Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 31: Renew in Us

"Almighty God, our heavenly Father, renew in us the gifts of your mercy; increase our faith, strengthen our hope, enlighten our understanding, widen our charity, and make us ready to serve you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." 
-Collect for the Wednesday in the Fifth Week

When reading the collect for today, I couldn’t help but reflect on my time during the Catechumenate at my home church in Indianapolis. Not only was that a time of great spiritual growth for me, but also the beginning of my journey to service with the church.

I believe the sole reason I was brought back to the church was to fulfill each one of those things that are asked in the collect. “Renew in us your gifts of mercy”--being confirmed made me all the more aware of the gifts God has given us. No matter how far astray we are led or lead ourselves, God and his infinite mercy is there to reaccept us if we are willing to put our love and faith in him. “Increase our faith, Enlighten our understanding”--I would be lying if I didn’t say I wanted to be confirmed to satiate a hunger for knowledge of the Church. While that may have been the guiding light for me, the end result was something I never expected, a faith inside me that was awakened that I never knew existed. I now understood what people were talking about when they spoke of their faith and relationship with God. “Widen our charity”--While working towards confirmation, I joined the missions committee on a trip to Haiti. I had never once in my life done anything of the sort and fell in love with not only how I felt after helping others, but seeing what I could bring to those in need. The feeling was something that was addicting and lead to the last of the requests of God “make us ready to serve you”--Today as I sit in my room in Japan, I realize none of this would have ever been possible if I one does not ask God to give us the strength to realize our potential. It makes me believe that when you pray to God “Give me this/that” you will never see the fruits of your labor, but when you ask God “Give me the strength and skills for me to accomplish things in your name.”, now that is something you will see come to fruition. To me, the collect represents the journey of becoming ready to serve YASC.

Charlotte File is 25 years old and from the Diocese of Indianapolis serving the Diocese of 
Yokohama at the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project in Japan. When she is not shoveling her 
way out of the snow still on the ground, she enjoys eating every new Japanese food she can find. 

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