How to live a true love? Cómo vivir el amor verdadero?

It is necessary to love truly, to understand that a relationship sometimes is not all beauty and fun, but there are also disagreements, battles and even broken dishes.

Blogger Adela Hernandez provides her blog posts in both Spanish and English. Scroll down for the English translation.

El amor Verdadero

¿Cómo vivir el amor verdadero?

Es difícil explicar lo que sientes cuando estás enamorado, sientes mariposas en tu estómago, sientes la necesidad de hablar con esa persona que de pronto te robo el sueño. Tus días malos se hacen mejores con su sola presencia.

Pero qué pasa cuando descubres que tu pareja ya no es la misma persona que era en el noviazgo y que esos detallitos que sentías en esa época, ya no son tan intensos; empiezas a notar más los defectos que las virtudes. Miras a tu pareja egoísta, desatento, etc., que todo te desagrada y de pronto quieres retirarte de este individuo y crees que te enamoraste de la persona equivocada.

Esta etapa del matrimonio es terrible, lo que mirabas color de rosa se vuelve negro, frio y feo, nada les agrada y en este período muchas de las parejas tiran la toalla debido al resentimiento que se ha anidado en su mente.

Para descubrir el amor verdadero en el matrimonio, es indispensable pasar por este proceso de madurez, fe, tolerancia y crecimiento del amor de uno para el otro. El amar a tu pareja, significa saber reconocer y asumir que las personas tenemos, tanto, defectos como virtudes y que el amor, no es un cuento de príncipes y princesas, sino todo lo contrario, es entre personas tan humanas como usted y como yo.

El amor sincero es enamorarse de las diferencias de tu pareja, realizando que eso mismo es tu complemento. Hay que ser tolerante con esas diferencias y abrir la puerta de la comprensión.

Una pareja saludable, feliz y satisfecha sabe que el amor verdadero se nutre de esa complicidad de miradas, de seguir sonriendo e ilusionándonos para un futuro mejor.

Uno no puede decir que ama a su pareja, hasta que conoce sus demonios. Hace falta amar de verdad para comprender que en una relación no todo es belleza y diversión, sino que también hay desacuerdos, batallas y hasta platos rotos.

El verdadero amor es amar a tu pareja aun con esos defectos que has descubierto y ese amor se fortalece día a día basado en el compañerismo, fidelidad, compasión, tolerancia, comunicación; respetándose y valorándose con autenticidad.

Pero para decir te amo, primero debes aprender a decir me amo, porque el amor y el conocimiento de uno mismo es la clave para generar relaciones saludables. Y para encontrar la pareja ideal debemos prepararnos nosotros mismos para una relación duradera que exige tiempo y trabajo interior. Sabemos que no es fácil pero con el tiempo, tendrás grandes beneficios.

El auténtico amor es capaz de perdurar al través de los años, aportando una felicidad sincera donde la pareja puede crecer personalmente y en conjunto, cuidando de los detalles del amor, haciendo castillos de ilusiones y nunca perder la capacidad de asombro.

El amor verdadero es amar a tu pareja como Cristo amo a su iglesia, que se entregó a ella sin condiciones, sin reserva ni excepciones.

Dios los bendiga.

True love

How to live a true love?

Being in love is difficult to explain. You feel butterflies in your stomach and the need to communicate with that person is completely overwhelming you that soon you’re losing sleep. Your bad days become better and brighter just with their presence alone.

What happens when you discover that your loved one is not the person you met while you were dating and those emotions you felt don’t feel as intense as when you first met. You might begin to notice more the defects of that person instead of their virtues. You might begin to see your loved one as a selfish, inattentive and disorganized individual. Soon everything about that person begins to turn you away from them and you begin to doubt your loved one and think you are with the wrong person.

At this stage, marriage seems terrible. The rose-colored lenses you saw your loved one start to turn black, cold and ugly, so much so that resentment rears its head. It is during this period that many of the couples are ready to give up or have given up completely on each other.

In discovering true love, this phase is unavoidable. A marriage is a process of maturity, faith, tolerance and growth towards love in each other. To love your husband/wife is to learn to recognize and accept the defects, faults and virtues. This will be a key element in recognizing that love does not come as a fairy tale, with a prince and princess that will be completely in tuned with each other, but on the contrary, marriage is between human beings like you and me.

Loving your partner sincerely is completely falling in love with their defects, faults and virtues; you have to realize that they are your complementary opposite, your other half. Learning to be tolerant with these differences will open the door for further comprehension.

