PRESENCE - A WITNESS
Note: This witness was given by Al Martella on February 3, 2012 at the Diocesan Mass.
I wanted to make sure I would be an effective witness, so I went to the Cursillo National Website and found a document from the Diocese of
Wichita on what a witness talk should be like.
It said that the Witness Talk should not be:
a) It should not be sensational - no need for Cecil B. deMille productions in Ultreya witnessing.
b) It should not be a sermon, nor should it be instruction in Catholicism.
c) It should not be longer than five to ten minutes.
d) It should not be too emotional. Emotions will be affected by a simple, sincere talk.
It said the Witness Talk should be:
a) It should be your life lived out as a Christian - how the Lord is working through you.
b) It should be concrete and practical, carried out in the normal flow of your life.
c) It should be centered on and be about Christ, how you were His instrument.
d) It should be centered in the present, not something that happened six months or more ago.
e) It should be descriptive - explaining who, how and what of the details necessary to make your witness clear.
f) It should concentrate on one or two points, rather than a series of examples.
g) It should be as informal as if you are sharing it with a friend - you are!
h) A brief Scripture passage should be used that will tie into your witness
So, let's see if I can follow those suggestions. Let's start with a quote from scripture:
New Living Translation (NLT)
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Recently, The Holy Spirit has been especially present in my heart, helping me to think about relationships past and present, who have helped me grow closer to God.
At the beginning of the year, I was able to become a telecomputer and work full time from home. I have set up my office in what was my Mother’s Room, where she lived with Ronnie and I for 17 years. In one corner are mementoes of her faith – including a crucifix, a statue of our Sacred Heart and the Blessed Mother, a picture of Saint Anthony. It is in this room that I spend my day in the comfort of knowing the Trinity and the Blessed Mother are near. Throughout the day, I turn to them to ask for guidance in how to deal with work situations. This space has helped me be reminded how much God loves me.
You Tube also helped to remind me. Two weeks ago, I came across a wonderful clip. In 1997, Fred Rogers Accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. While most presenters would have talked about themselves, this is how Mr. Rogers spent his time:
“So many people have helped me come to this night. Some of you are here and some are far away. Some are even in heaven. All of us have special ones who have loved us to being. Would you just take along with me ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Those who have cared about you and wanted what was best in life for you. Ten seconds of silence – I’ll watch the time” (Stop for ten seconds and think about those people.)
“Whomever you’ve been thinking about, how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they have made.”
I try to stop often during the day to remember those people – and especially remember God, his son and the Holy Spirit for putting those people in my life. How blessed we are to be surrounded by so much love.
I’d like to end with a short prayer called Desert Waters by David Adam from his book, Tides and Seasons: Modern Prayers in Celtic Tradition. It touches me because it reminds me wherever we are, God is always present if we take the time to look.
O Spring in the desert
O shelter from the heat
O light in the darkness
O guide for the feet
O joy in our sadness
O support for the weak
O Lord with us always
Your Presence we seek