MAlogo2  Ave Maria
  Parish
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Catechesis

sufferingLooking Anew at the Realities of Suffering

Profound suffering, like a howling wind sweeping over and around people, is a force to contend with. It shakes people, knocks them off balance and causes them to feel uncertain what to do or which way to turn.

Harsh suffering damages the hope that people require and leaves them feeling isolated in their anguish—alone, misunderstood, weakened and struggling.

It seems important to state that human suffering is painful. The terms “pain” and “suffering” frequently are linked, as if to suggest they are twins.

Christians take the pain of suffering most seriously. The crucifix behind or above the altar in a Catholic church vividly reminds believers that Christ suffered an utterly painful death on a cross.

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ANCHORING SOCIAL MINISTRY:  PRAYER AND WORSHIP

twim 3 35 fb shareThe most important setting for the Church’s social teaching is not in a food pantry or in a legislative committee room, but in prayer and worship, especially gathered around the altar for the Eucharist. It is in the liturgy that we find the fundamental direction, motivation, and strength for social ministry. Social ministry not genuinely rooted in prayer can easily burn itself out. On the other hand, worship that does not reflect the Lord’s call to conversion, service, and justice can become pious ritual and empty of the gospel.

We support new efforts to integrate liturgy and justice, to make clear that we are one people united in faith, worship, and works of charity and justice. We need to be a Church that helps believers recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread and those without bread. Eucharist, penance, confirmation, and the other sacraments have essential social dimensions that ought to be appropriately reflected in how we celebrate, preach, and pray. Those who plan and preside at our worship can help the parish community understand more clearly the spiritual and scriptural roots of our pursuit of justice without distorting or imposing on the liturgy.

Our social ministry must be anchored in prayer, where we uncover the depths of God’s call to seek justice and pursue peace. In personal prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, and quiet reflection on the Christian vocation, we discover the social mission of every believer. In serving those in need, we serve the Lord. In seeking justice and peace, we witness to the reign of God in our midst. In prayer, we find the reasons, the strength, and the call to follow Jesus in the ways of charity, justice, and peace.Our social ministry must be anchored in prayer, where we uncover the depths of God’s call to seek justice and pursue peace. In personal prayer, the reading of the Scriptures, and quiet reflection on the Christian vocation, we discover the social mission of every believer. In serving those in need, we serve the Lord. In seeking justice and peace, we witness to the reign of God in our midst. In prayer, we find the reasons, the strength, and the call to follow Jesus in the ways of charity, justice, and peace.

 

mass schedule2

See note on Needs for Project Blessing in Lexington, here!