spiritual direction of an immortal soul is an awesome responsibility, and
responsible directors of souls do not grow on trees. St. Teresa of Avila said
that a good spiritual director was 1 in 1,000. St. Francis de Sales must have
thought she was being optimistic. He thought a good spiritual director was 1
in 10,000! What does this mean in the context of the small group reunion and
the kind of advice and encouragement we give each other in that "community"
First, it means we must be humble. Second, it
means we must be careful. And, third, it means we must be faithful.
"Be not wise in your own
estimation," says the Bible (Proverbs 3:7). "Every worthwhile gift, every
genuine benefit comes from above, descending from the Father of the heavenly
luminaries" (James 1:17). "If any of you is without wisdom, let him ask it
from God who gives generously and ungrudgingly to all" (James 1:5). "Let every
man be quick to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19).
If we care about each other and care about the truth, we will be careful of
the souls we influence and careful of the truth we attempt to share. Such
carefulness takes time. Only when we have taken the time to know the others
(their strengths, their weaknesses, their successes, their failures, their
hopes, their dreams, the circumstances of their lives), can we most
effectively lead them to Christ. In other words: Make a friend; take the
time to be a friend; then, bring a friend to Christ.
We also must be careful of the truth we
attempt to share. That means we must take the time necessary to know the
truth. To know the truth we must study the truth. We must become
students of the Bible, the teachings of the Catholic Church, the lives and
writings of the Saints.
It isn't enough to know the truth through study. We must also know the truth
through obedience. We must be formed in the truth -- faithful to the truth.
We should be so formed by the truth that we think and feel with the Church.
Only when we identify wholly (in both mind and heart) with that larger
community which is the Church, can we be so bold as to offer -- in all
humility, and after much thought and prayer -- community spiritual direction
Cursillistas of Cursillo weekends #33, Sept. and Nov. 2003 welcomed to the
movement! Michelle Henderson--St.
Benedict Gaylen Claxton-Sts. Peter and Paul Jennifer Allen-St. Mary, sponsor--Lori Hahn Jennifer Wall- St. Benedict Sue Madden-St. Benedict Karen Peterman-St. Benedict Mary Ann Matteson--St. Benedict Heather Butler--Madeline Susan Flanagan--St. Bernard Felicia Hare--St. Mark Lenna Coffman--St. Mary Marcella Frescott--St. Benedict Jacquelline Thurman--Resurrection Kathy Hill, St. Thesese Sharon Hanisch--St. Mary Laurie Perkins --St. Mary Tracy Smith-- St. Pius X Casey Nance--Immaculate Conception
Clyde Jones Jim Judge
I would like to share with you a recap of the
talks from the National Encounter this year that give us insight into the
Foundational Charisms of the Cursillo Movement. This information helps us
understand the purpose and methods of Cursillo.
How is it possible for us
to come to the realization that God loves us? How can we help our brothers and
sisters to come to this marvelous realization – that God loves all of us?
First, each one of us
must allow oneself to be open to a relationship with oneself. This openness
with oneself leads to a healing and personal relationship with God, His son,
Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Through this relationship with oneself, we
begin the process of being free from the many conditions that the world has
put on us; that we have put on ourselves, that we have put on each other, in
order to be loved. Only in Freedom does man reflect his qualities of Person.
Freedom of these conditions allows us entrance into the personal relationship
of friendship with oneself and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
We begin the journey of comprehending that God loves us as His creation;
tall, short, thick, thin, dark skin, light skin, richer, poorer, etc. The
simple, yet overwhelming awareness and acknowledgement of God’s lover for us,
will free us. We were created with Freedom – Freedom to be sincere and accept
ourselves as the person that we really are, and free to accept the person that
our brothers and sisters are.
acceptance of oneself fosters a true permanent friendship that will enable
us to help each other get from where we are, to where we ought to be,
which is a continual discovery of; “who am I? Who is God? And who is my
brother and sister? Or better yet, to help our brother and sister discover
their true self.
The truth is the Absolute; the Creator of heaven and earth; God, already
loves us. All we are doing is reacting to this great love that God has and
continues to provide us in every moment of our life.
Christian’ is to accept the reality that God loves us and to allow His love to
transform us in order for us to actualize Christ. It is to allow Christ to
incarnate Himself in us … to be transparent in our daily living of our lives.
Everything we say and do reflects the love of God in us and the love of God
It is through a sincere disposition of our relationship with oneself, God,
and others that we are capable of loving every person that God has placed
before us, beginning with oneself. To discover God as He is, it is necessary
to present ourselves to Him as we are. It is not about where we want to place
ourselves, but where God has placed us, in our home, work, and recreational
We actualize Christ in each moment, in our
existence. We ferment the environment with the Good News that God loves us.
