November 25, 2022
My sisters and brothers in the Lord,
Welcome to Week 47 of Disciples Together on the Way! We’ve made it to Week 47! Only four weeks left in our entire program. We’ve made it to the final stretch. So, for that, I say WELL DONE! God bless you.
If you’ve missed a week or two do not grow weary but start back up and pray that God give you the persistence to march on.
For inspiration, we can look towards our friends the saints as examples of perseverance. We’ve spoken about Saint Monica and how she persevered in prayer for 17 years for the conversion of her son, Saint Augustine of Hippo. Other great examples of persistence are Saint Rita of Cascia and Saint Joseph, foster-father of our Lord.
Saint Rita, who lived in 15th century Italy, showed heroic perseverance in her desire to enter the religious life despite being given in marriage to a very violent tempered man by her parents at the age of 12. After her husband died, she again took up her journey to enter the religious life and encountered many trials – yet she persevered and was ultimately allowed to enter the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene in Cascia, Italy.
We also see a great example of persistence in the life of Saint Joseph. Despite the many hardships he endured protecting and guiding the Holy Family whether it was the journey to Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, or the loss of the Child in the Temple, blessed Saint Joseph never lost trust in God. He always remained steadfast in his faith.
So, in these final four weeks I encourage you to continue your journey down the path of discipleship always turning to the Saints for strength and guidance.
For this week, our challenge will be to reflect on the previous eight weeks.
The focus of the last several weeks has been the Saints and Corporal Works of Mercy. As a good disciple always does, spend some time in prayer thinking about how those challenges have gone. Were there challenges that came easily? Were there some that seemed more difficult to stick with? Ask the Lord to show you where you need to spend time cultivating the habit of a good disciple by revisiting one of the practices mentioned in these past eight week. Then, repeat that challenge again to begin to develop the habits of a devout disciple.
Practice makes perfect! Let us continue on our path of discipleship with the encouraging words of Saint Catherine of Siena: “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.”
I’ll be back with a new theme and a new challenge next week. Until then, may God bless you abundantly throughout this week, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing