What is this journey in between the event we call “birth” and the one we call “death”? Is the journey taking you somewhere, or are you leading yourself to some kind of destination – a destination that could extend beyond your last breath? What do you want from your life during the “in between”? The questions are there. And, the answers are too.
To look at these questions and the answers, our parish will begin a new season of RCIA in the coming weeks. RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the way that adults enter more deeply into the journey of the Christian faith through the Catholic way of life. These sessions will also be open to anyone, baptised or not, who might be interested to hear what we believe as Catholics and how we live the Christian life (sacraments, virtue and vice, etc.). Should there be a desire to share in that belief and life, for those who are not in full communion with the Catholic church or those who have not yet finished their Christian initiation, this time would also include preparation for a reception into the full life of faith through the appropriate sacraments.
Even Catholics who are already fully initiated in the faith, who would like to grow in their knowledge and understanding of our Catholic faith, enrich their prayer lives, and deepen their relationship with Christ and his Church are welcome to join as well. Sessions will generally be Saturday mornings at 10am at the parish, and we'll either be in the parish hall or library, depending on availability.
The first session will be Saturday, October 28th at 10am, and we’ll begin watching and discussing the FORMED series called “The Search”, and in January we’ll be using a different program. Here is a snapshot at the topics we’ll be discussing for each date:
Oct. 28th, Episode 1: What do you Seek?- “In Episode 1, we open our hearts with a look at the question “what do you seek?” What is that deep longing in our hearts all about? We’re all living for something, and we all strive for that something out there that is ultimately going to make us happy. But what is it? For some, this question is on their minds every day. For others, life goes by in a flash without even asking the question.”
Nov. 4th, Episode 2: Who are You?- “To find clues as to the meaning of life, we first look at ourselves. Who am I? Is there more to me than matter? Is there more to us than meets the eye? We talk with neuroscientists, psychologists, composers, and artists to examine the mystery of you. If you’re just a body, then satisfaction in life should come from tending to simple bodily needs. Fill your stomach, be comfortable. But there’s more to you than that. You are material and immaterial. And that unseen part of you craves for so much more. As C.S. Lewis once said, ‘If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.’”
Nov. 11th, Episode 3: Why a God?- “Today we seem to think we’ve moved beyond the idea of God, but this secular view of life is a very new and unusual idea to humanity. All through human history man has looked to something outside himself for the answers to life. Why have we given up on God? Do we think science has disproven Him? Do we think society is better off without him? We talk with astrophysicists, chemists, Harvard professors, and more to make the case that it’s not only reasonable to believe in God, it’s essential if you want to have a truly amazing life. Our souls seek their creator, and we’ll never be truly happy unless we seek Him out. As St. Augustine famously said, ‘You have made us for Yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless. until they rest in Thee.’”
Nov. 18th, Episode 4: What’s Our Story?- “Your life is a story. And it’s caught up in the great story of humanity. This great story, as we see it in the Scriptures, shows us the amazing love story that is God’s pursuit of man. The God that is love created so we can ultimately be with his love. We were made to be with God. Union with God is so central to the purpose of life, we even see the afterlife in these terms. Our definition of Heaven is union with God, and hell is the absence of Him. Your life has a plot. Your life has a purpose. Your life has value. We need to see how we fit into this big love story to begin to know why we exist. And that love of God isn’t abstract. It has a face and name: Jesus.”
Nov. 25th, Episode 5: Who is Jesus?- “The most beautiful part of this story is this: we can know God's love, personally. This is the person of Jesus. But how did this seemingly insignificant carpenter born into poverty in a dusty corner of the Roman Empire become the most pivotal figure in all of history? Christianity isn’t simply a philosophy for life – the center of Christianity is a person. We look at the life of Jesus and what he came to do. Ultimately, we need to decide if Jesus really was who he said he was. We can’t sit on the fence. Because if Jesus really was who he said he was, we need to make him the Lord of our lives, and everything changes.”
Dec. 2nd, Episode 6: Am I Saved?- “What Jesus did for us through his life, death and resurrection was the greatest act of love in history. He saved us. He did this for each one of us. Personally. But some might feel unworthy of this gift of love. We may feel we have too much baggage. We may feel unlovable. But God didn’t come to reveal himself to us on a pedestal, he came to enter into our messy human condition. To fix us from within. To transform us from the inside out. Some might be surprised by how generous the love of God really is. We don’t deserve God’s love, but that’s the amazing reality of God’s mercy. This relationship with God isn’t all about our love for Him. It’s about His love for us that changes our lives forever.”
Dec. 9th, Episode 7: Why a Church?- “How do I access this man who lived 2000 years ago? How do I live this call of love? We uniquely encounter the love of God in His Church. But really? The Church? There are so many negative views of the Church. It’s out of touch. It’s full of bad people. It’s just too boring. Maybe when we say 'The Church' we mean a little more. The church is the family of God that’s been lovingly gathered through our entire story. It’s the place we were meant to encounter His grace that prepares us for every step of life. The God that is love knows how we’re made – material and spiritual – we need tangible ways to live our faith. We can’t be spiritual but not religious. This is where we’ll find ultimate happiness in life. This is where the God that has been seeking humanity, who wrote the deepest desires onto our human hearts, encounters us. Jesus’ first words to humanity in the Gospel of John are 'what do you seek?' The one that asked the question not only knows the answer, He is the answer. The answers to everything. And you find him most profoundly here in His Church.”
Please feel free to contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-949-3769 or feel free just show up to one of our sessions!
May the Lord bless and keep us.
Fr. Brian Trueman