Monday, June 05, 2006

"If you come upon a corn cob museum, go into it."

During last Thursday’s send-off Mass, Fr. Bill Byrne gave us some wise advice on being “normal." For instance, he encouraged us to “Read the sports page, or the style section.”

(My idea for getting free newspapers is to go to gas stations and ask if they have any of the previous day’s newspapers left over. They’re not going to sell them anyway, right?)

“And if you come upon a corn cob museum, go into it.”

Rather than solely being people of religion, if we are also people of culture, then we can bring religion to the culture.

Fr. Bill continued, “For God's sake, smile!"

I guess it makes a lot of sense that if we come across as “normal” and level-headed we’ll be more effective evangelists. Fr. Bill encouraged us, as Missionaries of the Eucharist, to be like the bread and wine that become the Eucharist - “down to earth” like the bread and bearing the “joy of the Lord” that the wine represents.

This reminds me of the afternoons during my senior year in high school when I’d wrestle over whether to stop at Sts. Peter and Paul – only two blocks from our house – for a quick visit with Jesus on my way home. Something inside of me was drawn to the peace of Blessed Sacrament proximity, but I agonized over whether voluntary church visits equated me with a pious freak.

But you know, stopping in for those five minutes of quality time with the Big Guy wasn’t unreasonable at all. If I believe what I say I believe - that the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, of the Savior of the World resides in that Tabernacle, available for our hello – isn’t that visit a perfectly normal thing to do?

**** Also, Wednesday night, Fr. Dominic from the Dominican House of Studies, gave us a talk on spiritual warfare. At the end of a whole list of things we could do to beat the Devil was: maintain a sense of humor. Many saints were great at it – one of my patrons, St. Philip Neri, was one of the most renowned for it. Staying light-hearted can help us resist the temptations come with daily irritations.

So, we’re aiming for at least one good Catholic joke good a day. If you know any, please send them our way at Thanks!


Chris S. said...

I just wanted to drop by and tell you that I saw three of your missionaries at Holy Mass today, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. They were easily identifiable by their blue shirts.

I wish you all success both personally and in regards to your goals, and please know that you will be in your prayers. You are doing very important work.

Dominus Vobiscum!

teresa said...

that's awesome, Phil! Esp the part abt beating the devil w/ a sense of humor!!! I love it! God bless and I'm prayin for you!

~Ad Iesume per Mariam

Who we are?

Every summer we, the Missionaries of the Eucharist, are walking from Lewiston, Maine to Washington, DC to proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith to everyone we meet, specifically through the Theology of the Body.

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.