One year ago, I made my Cursillo weekend: Trenton 125! It’s been an amazing spiritual journey as I continue to live out my fourth day. Also within the last year, I had the privilege of working on the team for Trenton 126. Several personal obstacles tried to get in the way of me working with the team that weekend, but the Lord cleared the way, I said yes, and Rick, Al and others supported me and helped me join the great men of Trenton 126. What a year.
Today I want to speak to you about the importance of study in our lives as Christians. In my view, it is the foundation of the Cursillo movement. Study can take many forms: reading; listening; and speaking. Every person is different, and study may mean different things to different people. The key is to develop study habits and to dedicate a set amount of time on a regular basis to studying the principles of our Catholic faith. It does not have to be a lot of time; even a few minutes could suffice.
Why is this so important? Study is a mechanism to develop tools to successfully address the challenges that life throws at us every day. As Matthew Kelly says, life is messy. When we are equipped with the tools of our faith, and a vibrant spiritual life, we are more prepared to handle the mess that life can create from time to time. Health challenges, family dynamics, relationship troubles, work stress, etc. The list goes on and on. Studying our faith gives us the knowledge to combat these difficulties and to create hope in times of distress.
As noted, study can take many forms. At the most fundamental level, it is reading scripture. That is an essential part of the study process. Everything grows from that starting point. Beyond that, there are endless spiritual guides, such as the Dynamic Catholic series of books and videos, which provide practical daily lessons on Catholicism and creating hope in our lives through Christian methods.
Study is particularly important in my life because I am an attorney and, as an attorney, I spend significant periods of time studying the law and then applying it to the facts of a particular case. Being successful in law requires a relentless commitment to study. The purpose of such rigorous study is to be as prepared as possible in handling a case. Study in our spiritual lives serves a similar purpose – being prepared to address life’s challenges through Christian methods. It also prepares us to go out into our communities and have a positive impact.
In thinking about study, I note that today’s young adults are part of an information generation. We should consider ways to better deliver the Catholic message to the younger generations. Social media, webinars, and other forms of electronic communications can be effective ways of sharing our message and the study aspect of our faith.
In closing, my Lenten challenge to each of you is to increase your study habits over the next few weeks (in addition to, say, giving up sweets, coffee, or wine!). If you do not have a set routine of studying our faith and learning more about it, try to start a routine. Spend 10-15 minutes each day reading anything you elect to read that you believe will help your spiritual growth. If you already have such a routine, try to add to it or just maintain it during Lent.
Thank you, God bless and DeColores.