Who is Mary?

Made with Padlet

The next few weeks, I will explore and contemplate who Mary is. I want to share the importance of our Holy Mother in my life, and, in my walk with Jesus. Through daily Rosary prayers, not only have I deepen my own insights, understanding, and love for Jesus, but I am filled with a longing to share His Divine mercy to others. The light which radiates within is bursting to shine upon all those around me. It has also deepen my respect and love for our Holy Mother and her role in my spiritual life.

Coming from an evangelical Christian background, Mary was never really discussed in sermons, in fact, the only time I hear about her is during Christmas.

I recall Mary from my childhood as the mother of Jesus, whenever we put on a Christmas pageant in school and in Church, and this was in those days long ago when political correctness didn’t govern our school agendas. As a youngster I recall playing the role of one of the shepherds in the nativity story. As a child growing up, she was simply, the virgin mother of Jesus. This understanding continued to echo onwards into my adult life. My own naïve understanding of her did not change until I was drawn into my Catholic Faith.

Today, it grieves me to see how many around me do not know who the Virgin Mary is, and still countless others who commit great blasphemy again her. I think back to my early years, and question, “Why was such a simple and beautiful truth was veiled from me?” All those years when I was a Pentecostal Christian, I must have had blinders on that prevented me from seeing her beyond the “earthly” mother of Jesus. Just as I must not have seen beyond the many passages about Mary in the Bible. I read without understanding – beyond the obvious.

The idea that much is hidden from us because perhaps we were not ready to see it it a topic I will discuss another day. Certainly for those who are interested, please read and follow Father Hezuk Shroff in Contemplating the Eucharistic Mystery with Saint Thomas Aquinas: Ongoing Series – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca). He presents a great discussion on “seeing” and the “unseen” in his 7th episode.

Today, I present you and hope the above video’s answer for you, “Who is Mary”.

29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Luke 1:29-31

Let’s watch, discover, and mediate on the question, “Who is Mary?”

God Bless 💖

Holding Your Gaze

Photo by Chris Barker on Unsplash

You have loved me since the beginning of time.

From that moment you created me and kissed me, the fire of your spirit came into me.

It filled me and kept me warm and protected, and in the arms of my mother I laid.

You were never far, but gazed upon me with love from above your heavenly realm.

When I was a child, I thought as a child, and gazed at you and though how kind you seem. I was told you were the good shepherd. My friend you became.

I was ignorant and unaware of how Your wisp of fire burnt within me. It kept me safe throughout my childhood.

But as I grew older, you became a distance memory, of a character from a fairy tale of sort, of a kindly man who went out in search of His lost sheep.

So began my journey without, not of the ephemeral joys of childhood stories, but into the vast world around me. I yearned to experience – life!

Lived I will in the world of Sartre and Camus. That little flame within me started to diminish, barely lighting my path. You became a distance memory

Oh how my thoughtlessness must have grieved you. My idiom became the selfish call for subjective truth, as it is I alone who can determine my path or so I thought. I didn’t look back, but fell into the abyss of desire.

Truth, Truth, what is it but to know thine own self. Oh, how good it felt, until I realized I needed more.

Feeding the temporal desires of my body was like seeking a cure for an incurable disease. The more I filled myself and fanned my wants, the greater my need for it became. It threw me into a revolving door of more needs and wants.

It was always You, for you alone patiently waited for me. So many times, from the dark mire of my soul, you have called to me. I tuned you out!

My avariciousness for sexual desires darken my soul. I spiraled into self abasement and addiction to the flesh. Gluttonously satisfying an empty cup that seems to endlessly always need more to fill and feed the demons which took over my body and my spirit.

Jesus, you called my name, but I was too ashamed to lift up my head. I continued to run until I fell into the pit of endless obsession. Yet you never abandoned me, and continued to remind me of your love for me.

You, my dear friend never left me. You were quietly pulling me out of the desiccation that is me. Your hands blocking and casing out the debris around me. You were there to protect me from the rape of soul.

You lifted me out of the veniality of my soul. Your radiant divine mercy and love shrines upon my abyss. You reignited the dying flame within me.

You came down to me so that I can see for myself your love and sincerity. Gazing upon you, I feel the ominous nectar that has consumed me burn away. The light of your fire alighting my soul and reviving me to live again in Your presence. In your gaze, I saw Your love for me.

