||How and Why Do We Meet?
We benefit from 2,000 years of Catholic writings,the sacrifices and prayers of countless martyrs, the exemplary lives of the Saints, the profundity of the Doctors, the revelations of the Mystics, and the infallibility of the Popes and Councils. This Catholic patrimony obligates us to practice and perpetuate our Catholic culture, support the Church with our assent, and study the deposit of faith. This patrimony can assume inexpressible proportions within the authority of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. In fact, the reach and extent of our Catholic Faith can be intimidating. You might honestly ask, "Where do we start?" or "How do we systematically study Catholicism?" Let's be honest, if we all lived to be 200 years old we could barely scratch the surface of the rich deposit of Faith that we have been blessed with. Add to that the busy schedules and myriad of responsibilities the busy layperson of today is juggling and the thought of even trying can be overwhelming!
But like the bite of a northwoods mosquito our souls cry out for us to at least try to scratch that itch that ultimately only God can satisfy. The Oratory meets only one night each month, and there is no attendance taken. Over the course of a year the hours add up and before you know it you have learned a tremendous amount about your faith that will help you in your walk with Christ.
Members of the Oratory are asked every month for input on future topics - so you know you will hear about the things that are important to you. Presentations are rotated among different members, and there is no requirement for you to present if you do not want, will not or are not able to be a presenter. One or more priests attends every meeting to correct any mistakes, elaborate on any deficiencies, and advise and direct us in our presentations. They provide prayers and blessings, and represent the groups' support and recognition of the authority of the Church. The priests take the place of St. Philip Neri in our modern meetings and provide the necessary spiritual direction for a group such as ours. We are not out to change the Church - but to allow the Holy Spirit and the Church to change us!
In the following prayer Pope Paul VI prays for docility to Church authority. This prayer reveals a humility, gratitude and understanding that we hope is manifested by the Oratory and its members.
Lord, I believe: I wish to believe in Thee.
Lord, let my faith be full and unreserved, and let it penetrate my thoughts and my way of judging Divine and human things.
Lord, let my faith be joyful and give peace and gladness to my spirit, and dispose it for prayer with God and conversation with men so that the inner bliss of its fortunate possession may shine forth in sacred and secular conversation.
Lord, let my faith be humble and not presume to be based on the experience of my thoughts or feelings; but let it surrender to the testimony of the Holy Spirit and not have any better guaruntee than in docility to Tradition and to the authority of the magesterium of the Holy Church.