A healthy, happy and satisfied marriage knows that true love is nourished by this complicity of looks, to keep smiling and enthusing them for a yet to come brighter future.

One cannot say that he or she loves his/her partner until they meets their demons. It is necessary to love truly, to understand that a relationship sometimes is not all beauty and fun, but there are also disagreements, battles and even broken dishes.

True love is to love your partner even with those defects that you have discovered. Love is strengthened day by day based on companionship, loyalty, compassion, tolerance, communication; respecting and appreciating it with authenticity.

But to say ‘I love you,’ you must first learn to love yourself, because the love and knowledge of oneself is the key to build healthy relationships. And a way to find the ideal partner we must prepare ourselves for a long-lasting relationship that demands time and inner work. I know that it is not easy, but with time, you will have great benefits.

Authentic love is able to endure through the years, providing a sincere happiness where the couple can grow personally and together, taking care of the details of love, making castles of illusions and never losing the ability to wonder.

True love is to love your partner as Christ loved his church, and that was by surrendering without conditions, limitations nor reservation.

God bless you all.

Adela Hernandez has worked in the convalidation marriage program, working with unmarried couples who live together to receive a sacramental marriage. She is pictured here with her husband, David. Read more about Adela on the "Meet Our Bloggers" page.
Adela Hernandez has worked in the convalidation marriage program, working with unmarried couples who live together to receive a sacramental marriage. She is pictured here with her husband, David. Read more about Adela on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

 

WYD, Part III: Blessed with Friendship

Bloggers Nikki and Tricia Walz participated in World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31. Using this blog, they will reflect on their experiences. This is the third in a series.

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)

We took these words quite literally at World Youth Day this year! We walked miles and miles, which to some may seem like a nightmare, but the conversations we were able to have on these walks made every blister worth it.

One of the people I was blessed to be able to spend many miles with was Fr. Russell Kovash from Williston, North Dakota. Fr. Russell is one of the most genuine, kind people I have ever met. I was instantly drawn to his humble personality and his incredible words of wisdom. Just listening to him speak inspired me to strive to be a better person. It was really neat that Fr. Russell as well as six priests (and the bishop!) from the Diocese of Winona took time out of their busy schedules to come to Poland with us and not only give us spiritual direction but take time to get to know and befriend every one of us.

Follow this link http://stjosephwilliston.podbean.com and click on August 7th to hear Fr. Russ speak about the pilgrimage and how it pertains to our faith journey.

The good conversations did not only take place while walking. One of the first things I noticed was that you were instantly friends with everyone. Really, when you came across someone at any point of the trip you already knew that you had your Faith in common- you were already instantly connected- like you already have an incredible bond that cannot be put into words. Throughout our journey we met people from so many different countries. One group of pilgrims that my sisters and I immediately connected with were these 3 from London. They were siblings traveling together- much like my sisters and I. Dami, TJ, and Oyinda had such a joy about them; to see siblings that close really drew us towards them. We found it truly amazing how you can meet a group of siblings and instantly be inspired to make your relationship with your siblings more like theirs.

While we were on the train we met a native from Krakow who was on her way to work. We started talking about World Youth Day and about the 2 million pilgrims that were in Krakow. She said some of the young people prior to World Youth Day were starting to spend too much time at the clubs, etc. but since all the young Catholics arrived, she had been seeing a difference in not only the young Polish people but the rest of the town as well. She said she was amazed at how her town was being transformed. This was neat to hear that just seeing 2 million people all uniting for the same thing could have this kind of effect on an already very Catholic town. Just how much does the United States need this witness?!

-Tricia

Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the "Meet Our Bloggers" page.
Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

Prayer, Inspiration and Works (of Art)

Among the oldest instructions for living a meaningful Christian life, is the rule from the book of James: faith without works, is dead. (James 2:17) Simple and straight forward, Christ taught his disciples to pray, and with that, He presented them with His mission to build and serve the Kingdom of God on Earth. (Consider the Lord’s Prayer in this light.) In faith, we come to know God the Father, Son, and Spirit, but in our works, God comes to know us. (Matt 7:21-23)

Among the oldest religious orders in the Christian Tradition is the Order of Saint Benedict, whose 1,500-year-old spiritual tradition is summed by the simple motto: worship and work. The Rule of Saint Benedict, under which every Benedictine lives, and from which our motto arises, is an ancient and continuing effort to live the Gospel, and in many ways articulates the rule, “faith without good works, is dead.” The faith of the community expresses itself in our daily work: our labor, teaching, writing, ministry, art, and much more, which then informs our prayer and worship, faithfully returning to God with interest what He has given. (Matt 25:14-30)

