New Blog Home

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We are excited to announce that the i.d.916 blog has officially transitioned to the new i.d.916 website. Thank you to all those who follow the blog and faithfully read each of the articles, and we will continue to work hard at providing insightful and inspiring posts.

The new homepage is very easy to find. www.id916.com/blog and all of the old posts can be accessed through the new site.

Please check it out and we’d love to hear any feedback on the posts or the new layout.

Evangelii Gaudium – “The Joy of the Gospel”

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Pope Francis has just released an apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, which means “The Joy of the Gospel.”  Over the next few weeks, we will examine the document to pull out the key points and see how they relate particularly to young adults.   In the meantime, we highly encourage everyone to read it since the Holy Father has continued the focus of his predecessors on the New Evangelization.  Here click here to read Evangelii Gaudium in its entirety.

Here are some links for initial commentary.

A Summary of Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel): Pope Francis’ First Apostolic Exhortation by Kevin Cotter

Pope Francis’ new document, Evangelii Gaudium: 9 things to know and share by Jimmy Akin

Bishop Michael Byrnes live tonight!

POPE GREETS AUXILIARY BISHOP BYRNES OF DETROIT DURING MEETING WITH BISHOPS FROM MICHIGAN ON 'AD LIMINA' VISITS TO VATICAN

Tonight, we are excited to welcome Auxiliary Bishop Michael Byrnes, from the Archdiocese of Detroit, to our October Disciples’ Night.  The title of his talk is What Next? Deeper Conversion.  We will be going live at 7:35 pm EST.  To watch the video click here or copy and paste link below.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/id916

A Seminarian’s Take on Pope Francis

Pope Francis Crowd by Dan Westermann

One of the great blessings of preparing for the Priesthood in the Eternal City, is the opportunity to remain so close to the Holy Father. This last year provided a unique blessing to be present at the election of Pope Francis on Wednesday, March 13. The structure of the Conclave guarantees that two times every day, smoke will be released from the small chimney above the Sistine Chapel.  Before Wednesday, I had been present for the previous two times when the black smoke was released. That evening, we had our communal praying of vespers moved forward so that the seminarians could be in St. Peter’s Square in case anything happened. I was waiting about halfway back, next to the large obelisk in the middle of the piazza, with one of my classmates and two of the fifth-year priests from the American College. Because of the rain, everyone had umbrellas up and out, which made it difficult to see the screens showing the close-up on the chimney. Right around seven o’clock, gray smoke started to pour forth from the opening. A similar shade was seen at the start of the previous night’s burning of ballots. I remarked to one of the priests, “Oh, it’s going to turn black again…” But then I heard a gasp in the crowd and he shouted back, “It’s white!” The four of us all shouted back and forth in disbelief, “It’s white, it’s white!” As the excitement grew we made our way, with the other few thousand people in the square, as close as possible to the balcony. The next hour was filled with shouts of, “Viva il Papa! Long live the Pope!” although no one yet knew who had been elected. As Pope Francis made his way onto the Loggia, everyone cheered with excitement. The love of the crowd for this one man was palpable, we were just waiting for some sign of affection back. As they finally brought forward the microphone, the simple inflection of his voice in his greeting, “Buonasera!” (Good evening) was enough to win the hearts of everyone in the piazza.

Two things really stuck out from that night: first was the incredible diversity of the Church.  I can’t imagine any other event in the world where you could find people of every age, coming from every continent, excited about one man. It was a clear sign of why the Church Fathers always pointed to the Pope as the “source of Unity” of the Church. The other thing was Francis’ incredible humility in taking on this role. When he asked the crowd to pray that the Lord would bless him, one could hear a pin-drop in the square. The presence of the Spirit was palpable as everyone interceded for our new Father.

Now after a few months of his service, many people are still interested in what this unique Papa Americano is up to. Regarding the New Evangelization, I think Francis can help us to see one crucial aspect to witnessing to the Truth: that is simplicity. The many stories about his simple ways in Argentina spread like wildfire, and now he has even forgone moving into the Papal apartments. His life of incredible simplicity, while definitely drawing attention of many outside the Church, has really been shaking things up within Her walls. He is calling the whole Church to a life of poverty, where our one treasure is Jesus Christ. As we surrender more and more to a radical simplicity, imitating our Holy Father Francis, I think that we will begin to see a great flourishing of evangelization. People will see the great witness of Catholics who do not store up treasure here on earth, but treasure in heaven, and they will not help but question, “What is different here?” The answer is simple: our treasure is Christ. The deeper that we are drawn in our relationship with Christ, the more that we are able to rely on him for everything and the more that we recognize the fleetingness of so much of what the world offers us.

