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I thought you would enjoy some beautiful and insightful words this week from Father Dennis Shaw. We are very lucky to have him at Holy Family in Auburn and to be able to experience his friendship, his practical and uplifting sermons and his thoughts in our bulletin each week. This writing comes from a recent bulletin.

It is one of my favorites, and I thought it especially relevant and helpful for all of us in today's world.

“Dear friends, Fidelity is a huge part of Christian living. It is essential in every important relationship.

It begins with fidelity to God. Fidelity is not primarily about sexual behavior. Being faithful means putting a person or relationship in the proper order of priority in my life.

Fidelity means that someone has claim on my time, my energy, my interest.

Each relationship must fit into a hierarchy of importance.

God must come first in the life of everyone who claims to be a believer.

If I put something in God's place I am practicing idolatry.

The most common idols are: religion, family, country and career. Fidelity to God means that I am constantly growing in my relationship with Him.

I do this through daily communication, study and worship.

I put my life (and the lives of those entrusted to my care) in God's hands.

I fully expect and believe that God is always with me, filling me with His love and salvation.

The second priority for a married person is their spouse. Even if they have children, husbands and wives must not forget that their love for each other came first.

Children are meant to be the fruit of love expressed in a committed, faithful and faith-filled union.

Fidelity to a spouse recognizes that the other has first claim (after God) on my time, energy and interest.

Continuing to build a healthy, mature, loving marriage is by far the most important way to create a healthy environment in which to lovingly raise children.

Spouses must take time to be with each other and for each other.

This includes time away from the children when they can focus on each other's hearts.

For unmarried people, fidelity is about those friends and family with whom we share life at the deepest level possible.

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Friends and family are treasures more valuable than gold or a career.

Fidelity finds a way to help keep them in the proper place in our lives.

Children, one's homeland and careers all have an important place in our individual systems of fidelity.

From time to time any one of them may take temporary preeminence.

But this is always with the knowledge that we must quickly return to the proper order of priority.“

To enjoy the upcoming writings of Father Dennis each week in the bulletin, you may visit our Web site at www.auburnholyfamily.org.

Have a great week and remember God loves us all so very much.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,

courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,

and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen.“

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Denise Bennett is a parishioner at Holy Family Church in Auburn. She can be reached at deniseb132@yahoo.com

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