This spiritual dynamic and rhythm of worship and work, foundational to the Christian community, invites and inspires as it builds the Kingdom of God, even if only beginning in subtle, humble ways: unsteady pencil lines on notebook paper capturing Lake Sagatagan, ink doodles of faces and shapes hinting at nascent passion and forthcoming inspiration. With persistence, support, and community, even the smallest initial efforts may bloom into inspired works of art, revealing faith, and moving outward to build and communicate the Kingdom of God.

MagnusThe wonderful relationship between the Basilica of Saint Mary and Saint John’s Abbey has created and opportunity to display the faithful relationship between work and prayer as made present in the artwork of sixteen monks of Saint John’s Abbey. Displayed in the John XXIII Gallery & Teresa of Calcutta Hall of Saint Mary’s Basilica, a wide variety of artistic expressions of the monastic spirituality will be open to public viewing from July 16 – September 5.

Magnus1Most every artist, given the talent of public speaking, may tell of the inspiration and intent behind and within their artistic accomplishment, and our Benedictine brothers are no different. The August 4th artist reception gave opportunity to these men to express the wide variety of motivations underlying their work, and to humbly point to the inspiration and hope their works reveal. In short 5 minute presentations, and an evening of socializing with the attendants of the reception, strangers, friends, and even brothers of many years, came to know these artists in a new way, and see more fully how their works reveal and bring to life, faith.

Magnus2While celebration of artistic achievement brought together a wide array of people from a variety of local communities, interests, and parishes, it has become clear that with community support and coming to know the artists more fully through their art ­­­­–their expression and work of faith– many works seemingly unrelated to the Christian faith, may be an outlet, expression, and work of faith when inspired through prayer. We can support one another in prayer and community, and see the Kingdom of God grow around us in the countless variety of works of a faithful people.

Benedictine Creativity Inspired by the SpiritWorks by monks of Saint John’s Abbey runs through the 5th of September, 2016.

Br. Paul-Vincent Niebauer is a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey. He grew up in Phillips, Wisconsin and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1976. He completed his MA in Directing from the Chicago School of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in 2002. After working as a ringmaster/performance director for a number of circuses throughout North America for 13 years, Br. Paul-Vincent entered Saint John’s Abbey in 1993. Beginning in 1995 he taught and directed theatre at Saint John’s Preparatory School for thirteen years. In addition to serving as full time vocations director for Saint John’s Abbey for nine years, he returned to Saint John’s Preparatory School in 2012 to direct Theatre once again, and serves as the director of marketing and communications for the Abbey.
Br. Paul-Vincent Niebauer is a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey. He grew up in Phillips, Wisconsin and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1976. He completed his MA in Directing from the Chicago School of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in 2002. After working as a ringmaster/performance director for a number of circuses throughout North America for 13 years, Br. Paul-Vincent entered Saint John’s Abbey in 1993. Beginning in 1995 he taught and directed theatre at Saint John’s Preparatory School for thirteen years. In addition to serving as full time vocations director for Saint John’s Abbey for nine years, he returned to Saint John’s Preparatory School in 2012 to direct Theatre once again, and serves as the director of marketing and communications for the Abbey.

Seeking God in manual labor

Eight monks and fifteen volunteers converged on the North House Folk School in Grand Marais last month to build a timber-frame footbridge for the trail to the Stella Maris Chapel. build3We worked 9 to 5, five days a week, for two weeks, side by side and shoulder to shoulder, surrounded by whirring circular saws, scraping hand planers, gouging drill bits, roaring routers and one thundering chain mortiser. Daily at 7 am, monks and a number of the volunteers gathered for Morning Prayer and Mass at a cozy cabin two blocks up the hill from the waterfront workshop.

After work, we relaxed and chatted for an hour or so before dinner. The time tocommunitygether was both focused and improvisatory, productive and measured; good for solitary work amidst the noisy tools or getting to know each other better during the quiet moments, the two weeks provided some of the best aspects of any spiritual retreat.

