As Katie began her talk tonight, she reminded us of the reality that Jesus loves us so much that He wants to be with us. He chooses to be with us. He thirsts for us.
She encouraged us to consider the implications for each of us in the Biblical story where two people asked Jesus, “Where are you staying?” and Jesus’ incredible response to them was “Come and see.”
By responding to Jesus’ invitation to “come and see,” His disciples were able to witness incredible things – the calming of a storm, the healing of seriously ill people, the miraculous feeding of the hungry, and so much more.
This afternoon, Fr. Chris Martin spoke to some of the questions that people commonly ask about Catholicism.
He began by reminding us that that it’s all about Jesus, since every single Catholic teaching flows from Jesus. We can neither separate the Church from Jesus nor can we separate Jesus from the Church because Jesus not only founded the Church, but in Scripture, he promised to be with us always, until the end of time.
Fr. Martin set out for us a very important foundation, articulating some of the Biblical and historical reasons why we Catholics reject the Protestant notion that the Bible is all that we need. One of these reasons is that Scripture is actually a product of the Church! And, while we certainly love and reverence the Scriptures, we believe the Church helps us to apply Biblical truth to present day circumstances, which are far different from the historical circumstances of Biblical times.
Throughout his talk, Fr. Martin addressed a veritable plethora of issues, including purgatory, the Eucharist, praying for the devil, hate speech, adopting frozen embryos, salvation of the unbaptized, hell, suicide, mediums, marriage, and discernment of vocations – among others.
Thankfully, the smoke machine went off periodically to help him – and us – transition from topic to topic.
Since our theological tradition transcends the limitations of this blog post and today’s sound bite culture, I would encourage you to listen to the full audio of this talk, and use that audio as a jumping off point to dive deeper into what the Church teaches and why.
Jesus makes a claim that no one in human history every made. He didn’t say ‘I know the truth’; He said I am the truth.
Three things reveal the Church’s teaching to us: the true, the good, and the beautiful.
Thoughts of other vocations are a natural part of discernment; after you’ve properly discerned, these thoughts are temptations.
Every soul is thirsting for Christ, yearning for His love. When we fall in love with Christ, we want to please Him. For many, that is easier to say than do. How do we please God and discern His will? How can we use our talents to serve God? Katie begins to answer these questions in this afternoon’s workshop.
All for Him
What everything ultimately comes down to is simply living with God’s purpose in mind. We must have the courage to ask ourselves if what we are doing would please God. If not, we have to go even further to gather the courage to stop doing it.
This afternoon, teens could choose to attend a workshop presented by Matt Regitz about life in the Holy Spirit. He helped show teens how they can be more open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their own lives, especially this weekend.
The talk fittingly began with a prayer asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance both in the talk and in our lives. In order to receive the gifts that God wants to pour upon everyone present tonight, we must be open to receiving them. For example, as Matt explained, if you have an umbrella held up, it does not matter that water is being poured; you still will not get wet. The water is the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the umbrella is our own fear and resistance. We have to be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to give us.
Same-sex attraction is not an easy topic to talk discuss but it’s an important one in our society today. Joel Stepanek tackled this topic at one of our afternoon workshops.
Same Sex Attraction: A Matter of People
Joel started by acknowledging how challenging the topic of same-sex attraction is to talk about. But the heart of this discussion is not a matter of philosophy or politics. When we talk about same-sex attraction, we are talking about people. We must always approach this through the lens of people.