Carving out time to reflect and pray is an ongoing challenge. Managing the legitimate demands of work, school, and family takes effort while resisting distractions requires discipline and self-control. But how can one do it all? To address these common human challenges, Regnum Christi NY Tri-State is offering separate opportunities for men and women to schedule some “quality time” with God. Over the course of seven “mini-mornings,” Father Eric Nielsen, LC, and Father Jorge Obregon, LC, will address the innate longing of the human heart for closeness with God, a pursuit that fosters peace amidst the never-ending demands of daily life.
The first session for women was held on Saturday, October 15, at the Fathers’ House in Rye, New York. Twenty-eight women arrived to pray, listen, meditate, attend mass, and have the opportunity for reconciliation. The theme of the morning was finding peace through actively and diligently pursuing God’s will. Father Eric described peace as an emotion that happens when one understands what we are striving for. Since we are made for God, we are made for peace. Father Eric used the Book of Jonah as a vehicle to demonstrate how aligning oneself with God’s will is the true path to holiness. Ironically, the Book of Jonah begins with the prophet fleeing from God’s will. Instead of making his way to Nineveh, where God called him to preach, Jonah runs in the opposite direction by getting on a boat headed to Tarsus. Of course, we all know the rest of the story about how Jonah is tossed off the boat and swallowed by a whale who brings him to his divine destination. Since Jonah’s preaching actually resulted in the conversion of Nineveh, we get to enjoy a happy ending where a prophet does God’s will and the people repent. Yet, we all recognize that the real happy ending for prophets, preachers, and people, in general, is when we reach our heavenly home. One way to do this is to embrace the counterintuitive nature of the Beatitudes, a list of attributes that one would not usually write up as goals for the day. Father Eric explained how to use these eight principles as a means to blessedness and, ultimately, peace.
Father Eric’s homily provided the final component of the morning’s theme by highlighting the experience of St. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles who despite extraordinary physical and spiritual trials, found God and found peace. “For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Tim: 6-8.
Please join us on November 12 for our next women’s morning of reflection where we will carve out a little time with God to learn how to “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”
Hope Hirshorn is the RC Director for the NY Tri-State. Hope has a M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Fordham, a M.P.A. and A.P.C in finance from NYU, and a certificate in Marian studies from her time in London. She and her husband reside in West Harrison, NY, and are the proud parents of six children.