Articles Under: Personal Witness Stories

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Paul’s Search for God Saint Augustine famously wrote, “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Late have I loved you! And, behold, you were within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you” ( The Confessions , Book X). This statement marvelously summarizes the sublime mystery of God’s action in a person’s conversion. Augustine recognizes that his search for God was a return to the self; an interior restoration of self. Augustine also indicates here that God dwelt within him, waiting to perform his salvific and regenerative act. What was he... Read more
Victory Over Death and Darkness Ten years ago I woke up from a medical coma in Billings, Montana. Five days earlier, while I was working at a Catholic ranch for delinquent youth in northwest Wyoming, I was nearly killed. One night, while we were camping out at a site in the middle of the Wyoming high desert, in an attempt to steal the keys to a truck so they could escape from the ranch, four teenage boys waited until I fell asleep. I was in a sleeping bag under the stars. They snuck out of their tent and picked up... Read more
In Weakness People don’t brag about how weak they are. People want to think of themselves as confident, capable, self-sufficient... strong . I certainly don't recall being cheered on for how physically weak I was as a freshman in gym class! And if there had been an award for that, I certainly would have won. I couldn't bench press the bar. These are not the stories we celebrate or share with others—we love sharing the stories in which we were the heroes. The paradox of the Christian faith is that when we are weak, God's greatness and his strength are... Read more
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis speaks of two necessary “arts” for evangelization: the “art of accompaniment” and the “art of listening.” The Holy Father stresses that these intrinsically linked arts should mainly focus on the persons being evangelized, by truly seeking to know them and binding ourselves to walk with them wherever they are at in life: The Church will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment” … The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth... Read more
Patiently Waiting Upon the Lord I do not like patience. I don't enjoy exercising it and I particularly dislike knowing that it is something good that I should like. Patience, though, is key to seeing the incredible work of God in the human heart. My high school religion classes are forty minutes a day, five days a week, for half a year. In addition to the intention of catechesis, they are also intended to be academically rigorous. We have tests; there are papers to be written; mastery of the material is desired and sometimes achieved. Amidst the intensity and the... Read more
There was a time when I thought conversion only meant changing from one faith to another. It was much later that I discovered it is an ongoing process. Conversion can be gradual, or it can take place as an epiphany: a sudden awakening, or illumination. This is where my testimony begins. I was asked to teach RCIA class on prayer. This was God’s first step in answering my own prayer at the time, which was for a better prayer life. Mine felt dry and empty, a letdown from my expectations. Something was missing. In preparing for the class, I came... Read more
Este artículo es el primero de una serie de artículos sobre la catequesis para y con las personas con discapacidades. Surgen sin cesar tecnologías y medios de comunicación nuevos y se ponen al servicio de este noble objetivo. Desafortunadamente, nuestro tiempo es también uno que es testigo del aborto, de la eutanasia, y del racionamiento médico de la vida de los que la sociedad pueda juzgar como "no necesarios", apropiándose el derecho de cometer estas atrocidades en el nombre de la misericordia". En la Grecia y la Roma antiguas, mataban abiertamente a las personas consideradas "defectuosas" o se les abandonaba... Read more
It was a warm, sunny day at the end of spring. Instead of spending the beautiful Saturday according to their own wishes, our students were reluctantly settling into their seats in a classroom. I saw looks of boredom on the faces of the youth and noted the variety of ages among those present. I glanced over at the two other members of our team: a young, enthusiastic priest and a very energetic woman who taught children much younger than those gathered before us. We had been recruited to deliver a day-long Confirmation retreat for a Native American community. On our... Read more
Good Advice from a Mentor Priest In the fall, the 8 th grade religious education classes were meeting for the first time in formal preparation for their Confirmation at my parish. I had the privilege of being one of the catechists responsible for catechizing these young teens. There were a total of 17 students for whom I was responsible and the task before me seemed daunting, especially going into to this experience as a new college graduate, but I wanted to be a part of my parish’s religious education program. I had many questions, so I decided to speak with... Read more