제목:
Growing Together in Grace(Antonio Lee)
작성자:
김형기 스테파노         6/3/2024
내용:

Growing Together in Grace

Antonio Lee

 

   When I came to the Church of Immacu[1]late Conception, I wasn’t just new to faith. I was new to life. My parents had brought me there as a child to be bap[1]tized, and I continued to attend this church until I was a grown man who had received his Confirmation. Maybe that’s why, when I heard that it was approach[1]ing its 40th anniversary, I felt such strong emotion. It was like hearing that a family member was turning that age. What a life it’s been.

   I’m embarrassed to say that, growing up in America, my Korean was dreadful. Even now, my conversation level is quite poor. Imagine my joy when this church offered English masses for the kids! I could understand the Word for the first time and truly began to understand how amazing it was to be in this place. I know that it must not have been easy to ar[1]range this.

   Even during a Korean mass, I could still honestly feel how powerful the sermons were. I was lucky enough to attend this church long enough to meet multiple priests who each had their own way of teaching us. I assure you, their patience was tested with us. The same is true for the CCD teachers who were often our own parents. I vividly remember their passion and their knowledge. Now that I’ve spent almost 20 years working full[1]time, I’m even more shocked that they had so much energy every Sunday to take care of us!

   Our church was never the largest. It may be a biased opinion, but I think that’s also why it’s the best. I grew up in a small community of faithful followers. Everyone knew each other, and every[1]one spent time together, exploring their faith together. We would go to each other’s homes. We would attend Youth Group events and summer camps. We were there for the tough times and the joyous times. I received this overwhelm[1]ing feeling that my parents weren’t just taking care of my physical body. They were nurturing my spiritual body in this holy place. They wanted to make sure that I grew up with the right values in my heart—an eternal light that always told me what the right path was, even if I would fail to take it.

   Immaculate Conception has left me with no excuses. This church raised me with such selfless love. It provided me with virtues worth striving to commit to. Growing Together in Grace Antonio Lee It gave me some of the most wonderful memories of my life. Some of the longest and most meaningful relationships I treasure to this day were born in this church. I wish I had the words to articu[1]late how proud I am to say where I come from, where my soul was given final form.

   Thank you for all you have given me and all you have taught me. I pray that I can be a man worthy of having come from this holy home. If I may speak for others like myself who were raised in this church, may I say we will never for[1]get the love we were given and the sheer volume of effort put in by the church and its community to raise us to be the best versions of ourselves. The Church of Immaculate Conception shaped my life. May it continue to shine and spread its message for 40 times 40 years more!

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"성경이 하느님의 말씀이라는 사실을 언제나 생각하면서 읽으십시오. 하느님은 당신의 계명이 알려지기만 할 것이 아니라 충분히 실천되기를 원하십니다. 무엇을 해야 하는지 아는 것만으로 충분한 것이 아니라 실천해야 합니다. 성경을 마치 영혼의 거울인 것처럼 생각하면서 읽으십시오. 그렇게 하여 영혼 안에 깃든 모든 더러운 것과 나쁜 것을 벗어던져 버리고 좋은 것으로 장식하도록 하십시오. 성경을 읽는 도중에라도 자주 기도하십시오. 영적 진보를 위한 노력에서 늘 같은 것만 실천하지 말고 영혼이 좋아하는 이런저런 방법으로 변화를 가져 보십시오. 그러면 하느님께 가까이 다가가는 데에 조금 더 도움이 될 수 있습니다."(펠라지오)




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