Messages From Fr. Anthony Smith

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In last Sunday’s edition of the Waterbury Republican I found an interesting response to a question posed to feature article writer, Armin Brott (aka Mr. Dad).  The question was, ‘Of all the non- material things parents can give to their children what do you think is the most important?’ Now my answer would be a bit different than Mr. Brott’s. I would answer faith and love, however I was intrigued by his answer. He said ‘resilience’.   Mr. Brott mentioned other desires of a parent for their children such as happiness, loving relationships, success in a career, but, he says, resilience can ‘contribute’ to all these other qualities in life.

I often will use the word ‘perseverance’ in my homilies or letters for I believe our spiritual life requires this virtue. But I like this word ‘resilience’, especially when we understand it in light of the definition Mr. Brott provides from ‘Psychology Today’:

“Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before.…” (Google; Psychology Today – Resilience for full definition)

I thought to myself ‘this is truly a wonderful gift to give a child’. But it is also a most valuable gift we can give to ourselves at any age. When we develop a resilient personality we can view life as a series of opportunities to become better and stronger when we encounter challenges and failures.  Failure can have devastating effects in our life and if we don’t use our failures to learn, change and grow as a person, those failures can define our life.  We may have a natural human tendency to back away when we hit an obstacle or failure in our life, but we can develop a will to be resilient and our resilience will be a force that keeps us looking forward to a goal. It is a quality that reminds us that we have something to offer this world, that our life has a purpose and that we are stronger than adversity.

How might resilience relate to our spiritual life?  Certainly we will run into bumpy roads on our spiritual journey. Resilience can help us navigate those ups and downs and even draw us deeper into a life of faith.   I have witnessed the incredible resilience you, our parishioners, have demonstrated in the past twelve months.  But, conversely, I believe our faith can be the force behind developing a resilient personality.  When we hold onto to the truth that we are loved to the very core of our being then we will know that our life always has purpose and meaning. If we know our life has meaning then we know that any failure in life is not the end – that we still have a vocation to fulfill and a goal to reach. Our faith reminds us that we have the gift of reconciliation when we fail through sin. We are not meant to live with sin, but to seek forgiveness and move forward.    God’s love and mercy will show us a new start when we have fallen in life and the virtue of hope will destroy all despair.  We also know, by faith, that we are never abandoned. Jesus told his apostles he would be with them always.   They certainly had their failures and obstacles, but faith gave them all they needed to develop a resilient quality to keep moving forward with their mission even to the point of giving their life as a witness.

Resilience is a wonderful quality to have in life, and one that will help us reach our goals. When life ‘knocks you down’ turn to your faith and see how it can lead to developing a resilient quality.

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
Daily Mass
Monday-Wednesday; 8:00 AM Chapel

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 3:00-3:30 PM

Parish Livestream

Our Parish Facebook page “Keep the Faith” will live stream Mass
from our church at 10:30 am on Sunday

Parish Livestream