Opportunity Knocks!… Are you listening?
I want to share a concern and concept of mine, that has been eating at me since my first days, actually my “fourth day” for those who know of the Cursillo Movement with in the Catholic Church. Here in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis I was introduced to the Cursillo method and went on my “three day weekend”
The “eye opening reminder of this story, is Brandon Vogt’s book, “Church and the New Media” and Carson Weber’s review of the book on his blog. CHECK IT OUT: Click Here
I read Carson’s “about” message on the side bar of the blog and looked at his links. One was to his parishes website and the other was to a website I am enjoying right now!
Catholic Board is the name of Weber’s site where he shares insight on the Bible. Understanding the Bible as you read it can be burdensome with out a guide or assistance. I encourage everyone to find a spiritual director, and make sure you have good resources that explain the traditions, and history. Once reading on a regular basis, you will start see deeper insight as to what the Lord is sharing with us, and the heavy burden of reading turns into daily joy, you look forward to. (look soon for a blog post on Carson Weber’s website, Catholic Board.)
Now back to Cursillo!
It came about, that I had an all night (literally) conversation with one of the team members of the Memphis Cursillo Movement. He shared with me; that a group of men had started a local movement to reach out to the diocesan men, who might be either searching for “more” about their faith as a Catholic, or a non-practicing ”lukewarm” individual that needs to be touch by the Holy Spirit.
After my “three day weekend” (which is a whole other story to share, as far as the experiences I had on the weekend, with the Cursillo team and other candidates) I became involved with this local movement of men, and started to create relations with men of my faith, in the Greater Memphis area, that normally I never would have a opportunity to do so.
These men literally change my focus and direction, of what I thought the Lord had planned for me. It was a “passing in the wind relationship” friend (The John Michael Talbot touring manager at the time, Jim Cosgrove, who now works for the National Catholic Register) that warned me to stay clear of thinking I know the Lord’s plan for myself, because just when you think you have it all figured out, the Lord knocks you of one horse, to ride another, in His Great Plan.
I met with Jim at his house one day, and we were discussing Catholic radio, and the possibility to create a Catholic station in the Memphis Diocese area. (Many have tried, may the Lord Bless them, but none have succeeded, except!… a small fraction of the ministry of the Order of Malta and Deacon Jeff of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Which is another story we will get to, on anther post.) My short time with Cosgrove and his business mentality was very cultivating for me at the time. Because,…
THE FISHERS OF MEN PRAYER GROUP
My activity of Piety, Study and Action was really building up momentum from these men, calling themselves “Fishers of Men.” The originating group from OLPH (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) was my spring board into meeting some of the most passionate people in the diocese. As I journeyed from parish to parish, visiting the groups that where being started, I was able to see more clearly, as to what I could do in the Diocese of Memphis for the Catholics reaching out in search of a closer relationship with Christ.
Once I had a solid friendship,with the Fishers of Men, I started to get more deeply involved with the event they created, MMOS (Men’ Morning of Spirituality). I started taking over the management of content for the website and using my talents (blessings) to help build the organization up.
TWO THINGS – First I started going to daily Mass, and I started using the Catechism more often.
While I did go to daily Mass before, I was not getting my full appetite, as I am now. My involvement with the local Cursillo movement and Fishers of Men Prayer Group both helped me remember to go, but really is was the one particular gentlemen in my life, whom I referred to you already, that we had an all night conversation on my “three day” weekend. The simple joy coming from his face, as we sate together at Holy Mass, was so inspiring. I asked myself, “Why is he always showing signs of joy and love? Even in times of distress?”
The Catechism. Get One. As I studied with the Fishers of Men, we were using the Navarre Bible series, which had great comments on the verses that showed you references to the other parts in the Bible, that pertained to the verse at hand, but also gave reference to the sections of the Catechism that pertained to the verse, as well. When you look into the Catechism and see how so well the indexing of information is, you will find yourself swimming through the book, to the point it is no longer a burden,… but Joy in getting to know the Lord (Hosea 6:3).
Now I believe I have revealed the three targets. I want to share with you some insight as to how you can keep building your knowledge and love for your faith.
As you strike up conversations with your friends, family and strangers (yes, strangers), take the time to share your faith. Share the stories, traditions, and history of our Church. But, when you are sharing, try to always place three key points, one point from each target – Bible – Catechism – Mass. Now it might seem difficult at first, but as you continue to share on a regular (hopefully daily) basis, it will become natural, just as any conversation you have about other subjects in life (sports, clothing, electronics, cars).
Your personal witness, will be come a vibrant tool on spreading the “Good News” of our Lord.
With your fortification of bringing constant reminders of the Holy Mass, the Holy Bible, and Catechism of the Catholic Church, our environments and communities will have a better view and understanding of what is means, to be Christ like.
Opportunity Knocks!… Are You Listening?