Here are four discussion points, prompted by the above words of Jesus, which were part of a recent "Living Jesus Chat" discussion.
- Let’s consider this Gospel story about the man whom Jesus called who wanted to first go and bury his father. “Let the dead bury their dead.” Is Jesus saying that we shouldn’t bother burying our loved ones?
- Saint Francis de Sales uses this story to explain the type of love that we should offer to God (a love that is exclusive and dedicated). What can we do to improve at this and attain this spiritual goal?
- Saint Francis describes this total love as only truly exemplified in the Blessed Virgin Mary. If this is so, why does he go to such lengths to convince us that this is the way we should follow? Is it pointless to encourage people to do something that no one but the Blessed Virgin can fully achieve?
- St. Francis also says that even great saints can at times produce “grievous venial sins” and “fruitless fruits.” Why does St. Francis bring this up? Does this diminish our motivation to imitate the saints? Or does it make it easier to strive for holiness knowing that they fail too?
Visitation Sister: First of all, Question 1. Is Jesus saying that we shouldn’t bother burying our loved ones?
Anne: This is a tough one. I am not sure what Our Lord means
Ben: Jesus is teaching us that we must put our relationship with Him first. So many receive a call from Jesus to take on a vocation, but they put their family, or fear, or anything they can in front of answering God’s call on their life!!! We must always be available to Jesus!!!!
Visitation Sister: I think the quote implies that the man’s father was not yet dead and he was going to wait until he died and buried him before he followed Jesus anyway that’s how I interpret it so he was delaying his vocation so to speak.
Anne: Oh! Okay.
Visitation Sister: anybody else for this one?
Rebecca: Yes, Sister, that is the explanation I’ve heard of the passage, too.
Visitation Sister: Question 2: Saint Francis uses this story to explain the type of love that we should offer to God (a love that is exclusive and dedicated). What can we do to improve at this and attain this spiritual goal?
Rebecca: Jesus sometimes uses hyperbole to make a point. It sounds much harsher in the passage or translation where he says, “Let the dead bury the dead; you come and follow me.”
Ben: We often share with Kairos Friends the people we never would have met over the years had we not responded to God’s call to volunteer in Prison.
Visitation Sister: If the father was not a believer his soul so to speak is “dead”, is that it, do you think?
Rebecca: Kairos is starting around here. I attended the intro. But they will only be working with men, and like Cursillo, the team is always same sex.
Ben: We must take the time to listen to God with our whole heart! We are in the midst of a cruel war for souls and we must be able to respond to our Leader Jesus’s Call!!!
Rebecca: No, Sister, I don’t think so, although that is an interesting idea.
Visitation Sister: So true, Ben - a real war - that is for sure!
Visitation Sister: To attain a dedicated and deep love for God, I think one way is to spend time in being present with our awareness of God’s Presence.
Ben: Our Kairos Group at Wende has several Ladies who assist us on Outside Support Team and our Ladies Kairos at Albion has several Men who are on Outside Support Team. Outside and Inside Teams are critical to Kairos Weekend!
Anne: Practicing the presence of God. I like that answer best, Sister.
Visitation Sister: Is it Brother Lawrence who wrote about the Presence of God?
Ben: So True, Sister! I try to talk to Him throughout the day and be aware of what He wants me to do. Distractions can come at us Soo quickly or so subtlety!!!
Anne: Fr Jean de Caussade talked about it too.
Visitation Sister: Which book, do you know?
Rebecca: Yes. It was so hard when I first came here because nearby churches were either always locked or on unannounced, unpredictable schedules; I could walk four miles or drive fourteen only to stand before locked doors. I still want to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, but the Lord was training me to “see” Him EVERYWHERE. I am grateful for that.
Anne: Abandonment to Divine Providence.
Anne: Although some question whether or not he wrote it.
Ben: Daily Mass really helps a lot!!! Soo thankful we have early Masses before work around me. Wonderful Community of People who attend Daily Mass!!!
Visitation Sister: Thank you!
Visitation Sister: Yes, Jesus is within us.
Ben: So Beautiful and True, Rebecca!!!
Visitation Sister: The Blessed Mother was most present to her Son. I think she helps us grow ever closer to Him when we grow closer to her.
Rebecca: I’m distracted tonight. Messages on cell phone come through sporadically. I looked up an article that would have “fit” in the earlier thread, but not here. Perhaps later as an addendum.
Visitation Sister: You can put it in here if you want.
Rebecca: Marian spirituality is kind of new to MY spirituality, maybe in the last ten years or so. How glad I am, even as an adult, to have a Mama who wants the best for me — to love her Son and walk in his ways.
