Friday, October 21, 2016

Little Things Done With Great Love

Praise be Jesus Christ! October is my very favorite month of the year. Not only because I can wear boots, sweaters and scarves after the hot summer months, but especially because of all the incredible saint's feast days! Saint Therese, Saint Francis, Saint Faustina, and Saint Teresa of Avila just to name a few. The Saints have a very special place in our lives and are always desiring our friendships. 
Therese came into my life when I was a Junior in highschool and has stuck with me ever since. I know I can count on her to intercede for me and help me to remain childlike and joyful. 
I strongly encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit and I guarantee you will have a new friend in no time!

     -Alexa Harbor
Image result for Saint Therese

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Curiosity of Children

“Why did God make flowers?” Six-year-old Lucia asks while playing with her hair and simultaneously rocking back and forth on her heels. She is expecting the answer to be simple, like when she asks for me to read a Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story or which of the saints is my favorite, but my jaw narrowly misses hitting the floor as I realize the enormity of the question at hand. “You know Miss Lucia, I’m not sure, but I’ll pray about that and let you know when I have an answer.”
Months after this quick dialogue I found myself awake earlier than intended on a day when our SPIRITUS schedule allowed for a little bit of prudent free time, which is to say that I’d planned to sleep in, but this question hit me again like a ton of bricks. “Lord, why DID you create flowers?” At first all I could think is that flowers hold little nutritional value. After all, the difference between a flower and a weed is really just perspective, neither serve much of a purpose but one is considered pretty and the other invasive.
All at once my mind was abuzz with fully formed thoughts rather than groggy ponderings. God doesn’t make junk! In fact, everything that He creates speaks to the true, the good, and the beautiful, and St. Paul reminds us in Corinthians that these are things to which we ought to cling. A flower can’t lie, and something in its nature and beauty reminds us that its life has both value and purpose.
Somewhere along this rabbit trail I realized that we as human persons have a lot in common with flowers. The Lord didn’t have to create us, we aren’t necessary for the rest of Creation to operate; God made us for Himself! Depending on the perspective of any other person, we may be considered roses, dandelions, or even weeds but the life of every human person has dignity, value, and purpose. Some flowers are destined for bouquets, others for gardenscapes, some for the inspiration of poets, and still others are meant to bloom where they are planted. What kind of flower were you created to be?

-Annastasia Eftink

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thankful for SPIRITUS!

Hello dear sisters and brothers in the name of Jesus Christ! 
In this blog I want to share with you my happiness for being part of SPIRITUS Ministries. 

I love SPIRITUS Ministries, and I thank God for the opportunity he is giving me to be part of this great ministry. I feel the presence of Holy Trinity in this team; the people are very Godly. Every day of the week we go to mass and visit different parishes around the Mount Tabor Center, including parishes in Neenah and Appleton. I love going to adoration every day in the chapel at the Mount Tabor Center, and during that time I also pray the Holy Rosary to our Blessed Mother, the Immaculate Virgin Mary. I thank you Mr. and Mrs. Foord, all the staff at Mount Tabor Center/SPIRITUS, and donors for their friendship and support in our mission for us to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the State of Wisconsin!


René Abrahan Martínez

Monday, October 3, 2016

You Don’t Have to Work for Love

Slow down, child
You don’t have to work for love
any more

One thing that I am being reminded of more and more lately is that I don’t have to work for love. I don’t have to be perfect, say or do the right thing in order to receive God’s love. God isn’t waiting for me to do the right thing to love me. Because he loves me in my brokenness.
But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

This isn’t always easy for me to remember. In the business of my daily life, living in community, and preparing for retreats and events, I often forget that I don’t have to impress the Father with my works. I simply have to be and to allow Him to love me. Unfortunately, sometimes He has to remind me in more dramatic ways that I am loved as I am for who I am, not for what I do. Thank goodness my salvation and His love don’t depend upon how good I am, because I would never be able to measure up.

