Sacred Heart students already have daily prayer time, but the new “Theosis” program launched in the school on Monday will offer high school students a special opportunity to hear from a rotation of guest speakers on a variety of topics pertaining to faith, family, and life.
Theology Instructor, TJ Beyer, kicked off the program by asking students “What is the goal of Christians??” Following a round of responses the final answer from students was “to get into Heaven.” Beyer followed up with an explanation of Theosis saying, “with Theosis we share in God’s glory and become part of God. Our prayer is that you dive deeper into that mystery to get into heaven.”
Beyer introduced the guest speaker, Mark Hollcraft, Director of Life Teen Ministries and Newman Center Outreach at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, MN. Hollcraft asked students, “what does it mean to be inspired? What inspires you?” Students supplied a variety of answers such as family, sports, and music. “Now of all those things you said, as a way of knowing, you are giving me what exactly? Opinions.” Hollcraft explained to students that sometimes we are put in a position in this world where an opinion may be used in place of fact. So our first way of knowing things is ‘opinion.’ What is the second way?” A student quickly chipped in, responding, “Facts.” Hollcraft affirmed the answer saying that through facts we can prove knowledge. “How do I know all this is true? I saw it. I experienced it. I heard it.”
“Here’s a tough one. How do you know you love someone? Love does not make sense without a third way of knowing.” Hollcraft asked students what was a third way knowing. Students responded, “Faith.”
The Miracle of Lanciano had been brought up in the event’s earlier Trivia Challenge. Hollcraft was quick to refer to this in his talk, reviewing the story with students. The miracle was a divine response to a priest who doubted about the Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist. During Mass the host was changed into live flesh and the wine was changed into real Blood. Hollcraft asks students, “What is the truth of this story? The miracle is a confirmation of something Jesus said 2,000 years ago. This is my body and my blood.”
“Think about this for a moment. The God of all the Universe created all things and in the culmination of his creation we received the Eucharist. Anything that can inspire you cannot inspire unless inspired by the One who created you.”
Bringing his talk to a close, Hollcraft again threw a question out to the students asking them how many of them wanted to inspire others. After students raised their hand he responded, “To inspire others you first need to be ready to be inspired. To breathe out you must first breathe in the Holy Spirit.”
“You guys have this unique opportunity to be in a Catholic School. Our faith is a daily decision. What are you going to let inspire you? Things of your faith or things of mediocrity? Let it be the breath of God. His breath is new life.”