and said “our kids have finally grown up”.

In the last two years, both of my children have married the love of their lives.  My son made a bold career move and joined the Navy at the age of 30.  My daughter and son-in-law are starting a family.  (You can start calling me “Nana” at the end of June!)

So, what does this have to do with you?    It’s okay to be a late bloomer.  Statistics show that the majority of Millennials are not coming into their own until their thirties.  They are not finding their career path or their life partner at an early age.  They are not starting families until their thirties or even forties.

The same goes for your Faith Journey.  Some people “get it” at an early age.  Some get it, and lose it, and get it again.  And some don’t have that “AHA” moment until much later.  As my niece loves to say, “It’s all good.”   God is there waiting for you the entire time, ready to welcome you into the fold (and most importantly, His loving arms).

When our parish introduced Stewardship as a Way of Life almost four years ago, many were skeptical.  I pray that, during this time, you have found some tools that have helped you get a little further along the path to Heaven.

To that end, each week on this page, I offer thoughts on living Stewardship in your everyday life.  Many weeks I sit down with a blank mind and a deadline and have Writer’s Block.  I pray to the Holy Spirit to inspire me and take a short break.  Within minutes, the story is able to write itself.  (And those are the weeks that I get the most feedback!)

Over the past several years, you have been gifted several Matthew Kelly books (Rediscover Catholicism, Rediscover Jesus, and just last week, Resisting Happiness).  There have been Daily Devotionals for Advent.

Last year we invited Renee Bondi to share her journey in testimony, prayer and song.  Bishop Brom visited us and talked on Mercy.  Leisa Anslinger has come to the parish several time to speak on living Stewardship.

Next week, we are hosting a Parish Lenten Mission.  Leisa will visit us again and talk with us about Living the Strengths that God has gifted to us.    During her presentation, she will reference the Gallup Strengthsfinder strengths and talents.  The material will be presented in such a way that you do not need to take this survey in advance.

But if you wish to have more insight before the Mission, just go to GallupStrengthsCenter.com.  You can take the personal assessment for $15.00 and get immediate results.

Our Parish Mission will be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, March 14-16 in the church, beginning at 6:30 p.m.   Each night builds on the others, but you are encouraged to come for as many or few as you are able.

Jumpstart your Lenten Journey!  See you there!

 

 

Internet Etiquette (“Netiquette”) For Christian Stewards

 

The internet can be a wonderful tool for Christian stewards to give witness to their faith, and knowing proper internet etiquette (“netiquette”) is important for exercising good Christian stewardship. Listed below are just a few netiquette principles to keep in mind when communicating over the internet.

BE KIND TO PEOPLE. Send messages that reveal a care and concern for others. Avoid posting comments that reveal impatience or lack restraint. Don’t use expressions that are vulgar, intemperate or aggressive in tone.

BE TRUTHFUL. When sending e-mails or using social networks, be sure what you are relating is accurate and do not leave false impressions. Avoid creating or promoting false online profiles or images of yourself.

BE HELPFUL TO OTHERS. Believe it or not, newcomers to online usage appear every day. If you encounter new internet users, help them.   Be patient and help newcomers understand appropriate internet use and “netiquette”.

ACT WITH COMPASSION AND EMPATHY. It is hard to share feelings on the internet. In person, people can see the genuine concern and love on our faces when sensitive issues arise. On the internet, messages can more easily be misinterpreted or we can respond in a way that appears curt or lacking in sympathy. Practice compassion online.

AVOID GOSSIP. Posting any form of gossip designed to slander, show disrespect or put down others behind their back (back-stabbing) should be avoided. We should also not share personal information about anyone without that person’s permission.

AVOID CHARACTER ASSASINATIONS.  Addressing others using derogatory terms such as “liars” or “morons” is certainly inappropriate for public forums, especially for a disciple of Jesus Christ.

