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Showing posts with the label Morning Offering

Whispers in the Pew: Get Going!

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This is the last of six articles for families on celebrating the Sunday Mass. My washing machine broke. A tiny plastic piece in the detergent compartment disappeared. Don’t ask me how—it’s one of life’s mysteries related to the Final Resting Place of socks that vanish from the dryer. Whatever. I ordered the part, tracked the package’s progress online, and ripping open the envelope, discovered my simple piece of plastic. Predictable enough, I suppose. Even so, I still felt a little thrill when I saw a package waiting for me in the mailbox. I can’t be the only one who hasn’t quite outgrown the charm of receiving a special delivery. Sending and receiving packages connects us to one another. And knowing a package is meant just for me—regardless of its contents—lifts my spirits. As our “Whispers in the Pew” series draws to a close, we consider the very end of Mass.

Read all about it at Praying with Grace!

The Perfect Sandwich for Lent

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I'll keep this short! I know everyone has a lot of blog reading to do today before the Lenten hush sets in over the Internet.

Here's a quick and delicious recipe for Lent, the perfect sandwich you can enjoy every single day in the season of purple: The PRAYER sandwich.

Check out the "recipe" at Praying with Grace!

The Grace of YES!

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Her name is Fiat.
That cute little goldfish--her name is Fiat.

Fiat, of course, is Latin for let it be done. In Lisa Hendey's brand-new book, The Grace of Yes, Fiat is both the charming little goldfish on the cover as well as the simple yet profound theme guiding readers through the pages of the book. The Grace of Yes explores eight virtues that help us build a habit of generosity.

The goldfish name surfaced (ha! fish pun!) after CatholicMom.com hosted a "Name the Goldfish" contest. The goldfish is essentially just a decoration, I realize, but the community goldfish-naming phenomenon is no mere ornament; the CatholicMom.com clever fish-naming campaign epitomizes the way Lisa--the site's founder-- habitually reaches out to others. Since the year 2000, when Lisa launched CatholicMom.com out of her California home, Lisa's work has connected countless moms (and other people) seeking to integrate faith into daily life.

Read more as part of today's Grace of Yes blogg…

Praying with Music

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Come! Let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy
to the rock who saves us.
Let us approach him
with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.
Psalm 95:1-2
"Americans spend more money on music than on sex or prescription drugs."
"There is no known culture now or anytime in the past that lacks [music], and some of the oldest human-made artifacts found at archaeological sites are musical instruments."
Both of these provocative lines come from books written by Dr. Daniel J. Levitin. The first is from his 2006 best seller This Is Your Brain on Music: the Science of a Human Obsession, and the second is from his more recent book (2008), The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature. Once a professional musician, sound engineer, and record producer, Levitin is now a neuroscientist who runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University.
In The World in Six Songs, Levitin explains that when people sing togeth…

A Family Fast

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In these last days of September, we continue to pray for Pope Francis' Evangelization Intention this month: Service to the Poor. Pope Francis knows serving the poor is a divine mandate: "Whatever you do for one of these least brothers of mine, you do for me" (Matthew 25:40). We must serve the poor as Jesus did, as he continues to call us to do as the Body of Christ on earth. But the Pope calls this month's prayer request an evangelization intention, because he knows serving the poor also attracts others to Jesus and his Church. We share the Good News of Jesus in our deeds--if not also in our words--when we care for the poor and disenfranchised.

As a mother and as the director of children's ministry at the Apostleship of Prayer, I love to consider how to help children encounter poverty in a prayerful way. Many, many children know poverty from the inside, of course. Even in this prosperous country of ours, too many children experience hunger, poor nutrition, homeles…

Adapting for Disabilities

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. . . Suffering and sin pressed on me heavily this morning, making me feel constricted, helpless. Feeling burdened and discouraged, I boarded the bus for work. Immediately I noticed something new on the bus: a PA system recently installed that announces every upcoming stop. I couldn't help but notice the new system, because it's loud and relentless. The computerized voice blared out each bus stop as we approached:

120th Street!
118th Street!
Watertown Plank Road and 116th Street!
Watertown Plank Road and Mayfair Road! Transfer to Route 31, State Street Branch!

Given how deflated I was feeling, my first reaction was to be annoyed by the new two-block warning system. And then, by God's providence, I started to imagine why the automated voice had been installed in the first place.

Read on at Praying with Grace

Imaginative Prayer: Switching Up the Prayer Routine

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Does your summer bend the rules a bit? In our house, bedtimes become a little fuzzier, trips to the pool cut piano practicing short, and french fries count as a vegetable at cookouts. The ambling summer months feel expansive, and spending time outside on long sunny days gives one plenty of "scope for
imagination," as Anne of Green Gables would say.

Imagination is always available, of course, but sometimes the leisure of summertime reminds us how creative we can be. Slow days ease the rigidity of lock-step schedules, and imaginative play breathes life into our family activities. Suddenly that pile of leftover mulch becomes a human ant hill. A bucket of water becomes a stew, flavored with rock-onions, twig-carrots, and maple-leaf-spices. My brothers and I always pretended the cracks in our driveway were cavities in a giant's tooth, and we (newly appointed dentists) had to clean out all the gravel with sticks before the giant's anesthesia wore off. Ah, summer!

Call me cr…

Are you making a daily morning offering?

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St. Francis de Sales is the master of the spiritual life for lay people. His book, Introduction to the Devout Life teaches us how we can grow closer to God while living out our lives as spouses or single people in the world.

One of the practices St. Francis urges his readers to make a habit of is the morning offering. In fact he says, “Never omit this practice.” A morning offering sets the tone for your day. It helps you acknowledge that the day is God’s, not your own. It can give you the strength you need to face trials, peace amid busy schedules, and added grace for unforeseen temptations.

I confess I was never taught to make my own morning offering as a child. We sometimes had family prayer in the morning. At Catholic elementary school we started the day with prayer. But no one told me I should make a private morning offering until I was much older. I found it hard to take up the practice, and even harder to maintain it over the long-term.


Read the rest at Contemplative H…