Where two or three are gathered together

Where two or three are gathered together

In preparation for the Synod of the Bishops, coming up in October, we want to share the unique experience we were blessed to have here in Rome to wrap up our “Spring of Water” yearly journey.  “The Church is asking us for something that only you two can do” said Janel, our formator, one day early this year as Briana and I sat on the couch in our living room. Seeing my confused face, she continued: “…or if you prefer it’s a request of Pope Francis.” After some nervous laughter she began to explain to us an opportunity that would prove to be one of the most unique and beautiful experiences of our lives up to this point. From March 19 – 25, Briana and I lived a week of encounter with young people who were called together by the Pope and Church from all over the...

Being a light for others

Being a light for others

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. But later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;...

Blessed technology!

Blessed technology!

It is 10:10 pm on May 21, a normal weekday like many others. After reciting Night Prayer I say goodnight to my sisters and I go to my bedroom. I start checking the various emails, messages and phone calls from the day, as well as ones from the past few days to which I have not yet replied. To my great surprise I notice an unusual message: a priest from Congo, who is pastor of a parish in Naples, forwards me a voice message from a woman I had never heard from. This may seem like something simple, but I ended up receiving an incredible and surprising gift: the message, in fact, was from a 41-year old woman named Patrizia, who has been suffering from ALS since she was eighteen. Because of her illness, she does not speak, walk or move. Yet she was able to “write” me...

Loved and Called

Loved and Called

What I remember from that night is that I didn’t really want to go that late evening meeting.I was tired and wished I could go home. Not knowing why, I sat down next to a student whom I had only seen in passing and, despite my reluctance to start a conversation, I chose to love that young woman and began to talk with her. To my surprise, I noticed that the conversation was flowing very easily. Before we parted we exchanged contact information. That same evening, Jennifer sent me an e-mail, asking if we could begin meeting regularly for a journey that soon would turn into vocational discernment, which eventually led her to join a religious community. When I recall this event — one of the many daily events of my consecrated life — the words of Pope Francis come to...

De-cide: the art of cutting away

De-cide: the art of cutting away

How did Michelangelo create the David? The David is one of the most famous statues created by an artist who is a household name. Why is that? These are questions that have been handed down through the ages along with the fame of this man and his statue. They are similar to another question that every man encounters in his heart: what is the purpose of my life? Vocational discernment – discovering how the Lord is inviting one to love fully and completely – and Michelangelo have a lot in common. The answer to how Michelangelo created the David and how to discern God’s will for one’s life is the same: cutting away everything that is not the David. Vocational discernment is like Michelangelo sculpting the David. It takes time to learn how to listen to the voice of...

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening

I close my eyes I see myself on a mountain path. What a fascinating adventure, as I discover the beauty of creation, this place in which the Maker of all has left so many clues of His care for us. With each step I take, trampling upon the loose gravel, I observe the pine needle sand the flowery meadow, where I can barely see where the path will lead. I am struck by the deep blue of the gentian flowers and the bright yellow of the alpine anemones. A stag has walked this trail; I can tell from the hoof prints I see. And what are those holes in between the rocks? It’s the groundhog’s burrow. Everything speaks; and yet, a careless tourist could be clueless about the beautiful reality surrounding him. At times our spiritual journey resembles this tourist: it is both...