The theme for One Call Institute 2019 is “You Work Great Things in Me.” Boy is this true! God DOES work great things in you. But, when do we have time to reflect on this as we go about our daily busy-ness?
When I was in 4thgrade, Sister Rebecca Mary taught me a few chords on the guitar, and then told me that I was playing for school Mass. I’ve never stopped playing.
Sr. Rebecca was a ‘spark’ for me then, but what about now? One thing I’ve learned, still strumming forty years later, is that gifts you have are at first ‘sparks’ and then begin to burn brightly as those ‘flames’ are fanned. When I was in college, I didn’t really believe in my musical gifts, so I majored in nursing and worked as an RN. I don’t regret this at all; it stretched me in so many ways. But, the liturgical music spark kept burning, and after being invited to be a music director (even without the ‘proper credentials’), I’ve now served in ministry at the University of Portland since the year 2000. Every so often during Mass, I encounter my ‘spark’ again, and it’s through beauty – when I hear the harmonies and instruments playing so synchronized and true – that I feel fully alive, as though my senses are being are awakened. I feel transfigured, even overwhelmed by Beauty and Love, and I can’t keep the tears at bay!
Last year, I was a ‘first timer’ at One Call. While beholding the unabashed beauty of the One Call Participants, I felt those ‘sparks’ – the ferocious joy, laughter rising like the sun, and of course the music – that uplifted prayer on wings of song. It was like an embrace in the arms of God. So real.
Guess what? You have a spark. Come ‘light your fire’ and ‘be who God meant you to be’ (my favorite St. Catherine of Siena quote) and stir your gifts into flame. I can’t wait to see you in June 2019!
— Maureen “Mo” Briare