Thursday, July 28, 2011
While our society seems to promote learning, exploring, education, and interaction with new ideas and people different than ourselves,so many people seem offended by the very concept of Evangelization. It seems that learning is fine as long as I decide what I will learn, and I seek it out, and I ask for it. But if you offer to share some life-changing Truth with me, the very best that you have found, this is offensive? As Pope Benedict reminds us in his latest encyclical Caritas en Veritate, to proclaim and share the Truth is an act of Charity. If we truly care about each other we should all be sharing us much truth as we can!
The other day myself and another missionary were invited into a bar by a woman who was standing outside as we were walking along the road... somewhere in Massachussets. She said she wanted us to meet her friend. Her friend was about to undergo a surgery and she asked us for prayers. We were happy to pray for her. She also said that it had been a while since she had been to church. We told her that we found it worth going to be with Christ ... and she saw it was worth it to us to be walking in the 100-plus degree heat that day to put ourselves out there to share this truth. In return, she shared with us the best truths she knew in life. One of these truths was that friends, such as her friend who invited us inside, are true gifts from God. I could see by their love, a beautiful love between friends, that they knew and lived this truth. Friends are a gift from God. I needed to hear that. Later that day I took some time to reflect on how much God has loved me by providing me with good friends throughout my life. I am glad she really shared that from her heart.
Humility is to acknowledge the truth. The truth is that every Christian has a Truth worth sharing and that Truth is Christ. It is also true that all of us are still learning and growing, we are all undergoing a constant process of conversion toward Christ daily in our lives, and we all need to be evangelized by Christ and others each day. We must constantly evangelize and be evangelized by each other! Everyone has something to offer us as we travel the pilgrim trail of life. We love Christ by loving each person we encounter and Christ has something for us in every person as well. I have been blessed by those who have evangelized me by their words and actions this summer and it offends me none to admit that! Someone once said that to be a missionary is simply to be one beggar sharing with another where to get bread. We are all beggars before God. As I sit a block away from the Basilica of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Boston writing this blog, I am reminded of the homeless man Richie who taught me this lesson at this spot 2 years ago on the walk that summer. Yes, yes. I was familiar with the theological concept, I had read the life of St. Francis, who lived the lesson, several times, but God knew that I needed Richie to teach me this lesson: Man can only receive heaven as a beggar. That day, after he led us into the church and he prayed, he only asked me one question. I shared the bread I had. Then, seeing him ask for God's forgiveness, desiring to amend his life, and then rejoicing in God's goodness, he was my teacher, he was my example, and that day he fed me with the bread of life, the Truth, which he had just realized himself. He was homeless, but he found the Treasure, and he shared it with me. God uses us to feed one another with food and truth. He multiplies the loaves. We all need God's help. We all need His grace. Admit it, share the bread of Truth you have, and don't be afraid to accept and even ask for bread from others. To share the Truth you have is not pride, it is humility, and it is love. God help us not to be afraid to share but to have the courage to love one another!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Due to a series of events the walk will be ending in Boston this summer - God has different plans for every group of walkers. This week, therefore, will be our last. Stay tuned for more posts to come throughout our last week of traveling!
peace and blessings!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body has really had an impact on me as an artist. Pope John Paul II really emphasizes in his teaching that the person, made in the image of God, is revealed through the body and therefore the human body communicates into the visible world the mystery of God more powerfully than anything else in the created order. In his General Audience of February 20th he stated that:
The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it.
Along these lines, in his Letter to Artists Pope John Paul II writes that "Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God."
For this reason I feel it my responsibility and privilege as an artist to go deeper into the mystery of the human person, whose spiritual mystery is expressed visibly through the body. For going deeper into the subject of the mystery of the human person one reflects on the mystery of God.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
The Lord has been so generous to us with wonderful people who teach us how to live the Catholic faith, great food, an abundance of funds, and the perfect amount of available showers to keep us humble :).
More blogs will be coming soon along with a video to introduce all of our walkers! God bless you all and please keep praying for us!
in Jesus and Mary,
Friday, July 15, 2011
Sunday, May 01, 2011
There should be no question why the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul the Great, is one of the patrons of the Missionaries of the Eucharist. After all, he wrote the theology of the body. Yet, just as the great graces given to St. Joseph were not the only reason that he was chosen as a patron, so too with the writings of John Paul the Great. In other words, there’s more to this man than meets the eye.
