April 7, 2012
By now you probably know that this year’s prayerful meditations for the Good Friday Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome were written by a married couple. You can find the text here or here.
I found the family-centeredness of the reflections to be very moving. One of my personal favorites, which gave rise to an extended period of gratitude-filled reminiscing, was the concluding section of the Fifth Station:
The Cyrenean also brings to mind the faces of all those people who have been close to us at times when a heavy cross befell us or our family. He calls to mind the many volunteers throughout the world who generously devote themselves to comforting and assisting those suffering and in distress. He teaches us humbly to let ourselves be helped at times of need, and to be Cyreneans to others.
Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation at the conclusion of the Via Crucis is also worthy of reflection, highlighting truths that we should never forget or take for granted.
April 1, 2012
Last Tuesday evening (March 27) was the sixth and FINAL session sponsored by our Community during which we previewed ChristLife’s “Discovering Christ” program.
After some prayer and praise, the group viewed the eighth video entitled “New Life in the Spirit: Being a Catholic Disciple,” by David Nodar, and then the ninth and final video entitled “Community and the Sacraments: Why We Need the Church,” by Father Erik Arnold. After the videos, the group discussed the presentations.
Some of the impressive qualities of the program which were highlighted by those in attendance:
- Someone commented that at least one point in each talk has “touched him in a very deep way.”
- Fr Arnold’s “Church without Christ” comments were especially timely in light of recent internet buzz on “faith in Christ without religion.”
Some of the challenges that were surfaced:
- There were still comments in favor of LIVE presentations, and something else was needed to “Mix-up” (i.e., add variety to) the constant DVD presentation. To balance this, the point was also made that we are NOT seeing the true effectiveness of the program because we do not know what happened in the share groups.
- While there was some concern over the lack of reference to the parish for community, it was believed the participants in these particular videos were probably students who would not find community at a local parish, but at home.
- This point helped us all realize that this presentation is very important and usually “tailored” to the situation. Where there is strong opportunity to experience community in the parish, direction is given; if that encouragement needs to be directed to another group (i.e., prayer group, covenant community, etc.), then that suggestion can also be made. Ideally, a parish would have ways to bring in those completing the seminar, but that is not always the case.
- Some questioned if the ChristLife approach falls short our expectations of the Life in the Spirit Seminar in the Catholic Charismatic renewal.
- The point was made that any concerns about the DVD vs. Live presentations should be carefully discerned. Can our own desire to give talks be in the way? Do we have too much ownership?
What is Next?
Jim Gialanella thanked the attendees for their steady participation in the project, and had everyone complete a questionnaire on the presentations. Jim has subsequently tabulated these responses, and will report them to the CCR Life in The Spirit Committee that will meet on Wednesday, April 11. Hopefully, the committee can come to some conclusion about using the ChristLife Program in any future Life in the Spirit Seminars. Finally, many thanks to all at ChristLife for making this tool available to the Church!