Monday, October 3, 2011

Spiritual Fruits: Go Out and Product Them

Mass Reflection
                Yesterday’s gossip reading came from Matthew 21:33-43 and the Old Testament reading came from Isaiah 5:1-7.  Each discussed a vineyard concept or story.  I have to tell all of you, I didn’t gain much from the Homily.  However, I have always loved the reading from “gardening.”  The one point the visiting priest did mention was how we are to bring forth spiritual fruits.  This made me start thinking of how people can do this.
                Spiritual fruits come from not only attending church services, but also becoming active in the church community.  The parish I attend is extremely active.  The numbers of ministries are quite abundant.  Our family is involved in the Religious Education program, acolyte, Eucharist, Manclub, the chili competition, and other social events we can attend.  Other ministries are coffee after Mass, music, Lector, Eucharist to the VA and hospital, Family Promise, holiday dinners, Parish Council, Social Committee, Finance Council, Family Promise, Decorating Committee, Lent to Life, and funerals.  Spiritual fruits can come from these activities of service.  There are also the options of Diocesan programs.  We are active in Cursillo, 4th Day, and the Knights of Columbus.  I also helped with a teen trip to Creations Northwest this summer.  There are other programs to get involved in, but my list is big enough, I haven’t looked at more.  I do know there are other Bible Studies, conferences, and Rosary Group.
                We are very blessed to have such a vibrant church community in not only our parish, but also in our town.  This hasn’t always been the case.  What can a person do if they don’t have these options?  If you are a leader, start some fun church activities.  You are only limited by your imagination of which I didn’t have in my younger years.  Living in the small towns of Hardin and Wolf Point, I didn’t know how to find places to volunteer.  Also, I have never been a strong leader.  Those times in my life I didn’t produce spiritual fruits that corresponded with volunteer and community activities.
                The community at large is also another place to turn for spiritual fruits.  Volunteering can be done at the library, goodwill, schools, museums, and nursing homes.  Once all of my kids are raised, I would like to start volunteering at either the library or one of the museums in town.  Granted, you may not be working spiritual topics in these areas; but you can be an ambassador of Christ through your actions and maybe your voice.  This can also be done in the work place.  Smile and say hello to that person who seems shy or that older person who always seems grumpy.  Treat everyone with respect or at least courtesy. 
                What if you are homebound?  There have been times that I haven’t been able to do volunteer work because I was home with the children.  Also, when I have flare ups from my health issues, I don’t leave the house.  These are opportunities of prayer time.  Of course, we all should pray without stopping, but with the extra time, prayer life can go deeper.  I just looked up types of prayers.  The five types I found in multiple areas were thanksgiving, petition, persevering, intersession, and meditative.  Hum, I think I should be doing some posts on this.  I could learn some good stuff.  Studying the Bible and other writings is also a way to gain spiritual fruits.  Guiding our children is a must as is guiding our loved ones.  My husband and I guide each other daily.
                I meant to make this a shorter post, but the ideas of how to produce spiritual fruits just kept coming.  Even now there are other things that can done I haven’t mentioned that come to mind.  Really, every little thing we do can be offered up to God in thanksgiving and praise which will benefit our spirit and those around us.  Go out today and produce some fruit.  I am going to go clean house for God and family while listening to Tenth Avenue North or maybe Francesca Battistelli.  “Dear Lord, thank you for the family to clean up after and the house to make shine a little better.  I offer you the tasks I do today with a light and joyful heart.  Amen.”
                Blessings to you all.

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