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Video: Facing Our Immortality

Facing Our Immortality Cancer Ministry

Facing Our Immortality is a cancer outreach ministry for those affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly. We desire for you a sense of community and renewal through Christ, supported by monthly virtual support groups as well as specialized retreats. Peace and Grace.

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Updates

Our New Book “Gathering The Light: Treasures Out Of The Darkness”

Announcing a new book by Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, Society of Our Lady Of The Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). These thoughtful reflections have been most helpful to our cherished monthly support group participants. Now these reflections, along with other treasures, are all together in one book to help you on your spiritual journey.

“Gathering The Light” is a collection of articles, reflections and poetry. Many of the articles have appeared in various Catholic publications. It is set up in such a way that it can be used for personal reflection, book studies and support groups.

We have been using a reflection from this collection every time we meet as the “Facing Our Immortality” cancer support group. In the midst of serious illness, or perhaps because of it, the desire to know the deep things of God becomes even more active and especially efficacious.

The format of “Gathering The Light” offers focal points of light meant to help us see what perhaps we have not seen before. Each article, with a few exceptions, hovers around one-thousand words. It is very manageable for busy persons trying to go a little deeper in their relationship with God. At the end, some questions for reflection are provided if needed.

This book is available for purchase from Amazon, please link here – Gathering The Light: Treasures Out Of The Darkness.

In The Heart Of The Blessed Mother,

Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT

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Updates

Spiritual Reflection Group To Resume In February, Stay Tuned

Gospel Bullet For Today: The Baptism Of The Lord

This past week has brought many people to their knees. Let us renew our Baptismal vows and truly seek comfort in Jesus.

We talk about this but it is difficult to live it when people act with deadly hate on such a massive scale.

Do not fall prey to conspiracy theories, no matter which conspiracy theories attract you.

Truth Exists In Christ Alone.

Today’s Gospel

This is what John The Baptist proclaimed: 

“One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.

On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open 
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

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Updates

To See God Face To Face: Spiritual Exercise 12/14/20

Please join us Monday 12/14/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm ET)

Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/4537185699?pwd=emRVOEZwMTY1eGN1bzYrU2VldWhiZz09

Meeting ID: 4537185699

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

To See God Face to Face

CS Lewis’ last novel: “Till We Have Faces” is a modern retelling of a classic Greek myth. Lewis had been fascinated by the story of Cupid and Psyche for many years.  Cupid is a god who falls in love with Psyche, a mere mortal.  He takes her as his bride and situates her in a palace full of wealth and treasure but only comes to her at night, warning her she must not look at him.

One night her curiosity gets the best of her, and she peeks at him while he is sleeping.  He is so stunningly beautiful that she accidentally lets a drop of hot oil from her lamp fall on his arm.  He awakens and flees in anger. What follows is an intense and complicated drama which ultimately ends with Cupid bringing Psyche to Olympus and making her immortal so they can live together happily ever after. 

Whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, a saint approaching the heights of holiness, or a sinner struggling to crawl out of a pit, the desire to see God is a primordial one.  It is found in everyone, even the skeptical and the young.  (A child approached a holy priest once and complained he couldn’t see Jesus in the Eucharist.  The Priest smiled, looked at him with fatherly affection and said: “That’s ok.  Some people can.”)

During Advent, we cry with the prophet Isaiah…”Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” and, we might add, “ so we can see you!”  Christmas is the answer to our desire to “see” God in time.

God helps us to see as much as we are capable of in our present frame. He comes to us, hiding the overwhelming light of His glory. He comes to us as a baby willing to grow up with us so that He can one day lead us out of the limiting shell we inhabit here on earth and take us to the full freedom of our existence, a divinized and immortal life where we can live with Him as He truly is. 

Imagine Mary contemplating Jesus within her and wondering what He, the most beautiful baby ever conceived, will look like. Imagine his sweet little hands and perfect toes, His divine smile, His piercingly beautiful eyes.  

Before the Christmas mystery, we whisper, with Lewis: “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”

May this Christmas find us enraptured by the light radiating from the face of the tiny Babe, whose breathless beauty and infinite love transforms us and makes us His own.

1. Trusting the Lord in what St. John of the Cross calls the dark night of faith can be a real challenge in the spiritual life.  What is your experience of moving with God through things you don’t understand?

2. Sin always narrows our vision. The more purified we are the more we see with our “inner” senses. (Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.) Lack of confidence and trust in God also hide Him from our “sight.” God reveals Himself more fully to the those who believe and those who have confidence in His great love. Where do you find yourself?

3. If you could sit down with Jesus face to face right now, and you could ask Him anything, what would you want to know at this time in your life?  

