I have changed the name and some details for the sake of privacy and he did give his permission for me to share them. I do this in the hope that it may help you in some way and that it might give you courage to email me if you need to.
After reading your letter, and having a few thoughts of my own on it, along with what happened yesterday I feel the need to share MORE. The Female that I work with who is Catholic but hasn't gone to church in YEARS became my new boss. I was moved into her department yesterday. I told her about the class on Catholicism a week or two ago and she expressed an urge to go back because, as she put it "I NEED to go". I told her "I will stop bothering you if you want me to, but if you need a friend or someone to go with you can go to Mass or this class with me and my Wife. Again she said "I Need to go". Last night we went to the weekly class and she went. We learned about the TEACHINGS of Jesus. There were many good points in the class that were brought up and I think that my new boss found a great connection with ... my Wife. They are both older than 30, they have both been department heads, they both are women leaders... They both can find better things to do on a Saturday afternoon than go to a bar or stay home and get SMASHED. I feel that I may have helped someone come back to the church ever so slightly, much in the same way that I needed a nudge once upon a time. I am over joyed but at the same time, nervous because .. this is my new BOSS. Now I must juggle the work and the Spirit, and a friendship, all with one interpersonal relationship... and some how not lose my mind while teaching a superior how to do her job. Much in the same way I told my last boss "You give me lots of things to do and sometimes I look overwhelmed, but I get the work done don't I ?" I think that God doesn't give us challenges that we aren't capable of accepting and at least making a good show of trying. I may not always succeed with every challenge in life but I think that the point is to LEARN from every challenge in Life and not to lose yourself along the way. Not to forget that we are all human, we all make mistakes, and that the worst thing you can ever do in mud is STOP. When the road gets slippery... hit the gas, not the brake. If your too scared to move forward you will never finish. I love you, thank you for all your wisdom and experience that you share with me, believe me it helps.
Remember that fear comes from the devil and he will try to get you off balance with it. Courage comes from the Holy Spirit and sometimes you have to ask Him for more.
You are right when you say that God does not give us things that we can't handle. How we handle them is where the lessons are that build His kingdom (within us and in the outside world).
"Thy kingdom com..."
Participation in God's love for others is part of being "one body" in Christ.
Do not separate work from religion, just limit the teaching you do with your mouth. Religion is the guiding principal in how you do everything. Can you name one subject that God is not a part of?
Yesterday I found myself "ministering" or sharing the word with a worker who wanted to chat and vent with me. What ended up happening at the end of the day with so many distractions and the storm that came through I had to say my rosary to fall asleep. I still don't know the creed enough to say it from memory or the mysteries or even the Hail Holy Queen prayer. What I do know is how to meditate on the prayers and the life of our Lord and his Mother's grace. This morning rolls around and I had to go to physical training like I do every day and today I went to the gym with a few fellow workers where I was able to do whatever exercises I wanted to do. I find myself on the rower machine often enough because there are so few people who use it and because it gives me the opportunity to think without interruption or counting repetitions or any of that foolishness. I just get on the machine and go. Once again I found myself with a mental image of the rosary in my head saying the prayers to myself counting Hail Mary's on my fingers as I went. I simply counted decades to keep track. I said the entire thing from memory and I was proud of myself for being able to do that. I am not sure if that is an in appropriate way to be proud of something or if by telling you and my Wife that I'm not being less than humble in my deeds. What I do know is that because of what is happening to me I am bringing someone from work with me closer to the church and hopefully she will start attending mass regularly. I like to talk to people and I know that I need help learning how to listen more than I talk. I know that if I have a stumbling block that would be it. I find myself wanting to say so much and to restrain myself and just listen is so hard for me sometimes. I thought of my Mother on the way home from the gym this morning and how she taught me the Memorare prayer. I say it from time to time in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When I find myself muttering those words to myself or in my head I can't help but remember my Mother teaching me that prayer and how it was important to understand that as Catholics we don't WORSHIP Mary, but we ask her to intercede on our behalf to her Son and the Lord. I don't know if I will be talking to a brick wall but at some point during lunch today I think I will call my Mother and tell her that I say that prayer and I think of her from time to time and maybe urge her to go back in time to that wooden table telling my sister and I that "when two or more are gathered in My name, I will be there". My Mother used to say that in our own way we had a sort of trinity with our little family, Her, my sister, and myself. How, in a symbolic way we mimicked the Church as one family made up of three distinct parts that interacted and tried to work as one. Not nearly as flawless as the Church but just the same, it was a comparison that even an 8 year old boy could grasp. I love you and I want you to know that without people like you and my Wife in my life I would need constant, almost daily therapy sessions because of my stubbornness not to return to the Church because of the memory and the pain that it and the surrounding events of that time in my life brought me. Thank you.
It is not being proud when you share experiences (and express your happiness with your accomplishment) with loved ones. It is not being proud if you share them with others. It is the way that you share. We have all seen the guy that is in love with himself. We have seen the guy that boasts. Great people don't talk about themselves, other people talk about them.
Not that you do it this way, but I feel the need to coach you. When you share the faith, you must do so gently. You must keep your enthusiasm contained. The pushy catholic has caused many people to run away from the church. What if someone came up to you and pushed you? You would resist, then push back or run (depending on if you wish to fight or in this case argue).
You cannot guide anyone without knowing how well they see. You cannot know how well they see without questioning them and visualizing the world through their eyes.
YOU MUST LISTEN TO DO THIS. Find out where they hurt, how they hurt, what they feel and with the help of God, you and the Holy Spirit will give them hope.
That goes for your mother as well. Don't force the Catholic Church down her throat. Right now she hurts partly because you don't talk to her. Start there.
My buddy and I are great friends. We also differ on a few things involving the church. She knows exactly where I stand. She knows that as a friend, I can only state where I think her behavior can improve and nothing more. Her respect for me and her inner knowledge of the truth (the Holy Spirit that lives in her soul) irritate her about these things. When these things are brought up, I make it a point to remind her that I love her and it is only behaviors that I judge right or wrong not people.
The Trinity is an advanced subject and when you are ready, I "we" will teach and blow your mind.
When I see someone 'get it’, I am overjoyed.
Have you ever got the vibe that someone who loves you is silently pushing and guiding and showing you the way toward something that you’re not sure what it is? Have you ever felt that the people in your life may know what is best for you or the direction you should take better than you seem to? When you’re in that situation, you can ask directly "what do you know that you’re not telling me?" or... you can silently thank God and the people involved and trust that you’re going in the right direction. Much as this letter seems to have me beating around the bush, I'm here to ask you. Do you see something in my future that I'm not so sure about yet? If I'm crazy.. nothing is new. If I'm NOT crazy and you see something as clear as you might, I could use the encouragement.
The Holy Spirit (and all in the spiritual world) is timeless, matterless and spaceless. Providence is God's plan. By opening ourselves up to God's plan, we invite the Holy Spirit to guide us. The Holy Spirit is the motivation within us that pushes us to pray and to do all good actions. He operates in all those that choose to let Him. The key word in this is ALL.
He operates in us to get us to heaven and to work through us to get others to heaven. By doing so, He also feeds our souls hunger to love God and others.
I do not know something that I am not telling you. The Holy Spirit does. He uses me to guide people and He uses others to guide me.
I have many books and lessons learned that have brought me to these truths. The world of divine guidance is a beautiful and sometimes forgotten treasure. Mankind gets so self reliant that we forget that God is more powerful and just a little smarter.
I hope this helps,