Meeting Notes from December 14th, 2020
Consecrate us in the Truth of the Word
Our community meeting began with morning prayer. The membership celebrated the feast of St John of the Cross, offering the Eucharist up in the memory of Caroline Lessica, our most recent deceased member. Father Rohan invited us to enter into the Spirit of St John. He said it is important to remember that our dignity as humans consists in our adoption through Christ by the Father. That we may be one with the Father, as he is one with him. This is the beauty and consolation of our Christian life. It eases the harshness of our journey on earth. Our human weakness and ignorance are what causes us to love our willful ways. Accepting our nothingness, our total dependence on God’s providence, is the only way we can come to glory. We must be consecrated in the truth of God’s Word, Jesus Christ (and the Scriptures). The spiritual life is the last defense of the Truth. In the Collected Works of St John of the Cross, there are some letters written in 1589, which talk about feelings versus love. Fr Rohan thought it might be wise to rediscover these letters and ponder their meaning. He recommended reading the writings of the saints. A We were encouraged to increase our faith in God and preserve our hearts in peace for all things come to an end. What a beautiful and instructive homily!
Fr Rohan’s instruction after mass, delved into the practice of Reconciliation and its importance during the season of Advent. He opened with a joke about confession and continued with St John the Baptist, making the way straight for the ministry of Jesus by his message of repentance. People still attend reconciliation and he went so far as to say that there was little need for psychotherapy, if reconciliation is meaningfully experienced as a sacrament. He did admit that few priests make reconciliation a high priority and often neglect to instruct the congregation on the proper way to confess as adults. People fail usually, in three ways. The first is to confess in veiled terms their actual offence. The second is naming the commandments and the number of times they have committed offenses against these without any specifics of circumstances. The third is to confess without a sincere expectation of changing our behavior or any sincere sense of repentance. The sacrament is a human sign that I can understand, during which I can experience Christ’s true compassion for us. Also, since our sin affects those around us, reconciliation requires a social aspect. The priest, representing Christ, provides that element for us. Christ is in all others around us. A lively discussion followed including various opinions on the screened versus face to face reconciliation styles.
Ida presented Fr Rohan with the community Christmas gift and reminded us of Father’s annual visit home. Several visitors introduced themselves and Nell is hoping to transfer to our community. Char Feldkamp lead Lectio on the Letter of St James, the Sunday reading, urging us to be patient until the coming of the Lord. The community was asked to pray for vocations to the priesthood and for all our priests. The community is in need of an accomplished instrumentalist to help with the music ministry and some new choir members. Please help if you can.
Thanks to all who brought food for the brunch and all those who organized it. It was yummy and a welcome break after all the learning and prayer.
Karen had a book sale to reduce the book inventory. Everyone reported to their new formation groups. Hopefully, all of us had lively discussions and meaningful faith sharing. Joyce had the guides for Liturgy of the Hours and Christian Prayer books. Meeting closed in the usual way after the completion of our formation group time.