Thursday, August 30, 2012

Celebrating Catholic Speakers...Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Edward Sri

Recently I took an “inventory” of my “gifts” as I worked through the Sherry Wedell “Called and Gifted” program. It was part of my journey of discernment and spiritual direction. “Gifts” are those abilities we’ve been given for use to build up the kingdom. They are very different from talents. Identifying and understanding your gifts really allow you to better know God’s will for your life. 

Anyhow, one of my gifts was “knowledge.” It was a fairly high score. I was a bit relieved to find this out because sometimes I drive myself crazy with all the books I read and what often feels like an overwhelming quest to “understand” things. I’m like the dog with the proverbial bone and sometimes just want to be able to let go—and yet I can’t. Not until I really “get it.”

That is where Dr. Sri comes in. His work helps me understand the things of my faith in a new and deeper way. His work lends itself to revealing insights that give the sort of “Aha!” moments I look for in my reading material. Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary’s Queenship was a profound book for me.

Dr. Edward Sri (his last name is pronounced without adding an “h” sound) has an impressive background earning a doctorate in Rome and serving as Provost and Theology Professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver. Along with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri founded FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Sri is a best-selling author and a dynamic speaker with an easy manner.

As Brandon Vogt invites us to celebrate Catholic speakers this month—and to help Catholics know about this vibrant and energetic group of men and women—it was an honor to be able to write about Dr. Sri. I’m not sure if Dr. Sri has ever formally taken the “inventory” of gifts but it is clear to me that his gifts are writing, knowledge, and teaching.

You see, a gift is a time where it isn’t the person performing the task, but the Holy Spirit. So a when a person with the gift of writing or teaching is using those gifts, the receiver (in this case the reader or the listener) gains something as if it were the Holy Spirit doing the writing or the teaching.

Of course I’m simplifying this but you get the idea.

Another important part of a person discerning their gifts is by the feedback they are given. As Catholics we don’t always go around giving people accolades for their gifts—especially those of us in the pews—and so we don’t always know what our gifts are because we don’t know that we are affecting others. Maybe you have a co-worker that is particularly good at organizing projects or events that allow people to feel productive and experience their own dignity in the project—well, that may be a gift because it speaks to the dignity of the person. And so how nice if you would let that person know!

All Catholics have gifts given to us to build up the Kingdom. Dr. Sri’s gifts are evident in his work and it is a privilege to acknowledge them here today.

To invite Dr. Sri to speak at an event, you can call the Augustine Institute in Denver at 303-937-4420.

If you’d like to see a clip of Dr. Sri in an episode of Bookmark, please click the link below:

If you’d like to listen to a small audio of Dr. Sri, please click the link below:

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