“Francis, go and rebuild my church, which, as you see, is all in ruins.”
Over 800 years ago, Jesus Christ spoke these words to St. Francis from the crucifix in the crumbling San Damiano church near Assisi. It would prove to be a pivotal moment not only in the life of St. Francis but in the history of the Church.
Humbly, St. Francis began to repair the old church building. Stone by stone, he restored the ruins and raised new walls. He built a place of worship with his hands, and while he did, God was also working, forming a new mission his heart. Slowly Francis came to understand that it was not the structure he was to rebuild.
It was the Body of Christ.
This, friends, is another pivotal moment. This year finds us in a time of restoration. And it calls for recommitment from the Catholics who want to recover all that is sacred, reclaim it for Christ, and share it with the world.
This is a time of resolutions—and not just for our earthly goals, but for God’s greater glory. I’m gearing up for one of our busiest and best years yet. My calendar for 2020 is already filled with big plans for the Avila Foundation: filled with classes—with record enrollment— for priests, religious, and laity hungry for the wisdom of the Church. Filled with formation for growing numbers of young men discerning the priesthood in the High Calling program. Filled with plans for powerful radio programs, podcasts, apps, and books. Filled with dynamic, spirit-led speaking engagements to spread the gospel of prayer.
My heart is full, too—full of hope that you will join me in our mission to rebuild the Church.
Do you feel the call of Christ to be a part of its spiritual renewal? Because all of those plans I have depend directly on you.
It is no accident that we find ourselves in these times and that we find ourselves together and united in desire and purpose. I know you look around and see what I see—the Body of Christ, beautiful but broken, hungry for goodness, truth, and beauty. You see souls in need of living water. You see Jesus in the face of the young, the poor, the spiritually thirsty. And you want to satiate Him.
By contributing to the Avila Foundation you are reviving the Body of Christ. You are ensuring that our work continues for another year—work that will bear fruit for generations. You see, the hearts we form and teach and heal—these are the living stones that make up the Church. And we will see it restored—stone by stone, soul by soul.
As 2019 comes to a close, I ask you to prayerfully consider what God is asking of you, as He asked of Francis all those years ago.
Will you respond with the same generosity of spirit? Any contribution is valuable, but today I ask you in particular to consider a recurring, monthly donation which helps us in our planning for the year ahead.
Please give here: https://spiritualdirection.com/donate
I look forward to partnering with you in what promises to be our best year yet.
Know that I am thankful for you and for your support both material and spiritual. I pray that this new year will be one of tremendous grace and blessings for you and your loved ones.
Yours in Christ,
Image Courtesy of Unsplash.