May the example of Pope Francis challenge us to grow in simplicity and a love for the poor. To our great Holy Father, ad multos annos!

More Quotes from Lumen Fidei

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More quotes from Pope Francis’ Lumen Fidei, I still highly recommend reading the entire thing.

“Faith is linked to hearing. Abraham does not see God, but hears his voice. Faith thus takes on a personal aspect. God is not the god of a particular place, or a deity linked to specific sacred time, but the God of a person, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, capable of interacting with man and establishing a covenant with him. Faith is our response to a word which engages us personally, to a “Thou” who calls us by name.” #8
“As Saint Augustine explains: “Man is faithful when he believes in God and his promises; God is faithful when he grants to man what he has promised” #10
“Faith by its very nature demands renouncing the immediate possession which sight would appear to offer; it is an invitation to turn to the source of the light, while respecting the mystery of a countenance which will unveil itself personally in its own good time. Martin Buber once cited a definition of idolatry proposed by the rabbi of Kock: idolatry is “when a face addresses a face which is not a face” #13
“Faith is God’s free gift, which calls for humility and the courage to trust and to entrust; it enables us to see the luminous path leading to the encounter of God and humanity: the history of salvation.”#14

Quotes from Lumen Fidei

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As I continue to read through Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis’ first encyclical, I thought that I could, over the next few days,  post some quotes that particularly struck me.  Hopefully these quotes will inspire a more detailed reading of the entire text since it is a true gift to the Church.  Click here for the entire text.

“Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way… As a result, humanity renounced the search for a great light, Truth itself, in order to be content with smaller lights which illumine the fleeting moment yet prove incapable of showing the way. Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere.” #3

“The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us.” #4

Good idea or God idea?

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When we first started discussing the idea of doing a young adult ministry, we found ourselves looking at a variety of different approaches and avenues we could take. All sorts of interesting and appealing ideas came to mind and we struggled to make sense of all that we could do. We knew the Lord wanted something to be done for young adults, but we also knew that our ministry would only succeed if He anointed it. We had lots of good ideas, but what we needed was a God idea.

Let me make something clear; God ideas are always good ideas, but good ideas are not always God ideas. For instance, it’s a good idea to tell people about Jesus but if you haven’t been given a gift for preaching it might not be a God idea for you to stand on a street corner and just start talking. Conversely, it might not seem like the right time to tell your friend that Jesus loves them and is inviting them into a deep and lasting relationship with Him, but if the Holy Spirit truly inspires you to pick up the phone and make the call, then you can be peaceful in knowing that you lived out a God idea.

Very often we discover the difference between our good ideas and God’s ideas when we try something and see the fruits of our labor. Jesus tells us to judge the tree by its fruits and St. Paul recommends testing everything and holding fast to what is good. Sometimes the fruit is clearly rotten or obviously delicious, but other times we have to prayerfully consider it over an extended period of time. For example, we hear the Lord and call our friend, but he quickly changes the subject and rejects our attempt to evangelize. Initially, by all accounts the fruit of our phone call is non-existent or maybe even harmful. However, we may find that our attempt planted a seed that needed time to grow and eventually produced fruit like a converted heart or even a follow-up conversation.

It can be extremely difficult at times to discern what the Lord wants from us, but as we grow in our relationship with Him and operate in the power of the Holy Spirit, the still small voice of God becomes clearer. The Lord wants us to be bold but prudent; excited but controlled; Jesus also tells us to “be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) Jesus wants us to tell Him our aspirations and goals, but the life of a disciple requires that we ultimately submit our will to the One we follow. Unlike following any normal human being who will ultimately fail and let us down; when we submit to the will of Jesus we can be confident that His plan will lead to the peaceful, joyful, and hope-filled life we all desire.

Clearly there will be sufferings and pain even while following Christ’s plan, but this post isn’t long enough to deal with that and the subsequent grace that accompanies those moments. We will definitely spend more time on this blog discussing suffering and discernment since they are vitally important pieces of our walk with Christ. As intentional disciples, we must listen attentively to the will of our Lord because only the things that He ordains will bear significant fruit in our lives and in the lives of others. So, as you go through your day today and you are faced with a decision, stop and think, “Is this a good idea or a God idea?”