Well, in continuing to switch it up this week, today should maybe be a hard three mile run, but my knees are insisting that I rethink that. So I listened. Give it one more day. In the meantime we watch February ushered in with, of all things, snow. Lots of snow.
No matter. We had big plans for the day and it just required walking over to church. (Well, Jim had to drive Grace over to spend the day with Auntie Holly and little cousins, but he has four wheel drive on his truck so it was not a problem for him.) Today Scott Hahn, a prolific writer, professor, and one-time Presbyterian minister came to speak at St. Andrews and it was a packed to capacity house. I have been very excited for this event as I am a huge follower via EWTN and the incredible witness converts like Scott Hahn, Marcus Grodi, and Deacon Alex Jones bring to the Catholic church.
Dr. Hahn spoke for almost three hours and I was riveted to my seat, and in looking around I saw that I was not alone. He was on fire with the faith, which isn’t that big of a statement if you were talking about our evangelical brothers and sisters. But this was Catholicism! That electrifying movement of the Holy Spirit has not really been seen too much in Catholic churches in many years unfortunately. But God has heard the prayers of His pillars, as I call them (the older men and women of the church who faithfully attend daily mass, pray their rosaries together each morning, and beg God for all the things that our church is so desperately in need of, and lacking).
He is answering us in these strong witnesses, and also in the incredible decedents of Peter, our modern popes, holy men of God and faithful leaders of the church Jesus established on the rock of Peter. He is answering us in modern media of all things! Stations like EWTN, a Catholic TV channel started by a quirky nun, Mother Angelica, who heard the call of God and would not take no for an answer, and started a global television network. It is all so great, and makes me so hopeful!!
Anyway, Scott Hahn’s talk was first on “The Bible and The Mass” and he spoke on things like: “If the Eucharist was just a meal, then Calvary was just an execution.” He says from great study of the Old Testament, the church fathers, and the New Testament that the sacrifice of Jesus began on Holy Thursday and was completed on Good Friday- that the Eucharist and Calvary are one and the same sacrifice. He spoke with such passion and conviction about so many “proofs” that Jesus meant without a doubt what He said in John 6:48-58 (incidentally my favorite chapter in the whole bible). “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” (John 6:53,55)
In the second part of his talk he gave us our marching orders, speaking on the subject that the last three popes have addressed: the new evangelization. The words that stand out to me the most were from John Paul II who said that the new evangelization is like breathing- we inhale the Eucharist, and we exhale evangelizing. Spread the good news! Share the source and summit of our Catholic faith: The Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ!
And for me it was an overwhelming answer to all the crappy questions I have been having over my unworthiness to write these things down. Who the heck am I anyway? I am no one! But my answer to all that silliness was dramatic, as Scott Hahn said- I may be unworthy, yes, but worthy is the Lamb! It is my duty to talk about what it is that is front and center in my heart: the Eucharist. And still more amazing is that God has really gotten me on board in the last couple years, and especially as I have begun this marathon training journey to a new and stronger devotion to Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Hooray for God! Put me in coach! I can do it!