Cross Connections

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Cross Connections

Cross Connections

The Holy Father’s June Prayer Intentions:

General Intention: That a culture of dialogue, listening and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.

Mission Intention: That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization.

These two intentions connect at the cross. That’s where mutual respect begins — at the feet of Jesus. Here we acknowledge both our utter dependence on God and our value as human beings.

God gave us our life and every breath since. He gave us his Son to wrap us in human dignity. When we accept our position at the cross then we can accept our place on this earth and the status of every human created. Whether or not we accept the brothers and sisters he gives us in the family of God, they are still our siblings.

The New Evangelization begins with the cross. Our relationship with the Lord forms the strong vertical beam, which supports the horizontal beam of our relationship with others.  You can’t have one without the other. Our commitment to the Lord doesn’t stand alone as a tower of babel as we focus our prayers upward with no thought of who is beside us.

As our Lord draws us close to him he fills us with his very life. He seems to cry out to us, “Let me in! Open every area of your life to me!”  How can we resist? He wants only for us to grow in holiness through everything and everyone he allows in our lives. He’s our secret bff. He already knows everything about us. Dreams. Sins. Strengths. Disappointments. Victories. He loves us right where we are but knows we are capable of more joy. We are his precious children. He wants to live in us.

We can’t grow in holiness if we try to keep the Lord bottled up inside us. The Holy Spirit will show us through the response of those around us that the light of Christ waits just below the surface for those who can detect it in us.

So when the vertical beam of our relationship with God is in place, and even before it seems sturdy, he cries, ”Let me out!” Here is where the new evangelization begins: at the intersection of our relationship with the Lord and our relationship with our siblings in the family of God.

Pope Francis emphasizes community. Two or more. The family. The neighborhood. The parish. The workplace. Facebook. Countless opportunities to evangelize—together. The strength of the horizontal beam depends on the strength of the vertical beam. They balance one another. Yet they are inseparable.

Take the Lord with you into your community. Bring your community into your relationship with the Lord. Listen to the Lord and to one another.  Pray. Encourage. Love. Evangelize.

How does your faith in God intersect with your relationships with others?

Copyright 2013 2013 Nancy H C Ward

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About Author

Nancy Ward writes and speaks about Catholicism, her conversion and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and magazines. She loves to tell her faith story to Catholic groups and help others tell theirs. Her "Sharing YOUR Faith Story, a three-part seminar for evangelization," is available live or DVD. She contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion.

3 Comments

  1. I loved your phrase, “Our commitment to the Lord doesn’t stand alone as a tower of babel as we focus our prayers upward with no thought of who is beside us.” It reminds me that the way I treat others is the TRUE measure of how much I love God; if I do anything less than LOVE, I am forgetting who I belong to and what I am called to do every breathing moment. When this kind of LOVE intersects with my relationships with others, I find JOY.

  2. “He’s our secret bff.” This is how I’ve always felt, but never wanted anyone to assume that I didn’t have respect for our Lord. I absolutely do, but respect, doesn’t mean distance. For me, personally, I can’t have God so high up where I can’t lay at his feet.

  3. Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for the “Friend” request.

    Your mission intention sounds just like one of the topics discussed by the Cardinals before they entered the conclave that elected Pope Francis (according to John Allen of the NCR, as quoted by Thomas Craughwell).

    God Bless,

    Don

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