Pope John Paul the Great quoted two sections of Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes over and over. The first of which says, “Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (22). Now, when John Paul quotes this in his theology of the body, he often leaves out the middle section: “by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love.” Why he does this, I am not sure, but I believe that he was inferring that section whenever he invoked the text. In other words, for us to understand John Paul’s love for this quote, we should take it in context with the section often left out, namely how God reveals His great love for us. That revelation is at the root our understanding the humanity of man, and it is that revelation that makes man’s “supreme calling clear.”
Why is this so? The answer is in the First Epistle of St. John:
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (4:9-11).In other words, just as God’s love is manifested through the cross, so too should man’s love be manifested in his self-sacrificial love for God and man. And, what does this have to do with John Paul the Great? Everything. This idea of self-sacrificial love pervades his writings. Still, not only was it at the heart of his theology, but it was also manifested constantly in his life. Most visibly, we can see this in his last years as Pontiff. He showed the world what the power of redemptive suffering looked like. He showed the world how great is the dignity of man, even in the face of death. What he was not able to write in the theology of the body, he wrote through the will and actions in his own body. He not only gave the world a theology in his words, but he also gave a theology in his deeds. This great witness showed how he had taken his other favorite quote to heart: “Man…cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself” (Gaudium et Spes, 24). And this is exactly how he found himself through his whole priesthood: he gave himself away out of love for God and neighbor.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
When walking down the street wearing my blue Missionaries of the Eucharist t-shirt, I am frequently asked, “Who are the Missionaries of the Eucharist?” To many this answer is simple: “The Missionaries are a bunch of crazy young adults that walk hundreds of miles every summer to spread Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.” This is very true. The Missionaries of the Eucharist are a group of young adults. We do walk hundreds of miles through the northeastern United States. We do spread the beauty of the Catholic Faith through the lens of the Theology of the Body, but to me the Missionaries of the Eucharist are more.
We must first look to the Blessed Mother of our Lord, Mary most holy, the first living tabernacle, who was and is the first missionary of the Eucharist. After receiving Jesus beneath her heart at the Annunciation, she ran off in haste to the hill country of Judah to help her cousin Elizabeth. She ran in haste to allow her cousin the joy of adoration. When she arrived and greeted her cousin, the child leapt in Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit! As Missionaries of the Eucharist, we are called to this act of charity EVERYDAY! Every morning we receive our Lord in the Eucharist before we go out and there, on our walk we like our Lady, encounter those who are in need. We want to give them everything. We want to say everything so that they may know the love of our Lord. But we must remember then the greatest gift we could give was the Eucharist that received just that morning. He who waits silently beneath our heart, waiting to reveal His heart to all. We must never forget that we have our Lord within us, dwelling there beneath our heart, when we encounter our brothers and sisters, they too should exclaimed like Elizabeth, “… and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42) Blessed is the fruit that you have within you have quenches our hunger, our desire for Love!
In his apostolic letter, Mane Nobiscum Domine, Pope John Paul II speaks of the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle, as “a kind of magnetic pole” that attracts souls “enamored of him, ready to wait patiently to hear his voice and, as it were, to sense the beating of his heart.” When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we too, like our Lady, become a living tabernacle. When we receive the Eucharist we are filled with a great gift of joy. Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God. I once heard joy compared to static cling. We all have experienced static cling at one point of our lives. As a child I use to rub my feet against the carpet and put my hands near my sister’s hair and loved seeing her hair flying towards me. You can’t see static cling, but it just sucks everything towards the thing it clings to, and joy is like that -- it just draws people to the Christ from whom it originated from. People are drawn to that joy not because of you but because the Lord is resting beneath your heart. What a gift from God that we can be the carriers of His static cling.
Sometime when I rubbed my feet too much against the carpet, I sometime got that static shock. Sometimes joy is so overwhelming that when encountering others you receive the joy-shock. So much better than static shock. Ever hear a joyful person laugh? It’s contagious, you have no idea why you are laughing sometimes but there’s a happiness, a gladness, a joy there That’s the Jesus’ joy shock. Joy is something that every Missionary of the the Eucharist should have. That magnetic pull, that static cling, is what can bring us into a deeper union with God through each other.
The beauty of this all is that we, all of us, are called to be missionaries of the Eucharist. You don’t need the blue shirt, the swollen ankles or to walk hundreds of miles, all you need is to receive Jesus in Eucharist with a pure heart and then go out and share that joy with others. When we go up to the altar of God, where there we will receive His Most Precious Body and Blood, we say to ourselves the preparatory prayer that priest say at the foot of the altar in the Tridentine litugy, “Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam”--“I will go unto the altar of God, To God who gives joy to my youth.”
Who we are?
Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.
We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.