Fr. Daniel Gifford
Repay to God what belongs to God
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
Thank you, St. Louis parishioners, for demonstrating what it means to “
” Our lives belong to Him. We repay our lives to Him, especially by the two pillars of Christian life featured in the window in our adoration chapel (front cover): Prayer and Work. By our prayer and work, according to the vocation to which God calls us, we live out the call to make our lives a gift to God and others, as it was a gift to us from Him. Also, these words do bear a particular relevance to the vocation of consecrated life, in its many forms, as it represents the motto of the “father of western monasticism,” St. Benedict: Ora Et Labora (prayer and work). And we might be moved, upon seeing it while in prayer in the chapel, to pray for all of our priests and religious brothers and sisters. Likewise, we should be prompted to pray for all young people still discerning their vocations, that they would be generous and courageous if the Lord calls them to one of these particular and focused ways of making a gift of their lives. Still, we see this in all vocations, ages and states of life. These two pillars play an important role in the approach taken with our children in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which just resumed this past week. In adult life, we see so many of our parishioners engaged in prayer and service, whether in the form of adoration, daily Mass, praying the rosary in common, serving at funeral luncheons, bringing the Eucharist to the sick and homebound, assisting residents at our nursing home Masses, leading prayer groups and studies, laboring to create a warm and welcoming environment in our parish including social events, raising funds (or contributing thereto) for those in need, organizing and participating in public and peaceful witnesses to the sanctity of all human life or assisting with catechesis, formation, and youth ministry. And one specific example that stands boldly in my recent memory is the model of prayer and work by our High School teens, who truly did the majority of the planning and executing of our first ever Kick-Off for the Jr. High Youth Ministry. I cannot express adequately what a joy it was watching them show up to welcome, lead, and laugh with their younger counterparts, with the guidance of their adult leaders and yours truly. The Lord is indeed doing good things in the lives our young people, who are truly learning to make their lives a gift. Recalling last Sunday night and thinking to the future make my heart resonate with the words of St. Paul in our second reading, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen (1 Thess 1:1-5).”
In Christ through Mary, Fr. Gifford
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!