Holding your gaze, I can let go of myself. I have been liberated from my hate, and my bedeviled past. Gazing up onto the cross, I am forgiven. Holding Your gaze. I am reborn. Your breathe alights within my soul a fire.

Note: My Confession.

Thanks for reading,

God Bless 💖

Wake Up Call!

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

For a whole year, I’ve been physically inactive. Aside from short walks with my dog to our neighbourhood park, I have not worked out. I feel my clothes getting tighter, my extra weight gain now visibly obvious. Urgh!

God has a way of revealing to us our shortcomings and imperfections. In my Alpha group this week I was moved by many of the personal testimonies shared. One participant reminded us that as we feed our spiritual body, we can’t neglect our physical one.

God has a way of communicating with us through the Holy Spirit. He often uses those around us, along with what’s within our sphere to guide and lead us. Well, again this week one of my favourite bloggers on Instagram posted:

https://beautybeyondbones.com/

God also moves me through the testimonies of a personal friend and colleague. Her stories gives me encouragement and strength. She inspires me with her kickboxing updates on Instagram. I admire her fortitude when she is also going through personal health challenges. Her faith in Jesus has inspired and deepened my own trust in Him.

Wow, I can’t ignore this, especially as everyday this week I have been waking up at 5:30. Each time, as soon as I realized how early it was, I snuggled back into the warmth of my duvet, “No!” “Please Jesus, it’s too early – 30 more minutes”. Then, “6:30!” “No, too early!”

Yesterday at 5:30 am, and I even felt a light nudge – a gentle caress on my left hand – the light and feathery touch of my guardian angel. I woke up immediately and seeing it was 5:30, I shamefully went back to sleep. “No!”

Finally, today at 5:30, I slowly got up and said to myself, “OK, I’ll listen!” After a coffee to wake myself up along with toast and jam, I prepared myself – in slow mode – to go work out. When I finally stepped onto the elliptical, it was cutting into my morning Rosary time, so I put on my earphones and listened to the Rosary while I silently murmured along with each breathe. It was not easy, but I did it!

Although I’ve been getting my daily spiritual nutrients, I have ignored my physical well being. Although I eat well (ok, I’ll admit a weakness for poutine and potato chips), and take my vitamins, I have neglected keeping my body healthy through exercise. I sit in front of my laptop or devices for the greater part of the day (as I am now, writing). God has been sending me nudges throughout the course of this week – all ignored! I finally stop to listen.

Thank you to all those around me for being God’s conduit.

My prayer is for God’s continued blessings for all those around me. I give thanks to all of you – my Christian family. Please continue to keep me in your prayers, as I do for each of you.

God Bless 💕

My Favorite Prayer

Photo from St. Ignatius, Montreal

Veni, Sancte Spiritus
(Come, Holy Spirit)


Come, Holy Spirit,
send down those beams,
which sweetly flow in silent streams from Thy bright throne above.


O come, Thou Father of the poor;
O come, Thou source of all our store, come, fill our hearts with love.


O Thou, of comforters the best,
O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest, the pilgrim’s sweet relief.


Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet refreshment in the noonday heat; and solace in our grief.

O blessed Light of life Thou art; fill with Thy light the inmost heart of those who hope in Thee.


Without Thy Godhead nothing can, have any price or worth in man, nothing can harmless be.

Lord, wash our sinful stains away, refresh from heaven our barren clay, our wounds and bruises heal.

To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow, warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow, our wandering feet recall.

Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord, whose only hope is Thy sure word, the sevenfold gifts of grace.
Grant us in life Thy grace that we, in peace may die and ever be,
in joy before Thy face.


Amen. Alleluia.

Today I wanted to share with you this beautiful prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit”. It’s become one of my daily prayers. I discovered this prayer as a part of my Lent reading and following the, Consecration to St. Joseph by Father Donald H. Calloway.

God Bless everyone as we share and discover our own favorite prayer 💖

Seed of Lies

Keeping Jesus in the center of my life is a choice. It is what I pray for daily. Why? Because the seduction of evil permeates all facets of our lives.

There was a time when money, work (I was a workaholic), the latest trend, hype fashion, and shopping was the center of my universe. It was all about me and what I wanted.

When did all that change?

I am not sure. In fact I think it was a gradual transformation. The realization I wanted something more out of life than my quest for “knowledge”, “things” and satisfying my “needs”. Perhaps it’s my journey from being a prodigal daughter to mother. I am not sure anymore, but I do know it started with wanting to leave a legacy for my children that will steer them away from the struggles I went through. I want them to lead a good life. I hope they walk a straight path rather than a meandering one filled with painful spiritual battles, sin, and mental challenges. I want to be able to guide them to lead meaningful lives.

Lies in our midst

The world we live in has been tainted by the dark hand of Satan. Everywhere we look, whether it be mass marketing, the media, social media, television, or online, everything has been permeated with a seed of evil. We see it in every facet of our lives. To be able to discern the truth from all the trash around us, requires our veils to be lifted. It is only then, that all lies can be exposed. It can be difficult to discern when the truth is persuasively interwoven with lies. Lies are cloaked in so called documentaries, films, novels, talk shows, YouTube, news, academic writing, etc.

Remember when Satan first appeared to Eve. The serpent was so conniving and convincing that before she had the time to think about it, she was seduced into believing his warped logic. This has not changed in our world. Today, any lie can be reinforced with quasi truth. In turn, seeds of these lies spread quickly – online. Catholicism, Jesus, our Holy Mother, is attacked time and time again with these quasi truth and lies. An online search can bring up many examples of this. There are just as many novels and movies that deconstructs and mars it with beguiling lies. Watching or reading some of this material seem to be plausible and true. It may even sound logical. Through skilled writing, many of these discourses propagate lies. This is how Satan works. The master of lies. A person reading or watching these movies can easily fall prey to these lies and even embrace these sacrilegious idiom. There are just as many academic researchers whose running critique on the Bible and on Catholicism seem to be based on sound research. The key word here is “seems” and “appears’ to be plausible. Any thesis or conjecture backed up with documentation can seem to be real. It is only with close examination (with the help of the Biblical truths, and filled with the Holy Spirit) that the lies can be exposed. Yes, lies can be very convincing! They use all kinds of examples and conjectures to prove their point. The populous watching or reading this material will find it believable.

Be aware that Satan rules over this world. He delights in planting doubtful seeds in our mind.

Parable of the Sower

Sowing of doubt is abound in our world, and many who are not grounded in their faith will be sweep away. Jesus warned of this in his parable of the sower:

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” Matthew 13: 3-9

It grieves my heart that my own husband after watching one of these so called documentary on Netflix believed the cleverly planted lies. Evil seduces us from every facet of our lives, and sometimes our fortitude is not strong enough to overcome it. Instead of refuting and arguing with him about the nature of all these lies, and getting into a dispute, I told him to stay grounded in Jesus. I also took some time to pray for him, and asked Jesus to open his heart to the truth. Remember Satan will attack those closest to us.

Ask, Search, Knock

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Stay centered upon the word of God, and in the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help us discern especially in light of all the seductive lies in our world. Read about the lives of Saints and how they personally battled spiritual demons. Pray!

Prayers

Aside:

The sinner in me seeks forgiveness, and asks for God’s grace and mercy:

A moment I am not proud of, and ashamed of: My advice to my own son when he was in High School, “You can convince anyone of anything with skillful writing and using data/examples to back your theory/thesis/objective.” “Language is a game”, I recall telling him (Wittgenstein).

God Bless 💖

Starting Point

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

How do I talk to God?

I love my daughters’ definition about prayer. Her answer is so simple and succinct, “I don’t pray, I talk to God.” Her little statement enlists from me much food for thought. Each of us have our own journey with God. The very fact that it is immensely personal, makes it unique and different for each of us.

How do I start?
Relationships in life takes time to build.  Prayer is very much the same.  When we meet someone, not all of us have the skills to effectively communicate with ease.  I am an introvert, and simple conversation is a source of stress for me. Being able to talk with ease is also relationship building. Trust is also one of the important foundations in relationship building.

When it comes to prayer, it is easy to say, “Jesus, I trust you!”  Living it takes time.  Blind trust is not something all can do, and like our relationships, it requires time and effort.  Often, it is only during a crisis or when we are suffering that we call out in prayer.  For many this is how prayer and talking to God starts.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

How often have we called to God when we are scared? How often have I called to Him for help when the tunnel ahead looks dim? Yeah, I call to God when I was facing a crisis! This changed when I made the conscious decision to draw nearer to God, and turn away from my life of sin. Seeking for forgiveness, and then asking God to take the lead. “Help me be the person you meant me to be, ” I recall praying.

