I fell in love with my husband over a cup of hot chocolate. Ten years ago, we were on a ferry to PEI. As members of CCO’s mission to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, we were going to a team-building session. I hadn’t known Ben for long when he bought me a hot chocolate. But what really caught my attention was he also bought hot chocolates for two strangers whom we had just met. If this was an attempt to impress me, it worked! I was struck by his generosity.
In that moment, Ben’s kindness gave me a window into his heart and his continued generosity over the years has given me a glimpse into the heart of Christ. As the saying goes, no matter how generous we are with God, we can never outdo God in His generosity toward us.
The journey of our domestic church started with our wedding six years ago, and since then, God has given us the incredible gifts of three children. God has so generously proven His love for each of us by dying on the cross and rising to eternal life. What other response can there be than a heart full of gratitude and a desire to share this news? And so, a heart for the lost – for those who haven’t yet heard the Gospel – fuels our mission as a married couple. We were the lost before CCO reached out and introduced us to a personal relationship with Jesus.
We are so grateful for how our lives have changed for the better since making an adult decision to follow Christ, and we want to share that joy of the Gospel with others. We try to be evangelists in our daily lives using the tools we’ve learned through CCO.
The main tool we’ve learned is simply to always have a desire to live and share our faith. For us, some ways in which that takes shape are:
- raising our children in the faith
- creating opportunities for faith conversations in the workplace
- leading CCO’s Discovery study at the parish level
- co-ordinating a mothers’ group at our parish
- visiting with the sick, mourning, and poor
- striving for our home to be a place of welcome
As CCO alumni, we want to continue to be protagonists in the New Evangelization in our current state in life. Our focus has gone from campus to community — the parish, the school, the neighbourhood, social media, our extended family. The possibilities are endless. One example: for the past two years Ben and I have taken turns leading a Discovery study. Two autumns ago, I led a Discovery study for mothers in the evening, while Ben tended to our children. Then this past spring Ben led couples from the parish in a CCO Discovery study while I watched the children.
Giving from a heart of gratitude also extends to our resources. Every time we share our means with others, it’s an opportunity for us to grow: truly, it is when we give that we receive. Supporting CCO missionaries and projects helps to keep us connected to the broader movement and to that inner disposition of having a heart for the lost.
While our aim is to be perfected in the faith, we often miss the mark. Yet, becoming saints remains the desire of our hearts, and our goal is to help guide our family and as many others as possible to heaven, through the grace of God. With hearts full of gratitude in thanks for God’s generous love, we hope you will continue to join us on the journey to the Father.
by Sara Francis, CCO Alumni
This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Grapevine.