Sunday, February 15, 2009

Renewed in the Spirit

I have been aware of the Renew movement within the Catholic Church for many years.  I have always been either in a forward thinking family or been forward thinking in my own theology and parish selections.  I have been a promoter of Renew International's Why Catholic program and many other up and coming movements within the church.  I am opposed to stagnet worship.

However, as is common with people in the"ministry", I have seen my personal 'walk with the Lord' become somewhat stagnet.  The ministry was slowly becoming a "job".  Ministry can lose its luster if it us not cultivated, but there have been many other outside forces that were at work.  Sure, my ministry load is rather intense and a-typical (I am DRE and YM and a large parish) and I do not have the typical training of most people in my line of work (this is more a benefit than a hinderance), but I have a wonderful staff and I am at an awesome parish.  Still, the past year was difficult and even draining.  My son had more than his fair share of medical issues and surgeries  and I even went under the knife myself.

I think I was able to start the FF year (September) off on a good foot.  I was allowed another staff member (very part-time) to help me with HS Youth Ministry.  YM was my most need area of ministry.  I had lost my zeal for creating and delivering meaningful lessons.  Things have been going very well and the ministry moving right along.

A month ago I attended the Youth Minister's Retreat at The Franciscan University of Steubenville - my alma mater.  I had gone to the same retreat two years ago and loved it.  Last year I could not go because we had 1st Reconciliation schedued for that weekend.  I really needed it this year.

Santa brought me a new iPod iTouch.  As a result I have rediscovered Podcasts  Before leaving for the retreat, I loaded the iTouch up with various Christian/Catholic podcasts.  The 10 Daily Breakfast episodes I downladed sufficed for the 7 hour drive to the retreat.  They were awesome.  Father Roderick is such a pleasure to listen to. The other shows I downloaded were rather weak compared to his show.  So the combination of lack-luster podcasts and salty road spray (it was snowing) made the trip home so much longer.

Leading off an absolutely wonderful retreat with an enjoyable drive really did wonders.  I was able to focus my mind and my soul to allow to Spirit to move within me.  The Lord truly spoke to me and poured his love out upon me.  Since then, so many things in my life are straightening out, lining up and alowing me to do His work.

One of the items I am most eager to get moving in again is HS Youth Ministry.  When my life is in a funk.  By 7pm on Sundays for the past 12 months I have been drained.  The Lord sent me help and I have been gratefully using that help.  Now I have the itch to get back into it.  I now feel I can once again lead the sheep.  I pray my help does not mind - the help.

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