Monday, July 24, 2006
Missionaries of the Eucharist, update newsletter, July 20
Here's the latest issue:
** STORY OF THE WEEK **
Maybe the looks on their faces told it all – surprised, cautiously intrigued, perhaps a little uneasy. The three young women riding the NYC Metro next to us were getting Theology of the Body without us even planning it. “What is physical modesty?” En route to Mass, the six of us had wandered into a hefty conversation.
A pamphlet we’d received said that modesty consisted of concealing your body. But can it really be reduced to a set of rules about how close to your knee a skirt needs to be? Is it more about purity of heart?
As the train rattled from Brooklyn into Manhattan, questions superseded conclusions. Can what we wear affect our virtue? What effect does what we wear have on others’ virtue? Can what we wear help others to see Christ in us?
Can what we wear reveal who we are? Maybe modesty comes with attire that accentuates and celebrates our femininity and masculinity. Or maybe it’s dressing in such a way that helps others see our whole person, rather than individual parts.
Even more, maybe modesty consists not just of what not to wear, nor even of what to wear, but how we act. If our actions – complementing our outfits – show others that we respect our bodies, will that go the farthest to remind those who see us that we’re human persons, with souls linked to our bodies?
Usually we think of “evangelizing” occurring when we approach someone, but here we were just having a conversation amongst ourselves, bouncing ideas off each other, possibly making an even bigger difference.
** THANKS TO OUR DONORS **
With your generous contributions, we’ve been able to get:
- Cell phone minutes for a two-hour conversation with the National Catholic Register newspaper (look for the article!)
- An oil change for our van
- 3000 more brochures about our group to share with the folks we meet
It’s also been really neat to stay with host families for much of the past few weeks. When you’re on the road for the whole summer, there’s nothing quite like being in a home.
** PLEASE KEEP US IN PRAYER **
Even more than material support, your prayers keep us going:
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg You to spare the life and soul of the preborn child who I have spiritually adopted and who is in danger of abortion. Amen.”
Please join us in this prayer – which we include at the end of every Rosary decade – written by Bishop Fulton Sheen. Its focus on the Holy Family reminds us how important good families are to building a Culture of Life.
** WHERE WE’VE BEEN **
July 3: Lacy, Jess, and Phil appear on the “This is the Day” show on
Boston Catholic TV.
July 4: We talk to the crowds in Bristol, RI, home of the first US 4th of
July 8: We pray and counsel outside of the Hartford GYN Center (an abortion mill). Afterwards, we’re treated to muffins and donuts at the nearby St. Gerard Center.
July 9: Go Italy! Excitedly, we watch the Pope’s next-door neighbors win the Soccer World Cup. We also like that their uniforms are blue for the Blessed Mother.
July 11: In New Haven, we tour the Knights of Columbus museum and headquarters and spend two nights with the Dominicans.
July 12: Thunderstorms can’t stop us (they’re just a good excuse to take a break) as we walk past Bridgeport.
July 13: A Missionaries quartet spends the day talking to folks in NYC’s Central Park.
July 14: Marching through the “abortion capital of the world,” we pray at a half-dozen abortion mills in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
July 15: Our group nearly doubles in size as pro-life friends join us for the weekend. John, our host, doesn’t flinch when we “take over” his Brooklyn home.
July 17: Did you see us on FoxNews’ Dayside TV show? Sitting in the audience, we shared our experience with the rest of the studio. Later, we’re blessed with a Holy Hour and dinner with the Sisters of Life in the Bronx.
July 18: The pro-lifers at St. Paul’s in Princeton, NJ, are great hosts. We teach the parish’s youth group Theology of the Body through swing dancing.
July 19: Oksana and Svetlana, teenage twins from Ukraine living in NJ for the summer, walk 15 miles with us. What joy they bring!
** WHAT’S AHEAD **
July 21: Arriving in Philadelphia for the weekend.
July 23: Visiting parishes in Atlantic City, NJ.
July 24: Meeting with Philadelphia’s Cardinal Justin Rigali.
July 26: Visiting the youth group at St. John’s in Westminster, MD.
July 28: Arriving in Baltimore for the weekend.
July 30: Speaking at Theology on Tap in Baltimore.
** CATECHETICAL REFLECTION **
Men and women are equal. But they are also different. Physiologically, men have been stamped as receptive givers and women as active receivers. Pope JP2 cites our sexuality as being “not just an attribute” but a “constituent part of the person” (ToB 49).
On the Cross, Jesus’ total gift of Himself is the archetype of masculinity. By receiving her son and our savior’s sufferings at the foot of the Cross, Mary, Mother of the Church, provides the model of femininity.
Men and women complement each other. By themselves, each is incomplete. But when put together – both physiologically and with their perspectives of life – they find meaning. They find unity in their distinction. “Femininity finds itself, in a sense, in the presence of masculinity, while masculinity is confirmed through femininity” (ToB 49).
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.