New life in Plymouth

March 6, 2011

The past two days (Friday evening and all day Saturday) were spent presenting a condensed Life in the Spirit Seminar to the Parish Core Team at All Saints Parish in Plymouth.  This was done to prepare them to better facilitate the Lenten weekly Life in the Spirit sessions that will be sponsored by the parish in the upcoming weeks.

Father Bob Kelleher, Deacon Joe DiVizia, and the Parish Core Team were welcoming and very hospitable.  The program was conducted in the Chapel below the church.  They heard teaching on life in the Spirit mixed with personal testimony of conversion and living out the life in the Spirit.  All seemed to enjoy the variety of songs that accompanied the program.

Jim teaches on "God's Love"

On Saturday afternoon, with the music ministry playing in the background, Fr Bob, Deacon Joe and his wife, Maria, and the members of the Parish Core Team (Elaine, George, Joe, Lucille, Rosemary, Cindy, Tina, Shirley, and Claudia) were each prayed with to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Jim leads us in song as Bob prepares to speak

Bob teaches on being baptized in the Holy Spirit

Please continue to pray for them and their parish as they strive to grow deeper in their relationship with God, live the life in the Spirit, and share their faith with others.

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Live in the newness

February 23, 2011

In his Angelus address this past Sunday, Pope Benedict said:

He who welcomes the Lord in his life and loves him with all of his heart can begin again. He is able to do God’s will: to realize a new form of existence animated by love and destined for eternity.

When I go to Mass, I often recall a particular teaching of Pope John Paul II on Holy Communion, and the newness of life that it brings to us:

22. Incorporation into Christ, which is brought about by Baptism, is constantly renewed and consolidated by sharing in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, especially by that full sharing which takes place in sacramental communion.

Because of how frequently and repetitively I fail, this concept of “newness” is a source of great consolation to me.  It motivates me to avoid dwelling despairingly on the past (after appropriate repentance, of course), but to look forward with hope to new opportunities to be faithful to the will of God.  Such newness is possible only because of the mercy of our loving Lord.  Such hope comes from having faith in that mercy, as we hear in Lamentations 3:21-23

But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope:  The favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent;  They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.

~WB