Designed by Peter Hendricksen and funded by donors the Schwietz and John and Bonita Benschoter, the bridge will stand in the long tradition of timber-framing at Saint John’s, dating back to the construction of the ceiling of the Great Hall in the 1880s. White Oak and White Pine timbers were milled from fallen trees in the Saint John’s Arboretum. The Abbey Chapter voted two years ago to approve the project, believing it exemplifies the Benedictine practices of sustainable care for creation, manual work and community life. Indeed, some of the monks and volunteers had never met before the build, while others deepened years-long friendships. Our time together developed a newer understanding of our respective commitments, whether as lay families, single people, or monastic brothers.

build5The work was both physically demanding and mentally taxing, as we performed repetitive tasks with large and heavy pieces of lumber and sharp tools requiring a particular level of skill. We learned from each other and our professional instructors Peter Hendrickson and Tom Healy stepping up to support when needed and finding out where our individual strengths lie. Fitting the pieces together was both a literal and figurative task: in total, 100’s segments of wood needed to be measured, cut, trimmed, and fitted into place; likewise, the project gave participants the opportunity to consider our avocation for craftsmanship within the wider context of our life-long vocation, whether as professed religious or faithful layperson. Together we watched the days unfold, and saw with them a clearer picture of who God has called us to be and what that calling asks of us, moment to moment. Whether the moment demanded a strong back or a listening ear, we were able to find grace in the gift of our time together.

In a real sense, this structure will be both a shelter and a passageway on a well-traveled pilgrimage. Railings and benches will define the pathway and offer a place of rest, while the rafters and trusses will both lift up and cover. We anticipate with joy how the bridge will welcome the thousands of people who yearly make their way out to Stella Maris Chapel. At the same time, we look back on those two weeks with gratitude, knowing that our collaboration has both lifted us up and given us the respite of perspective. With this opportunity to spend so much time together, at such a distance from our daily rounds, we return to our communities and commitments with renewed vision of how our lives intertwine.

landscapeAs Christians seeking God in manual labor, community life, prayer and service to the world, we rely on the presence of Christ in one another, in guests, and in strangers. Whether we drove up to the North Shore in pairs or singly or as a group, we found ourselves bound together into a cohesive whole. Whether we stayed the full two weeks or were only able to stop by for a day or two, we each found in ourselves or each other new facets, linkages we hadn’t known existed, or wider hopes for the future. Few of us emerged without nicks or cuts, bruises or abrasions (and none of us left without fatigue), but we realized in these passing struggles the inspiration to unite our pains with the larger project, and, in so doing, be lifted up yet again.

We still have lots of work to do! The pieces are all cut and many of them are fitted, but as you can see the pieces remain mostly scattered. They are currently being finished with a wood sealant and will be ready to be fitted in a couple weeks. By early-September we expect to be able to assemble the entire bridge in place, on the shores of Lake Sagatagan near the Preparatory School and the statue to St. Kateri Tekakwitha. In the meantime, we rest, return to our regular jobs or turn to new ones, motivated anew by our shared bonds of community and work in Christ.

Br. Paul-Vincent Niebauer is a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey. He grew up in Phillips, Wisconsin and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1976. He completed his MA in Directing from the Chicago School of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in 2002. After working as a ringmaster/performance director for a number of circuses throughout North America for 13 years, Br. Paul-Vincent entered Saint John’s Abbey in 1993. Beginning in 1995 he taught and directed theatre at Saint John’s Preparatory School for thirteen years. In addition to serving as full time vocations director for Saint John’s Abbey for nine years, he returned to Saint John’s Preparatory School in 2012 to direct Theatre once again, and serves as the director of marketing and communications for the Abbey.
Br. Paul-Vincent Niebauer is a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey. He grew up in Phillips, Wisconsin and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1976. He completed his MA in Directing from the Chicago School of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in 2002. After working as a ringmaster/performance director for a number of circuses throughout North America for 13 years, Br. Paul-Vincent entered Saint John’s Abbey in 1993. Beginning in 1995 he taught and directed theatre at Saint John’s Preparatory School for thirteen years. In addition to serving as full time vocations director for Saint John’s Abbey for nine years, he returned to Saint John’s Preparatory School in 2012 to direct Theatre once again, and serves as the director of marketing and communications for the Abbey.

WYD, Part II: Our Lady of Czestochowa and Auschwitz

Bloggers Nikki and Tricia Walz participated in World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31. Using this blog, they will reflect on their experiences. This is the second in a series.

