Recall at the end of your Cursillo weekend there was a commitment ceremony. During the ceremony you received your Cursillo cross with the Spiritual Advisor saying, “Christ is counting on you.” Then you replied, “I am counting on Christ.”

As I was preparing for this School of Leaders, those words were on my heart and mind. “Christ is counting on me, and I am counting on Christ” but for what? What is He counting on me for? What am I counting on Him for?

The obvious answer is a general one—we call it the great commission—spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. But what specifically does He have in mind for me? This book and where I am in life have caused me to consider not only what I am doing but why. Jesus says in John’s Gospel. “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) I realized that getting back to basics—making sure I had a good foundation—was just as important at the beginning of my Fourth Day as it is today.

Before I go on, Kathy will recap some of the material we have covered at School of Leaders so far.

I made my weekend in 1981 and my memory of how I lived my Fourth Day immediately after my weekend is a little fuzzy (for good or bad). I recall the fellowship, the Palanca, our chapel visit, the cross ceremony and many other aspects of that weekend. But I do not recall having a clear understanding of what Jesus was asking of me or what I was expecting of Him. I knew it had to do with the “great commission” but what that meant specifically, I wasn’t sure. So, I did what came naturally; I started doing. Sometimes I did the right thing and sometimes I’m not sure.

Last month Kathy spoke about a Venn diagram (SCROLL DOWN TO SEE DIAGRAM BELOW) and that image has haunted me. Yes, haunted.

I must confess that I am not a reader, but I have been reading a lot of Cursillo material—the Leaders Manual, the Articles of Operations from the National Cursillo website and other documents—lately. I know I need to better understand our Movement. So, I was researching Precursillo. If I were to ask you what you believed Precursillo was responsible for, I wonder if you answer would be the same as mine; that Precursillo was concerned with sponsors, candidates, and applications, but the more I read the more I realized that Precursillo is so much more.

 We’ll get into that in the coming months but leads me to the Venn diagram and the haunting. I started seeing the connections, overlaps, and individuality in the three sections. We use the tripod to help us understand our Piety, Study, and Action; that all three components must be present and in balance—not focusing on one or two areas at the expense of other areas. The Venn diagram helps me visualize the connections, and if my focus is on one area over another, the balance is off.

 Let me give you an oversimplified example. Let’s say we need three ingredients—flour, eggs and milk—to make bread. If you have milk and eggs but no flour you have scrambled eggs but not bread. If you have milk and flour but no eggs you have paste—sticky glue. I’m not sure what you get with just eggs and flour, but it can’t be tasty. My point is everything is necessary and in the right proportion. I will NEVER forget Pharisaical Phil who is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.

This book has been asking me (us) to reflect on our Movement and our place in it. And Kathys inspiration about the Venn diagram helps me, a visual learner, to see the connections and overlaps in Cursillo.

So, let’s back up to our Weekend. There were three encounters—first with Jesus, then ourselves, and finally with others. The first encounter causes us to ask some tough questions, “Who am I? Why am I here?

Throughout the day I am asked to consider if my life, with all of the good and bad in it, were a movie, would it be something I would want my spouse, children or loved ones to see? Day one had the Ideals talk, Grace talks, and ends with Piety. Everything happening on this day reminds that a life of Holiness is possible (” …with God all things are possible.” MT 19:26)

Having encountered myself, the next encounter was with Christ. The question “Who I am (to Him)?” is further explained as we were reminded that we are loved by a God who would do anything for us so we could be with Him. Throughout that day we were guided to know Him better (Study) and His gifts for us the Sacraments.

Then after another short sleep, we begin the third encounter—with others. No, I’m not talking about being wakened by singing but that we have a mission to be the Good News for everyone we meet. Mary Ann would call it our moveable square meter or the hula-hoop effect. All the talks taught us that this apostolate we call Cursillo is not something we should be doing from time-to-time or when we have time, but it should become part of our lives (Action).

As we continue this year at School of Leaders, my hope is that we will all see the three encounters as the heart of our Piety, Study, and Action as well as the heart of all that we do in Precursillo, Cursillo, and Postcursillo.

The lever that helps us do the impossible is prayer, Palanca. Recall as we were preparing for the last weekend, David spoke to us about Palanca. He reminded us that we are supposed to be people of Palanca—not just in preparation for a weekend but all the time. We pray for our Movement, our leaders and all of the special intentions we are aware of. Therefore, as we approach Pentecost, I ask that each of you commit to praying the Prayer to the Holy Spirit for nine days (your personal Novena to the Holy Spirit) asking the Holy Spirit to pour out His Grace, His Gifts on the Cursillo Movement in the Diocese of Trenton to:

  •  Discern His will and give us the strength to do it.
  •  Bring about a deeper commitment to the Cursillo apostolate.
  •  Be a living invitation to join us in the Cursillo apostolate.

In June and July, the School of Leaders will dive deeper into Precursillo in the form of a Friendship and Sponsors workshops. We will try to keep the workshops to about two hours, but they might go over a little. We are not restricting any potential candidates from attending these workshops but realize these two sessions will be geared more for community than candidates. Please join us.






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