Forming Intentional Disciples (part IV of V)

10-31-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The fourth step of conversion involves having SPIRITUAL SEEKING.

A person who is SPIRITUALLY SEEKING Our Lord moves from being passive to being one who actively seeks to know God. A typical question for one who is seeking God will ask: "Are you the one to whom I will give myself?" At this stage, the person who is seeking Our Lord is more engaged in the relationship. There is a deeper desire for spiritual things – things that relate to God. The person seeking God also wants to know if he or she is able to commit their lives to Our Lord and to His Church. Seekers seek Christ.

After a person is open to a relationship with Our Lord, they move to a more direct way of living. People who are SPIRITUALLY SEEKING do not sit idle simply waiting for things to happen. They become ACTIVE SPIRITUAL SEEKERS.


Mercy Killing is Murder

10-24-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With its usual heaping dose of secular manipulation, there was a story that spread through the secular press this past week about a 29-year old California native named Brittany Maynard. Tragically, Maynard was diagnosed last January with terminal brain tumors.

The article, complete with a softly lit photograph of a smiling Maynard with a puppy in her hands laying a hammock, is about her "heroic" decision to move to Oregon so that she can euthanize (kill) herself this Saturday. Of course, according to multiple new sources, it will be a "beautiful" event. She will be surrounded by her family and friends and her decision will help her avoid the "indignity of suffering." The article sickened and saddened me.

Interestingly, one of my closest priest friends had a dear friend who suffered from the same cancer, glioblastoma, just a few years ago. He shared with me that he knows full well the hardships that this woman and her family are enduring. This family needs lots of prayers.


Forming Intentional Disciples (part III of V)

10-17-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The third step of conversion involves having SPIRITUAL OPENNESS.

SPIRITUAL OPENNESS enables a person to acknowledge to himself or herself and to God that he or she is open to the possibility of a personal and spiritual change.

As Weddell admits, this is one of the most difficult transitions for a postmodern nonbeliever simply because it can take a person out of their comfort zone even though they do not have to change right now… they may realize that change is on the horizon. At this stage, a person who is open to God is simply admitting they are open to the possibility of change. A person who has SPIRITUAL OPENNESS may have experienced a struggle or difficulty and so they are now ready to give God a trial run so to speak.


Forming Intentional Disciples (part II of V)

10-12-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The second step of conversion involves having SPIRITUAL CURIOSITY.

“We must be able to talk about Jesus because we can no longer pre- sume solid knowledge of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection” (Weddell, 143). Did you know that only 65% of all Catholics know that Easter is religious holiday and only 37% of Catholics even know that the Resurrection is the meaning of Easter!?!? Protestants were asked the same question about Easter and they were more likely to connect Easter with a religious holiday (78%) and the Resurrection (51%).

When a person is intrigued by or desiring to know more about Jesus or some aspect of the Christian faith they be categorized as having SPIRITUAL CURIOSITY. This could mean that they simply have some new awareness of Our Lord or SPIRITUAL CURIOSITY could mean something life changing. A person at the doorstep of curiosity is not yet open to personal change. Curiosity is still essentially passive, but that person has more than simple trust. A person at this stage is comfortable just knowing about Our Lord rather than being in a rela- tionship with Our Lord.


Forming Intentional Disciples (part I of V)

10-05-2014Pastor's LetterFr. Don Kline

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The first step of conversion involves having INITIAL TRUST.

Hopefully, everyone understands what it means to have a friendship with someone else… what it means to have a really good friend. How about having a friendship with Our Lord? As a Catholic, do you have a positive relationship with Jesus Christ, the Church, and other Christian believers? IF you want to move closer to Our Lord then you MUST have INITIAL TRUST. Do you trust that Our Lord loves you and desires to be in a holy relationship with YOU?!?!

An example of INITIAL TRUST is shown in the experience of a young man who was considering the priesthood in the early 80's. He had some understanding of the most basic aspects of the Gospel and teachings of Christ. He was a life-long Catholic from a good Catholic family. He also found that he lived in a culture that was not always supportive of the Church and certainly not receptive to the idea of becoming a priest. He had heard all the rhetoric about how the Church needed to get with the times and allow priests to get married and have a family. He felt the pressure from his classmates to get a "real job" and make lots of money. Then there was the larger culture that made fun of priests and religious often depicting them as backward and out of touch with society.