OLOC2Probably the most emotion-filled day of the trip for me personally was when we went to both Our Lady of Czestochowa and Auschwitz on the same day. Our Lady of Czestochowa is one of the most inspiring places I have ever been to. It was absolutely packed with thousands and thousands of young people, all praying and admiring the beauty that this church possessed. We were told you could process around the Black Madonna image by walking or kneeling. When I got on my knees, I immediately noticed the massive grooves in the stone flooring, where millions of people had processed before me. Not a single person walked around the image that I saw; EVERYONE was on their knees, praying and asking for the intercession of Our Lady.

My eyes were filled with tears when I finished my procession, and as I looked closer at the surrounding walls I was even further amazed. Not only were there thousands of rosaries covering the walls, but also pairs of crutches, and medallions of hearts, arms, legs, etc. that represented that OLOCbody part being healed through the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Now if my tears had subsided at all, they were back full force. I was so moved by this place. I felt like I had a special connection with this church, like I could relate to the thousands of people who had been healed here, as I too was given another chance at life in high school.

The mood changed incredibly quickly when our bus arrived at Auschwitz. KolbeWalking on the same ground, standing where the prisoners had roll call every morning, looking at the remains of the gas chambers and the bunker where St. Maximilian Kolbe died weighed very heavily on my heart. Everyone could feel the pain that had been endured on that very land, and for quite some time everyone just walked in silence. What was there to even say? How could someone be that hateful? That merciless?

One of the places that has been haunting me since was this small pond on the side of the property that the Nazis threw everyone’s ashes into. To look at this calm water and think of what lies beneath the surface; to think 20160724_100707-1of every story that was left unwritten, ended in the most inhumane way, had a chilling effect.

When our group got back on the bus, one of the priests talked briefly about what we just encountered. He looked at each of us and asked how tired and hot we were after the couple hours we spent in the sun. He then reminded us how easy we had it – all we did was walk through the camp and many people had brought water along, or stopped in the shade to cool off or take a rest. We also had the choice before we walked in, if we wanted to stay on the bus and skip seeing how cruel Auschwitz really was. The millions of people that died there had no choice; they couldn’t bring their water bottle along, or sit in the shade for a rest. They couldn’t say no more and leave like we could. For the remainder of the trip I thought of these people every time I was tired of walking or I desperately wanted cold water. What right do I have to complain when these people were deprived of everything? And still today—there are still people suffering from persecution and intense hatred just like those who died in that horrible place. How can I alleviate some of their suffering rather than focusing on my own comfort?

-Tricia

Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the "Meet Our Bloggers" page.
Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

WYD: “Keep Your Flame Burning Bright”

Bloggers Nikki and Tricia Walz participated in World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31. Using this blog, they will reflect on their experiences. This is the first in a series.

Imagine for a moment the world’s largest sleepover: 2 million young Catholics all sleeping outside in an enormous field.  All for the same reasons: to pray together and to see Pope Francis!

I was not particularly looking forward to sleeping on the hard ground, in the cold, possible rain, in the midst of the bugs and slugs, but it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip.  Besides being the largest sleepover I have ever been to, I was super touched by many of the people I was with, the words of Pope Francis, and the prayer time I had.

prayer vigilDuring the prayer vigil we were all given a candle.  Besides being able to see candles lit for as far as I could see, I was really struck by the beauty of the candle itself and how it relates to our lives.
Our faith life is like a candle – at times it is bold and burning bright- other times our flame is barely burning, or maybe it has gone out.  When I was praying in this field the wind would pick up and I would have to shield my flame to prevent it from extinguishing- I had a couple of close calls!  Sin, worldly ideals, temptations, etc. are like the wind when it comes to our faith lives.  The only way we can protect our flame is by shielding it from the wind.  We have so many tools to use to help strengthen ourselves from this wind.  Confession, Mass, Adoration, the Rosary, Divine Mercy, the list could go on for pages!flame

During the vigil it was not uncommon for someone’s candle to extinguish.  Without thinking twice they would turn to their neighbor to re-light it.  This is also a perfect example of our faith when we are struggling spiritually: if our flame has quit burning we need to rely on our family, friends, the Saints, Mary, Jesus Himself, to help re-start our flame.

My challenge for you is to look at the people in your life and take note of those you can turn to that will help you keep your flame burning bright.  Keep these people close; you never know when a gust of wind might come.

