June 28, 2020 – Summer Helper Column

What a peculiar time to be alive, yet, what a perfect time to be a saint. I pray all of us within this community are holding fast to our Lord. As the times grow more confusing, our Lord beckons us to grip him.

In this Sunday’s gospel, our Lord states we must have a deep love for Him, deeper than that which we hold for anything else of this world. Along with this, we all must have a deep ordering to follow our Lord by carrying our crosses, while many times, we can all be found guilty of desiring to avoid these crosses. Of placing our Lord anywhere else besides the center of our lives. Especially now, we must push ourselves to pray and fast, to bear these crosses with piety for the sake of our souls. It may sound like a punishment, but know that our Lord’s love for us does not cease when challenges are plenty. Our Lord shows His love to us the most when He calls us to suffer.

During this summer with Father Scott and the other men joining us, I have been experiencing a deep fraternity and joy, even in these complicated circumstances. Our Lord desires us to pray and fast fervently, for our Church, for our country and families. It is through these willful acts of penance that our suffering becomes like kindling for an intense fire of joy; a fire that spreads to others as a beautiful witness to our faith. While the words of this gospel are intimidating, our Lord does not send a challenge without a way to be joyful, appreciative of His love, and the beauty of his creation.

This community is incredibly powerful! I hope you all fervently take upon your crosses and pray for me as I do the same.

In Christ,

Carson Phillips

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