The video link below is one of the best discussions I have seen on prayer, and explains it much better than I would. I can only reiterate that prayer is an important part of my own spiritual growth and walk with Jesus Christ.

The video link is a very good start in understanding why prayer is an important part of our spiritual growth and relationship with our Almighty.

This YouTube video is from this article on prayer is from this post:
Don’t Give Up on Prayer: What St. Faustina Said About the Power of Prayer in Suffering | (churchpop.com)

The Ease Of Using Apps

Our youths today spend a great amount of time online. They communicate by adding “likes” to postings on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat. There is minimal communication and interaction. As we move farther away from communicating in the physical and towards communication via online, we also lose the skills to communicate, that is to talk, to share our thoughts and ideas. Today’s communication becomes etherized in images, emojis, or one liner.

As I have discussed in other post, we live in a Hybrid world that fuses the real with online realities. There are many apps available to help us with prayer, and I have linked a few below. Why use an apps? Prayer apps are a great way to integrate prayers and conversations with God into our prayer life. We already use devices, and some of these apps like Our Story – Hallow is a great way to start. There are 1 minute mediations for those who literally don’t have the time to pray. They can over time develop into longer prayer time. What is important is to start, and if it means starting from a 1 minute meditation, then why not?

When you feel you don’t have time to pray, it usually means you need to talk to God. Go small and build up your prayer life. The very act of taking that first step will lead to many more steps, and before you know it, you will feel the Hand of the Holy Spirit moving you towards greater depth in prayer.

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash


Here is a list of the best Catholic Apps: 

Catholic Apptitude | A testament to digital ministry | The Best List of Top Catholic Apps | Prayer Apps   

I personally use the two apps from Divine Mercy:  

Divine Mercy App | The Divine Mercy  (Divine Mercy Chaplet)
Apps | Marians of the Immaculate Conception (Basic Rosary)

Apps | Marians of the Immaculate ConceptionMary App. A complete resource for information on Our Lady and a guide to Marian devotion. Includes Marian prayers and an interactive Rosary. Free from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.www.marian.org
Divine Mercy App | The Divine MercyThe Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, who have promoted the authentic message of Divine Mercy since 1941, are pleased to release the OFFICIAL Divine Mercy App. This FREE app offers the complete Divine Mercy message and devotion in an easy to navigate format. The app has three main chapters with these features: (Screenshots from Android) THE MESSAGE Introduction towww.thedivinemercy.org

Rosary Apps: 

‎Holy Rosary – Standard Edition on the App Store (apple.com)The Holy Rosary – Apps on Google Play

The Holy Rosary – Apps on Google PlayThe Holy Rosary that automatically selects the mysteries by day with beautiful illustrations that accompany prayer. In the application there are also The Divine Mercy Chaplet and the main christian prayers. For those who have Android 6 or later, go to SETTINGS \ APP, select the App The Holy Rosary, go PERMITS, and enable STORAGE. If you would like to report a prayer, devotion, etc., you can do …play.google.com

Praying the Rosary on YouTube:

This is also available on Apple music, which is easily download – free if you have the plan or at a cost of a few dollars.  Great to listen to anywhere – car, walk, or walking the dog, etc.

17 Minute Rosary – Sorrowful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloud

17 Minute Rosary – Sorrowful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloudHoly Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday) A 17 minute version of the Rosary as heard on Relevant Radio daily at 9pm-9:30pm ET / 8pm-8:30pm CTsoundcloud.com

17 Minute Rosary – Joyful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloud

17 Minute Rosary – Joyful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloudGenre Rosary Comment by jo ki. Thank you this have been helping me so much . 2020-06-16T04:06:52Z Comment by danny. @rmmp62: its women. 2020-05-18T21:14:41Z Comment by user761734792. Jesus loves yousoundcloud.com

Relevant Radio has many you can chose from, just click one of the above and you will see others listed.

Hope this helps.  God Bless💖

A Mother’s Love

19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Becoming a Mother

In the middle of an airport terminal was the first time I saw my adopted son. I recall feeling a sense of awe and anticipation as I took him in my arms. A surreal feeling washed over me as I held him. He was little bundle, and 4 months old. I’ll never forget the flicker of fear that passed through me as I realized nothing prepared me emotionally for this moment. I am a mother. I didn’t have 9 months to biologically bond with my child. Although my husband and I had received regular updates, and photos taken by his foster mother – I had that initial feeling of awkwardness when meeting someone for the first time. Then the stunted reality that this precious bundle will be my son, and I will be his mom.

