(Courtesy of Arise Milwaukee. Cor Jesu is held every Wednesday night from 7-9pm)
Wednesday nights are the best! My girlfriend Morgan and I joined a volleyball league and play on her cousin's team at Bradford Beach. While I love playing for the "Setting Ducks" (we're 5-5 by the way, in case you were wondering), I also love the fact that we can still attend Cor Jesu at St. Robert's in Shorewood together for Mass. It always ends up being the highlight of my week and tonight was no different!
Along with Fathers Jacob and Luke Strand and Fr. Peter Patrick Kimani, there were three transitional deacons assisting at the Mass-Deacon Andrew Linn, Deacon Patrick Behling, and a visitor from Chicago, Deacon Christopher Krall, SJ. It was a blessing to hear Deacon Christopher's homily tonight and I wanted to share a few things that touched me personally while he spoke.
(Deacon Christopher Krall SJ. Photo courtesy of thinkjesuit.org)
Deacon Christopher spoke about the need for extra motivation to follow Christ, offering your heart completely to Him. He referenced the The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and specifically mentioned the Third Degree of Humility. The Third Degree of Humility begins with a prayer to the Father that He will grant you the grace to live in the way of Jesus Christ, who "emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave" (Philipians 2:7). This means freely choosing to lead a life that the world despises. In order to truly become one with Christ, one would have to set aside anything in his or her life that stands between them and God's love. This could also require one giving up some of his or her strongest gifts in order to fully embrace Christ.
As a young man working in the business world, it is easy for me to get sucked into the corporate life. There is a temptation to want to climb the corporate ladder and to want the money, expensive cars and luxurious houses that would come with it. I often get a big head when I complete the smallest of work tasks, or put together a nice presentation, and then I foolishly think that I am on to bigger and better things. I often think about the rich young man that Christ instructed to give all of his riches to the poor and follow him. Could I really do that? Would I turn away just like that young man in the Gospel did?
This is the ultimate challenge. If I really love Christ and want to give myself to His heart completely, then I cannot be blinded by the potential and opportunities I would have to climb the corporate ladder. I have to give all of my naive ambitions, false loves and talents away, trusting in the end that only Christ's love matters.
If I want to take a lesson from Deacon Christopher and truly become humble then my prayer has to lead to a life that would allow me to slowly empty myself to assume the condition of a slave, to be of service to the poor and marginalized, to be satisfied with my current occupation level, transportation and housing, to give money to the Church and to organizations that do the will of God, to go to confession regularly and to be able to stand up for the truth in the toughest of situations.
How will you empty yourself and become one with Christ?