Thursday, March 15, 2018

Putting Aside the Good for the Better

Written by  Catherine Renneberg

These past few months have flown by as I settle into my position here at the Cathedral. Easter is quickly approaching! I am often struck by the amount of changes I have seen in my life as I transitioned from being a full-time student to a full-time employee. This has come with ups and downs, but I can see that God has a plan for me through it all.

I have recently met many, many students, and I find so much hope in this generation of young people! I am overwhelmed at the focus given to the Catholic faith in our school communities; coming from a small town public school, it was quite a different experience to participate in Ash Wednesday liturgies that entire schools attended.

Before Lent, I went around to many classrooms and gave presentations on Lent and Ash Wednesday. We learned about prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as the “extra” things that we try to incorporate during the Lenten season. As I brain-stormed with numerous 1st and 2nd grade children, I heard various different ideas about what they could fast from. Things like chocolate and computer games were frequently mentioned as possible luxuries to do without. But one bold child had the audacity to shout “I’m going to fast from hitting my sister!”. While I think that’s a great idea, of course I also had to explain that as Christians, we always try to fast from violence. I explained that during Lent, we try to give up the good things in our lives that sometimes get in the way of the Better: our relationship with God.

In many ways, this describes the transition I have been making – moving on from student life and being called into a deeper focus and dedication to Christ. This job, which is mainly geared toward outreach and evangelism, has challenged my otherwise private faith. As I work with teachers and students, prepare for launching youth groups and team meetings, and participate in activities, I can feel that God is calling me to become more and more rooted in His truth, His joy, and His peace. While I did rely on Him during those years of school, youth ministry has called for a renewed zeal for God and the Church, as I represent the faith to everyone I work with and meet. I feel as though this Lenten season has been rich with opportunity to reflect more seriously on Christ and His Church. As much as I truly enjoyed being a student, this job has proven to be a step up for me, as I get to work with youth and the wider Catholic community.

May God increase our hope during this upcoming Easter season, that we come to see the light of the young people in our Church! As Lent comes to a close, may we stay true to our Lenten disciplines and truly keep our eyes on the Better, who is indeed the Living God, crucified and risen for us.

Cheers,
     Catherine

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