April 9-10, 2016

Friends,

     I am going on vacation today (April 10th) through next Sunday (April 17th). I will do a lot of reading, walking, thinking and sleeping. I look forward to every minute of it, and I am also hoping for good weather.
      Some of you might be thinking “where does prayer come into all of  this?” I have come to the conclusion that for me prayer is becoming more aware of God’s presence in my life. When I am reading, walking and thinking, I become much more aware of who God is and how I relate to God. It is not the same as “saying prayers.” As we know, there are many ways of praying.
     Some people would think that I am taking the easy way out because this attitude toward praying doesn’t take a lot of discipline, doesn’t require me to sit still, no need to be in a Church, and you can’t tell I am doing it by looking at me. But it surely has acquainted me with an understanding of God that many never come to know. I have become convinced that God doesn’t need my thanks or praise. God has no needs! I read a book and one of the chapter titles was “What God wants” and the chapter was comprised of six blank pages. At first I didn’t get it!
     I have a personal relationship with God and it determines every choice I make. That personal relationship is not enough for me however. I also have a need to celebrate my faith with others who believe as I do.
     That is where the Church comes in for me. Belonging to a faith community (parish) is very important to me. I know many Catholics who at times in their lives have no need to celebrate their beliefs with others. I respect their choice, but I feel like we all lose.
     For me, that sense of community is most visible at our weekend liturgies (Masses) as we gather at the table to listen to Scripture, share our faith and come to the table. We sing and pray together. That experience is meant to be spiritual and emotional as we encounter God in Christ and in each other.
     Next weekend I will not be celebrating Mass with you so I will seek out another faith community. It will be Catholic but it won’t be the same. I am invested here. I belong here. I know this faith community and you know me. That personal relationship and the sense of community we share at the Blue Hills Collaborative gives a deeper meaning to my prayer life and to our celebration of the Eucharist. It is no longer just going to Mass.
     God knows where I will end up next weekend. I know why some people feel uncomfortable when they go to Church by themselves and don’t know the community. We are meant to be in this together.

Enjoy Life! 
Fr. Coyne

 

 

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