BEAUFORT—Matthew Kelly arrived at St. Peter Church to a sellout crowd. The founder of The Dynamic Catholic Institute began the Feb. 11 event by telling the crowd, “God wants you to become a phenomenal decision maker,” and ended by sharing what he calls “the biggest lie in the history of Christianity.”
“Holiness is not possible for me,” he said. “That’s what we tell ourselves. Once you accept the lie, you become completely neutralized. Christianity becomes a spectator sport.”
Kelly’s afternoon conference, “Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose”, was packed with important lessons. For example, to become good decision makers, he said people must rely on best practices and commit to learning and continuous improvement, because good decisions come mostly from personal clarity.
One of the most recognized messages of Kelly’s energetic ministry is to “know who we are, what matters most and what matters least,” as that will lead us to become the best version of ourselves.
Personal clarity is best discovered in silence and solitude, he said, adding that we need less voices in our head so we can hear the voice of God.
When we really take time and make room for God, we recognize our legitimate needs, our talents and abilities, and our deepest desires, he said. We begin to understand the difference between needs and wants, Kelly continued.
“Getting what you want doesn’t make you happy,” he said. “You simply can’t get enough of what you don’t really need.”
Eventually, as aware Christians, the Gospel and love rearrange our priorities, he said.
After a break, Kelly introduced Matt Scherr, senior development officer for Dynamic Catholic, who shared statistics about the Catholic Church in the United States.
“Of the 1.7 million children who are baptized Catholic, only 150,000 will be practicing when they are 22 years old; and 85 percent of kids who get confirmed will leave the church within seven years of their confirmation,” Scherr said.
Kelly followed by explaining how programs such as Blessed, which targets first communion and reconciliation, and Decision Point, developed to engage young Catholics on their journey to confirmation, can help turn these statistics around.
Kelly ended by thanking Deacon Tom Cook and his wife Ellen, along with Fathers Paul MacNeil and Andrew Trapp, and all the volunteers for their efforts in hosting his team.
He followed that by presenting two suggestions for people to become their best Christian selves, noting that the idea is to make one good decision at a time.
“Read the Gospels for 15 minutes each day for one year, “he suggested. “Or, because the Mass is the central experience of Catholicism, ask before Mass, ‘God, show me one way in this Mass that I can become a better version of myself’ and then listen.”
People can also opt to write one thing down that they can apply to their life.
“Then offer this prayer: ‘God, I am 100 percent available. I’ll do whatever You ask me to do. Just show me. Just lead me.’ Then get ready, because now is our time, your time.”