Recording (download at Internet Archive):
Fr. Greg has been a priest for 25 years and is currently pastor at Holy Angels and St. Anthony parishes in Dayton, Ohio. This week, he talked to us about waiting.
Life is a series of waitings―one following another. All waiting is ultimately about waiting for God, for the full encounter with Him that comes after death. However, to some degree the waiting is over: God entered into our time, with Jesus leading us from one day to the next.
How do we live each day in the present, while looking toward the future? How do we experience God’s presence, especially in light of all the distractions and noise in today’s society? Fr. Greg proposed five things:
- Slow down. We need time to experience God’s presence.
- We’re busy not because we’re bad people, but because it’s all we know in our culture.
- Try scratching out an activity or two in your planner this week.
- Silence and meditation. Our usual hubbub can drown out the voice of God.
- Consider starting your prayer with silence.
- Breathing exercises, repeat a phrase as a mantra, etc.
- St. Mother Teresa: The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; of faith is love; of love is service; of service is peace
- Lectio divina. Ancient method of prayerfully reading sacred scripture
- Any revelation likely won’t be an immediate eureka moment, but you’ll have an idea to reflect on throughout the day.
- Encounter of the sacraments. Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing, are powerful (if disguised) ways of encountering the Lord.
- Mass isn’t just about getting (peace, communion, a good homily)―it’s an encounter with God, right then and there
- Unsure about something in a homily? Reflect on it throughout the day.
- Interpersonal encounters. Christ is present in the people we meet. Watch your words.
Quotes and resources
- Psalm 27: Be courageous and wait for the Lord.
- St. Augustine: Our hearts are restless until they rest in you
- Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you, I knew you.
- The vocations crisis in the West is not because God isn’t calling, but because we aren’t listening (St. Mother Teresa?)
- Francis de Sales
- Emphasized that everyone is called to holiness (not just clergy and religious)
- Books: Introduction to the Devout Life; the Spiritual Directory
- Fr. Thomas Dailey: Live Today Well: Francis de Sales’ Simple Approach to Holiness
- Concentrate on today in trust that God will guide you tomorrow (paraphrase)
- Getting out of bed is an experience of the resurrection
- How do we balance waiting and seeking God’s will?
When we seek God’s will, it should be for today. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
- As a non-Catholic, how can I participate in the sacrament of penance?
You cannot receive the sacrament, but you are welcome to enter the confessional during that time seeking counseling and an encounter with the Lord–most priests should be okay with this
- What is your favorite way to bring Christ to others?
The Eucharist. Preaching and teaching.
- How to understand God’s plan in light of free will?
- He thought you into being before you were created.
- We can violate His plan by free will.
- Theologian: “If I didn’t follow God’s vocation for me, is that a sin? Not unless you intentionally rejected it.” Doing that is rare; life is complex and we may have thought we were making the right choice at the time (and we must remain in whatever sacrament we may have entered).