AVOID “FLAMING” OR MATCHING “FLAME” FOR “FLAME”.  Flaming is an internet term meaning an exchange of inflammatory remarks with another in anger. Pause before reacting to someone’s post in anger, and pray before you decide on the appropriate response, or whether it might even be better not to respond in certain circumstances, rather than reacting in anger and posting words in an inflammatory manner. St. Paul wrote that if we bite and devour one another, we’ll only be consumed by one another. (Gal 5:15).

DON’T SEND MESSAGES USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Using ALL CAPS is generally perceived as “shouting” at others. It is considered as rude as it is inflammatory and should be avoided.

BE FORGIVING OF OTHER PEOPLES’ MISTAKES.   Mistakes, especially unintentional, do happen. Avoid scoffing or making fun of others’ mistakes in grammar. Where a message may be confusing or could be construed in a negative way, give the sender the benefit of the doubt. Ask for clarification where necessary.

LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS.  Think of two or three people to whom you can send a brief word of encouragement. Sometimes it is just, “Hi, I was just thinking about you and prayed that God bless you in a special way today.”

We can enjoy our internet communications and serve Jesus Christ at the same time. A principle of Christian stewardship is fundamental to internet communications: Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Too Early to Think About Making Your Lent More Meaningful

 

The Season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1st.  That sounds like a long way off, but really, it’s only 10 days.   Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing well.  Make this year’s Lent a valuable time.  Actually make plans about how to spend the time most meaningfully.  When you receive your copy of Resisting Happiness next weekend, it will include a bookmark with all the events that are taking place in our parish this Lenten Season.

The season of Lent offers us forty days to review our lives and focus on conversion and spiritual transformation. It is basically a spiritual “spring training;” a time when we go back to the basics of our faith formation through prayer, fasting, almsgiving and other penitential practices in order to improve and enhance our spiritual lives and prepare ourselves to more fully participate in the paschal mystery of Holy Week with a generous heart and renewed commitment to Christ. Consider some of the following ideas for making your Lenten season even more meaningful this year. save. (See #5)

  1. Identify some penitential practice you can realistically commit to every day. It’s easy to become distracted and suddenly discover that Lent is half over. A daily commitment will keep you focused. Mark it in your calendar today and be faithful to your commitment.
  1. Make time in your daily schedule for private prayer, even if it is only ten minutes. Remember, improving our spiritual lives starts with prayer, and the silence of an empty room where we begin to listen to God is invaluable. Prayer requires reserving time for God.
  1. Reduce your daily or weekly soft drink or alcohol intake as a spiritual discipline. Drink water and pray for those who lack access to a safe, reliable source of drinking water.
  1. It’s become a cliché that people are addicted to communication technologies. “Give up” some of your “screen time” each day, whether it’s watching television, constantly checking your phone, or surfing the Web. Put the extra time to use: read a passage from Scripture, call or visit a lonely friend or relative, pray the Rosary.
  1. Don’t shop for clothes during Lent. Stay out of every store except the supermarket and pharmacy, and don’t loiter at these places either. Reflect on what it is like for millions in the world who have little or no discretionary income.
  1. Make an extra donation to the poor with the money you save (see #5).
  1. Find a way to reduce your daily home energy consumption. With just five percent of the world’s population, people living in the U.S. consume 24% of its available energy. Make it a spiritual exercise.
  1. Give up negative thinking. Work on a patient, positive attitude toward others. Catch yourself when you mentally berate someone and turn it into a prayer for that person.
  1. Take Luke 3:11 seriously. Do you have extra clothes languishing in a closet? Take an afternoon to clean a closet, give a “tunic” or two to a good cause, and prayerfully reflect on how well you are using the world’s resources.
  1. Pray with the Church. Attend an extra Mass during the week or participate in a devotion that inspires you.

 

DO UNTO OTHERS

 

Many times I have spoken of the power and blessings of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy—for those who receive them and also for those who bestow them.    They bear repeating, because they are such an important part of who we are as Christians.

