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Showing posts with the label Evangelii Gaudium

Keeping Watch with Jesus in Holy Week

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Prayer is the place where "heart speaks to heart," as John Henry Cardinal Newman says. Using Scripture, we can enter into Jesus' experience of Holy Week; we can place our hearts into his. We can read the Passion accounts of the Gospels and ask Jesus for the gift of compassion, of suffering with him in his agony. Jesus himself invites us to do this when, in the midst of his agony in the garden, he calls to his disciples and to us:

Remain here and keep watch with me. Matthew 26:38

St. Ignatius of Loyola proposes a deeply personal and imaginative way to remain with Jesus. A master strategist and student of the human soul, St. Ignatius articulated a process of praying with Scripture that allows us to encounter Jesus personally. This kind of imaginative prayer engages all the senses and has come to be known as Ignatian Contemplation. At the Apostleship of Prayer, we call it praying with the heart.

Join me at Praying with Grace for a mini-retreat in imaginative prayer!

Are You a Querulous and Disillusioned Sourpuss?

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I've slowly been reading my way through Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).   I will be sharing things that I find particularly edifying over the next several posts.  Today's snippet is talking about not allowing the immense evil we see all around us rob us of the joy of our faith.  He also calls us to not lose hope and become pessimistic sourpusses that want to separate "the wheat from the weeds" before it's time.  In other words, we shouldn't develop a separatist attitude from the Church and the world.  Although we are living in a spiritual desert right now, families are still called to preserve and communicate the faith.  We have to be vigilant in living the Spirit of the Gospel in our homes and workplace and do our part to "point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive."  Pope Francis says "we are called to be living water from which others can drink." To read m…

Checking In with Pope Francis

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Just over a year ago, Pope Francis gave the world his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, in which he extends an invitation:
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.

So how are we doing?

Check in at Praying with Grace to take a little prayer quiz!

Love Notes from God

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When I asked which Bible verse makes people feel most loved, the answers were surprising. Very few verses mentioned love at all. Many people were deeply affected by descriptions of Jesus' agony, suffering, and death on the Cross to save us. Others were amazed by all God had promised to give to us and how close he had to be, how far he had to stoop, to give us these gifts. But everyone had a different favorite. It made me realize how intensely each line of the Bible speaks to us. God's strength and love shine through his Word with the power to pierce every human heart.

Read more here

'You are the salt of the earth . . . the light of the world.' Sunday Reflections, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Sermon on the Mountain Károly Ferenczy, 1896 [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16 (New RevisedStandard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Sophie Scholl  (9 May 1921 - 22 February 1943)
One of the darkest periods in the history of the world was 1939 to 1945…

'This is my beloved Son . . .' Sunday Reflections, The Baptism of the Lord, Year A

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The Baptism of Christ, El Greco, painted 1608-28 [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 3:13-17 (New RevisedStandard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented.And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were openedand he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him;and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased.”

Today's Feast of the Baptism of the Lord brings the liturgical season of Chri…