I Didn't Think, Yet I Still Am!

“I think, therefore I am.” This is the primal thought of the modern age. It is the standard by which we define existence. It announces our arrival as individuals. The individual that arrives under this premise is a lonely person whose existence is defined only in relationship to itself. S/he has become nothing more than a concept. For this individual, thought is the only standard—the only true reality. Thus, even God is nothing more than a concept and thought. Truly, in this existence, God is only a figment of the imagination.

God declares Himself as I AM. God is not a what. He is not an object of thought. God is a “who.” More importantly, He is the Who. Being a person in relationship to other persons becomes the ultimate definition of existence and meaning. As beings created in His image and likeness, we can echo these sentiments. We resonate with the words, “I am.”

What does this practically mean? How are we to apply this to life and catechesis? What is conversion and discipleship? If conversion is about transformation of mind (Romans 12:2), how must our idea of who we are and how we define ourselves change in light of this fact?

My existence means something to God. We passionately want in our inner being to declare “I am,” my meaning is not summed up in my thinking, but in being a person, in being a “who.”

This is the message we are bringing humanity. It is not a message of “becoming a ‘who’,” but of realizing that I am already a ‘who’ because of Jesus Christ. Indeed, I AM, therefore, I am too!


Bringing The Gospel To Our "Christian" Youth

Do our 'christian' students truly know what the gospel is? Do they understand terms like salvation, redemption, and faith? Do adult Christians even understand?
Conservative have made the gospel about sin management (right and wrong) or death management (heaven and hell); whereas, the liberals make it about social managment and knowledge management. This is obviously an over simplification. However, are we calling our students to follow the way of Christ? Are we asking them to pursue an alternative way of living and calling that Christianity? Are we telling them that to believe or to have faith means that we look at giving forgiveness to the downtrodden and outcasts?
We need to call our students to true discipleship (ie. true Christianity). They need to decide whether they want to be a "real" Christian and pursue something other than the American dream and success, or whether they want to pursue the American dream and success over the alternative life Jesus calls us to, or whether they are just not sure yet because they are exploring and searching.


Connecting Youth To God

Recently, I led a group of Jr. High and Sr. High students in a communal conversation with God. In doing so, I made the following observations. 1) We have emphasized to our students over the years the idea that they can say anything they want to God that they are now unable to talk to God about anything outside of themselves or converse with God in a way that is tranformational. Prayer has become a tool for "venting" rather than a true conversation. 2) People talk way too much when they come before God. We live in such a noisy, fast-paced society. My students were completely amazed that they were still before God for an entire 40 minutes-- communing with Him in guided meditation and prayer together. The stillness and the silence alone were gifts unimaginable for these students. 3) We have not taught our youth to truly engage God about their world. We have taught our students to ask God "to help" Jane, "to bless" John, etc. In this experience, I asked students to end in groups of 3-4, look one another in the eyes and tell God "what you see in that person, what you want God to do with this person's life, and how you can see this person changing the world." It was fascinating to listen to the students pray differently. The majority of these students loved this experience. Many of them later asked me if we could do this more often. We have become so arrogant to think our weekly teachings are better than guiding our people through simple prayer and meditation.