March Reflection

At some point last week I became aware of two things: #1 Lent was just around the corner and #2 I didn’t have a plan. I knew I didn’t want to try to take up a random act of self-denial. Recently God has shown me in some gentle but clear ways how much I rely on self-will and honestly I’m pretty done with putting in a lot of effort to eventually experience not a lot more than my own limitations.

So I first called to mind the reason why the Church offers us the disciplines of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer. Together they help us direct our entire being back to God: our external goods back to Him through almsgiving, our bodies back to Him through fasting, our souls back to Him through prayer. Then I began to ponder what these things looked like from God’s perspective and it led to a deeper appreciation of His generosity and desire for communion with each of us.

What is God’s almsgiving? The entire created universe, in all its glory, beauty, and wonder is freely given to us to know that there is a Creator and He is good. What is fasting from God’s perspective? He deeply desires to be united to us and yet restrains Himself from forcing this desire on us so as to not overwhelm our freedom. He invites and patiently awaits our response. And finally, how does God experience prayer? For Him it is joy, union, and love. The Catechism puts it this way, “Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours.” Ironically, when we open ourselves to Him and begin to experience just how much we need Him, in the midst of our dryness we are quenching His thirst to be in relationship with us.

My prayer for each of us this Lent is that our almsgiving, fasting, and prayer goes beyond the human experience of these disciplines and is transformed into deeper communion with the One who enters into His own way of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer with overflowing generosity in order for us to know His love.

Sincerely in Christ,

Tiffany Lambert
Directress, Women Youth Apostles

February Reflection

Recently I had to run an errand at Tysons Corner Center on a busy Sunday afternoon. I needed to grab lunch and shortly after sitting down, found myself across from two young college students. They seemed a bit shy but friendly, and I could sense the Lord prompting me to start a conversation. This was confirmed almost immediately as one of them bowed their head to say grace and made the Sign of the Cross. “Hi, I’m Tiffany,” I said with a smile, and the conversation evolved naturally from there.

We talked about where they go to school, they asked what I do for a living, and we talked about where we are from. Having learned they both grew up in Vietnam, I asked them what the one thing they found the most different when they came to the United States. Until this point, the conversation had mostly gone back and forth between myself and one of the girls. Now the other girl answered so quickly and definitely, I was almost startled. “It’s so lonely.” There was a long silence and three pairs of eyes looked down as we digested the honesty and pain in her statement and in our own memories. The words of St. Teresa of Calcutta flashed through my mind “America suffers most from the poverty of loneliness.” “Back in my home country,” she continued, “everyone opens their doors in the morning and you see your neighbors.”

The only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love.

–St. Teresa of Calcutta

This is one of the reasons it seems so providential that we have been called not just to form Women Youth Apostles, but have a vision to minister to young people in a way that helps them become community for each other. Please pray that every one of our ministries will continue to help young people see that they are not alone, but rather are known, loved, and have great reason to be filled with hope in God’s promises.

 

Sincerely in Christ,

Tiffany Lambert

Directress, Women Youth Apostles

January Reflection

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The Christmas Season ends with two beautiful celebrations – the Epiphany when we recall the visit of the Magi and the Baptism of the Lord. Both point to how the Lord can be both manifest and hidden at different moments in our lives.

 At the Epiphany, God intervened in the lives of the Magi with clear and direct signs. The star “that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was” (Matt 2:9). You may have had a particular moment when you clearly knew God’s presence and intervention in your life. Through an extraordinary set of circumstances and as clearly manifest as the words before you now, you knew that God was real and was working for your good. These moments of great grace are gifts we should cherish and recall with love.

 On the other hand, through his Baptism, Jesus allows himself to be completely identified with sinful humanity. He enters into this act of repentance, not because he has sinned, but because he has come to redeem us. Sometimes Jesus’ humility almost allows his divinity to be hidden from sight, seeming to leave us searching with no other guide than the interior light of faith.

 As we enter into 2019, I pray that we are able to both follow God’s clear manifestations with deepened wonder and to continue searching in moments when the Light of the World appears to be buried in the depths of our limited world.

Sincerely in Christ,

Tiffany Lambert

Directress, Women Youth Apostles

 

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