-Tricia

Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the "Meet Our Bloggers" page.
Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

 

Parish brings ‘new flavor’ to summer festival

Vanilla. If you were to ask my four-year-old son, Davin, what flavor of ice cream he’d want, for the longest time he would tell you, “banilla.” Don’t get me wrong, vanilla is good, but there’s nothing wrong with venturing out and trying something new either … especially when it comes to ice cream. In my plight for variety, I got him try a little chocolate syrup, whip cream, and even some sprinkles at times, but the thought of trying a new flavor other than vanilla must have seemed a bit risky, I guess.

davinIt wasn’t until I brought Davin over to the local ice cream shop that he tried a flavor other than vanilla. I think that seeing the variety of colorful, exciting flavors behind the glass – like rum cherry, mint chocolate chip, and Superman (a fruity, colorful concoction of red, yellow and blue), did it give Davin the incentive to try something new. And sure enough, he has a new favorite. Now whenever we go to the ice cream shop, Davin orders a small Superman, the now go-to flavor for him. The moral: It can be fun to try something new and different… you may even surprise yourself and gain a new favorite.

I was thinking about this as my church, Christ Our Light Catholic Parish of Princeton and Zimmerman, is also trying ‘a new flavor,’ if you will. This year, Christ Our Light is changing-up its traditional one-day fall festival and expanding it into a weekend celebration on August 20-21, entitled, “Summer Bash.”

This move allows our parish to expand its festivities and create even more opportunities for all ages within and outside of our community. Additionally, we hope to attract a large crowd by adding a huge Summer Bash Dance featuring none other than Boogie Wonderland.

boogie wonderland 5 piece with logoKnown as the premier disco tribute band hailing from Minneapolis, Boogie Wonderland has been packing dance floors since 1997! The band is set to take the stage at the Mille Lacs County Fairgrounds band shell on Saturday night, August 20, for the Summer Bash Dance. Boogie Wonderland is known for engaging their guests of all ages, providing classic disco music that everyone knows and loves; they also include some cover songs making it easy to literally dance the night away. “This is a band that will appeal to all age brackets,” says Maureen Putnam, Music and Liturgy Director at Christ Our Light. “I had the pleasure of seeing Boogie Wonderland perform at the 2015 Holly Ball in St. Cloud. Boogie Wonderland is such a great dance band… they had everyone on their feet dancing and really know how to engage an audience,” Putnam said.

The Summer Bash weekend will be packed with fun for all ages, offering something for everyone. “On Sunday we’re looking forward to games for all ages and skills, a human foosball and Baggo bean bag tournaments, inflatables, live music throughout the day, great food and so much more,” says Karen Michels, Volunteer Chair for Summer Bash.

The Summer Bash Dance will start at 7 pm at the band shell at the Mille Lacs County Fairgrounds, with the gate opening at 6 pm. Beer, hard lemonade, sodas and concessions including peanuts, popcorn, pizza, BBQ and mini-donuts will be sold on-site. Tickets for the dance are $10 in advance ($15 at the gate) and are available at summerbashmn.com.

Summer Bash Sunday is at Christ Our Light’s North campus at 804 7th Ave. S., Princeton on August 21. Admission is free. The day will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will begin with an outdoor Mass with our very own Fr. Kevin Anderson presiding. For a complete schedule of events and offerings, please visit summerbashmn.com.

Christ Our Light is trying something new this year, alright, and just like trying a new ice cream flavor, we hope it will prove to be a fun, new experience. Please know that it would be a real treat to have you join us for our Summer Bash!

Jennifer Adams is the communications and office assistant at Christ Our Light Parish in Princeton and Zimmerman.
Jennifer Adams is the communications and office assistant at Christ Our Light Parish in Princeton and Zimmerman.

La Convivencia: Coexistence

Vivimos una vida cada vez más difícil y complicada donde los aparatos eléctricos y redes sociales pareciera estar en primer lugar, como si no existieran más problemas y dificultades para el día, como si eso fuera lo más importante en nuestras vidas.Esta situación hace que muchos matrimonios se vayan deteriorando y enfriando viviendo en un constante y total fastidio hasta convertirse en extraños.

We live a very busy and complicated world, where electronics and social networks appear to be in first place — as if no other problems or difficulties existed. We would like to think that this issue is one that exists only among children or teenagers, but the reality is that adults are also faced with this situation in which their lives revolve around electronics and social media. Regrettably, this sort of approach to electronics and social media is having a deep impact on marriages because the spouses become strangers, and eventually their relationship deteriorates so much  that it becomes nearly irreparable.

