Message from Father Rick
Not too many years ago, prior to GPS and cell phone technologies, I found myself on a road trip in Pennsylvania. I prided myself on my ability to use a road map and was traversing the highways and byways with great skill and efficiency. Or so I thought! Apparently I had a faulty map because I found myself completely and without any doubt – LOST! Ego completely deflated, I pulled into a church parking lot that identified itself as Catholic. Perhaps Divine intervention would help get me pointed in the right direction. The modern building was quite large and was brilliantly illuminated by floor to ceiling windows. As I sat praying to St. Anthony, I began to notice that there was nothing in the body of the church that identified it as Catholic. There were no Stations of the Cross, the Tabernacle was in another room off the main Church, there was no crucifix, no statues of our Lady, and no kneelers. I couldn’t even find a bingo poster!!! If being lost wasn’t bad enough, I now found myself in a Church that was suffering from an identity crisis!
I share this story with you because our homes can suffer a similar crisis. We need to ask ourselves, if a stranger entered my home, would they know I am a Christian? Our residences should not only reflect who we are through family portraits and snap shots but also whose we are through the signs, symbols and actions we display. Do you have a crucifix hanging in your home? Do the kids know their prayers for grace and bedtime? Is the Bible visible in your home and being used? Is anyone in your family doing spiritual reading?
We live in a world that would prefer God to be silent. As a Catholic people we need to be proud of our faith and willing to share it with others. We have a responsibility to explore our faith through reading, communicating, exploring and praying. Visit a Catholic book store and see what titles or topics interest you and break open the covers and expand your knowledge and love of Christ. Having said that, I know that it can be difficult to locate and travel to the few Catholic book and religious goods stores in our area, sooooooo we decided to bring the stores to you!
On September 13th and 14th - the Feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross - I invite everyone in our community to bring in their Crucifixes and other religious items and jewelry so that they can be blessed at our Mass. After the final blessing everyone will be invited downstairs where we have two vendors selling Christian books and religious items including First Communion and Confirmation goods. And yes, the Knights of Columbus will be serving refreshments while you do some early Christmas shopping!
Let’s do our best to show the world that we are not suffering from an identity crisis. We are Christians and we are proud to profess it with our lives.