fTHERThe Flame: January/February 2010
Dear Readers of The Flame,

Ten years ago the calendar had flipped over to Y2K. Though some worried about power failures and a variety of doomsday scenarios, that transition went rather smoothly. Now we begin the second decade of the third millennium of our Lord, 2010. And though the transition from 1999 to 2000 went smoothly, the next tens years did not.

The defining moments of these ten years began on September 11, 2001. With the crashing of airliners by “suicide” bombers into the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, a war on terror began. Since that time there has been increased security at airports and all public places, soldiers have been engaged in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, and people have come to know more about radical Islam.

A major transition has also occurred in the Church. On Saturday, April 2, 2005 Pope John Paul II went home to the Lord. His stellar leadership of the Church for the previous 27 years steadied the bark of Peter. His writings and labors inspired millions. His travels were a source of encouragement for all people, especially the young. Pope John Paul’s visits to Poland and other eastern European countries help them slough off the shackles of atheistic Communism and rebuild their governments upon democratic principles. One of the beautiful things about the death of Pope John Paul II was that the Church carried on without crisis. Pope Benedict XVI was elected and the mission of the Church continued.

How about us? How has the last ten years been for us? Have we grown in faith, hope and love? Has our service of the Lord and the Church waxed or waned? Do we know, love and serve the Lord more attentively than ten years ago?

Most people will find changes in the world easier to detect than growth in their personal walk with the Lord. This is understandable. Because we, in a sense, are with ourselves all the time, it is hard to detect progress and growth. On the other hand, sometimes we cannot detect any growth because there was no growth that took place. Perhaps we may have even receded, becoming more worldly than godly.

In January 2010, the CRM General Service Committee is putting on a Growth in the Spirit Seminar. The theme of the seminar can be summarized in one word: MORE! There is always more! God has more for us! Our Christian experience is not limited to an experience we had at a Life in the Spirit Seminar years or even decades ago. The Lord has more wisdom, more power and more love for us.

Much of our walk with the Lord is our battle with the first law of motion: An object at rest will remain at rest…unless or until outside forces act upon it. We must strive to be continually open to the Lord and his work in and upon us.

Please join me on Friday, January 29th and Saturday, January 30th at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe for this Growth in the Spirit Seminar. Details are outlined in this issue of the Flame. May our mutual seeking of the Lord make our next decade in Christ one of growth in the Spirit. May our mutual seeking of the Lord make our next decade in Christ one of growth in the Spirit.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Bob Franco

Festival of Praise January 16 at 7:00 PM and February 13 at 7:00 PM Sts. Cosmas and Damian (Twinsburg).
Charismatic Mass January 22 at 7:30 PM St. Peter Parish (North Ridgeville).