God Has No Grandchildren
(Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell)
One of the unexpected fruits of working as Assistant Rectora for weekend 366,has been attending Twin Cities Cursillo Leader School. Held the first Tuesday every month, the February meeting discussion was about engaging twenty to thirty year olds in the Cursillo movement. For many of us, this is our children, grandchildren or friends.
I would like to propose that all Cursillistas get a copy and read Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell. Let me warn you that the first chapter sets you up with a rather grim outlook of statistics on the current state of our church. Keep on reading. The remainder of the book will offer life changing insight to all we do in our efforts of piety, study and action. You will discover what is “normal” for lay Catholics, learn the “thresholds” of conversion, how to tell the Great Story of Jesus, given encouragement to “break the silence” and more.
Cursillo is specifically mentioned on page 121, “Sacraments that bestow a character can be “revived” when the recipient comes to personal faith, repents, and chooses to follow Jesus Christ as a disciple in the midst of his Church. This fact is the “secret” behind the tremendous impact that evangelization retreats like Cursillo, Christ Renews His Parish, and Life in the Spirit Seminars have had on millions of Catholics over the past seventy years.”
All evangelization begins with walking side by side with the people in our environments. Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ. Don’t skip a step. Live authentic relationships without an agenda. Indeed, some people in your circle of evangelization may convert to Christianity, some may enter into the Catholic Church and still others
attend a Cursillo weekend. Here’s the bad news. Any of these steps could take years or decades and you may not ever see fruits!
With that said, it is essential for us to learn the skill of what Sherry Weddell calls a “Threshold Conversation”. This begins with a listening opportunity by asking “Can you describe your relationship with God up to this point in your life?” The key is to listen and only ask questions. It is not a time to correct theology or argue teaching of the church. Sherry Weddell tells us to never accept a label for a story and EVERYONE has a story. Let them tell their story. Most Threshold Conversations conclude with “ If you could ask God one question and knew he would answer right away, what would it be?” Let me tell you, this question can reveal the depths of our hearts.
Let’s learn to engage in Threshold Conversations with our own children, grandchildren, and friends who are the twenty and thirty somethings in our life. Ask them what their lived relationship with God has looked like up until this point in their life. Allow space for them to tell their story. Be open to continuing the conversation over the course of time. Trust the Holy Spirit is working to draw you and your family/friends on “the path to knowing and following Jesus”. Walk with the people God has placed in your life, be amazed at where our Lord will take them and you. And don’t forget to ask yourself- can you describe your relationship with God up until this point in your life? And if you could ask God one question and knew he would answer right away, what would it be?”