by Matt Karr
Lamps need to be plugged in to work. I found that out the hard way last week when I went to turn on one of the lamps in our family room. When I turned it on, the light did not come on. I went searching for a new light bulb. It turned out that we were out of light bulbs in the house. So I decided to go to the store to purchase a new light bulb. Upon returning and replacing the light bulb in the lamp, the lamp still did not light up. Why? Well, as it turns out, it had been unplugged from the outlet the entire time. What a waste of an hour!
The reality of needing a power source to function is also true in our daily lives. If we are not “plugged in,” then, as hard as we may try, we will not grow in faith, hope, and love. We will not experience the fruits of grace in our lives — peace, joy, self-control, patience, etc. We can try really hard to love God and to love others, but unless we are “plugged in,” it will be like replacing light bulbs in an unplugged lamp — the problem is not the light bulb!
So what does it mean to be “plugged in” in our lives as Christians? It means to have God’s grace flowing through us — the Spirit must be alive in us. While we received the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, there is a disconnect, and the fruits of that grace are not experienced in our lives.
One of the most effective ways of releasing grace in the lives of Catholics and helping them get “plugged in” is the Light of the World evangelization process (LOTW). LOTW begins with a retreat that invites all the participants to renew the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist. I have seen numerous folks who were unwilling to commit an entire weekend to the Lord come on LOTW and then be willing to commit to a small group that meets every week for the rest of their lives. People get plugged into the Holy Spirit on these retreats and suddenly there is a desire in regular folks to commit their lives to the Lord, learn more about him and grow in charity. Zeal abounds to share this with their friends.
On the morning of June 12 we will be offering an information day on the Light of the World evangelization process at Savior Pastoral Center. If you
or your parish is interested in learning more about LOTW, please plan on attending. The morning is free. You can register by calling me at (913) 721- 1570 or by sending an e-mail to: ecat@ archkck.org.