Showing posts with label hardship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hardship. Show all posts

17 Apr 2017

That Time the Nice Boy Swore at Me


Or ... Teaching the Faith Sometimes Means Carrying a Cross

Teaching the faith can be a challenge. The Confirmation retreat was nearly over, so we settled back in the main hall after a few hours in the church to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. Though I’ve presented to teenagers for years, it never gets any easier. Corralling them for 8 hours, most against their own will, usually creates a less than friendly atmosphere. This particular group, despite my attempts to provide engaging activities and quick witted presentations, was very difficult to reach.

It was a huge relief to glance at the clock and realize there were fewer than two hours left.“You got this,” I murmured to myself, and grabbed the microphone to begin my last presentation. I barely completed the sign of the cross, when suddenly a young man dressed in a suit stood up.

“Excuse me,” I politely addressed him, “break is over and we are clearly about to pray. We are almost finished; we just have one more subject to cover.” What happened next, even as I type it, still astounds me. “Who,” he began, “do you expletive think you are. This has been complete bull-expletive you have been shoveling at us all day.” Perhaps he saw an opportunity to pounce, since the room had emptied of all adults except me. Before I could answer, he continued with more sentence enhancers and crazy accusations. He had clearly come with preconceived and very misguided notions of Catholicism. My presentations always focus on living the faith in our everyday life and I purposely steer clear of controversial subjects – because I am fully aware that Apologetics are my Achilles heel. This young man perhaps sensed that as well.

The part of my brain that was presently retrieving all of my training in youth ministry and facilitating retreats was screaming “halt, do not fall into this trap, cease all arguments now”! How I wish my brain had won. Instead .... read more 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras

30 Nov 2013

Shattered and Renewed

 I was just thinking that I had not shared about my pain, struggle or suffering, only about the joy of mothering, the joy of living as a daughter of God. I friend also pointed out to me the other day that I never really talk about the long, dark periods in my life. I guess it is because joy always triumphs in the end in my life, I tend to forget about the painful years. The love of little people, strong tea, laughter and the Presence of God in the midst of chaos seems to crack anxiety and stress but yes, I have been shattered by the demands of mothering .

Yet God always manages to use those moments when I am shattered to crack my heart and soul open to more of His presence and healing. It is like childbirth, the pain is forgotten when I hold my newborn but on the other hand if there is no pain, there is no baby or new growth in the Spirit.

 For me God speaks through books as well as my spiritual director and the written word has often  changed my life, flipped an inner switched by bringing insight and clarity. I realize that each difficult stage in mothering is normal, not a big deal because all mothers go through similar experiences. So I am not going through a big crisis. I can see each difficult stage is a call from God to change and grow by going deeper, accessing strength of the Holy Spirit within my own heart.

 I once asked a priest what my life would have been like it I had not suffered. He put on a phony, pious face, with his hands together in prayer and said in a high, sweet voice, 'Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.' Meaning, I would be shallow, without depth and strength. In that case, I say bring on the suffering because I want to live in CHRIST, COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED. I DO NOT WANT TO SIMPLY PLAY CHRISTIAN GAMES.

My Brother's Keeper, by Bill Kassel - Book Review

In My Brother’s Keeper , by Bill Kassel, we read a great piece of Catholic fiction. Now, right off the bat, let me explain the definition...