Bishop Columns

Bishop Columns

 

January 2020 Four County Catholic

Overcoming a Weary World

“They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

“A Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices.” These words, which graced last month’s cover of the Four County Catholic, speak to a  hope that flows from within us centered on principles of faith larger than ourselves.

Based on what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read in the newspapers, our world, our country, and in some cases even our families seem more divided than at any other time in recent history. Because of this we may be inclined to think that this current moment in time is the weariest the world has ever been.

As we welcome the new year, may we not be tempted to focus on the disenchantment in the world, but instead may we work to find the hope in any given situation.  Hope is in fact all around us.  We need only see with the eyes of the Savior who loves us.

On a recent airing of the CBS news program, Face the Nation, two United States senators, Delaware Democrat Chris Coons and Oklahoma Republican James Lankford, spoke about a 60-year Senate tradition –– a weekly prayer group. Hope is apparent when this bipartisan body of men and women meet every Wednesday morning to pray, sing hymns, and reflect on their similarities rather than their differences. This in a city whose political discord plays out every day.

So how do we find similarities in our dealings with people? A few months ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a year-long initiative that invites Catholics to model civility, love for neighbor and respectful dialogue. The initiative, called Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate, is built on the recognition that every person — even those with whom we disagree — is a beloved child of God possessing inherent dignity.

We, as followers of Christ, are called to live the example of Jesus daily, including our encounters with one another through civil dialogue. These engagements can be online, in the workplace, or even at our own dining room tables. If you are interested, more information and resources on the Civilize It program can be found on our diocesan website, throughout this election year.

Both senators agreed that the challenge, as persons of faith, is to live our faith, in the workplace, in our homes and in social gatherings.

The solution is to be in communion with God through prayer and living our faith, not simply professing it. As Senator Lankford so boldly put it- “if your faith only affects your weekends, then it is not faith, it is a hobby.”

Please know that you are not alone in your hope. As the Holy Father instructs us, “No matter where God has planted you, hope. Always hope.”

I encourage you to find ways to express this hope. Share in the blessings of the Eucharist by spending time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Feel the strength of His support and warmth of His love. Share at least one of the gifts God has given you and volunteer in a parish ministry.  Spend more time with your families. Reconcile yourself to God by partaking in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Love people who others may find unlovable.

It is my hope that you make this the year that you will take a step closer to Jesus.

Sincerely yours in Christ's love,,

Bishop of Norwich

 

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    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
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    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294