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The CFCA National Conference: Nudged by God!

Updated: May 2

By Marc Viacrucis from Soon Chapter


A few weeks ago, my wife and I attended the 35th CFCA (Couples for Christ Australia) National Conference in Prestons, NSW. Held together with a conference for our HOLD (Handmaids of the Lord) sisters, the conference ran on the weekend of the 2nd week of April following Easter, its inspiring theme resonating with a challenge: Fix your eyes on Jesus. Press on and bear fruit!


Held yearly in different states of Australia, the 3-day event was attended by over 600 participants coming from WA, SA, Victoria, QLD, Tasmania and NSW.


For me and my wife, it was just our second time attending a CFCA National Conference despite being community members of this family-based ministry of the Catholic church for a little over 10 years.


Perhaps there wasn’t much choice for me this time as New South Wales became hosts for this year and in support of our Chapter leaders, Nick and Connie, I had some vital tasks assigned to me.


In all honesty, I wasn’t too excited about attending this major conference where talks were not being delivered by Catholic apologists, Biblical experts or Theology Doctors. I held judgment even before it even started and did not share my wife’s excited mindset as I reluctantly drove ourselves to the venue.


I wrestled with this thought and prayed for guidance for surely there was a reason I was being pulled there. Get in there, Marc!


God indeed has a way of bringing you up to speed. And I have a couple of points to share.


Firstly, everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to teach. “Stand in the assembly of elders… and be ready to listen to every narrative,” Sirach testifies.


Of the different talks delivered during the conference, Talk #3 One Choice: God’s Will by Brother Raj on Christian discernment was the most compelling for me. For the intrepid life wanderer who oftentimes long for God’s guidance in all our decision makings, Discernment, as Brother Raj says, is ‘acting on what God has planned for you.’ Too often we look at Biblical characters, the forefathers and the prophets, and think how easy it was for them when they had a direct line to God.


 “God, give me a sign,” is a common catchphrase whenever we are in the precipice of a major decision.


But God does speak to us everyday. He never left.


The great Christian novelist CS Lewis wrote, “God speaks to us in our conscience.” And the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1776) further explains: Conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.


So everyday I make an effort to listen to the voice of conscience where God dwells and pray to the Almighty to conform my will to His.


Secondly, the Savior left us the church as his mystical body, as Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth. We are one and Christ left us with an ongoing mission statement, “To love one another as yourself.”


As I stood up for praise and worship in between sessions, I looked around and felt that this community dedicated to the spiritual growth of the family is here for a reason. Circumstances might have nudged me to the conference but this fellowship in Christ was there for me to witness and to espouse. For what is the aim for each one of us but to care for each other and to help bring one another closer to God. The first community of Christians in Antioch certainly understood that value and here we are more than two millennia later, the Gospel still rings true for the Apostolic church of Christ.


I thank my wife, Clavel, my better half and my moral support in all these circumstances because she keeps me grounded (especially in my often excitable state learning something new from the rich tapestry of the Catholic faith).


And for my friends in the CFCA community who have spiritually helped me along the way, thank you. Let us continue to press on and bear fruit.


Addendum:

The upbeat song Trading My Sorrows by Darrel Evans was beautifully rendered by the CFCA band and has become our go-to repeat song in our heads as Clavel and I embark on our training walks for an upcoming pilgrimage.


Yes, Lord! Yes, Lord! Yes, yes, Lord!




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