Ben: Amen, Rebecca!!!
Rebecca: And to give me an example of HOW.
Visitation Sister: Yes!
Ben: Mary Teaches us to never ever give up on God!!!
Visitation Sister: She LOVES HER SON TOTALLY BUT SHE LOVES US so much and God continually sends her to us.
Ben: Amen, Sister!!!
Visitation Sister: We learn about love from our MOTHER MARY.
Visitation Sister: We keep growing and Mother Mary watches over our growth.
Ben: Soo True, Sister!!!! True Love!!!! AGAPE!!!
Visitation Sister: Have any of you ever been to a Marian shrine?
Rebecca: The article is about the “war” Ben mentions — in an extended meaning, “Modernity.” Here’s a link: “Rémi Brague’s Bleak but Brilliant Analysis of the Modern Project.”
Ben: Thank You, Rebecca!!!
Anne: I went to the shrine of Our Lady of Snows in Belleville, Illinois years ago.
Visitation Sister: Rebecca, will take time with this! Looks deep.
Visitation Sister: How was that shrine, Anne.
Visitation Sister: I went to Medjugorje in 1987.
Rebecca: I’ve been to a number of them, including Fatima and Lourdes in the summer of 1999, I think it was. The photo on my FB “status” is part of a candid shot by the Regent of the St. Bernard’s CDA group. Actually, it is St. Anne’s shrine, but of course, it we are honoring the mother of Mary we are honoring Mary and her Son.
Anne: Very interesting. Modern architecture which was neat.
Visitation Sister: I have an unusual desire to go to La Salette but of course not very likely!
Rebecca: Bishop arriving, walking casually down the center aisle with his brief case in his hand and a garment draped over his arm. We are fortunate in having a good Bishop.
Ben: We have in Lackawanna outside of Buffalo, Our Lady of Victory Basilica!!! Incredible Place!!! Father Baker was guided by God to build. Ladies from around the Country donated quarters to build during 20s. It was used to feed thousands during Great Depression. Must visit if you are in Buffalo!!!
Visitation Sister: If ever!
Visitation Sister: Yes.
Visitation Sister: Question 4: In the last two paragraphs, St. Francis says that even great saints can at times produce “grievous venial sins” and “fruitless fruits.” Why does St. Francis bring this up? Does this diminish our motivation to imitate the saints? Or does it make it easier to strive for holiness knowing that they fail too?
Rebecca: Thanks for the tip, Ben. Maybe someday. Maybe not long from now.
Ben: We also have Fatima Shrine in Lewiston!!! I take my clients on field trips to both!!!! Incredible the deep sharing that takes place on those trips!!! Praise God!!!
Visitation Sister: I’d really like that one.
Anne: Sister, I like the idea of knowing the saints messed up too and therefore I must keep striving.
Visitation Sister: For question 4, it is true that we are all sinners, even saints, but they grow away from sin at least more serious ones, over time and it gives encouragement to us.
Rebecca: Sister, you could probably easily visit one of the US Shrines of Our Lady of La Salette. I came upon one practically by “accident” exactly one year ago, on the way home from my brother’s funeral. It is in New Hampshire, almost at the Vermont border. I stayed two days! Attended a seminar the first night. Found amazing cheerful “support” from a stranger, delighted to share fresh strawberries with me, and I with everyone else.
Visitation Sister: Was it spiritually uplifting then?
Ben: Anne, one of our guys who reminds me of St Paul always says that he falls but he always gets back up with the Lord, he falls but he gets back up with the Lord!!!
Visitation Sister: St Francis de Sales knew failure, though I do not speak of sin here, but he tried to start many initiatives and most petered out, but not the Visitation.
Ben: He is literally saving lives by discipling the younger Men in Prison. Those who are so tempted to take their own life!!!
Rebecca: It was good for me to be there, to go home s l o w l y. Time to process. The story of La Salette was new to me. The “image” so different from what we’ve grown accustomed to. I would not use the term “uplifting.” I think I was in a pretty good “place” to start with at the time, despite the circumstances. And, though I did not voice them, I had some trouble with the content of the seminar. I think the theology was a little “off.” But who am I to judge? I’ve never even studied theology.
Visitation Sister: Your soul knows, Rebecca.
Anne: Thanks for the chat. See you next week, God willing. ??
Visitation Sister: It is getting close to the time I need to leave - please feel encouraged to keep chatting Many prayers for you all!
Join Our Chat!
Did you enjoy this discussion? Please share it with your friends by using the social buttons below. And why not join our chat this Sunday? Go to the Visitation Sisters’ “Living Jesus Chat Room.”