The likeness of God will emerge in our brothers and sisters when they are
aware of God’s love for them, and with that knowledge and experience they will
discover that they themselves can begin to actualize Christ in their true
This relationship with oneself will enable us
to have a continual encounter and personal relationship with Jesus Christ,
which is living out our Baptism of Priest, Prophet and King. This personal
relationship with Christ will make us more conscious and ever growing in
Grace. The life of Grace enables us to discover and be aware of the vocation,
talents, and potential that God has gifted us, responding in accordance with
our capabilities and possibilities, in the triumphant building of the Kingdom
We must faithfully and continually persevere
in this progressive conversion so as to deepen the experience of our discovery
of oneself, God, and others.
The Cursillo Movement has provided us with a
method that we have come to know as the tripod to continue this progressive
conversion. However, we must live it.
Our piety is nothing more than our true
intimate friendship with Christ in order to continue our journey toward
Holiness. Our study must be a true change of our mentality in order to
continue to know who we are, who God is, and who are our brothers and sisters.
This way we may continually form our mind in order to put on the mind of
Christ; the mind of the Catholic Church. (Formation) Our action must be
a true change of our aptitude and attitude. An aptitude and attitude that must
always be in line with the divine will of God, which is to live Christ’s two
greatest commandments – to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Evangelization)
Jesus Christ, in promoting and sustaining his belief in these two
commandments, showed us His loyalty to his convictions by going to the cross.
Living our tripod in all the normal
situations and circumstances of our normal daily life with all its inputs,
outputs, and feedbacks will enhance our criterion so as to always make better
decisions on how to live and grow more effectively, and affectively, in the
three friendships; with oneself, with Christ, and with our brothers and
The enhancement of our criterion is the
results of our Christian life shared in our permanent friendship group
reunion. A Christian life that is not shared will not be lived. And if it is
not lived it is not shared. The most profound form of sharing is Friendship.
Sometimes we get caught up in doing Christian
things without being Christian. This will always ‘de-center” us from being
Christian. Being Christian is Life; Life is the constant challenge to the
truth of oneself. We must constantly remind ourselves that the only thing that
should concern us is: “What does Christ want me to be, and what does Christ
want me to do?”
This is living the Foundational Charisms of
the Cursillo Movement – living our baptism to the fullness in order to
discover our vocation and to have the conviction to carry out the vocation
that God has given each and every one of us 24/7.
When we discover the exclusive image of
oneself and the irreplaceable love of God within oneself, we find an unending
fountain of Joy. This is the true joy of knowing and living God’s love through
us, with us, and in us. This is how we consciously fulfill the words of the
Lord, King and Redeemer Jesus Christ: “They will know you are my disciples by
the way you love one another.”
Wherever we are, the world will be able to
see us and say:
“Look, how those Christians love each other.
Look how those Catholics love each other. Look how those Cursillistas love
After much discussion, discernment, prayer and consideration
the recommended contribution for attending a Cursillo weekend (whether as
a team member or as a candidate) has been changed from $50 to $75. The
recommended amount has not changed for as long as anyone can remember, so
it had been at the old amount for a long time. Some who had made their
Cusillos in other dioceses had paid more that our old suggested figure.
Our costs have increased, especially when the weekend is not held at
St. John’s in McAlester. It has
been our custom (and it will continue to be our custom) to not require
any given amount but instead to leave it up to each individual to discern
what to donate (and whenever necessary to completely waive any donation at
all). There has never been any policing or monitoring of what each person
has contributed nor will there be any such monitoring in the future. Even
so, simple math of dividing the total amount donated for a weekend by the
number of persons attending has regularly shown that not everyone has made
the full recommended contribution.
And that is just fine. It continues to be our movement’s view that financial
means shall not be an obstacle to anyone making a weekend (whether as
candidate or as a team member). By adjusting the recommended
contribution to $75, this practice can continue because those who are able to
contribute the full $75 or more will do so and it will make up for those who
We will also encourage team members to lessen the hit to their wallet by
spreading out their donation by making some of it at each team meeting where
In a similar vein Cursillistas are asked to consider and discern whether their
personal financial situation might allow them to offer a sort of “financial
palanca” towards the needs of the movement by making periodic or one-time
gifts to Cursillo. If you are moved in this manner please mail your financial
palanca to: Monica Haggard [address] who is the financial steward of the
Cursillo movement in our Diocese