Sunday, August 21, 2011

Year 2 Week 1 in NJ and a Nugget from St. Alphonsus L.

What a crazy week! Last Monday I left Wisconsin at 7am to return to New Jersey for another school year at Seton Hall serving the student athletes. It was a long drive, but an enjoyable one. The 16 hours and 42 minutes really did fly by as the excitement to return to Seton Hall outweighed the thought of the long drive. I arrived in South Orange, NJ around 12:30am, unloaded the truck, and was in bed by about 2am.

We spent Tuesday getting to know the new team. There are 6 FOCUS missionaries at Seton Hall, Melissa and myself work with the athletes and the other 4 Anthony, Katie, Mary, and Eric work with the general population of students. Anthony, Katie, Melissa and I are returning to Seton Hall while Mary is joining us after serving 2 years at the University of Nebraska Omaha, and Eric is joining us as a graduate from St. Mary's in Winona, MN. With one week down we have already grown close together and seem to really have gelled as a team. I'm excited to continue to grow with them as we share Jesus Christ with the students at Seton Hall.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning the six of us spent time together planning how we are going to welcome new and returning students to campus this next week and also some long term planning of events we hope to hold throughout the school year. Melissa and also spent some time around the athletic department visiting with coaches and other athletic department staff. Friday afternoon we relaxed along the Jersey Shore took in some rays and rode some waves. A great first week for FOCUS team Seton Hall, we are all very excited to welcome the FOCUS student leaders tomorrow and to welcome the freshmen to campus next week Thursday. Please pray for Seton Hall this next week as the new students will be faced with many choices that they never have been before.

As I mentioned in a recent post I've been reading a book by St. Alphonsus Liguori about visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Every day it seems I am given something new to think about.

Today I want to share with you an excerpt that I've been reading every day. That is how the book is designed, there is an excerpt for each day, meaning there is something new each day (the days are numbered). But it also has you read parts each day, meaning you read 3 sections every day that are the same. I really enjoy doing this. The excerpt is from the section titled "Prayer to Our Lady after each visit" here it is:

"And since you have such power with God, deliver me from all temptations, OR RATHER, OBTAIN FOR ME THE STRENGTH TO TRIUMPH OVER THEM UNTIL DEATH." (I added the caps lock for emphasis).

I really like this excerpt because it shows how that we as Catholics, as Christians must rely on Jesus, but also His mother. I also like the humility of this prayer from St. Alphonsus. He asks her to deliver us from temptations and then it seems he realizes the need to ask for more and asks her to not JUST be delivered from the temptations but to be allowed, to be granted the strength to triumph over the temptations until DEATH! What a beautiful prayer! I think of when we use the word triumph in modern times. I think of sports and I think the word may be used out of context, what does it mean to truly triumph something? When I first read this and many times since I often think why are we so eager to "triumph" in day to day tasks where we clearly achieve something, or "triumph" over something athletically, but why do we become so content and settle to not truly triumph over our temptations and struggles that keep us from holiness? Please, most lovable Lady do not only deliver us from temptations, but obtain for us the strength to TRIUMPH over them until death!! Our Lady of Good Help, Pray for us!

I've been curious, a number of you mentioned how you were hoping to "jumpstart" your adoration time, how has that gone for everyone? You're in my prayers.

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