La convivencia del hogar es muy exigente y es un arma de dos filos, puede ser el cielo o el infierno. Y en muchas ocasiones manipulamos y desgastamos el amor, nos olvidamos de las promesas a Dios que en los votos matrimoniales nos dimos el uno para el otro, y nos olvidamos de lo sagrado que es el sacramento del matrimonio.

The coexistence between spouses in their home is very demanding and therefore home can either be hell or it can be heaven. On many occasions we forget the promises we made to each other and God and manipulate or misuse our love. We easily forget the covenant we created with God and our spouse in the sacrament of marriage.

Tenemos que despertar y empezar a mirar a nuestro alrededor de cómo se miran muchos de los matrimonios modernos, con sus electrónicos de alta tecnología pero que brindan una gran pobreza espiritual en sus vidas, con cientos de amigos en las redes sociales pero con un total aislamiento en sus familias.

We need to wake up and take a long hard look at modern marriages — with their high-tech electronics and hundreds of friends on social media. We must look deeper and recognize that these things lead to great spiritual poverty and total isolation from other family members.

Haz notado que en algunas familias, aunque todos están presentes físicamente, al mismo tiempo están ausentes porque están en las redes sociales a través del teléfono o computadoras? Y se mantienen en propio círculo?

Have you ever noticed this in some families, that even though people are physically present during family reunions they are also absent because they connected to social networks via the phone or computer and disconnected from the present? Or perhaps you have observed that during dinner or supper spouses and children do not speak to one another; instead, they are looking downward to their phone and in their own little world.

El verdadero convivio familiar es compartir esos momentos, sus alegrías, logros y fracasos.

The true family gathering is to be present with all of our senses and share moments, thoughts, concerns, achievements and failures. A true family gathering is one that forces us to connect with those we love and love them with our presence in mind, body and spirit — to coexist with them.

La convivencia es abrir tu corazón, a escuchar y compartir unos con otros. La convivencia es salirse del egoísmo aprendiendo a compartir y dar. Ahí es cuando se descubre la alegría inmensa que proporciona la comunicación que es el fruto de la convivencia marital y de la familia.

Coexistence is to open our heart, to listen and to share with each other. Coexistence is to rid ourselves of selfishness and share and give of ourselves. That is when you discover the immense joy that communication provides, which is the result of marital cohabitation and family.

La convivencia es agradarse uno al otro, la convivencia debe de estar impregnada del amor de Dios y de su familia, ese amor que te inyecta la fuerza de ir hacia el mismo lado, los mismos ideales proyectos e intereses de nosotros.

Coexistence is pleasing one another, coexistence must be imbued with the love of God and the love of our family, that love which infuses you with strength to walk side by side in the same ideals, interest and projects.

Los matrimonios somos, la célula básica de nuestra sociedad, debemos de pensar en nuestros hijos, cuál es la imagen del matrimonio que les estamos mostrando.

Marriages are the basic cell of our society. They provide an image and example for others to follow. It sets the foundation for our children and how they will view marriage and what coexistence looks like between spouses.

Recordemos, que la convivencia la hace la familia, pero la mayor responsabilidad siempre recae en la pareja, mostrando el camino, recorriéndolo primero enriqueciéndolo con sus consejos, sus afectos su alegría y su amor.

Remember that coexistence comes from God as a gift for the family. But the greater responsibility always falls on the the couple, showing them the way, walking it first, enriching it with their advice, their affections, their joy and their love.

Adela Hernandez has worked in the convalidation marriage program, working with unmarried couples who live together to receive a sacramental marriage. She is pictured here with her husband, David. Read more about Adela on the "Meet Our Bloggers" page.
Adela Hernandez has worked in the convalidation marriage program, working with unmarried couples who live together to receive a sacramental marriage. She is pictured here with her husband, David. Read more about Adela on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

 

Going for the Gold

To the best of my knowledge, I do not have much of a competitive spirit in my entire being. I do, however, currently reside in a house where a spunky 4-year-old has become one of our most competitive children to date. Everything is a competition, from walking to the mailbox, to getting out the door to hop in the car. She has to win. It’s good to have a winning spirit, but sometimes the lesson of not being first or the winner is hardest to learn at that age.

I’ve been mentioning the Summer Olympics to my kids and my eagerness to watch them again this year. I’m not sure what it is that has made me more attuned to them over the past years, but I think it started with swimming. And probably Michael Phelps. And then it was Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in London 2012. They were exciting to watch, hope in and root for. How amazing are the thousands of athletes from around the globe who have trained countless hours and sacrificed a lot in life to come together to compete! One cannot help but watch and cheer them on.

