Bringing the Eucharist to life in prayer and communion
Prayer and fellowship do not sit idle during the summer, nor do other vibrant parish activities or Christian evangelistic ministries. The formalities or informal activities that bring us together regularly cannot afford respite from prayer, for they are designed to strengthen us in holiness as we seek God’s help.
Just as a body needs a good exercise routine, healthy diet and rest to stay fit, the soul needs regular engagement with others in prayer and fellowship is necessary to stay active and strong.
As Catholic watchmen are invited to pray at monthly parish meetings, our prayer intention in August is to do our part to support national Eucharistic revival within our parish communities, both now and during the three-day journey. years of revival.
We pray that the parish families of our archdiocese will help fulfill the mission of eucharistic renewal: “To renew the Church by awakening in the people of God a living relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” Led by our bishops, its mission to lead people to encounter the love of Jesus in the Eucharist and to “experience the life-changing effects of this love”, is in its infancy. Saint Boniface said: “The Church is like a great ship beaten by the waves of the various stresses of life. Our duty is not to abandon it, but to keep it going. Guardians are forced to dedicate themselves to this call.
I both laughed and bowed my head on a monthly Catholic Men’s Leadership Alliance (CMLA) conference call, when a nationally recognized deacon loudly expressed his disappointment at hearing about an evangelistic ministry that ” removed summer” from their regular gatherings. . His point being that – whether it is ministry to men, women, the elderly, the poor, drug addicts – gaining and maintaining traction in any movement that brings the saving knowledge of Jesus to others is not not stop for a few months.
People need their leisure, of course, but the movement of any apostolate must keep going. Not everyone takes their vacation at the same time. The advantage of Catholic ministries is that they are very communal – eucharistic – and supernatural in nature. As Catholic watchmen, we do not believe we are the only ones “standing in the breach” to protect, provide and lead the faith. Men who make time for regular prayer and fellowship grow and nurture their friendship with one another collectively as their divine friendship with Christ blossoms.
What is “regular”? At the beginning of our Archdiocesan Watchmen movement, we considered the monthly as the minimum, which is in line with our seventh discipline – the anchor of the CW movement: “Build fellowship and evangelize men at monthly parish gatherings”. Knowing that while it may be more convenient for a larger parish community, small groups of six to eight men can break away from these large numbers and meet more regularly (eg, weekly). The impact is enormous in the development and strengthening of spiritual fathers. That man is you, Exodus 90, the king’s men, St. Joseph’s Fathers, game changers or weekly Bible or book study meetings are examples.
The Watchmen movement was never intended to replace existing men’s ministry platforms or programs. It is an umbrella movement for ministry to men – start-ups or those existing within a parish – intended to encourage men to embrace and hold each other accountable to its seven common disciplines ( i.e. three daily, two weekly, two monthly). It can help provide a common language for spiritual fatherhood – in family life, parish activities, vocations, and spheres of influence in the wider community. (Find them at archspm.org/faith-communities/men.) Knights of Columbus outside of their regular meetings, for example, may break into small groups that include prayer vigils, rosaries, or an hour of adoration with the Blessed Sacrament, thus incorporating the Watchmen’s first discipline: “Pray with perseverance and devotion to Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”
Catholic Watchmen are prayer warriors who know that a persistent, consistent and vital daily life of prayer is essential to staying alive in Christ: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of ‘them’ (Mt 18:20). Revive the Eucharist in yourself and others through continued prayer and fellowship, helping to strengthen the Church—the body of Christ—as a mission!
Deacon Bird cares for St. Joseph in Rosemount and All Saints in Lakeville and helps the Catholic Watchmen movement in the Archdiocese. To receive a toolkit of Watchmen materials for start-up or existing men’s ministry apostolates, please contact him at [email protected].
Category: Catholic Watchers