I Wish I Were the Type of Person Who…

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“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.”

The other day I was walking my dog at 6:00 am and I saw several runners out getting in their morning workout. It made me say: “I wish I were the type of person who exercised at 6:00 am.”

Then I started thinking about other things in my life. “I wish I were the type of person who…read more, didn’t worry as much, was always ready with a kind word or smile, sent birthday cards to all my friends…”

This week, take sixty seconds and think about how you use your time….especially when it comes to living out your faith.

Finish the thought: “I wish I were the type of person who…”

Then think about how you can become that person. Come up with a plan. Keep it simple.

If not now, when?

Share your thoughts with us on your plan.

No Excuses

“Jesus said, ‘Follow me.’ But the man replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’”

-Luke 9:59

Human beings are masters of excuses.

  • “When I get to the end of summer that’s when I’m going to start losing weight.”
  • “When I retire I’m going to finally sit down and start reading more.”
  • “When I have enough money I’m going to start donating to charities.”
  • “When I feel more comfortable at church I’m going to start volunteering.”

When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he didn’t say “Follow me when it’s convenient for you. Or “Let me know when you’re ready.” He simply said “Follow me.”

In Luke’s Gospel, the man answers with a simple request: “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

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Some scholars point out that what we don’t read in Luke’s Gospel is that more than likely, the man’s father is not dead yet.

At these times, burial would have occurred very close to the death.

 

Therefore, the man is simply saying: “Sure, Lord, I’ll follow you, but let me take care of my dad for the next few years, then get all of his affairs in order, then when he dies and I bury him, then I’ll follow you.”

Pope Francis said: “Catholics can’t put their faith on a part-time schedule or rely on it just for the moments they choose; being Christian is a full-time occupation.”

Are you using time or is time using you?

No excuses.

If not now…when?

think about itShare your thoughts with us:

What excuses are holding you back from living your faith every day?

Vacation Time

Every year in early summer, I meet a group of my friends in North obxCarolina where we gather together in a huge beach house.

We don’t do much during this week. We walk along the ocean. We sit and soak up the sun. We talk and laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

We’re on “Vacation Time,” and the clock moves just a bit slower than the average day.

“Vacation Time” allows me to sit, read and really concentrate on the words of a good book. It also allows me time to pray, meditate and soak up the beauty that God has created all around me. It allows me to savor moments and feel connected to my faith.

This year, I’m attempting to find ways to bring “Vacation Time” to my everyday life.

I know the reality of the everyday world. I know the days are packed with meetings and phone calls and activities that must be accomplished.

But isn’t it just as important to find time to take a walk, to read a good book and to discover the beauty of God in our own backyard?

Isn’t it time that we slow down the clocks and find time to recharge our batteries?

Are you ready to enjoy some “Vacation Time?”

think about it

Think about your favorite vacation place. What makes it special? How can you bring a bit of that special place to your own backyard? Share your thoughts with us.

Herda

 

Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK and a member of the the
St. Dominic Marketing Committee.

The Secret of Life

i willWhat is your call to action? How will you live a life of faith?

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” -James Taylor

I Will…Focus on Being Present

A recent study in Time Magazine stated that Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day. On average, people in the US across all age groups check their phones 46 times per day. That’s up from 33 looks per day in 2014.canstockphoto31591868

How many times have you had a conversation with someone and the entire time the person is checking their phone? You might have even done it yourself.

Building strong relationships begins with being present–giving someone our complete attention. It starts with slowing down our racing brains and truly listening. The goal is not think about anything except what the other person is saying to you.

The same thing applies to our conversations with God.

When you sit in Mass on Sunday morning, how often does your mind wander? Are you listening to the readings? Are you engaged in communion? Are you praying the Our Father with all your heart and mind?

God certainly deserves our full attention. When we give it to Him, we will soon discover the true secret of life.

think about itWhat is your biggest obstacle that’s preventing you from being present? Share your thoughts with us.

Focus on Time

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What is the importance of time?

  • To understand the importance of a year, ask the woman who was just told by her doctor that she has terminal cancer.
  • To understand the importance of a month, ask the mother who just gave birth to a premature baby.
  • To understand the importance of a week, ask the field laborer and father of four who was just told there is no work this week.
  • To understand the importance of a day, ask the soldier who just received a one day pass.
  • To understand the importance of an hour, ask the parents of a newborn who are looking to catch a quick nap.
  • To understand the importance of a minute, ask the commuter who just missed the last train home.
  • To understand the importance of a second, ask the driver who just swerved to avoid a head-on collision.
  • To understand the importance of a tenth of a second, ask the sprinter who just won the gold medal…or the sprinter who just won the silver.

Time is an elusive concept, yet it finds a way to dictate our lives. Do you use time…or does time use you?

This month theROCK is Focused on Time.

think about it

Are you moving closer to God every day? If you’re not, what’s holding you back? Is time controlling your life?

If not now, when?

The Happiness List

THE LISTAs we conclude the month of July and our Focus on Happiness, we use The List to learn what we can do to discover true happiness.

