My word shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. –Isaiah 55:11
So the Word which is sown within you on any given day, at any given hour, is destined to be fruitful. Another way of imagining this is to think of “divine providence” which is “God’s loving care and concern for all God has made.” (Catholic Catechism) We believe that God watches over God’s creation, sustains its existence and actually “presides over” its development and destiny.
So here is a question to ask myself as I proceed through this season of “spiritual maturation” (- “to grow up”). Do I live my daily pursuit of imitating Christ in such a way that life appears for the most part to happen coincidentally, accidently, or providentially? It would be like asking yourself did I marry my spouse coincidently, or providentially? (Hopefully not accidently!) You can apply that question to your state in life, as well.
This is the question I put to our parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes, Birmingham, Alabama. Two years ago the parish, officially (through approval of the parish council), deemed the mission of the parish to become one, respecting diversity but not division. It has been a lot of work, since it has been difficult to find parishes from whom to learn where the “host” community puts aside the obstacles to belonging and welcomes the guest, to become an equal. It will continue to be a challenge for a long time.
To this day, I believe it has been providential because of how the Word continues either to challenge or affirm our working interdependently. People are encouraged to explore the Word to provide wisdom as to how to continue to grow as one.
Review, if you will, the “providentiality” of your life in Christ.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P., is the administrator at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Birmingham, Alabama.