22 August 2010
21th Week in Ordinary Time
A project of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales,
DeSales Service Works welcomes volunteers to join
in service, prayer and reflection in our struggling neighborhood.
- Service Word
- Last Week in Camden
- Upcoming Events
1. Service Word Luke 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you,
will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.
Recently I saw a billboard that announced in stark black and white:
“Heaven or HELL: you choose.”
This statement puts emphasis on the idea that our actions and choices matter—and they have consequences. That seems realistic and healthy. What does not seem healthy is the use of fear. While there is a healthy fear and respect—it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit— statements like this one seem to forget that God wants good for us. Jesus is at the “narrow door” holding it open for us, anxious to welcome each of us.
This gospel’s image of the narrow door fits well with St. Francis de Sales’ concept of “little virtues.” The door to God’s kingdom is not narrow because it is exclusive, for “members only,” but because the things that bring us to the door are easily overlooked. God commands us to love our neighbor as our self—love even our neighbor who acts as enemy to us. That command can seem huge and overwhelming some days and with some people and situations. Francis counsels us to bring patience, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, loyalty, humor, honesty, and tolerance to daily life. These may seem like little things, easily over looked, like the narrow door, but they add up to Christ-like love. You or I may not be able to end poverty, hunger, injustice, drug trade and drug abuse, but we can do small things that matter.
-Is there a “little virtue” that would be particularly practical & helpful your or my life right now?
-Are there any issues, problems, or goals that just seem big and overwhelming that could be addressed in component parts, in “small” ways?
2. Last Week in Camden
I was on a relaxing family vacation in Delaware last week at the beach. It provided the time to write a blog entry reflecting on some of the Oblate influence on DSW. Check it out and see if my thoughts match your experience of the Oblates. Written comments are welcome. I should mention that I think each of my entries is a masterpiece, and I think the other contributions are pretty good as well.
3. Upcoming Events
27 August DSW year-long volunteers arrive in Camden for Orientation begins. Sunday @4:00 Oblate Peace and Justice Advisor, Pat Kennedy will present on Salesian Principles of Social Justice and @5:00 on Luke’s Gospel and Lectio Divina Prayer. There will be a welcome cookout for the three year long volunteers @6:00 at the DSW House. All are welcome; give me a call 215-582-1666.
11 September VillaNova service day
14 September first of twelve Salesianum Senor retreats
24 September Holy Ghost Prep Father/Son service day
24-26 September Holy Trinity’s Parish Retreat
4. Peace and Justice Blog
Sign up as a follower on the Salesian Peace and Justice Blog. There are postings on Catholic social teaching and immigration, vacation, as well as more DSW & Camden experiences. http://www.oblates.org/dsw/social_justice_blog.php
Thanks, Fr. Mike McCue, OSFS