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Online Retreat: "Discerning a Life of Service in the Church" Week One

This is the first week of a four week journey through the book which bears the title of our program, Catholics on Call. As you know, the focus of CoC is all about discerning a life of service in the Church, and we would like to invite you to take a step closer to God in these next weeks by praying and discerning how God is speaking to you right now.

Here’s how it works: Each weekday, over the period of four weeks, we are sharing a quote from a different section of the book.

Let’s spend some time every day (we recommend 20-30 min.) with each other in a kind of “cyber-communion.” Please read and reflect on the quotes from the book, and even share those reflections with each other through the message board and the comment box below.

This week’s quotes are from Father Don Senior’s article entitled “Answering the Call: Biblical Perspectives.”


“Hush... somebody’s callin my name
O my Lord, what shall I do?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday

“We might note at the outset some of the fundamental qualities of gospel call stories. First of all, the stories make abundantly clear that the life of discipleship begins not with a choice but with a call. It is Jesus who either by majestic command or compelling allure initiates the life of discipleship.

Second, most of the stories also make it clear that the call is first and foremost a call to follow after Jesus. The focal point is the person of Christ-- that remains the heart and soul of all Christian experience.

Third, the disciples who are called to follow Jesus will also share in the mission of redemption... They will be plunged into the work of establishing the reign of God.

Finally, these stories make it clear that the lives of those called will be transformed. They leave their boats and their families and their tollbooth. Once the call is heard, their lives fundamentally change and new allegiances are required.” (Catholics on Call, pp. 16-17)

Question for Reflection: In what ways are you making a choice to respond to God’s call today?

Go to the message board (for CoC alums only).


“Hush... somebody’s callin my name
O my Lord, what shall I do?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

“The call of God is often disruptive, breaking into ordinary lives and asking ordinary people to bear a mission of human transformation and to experience profound and sometimes wrenching change in order to be faithful to that divine summons. And nowhere in the Christian bible is this more apparent than in the Gospel portrayal of the disciples of Jesus. Despite their initial response to drop everything and follow him, they prove to be awkward, slow to learn, often confused.” (Catholics on Call, p. 19)

Question for Reflection: How has God’s call “disrupted” your life?

Go to the message board (for CoC alums only).


“Hush... somebody’s callin my name
O my Lord, what shall I do?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday

“We can take heart from so many of these biblical call stories because they show us that God calls ordinary people like us - people who hesitate, who are skeptical or doubt, who feel unworthy, who are unsure of their gifts, who wonder if they are making the right choice. The list is long: Abraham and Sarah thinking they are too old and that their time has passed; Moses who stammered and wondered if he could speak in public; Jeremiah who thought he was too young for the job; Isaiah who thought he was “unclean” and not worthy of the service to which God was calling him; Amos who declared that neither he nor his family was equipped for what God was asking of him; the awkward apostle Peter asking Christ to leave him alone; Mary, a young woman unsure and fearful of what God might have in store for her; and Paul, wrongheaded and stubborn, violently persecuting the followers of the very Jesus who would call him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. All of these great characters felt inadequate for the lives of greatness to which God was calling them, but ultimately through God’s grace they found the courage to respond. The very human characters in these stories encourage us never to count ourselves out.” (Catholics on Call, p. 21)

Question for Reflection: Can you relate to these characters? How?

Go to the message board (for CoC alums only).


“Hush... somebody’s callin my name
O my Lord, what shall I do?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday

“This is not a solitary journey. The search for God’s will in our lives takes place in the context of the Christian community as a whole. We are a pilgrim people, together searching to find our answer to God’s call. We need to listen to the experience and guidance of others; we need to sound out our possible life choices with people we trust- our families, our friends, our spiritual advisors. We need to fortify our search with prayer and deep reflection.” (Catholics on Call, p. 23)

Question for Reflection: As you listen to God’s call in your own life, whom do you include in your support system?

Go to the message board (for CoC alums only).


“Hush... somebody’s callin my name
O my Lord, what shall I do?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday

“This is not an easy time for the Church. Vocations to priesthood, especially in the Western world, remain few. Many religious communities in the United States and elsewhere find themselves in a time of diminishment - consolidating and cutting back. Preparing for lay ecclesial ministry can be costly and the financial rewards cannot compare with the opportunities in business.

What do we do at a time like this? Is not this a time when we have to dig deep into our heritage and lift up again for ourselves and for the people we serve the most noble and sacred ideals of our Christian faith? We must remember with accuracy and intensity the beauty of the gospel and the highest ideals of the Christian call as priests or religious or committed laity on behalf of God’s people.” (Catholics on Call, p. 24)

Question for Reflection: How is God calling your name right now?

Go to the message board (for CoC alums only).

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