We repeated this process a few years later. This time, my husband and I picked up our adopted daughter (8 months old) from an orphanage in Taiwan. The same feelings resurfaced. I again felt like a newbie, and was just as emotionally overwhelmed. I am now a mother to two children.

In retrospect, there was and still is, a sense of awe and thankfulness to our Almighty God for answered prayers. Both times, I recalled the feeling of inadequacy, “What am I getting myself into”? Each time I felt the surreal – when reality and longings fused. There was also the overwhelming weight of responsibility that comes with answered prayers. “Yes, I am now endowed with the responsibility for two gifts from God.” “Lord, guide me to be the mother you want me to be to them, and let my gift back to you be worthy.”

I cannot to this day, imagine the emotions their biological mothers must have felt in giving up their babies. I can only thank the Lord my God for blessing me with two beautiful children. One is now a young adult, and the other a teenager. By God’s mercy, He has given me two gifts and my job is to love them with all my heart.

Motherly Love

The love of a mother is not just an emotion. When my I first held them in my arms, I had to learn to love them. The bond of love is developed over time. My love for my children is also a relationship which starts with caring for their needs, guiding, teaching, mentorship, and above all. in the giving of myself without expectations for rewards. Both children are uniquely different in temperament and personalities. Their learning styles were also different. Love not only grows and deepens as I got to know each, but it led to my own growth as a person and mother. I learnt let go of my own ego, to love the uniqueness and difference in each of them. It also opened my eyes to who I was as a mother and as a child of God.

Now that my children are older, this love continues to grow and mature in depth and width. In fact, this feeling of maternal relationship and love never ceases, and grows with every trial that each child goes through.

Daughter

So often, my relationship with my own children has led me to recall my mom, and my relationships with her. Often I hear her echoed in me when I talk to my children. As I live in another province and city, I miss her, and often make the effort to call and talk to her. Our mother – daughter journey is reflected in the different stages of my life, from that of a child, a rebellious teen, a young adult, and finally, as a mom.

Holy Mother Mary

The care, love and nurturing of a mother is a bond she establishes with her child. Nothing can compare to the love of a mother. I thank the Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to be a mom. It is in being a mom and daughter, that I can imagine the depth and width of our Holy Mother’s love for her son Jesus, and for us. Her immense love pours out for us, and she longs to intercede on our behalf to her Son – Jesus.

My initial steps towards our Holy Mother – The Virgin Mary, was awkward. Coming from a Protestant background, I was not familiar with her. I remember asking the Holy Spirit to grace me with a sincere heart in getting to know her. Like a newly adopted child, I looked upon her to take care of me, and I embraced her with child like trust.

Praying the Rosary is part of my steps towards my Holy Mother. It is through prayer that relationships are established. It is through communicating in prayer that our relationship with one another – between Mother and child – is deepened. From silent whispers, to fumbled sentences, to soulful moans, and now with trusting velocity, I have a better understanding and insights into my faith. Like a child, I thirst for intimacy to be in the abode of the Holy Family.

I long to get to know my holy family through the graces of my Holy Mother.

Let us pray for the grace to love Mother Mary more, and for the grace that through her we can ask her to intercede on our behalf to have spiritual closeness with God the Father, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Praise be to God. 💖

My Hybrid World

In my daily life, I see how reliant my family is to technology. These days, my son takes all his courses from his local college via zoom. My daughter is in school every other day, and on days she is home, she has classes via zoo. When I need to communicate with my kids, it is via a text message. They are less likely to respond to my voice call but will answer my text. Go figure!

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Covid -19 pandemic has basically forced a pendulum shift in how we go about our daily lives. Depending on the type of employment, many now work from home. I am one of them. Not only do I work online, but staff meetings as well as parent meetings are also online. In fact, in the last annual parent/teacher meeting I attended, I noticed much more participation. Why? Both teachers and parents had the ease of tuning in during a peak time from home. They were able to participate and follow along while continue to do family chores at home (cooking, eating dinner, etc.).

