In an effort to assist you in maintaining and even growing a Lively Faith in a time of social distancing, last week we shared resources for prayer.  This week, I would like to share with you some ideas for study, the second of the three parts of Lively Faith in our Stewardship Initiative.  

The opportunities for online learning are exploding right now.  I am seeing many Catholic organizations working very hard to develop and make available learning resources for adults and children alike.  Many things now being made available were only available previously by subscription, but in these difficult times, fees and memberships are being waived.  In fact, I think it can be overwhelming.  As is true for so many things in America, there are actually too many good choices!  Prudence and discernment are required.  Stewards are intentional.  In this situation, we have the opportunity to be very intentional about what we choose and how we choose it.  These are the things I am encouraging myself to do:

  • Pray and ask the Lord to help you choose those things which will draw you and your family closer to Him and closer to one another.
  • Choose activities that bring you together and foster good, holy habits.
  • Keep silence in your day, encourage time just for pondering and allow time for conversations with others and with God.
  • Develop a healthy routine with time for prayer, work, study and leisure.  As Fr. Mark-Mary, CFR reminds us that the Church has been living “quarantine” successfully for at least 1500 years of her history in a way that is healthy physically, mentally and spiritually within the monastic tradition.  We know how to do this well!  Let’s draw on that wisdom.  

 

My top three things to do between now and Easter:

  • Spend some time studying the Bible each day.  There are so many resources to help:
  • Share this ten-minute podcast by Fr. John Riccardo with those I love to help us all prepare to celebrate Holy Week well. You Were Born For This, Episode 22.
  • Make Holy Week different than any other week.  Plan something (Stations of the Cross, Scripture study, Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, etc.) each day to pray and study and reflect on the great gift of our salvation.  Write down the plan.

Other good options as time permits:

  • In addition to some new offerings, Formed has made all of their content free for the time being.  There are cartoons for kids, movies, many faith formation programs, a reflection on the Sunday Readings, talks and books.  Visit formed.org to see the many things they have to offer.
  • Ascension Press is also releasing many live-streamed programs such as bible studies, reflections from well-known speakers like Fr. Mike Schmitz and others.  Visit their website or check out their You Tube channel.
  • We have great resources right here at home.  Check out some of the great conferences we have had over the past few years!  I never tire of recommending those listed on the stewardship resource page.  Just click here and then scroll down to Live Replays.
  • Of all the national speakers I have heard, Chris and Tony at Casting Nets Ministries have the best way of connecting discipleship, stewardship and evangelization that I have heard.  Their talks match up with our stewardship initiative beautifully.  They recently did an online mission and the talks they gave here at the Summit in 2017 are re-done to reflect the current situation we live in.  They can be viewed on their You Tube channel.

Remember that even in a time of pandemic, we can keep our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Let’s encourage one another and strive to empty ourselves even more completely this coming week, so that the Lord can fill us with Easter Joy on April 12th!  Easter has not and never will be cancelled.  Amen?!

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