4. What is your Christmas wish/prayer for this year and how is it different from what you would have prayed a year ago?  

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Updates

The Paradox Of True Power: Spiritual Exercise 11/16/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

The Paradox Of True Power

One of the worst experiences we encounter in life is the feeling of powerlessness in the face of evident evil. In the Old Testament, from Genesis through Exodus, David and the Kings, to the time of Christ, God’s people knew their dependence on the Lord’s omnipotence, and freely implored His mighty interventions. Joshua, outnumbered 5 to 1, yet assured a victory by the Lord, asked Him to hold the sun and moon still so they could finish the battle in daylight, and the Lord obliged, suspending the movements of the heavenly bodies for a day so that it lasted well beyond its normal time. (Joshua 10 )

Perhaps we are now in a time where a full awareness and confidence in God’s power is precisely what we need. We live in the illusion that we have power because of all the marvels of the modern age. But often we find ourselves at the mercy of forces we cannot control.

More than ever, we must see that the most powerful force in the universe abides among us, hidden in our Chapels, in our tabernacles, and even within our very selves. If the physical, moral, psychological and spiritual universe were to show signs of collapse, we would always have a safe refuge in our all-powerful God. The Catechism notes “to confess this power has great bearing on our lives.” (CCC#268)

But there is a paradox. This power which is so near and accessible to us is most fully operative in human weakness. This is clearly seen in Jesus, Who endured the depths of human weakness and apparent defeat. Yet, at the same time, the fullness of Divine power coursed through Jesus for the Redemption of all mankind.

Our Lady testifies to God’s power also by making one of the most beautiful declarations of God’s might at work in human history all throughout her Magnificat.  “He who is mighty has done great things for me…”. “He casts down the mighty, feeds the hungry, sends the rich away empty…”. (Luke 1:46-55)  St. Paul knows this secret too! “I glory in my weakness,” he says, “so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. (2Cor 12:9)

We are all going to feel our powerlessness at some point as the future continues to unfold and the battle between good and evil intensifies. We will need God more than ever.

We may face multiple Goliaths, Red Seas, famine, war, betrayal, chaos, or more subtle assaults of darkness.  But unwavering reliance on God’s supreme power will change the outcome of every threat and guarantee peace of soul no matter what comes.  

Please reflect in silence for 5-10 minutes on the following questions.

  1. What is your experience of powerlessness? Share a time or two when you felt utterly powerless in the face of something.
  2. Why do you think God is allowing us to experience our powerlessness now, especially as a nation in the face of our current challenges?  
  3. The grand stories of the Old Testament are so inspiring but in many ways they don’t seem real to the age we live in.  We tend to think we can take care of things or that we will eventually find the answer, yet many answers continue to evade us.  What wisdom of God is at work in the way He moves with us today?
  4. In your own life, where has God shown you your utter dependence on Him?  Where do you resist being dependent on Him?  It is easy to say we are dependent on Him when on examination we find we really are not expecting that God will help us in any kind of way, let alone a mighty way.

After each person shares their personal and spiritual reflection, the group discussion can begin. Please allow all reflections to be offered without comment or judgement. God Bless you

Act of Contrition 

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. 

I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.

Amen. 

Please follow us on You Tube. Domus Trinitatis Retreat Center has created a daily Gospel reflection to nourish your soul on a daily basis.

Peace and Blessings from Sr Anne Marie Walsh and Denise Archuleta

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Updates

Signs Of The Times: Spiritual Exercise 10/12/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Monday 10/12/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

Signs Of The Times

Cultural upheaval comes to every society as each generation strives to leave its mark, for better or worse.  Pope St. John Paul II has called contemporary western culture a culture of death.  What we may be watching with the current riots and civil unrest is something that can be likened to a kind of terminal restlessness. Anyone who has attended the dying knows what terminal restlessness is:  It describes the end-of-life experience that manifests as pronounced agitation and restlessness.  It can be caused by any number of things that are part of the dying process, from pain, to medication issues, to spiritual and emotional work going on inside the person.

Restlessness is already a general characteristic of our lives in time and it is present in the saved and the unsaved, the holy and the not so holy.  It is present in the individual but also in communities and nations.  St. Augustine, in what may be his most remembered quote, reminds us that our hearts are restless until they rest in God.  In the saints, restlessness manifests as a peaceful excitement or anticipation of the life to come.  In the sinner, it manifests in agitation and anxiety that something isn’t right, something important is missing.  

The story of Nineveh from the old testament is a lesson for us.  On the verge of being destroyed for their sinfulness, the Prophet Jonah preached so effectively that everyone from the King on down repented with sackcloth and ashes.  

They were spared but their conversion didn’t last.  They soon returned to their sinful ways and were visited once again by the prophet Nahum.  This time they did not listen, and they were destroyed.  An alliance of conquered peoples attacked and destroyed the city which had been one of the greatest intellectual and cultural centers of its time.

