• March 14, 2017

New Year’s family Fun

This year we wel­comed in the new year as a “family” - with friends from as far away as California.

We had a small retreat for the mem­bers of our “Frat Max” (Fraternity of St Maximilian Kolbe) and redis­cov­ered the gift of friend­ship. Katie I. shares some reflec­tions from the weekend:

It’s hard to put into words what I expe­ri­enced over New Year’s weekend, spending time with the Frat Max. I think because it was so simple. We went sled­ding, sang Christmas carols, laughed a lot, baked cookies, built a snowman, went on walks, shared our suf­fer­ings and strug­gles and ques­tions with one another, prayed together, sat by the fire­place telling jokes, and ate meals together. And it was pre­cisely in all of these small con­crete moments that I was reminded what it’s all about.

On the retreat, we read a letter from Fr. Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, the Abbot General of the Cistercian order, that he wrote to the Cistercian com­mu­nity for Christmas. He wrote of many people in Scripture who had met Jesus and had a pro­found expe­ri­ence of mercy, and then he asked … then what? What hap­pened next? His response: “In the end the answer is simple: They lived out friend­ship with Christ.”

I think some­times we spend our lives looking for the next big moment, asking “What’s next?” when really the answer is so simple. Just live out this amazing gift of friend­ship you have already been given! Friendship can seem so simple, so ordi­nary. Yet it never ceases to amaze me how pow­erful it is. But this friend­ship with one another, this true kind of friend­ship that leads us to a deeper friend­ship with Christ is the heart of the Christian life and the mis­sion of the Church.

We cannot love in the abstract. And so it is in friend­ship, in con­crete people and moments and actions, that we learn to love Christ in one another and live out our friend­ship with him. It is pre­cisely in sled­ding, singing, building snowmen, and sit­ting by the fire­place together that our friend­ship with Christ becomes incar­nate. In friend­ship our joy and grat­i­tude are renewed, our faith is nour­ished and strength­ened, and we put into move­ment our love for Christ in friend­ship and ser­vice to one another. It is where we remember how to be truly our­selves, where we are deeply loved and chal­lenged, and where we are inspired, once again, to bear wit­ness daily to this friend­ship that is the source of eternal life.

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