Striving for Deeper Holiness: August 29, 2021

PASTOR’S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL MESSAGE

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Blessings from Saint Clement. Friends, as the summer is ending and as we look toward fall, many of us are asking, "Well, how are we going to spend our time? What are we are going to do?" So now we have a ton of time and yet hopefully, there's openness in our hearts and our schedule, in our lives to actually re-examine the way in which God enters into relationship with us and to the way in which God leads us deeper into relationship with him. Why is that important? Well, because I believe that we all have a God-sized hole in our hearts, that we all have this longing for more, and sometimes we know that there's a longing for God. Sometimes we don't know what the longing is for and we try to satisfy that longing with a lot of external things, things that are good, but they're not God, therefore they cannot fully satisfy us. They, actually, probably will leave us even more empty because we'll focus on them, we'll invest in them, and then we'll figure it out that was not it.

And so my invitation to you, friends, is to really examine two ways that the scripture that Mark speaks about in the gospel, the way in which, what is it that leads you to God and what is it that takes you away from God? What is it that leads you to God? What is it in the teaching of Jesus that gives you consolation and peace? How did you unpack it? Do you have the opportunity to unpack it? And what is it that takes you away from God, that makes you question whether God loves you and is in relationship with you?

This fall here at Saint Clement, we'll have great opportunities for you to explore some of those questions more deeply. There are two opportunities I really want to invite you to consider. One is the opportunity to take a course with Father John Kartje. Father Kartje is an astrophysicist trained in the University of Chicago and a scripture scholar, and he's the rector and the president of University of St. Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary. This fall, he will teach a 10 week class online on faith and science. And so if you don't know how the faith and science interact and support each other, I'd love you to join us for that course. Just visit faithhubchicago.org to register for Father Kartje's course.

I also will teach a course, a three week, very short course on prayer because I think as Catholics what we do good, what we do quite well is we memorize a lot of prayers and we know how to repeat them effectively. That's a good thing, but also God invites us into dialogue with him, into conversation with him. And what I find in my ministry is that sometimes it's not easy to have that conversation, but also that many people struggle with the question, "Where do I even start that conversation? How can I talk to God and how can I listen for God's insight?" And so I invite you to join me for three weeks starting in September. I will do my sessions at Saint Bonaventure Oratory, which is just a mile and half away in Lakeview down Wrightwood Road. And so I'd just love you to join us for those opportunities. We'll offer Alpha and so many other things this fall in order to invite you into this deepening of understanding of how God gives you consolation and how God leads you to peace and how God wants you to be fulfilled and happy in your life.

I also pray and hope that if you are new to Saint Clement, you make a next step in becoming a member of the community. You know, we'd love you to be part of this community. And so if you've been disengaged or you happen to be new to Saint Clement, please visit clement.org and if you are able, register as our member so we can keep in touch with you, we can invite you to the things that are going on, and we can celebrate with you the sense of our belonging together to God and to one another. God bless you all, friends!