So slow down, child.
Let Him love you.
You don’t have to work for His love.
Just be with Him.
Let Him love you.

Mikayla Uchytil

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Journey From The Head To The Heart

Here at SPIRITUS, we are so blessed to have an incredible network of support aiding us in our communal journey, as well as our individual faith journeys. I believe that SPIRITUS helps form our faith in such a way that we can better live it from the heart as opposed to the head.  Blessed (almost Saint) Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said that, ‘the longest journey a man must take is the 18 inches between his head to his heart.”  As evangelizers, it does not suffice to merely know about our faith.  We must also develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as gain insight into how God is working personally in our lives.  In this way we begin to make that transition from living our faith in our head to living our faith from the inside out, from our hearts. 



One of my favorite things about Wisconsin is simply being surrounded by so much beauty. I love the outdoors, and I really enjoy spending our prudent days of self-care (what we call our days off) exploring the beauty all around us. Some of my teammates and I love hiking, so we have gone over to places like High Cliff quite a few times to adventure through the woods. Or other times some of us took the trip over to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, another stunning area of Wisconsin. Or I’m even recalling the nights that we spent at Camp Tekakwitha back in August, where I could look up at the sky and see more stars than I’ve ever seen before in my life.

We are surrounded by all these breathtaking masterpieces created by God, and we so often take these little things for granted, everyday wonders like the sunset that go unnoticed. But God is so present in this beauty, and a lot of the time it is by exploring His incredible creation I feel closest to Him. Because this beauty truly reflects His glory. No matter how many times I see the sunset, no matter how many times I look up at the stars or watch the snow fall all around me, God never ceases to impress me. To bring my attention to these simple yet so profound works of art because He knows they make me smile. In the middle of a hike, I often take a minute and pause just to listen to the silence, hearing nothing but the birds or the rustling leaves, a symphony so beautiful because it was written by God Himself. Or when I get to the place with the perfect view, I just stop and soak it all in. And as I feel the wind rushing around me, hear Him whisper in it “See all this that I created? You are even more precious to me.” Nothing can compare to the feelings of amazement and wonder, and all that overflows me in these moments is gratitude to God for such beauty and for the opportunities to meet Him in His creation. 

Throughout my time with Spiritus, I have certainly encountered God through the students on retreats, through prayer, and through my teammates, but another way that I am increasingly coming to experience Him is by just going outside and appreciating the nature around me. And something as simple as that is a prayer in itself.


A Prudent Day of Self Care

Being in SPIRITUS, we often get the question "Do you guys get any free time and if so what do you do?". Things to do around here are much different than what I have experienced from my last few years living in Portland, Oregon. Honestly though, nothing beats being in a beautiful community waking up every morning knowing that what you're doing has purpose by building God’s kingdom. However, even though we are extremely busy about once a week we do get a day we like to call our "prudent day of self care” a.k.a a "missionary’s day without a strict plan of where or what we need to be doing". On these days we like to do all kinds of different things but I think the majority would agree extra rest is a must.

We've had some pretty fun adventures on these days! I can’t lie,one of my favorite pastimes of SPIRITUS has been going to Culvers. As a native Southwestern Arizona girl I didn’t understand the marvels of a cheese curd and the exquisite taste of custard ice cream melting in my mouth!


Often one of the team members and I will go and hand out Divine Mercy cards and strike up conversations with the staff. Besides Culver’s though we often go on cool adventures to places like High Cliff for hiking or every now and then to a city.  On one occasion, half the team went to La Crosse, Wisconsin for Alexa's birthday, which was awesome! While we were there we went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe! It was stunning and we even got to pray with a first class relic of St. Gianna Molla and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. During the day we also went up to the bluffs that overlooked all of La Crosse and you could even see three states from that spot! On our other prudent days of self care one of the main things a few of the team members and I do is go to the YMCA. Often we’ll work out but let’s be honest, most of the time we just love to use the hot tub because the winters here are FREEZING!
May God’s Blessings Be Poured More Abundantly Upon you!
In Christ,