I hope you all can come to meet Bishop Golka this Tuesday night, March 8, from 6:30-8:30 pm. He will be in Assisi Hall listening to you as part of the worldwide Synod. Bring a friend! Registration is NOT required. Some questions he will be asking you: How has our parish helped you to grow closer to God and discern His will for you? Is there something holding you back from fuller participation in parish life? What challenges do you and your family face in living out your Catholic faith in society? How has the pandemic affected your practice of the faith?
Check out the YouTube video featuring Bishop Golka's personal invitation to participate that can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US2_QXE17v4. Here is a link to the article about the Synod that appears in the Feb. 18 issue of the Herald: https://www.diocs.org/Herald/Article/ArticleID/1805/A-Time-to-Listen.
Recently Bishop Golka wrote to all of us, “I am excited as the Church throughout the world moves into the holy season of Lent. I encourage you to take advantage of this rich liturgical season. My hope is that this Lent might provide the opportunity for each of us to deepen our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes we get busy with all of the “things” of Lent – and we forget the “who” of Lent — Jesus —- inviting each of us into deeper communion with Him. I pray that each of us simply take more intentional time with our Lord.
Our Catholic tradition offers us a practice of being with the Lord. We call this the practice of contemplation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2715) says: Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. "I look at him and he looks at me": this is what a certain peasant of Ars used to say to his holy curé while praying before the tabernacle. This focus on Jesus is a renunciation of self. His gaze purifies our heart; the light of the countenance of Jesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns the "interior knowledge of our Lord," the more to love him and follow him. I pray that each of us might enjoy this experience of our Lord so that he can continue to animate and redeem us.”
A PRAYER FOR PEACE BY POPE FRANCIS
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!
We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms.
How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced?
how much blood has been shed?
how many lives have been shattered?
how many hopes have been buried?
But our efforts have been in vain.
Now, Lord, come to our aid!
Grant us peace, teach us peace;
guide our steps in the way of peace.
Open our eyes and our hearts,
and give us the courage to say: "Never again war!";
“With war everything is lost".
Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love,
you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters.
Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace;
enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.
Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation
into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation.
In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words "division," "hatred," and "war" be banished from the heart
of every man and woman.
Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands.
Renew our hearts and minds,
so that the word which always brings us together will be "brother,"
and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!
Rev. Mark Zacker