A Stairway to Heaven

04-16-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

If there is a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven, you should probably consider the traffic possibilities. While the highway may get you there faster, the stairs will take some effort. Taking it step by step is the nature of the spiritual life. Short cuts and half-measures generally avail results that are nil. If there were an easier, softer way, someone would have discovered it by now.

That’s why we are here: a community of disciples of Jesus who try their best to practice the spiritual life by developing and maintaining an on-going relationship with God through Jesus. A big part of being part of that community is just showing up. A certain amount of pew-mosis occurs over time as you seat yourself in a pew on a Sunday morning. That’s a big part, though not the only part of what we do. We gather Sunday after Sunday, sing songs in praise of God, listen to the biblical stories of how our ancestors in Faith came to believe, and then celebrate the mysterious presence of the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread. At the end, after about an hour or so, the deacon dismisses us and instructs us to go forth and glorify the Lord with our lives or go and proclaim the Gospel - in others words, try to put it all into everyday practice.

On a day such as Easter Sunday, there are lots of regulars and not so regulars here, as well as visitors from many places. These include Christians and those who are not so sure they are Christians. Whatever your status, you are welcome here and most welcomed to return. As a pastor, I realize that many times people show up and don't share our beliefs or at least not all of them. I certainly respect that, and in order for you to be here, I don't expect you to believe everything, but you are welcome to listen with us as to what it means for us to be authentically Catholic Christians trying to climb that stairway to heaven.

One of the best parts of taking the spiritual life seriously is that questions, doubts, difficulties and objections are all part of it. Church is one of the safest places to express those doubts and try to figure it all out. We have just welcomed and initiated many new members who have gone through that discovery process, questioned and objected, and came to a point where they were ready to make a full commitment to Jesus Christ and his Church. For me as a pastor, it is wonderful to be part of that journey and walk with these newest members as they inquire and seek understanding, have their questions taken seriously and their doubts resolved.

So if you have those doubts, questions, or objections and long for a safe place to ask those questions, raise those doubts, or make those objections (since we can’t do it during a regular Sunday Mass time), we invite you to join us at one or more of our INQUIRY SESSIONS on the third Sunday of the month in April, May, and June. Actually, today is the third Sunday so we will start next Sunday, April 23, at 9AM and then meet again on May 21 and June 18. We meet in the Church Hall (McCready Hall) where our Sunday Coffee Shop is located.

And if these times won’t work for you, please feel free to e-mail me with questions or to set up a one-on-one appointment. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more information about upcoming events that might interest you.

Consider this: you may have come at the invitation (or nagging) of a friend or family member, or maybe you just thought it proper to attend Church on Easter Sunday, or you visited before and liked our music, or our welcoming congregation made you feel comfortable – well, that may be the surface reason. But could there be a deeper reason? Could it be God tugging on your heart, nudging you towards Him?

Come and find out. Inquire. Take the next step on that Stairway to Heaven.

Happy Easter!

Love, Fr. John B.