By Rachel Noel/Freelance Writer, OND
E. Grand Forks – On Sept. 22, Sacred Heart, East Grand Forks, hosted Find Your Greatness. It was presented by Dynamic Catholic, a mission founded by Matthew Kelly to re-energize the Catholic Church in America.
More than 200 people attended the event which was part of Sacred Heart’s 125th Jubilee celebration. Jonathan Fanning was the keynote speaker, and musician Kevin Heider provided live entertainment.
Fanning was a successful Fortune 20 company consultant right out of college but felt empty.
“Saint Augustine said: ‘Our hearts are restless until they rest in you’ meaning we don’t find happiness until we find God. I wasn’t looking for God, though. I was raised Catholic, but for years I would get to mass as late as I could get there, and I would leave as early as I could leave,” Fanning said.
A life-altering car accident transformed his outlook, causing him to question his path.
“One game changer from the accident was I started to ask myself, ‘Who are you becoming? A year from now you will either be more patient than you are now, or not. One year from now you will either be better at letting the people in your life know how much they matter to you, or you won’t,’” he said.
Fanning encouraged attendees to examine their daily lives and insert gratitude wherever possible.
“What if you decided today that you are going to pick one person in your life and thank them for making a difference in your life? Imagine if every Sunday during Mass you prayed: ‘God, help me figure out one person in my world that I could be appreciative of this week.’ Would that be a game changer for you? Something so small could make a huge impact in your life, as well as the lives of the people around you,” he said.
Fanning said Dynamic Catholic’s goal is to meet people in their faith journeys and get them where God wants them to be. He shared four practices of highly-engaged Catholics: prayer, study, generosity and evangelization.
“These are four habits that will help you to live out the genius of Catholicism in your everyday life. Don’t get bored doing the things that lead to greatness. So often in our faith journey we get bored. God is extremely interested in having a relationship with you, but when do you give him your time – when everything is perfect, or when you are in despair?” he said.
Fanning also highlighted that more people are leaving the Catholic faith than ever before, and at a heartbreakingly alarming rate.
“There is genius in Catholicism and some people walk away without having any idea what they are walking away from. Reformers have no idea what they are doing, because they have no idea what they are undoing. If you have a topic that you are wrestling over with God, if there are things about our faith that you struggle with, pray about it, and talk to people who understand the depth of our faith,” he said.
Fanning explained that while we all resist at times, God persistently works to strengthen our faith in him.
“Everyone has one big thing that is keeping us from getting closer to God. Maybe you are too impatient, too selfish, or too concerned with money. You know whatever it is, and God is trying to help you through it to get closer to him. Surrender and let God pull you through,” said Fanning.
He stressed the importance of setting aside distractions to spend time in peace with God.
“In today’s world, we do not have enough time in silence. In the silence you will find God, and in the silence, you will find yourself. You will not make two greater discoveries in your life,” said Fanning.
To learn more about Dynamic Catholic, visit www.dynamiccatholic.com.
Sacred Heart’s Quasquicentennial Jubilee celebration will continue March 2, 2019, with a Called & Gifted Workshop where Christ’s faithful can discover how to live a life worthy of God’s calling.
For a complete agenda of all upcoming events in celebration of Sacred Heart’s 125th jubilee, visit www.sacredheartegf.net/parish/jubilee-year.