from Peter Poppleton on January 28, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
There is a stream of grace among us. It is the grace of restoration, the grace of renewal. I was reminded of this during the January Council meeting held in Capitola, California. On Saturday morning the Council gathered for the Eucharist in the chapel at the nearby Poor Clares’ Monastery. We could not see the sisters until they came forward to receive Christ in the Eucharist. They were old, bent, but echoing in their being was a sense of history, an eternal call to prayer that rose up in their voices as their songs pierced through their age and reached toward the ages to come.
The sisters’ seemingly silent demographic appeared to be an active receding of their own history. I wondered to myself, are we caught in a similar tide mirrored in these sisters? I thought of City of the Lord’s coming 30th year anniversary. We are not as many in number as in previous years. But I also thought of the recent prophetic word of restoration that is among us and those who contributed to this restoration by their generous financial gifts. The grace of restoration is indeed with us and it is not only for COTL, but for the whole Church.
This grace can be seen as two movements: a call to continuity and a call to active participation in history. Our call to continuity is a call to serve the Church as a living institution within history – a solid and faithful call to sacred scripture, sacred tradition, sacraments and service. The call to active participation is a call into the world, into the mess of the moment, to be engaged in the New Evangelization. We are a “people” within this flow of history and we are called to repeat the pattern of Jesus Christ in the world!!!
Recommended preparation for the Convocation:
Let all of us spend some time in silence (a similar silence to that of the Poor Clares), and in that silence find the echo of the voice of our own history – the history we will soon gather to celebrate. Let us hear once again our call to be members of COTL, the call to be a people of that “City whose builder and maker is God.”
And as we hear our own footsteps leave that silence let us be deeply aware of the needs of the world – the world into which each of us steps every day. As we bring this grace of restoration into the world may we continually discover and live the “unfolding plan of God for us as a people wherever it may lead us and whatever the consequences in the days ahead.”
Simple Convocation preparation:
ENTER SILENCE – PRAY – REFLECT – RECEIVE – RESOLVE – ENGAGE