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Meeting people where they are . . . Leading them to where God calls them to be!
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by Matthew Kelly
2018 BEST LENT EVER Journal
by Fr. Bob Sherry
2017 was an incredible year. With your help, we made great progress on our dreams for the future of Dynamic Catholic and the future of the Catholic Church in America.
Progress animates us. It brings us to life. When we sense that we are making progress, we tend to be filled with passion, energy, enthusiasm, and purpose. Progress fills us with gratitude for the now and hope for the future.
So before jumping into the New Year, let’s look back and celebrate a few highlights from 2017.
We completed our third BEST ADVENT EVER program last week. Nearly 713,000 people joined us for our BEST ADVENT EVER and BEST LENT EVER programs this year. It has been so inspiring to hear your stories on social media, in the comments section of each day’s page, and through your emails and calls to the Dynamic Catholic team. Thank you for watching the daily videos, for sharing them with family and friends, and for showing them at your parishes and schools.
2017 marked a couple of milestones for Dynamic Catholic events. We launched an inspiring new event, Find Your Greatness, featuring three phenomenal speakers. We also started hosting Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose events in much larger venues so we can reach even more people. In 2017 alone, Dynamic Catholic events reached over 45,000 people.
Most importantly, we released BLESSED, Dynamic Catholic’s new First Communion & First Reconciliation Experience. I am astounded by the overwhelming response and how powerful the experience has been for those who have used it. The program has world-class animation. Workbooks that are works of art. Catechist-friendly leader guides. And incredible content that meets children where they are and leads them, step-by-step, to where God is calling them to be. That’s progress worth celebrating.
2017 was an incredible year, but we know that who we are today is only a shadow of who we are capable of becoming.
So what’s in store for 2018?
I am most excited about the release of BETTER TOGETHER, Dynamic Catholic’s Marriage Preparation Experience. Dynamic marriages lie at the heart of every thriving community. We need to do more for married couples, and we need to begin by giving engaged couples a world-class marriage preparation experience. This program will do just that. It will give couples the tools they need to build lasting, happy, and holy marriages.
None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for your prayers, your grassroots efforts to spread the word, and your financial support. Together, we are re-energizing the Catholic Church in America.
May your 2018 be blessed with the progress God desires in your life. It is my joy to partner with you.
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It’s another year and another chance to get it right.
Get what right? Life, of course. Get life right so eternity will be right too.
Jesus tells us all it takes to find eternal happiness is to love God and love neighbor. So simple. And recently I’ve discovered other helpful ways of loving my neighbor—ways right out of the Bible. Just reflect on the nearly one hundred Bible passages that tell us how to treat “one another.”
In the Greek text “one another” is one word, but in English it is two. Here are some examples where “one another” occurs in the Bible:
John 13:14 - Wash one another’s feet
Galatians 5:13 - Serve one another
Romans 12:10 - Love one another with mutual affection
1 Peter 5:14 - Greet one another with a loving kiss
Ephesians 5:21 - Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ
1 Corinthians 7:5 - Return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you
And there are so many more “one another” statements in the Holy Bible:
Admonish one another . . . encourage one another . . . bear one another’s burdens . . . be at peace with one another . . . do not speak evil of one another . . . confess your sins to one another . . . do not take one another to court . . . be truthful with one another . . . forgive one another.
Some new small churches build their whole existence on committing to live by all the “one another” statements. Most will try to start by living out three or four additional “one another” statements a year.
What about you, or you and your family? Do you need a goal for this new year of grace? How about searching the Bible (or using your favorite search engine) and agreeing on one or two “one another” statements to guide your life in the New Year?
We just celebrated the most awesome event in all history: the Word of God became Flesh! God came to live among us on this earth! Why? To show us how to love God and one another. One another.
Our lives change when our habits change. Love, serve, admonish, encourage, forgive one another!
Dynamic Catholic has had a huge impact on my life. Your organization really helped me at a time of need.
My faith was always semi-important to me growing up, but it wasn’t until my deployments overseas in the military that my faith became absolutely vital to me. Several years ago when my enlistment in the air force ended, I went to college and then medical school at Ohio State. During my time in medical school, I fell in love with a fellow student and planned to ask her to marry me. On the day I was going to ask, she informed me that she did not feel the same way. I handled it very poorly, to say the least, and began to really let myself down. I started losing my faith, which I thought was so unwavering at the time. Before I knew it, I began to perform poorly in my classes and eventually stopped caring at all about anything. I quit medical school in my second year and really struggled for a while.
My mom gave me Matthew Kelly’s Becoming the Best Version of Yourself CD that she got in the back of church. At the same time, my dad gave me the book The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic to read. The CD and the book were both a tremendous help to me. They got my focus off how bad I felt and on the positive steps I could take to get my life back. They helped me get back on my feet and establish a new dream and a new life for myself. I have since tried to read and listen to everything that Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic put out. I am so thankful for what you all do.
Want to share your story? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Making time for each other isn’t that difficult if you think about how to anchor the time around already established routines at home.
Life is short, and the holidays fly by. Don’t waste this time texting your friends about how crazy your family is making you (even if it’s true). Do your best to be present to them, seek to understand and to love.
Waking up early is a war. It is a battle against the self. You are your enemy. And there is only one way to win the war: Discipline.
When you choose to be the-best-version-of-yourself, when you exercise virtue and strength of character, you impact the world more than you will ever know.