The physical and restrictions imposed on our churches should not be a negative experience. In fact, it has forced many who have not used online platforms in the past, to scramble and build from the ground up a system by which to not only share the world of God, but to maintain important and valued programs for children, youths, adults, families, and the elderly. Going back to a grassroot level and reaching out to volunteers from the community to help with unfamiliar technology has been a challenge for all. In fact, I feel that going back to basics is an important process in identifying what is most relevant and lets us shed away the irrelevant. I genuinely believe the hand of God is upon us. He is guiding us to adapt, and as we (Catholics and the Church) maneuver, explore, and use the technology available for outreach. I personally do not think we will return to the old guard of the physical – that is going to the actual physical environment. If we do, it will be a novelty and on special occasion, but rather it will be a “hybrid” Pastoral approach.

Photo by Anna Gru on Unsplash

All churches now must adapt to the reality of a blending of both the physical and digital means by which to spread the Gospel, teach, communicate with not only their parish, but to those around the world. Many who did not use YouTube or online platforms to preach, have had to adapt very quickly and explore the platforms available by which to do this.

I make this conjecture out of the experiences with my own children. I recall every all the effort and activities my husband and I have done as our children were growing up to introduce our children to a variety of experiences. One of them was the ambience of live concerts, music festivals, museums, art and cultural events. I recall one such evening at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Not only was it jam packed with people, but there was a lot of security and checkpoints to ensure the weeklong event went smoothly. My son asked us, “Why do we need to be here, when I can watch a live stream of this on YouTube?” “Phew!”, I thought. What viable answer to I have for him? Many wise words flashed through my mind before I answered him. “When you watch shows streamed on YouTube, you are missing out on the ambient feel and energy of the crowd”, all the while hoping my answer makes sense. Well, to my chagrin, my son informs me he will rather watch it in the comfort of home (his room) than amidst a crowd, to which his sister nodded in agreement. Sheesh! I recall looking into the night sky and asking God, “Really?” “Is this what’s become of our generation?”

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

This is the reality of our lives today. Many churches and religious organizations have come to this realization, especially considering how dependent we have become of our digital world of social media, or our online discourse and reliance on it for communication. Many have jumped on the online band wagon. Church at home seems to be the mantra these days. It is the realization that to reach out and spread the Gospel, they need to do so by reaching out on a social platforms. It is also the realization that our devices/online is a reality of our modern world – especially in the mist of a pandemic, government lockdowns and restrictions.

We live in a hybrid world – a fusion of the physical and the digital. Covid – 19 pandemic only accelerated this process into our daily lives. The social stage of it was already set when this technology was developed and infiltrated into our homes via our reliance on our devices.

My daughter participates in Teen Alpha offered by our local parish. It is zoomed weekly, and I am thankful for this forum is available for our youths. As with most teens of her generation, they are at ease using the internet and social platforms to communicate. It is actually easier for a generation that grew up along side YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram to adapt to using Zoom or a hybrid that consists of online and real-life vehicles to learn.

My son and I participate in our local Alpha group also via zoom. I also participate in many online zoom groups. One group I look forward to weekly is examining the work of St. Thomas Aquinas – The Bread of Life. Zoom meetings like these gives me and others the opportunity to delve deeper into my/our faith. Just as there are online zoom meets for the rosary, and weekly meeting for Bible studies, etc.

Yes, our lives are changed forever.

The Hybrid Pastoral Approach the embraces and fuses both the physical and online realities that exists in our world today. Physical and online realities are here to stay. It can only be perfected. Hence, our Church leaders only need to fine tune the process, by adapting online technology and its various platforms to build, create and expand the physical space of the church into the home of every parish member and beyond its boundaries. The goals are not only to welcome every participant, but to invite new participants. It’s incentive is to create a Christ centered community that embraces one another with love. Another is to enable each to feel comfortable and safe in celebrating the daily Holy Sacraments, in celebrating our faith, and in developing our faith. It is reaching out and embracing all our young, teens, adults, families, and our elderly in a technology like zoom to bring us all together as one body under God.

On a personal level, I believe it is by the grace and mercy of Jesus, that we embrace the new technology in our political, social, cultural and post pandemic reality. The goal is to sustain the church, as well as secure and revive the foundations of Catholicism, and, to spread the word of God into every home. The empty churches we felt before the pandemic will only magnify post pandemic. The hybrid fusion of the physical church and online platform is the last bastion for a revival of the Catholic Church – for outreach to new souls, and to maintain and keep the faith alive of the old. It is a time for all Catholics to step forward to become active participants in faith.

Jesus, I trust in You!

God Bless and thank you, for reading.

💖