1Take five minutes and make a list of your strengths and talents. What are you good at? What skills do you have that you’re proud of? List at least 5 things. And don’t say “I’m not good at anything.” God gave you gifts. Write them down.

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Next to each item on your list, write down how often you use these gifts. You may have a dozen strengths and talents, but if you’re not utilizing them on a regular basis, what good are they?

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Now, write down what you can do to use these gifts. How can you show God that you’re grateful for the talents he’s given you? It’s time to discover what makes you special. Once you do, you will learn what happiness is all about.

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Don’t be shy about using these gifts at your own parish. There is always a committee that needs another member, always a group that needs another voice, and always a person who needs a new friend.

Finding True Happiness

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Most people are still searching for true and lasting happiness. But according to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, they’re looking in the wrong places.

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In his book, Finding True Happiness, Sheen states: “It’s easy to be misled into believing that happiness is found in money, rank or renown. While the things aren’t inherently bad…they will, in the final analysis, not bring happiness that endures.”

Here is an excerpt from Finding True Happiness.

“Look at your heart. It tells the story of why you were made. It is not perfect in shape. There seems to be a small piece missing from the side of every heart. I think the reason for this is that when God made the human heart, He found it so good and lovable that He kept a small sample of it in Heaven. He sent the rest of it into the world to enjoy His gifts, and to use them as stepping stones back to Him.

In order to love with your whole heart, in order to be really peaceful, in order to be really wholehearted, you must go back to God to recover the piece. He’s been keeping it for you.”

Venerable Fulton John Sheen was a Bishop and Archbishop known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization as a saint was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of “heroic virtues” – a major step towards beatification – so he is now referred to as “Venerable.”

think about it

What do you do, a daily basis, to recover the missing piece of your heart?

How can you do more?

Smile!

i will

What is your call to action? How will you live a life of faith?

I Will…Focus on Smiling

A simple smile has enormous power. You can influence the mood of others around you, and even influence your own health!

When you smile, your brain keeps track of the activity. The more you smile, the more you will actually influence the brain to stop thinking negative thoughts. In fact, if you smile enough, you can rewire your brain to create more positive patterns than negative.

In a study conducted in Sweden, participants had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling. Their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.

Shawn Achor the author of The Happiness Advantage says, “Happiness is a work ethic…It’s something that requires our brains to train just like an athlete has to train. The more we train, the easier it becomes to be more positive every single day.”

So how often do you smile?   canstockphoto7206526

  • On average, children smile over 400 times a day. (In fact, babies are known to smile in their sleep as soon as they are born!)
  • Extremely happy adults smile 40 – 50 times a day.
  • Most of us smile, on average, only about 20 times a day.

Living a life of faith means spreading happiness to others. There is a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”

A smile can be a powerful tool of peace. It can demonstrate that you “love your neighbors as yourself.” It can show the world around you that good always triumphs over evil, even in these troubling times.

A simple smile to those in need shows that you love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

think about itWho or what makes you smile? Share your thoughts with us.

Give Drink to the Thirsty

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There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

This month, theROCK is focused on happiness. And there is no better way to discover happiness than helping others.

As we continue the Year of Mercy, we look at one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, “Give Drink to the Thirsty.” We often take water for granted. But for many in the world, clean water is a luxury.

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Global Partners Running Waters, Inc. (GPRW) is a nonprofit organization, 501(c)(3), established to build relationships through collaboration on water, food, health & education projects in Latin America. Their roots lie in the mission experiences of Sister Jan Gregorcich (School Sister of Notre Dame), who lived and worked with the people of Guatemala & Honduras during a period of 12 years.

GPRW is building on Sister Jan’s mission work, by connecting friends in the US with those 5833062.jpgin Latin America. After initial relationships are established, working together on projects deepens a partnership. GPRW is a supported ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. St. Dominic Catholic School was served by the School Sisters of Notre Dame for many years and our alumni often speak of their appreciation of these sisters as teachers and administrators.

As we celebrate our own 60 years of mission and ministry as a parish, we remember the sisters who were part of our history and prayerfully support the continued good work they do.

GPRW believes that building relationships with the people of Latin America can offer opportunities in which:

  • Cultural and spiritual resources can be shared.
  • Health and living conditions can be improved.
  • International dialogue can be enhanced.
  • The best of humanity can be experienced.

To learn more about this organization, click here.

Are You Proud of Your Faith?

i will

What is your call to action? How will you live a life of faith?

I Will…Be Proud of my Faith.

TV producers from CBS have called: they’re going to make a reality show about YOU! Cameras will be set up at your work and at home, and they will follow your every move.

Ask yourself this simple question:

How many episodes will it take before the audience knows that I’m a Christian?

Are you proud of your faith? How do you demonstrate it to the people you meet every day?

According to a recent study, truly living your faith can have a direct impact on your happiness and peace. And being proud of your faith–and demonstrating that pride–only reinforces that happiness.

Author Thomas Moore said it best: “Whether you like it or not, you have a soul that complains when you neglect it. And that soul needs religion. It’s not an option.”