There is a love letter on your shelf

Deacon Dana Nearmyer is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.

by Deacon Dana Nearmyer

Can you image getting a love letter and not opening it? Can you fathom not opening 73 love letters?

You would have to be pretty disenchanted with your suitor. At that point, you might be seeking a restraining order.

God can feel like we have put a restraining order on him when we do not open his 73 love letters to us.

He sees us tired, lackluster, disconnected and lonely. He reaches out to us moment by moment in prayer and in his love letters to us: the Bible.

Retreats and camps get us fired up and on track, but that fire is temporary if we stop what got us fired up in the first place, drawing close to Jesus.

I have led and participated in hundreds of retreats and camps; drawing near to Jesus lifts our spirits and gives us direction and purpose. Retreats help us focus and create an atmosphere where we can more easily get into a conversation with Jesus. I have an overwhelming sense that God is calling us to open those letters and soak up his love and guidance.

“Gospel saturation” is a term that many churches are talking about. How do we get the living word of God to soak into our hearts, marriages, families, neighborhoods and cities?

The Bible is like no other book. It is the living word of God. It really is life’s answer book and an unquenchable source of goodness and comfort. We are hungry for that kind of love. Our families desperately need these love letters.

You can just open your Bible to one of the Gospels, ask God to speak to you through your reading and dive in.

You could go to the Sunday readings online and pray through them. You could look up “lectio divina” and use that simple reading technique to get a deeper dive into the Bible.

Jesus will bless you whichever way that you choose; he is a generous suitor.

If you would like some help, there are many ways to plug in. The youth office is taking 450 teens to Indianapolis for National Catholic Youth Conference this fall.

The adult evangelization office is hosting “Trust One Greater” prayer evenings for young adults; walking parishes through an in-depth evangelization process; assisting with Kyrios 2017, an ecumenical adult prayer conference; and a foster care retreat sponsored by CarePortal.

Saint Paul Outreach hosts vibrant weekly and monthly young adult events. The School of Faith has wonderful classes for adults. Our rural youth outreach and ReachKCK are loaded with opportunities to engage and connect.

There is no shortage of ways to connect, but staying plugged in is like any relationship: It takes work.

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