TECHNIQUE TALK by Mary Ann Dowd, Lay Director
" The community of the cursillistas is like no other. Their help, advice, and prayers made it so easy to perform the service of lay director with each one giving their time, their talents, and in truth many of them their whole lives to the cause of Christian Charity."
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Lord we ask for courage - the courage to live out in our daily lives the faith we profess with our lips. Amen.
This Rollo is entitled the "technique talk" and when Ronnie asked me to give it tonight I hearkened back to my "babechick" days almost 20 years ago and it was confusing to me exactly what "technique" meant in the Cursillo sense, so I hope to shed some light on that tonight.
(Mary Ann holds up a book. ) Here is a book given to me many years ago which contains all the words actually spoken by Jesus during his ministry....NOT the volumes written about HIM and Christianity. but, quite simply, what Jesus actually said: It logically begins with the finding in the Temple when he addresses His parents with the words..
"Why were you seeking me in sorrow did you not know that i must be in my father's house" and ends with the last words spoken by Jesus on earth..
"Go out and make disciples of all men... knowing that "I Am with you always even until the end of time"
If all we knew of Christ was this book we would know all we need to be true cursillistas and more specifically to know the technique talk inside and out--for our movement was founded by carefully observing all that Jesus did and yes our founders were-- "Jesus wanna-bes."
Think about one of the most important things Jesus taught us by example..it was the (Study of Environments) its true-- this is what we call it in Cursillo...
Simply put, Jesus knew the environment He was in and the ideals of the people to whom He spoke. He knew where their thought were Where they spent their time and where they spent their fortunes. He didn't have to "study" it because, He was...well God!-- but if we want to follow Him on "His Way" we would do well to study our environments and know where we are and who exactly it is that we are addressing.........remember Jesus speaking to the woman at the well and saying to her if you knew WHO it is that is speaking to you you would ask ME for water which never makes you thirsty again"
When HE called His disciples-- spoke with Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, or the woman caught in adultery. He knew the audience to whom he was speaking and He always..always spoke the truth in love even under the most difficult circumstances, such as when He rebuked the devil in the dessert.
When Jesus called his disciples He did so from his immediate environment--in the same way HE has taught us to select candidates: They were leaders in their environments. Men of influence not for how much money they had but for the way they influenced those around them.
Their strength of character. Did he call the best people according to our standards? Maybe not, but didn't Jesus say "many are called but few are chosen."
Isn't it our task to invite and instruct with the way we live our lives honestly and authentically...and to leave the rest to God?
Cursillo was founded in many ways to be a ministry to the "far off" today we see many weekends made up of the fervent and holy ...the Holy Spirit is a Mighty Wind that blows where It will and calls who It may. It is our calling to invite and to be there for our candidates and trust that God's Will be done!
From the very beginning the "Technique" of the movement was to:
Make a Friend
Be a Friend
and bring that friend to Christ.
First through Pray, then reaching out by engaging in genuine Christian friendship. And following all the precepts of Christ and HIS church through a genuine hunger and restlessness to follow HIM as we walk along - "Ultreya" -with our brothers and sisters toward our Hearts Desire.
Jesus taught us to take our brothers and sisters along with us Just as HE led his followers along His Life's camino.
Not by being coerced or obligated but by being truly free and with a real desire to fulfill our full potential in Christ and to help our brothers and sisters in Christ to fulfill their's.
In our leader's manual this restlessness is defined as a desire "to know all about all."
This is a fearful thing for our society today. Even with all the latest in communications and so called "social media" people are becoming more isolated and disconnected from God than ever -- How can this be we ask? But here is a statistic I recently learned that there are 18 million more Catholics in the United States than it takes to elect a president. I'll say that again - there are 18 million more Catholics in the USA than it takes to elect a president.
Where is the disconnect? With e-mail, facebook, twitter, my space ---on and on we are more disconnected than ever.
The numbers don't lie but the world does-- and it is spewing its lies of humanism, minimalism hedonism and every other false "ism." All over the world and gaining converts in record numbers.
Should that make us fearful? Fear is not from God.
Should we throw up our hand in despair? Despair is a tool of the evil one.
My brothers and sisters we have the answer.
The cursillista knows that indeed we wish to know all about all and the all that we wish to know all about is their walk with God -guided by the glances of Christ, we find God in His people.
Isn't this where we draw our strength-- from the knowledge that so many others share our faith and our purpose? That God sits on the Throne of Heaven and loves and cares for each and
everyone of us?
The Cursillo movement was, is and always will be effective and viable in this world because the Cursillo movement is Christ reaching out to a broken humanity. Healing, loving and ministering to HIS Church through each of us.
The Hallmark of our movement - the grouping on The tripod of Piety/Study/Action is a brilliant idea inspired by the Holy Spirit to keep us on track.
Personally--it has greatly influenced my walk as a lay director for-- if not for the discipline of examining those three questions often -- the pull of the world would have definitely:
caused a distraction --
created static and
deterred me from the task at hand--which was to keep out of the way of this wonderful movement given to us by God.
I believe my greatest accomplishment as lay director is that I have managed to stay out of the way of our pilgrim's progress. I can say that, not out of a sense of false humility, but because from the time Father pronounced the words of installation over me, I trusted that i received
what Sister Simon so aptly calls the "grace of office". It has given me strength and sustained me through obstacles, joys, challenges, celebrations and all the other roads we have all traveled together.
Out of necessity I have been forced to study our movement and have grown to love the little course even more. I learned that all the wonderful ideals of our movement came from an encyclical the Pope wrote and that Eduardo studied in his youth.
This is why we Catholics know for certain that we are blessed with Pope Benedict's decision, for our religion does not depend on a single person (as much as we love our Holy Father) God will raise up a new shepherd to guide HIS One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Out of the sense of restlessness and insistence--which are the hallmarks of Cursillo's founder, Eduardo Bonin, I have been lifted out of my lethargy and been forced to step out in faith on behalf of our community and our advancement as a movement within the Church.
You wonderful people of God, have taught me how faithfulness to ultreya and friendship groups have held a mirror up to our resolve to live better lives in Christ and ask ourselves time and again what Mother Theresa of Calcutta asked me many years ago:
"What are you doing to follow Christ? How do you minister to HIS people?"
As our Holy Father had said when he stepped down from the Chair of Peter, I did these things with complete freedom (for it is only in the person of Jesus Christ that we become completely free.)
I can honestly say after experiencing these two years as lay director that HIS yolk is easy and HIS burden exceedingly light.
For rather than a burden being placed upon my shoulders two years ago a great weight was lifted off of them. The community of the cursillistas is like no other. Their help, advice, and prayers made it so easy to perform the service of lay director with each one giving their time, their talents, and in truth many of them their whole lives to the cause of Christian Charity.
(You are true examples of Our leader's prayer in action)
I learned through living the cursillo technique that rather than a challenge or an obligation --serving as lay director is more than anything else "a gift" a gift from a very generous God and His loving people.
And so you see the "technique" of the Cursillo in Christianity is to study the techniques Jesus used: the technique of love, the technique of healing, the technique of charity and forgiveness the technique of living, to the best of our abilities, the beatitudes-Sister Simon so beautifully
presented to us tonight. In short personal contact, one friend at a time..up close and personal is one way to describe Our Lord and in so doing describe HIS beloved cursillistas.