ReConnect Spiritual Challenge: Day 1
Photo courtesy: Basilica di Santa Maria, Rome, Italy. Floral mosaic, St Francis playing violin with birds
Revitalize your faith & reconnect with the community
Advent is a paradoxical season – it falls in winter, at the end of the year when days are short and it’s often cold, but it’s focused on the coming warmth of light and life. It’s a season of reflection and anticipation. A season that looks back at the people who waited in darkness for the coming light of Christ and yet forward looking to a fuller light still to come and illuminate our darkness. The Lord becomes a young child and says, ‘Behold I make all things new.’
The goal of ReConnect: 21 Day Spiritual Campaign is to strengthen our relationship with the church, enrich our faith and highlight opportunities for re-connection. In this daily email series we hope you will find a connection with a reflection, scripture reading, or uplifting spiritual enrichment activity, and rejuvenate your spirit during this Advent season.
We hope you can take up the challenge to get in touch with your innermost spiritual feelings and find ways to revitalize your faith, and also reconnect with the community . Please reflect on the questions below as you explore some of the activities.
- When was the last time you found joy through a deep connection with the Holy Spirit?
- How can your connection to God have an influence on all aspects of your life?
- What do you think about your spiritual identity and its relevance to your work and life?
- What image, song, word or phrase resonates with or challenges you?
- What work is yours to do? What is your calling to serve the Lord?
Daily Reflection: Read and reflect on today’s readings
Additional Enrichment activities – pick one to start and explore more as time permits.
Activity 1: Read about Charles de Foucauld: Saint of the Day for December 1
The life of Charles de Foucauld (September 15, 1858 – December 1, 1916) was eventually centered on God and was animated by prayer and humble service, which he hoped would draw people to Christ. Those who are inspired by his example, no matter where they live, seek to live their faith humbly yet with deep religious conviction.
Activity 2: Listen to Pope Francis’ weekly Angelus and reflect on the message
“Is your faith, my faith, tired, and do you want to reinvigorate it? Look for God’s gaze: sit in adoration, allow yourself to be forgiven in Confession, stand before the Crucified One. In short, let yourself be loved by him.” Pope Francis
Activity 3: Practice Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga (ISY)
ISY supports individuals who desire a deeper connection with the Divine Mystery, transformation towards interior freedom, and commitment to compassionate action in the world. Join live yoga and Ignatian spirituality sessions on Sundays or join online at any time.
Activity 4: Watch the movie or read the book The Shack (see trailer here)
The title of the book is a metaphor for the house you build out of your own pain, the places you get stuck, you get hurt, you get damaged … the thing where shame or hurt is centered.
Activity 5: Write in a journal about your own spiritual journey. You might consider:
- What did you learn about spirituality from your school and family? Did they align with what you’ve seen in your life?
- How did you create your religious and spiritual habits?
- How have the events over the past 18 months living through the COVID pandemic impacted your religion and spiritual habits?
Prayer for Our Community:
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, Amen.
ReConnect with your faith and community today, tomorrow — and yesterday! If you miss a day, go back and check out all prior challenge days HERE on our website. We are all imperfect children of God, so let’s KEEP TRYING! To further reconnect with St. Francis Parish, please contact the parish office at 734-821-2100 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reconnecting with you!
Add your email to receive the ReConnect daily emails Dec 1-21 HERE.