Hungry for God?

anuary 15, 2016

Hungry for God?

Fasting without prayer is just dieting.
“I think I heard that on the radio at the beginning of lent this year. I realized that all those times I ‘tried’ to fast, I wasn’t praying! Are you saying ‘Duh!’? Well maybe there are a few of you like me who didn’t realize they were inseparable if you want spiritual benefits from fasting. This also explains why every diet I try isn’t really the ‘lifestyle change’ I would like it to be.

Fasting is giving up the ordinary so we can focus on the extraordinary.
I asked a friend how she would explain fasting to children. This is what she told me. Fasting is giving up the ordinary so we can focus on the extraordinary. I think she had some help from you know who(HS). This also clarified a little more for me why it is so important to replace that time/money/energy/thought that would have been invested in food with thoughts and time with God. Plus practicing this kind of self control with something so simple could easily lead to a habit of replacing occasions for sin, including gluttony, with time with God.”

Read the whole blog post by Jaclyn at Catholic Sistas.

Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Fast from snacking today. 

Ignorance May Not Be Bliss

January 14, 2016

Ignorance May Not Be Bliss

“This is a work we perform often; whether we do it as a work of mercy is another matter.  It might be helpful to give this work a different name: share the good news.  We are not called to impart information, but to “make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pt 3:15).  We are to share with others the heart of the Gospel, which Pope Francis describes in this way: ‘In this basic core, what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 36).

We cannot share what we do not have.  This work of mercy obliges us to deepen our knowledge of and love for our Catholic faith.”  (Diocese of Oakland)

During this Year of Mercy, we are called to deepen every aspect of our faith life.   There are many resources available to assist us on this path of knowledge.  Just a few include Ascension Press, Word on Fire, or Loyola Press.  Take an opportunity to review these websites and access their resources.  In your efforts to fulfill the Corporal Work of Mercy entitled “Instruct the Ignorant,” you may just find out that you are the one mired in ignorance.

Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Study the Catechism and your faith.  Begin by reading the paragraphs for this week (#661-682 and 1210-1252).

St. Edith Stein

January 13, 2016

St. Edith Stein

“In his homily at the canonization Mass of Edith Stein, a convert to Catholicism from Judaism, a Carmelite Sister, and Martyr, St. Pope John Paul II said: ‘Because she was Jewish, Edith Stein was taken with her sister Rosa and many other Catholics and Jews from the Netherlands to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where she died with them in the gas chambers. 

Today we remember them all with deep respect. A few days before her deportation, the woman religious had dismissed the question about a possible rescue: ‘Do not do it! Why should I be spared? Is it not right that I should gain no advantage from my Baptism? If I cannot share the lot of my brothers and sisters, my life, in a certain sense, is destroyed.’”

“Addressing himself to the young people gathered for the canonization, the pope said: ‘Your life is not an endless series of open doors! Listen to your heart! Do not stay on the surface but go to the heart of things! And when the time is right, have the courage to decide! The Lord is waiting for you to put your freedom in his good hands.’”

To discover more on the life of this amazing woman, please visitAmerican Catholic.

Year of Mercy Calendar for Today:  “Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love.  And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth.”  St. Edith Stein

Bringing Comfort to Those on a Rolling, Painful Journey

January 12, 2016

Bringing Comfort to Those

on a Rolling, Painful Journey

Burying the dead is the only one of the Corporal Works of Mercy not named in the parable of the sheep and the goats – “When I was hungry you gave me food. . . .” It comes from the book of Tobit: “If I saw any of my nation dead, or cast around the walls of Nineveh, I buried him” (Tobit 1:17). “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:36–55    (Diocese of Milwaukee).

“Grief is a rolling, painful journey with stops and starts and no discernable end. While no one “gets over” a death, those we love can grow through the grief. No two people grieve in the same way, and remembering that and resisting comparisons will help us support those we love.

It is in the weeks and months after the funeral when our support can mean the most. A daily phone call or email just to let the grieving person know we care can be a boost in a painful day. We can include a grieving person in lunch, dinner or other plans. At the end of the meal, I can make plans to meet my friend for coffee, giving him/her something to look forward to.

I can ignore my own discomfort with their sorrow and really listen while a grieving person shares the loss in her/his life. A touch on the arm or shoulder, a hug and careful listening help the person know how much we are present to them.”

Visit Creighton University for more ways to rediscover the corporal works of mercy.

Year of Mercy Calendar for Today:  Supply a dish for a funeral.

Dear Young People Discerning Your Vocation

January 11, 2016

Dear Young People Discerning Your Vocation 

An excerpt from a homily by Pope Francis to seminarians and novices on July 7, 2013 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Dear seminarians, dear novices, dear young people discerning your vocations: ‘Evangelization is done on one’s knees’, as one of you said to me the other day. Always be men and women of prayer! Without a constant relationship with God, the mission becomes a job. The risk of activism, of relying too much on structures, is an ever-present danger. If we look towards Jesus, we see that prior to any important decision or event he recollected himself in intense and prolonged prayer. Let us cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and pressing duties.

And the more the mission calls you to go out to the margins of existence, let your heart be the more closely united to Christ’s heart, full of mercy and love. Herein lies the secret of the fruitfulness of a disciple of the Lord! Jesus sends his followers out with no ‘purse, no bag, no sandals’ (Lk 10:4). The spread of the Gospel is not guaranteed either by the number of persons, or by the prestige of the institution, or by the quantity of available resources. What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life, which is the Lord’s Cross.”

To read the full homily, please visit Vatican News.

Year of Mercy Calendar for today:  Pray for Seminarians and Discerners this week.

A Memorable Day

January 10, 2016

A Memorable Day 

We all want to be recognized for who we really are. Today’s gospel reading describes that memorable day when Jesus had the joy of being recognized by John the Baptist and approved by God as “God’s beloved Son.” Although Jesus did not need to be baptized (since he was without sin), he wanted to identify himself as closely as possible with God’s people.

Take a few minutes today to be thankful for your Baptism. Ask Jesus to help you recognize yourself more deeply as a beloved daughter or son of God.

This Gospel reflection on Luke 3: 15-22 is from Sadlier Publishing.  Visit their site for other reflections and questions on each Sunday’s readings.

Visit Encountering the Word with Jeff Cavins for a short video on the Baptism of the Lord.

A Memorable Day

January 10, 2016

A Memorable Day 

We all want to be recognized for who we really are. Today’s gospel reading describes that memorable day when Jesus had the joy of being recognized by John the Baptist and approved by God as “God’s beloved Son.” Although Jesus did not need to be baptized (since he was without sin), he wanted to identify himself as closely as possible with God’s people.

Take a few minutes today to be thankful for your Baptism. Ask Jesus to help you recognize yourself more deeply as a beloved daughter or son of God.

This Gospel reflection on Luke 3: 15-22 is from Sadlier Publishing.  Visit their site for other reflections and questions on each Sunday’s readings.

Visit Encountering the Word with Jeff Cavins for a short video on the Baptism of the Lord.