The Corporal Works of Mercy:

Feed the Hungry

Give Drink to the Thirsty

Shelter the Homeless

Clothe the Naked

Visit the Sick

Visit the Imprisoned

Bury the Dead

 

The Spiritual Works of Mercy:

Correct the Sinner

Instruct the Ignorant

Counsel the Doubting

Comfort the Sorrowful

Be Patient With Those In Error

Forgive Offenses

Pray for the Living & the Dead

 

We are most certainly not able to do all of those things all the time.  I don’t think we’re being asked to.   But I do believe we are asked to consciously reach out beyond ourselves to those in need.

What seems like a little effort or a little thing to us can mean the world to someone who is in need.

It doesn’t take much time or effort to come once a week to make fresh sandwiches for the homeless.  Or to bring some canned goods to church with you on Sunday.  It doesn’t take much effort to donate blankets or jackets to Brother Benno’s in the cold months.  Even if you yourself are homebound, you can pray for others.

A close friend of mine was recently diagnosed with a [benign] brain tumor and underwent 12 hours of surgery.  His stay in the hospital was extended with a few complications and then rehab.  So many from our parish have visited and prayed for him.  He has been very moved by the warmth of our faith community.

He asked me to share with you a short message that he wrote in gratitude for all that you’ve done for him as he’s endured pain, uncertainty, and finally—healing!

 Hi, my name is Mike King.  You may not know me, but I’m quite sure you’ve seen my work.  I have been doing repair and remodel projects at St. Mary’s Church and School since the mid-nineties. 

 I’ve worked in the church, rectory, offices and meeting rooms, quite literally from below the floor to the top of the bell tower and most areas in between.  I built the Memorial Wall and the grotto for Saint Juan Diego.   

 Recently, and with very little warning,  I needed to have a serious brain operation.  I was amazed and humbled by the generosity and outpouring of visits, prayers, Masses and kind thoughts of the people from St. Mary’s;  from people I know well, only met once, and ones I’ll never see.   My message to you is that it really works.  Your prayers lifted me out of the pain and ugly thoughts, braced me when things got bad, and helped me feel peace.  As a small token of my appreciation I want to share the lesson I learned from all this:  Find everyone is your life that you love and tell them that you do.  Look around at your life’s blessings and appreciate them; even the small ones.  Because everyone and every thing can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

 With sincerest thanks, Mike King

Good Stewards Live the Beatitudes

Three weekends in our February liturgical calendar will turn our attention to Jesus’ teachings in the Gospel of Matthew explaining what is to be expected of those who choose to follow him.

This is the familiar Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:1 – 7:29), the most quoted part of the Bible. Jesus’ sermon begins with messages of comfort, the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12).

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

The word “Beatitude” refers to a state of deep happiness or joy. But these sayings are paradoxes. They turn our normal expectations upside down. Jesus is bringing us a new law, new expectations on how to live. He is bringing forth the Kingdom of God.

As the United States bishops wrote in their 1992 stewardship pastoral, “Jesus does not waste time proposing lofty but unrealistic ideals; he tells his followers how they are expected to live.    The Beatitudes and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount prescribe the lifestyle of a Christian disciple.”

Each of these “blesseds” is a statement about an important aspect of how we exercise stewardship of our lives. Each of them offers us an ideal of how to live and how we find God living within us.

Learn the Beatitudes, memorize them, make them part of your daily prayer life, and ask the Lord for the wisdom and strength to follow this stewardship way of life, a path that follows in the footsteps of Jesus.

You are blessed!

 

Personal note:  I was wanting to write this week about the Beatitudes, but was uninspired about what to say.  I kept procrastinating and the deadline was breathing down my neck.   I decided to look at the ICSC e-newsletter.  I had already used the January articles and February shouldn’t have arrived until the 1st of the month.  But it had arrived early and the article on this page was waiting for me!  The Holy Spirit, once again,  came through for me.  Pray for guidance, recognize the help, and be grateful.