A Christian Steward Trusts

A Christian Steward Trusts

Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday and I have my Divine Mercy image in a prominent place with it’s gentle reminder, “Jesus, I trust in You” both challenging and comforting me this week. The day before yesterday the talented team assisting my office with the update to our web page and the creation of a new set of education resources were discussing some of the core attitudes of a Steward. I mentioned trust. A Christian Steward receives God’s gifts gratefully and in order to be open to receiving gifts one has to trust the Giver. Therefore, trust is fundamental. This was my argument.. A team member said, “It seems to me that trust comes more on the back end than on the front end. I would say that trust is an attribute of a Dedicated Disciple.” So the interesting question raised is:

Do we become Dedicated Disciples and then grow in our trust of the Lord?

— OR —

Do we trust in God and then grow to become his Dedicated Disciples?

And to that I would say, “Yes.” The answer to both questions is “Yes.” It isn’t really an either/or question. Rather, like so many other things in Christianity, it is a both/and. One of the fundamental effects of Original Sin is an almost innate mistrust of God. Like Eve, we hear the whisper of the Evil One saying, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the Garden?” (Gen 3:1) In other words, “God can’t be trusted. He isn’t telling you the truth. He’s holding out on you.” We are all subject to this whisper. And I believe the enemy is persistent, both at the beginning of our journey of faith and later. The whisper continues. And so does our battle against it.

The beautiful message of Divine Mercy is necessary, good, and true both at the beginning, , and as we grow in stewardship; both a necessary belief at the outset that gives us a reason to yes to Jesus’ invitation to be his disciple and a virtue we deepen and strengthen as our experience of the great love of God grows with the passage of time. “Jesus I trust in You!” is a good message for beginners and dedicated disciples alike.

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CHANCERY OFFICE

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Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

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Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
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Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

Finding Ourselves the Outsider

Finding Ourselves the Outsider

“My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”

Luke 15: 31

I know it was last Sunday’s gospel, but the story of the Prodigal Son is just one of those that stick with you!  It is such a rich story and I think every time I hear it in the liturgy, it touches my heart in a different way.  This story and I go way back.  When I was in high school, we had a guest priest at my parish for a weekend and this was the Gospel.  This priest had a gift for preaching and I still remember how he broke open this story and shared with us the deeper significance of the Father asking for a ring, sandals, and a robe for the younger son; namely that these items symbolized the restoration of the son as a son. For me it was the first “Aha moment” with the Scriptures, realizing that they contain much more than meets the eye.  

This year, it is the plight of the older son that has my attention.  Fr. Pablo Gadenz pointed out to me that the elder son never calls his father, Father.  He also doesn’t call the younger son his brother, rather he calls him your son.  He doesn’t have a desire to celebrate with his family, instead complains that he has never been given a young goat to celebrate with his friends.  Lastly, he says, “all these years I have served you . .” which could also be translated, “slaved for you . .”  All of these things lead me to ponder.  Even though the older son has never left his father in a literal sense, it seems that he has departed from his father in a very real way.  He has removed himself from the family and sees himself as “slaving” for his father.  He, too, needs his sonship restored.  It reminds me of the line, “This people’s hearts are far from me.” (cf. Is. 29:15, Matt. 15:8)

The difficult question is, does he realize his plight?  Does he know the reason for his anger, his resentment, his feelings of unjust treatment?  Has he slowly drifted into this sense of isolation and the feeling of not belonging, not being loved?  Does he realize his choices led him there and he has the power to come back into the embrace of the Father? And the even more challenging question is, do I? 

The Father’s love, mercy, and forgiveness are constant.  He goes out to meet both sons.  The younger son, having realized his plight, receives the Father’s mercy and forgiveness and is restored.  We all can find ourselves in the positions of the older and younger sons at different times in life.  But I think the place of the older son can be more challenging.  The renouncing of the Father’s love is more subtle.  The outward behavior seems exemplary.  He has followed all “the rules”.  And yet, he still finds himself an outsider. 


“Every day of this holy season of Lent cries out God’s love to us, and for us.  Are we going to begin to cry out our love back to him?  Or are we going to hem ourselves into a sort of deadly prison, by deadly words . . . Christ says, ‘Do you love me?’ and we do not answer directly like St. Peter did, ‘Yes, I love you, Lord.’ . . . We say ‘Maybe; perhaps I will start loving you a little later.’ This is the season when we hear the nails being put into his hands because he loved us.  He did not say, ‘Maybe, perhaps.’ He just said, “I love you, and the proof is that I am dying for you.’ That is all.”  Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty  

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CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

“I Used to Think My Mom Lived in the Laundry Room!”

“I Used to Think My Mom Lived in the Laundry Room!”

Last October, the Chancery staff retreat was led by Deacon James Keating of the Archdiocese of Omaha.  One of the stories he told us has come to my mind recently as we approach the season of Lent.  He shared:

When I was a small boy, I used to think my mom lived in the laundry room.  Caring for a large family, she seemed to always be doing a load of laundry.  One morning, I came down to the kitchen.  As I drew near, I heard my mom’s voice from the laundry room, “Jimmy, don’t touch the cookies!”  She had been up early and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies were on the counter.  I inched over to them.  I looked longingly at them.  I smelled them.  Finally, I climbed up on the counter to sit next to them.  I looked carefully at the full plate, picking out the biggest one and thinking, “that is the one I will choose when she gives me permission to have one.” 

Suddenly, I heard the sound of her coming up the steps.  Panicking, I leapt off the counter.  The plate of cookies came down with me, crashing to the floor, shattering the plate and sending cookies in all directions.  When she entered the room, I was standing in the midst of the mess with my head down.
                “Jimmy, did you do this?” my mom said.
                “No.” I whispered, head down.
                “Jimmy, did you do this?” my mom said again.
                “No.” I whispered once more, my head still down.
                Tiptoeing through the mess, she came to me, and lifted my chin.  My eyes darted back and forth.  I was reluctant to look into her eyes.  Finally, unable to resist “the mom stare”, I looked at her.  With her eyes locked on mine, she said once more, “Jimmy, did you do this?”
                “Yes.” I said as the tears welled up.
                She hugged me tightly and while I was secure in her arms and enveloped in her love, she whispered to me, “Don’t ever lie to me again.”
This, he went on to say, is precisely how the Lord deals with us.  He does invite us to own up to the mess of sin and chaos which surrounds us.  Gently, he asks us, “did you do this?”   However, he ALWAYS does so within the embrace of His great love for us. 

As we prepare to enter the season of Lent, the Church invites us to repentance, to a metanoia (a complete change of heart, a turning around – away from sin and towards the Lord).  I find myself asking this question, “What am I going to do for Lent?”  But, I believe the better question is, “What does the Lord want to do in me this Lent?”  Deacon Keating’s story inspires me to have the courage to stand in the midst of the shattered plates and scattered cookies in my life and to look Jesus in the eye and have the courage to receive the truth of the brokenness in life and take responsibility for my part in it.  Most importantly, though, it inspires me to allow myself to be received into the loving arms of Jesus and allow Him to hold me tightly.  And then to listen as he reveals to me the real root of my sin and the way out of it. 

In the coming days, let’s make room in our lives for some silence and invite the Lord in.  Not to ponder, “What am I going to do for Lent?”, but instead, “Jesus, what do you desire to do in and for me this Lent?”

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

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CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418