Tag Archives: talent
I find it interesting to note that in the Gospels, Jesus never gives a straight answer to a question posed to Him. Actually, He did give a straight answer once, when the rich young man asked Him which was the greatest commandment and then followed up with another question, “What more must I do to be saved?”
Evidently, the rich young man did not like the direct answer Jesus gave him to the follow-up question, because the Gospel says that “he went away sad, because he had many possessions” (Mt 19: 22).
There have been, however, careful studies of how people in the U.S, actually use the 10,080 minutes that make up a week. Here are some of the findings:
Anne Rice, the famous author of horror novels, rediscovered her Catholic Faith a couple of years ago. Last month, she publicly renounced her Catholic Faith. She said she would not belong to any Church or religion and would no longer even be a Christian, although she would continue to be “spiritual” and believe in Christ. Go figure!
Many modern people today espouse that they are spiritual, but not religious, belonging to no organized religious group. But is that possible? Not if you are Catholic, for Catholic spirituality means accepting the Catholic Faith, which always entails being a “Churchman.”
The experience of learning is a human activity that is a lifelong process. Whether we realize it or even acknowledge it, our opportunities to learn about life, acquire new knowledge or strengthen our faith are always right before us. While the potential to learn is constant, our “classrooms” keep changing. Where we experience “learning” is anyone’s guess, and happens everywhere in the world around us. Most of the time, it is pretty close to home. Places of learning are all around us. To learn special skills and gain specific understanding about what is relevant and helpful to our lives and those we serve is something that happens all the time.
So… what would a “school of discipleship” look like? The answer should be obvious. It looks like the parish you and I attend, and the one to which we belong. Our parish church functions as a place of learning as well as a place of worship. It is the place where you and I learn about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is a place where we encounter others who are disciples ministering to others. It is a place where we practice discipleship in our own unique way using the gifts God has given us. It is a place where we practice the stewardship way of life.
God created everything, that which is visible and invisible. Our Catholic Faith places an emphasis not only on the invisible realities of spirituality, but also on the visible and tangible realities of spirituality. For example, the sacraments of the Church are very “materialistic” in the positive sense. We use water, oil, bread, wine, incense, music, art, fabric, flowers, gold, brass, marble, wood and everything else to show forth the invisible, to make God more tangible and real, especially God’s action in the world through Jesus Christ.
Some Christians, such as the Puritans, were very leery of the Catholic Church’s emphasis on elaborate liturgies, fine churches, vestments, and all the other accoutrements we use in our liturgies. They wanted a simple, stark and sterile spirituality. In a sense, they were opposed to the body and the material, seeing it as evil or imperfect, while the invisible realities of faith were to be savored as good and holy.