Quotes from ARISE Participant Evaluations Lent 2010 - New Heart, New Spirit
The first session reflects on Jesus’ desert experience as a model for shaping our life choices, and measuring them against the values of the Gospel. The second session explores the transforming power of forgiveness. The third session faces up to the challenge of ever raising up, always building a new, and in particular how we are called to do this both as individuals, and as Church. The Lenten theme of light is central to session four, with the invitation to shine the light of Christ onto, into, and through our lives. Our reflection in session five is on the great sign of Lazarus being called back into life. The final session invites us to reflect on the great gift of new and renewed life that God offers us in Christ: we are a new creation.
The Scripture from this final session gives the title to the whole season, affirming our belief that God’s promise, through the prophet Ezekiel, to give his people New Heart, New Spirit is made real in our lives through Christ and the great Easter mystery.
Here are comments from ARISE participants all over the Archdiocese of Boston on the various themes of the sessions.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation:
- As a group we went to Reconciliation together. We hosted a simple soup supper on a Friday followed by Stations.
- I was encouraged enough to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation after a more than 10 year hiatus. I also attended the “holy hours” on Wednesday nights and enjoyed just being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
- Provoked a serious examination of conscience about anger, injury and the need of reconciliation.
- Session 4- the account of how the Sacrament of Reconciliation provided peace and pardon from years of anger and unforgiveness toward a father moved me.
- I will pray more and go to confession.
- Reconciliation was my favorite. It really stressed how important it is not only to ask for forgiveness but to also forgive myself and move on.
- All the sessions touched me but reconciliation made me think.
- I have not been to confession for 2 years and as an elder, I did not feel the need to go but know I am not perfect. After a couple of days of examination of conscience I gathered the courage to go!
- The invitation to act suggestion was good. I’ve been trying to go to confession more often and I went to the Triduum.
- The ARISE group invited me to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
- My faith sharing group invited me to go to confession.
- I am going to Reconciliation!
- Seriously considering receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
- Do what God does every day: forgive us of our sins.
- This season we were challenged to listen to the message and change our lives, confront our issues and faults and become better persons.
- I was moved by the prayer of forgiveness, the Service of Apology, in Session 4.
- I was touched by session 5 – This session reflected on forgiveness. Forgiveness frees one of anger and guilt and helps one to move positively on with life.
- I will focus my time on my relationship with God.
- I’m glad this tough issue was addressed this season. I found that the issue of forgiveness is so necessary for healing. It was appropriate that we could reflect our call to do forgiveness work during Lent.
- It helped me handle forgiveness in a new way.
- There was a need for me to reconcile with a friend and expressing it out loud was a beginning step and a huge one.
- The need to forgive in order to heal touched me.
- It inspired me to be more forgiving and less judgmental of others in my personal relationships. Also, I have prayed and fasted more for healing in the church.
- Season 4 helped me forgive someone.
- Season 4 helped me let go of resentment.
- We unbind the wounds of the other.
- It is extraordinary how much people keep inside and the peace that follows forgiveness.
- One of our spouses returned to the church. He received an annulment and the couple’s marriage was validated before our entire ARISE group.
- Husband and wife will work to make their marriage canonically valid.
- We had an honest discussion about the sexual abuse scandal that has so deeply hurt us as Catholics. It was good to speak openly about it.
- The sharing of our feelings from the “Church crisis”: our agreement that Jesus sustains us and that the darkness is overcome by the light.
- My Action response: I am reaching out to a parishioner who left the Church.
- Our members volunteer for the Pine Street Inn on Thursday.
- We are helping several people in financial need who had lost jobs recently.
- We provided rosary beads to the Religious Education pupils and we plan to have a night when we will pray the Rosary with them.
- Our RCIA Program has new and returning Catholics.
- We participated in a gift wrapping fundraiser for a HIV group founded and run by a member.
- We donated money to the World Apostolate of Fatima who in turn is sending us 200 packages of Rosary beads for our CCD Program.
- We are hopeful to begin a meal sharing program with seniors of our parish.
- We are moved to act: provide for children in our own parish who are hungry.
- I will go out and meet fellow parishioners and invite disenchanted Catholics to return to the faith.
- We do have one member of our group who had stayed away and has joined the group to become recommitted to the faith and the Catholic Church.
- One couple came to ARISE. The husband will be baptized.
- As Lent approached I explored the possibility of adapting the ARISE program to build community among residents of both the nursing home and the retirement community.
- It encouraged me to keep introducing myself to people in our parish because each one I meet makes the parish feel more like a family.
- I was new and brought a friend who was new also. We felt welcomed!
- The more we shared our life stories the more we bonded spiritually.
- The program has deepened my faith in the Christian Community.
- Be more open to ‘listening to God’ in my daily life.
- Beyond grief there is hope.
- Watching how the Holy Spirit is moving among us and helping us grow continues to amaze and delight me.
- Many thanks for letting me take part in the program ARISE.
- Session 6 “Sharing Newness” - the birth of a grandchild – never be the same again.
- I have learned so much from others in my group about the Catholic faith and the Bible.
- Season 4 gave me Tuesday evenings to quiet my life and share my faith with others “new friends”.
- We have a wonderful group of people that are spiritual, kind, compassionate and open.
- I see life differently now.
- Our differences melt away.