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Showing posts with the label Prayer

Our Lady of Fatima Feast Day and Call to Prayer

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Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marking the first of six visitations to three children in Fatima, Portugal. On May 13,1917, Lucia dos Santos, and Francisco and Jacinta Marto were tending their sheep when Mary first appeared to them, asking them to come to that same place on the 13th of every month for the next few months. Our Lady of Fatima Calls Us to Pray the Rosary In her visitations, Our Lady asked them to pray the Rosary daily to obtain peace. This request was made at the time of the first World War. On her third visitation, Our Blessed Mother gave the children a prayer to recite. We now say this prayer at the end of each of the five decades of the Rosary: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy. In her apparitions, Our Blessed Mother continuously requested prayers for the reparation of sinners. Many times, when we recite the Rosary, we do just that; we pray for the reparatio…

Lent and My Spiritual Closet

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Have you decided yet how you will make the most of this Lenten season that begins today – Ash Wednesday? I find this time of year to be quite cathartic, in that I use it to make things right with God. In essence, I clean out my “spiritual closet.” I look for those things in my life that I want to keep, such as prayer time, good deeds, etc. and find a dedicated place for them in my spiritual closet. Then, I find those areas of my life that need to be tossed – you know – those sins that need to be thrown out. I take them to the Confessional and leave them with God. He knows what to do with them. It’s my way of placing everything in its right order. What’s in Your Spiritual Closet? How will you spend your Lenten season to prepare your soul for sharing in Christ’s Resurrection? What will you do to place everything in right order within your life? Some people like to give up their favorite foods/drink as a sacrifice for our Lord. Others give of themselves to meet the needs of the less fort…
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Lent starts March 6 this year. It's a time for abstinence, prayer and penance, among other things, which is why we've got rules about Fridays and fish.

Following "fish" rules to the letter, I could splurge on lobster thermidor each Friday. I won't. The household can't afford it, for one thing. For another, gourmet dining isn't what Lent is about.

I'll talk about fish, fasting and my goals for Lent. Briefly.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Wisdom from the Western Isles - Book Review

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If you want to grow in spirituality, and learn the mystic way, then you will want to get a copy of David Torkington’s Wisdom from the Western Isles. In this thought provoking book, we meet the main character, Peter Calvay, a mystic in his own right. He acts as a spiritual guide for a young man named James. Torkington does a masterful job at interweaving the stories of the two men’s lives, who are completely different. James is Protestant, searching for meaning in his life. Peter is a middle-aged Catholic, who experienced much spiritual growth and is considered a mystic. Through Peter’s kindness and willingness to share his experiences and knowledge with James, we all get the benefit of Peter’s Wisdom from the Western Isles. The story is set in Torkington’s native England, thus the reference to the Western Isles. Peter Calvay teaches us how to pray, and why we should pray daily. One of my favorite lines states, “Prayer is a process of continual inner conversion that involves gently tr…

In a Crisis, I Found Refuge in Infused Prayer

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In the midst of a family crisis, I found refuge in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us. When we are open to the Holy Spirit, the Father shines His purifying light on us. The process is often painful, though, because when the light of the Father comes into our hearts and lives, the darkness is pushed out. Looks like I must be open to God’s work because my whole life has been shattered by decades-old secrets revealed by angry adult children. The whole process is messy but God breaks through my anxiety some days so I can respond to His call for complete surrender. However, like most mothers, I try to fix problems only to make situations worse. Back and forth I go, from heavenly peace to a state of sheer panic when I can hardly function. However, through it all, I know God is using this mess to bring healing to the whole family, just like He is healing His entire Church. Our only recourse is to draw closer to the heart of the Lord and give Him our fiat, in the middle of our confusion an…

Addressing the Post-Christmas Blues

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After all the baking, shopping, wrapping, partying and entertaining guests, do you experience post-Christmas blues? It can be quite a shock to the system, to suddenly slow down so much, that you don’t know what to do with your time. Rather than get depressed about it, use this time to reconnect with God. He is there waiting to hear from you; waiting to recharge your batteries. Reconnect with God Through Prayer Seek the solace of His guidance, friendship and love. I find the recitation of the daily Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet to be a great way to start the conversation with God, who knows me better than I know myself. He knows what’s in my heart, what is causing me concern, as well as my dreams. He also knows how to solve my problems. Through prayer, be ready to listen. Reconnect with God Through Reading of Scripture God has so much to tell us, and it’s all written down in the Bible, which is not some old book meant for people from ancient times. God’s Word is... Read more...

Lent is a Week Away! Are You Ready to Make It Fruitful?

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Can you believe it? Lent is only one week away! We’ve barely left the Christmas season, and we are about to walk the journey, with Christ, to Calvary. Are you prepared to enter the Lenten season? Are you ready to make the most of it?

