Dear Association Members,
I pray this finds you well and resting in the most loving arms of our ever faithful God. We have received the joy and promise of Pentecost, and are renewed and sent out again to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
This month we will look deeper into the spirituality of Life Teen. As Association Members, we embrace a liturgical spirituality which consists of four elements: Gather, Proclaim, Break and Send. Each of these is vital to how we live out our call to the mission of bringing teens closer to Christ. And so, we begin this month by reflecting on the first aspect of our liturgical spirituality, Gathering.
The Life Teen Statutes state the following:
Through GATHERING, we emphasize with our membership the coming together as the body of Christ, showing true hospitality to every person, demonstrating Christ alive in each of us.
Although there are some practical and objective ways of ‘gathering’ which demonstrate the hospitality of Christ, this month we are going to look at the spiritual element of ‘gathering’. The same element of gathering that drew multitudes to come and hear our Lord speak during his days of active ministry. Or, as witnessed through the lives of the saints, the same element that would draw crowds of people to Vatican City as John Paul II lived his last days. The same element of gathering, that drew thousands to travel to simply catch a glimpse of an otherwise unassuming little woman from Calcutta.
This element of gathering is the power of God at work. Such union with God, such transformation in Christ, can only come through our inward journey in complete abandonment to Him. This is a journey of complete surrender in which our gaze is solely on Him. It is only when we sufficiently journey inward, to where He abides that we are transformed in mind beyond the boundaries of this world. It is in this place that we receive the will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
Jesus taught us about gathering through His example and simplicity of heart each moment of His life. He loved the Father with ALL of Himself and He loved ALL of mankind with unfathomable and perfect love. This was the duty of His heart and the only aim of His days. He was not anxious about His ministry, worried about who He needed to reach each day. He did not spend His time planning how He would talk to more people or heal more people. Rather, He prayed unceasingly, listened, and found complete rest and unity with the Father, through the powerful love and help of the Holy Spirit. This is our example as followers of Christ, and our true aim in ministry.
It was in this place of abiding with the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit, this place of true identity, that Jesus lived out His mission. His gaze was always off of Himself and the worry of how His ministry would unfold. Rather, He walked His days allowing the Father to draw forth whoever He would send. And, He loved perfectly all those whom the Father sent. This was true freedom and unfailing trust in the Father.
And so, this month we look more closely at how we are allowing the spiritual element of gathering to be at work within our lives. We look to the state of our hearts and the degree of surrender in this mission of evangelization; this mission that all young people of the world would come to know His love.
Are we anxious in any way about how we will reach more people?
Are we putting pressure on ourselves to do the work?
Are we functioning in trust that if it is God’s will, He will provide and care for everything?
Do we allow busy-ness to come before our connection to His peace?
Do we love well all those that He sends to us?
May we take these next few weeks to ponder how fully we are abiding in Him. Take time each day to reflect upon when we are even slightly anxious or out of rest in His care.
Then, we can try to be mindful of these time as they come up; stop; and in prayer, place ourselves back in the loving care of our Father.
Know that I am praying for you all and believe in God’s ability to make of you His holy saints.
Life Teen Private Association