The Call

  • July 21, 2008

For Friday, July 18

SYDNEY, Australia - Ottawa pilgrim Melissa Delaney shared her personal testimony with us. She talked about how she would run away when she felt called by God. She had everything figured out for herself and she didn't want to give her life over to God. She wanted control and filled the void with relationships, drugs and alcohol and quickly became addicted.

She was in youth ministry and only started to take drugs and drink alcohol after becoming a Catholic. She also began to injure herself. God was there the whole time and showed her that he died and suffered for her. On the outside, she was a perfect Catholic, but on the inside, she was a mess. When she quit the drugs, alcohol and self inflicted injuries, she could hear God speak. She eventually felt a call to the religious life. "It was probably the hardest thing for me to say yes to," Delaney said.

After not having gone to reconciliation for eight years, she went to confession at WYD in Toronto (2002). She felt God's immense mercy and love.

Bishop Joseph Estabrook from the Archdiocese for the Military Services in the USA talked to us this morning during catechesis.

"The call to holiness cannot be separated from the call to mission," he said.

Holiness is whatever is good and sacred. How you look at life affects how holy you are. The problem with today's youth is that we follow rather than lead our society.

"Today, society trains you to be consumers . . . your responsability is to vote for American Idol," the bishop said. "The Church is the only one that believes in you as God believes in you and that you can make a difference."

We live in a "me" society. Living in freedom means living in the Spirit. Everything that we do in the flesh is selfish. We constantly ask ourselves: "what's in this for me?." If you live according to the Spirit, you don't need laws because living in the Spirit puts others first. We want everyone to cross the finish line. We want everyone to go to Heaven.

"How much have we bought into the world of the flesh?" Bishop Estabrook asked. "It's very hard to make the switch," he said. The more radical the switch, the more you feel alienated. The world hypnotises us whereas the call to holiness is living in the world of God.

The flesh isn't always about sin - it's about living in a bubble and being too comfortable where you're at. We're not Catholic to have warm, fuzzy feelings with one another. We must love others as much as God loves us.

"Who are you really as a disciple of Christ?" the bishop asked. "We are called to go out to a hypnotised world and to wake them (people) up."
To love someone is to be accountable. We, as disciples of Christ must be accountable to one another. You must never stop forgiving. You have to have boundaries but you can't put up walls.

After lunch, we went to Domain for the Stations of the Cross which started at 3 p.m. Many Ottawa pilgrims went to the Hillsong concert that night after dinner.

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