Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Psalm for Purpose

     In the Fall of 2010 I was nominated to be part of the Lay Ministry Program in the Pastoral Institute of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens.  It is a 3 year program to become a commissioned lay minister in my parish by way of theological education, spiritual formation, mentoring, pastoral skills, and ministry practicum.  I had waited many years for something like this and it came when I least expected it.  The first two years was a refreshing breeze of soaking up education and historical information.  We went through a process of reflection to decide on a ministry.  I went through many phases with this.  I thought about a bereavement group, then I contemplated RCIA, I even got creative enough to think that this blog could be a ministry of some sort.  The last year of the program involved putting the ministry in motion.  It was a very challenging year for me so I had to postpone the last year of the program.  My decision came mainly because it was also my last year of grad school and I needed to focus on getting my degree.   One thing at a time…is what God whispers to me all the time, but at times my options get the best of me.

     Finally once I returned, it was decided that I would do a Young Adult Ministry.  But before that, while I took the year off many changes had taken place in my life.  Radical changes that I resisted greatly at one point, and sometimes I admit that I still wonder why it all happened but I know God will reveal that to me in His time.  One of those changes was my parish.  I had relocated to the town of Astoria in Queens and lived closer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  For that reason and others of which I refer to in this blog post, I took the leap to finish my ministry at my new parish.  Though I was not 100% sure about my decision I went ahead and requested to meet with the Monsignor of the new parish.  I prayed about the meeting and hoped it would all go well.  I remember thinking how I can explain to this priest that I was raised in the church, what words will I use and will that be boasting about myself.  I almost felt like it was going to be another job interview.  Low and behold, it was not.  By the grace of God, the Monsignor opened the doors of his church to me and extended an invitation for me to finish my ministry at his parish.  It was a blessing! The parish happened to be in dire need of a young adult ministry which has always been tugging away at my heart, especially scripture based ministry.  The Monsignor made me feel very welcomed and as if he knew me for many years.  It felt right to take those steps forward in faith.  But of course nothing comes that easy and I've struggled so much during this ministry.  It has been an internal battle within myself, my confidence, my ability to speak with authority, and to let the holy spirit reside in me.  I have these desires of the heart but I can hardly put them into words.  

     This past weekend I was distraught about the condition of my ministry.  I felt troubled that the few times we had gotten together that it was not purposeful for God.  There is a flame within me that is just waiting to be lit up.  On Sunday morning I had a minor meltdown about it and pleaded to God to help me see what I needed to see.  In the midst of my painful heartache, I wrote a psalm for purpose:

Lord, my heart aches to do Your will. 
my heart aches to make things purposeful for you
When I sit in the midst of others, especially in my ministry
and we speak of our day it doesn’t feel purposeful
I don’t feel that this ministry is being used for the purpose of 
giving You the glory, oh God, but more to give each other glory 
my heart longs to give you glory, my voice longs to speak your name
my spirit longs to sing your praise!
I don’t know where to begin, I long to be brave for you
I feel like I have failed in all these opportunities I have
been given to evangelize and speak of you to others
I just don’t know what it is but my heart aches over it
it is a deep sorrow..a weeping sorrow 
and I just don’t know when it will end
I can think of the many things I can say but when I am 
in the moment of saying them I feel drowned out by others
I don’t feel like I have authority to speak 

It’s not for certificates sake that I want to continue this ministry
It’s because there is a dire need for someone to minister to young adults
there is a dire need for someone to guide, inspire, and stir up the hearts
of young adults who all desire to have a heart for God.
What does it mean to have a heart for God?
and if I have a heart for God then how can I speak from that heart
how can I see beyond the fears and insecurities
and just speak for the glory of God
Just like David says in Psalm 40:8

“I delight to do Your will, o my God;
Your law is within my heart.”

I long to speak from that place; I long 
to hear from that place where the holy spirit 
lies within me; where You, dear God, are able to use me
as an instrument of Your peace for Your glory.

Oh dear God, help me to make this ministry 
purposeful for You.  That no matter what happens
I have spoken from that place where you are within me
to bring you glory, worship, and praise.

     I felt a great sense of relief when I wrote the above.  In fact, by the grace of God I received clarity from it.  So many things made sense all of a sudden and I began to take some steps forward to focus on my ministry.  Somehow I wasn't utilizing the people that have been placed in my path to guide me with my ministry.  I finally contacted my supervisor of the program, Hyda, and it just felt like she was waiting for my call.  She was very attentive and patient with me as I told her about some of my struggles.  We agreed to speak weekly and it was so comforting to have that conversation with her.  Its a true blessing to be able to receive clarity and to experience a shift in understanding.  It is what I call a tender moment with God.  Oh how I wish I can have tender moments with God everyday and I'm sure that I do but with life's adversity and rat race its hard to pay attention to those tender moments.  I am going to make a conscious effort to point out the many tender moments I have with God.  I hope I can share many more of these moments here on this blog.  

    As far as the ministry, I pray to God to continue providing me with the wisdom and understanding I need to guide and continue this ministry for His glory!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


     Mi amiga Samantha me enseño este video…me encanta empezar el dia con alabanzas a Jesus...que hermoso es nuestro Dios!