Which way our society goes, depends on one thing and one thing only:  repentance. Repentance, repentance, repentance!  Fr Michael Scanlan, Steubenville’s former president, and reformer, believed that the biggest need among Christians today is for repentance.  For joy and liberation, for salvation and preservation, for true progress, repentance is the only answer to the discontent and destruction generated by a sin-saturated society. 

Nicolás Gómez Dávila notes that “Modern history is the dialogue between two men: one who believes in God, another who believes he is a god.”  The one who prevails in this now, very heated dialogue will determine whether we are witnessing the terminal restlessness of western civilization dying, or the labor pains of a new birth, a new springtime for the civilization of life and love.

  1. As a person who has battled a deadly disease in one form or another, what values do you bring to the dialogue mentioned above by Davila? 
  2. Looking at the signs of the times, what do you think is the most effective way to influence the secular order with eternal truths?  
  3. We can tend to think that repentance is all about a first conversion away from a sinful life.  We forget that repentance is needed as long as we struggle with active sin in our lives and that it should mark the whole of our relationship with God.  Have you experienced repenting and then returning later to the very thing you repented of?  What did you learn from that?
  4.  As Catholics we often go to Confession with the same things over and over again.  Many times, instead of really repenting, we justify ourselves without  sincerely resolving to avoid a particular sin.  And so, we are back the next time with the same sin.  Can you identify certain stubborn areas in your life where you need ongoing repentance? 
  5. Repentance, when it is real, actually gives birth to joy.  What is the reason for that?
  6.  Why do you think God chose you to live in this time specifically (and not another time)?
  7. Who would you say are the prophets in this day and time?

Act of Contrition 

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. 

I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.

Amen. 

Peace and Blessings,

Sr Anne Marie Walsh and Denise Archuleta

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Updates

The Measure That You Measure With: Spiritual Exercise 09/14/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Monday 09/14/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen.

The Measure That You Measure With   

It is an observable fact that when judging, many of us apply the justice of God to others and the mercy of God to ourselves.  The very things we become indignant about or scandalized by in others, we often dismiss in ourselves with excuses we do not grant to others. 

Jesus plainly tells us the measure we measure with will be measured back to us. (Mt. 7:2) That is most powerfully evident in Jesus’ admonition to Peter: “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

On a less lethal level, perhaps you have had the experience of feeling disgusted by a particular behavior in someone, and maybe even commented on or judged them for it, only to soon find yourself struggling with the very same difficulty.  That is a real consequence of judging others. The Lord humbles us with the very struggle we despise in others.

To be clear, this does not mean that we are to move through life without judging.  We are required to make all sorts of judgments.  But as far as judging the hearts, motives, intentions, past or future of another, Jesus has told us that’s not our work.  Our work is to love as He loves.  And He’s been clear about what that means.  Love your enemy, do unto (all) others as you would have them do unto you; Bless your persecutors, do not curse them.  Imitate the Father Who rains on the just and the unjust alike. Forgive 70 x 7…etc.

Watching the ugliness of the political contest these days, the character assassinations, the spirit of accusation and contempt, the unforgiveness which keeps people chained to their past mistakes and forever identifies them by them, the crass language, the manipulative jockeying for advantage and the greedy maneuvering for power, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. bear witness: “hate distorts the personality of the hater.”

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  

He adds: “there is a final reason that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals.”

The civil life of this country could use a double dose of this medicine because, as St. Paul reminds us, if we go on biting and devouring one another, we will be consumed by one another. Gal. 5:15. The measure that we measure with!

Instruction: Please remain in silence and reflect on the material for 5-10 minutes. After this period of silence we can share that which is revealed to us. It is after we have shared our personal reflections that we can begin our group discussion. Thank you.

  1. Have you ever experienced an awareness of operating out of a double standard in your life, whereby you hold people accountable for things you do not require of yourself, or dismiss in yourself?
  2. Has Jesus ever let you be judged by your own judgments?
  3. What is really happening in a situation when you go against your instinctive reactions and follow Jesus’ instructions to disciples to “love your enemies?”
  4. Do you think it might be easier to love an enemy if you can recognize that hatred and negativity have disguised the real person?  How would you pray for them?
  5. The spiritual life is about coming to the full measure of the mature Christ.  Can you identify specific areas in your life where you need to work on measuring up?  

“Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for Us.” God Bless you from Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT and Denise


Gospel for September 14, 2020: The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

JN 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.

