Week 6: Fr. Chris Geiger – Made for Greatness

Recording (download at Internet Archive):

Fr. Chris became a priest in 2016, and is currently parochial vicar at St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes in Milford, Ohio. He brews beer in his spare time.

Summary

You are made for greatness; you are unique and unrepeatable. There’s a difference between doing something great and being great. How do we achieve greatness?

If you want to be great, be holy. Being holy doesn’t mean being boring.

All of us can write a blank check to Jesus: “I give myself to you, no matter what.” One way to do that is a Marian consecration; if we give ourselves to Mary, it’s her job to bring us to Jesus.

Quotes and Resources

Saint John Paul the Great by Jason Evert – “Everyone comes into the world in diapers. Most of us leave in them, just much bigger ones.”

Pope Benedict XVI – “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort; you were made for greatness.

Pope Francis homily, 3/28/14 – “The God of mercy; he does not tire of forgiving. We are the ones who tire in asking for forgiveness, but he does not tire.”

33 Days to Morning Glory – Marian consecration book

Questions

  • How do we balance enjoying the good things in the world but not getting caught up in the comforts?
    • Live a life of joy (not the same as happiness).
    • Enjoy healthy recreation. Seek comfort when you need rejuvenation.
    • When we seek comfort for comfort’s sake, that’s where we go awry.
  • Can you speak to singleness as a vocation?
    • Everyone is called to holiness, no matter your vocation or state in life.
    • There is something qualitatively different between being a single person vs. married, ordained, or in an order (all constitute a commitment).
      • Different does not imply that one is better or worse.
  • How do you carry out a personal leap of faith?
    • Go home and tell Jesus, “I am yours.”
    • Confession is a tool to erase any barriers keeping you from making that commitment.
  • How can our wounds lead to greatness instead of holding us back?
    • Our God comforts and heals. We have to trust in him. If we have a wound or weakness we can’t overcome on our own, turn to God and say, “I need you.”
  • How can fight the temptation to hold back areas of life from God?
    • Ask yourself, do I really know God? If you do, you’ll want to share everything with Him.
    • Mo Teresa – I worry that some of you have not yet encountered the Lord in your heart (to the missionaries of charity)
  • Why is greatness scary?
    • It requires total commitment.
  • How do you strive for greatness in a chaotic environment?
    • You have to make time for the Lord.
    • Give your struggles and chaos to Jesus when they happen.
  • How do we help people see what real greatness is in the midst of what the world sees it as?
  • Can you talk about the joy of confession as a priest?
    • You are letting Jesus win the battle for your heart.
    • I’m inspired by the courage people show when coming before a priest to admit where they messed up.
  • How do your distinguish between what makes you great and what you enjoy doing?
  • How do we internalize greatness from something that’s head knowledge to something we believe in our hearts?
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Week 5: Kelley Brown – Dating: Finding Completion in God

Recording (download at Internet Archive) (sorry about the poor audio quality):

About Kelley

Kelley is wife of 14 years to Dayton ToT veteran Courtney Brown, and mom of six going on seven. She grew up in South Carolina and today lives in Cincinnati.

Summary

Kelley describes dating as a heart condition:

  • What you are doing is preparing for your vocation
  • It cultivates the culture you’re going to have in your vocation
  • Look at your current condition: wounds, brokenness, etc.
  • If you ask God to show you the areas of your heart that need healing, he’ll start to.

Have physical and emotional boundaries.
Have an idea of what things are important to you.

Kelley goes on a date with her husband every week.

Passport to Purity – mother daughter retreat

  • If you are pursuing God first, even though it’s hard, your heart will stay strong
  • Even though it hurts, you know there’s a bigger picture involved
  • Think about the decisions you make now with the person you’re dating — if you don’t end up marrying them, how will it affect them in their/your future marriage?

Marriages is two imperfect people in a perfect union because Christ is at the center. You don’t have to wait for “I do” for Christ to be your center.

The purpose of dating is to get closer to God. Dating needs to be less serious and more fun.

Jason Evert – Every day we need to say yes to what God is calling you to do

  • If your relationship is not rooted in prayer, start praying on your own and together (or don’t start dating yet if you’re not)
  • Praying as a couple can be awkward, it takes time to develop

The more we can trust God with our heart, the more we can center on Him, and the more we can love the person we’re dating instead of using them to fill a need.

Quotes and Resources

Questions

  • How can you address loneliness without seeking affirmation from others?
    • If you feel lonely now, you need to find out where it’s coming from.
    • I was seeking affirmations from people all my life, but I wasn’t believing them.
    • If you struggle with loneliness:
      • Pray. Get uncomfortable in prayer.
      • Seek wise counsel.
      • If you ask, God will show you where it comes from.
    • I was afraid to admit I was lonely because I thought people would think I was stupid for feeling lonely with all these people around me.
  • Have you found that believing and experiencing that you are unconditionally loved just as you are has allowed you to face and work through and find healing for your brokenness and flaws?
    • Yes. God is constantly working on me.
    • Believing and experiencing that I am loved has come in stages.
    • Instead of looking at my past as a track record of failure, I now look at it as a track record of the Lord’s victory.
  • To clarify, getting to know yourself and finding God’s purpose for you through dating vs. getting to know yourself as well as possible to prepare for dating
    • In dating, you need to know who you are separate from the other person.
    • You need to know your strengths and weaknesses in the light of Christ
  • The hardest part about the beginning of marriage?
    • Courtney leaving his underwear on the bathroom floor (still does)
    • Trusting in the sacrament in the face of their parents’ wounds
  • Do you feel at a point when you were dating that you were going steady (exclusive)?
  • You mention the single life is temporary it is ends in marriage or religious life. Is it possible to share you fruit in church ministry while living a chaste single life?
    • God has created us to be in relationship with Him.
    • Both married and single have to practice chastity.