Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mission Confirmed

Confirmation season is rolling around again - get ready to wade through that sea of red robes! Remember getting ready to give the Bishop your name and your saint's name and have him smear that funky-smelling stuff on your forehead?

Remember the promises we made to one another? To God? To ourselves?

How many of us still live by those promises? How many of those promises have we broken? Directly or indirectly?

Something I've always appreciated about Confirmation is the individuality of it. It's one of the first occasions we have in our lives of being able to name ourselves. Of being able to choose for ourselves what means the most to us - humility? Go for St. Bernadette or St. Francis of Assisi. Leadership? St. Joan of Arc. How about fun? St. John Bosco is your man.

It was always kind of fun for us to see who could get the best Saints. Who could pick the ones that most closely tied into our lives or our natures. It's an important decision - one that we probably take a little too lightly. We tend to treat it like we're picking an accessory instead of asking for eternal help from Saints and angels. But it's ours - something we pick for ourselves as individuals in the Church.

How many of us still conform to the same old ways of prayer and sacrifice without taking our very natures into account? Can you imagine if we all went into the same line of work when we grew up? Every type of prayer is sacred, but prayer can fit into every type of life. Like with picking our Confirmation Saints, we should be carefully considering how we are going to pray with our lives. Are you a people-person? Maybe teaching or service-work should be your focus. How about a super-introvert? Maybe academia or philosophy would suit you.

Have you tried everything? Have you done your research? Have you thought out how you are going to use your Confirmation to make you the best you can be?

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Much love, darlings!
Ceci Galvin
CYM, St. John the Evangelist

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Darkest of the Dark

This week's topic is dark and sad and tragic in just about every way. And the difficult part is that we have to be able to find the light. This is a very personal and very emotional subject, and one that unfortunately almost every one of us has, in some way, experienced.

I'm not going to tell you that it's not going to be easy, or that there are ways of finding out what to do and how to act. I'm not going to tell you exactly how to treat these conditions and disorders. The fact is, everyone is different. That includes every person who has these problems, and every person approaching them. A colleague of mine once told me that when discussing their anxiety disorder, they only responded well to "tough love" from some people, and not others. They needed wisdom and support from me. They needed a "get over it" talking-to from someone else. They needed endless cuddles from yet another. Not everyone needs the same thing, and practically no one is able to give every approach.

What I an going to tell you to do is this: don't stop caring for them. Don't write them off from your thoughts and your prayers. I've (sadly) seen too many of these cases where it would be easy for one party to cut the chord and walk away, since these disorders are inherently isolating. And while it may not be possible to constantly be by their side and hold their hand, as much as we might like to, we should never stop trying, even indirectly, to help. Even if "helping" is just changing the subject, or giving them a hug, or asking their family how they are.

Never stop caring. When these situations arise, we often find ourselves in the most difficult positions in which we've ever been; but we must always remember that these, like us, are children of God. No matter how they treat God, how they treat themselves, or how they treat us - we owe them love. And as we talked about at the meeting, that means different things to and from different people. But it's still owed. And now, more than ever, when these problems are so prevalent, and the idea of love is so warped and unrecognizable, we need pure and genuine love for one of the darkest problems we have ever faced.

Band together, and be the light in the darkness when no one else will.

"For I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear,
I will help you."
Isaiah 41:13

Much love,
Ceci Galvin
CYM, St. John the Evangelist