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Monthly Spiritual Exercise Group, Updates

Marginalizing God: Spiritual Exercise 08/10/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Marginalizing God   

The marginalization of peoples has been a social justice concern for decades now.  Sometimes the lightning rod is women, sometimes immigrants, sometimes black or brown or minority peoples, as is currently the case, sometimes the working class, sometimes the poor. These issues evoke strong reactions in people, but not always in a right order that is constructive. Cardinal Robert Sarah points out we can quickly multiply sin when we succumb to the temptation to satisfy “our little egotistical or revolutionary passions.”  Further complicating this is our tendency to oversimplify by looking for the nearest possible scapegoat.

A hard truth would resolve all this if we, as a people, could live it even though we have failed to do so for the last two-thousand years. The truth is our problems come first and foremost not from marginalizing others but from marginalizing God, pushing Him to the peripheries of our lives.  God has the answers to everything we need: peace, justice, progress, the true development of peoples, breakthroughs in science, medicine, etc. 

What profoundly influenced the lives of the Saints and made them powerful was an unwavering belief in the words of Jesus Christ: “He who abides in Me and I in him will bear much fruit.  Apart from Me you can do nothing.”  Jn. 15:5 That really means, on our own, we can do nothing!  Absolutely nothing!

“Someone who is close to God becomes powerful; he can conquer the evil that corrodes the world, and he is capable of integrating it into his prayer of intercession.”  Cardinal Robert Sarah 

God not only has the answers to our problems but also to our potential as well.  Imagine man traveling intergalactically, peopling the universe.  Imagine him conquering the riddles of disease and deformity.  Imagine the forces of creation, of science, working for the good; imagine man working with and in God!

C S Lewis noted that “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world.”

The best possible outcomes are found only in God.  The Israelites of old show us what happens when we look for success, advancement, and happiness solely through our own capacities and vanities: plagues, war, pestilence, chaos, famine, and exile.  Sound familiar?  The most dangerous borders we erect are the ones which fence God off from our lives.  Those are the real walls that need to come down!

Please silently reflect on the questions below:

  1. One way to tell the level of marginalization of God in our lives is to review your day and to note where you were even conscious of the presence of God during the day.  So much of the time we may have a general awareness of His presence, but do we really engage with Him and consult Him throughout the day or do we just go through things on our own?
  2. Have you ever experienced God leaving you to yourself to show you how much you can really do without Him?
  3. Do you know people you would consider powerful in the sense that Cardinal Sarah speaks of it?  What is their relationship to the Lord like?
  4. Has suffering or dealing with illness brought you a closeness to God you might not otherwise have found?

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Updates

Garments Of Grace: Spiritual Exercise 07/20/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Garments of Grace   

In the classic fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a vain ruler is tricked by two weavers into believing he has a set of new clothes.  He parades before the people for their admiration.  The people are afraid to say anything until a child blurts out: “But he’s naked!”

There is a similar deceptive force at work that tries to reclothe believers, and therefore the Church, in unbecoming ways.  Here is one example:

Some circles hold that the Church has become feminized and that is the reason more men don’t participate.  Pope St. John Paul II would surely be surprised by that assessment.  He spent a great part of his pontificate trying to bring the authentic gifts of women more fully into the Church and the world.  His call for the “feminine genius” was as much a call to women to wake up and recognize their real gifts, as it was to men to accept them.  In a word, live the Marian dimension in the Church more deeply and it will go a long way toward sanctifying her.  The call to men is similar.  Live the Christ life heroically and the Church will flourish in a powerful and beautiful way.

The Church is neither patriarchal nor feminized in the negative sense of those words. What we struggle with today is secularism. Secularism wants to tell us who we are by clothing us in its own garments and dividing us from each other. It would reclothe the Church in rags before the masses who are dying for even a glimpse of the stunningly beautiful Garments of Grace that are her incomparable treasures.

“All of us who were baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:26-28.  

Our authentic shared identity is as brothers and sisters in Christ, beloved children of the Father!  We cannot let the world “clothe” us in any other way.  If we live out our identity in Christ our relationships become familial, not based in race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic levels, education, etc., but rather in “graced friendships” which should form the basis of all our interactions with each other.

There will always be attempts to refashion the Church. But the garb of Christ who is poor and glorious at the same time is our true raiment.  We must remember that so we do not end up exchanging our eternal beauty for the glitter of false gold!

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are the treasures, riches, jewels the Church offers that the world cannot give?
  1. One example is given in the reflection.  What are some other ways the world tries to “reclothe” the Church, or believers?  
  1. What is the meaning of worldly and what is the motivating vision of those who are worldly?  And what is the motivating vision of those who follow Christ?  How does one move in this world without becoming worldly?
  1. We are called to see every person in the goodness of the Father.  This will ultimately heal the divisions we have between ourselves, between peoples and nations, and between generations.  How do we concretely live that?
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