Holy Comforter Blog:
“Summary from third session from: Catholics: Engaged in Spiritual Study
Our third and final session met May 11 and discussed the final two chapter of the book. Chapter five addressed the fourth sign of an “engaged” or “dynamic” Catholic as Evangelization. This builds on the first three signs of prayer, spiritual study, and generosity. We discover three universal principles in determining the best way to live: We are here to become the best version of ourselves (holiness); Virtue is the ultimate organizing principle; and living with self control is important and proper. God wants to “win” you with his love and wisdom. God wants to “build” you up spiritually. God wants to “send” you out into the world to share his love with others. We all unknowingly evangelize through our values, our behavior, and our priorities. We are encouraged to evangelize intentionally through developing our spirituality and sharing it with others. Try to do something each week to share your faith with others who cross your path. In summary, in chapter six, we are encouraged to embrace the New Evangelism as members of the community of God, especially through our parish, by consciously embracing the four signs of the “engaged” Catholic, and for looking for opportunities to help others along the same path. The Four Signs can be a game changer for the Catholic Church in America. The book provides a vision of how we can all grow spiritually and encourage similar growth in others by practicing the four signs and thereby moving steadily toward becoming the best version of ourselves which will have a major impact on our parish life.”
Summary from Second Session from Catholics: Engaged in Spiritual Study
Our second session met May 4 and discussed chapters 3 & 4 of our book “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic”. Chapter 3 covers the second sign which is spiritual study. Personal prayer is the foundation of spiritual growth, and spiritual study is a close second. A daily, or frequent commitment to read something spiritual will complement our prayer life and lead to new revelations and insight. We are blessed with about 2000 years of wisdom writing by our Catholic (and other) authors. Of course, daily reading of scripture should be the starting point of any spiritual reading plan. A frequent reading of the Gospels is recommended. Dynamic Catholic’s research found that, on average, “engaged” or “dynamic” Catholics read five or so pages of a spiritual book daily. But even this small commitment adds up to about eight or nine books a year. Chapter 4 addressed the third sign of generosity. Generosity is an outgrowth of gratitude. Being grateful leads to generosity. Generous people are happy people. We can be generous in many ways, with our spouse, with our patience, with our time, talent, and treasure, etc. Consider adopting an “attitude of gratitude” and expect your generosity to bloom. We have a duty to support our parish and its ministries. We should consider reviewing our financial generosity with the intent to increase it by 1% per year from the current level. 7% of parishioners provide about 80% of the financial support of their parish. Imagine what we could do if we could “grow” our “engaged” parishioners by 1% per year. We could potentially double our support of ministries and our parish over the course of seven years. We discussed how there is “genius in Catholicism” which can be boiled down to the desire of the Church for each of us to grow in holiness, or said another way, for each of us to become “the best version of ourselves”.
Our last session will be May 11 at 9:45 am in the chapel. Please join us.
Summary from First Session:
“The first session of “Catholics: Engaged in Spiritual Study” met this morning, April 27, in the chapel between Sunday Masses. We discussed chapters 1 & 2 of Matthew Kelly’s book “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic”. The four signs of “engaged” Catholics that were determined through extensive research by Dynamic Catholic are: prayer, spiritual study, generosity, and evangelization. Dynamic Catholic determined that 7% of parishioners in the average parish are “engaged” in the life of the parish and contribute about 80% of the effort and support of the parish and its’ ministries. The hope would be to grow the percentage of engaged Catholics in our parish, and therefore create a more dynamic parish life. In the second chapter of the book, we focused on the first sign: prayer. We discussed the importance of an active prayer life in the process of spiritual growth. Engaged Catholics typically have a process of prayer which would normally be a time and a place to enter into prayer on a daily basis. Further, they would have a “process within a process” that would focus on a format of prayer. The book offers one such process or format of meaningful prayer. We also discussed the “Classroom of Silence” and its’ importance in the spiritual life and noted some of the opportunities for retreats in our area including Our Lady of the Angels in Crozet and Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville. Our next session will be Sunday, May 4 at 9:45 am in the chapel, and will cover chapters 3 & 4 of the book. Please join us!”