Posts Tagged ‘Discipleship’

Message to a Catholic Women’s Group by Vicki Borin

In 07 Observations on 2013/04/17 at 12:00 AM

Last February, Victoria Borin, the president of Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group sent this message in the monthly newsletter. It’s message is one a wider audience will appreciate. Perhaps it will inspire and motivate some of you living in other cities, states, countries to establish such a group.

The Mission of the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group is to foster in women a greater desire to know, love and serve Jesus …. For more information on Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group, please Google: Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group or go to charlottecatholicwomensgroup.org

Dear Sisters In Christ,

My husband regularly remarks, “you must be tired,” and because of my medical history my doctors inquire if I am tired all of the time, and when I look in the mirror I can hear my mother’s voice  “Victoria, you look so tired”  (bless her heart…..).  The truth is I have been tired since my second child was born, but there is not a woman I know who by the end of the day is not exhausted, or for that matter many who feel even in their exhaustion that when they lay their head down they prayed or worked enough that day. But there is a distinction that can be made between “tiredness” and “weariness.” When one’s body and mind are tired it is the natural consequence of work (physical, physiological, intellectual, spiritual, etc.) and any properly ordered good work is an act of love.  This is a good thing. Weariness, however, is a privation of a spiritual energy and one that can and often does have physical manifestations.  Weariness, therefore, is something to which we must never consent.

The members of the Charlotte Catholic Women’s Group  are not all young, old, wives, widows or mothers, but we all share the same primary and principle vocation, that of “Christian woman,” adopted daughters of God, who are called to express Christ in our own lives.  This is work that will fatigue us, but regardless, we must not weary. There is divine energy that is transmitted through our willed contact with Christ and it is by this divine energy that weariness is held at bay and our holiness grows. As Fr. Edward Leen describes in his book,  The True Vine and Its Branches, Christ is not only for us a model but a force for our sanctification so that we may reach the ideal of perfection; perfect like the heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:48)  In fact, becoming perfect, or divinized, demands a divine energy flowing from Christ to us.  Fr. Leen tells us that this divine energy is in a mysterious manner latent in the mysteries of the Savior’s life on earth.  These mysteries are quasi-sacramental in their character, each a manifestation of the divine plus something more, because “for those, who by faith, lay hold of Christ in a willingness to be united with Him in act, the mystery possesses a divinizing power.” This is why we contemplate the mysteries of Christ’s life; for today too, in as real a way as when He walked the earth, when contact with Christ is made in “Faith and Love”, effects of sanctification flow out upon our souls.1

The CCWG exists to bring to women concrete opportunities to make contact with Christ in “Faith and Love” and also to provide through our Reflections, retreats, classes and book clubs insights to ponder and contemplate.   The opportunities abound. In February alone we will meet to hear a morning Reflection talk on forgiveness by Fr. Voitus, an evening Reflection with talks on God’s Will for us by Fr. Larry Richards and Dr. Guerendi, a Year of Faith Class entitled Faith and Suffering by Mary McDeavitt (in English and Spanish), and both a morning and evening discussion of our current book club selection, Motherless, by Brian Gail with Marla Walsh.   Moreover, our annual Lenten Retreat has been scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd.  Fr. Matthew Kauth will lead the retreat and we will focus on the Last Four Things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Details for all of these events can be found within this newsletter and on our website.

As Catholic Christians this Year of Faith, and as instruments of the New Evangelization, let us not weary in our work but rather take example from the woman in the Gospel suffering from hemorrhage (can’t you imagine how tired she must have been, not to mention anemic).  (Mk 5:24-34, also Mt 9:20-22 and Lk 8:43-48)  Fr. Leen points out that this incident shows how a “slight contact inspired by a firm faith in the divine healing power of Jesus was sufficient to release the divine energy.” He comments:“She said to herself: ‘If I shall touch only His garment I shall be healed.’ She did it without attracting attention, taking advantage of the movement of the crowds that surrounded the Master.  The result responded to her expectations.  Amongst all the number that pressed to the side of Jesus, He singles out ‘one as having touched him.’ And at that touch, as Jesus Himself said, virtue went out from Him.  The Son of man is ever at the service of His brethren for their good. The transformation of their souls is His chief concern, though He is not indifferent to their bodily welfare.  It is certain then, that if a soul lays hold of Him in faith and trusts to receive an inflow of divine life through that contact its expectation will be fulfilled.”2  Jesus Christ is always willing to allow the divinity in Him to energize our souls if not our bodies too.

Join us this winter when together we take advantage of the movement of the crowds that surround the Master, and like the woman with hemorrhage, without attracting attention, receive from our time together and contact with Christ an inflow of divine life, grace and energy.  And as for being tired, well retirement I suppose, is what heaven is for (by God’s grace).

1 Leen, The True Vine and Its Branches, New York: P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1938.

2 Ibid.

Printed with permission



“Our Lord wants us to be glad!”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/08/22 at 9:11 AM
Acquire the habit of speaking about everyone and about everything they do in a friendly manner, especially when you are speaking of those who labor in God’s service. Whenever that is not possible, keep quiet. Sharp or irritated comment may border on gossip or slander. (Furrow, 902)

Take another look over your life and ask forgiveness for this or that fault which you notice immediately with the eyes of your conscience: for using your tongue badly; for thoughts that revolve continually around yourself; for those critical judgements you made and consented to and which now cause you to worry foolishly, leaving you restless and fretful. Believe me you can be very happy! Our Lord wants us to be glad, to be drunk with joy, stepping out along the same roads of happiness that he himself walked! We only become miserable when we persist in straying off those roads, and take the path of selfishness and sensuality or, much worse, when we take the path of the hypocrites.

The Christian must prove himself to be genuine, truthful and sincere in all that he undertakes. His conduct should reflect a spirit — the spirit of Christ. If anyone in this world has a duty to be consistent with his beliefs it is the Christian, for he has been entrusted with a gift that he must make fruitful, and that gift is the truth which liberates and saves. But Father, you might ask me, how I am to achieve this sincerity of life? Jesus Christ has given his Church all the means necessary. He has shown us how to pray, how to get to know his heavenly Father. He has sent us his spirit, the Great Unknown, who acts within our souls. And he has left us those visible signs of his grace that we call the Sacraments. Use them. Intensify your life of piety. Pray every day. And never refuse to shoulder the sweet burden of Christ’s Cross.

It is Jesus who has invited you to follow him like a good disciple so that you can journey through this earthly life, sowing the peace and joy which the world cannot give. Therefore — and let me emphasize this once more — we have to walk without fear of life and without fear of death, without shrinking at any cost from pain and sorrow which, for a Christian, are always a means of purification and a chance for showing that we really love our fellow men, through the thousand and one circumstances of ordinary life. (Friends of God, 141)