The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

maybe it's just me, but i think we sometimes have a certain intellectual prejudice or perhaps pride which comes from having degrees and education and it manifests itself in odd ways: for instance, our permanent deacon took the test for his high school diploma yesterday. an 18 year old that we're sending to get his drivers license so he can be a work for us is finishing 8th grade. i was giving a talk to the catechists yesterday on the Eucharist and i was going along nicely about the True Presence and the Echarist as the source and summit of Christian life, and i made a decision to plunge more deeply into the theology to see what would happen. so, i began to explain that no Mass can be separated from the Last Supper. id est, that our participation in Mass is also a participation in the Last Supper. the temporal engages in the eternal - when i first said it this 16 year old girl, who, in standard dominican fashion had large colored curlers in her hair (yes, ladies, they leave the curlers in!), looked at me with an odd expression. i said, "you think i'm crazy?" "yes," she replied. "let me explain it this way," i returned. so i spent 15 minutes explaining time/eternity and the whole nine yards and at the end she said, "i get it." just that simply. i remember seminarians balking and griping after having heard this the first time, but she and the rest were transfixed the whole time. i've learned my lesson - the truth can be comprehended by anyone - that's the strength of Christ.


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