Home Again…

My time with the nuns at Corpus Christi Monastery, and my visit with family and friends, has come to an end and I am back in Alaska.  While catching up on work at the office, and settling back into a routine, I’ve been left with much to think and pray about.  During the past two weeks, I was able to spend a little extra time reading, particularly a little gem I found on the shelves of the monastery library, “The Spirit of the Dominican Order” by Mother Francis Raphael Drane (you can download a copy or read online here).  Reading the examples of so many Dominican friars, nuns, and laity, the challenges they faced in their personal lives, their religious and community lives, and in the world, was inspiring.

I also had opportunity to watch For Greater Glory, the story of men and women in Mexico who risked so much for religious freedom.  And in the months prior to my trip, I had done a bit of reading on the French Revolution, read “The Song at the Scaffold”, a short work about a group of Carmelite nuns who offered their lives during the French Revolution, and watched “The Vendee”, about a small group of people in France who also stood and fought for religious freedom in a time when enlightenment and secularism was sweeping across their country and beyond. 

All this has me thinking about our own time and place in history.  Are we facing another secular revolution?  So many contemporaries warn about the dangers of relativism, the threat to religious freedom in this country…  A scan of history shows these dangers are possible and real.  How far will we go?  Too often, we can find ourselves comfortable and in denial and, as the proverbial frog in the pot, slowly the heat is turned up until we boil to death. 

But, as evidenced by the stories and examples I mentioned, we can see there is something else at work.  It is amazing how God takes the small and weak and few and turns the world on its head.   The example of one can inspire many.  The meager meal of one small boy can feed thousands.  God cannot, will not, be outdone in generosity.  And He invites us to participate with Him.  To commune with Him.  He gives each of us certain gifts and talents to build His kingdom and bring forth fruit by His grace.  The age-old question remains the same: what will we each do with the talents we have been given?  Will we take a risk and invest them to earn a profit for Our King?  Or will we bury them out of a misplaced sense of self-preservation?

Between now and December, I, along with my Laboure Society class of 11, will praying and working hard, inviting all to join in the harvest of vocations with prayers and financial support.   Won’t you prayerfully consider how you might share your gifts and talents in this work?

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