Spiritual Advisor (Each month, a Spiritual Advisor will write an article)
My beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God our Father and fellowship with the Holy Spirit be with you all and sustain you in all that you are about.
Isn’t it great to be back in Carey in our “own home” as it were? Kudos to Karen and John Reinhart who have stepped out in faith and are making it happen for all of us. Please pray for them and support them in any way that they need. If you own your own home then you know that home ownership has its many perks, but there is also the reality and downside of an older building with upkeep and constant repairs.
We are back! And it feels so good to have weekends again. The Fall English Men’s weekends have taken place and the English Women’s weekend is about to happen. NOW is the time to begin praying about candidates for the Spring Weekends. Be about making friends and being a friend… and bringing them to Christ perhaps through the Cursillo Movement.
I was blessed recently by being a participant on a pilgrimage to Medjugorji. This was my first time there and it was an awesome experience. Unlike Rome and the Holy Land, which can be prayerful if you are intent about it, but mostly you are a tourist, Medjugorji is a very peaceful, holy and prayerful place. Our Lady’s presence is felt -and not just because of all the statues - but a real sense of peacefulness. The rosary, Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession and hands on participation in the service to the poor and elderly are an essential part of the pilgrimage.
Climbing Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain is an ordeal but again very prayerful and reflective. From the rocks come five stones as reminders of who we are and what we are supposed to be doing.
1. Pray the rosary everyday from the heart. Eventually pray and meditate on all four sets of mysteries each day.
2. Read Sacred Scripture every day. Daily readings, the coming Sunday readings or choose a book of the bible and read it through a chapter a day.
3. Attend Mass on the weekend and during the week if possible.
4. Fast twice a week (especially on Wednesday and Friday). Try just bread and water. Or fast from T.V. or social media.
5. Go to confession once a month and spiritual direction.
This past June, Fr Skip and I attended the Priest, Deacon Seminarian Conference at Franciscan University in Steubenville. During the four days there, I picked up information about “Discipleship Quads” and brought it home. What sparked my interest is our Cursillo Grouping and how this was a parallel or could be useful for us as we group.
Quad groups are four people (same gender) thus the name quad (four) who commit to meet weekly with each other in prayer, study and action. After a year, they each form another quad with three other people. There is a Guidebook to direct the group with the study portion with reflective questions and challenges to do some kind of action. The guidebook is a key to the process. The focus is on discipleship in Jesus Christ, and then to make new disciples.
In Cursillo Grouping there are three or four and sometimes more. Commitment to the process and to each other is assumed but not always required or even expected. The content of the group discussion is supposed to center on prayer, study and action. But the content of what the prayer, the study and the action are very nebulous and usually are not done in the group. The focus is often to keep the movement going and not always the person of Jesus Christ.
I was thinking that maybe we could reflect on this process during our School of Leaders and perhaps make some recommendations to our groups through the ARK. The material about Discipleship Quads are free for the download and can be accessed by using the address: steubenvilleconference.com/discipleship-quads. I look forward to seeing you during the Apostolic Holy Hours and at the School of Leaders.
Your brother in Christ, Fr Jim Brown