I am delighted to post my first guest blog by my daughter, singer-songwriter Kara Klein. Kara will be posting here occasionally, when she's not on the road singing and ministering to the youth. Enjoy!
“Good morning Holy Spirit! Good morning my life!” In Communita Cenacolo, a lay Catholic community in which I spent a year of my life, over 2,000 members in 65 houses around the world wake up every morning to these words.
Mother Elvira Petrozzi, a fiery, fearless, faith-filled nun, started this community 30 years ago when she began taking in addicts off the streets and bringing them to a dilapidated house in northern Italy. There she taught them to pray, depend on God’s Providence, and rebuild their lives. But more than anything else, in these three decades, amidst a culture death, this courageous nun has spread like wildfire to thousands of young people the joy of living.
“Life is a gift from God, born from His heart, which is love. No one can enter into the heart of our life for us. It is a personal journey,” she says. In the last five years of my journey with this community I have watched many people—young and old, children and parents—walk from darkness into light and rediscover the joy of living. Not because life suddenly went the way they wanted it to go, or they discovered some magical secret, but because they encountered Someone: Jesus Christ, who wants to set our hearts free.
The culture of death in which we live goes far beyond abortion, murder and war: at its heart is a generation that does want to live their own lives. And if we do not believe that our lives are truly worth living, how can we fight for the lives of those around us?
As I recently led worship for Cenacolo’s annual Festival of Life in St. Augustine, FL, a priest from Italy spoke of Mother Elvira. Even now, in her 80s, unable to talk or do much of anything, she is still smiling, in love with Jesus and those around her, and in love with her life. Life, in her eyes, is worth living until the day God takes her home, even if it means suffering, for she knows that the cross is the way to the resurrection.
Hearing this, I couldn’t help but think of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer, who recently took her own life so she could avoid suffering and “die with dignity.” When did suffering become undignified?
With the eyes of faith, suffering is so very precious, for it becomes the sacred space that God uses to work miracles in our lives, pour out His grace, and show us His goodness and mercy. As Mother Teresa says, “God cannot fill what is full.”
This community has changed my heart in so many ways, but perhaps more than anything, it has invited me to embrace the cross, as well as embrace the fullness of life, hand in hand. How do we do this? Through love. Love hurts, love sacrifices, but love fills our hearts with joy! May we become a generation unafraid to love, unafraid of the cross, unafraid of the beautiful resurrection to which it leads, and unafraid to live our own lives to the full.
Kara Klein is a six time award-winning Catholic recording artist, worship leader and inspirational speaker, who has released five original albums and appeared on four international television programs. For the past ten years Kara has traveled the globe, calling people of all ages to embrace, fall in love with and rediscover the joy of life in Christ, and to believe that life is a glorious gift from God that is truly worth living. For more information on her ministry, please visit her website, www.karaklein.com.