As I run about participating in my own Mom Olympics every day, teaching my children, folding laundry, tidying up and preparing meals, I’ve learned to value those who cheer me on. Aren’t we all out in the world going for our own gold medal in one way or another? Each of us with our own pursuits, a crowd of supporters who sometimes challenge us and moments that teach us the hardest, but most worthwhile lessons.

Daily walking through my day, I know that God’s grace is in abundance, and this race is not mine to win on my own. I know that, somewhere out there, someone may be whispering a prayer for me when I need it most. I feel it and know that the gift of faith is strong and perhaps gains its greatest strength when believers in Christ band together to support one another as we forge ahead each day.

We are each athletes in many different ways. Whether it’s daily swimming upstream against the current to stand true to our values and beliefs, running a sprint of prayers offered for a seemingly difficult and unalterable prayer intention, or maybe balancing on the beam of life just trying to make it through today. Whether our daily athleticism is an individual or team event, hopefully we are standing on the sidelines watching, supporting and cheering on someone who needs it. May our own need for praise and acceptance never overlook the needs of others. May we be a supportive voice for someone today.

My ultimate goal is to finish this worldly race to see God’s face and my heavenly reward. I hope I hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I will have finished well and I will have won the prize, the heavenly gold medal.

Sarah Heidelberger is a wife and homeschooling mom of five who keeps her days steady with her planning and organizing skills. Read more about her on the "Meet Our Bloggers" page.
Sarah Heidelberger is a wife and homeschooling mom of five who keeps her days steady with her planning and organizing skills. Read more about her on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

It’s hard to argue with a Story

You can argue with an arguer, fight a fighter, and even kill a killer… but what do you do with a lover?

My apologies to the author of that insightful assertion. If I could remember who it was, I would not only give proper credit, I would ask if s/he minded if I added, “What do you do with a storyteller?”

As the election draws near, the political process is becoming more caustic, filled with arguers, fighters, and even killers. As religious factions continue to harden their hearts toward each other, the God of Love seems to get lost in heated arguments. And as people of different races enter into a renewed tension, our American melting pot seems to be moving toward a boiling pot.

What would happen if we put a moratorium on argumentation and personal attacks in our public discourse and told only stories?

Stories can touch our hearts

To me, the strength of From the Heart: A Catholic Blog for Central Minnesota is in the stories. One that caught my eye as I was pondering this post was the story shared by Deacon Steve Yanish. He told of a dying woman:

Just before she breathed her last breath, her face lit up and practically glowed.

It reminded me of a 16 year old in a parish where I worked. She was dying of a lung disease. Those present at her death shared the story of how she sat up, looked at herself, particularly her arms, and said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” as if she were admiring a heavenly gown. She lay back and passed away.

I am also reminded of the last words of Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and a man accustomed to some of the greatest wonders and beauty humans can create. He said, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Surely one could dispute the interpretation of the stories, or the existence of an afterlife, or a particular image of life after death… but these stories offer a chance to pause and ponder what comes next in our life’s journey instead of entering into a heated debate.

In our media driven culture, creating a story delivery system is easier than ever, and can reach more people than ever. To have our stories get heard amid the din of Internet chatter, we need to learn a tool or two, give ourselves permission and time to play and practice, and then share the stories that touch our hearts.

After all, Jesus told stories that still touch our hearts.

A tool to explore

One tool to explore is Adobe’s Spark Video, formerly called Adobe Voice. Sign up for a free account using your computer or the iPad/iPhone App, gather some photos, choose an adobe theme and maybe some background music, and tell a story. Or maybe start with a story and a prayer. Gather your friends or family, take some photos of preparing and eating your next meal, and tell the story of love around the table in photos as the Prayer Before Meals tell the story of gratitude. It would be one way to share faith and love, and who can argue with that?

This Spark video was created in minutes. I added the voice, chose photos from Adobe’s copyright safe curations, and uploaded one I adapted from Morguefile, another copyright safe place to find photos.

Tim Welch is the Consultant for Educational Technology at Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of Saint Cloud, MN. With more that 35 years of experience at the parish and diocesan levels, he is continually searching for ways of journeying with others to implement proven technologies that can serve ministry (especially catechesis).
Tim Welch is the Consultant for Educational Technology at Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of Saint Cloud, MN. With more that 35 years of experience at the parish and diocesan levels, he is continually searching for ways of journeying with others to implement proven technologies that can serve ministry (especially catechesis).