Blog

At the foot of the cross, Christ looks down to us. He is beaten, bloody, worn and tired. He has undergone betrayal, being sentenced to death, a brutal beating, than He had to carry His cross a long way, just to be nailed to the very wood that He had journeyed with. Yet He wasn't on that cross for some crime that He had committed, but for the crimes, for the sins of others. He was selfless in the way that He laid His life down. He looks at us from that high but humble cross, not even for a second does He regret the decision that He had made.

It's already Holy Week. This period of Lent is a time for us to rid ourselves of material things and allow ourselves to come closer to Christ. It is a chance for us to recommit ourselves to Him and prepare ourselves for Easter Sunday.

As this first semester of ministry comes to an end, I can’t help but think back on everything that has happened up until this point. Sometimes it feels like I just left home a few days ago, and other times it feels like I haven’t been home for a couple of years. NET has a funny way of doing that to people! The amount of growth that I have experienced since being on the road is unbelievable. Not just personally, but also growth in team life and in our ministry. The amount I’ve grown over these past few months is more than I have ever grown in my whole life. I know that the main reason for this is that I have never been so challenged in my life. Challenged in many ways, but especially in going out of my comfort zone in everything I do.

So recently the NET Canada iNFUSE teams got to have our December retreat in Alberta.  It was a beautiful retreat center by the name of Ephphapha house. The snow lay in thick coats over the ground and would fall in heavy flakes.  The frozen lake was surrounded by hills that emptied out into it. It felt like our own little secluded part of heaven.  It was there that I began to reflect on many of the things I had struggled with over the first half of the year.

It’s a room full of love. Many Netters have fond memories within, the main room of CDL (Centre De L’Amour near Rockland, Ontario) where Mass, formation and evening prayer occur daily. A room of love and memory, but not just memory, since the living bread of the Eucharist resides so often there. I was so happy to return there for December retreat with my team, the place where our Net mission began.

Do you ever get distracted in prayer? I don’t mean so much the giggles of a buzzed toddler distracting you, or the typhoon of air that recurringly buffets in your direction by a rotating fan. I mean losing yourself in the analysis of the problems, events and plans of life. Basically, do you ever struggle between concentrating on Love itself, God, and the business of life? I do.

Who would’ve thought that we’ve been on the road for a month already? I’ve been travelling with this team of amazingly holy people, who 2 months ago were total strangers. We had a team Costco visit a few weeks ago, and as I walked in, the man at the door asked if these 9 people behind me were with me. Without a second thought I said, “Yup, they’re my family.” That’s what we truly are now. We’ve all become on big family on an adventure driving across the country, spreading the Word of God.

So far it’s been full of good laughs, fun host homes, intense spiritual growth, and life-changing experiences.

Often, it is so easy to just stay in the mountain and not want to come down. During NET training it was like we were on the mountain at the Transfiguration. In the gospel of Mark, it tells us how Jesus brought Peter, James and John on a journey to a high mountain to be apart by themselves. Than before their eyes Jesus was transfigured!! He was in His full glory, in dazzling white like no beauty on Earth could ever amount to.

“To be saints is not a privilege for the few, but a vocation for everyone.”  -  Pope Francis

In light of All Saints Day being this month, I thought I would talk a bit about saints. All Saints Day is a day of celebration for those who have attained heaven, those named and recognised by the church and all the unnamed saints as well. How great is it that all the unnamed saints get a day to celebrate them! Not that the named saints aren’t pretty cool... Each team on NET is allocated two patron saints and our two saints as the Swift Current team are St Rita and St Francis Xavier.

A couple of years ago I was in university, halfway through my Bachelor in Arts & Science. I had a good part-time job, a great girlfriend, great friends, and I was doing well in school but something was missing.

We’re told, by our teachers, our parents, society, that we need to finish school, get a good job, get married, have a family and that will lead to a happy life. This isn’t a bad thing at all but it is not the only thing that can lead to happiness and what happens when we start achieving these things and realize that this happiness is shallow, unfulfilling, or empty?

We’re left wondering, “There must be more than this”.

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you. I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Then I said, "Ah, Lord God, behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only youth."

But the Lord said to me, "Do not say 'I am only a youth', for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord."