This past month has been full of challenges. But challenges offer opportunities to grow! The first challenge is the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus. In some states it is abating while in others it is reaching record heights.
A very different challenge is the race question coming to the fore with the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing social upheaval. Our country is focusing again on a problem that has plagued us for a long time; race relations and the particular challenges to the black and brown communities. As leaders, I think it is an important time to listen, to examine our own hearts, and also try to intelligently and with gospel love, accompany those who suffer and get to the root of the issues to find meaningful solutions.
Part of the solution starts at home. First in our own hearts and then in our own family relationships. When I examined myself on racism, I discovered I am quick to excuse myself as not being part of the problem. But going a little further I saw ways that in fact I do make presumptions, internal judgements, even have suspicious attitudes towards others that are not from Christ. I need conversion in this area if I want to more fully imitate Christ. And I suspect we all have some degree of need of conversion. As Fr. Shawn Aaron wrote in a letter to Legionary Priests on the theme of racism, “It is a time to listen like Christ, to see like Christ, to love like Christ, and to remind those we serve that they too are called to be the eyes, ears, hands, feet and mouth of Christ.”
I am heartened to hear that so many good discussions are being had in your circles and I would strongly encourage you all to be engaged at a local level in initiatives that favor progress against racism. Listen, educate yourselves, and examine yourselves as any good leader should. Promoting human dignity and helping society to recognize the equality we all share as God’s children is a much needed and worthy cause. As leaders of society who wish to spread the light of Christ, there is no better time than the present.
Fr Mark Haydu, LC
Fr. Mark Haydu, LC on July Virtue: Stewardship; Managing God's Gifts
Our annual Father-Daughter Mission trip to New Orleans will take place from October 8th through the 11th. Please contact Thomas Lloyd if you are interested in attending. This is my favorite mission of the year!
Fr. Michael Sliney, LC
Chaplain Lumen Washington DC
Lumen New Jersey - Host Jim Hislop
Gathered at 6:30pm on a beautiful and windy spring evening. Opened with a prayer. Spent 45 minutes “checking-in” to discuss what “is working and not working” for each member personally in their lives. Pretty much across the board, the brothers are frustrated with the social distancing requirements but appreciative of the found time they have been spending with their families. Our current topic of discussion was “Black Lives Matter”. The general feeling was that our country had some deeply rooted challenges that would take years to address. The quote from Steven Jackson “I love all people that love all people said it all”! The City of Newark NJ was mentioned as a place that seem to have gotten things right. We discussed that Newark could be helpful as a good case study. Some of the brothers mentioned that they enjoy listening to Candice Owens, the conservative activist, on these matters. The approach that was given some consideration was the notion of finding 15-20 representatives to develop some bi partisan action plans to address this matter. Regarding our confidence in God discussion, we discussed the importance of giving all things over to God so he may lead us to be better people. Our resolution was to find an opportunity within our respective communities to support the anti-racism initiatives.
Lumen Connecticut - Host Leo Marzen
Our discussion centered around the core value Faith - Confidence in God. We discussed how we are dealing with Covid-19 and helping others in need. We then shifted to a lengthy discussion focused on race relations and what we need to change with our families, friends and business relationships.
LUMEN NEW ORLEANS
Dinner with Members and Wives at the Palace Cafe
LUMEN CELEBRATING FATHERS
On June 18th Lumen Members gathered virtually to celebrate fathers with "Wine, Wealth and Wisdom" as the theme. Prior to the meeting, each member was received two bottles of wine courtesy of Patrick Baugier, founder of MetroWine Distribution.
Patrick Baugier provided a presentation on Wine. Steve Auth, CIO of Federal Global Equities and Author of "The Missionary of Wall Street" spoke on current and future markets and the impact of COVID-19. Fr. Nathaniel Haslam opened and closed the celebration with prayer and the Wisdom of God.
LUMEN NEW YORK
Notes from Steve Auth
House of Stone
We reflected last night on building houses of sand, and houses of stone. Here are my notes:
1. Building a sandcastle is often more fun, and quicker. Sandcastles are cool. You can throw elaborate structures up pretty quickly, and you can use your wildest imagination. You can form them with your own hands, with no one’s help. You can even get a kid or two to help you and make it a quick family project/diversion.
2. Sandcastles don’t last through the next high tide. Unfortunately, sandcastles are prone to pretty swift wind damage from a steady blow, but even if they survive that, none has ever survived a high tide. When the surf meets it, it quickly erodes the foundation, breaks through the weakest point, and takes the whole structure down.
3. Stone houses are set on rock; they don’t waver in a storm. Houses of stone are built on foundations of stone, that don’t give way to wind or surf; they can even jut out over a lake if they’re built with great care. They are unshakable. When an attack from the outside comes, they don’t fall. They are as “solid as a rock.”
4. Stone houses take a lifetime to build. Stone houses aren’t built in a day; they are a lifelong project and a daily struggle. You have to stay on it, stay focused.
5. Even stone houses develop cracks in the foundation. As they weather, even a strong house will develop cracks. Cracks can be deadly. Water will find its way to them, and make them bigger. So we need to always be vigilant, keeping our foundation in good repair to keep our house strong.
In the spiritual life, the rock on which we need to set our foundation is Jesus Christ. His teachings, summarized in the sermon on the Mount which is ended with tonight’s passage from Matthew, are the rock on which we build. Building a strong spiritual life, based in a close relationship with the master builder, takes a lifetime. There are ups and down, cracks to repair, extra rooms to build, visitors to accommodate. The Devil is always out there, ready to test us, to raise a storm around us, to find an open window or a leaky roof or a crack in the floor through which to enter, to take us down. To stay on plan, to finish the race, we need Jesus, we need the tools he gave us, the Sacraments, and we need each other.
Many of you are doing great works helping others during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We would love to have your pictures and a couple of paragraphs to show what all of our Chapters and members are involved with on their own or as a group. It would be wonderful to witness the Lumen Action plan at work. Please email to Paivi@LumenInstititue.org
If you have a story you would like to share on how you did and are handling the quarantine in our next Newsletter, please send a writeup (with a picture if you have) to Paivi at firstname.lastname@example.org