Dynamic Catholic Newsletter July 2013
Good News and
Not So Good News
Last Wednesday Meggie and I welcomed another beautiful boy into this world – Harold James Kelly. Little Harry is happy and healthy, and Meggie is doing quite well. We give thanks for the gift of new life.
I also discovered last week that I have a growth in my right kidney that needs to be removed. So I will be having surgery toward the end of July to have part of my right kidney removed. Please keep me in your prayers.
There is always something happening, isn’t there? What’s happening in your life? Everyone is dealing with something. Everyone is carrying something around. So, let’s be gentle with the people who cross our paths. You never know what they are dealing with.
Revolutions take place because people want freedom. Today and all days I wake up and declare war. I declare war on the authorities that have caused so many Americans to become slaves. I declare war on the unseen principalities that are destroying the lives of those around me. Our revolution is not a war against a tyrannical government, but rather one against sin and Satan and all of his empty promises.
The war we wage is war against the materialism that consumes the hearts of men. It is a war against the relativism that declares that there are no moral truths. It is a war against the pluralism that declares there is no one religion that possesses the fullness of truth. It is a war against individualism in which selfishness and egotism reign as god. It is a revolution against the culture of death that promotes abortion and contraception as good, seeking selfishness over the dignity of every human life. It is a war against all the social injustices of our times: racism, sexism, slavery, and on and on.
To be a Christian is to be a warrior. To be a Christian is to be a fighter. Saint John Chrysostom accurately said, “We are baptized in order to fight!” It is time you and I start fighting. It is time you and I start a revolution.
— From “Holiness Revolution” by Dan Dematte
Years ago, some one said that a person of only one book is a dangerous person. Why dangerous? Possibly because that person is too narrow minded to recognize that there is more than one way of looking at something. So if you read two books on a topic, you’ll get two different views, and you will be a much wiser person. Somebody else said that people who read have a 50% greater chance of success in life. What was the last non-fiction book you read?
You can get by if you read only one book a year. Many people don’t read even one. But look at most people: leading lives of quiet desperation. If you want to just get by in life, continue on your current path… but you are reading this newsletter; so you are already ahead of the game.
Set a goal for yourself: in the next 12 months, determine to read just 10% more than you did during the last 12 months. Break it down: maybe pick a consistent 10 minutes a day. Take a day to find the right book for yourself: biography of someone you admire, religious, political, technological. Start with something that interests you, then over time, branch out. Take a leap of faith.
You’ll start to feel more stimulated, find yourself bringing up subjects with friends they might not have thought you capable of. Surprise them; surprise yourself.
Are you asking: “Can’t I just watch a documentary, or get a good DVD?” Yes you can do that too. But engage the brain in daily reading and you will have a gifted side effect of self-discipline. A bonus.
Try reading 10 minutes a day for a few months and then let me know what it does for you.
“My name is Mary Gomez and I’m 52 years old. John and I have been married for 29 years and we have 3 sons, 24, 22, and 18. I was an Air Force wife and I taught elementary school up until the time we started having a family. John retired as a Colonel with 27 years of service. He is now working as a civilian consultant and I have worked as a substitute teacher and teacher aide for several years.
About 5 years ago, Matthew Kelly came to our parish in O’Fallon, Illinois to speak on his life story. He was so engaging and made so much sense, that I bought some of his books, and started picking up several of the CDs.
Growing up a cradle Catholic, I didn’t get the catechesis like many others in the 1970’s. So, there was so much I didn’t really know about my faith. My mother has been a wealth of information, but Matthew has been a big part of my journey these past few years.
My husband and I were able to hear Matthew speak again at another parish in Collinsville, Illinois about a year and a half later, and we were hooked. We joined the Dynamic Catholic community that day, and we believe it has tremendous impact and potential to change the world.
In the spring of 2012, I started feeling restless, a feeling that God was calling me to something. At the time, I was working as a teacher aide in a middle school special-needs classroom. It was demanding work, but very rewarding. I had thought, over the past 4 years in this position, I was doing God’s work. But I still had this restlessness. I decided to go back to work in the fall, but an event happened that gave me a clear answer to my restlessness.
On December 21, 2012, a car hit me as I was walking across a 4-way crosswalk at a shopping center not far from home. I never knew what hit me… only that I was spinning. When I landed on the pavement, still conscious, but with sheer pain and complete numbness to the entire left side of my face, I looked up to the sky and thanked God for not taking me. On this day the world was supposed to end – according to the Mayan calendar! With several fractures to my left cheekbone, I was in surgery on New Year’s Eve and on medical leave from work for over a month.
During my recovery after the December accident, I came to understand that this was maybe God’s way of telling me, “It’s time to quit your job. I have plans for you, Mary.” So, the end of January 2013, I resigned. I felt a lot of guilt about it, but I also felt a deep peace. I knew this was what God wanted me to do. But I wasn’t sure where He was leading me.
During this new “free time” God has been stirring up a deep desire for me to get more involved in my parish. I have enjoyed having the time to serve God through many ministries: Eucharistic Adoration, marriage preparation for engaged couples, Bible studies, helping to bring dynamic speakers to our parish, meeting in groups of women and individually to share faith stories, attending weekday Mass more often, and reading rich Catholic books and listening to many Catholic CDs. One CD especially, led me into a burning desire to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary. I celebrated my Consecration on May 13, Fatima Day. I have many ideas to share with our parish priest and I look forward to becoming a deacon’s wife in five years.
I still question whether I am on the right track… if I am doing what God wants me to be doing right now. But everything feels so right and I am seeing blessings, even through daily struggles. I love Matthew’s books and tapes and want to be that Dynamic Catholic that draws others to our Lord. And I have this yearning to help educate parishioners in our church who “don’t get it” and don’t realize how perfect and awesome God’s plan is for our world.”
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