Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
My grandfathers on both sides were known for their energy and strength in 'doing good' for the underprivileged and vulnerable. My paternal grandfather, pake (granddad) Schoffelmeer received a papal decoration for his dedication and compassion. He was a very humble man and this honour bestowed upon him presented him with some discomfort. It was his mission in life to help those who needed help - should they cross his path. He desired no more or no less than just THAT!
|'Opa' Jan Zwaga in Seattle 1946|
Baldie almost in the middle - above the man reading
(yes, it's a book not an iPad)
There are also more family members who left their mark on the world doing what they felt they were required to do - not by force but in love - and in faith. So I guess you could say I have 'Catholicism' in my genes.
How I describe it - is that I have FAITH in my genes. I have the Holy Spirit within me, there to guide, advice, listen to and who listens TO me. To my worries, insecurities and questions. I trust in the wisdom of the Spirit and totally accept this wonderful presence of God in my life.
Since my return home to the Netherlands I have not yet found my niche within a church community/ parish. Not sure why. What I have been 'given' are new friendships and ways to deepen my faith. And one of those blessings comes in the shape of a christian writer - Marja Meijers.
Marja has written books on the Ten Commandments - covering 5 of them to date. On a Wednesday evening a group of about 12 of us gather and we dissect, muse over, re-read and discuss her writings. Not to appease her, or to all nod and agree with her vision - but to dig within and discover our own truths and insecurities, long held beliefs and inherited ideas.
A time to make our faith OUR OWN!
To take ownership of what it means to BE!
And we don't only discuss Marja's books but others too pass the review. So interesting and so refreshing. I would certainly recommend anyone to start up, set up or go to such a gathering. There is so much to discuss and discover - in the psalms, New and Old Testament and other christian books which grace shelves in the Christian Book stores.
Anyway, my point is - If one has an interest, wants to develop a talent or conquer a craft - then it is helpful - beneficial even to dig into the topic and learn as much as one can about it. This helps make one stronger and helps to deepen the knowledge.
So too, those of us who say we BELIEVE - it isn't enough to just say it - but we are asked to share it, to practice it to LIVE it!
And to be able to do that - we need to surround ourselves with every means available which assists us in that growth and learning process.
I want to thank Marja for allowing the Spirit to guide and advise her. These books hold knowledge and a love for God she unselfishly shares with those interested.
I want to thank the Spirit for guiding my life so that Marja crossed my path - or - that I crossed hers.
I also am grateful for all those other participants who share THEIR ideas, ideologies and questions - so we all have the opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge.
|9 of the 12 members of our "Wednesday journey group'.|