Things You Can Do to Make Your Lent Fruitful
Prayer: Make a point to set aside a few minutes each day to pray. If you have enough time to say a full Rosary, great! But, sometimes, the day gets away from us. So, a vow to say a single Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be is a commitment I think we all could easily make. Prayer is talking with God. He wants to hear from you!Fasting: At a minimum, make the effort to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting, I mean a reduced breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner. No desserts! If you can do this on a set day of the week, once weekly during Lent, all the better! Fasting helps us to understand that without God, we are nothing. It is God who provides for us: our homes, our jobs, our food, everything!Almsg…

Man-Made Spirituality versus Communion With God

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After a few decades of dry spiritual exercises, Catholics either become just like the Pharisees who thought they were holy because they acted and looked holy on the outside or if they are honest with themselves, they become so frustrated they lose hope, believing communion with God is only for ancient saints or a few chosen ones. Most settle for a man-made spirituality when God offers all intimate communion with Him. The truth is a vibrant, joyful relationship with Christ is simply the normal Christian life when we learn how to surrender to God and let go of control. For years, I did not understand the subtle difference between authentic and man-made spirituality.  It is not an easy distinction to make; most of us remain in delusion until a spiritual director can shake some sense into us. For myself, I tried to force God to relate to me on my own terms. Since God refused to be manipulated, the harder I tried to grow closer to Him, the more I hit a wall. The experience often brought me…

When I Pray, I Never Have to Say Goodbye

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I am not just reciting theology when I remind you there is neither time nor distance when we live and move and breathe in the Spirit. When someone dies or moves far away, I don’t have to say goodbye just whisper hello, a different kind of hello which moves with the speed of light to brighten each heart when I think of them. God is the great “I AM” who exists in yesterday, today and tomorrow. His Spirit mysteriously unites all of us, intimately present to each soul, all at the same time. Our whispered hello to God and each other is called prayer. continue

God Saved Me From Myself

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Christian spirituality, inner transformation, and contemplation are not at all what I first imagined them to be. I initially began the inner journey striving, depending on my discipline and willpower.
JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN, l failed miserably. Striving to transform spiritually into a person of Love and Light is sort of like an ant straining and trying to turn himself into a human. Like my Irish grandmother used to say,”You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.” When I admitted defeat, God had an opportunity to save me from myselfcontinue

The Best Way to Fix It is to Pray About It

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It was my husband’s turn to have “one of those weeks”. I don’t like it when he is stressed or upset. It makes me sad for him! So, I made sure he had coffee in one hand and a loaded lunch bag in the other as he left, and he’ll have one of his dinner favorites waiting for him when he get’s home. I’m a big fan of the idea that the way to a man’s heart is through his tummy. But there’s only so much food can do. As he walked out the door this morning, I was left wishing that I could have done more. I feel this way a lot. I’m a “fixer”, if something is wrong, I want to fix it. I’m probably a very bad listener because of it. I have a hard time just sitting and being compassionate. My brain immediately jumps to all the things that should be done to resolve the situation. And of course (insert sarcastic tone here), my advice is simply excellent all the time, because I am just at that right age where I’m young enough to think I know everything and old enough to think that I’m old enough to know ev…

The Kids are Grown, and Someday's Here: Now What?

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My neighbors’ generators hum in the background as I rummage through a pile of work assignments in search of one I can perform without benefit of internet. The power’s out, after an overnight storm. As a freelance writer and researcher, I find the lack of internet access nettlesome. Even cell service is affected today. It’s quiet as I select the files I can work on. Only a few billable hours in there, but that’s better than nothing. I can work without distractions. The only device at hand is a pen. As I realize that, it occurs to me that I’ve spent much of my life wishing for days like this. I was sure that if I only had more peace and quiet, less need for structured time, I could…fill in the blank: pray more, study more Scripture, read more devotions, study Church history. I’d go on retreats. I’d have time for more than a morning offering before diving into the day. I am blessed with children, and grateful for them.  I was blessed to be their “stay-at-home” mom. My husband made that p…

Rejoicing Anyway

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If I thought my faith depended on feeling cheerful, I'd be worried.If I thought my faith depended on feeling cheerful, I'd be worried.

Since I'm a Catholic, I think faith is willingly and consciously embracing "the whole truth that God has revealed." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 142-150)

Faith is easier when my emotions are in sync with my reason. So is acting as if what I believe matters. Emotions can tell me that something needs attention, but "...conscience is a law of the mind...." (Catechism, 1777-1782)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

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Christ offers even adults an easy way to commune with Him.  Relax. Give up striving. Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds. No wonder Jesus praises children, I assure you,” He said, ‘unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven’ [Matthew 18:4] continue 

Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

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Christ offers even adults an easy way to commune with Him.  Relax. Give up striving. Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds. No wonder Jesus praises children, I assure you,” He said, ‘unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven’ [Matthew 18:4] Union with the living God is child’s play.  Listen to this debate between two of my pre-schoolers. continue reading

Prayer Routine: Month Eight

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Jesus said we should always pray. Our Lord gave us pointers about prayer, too: the parable of the persistent widow and another about the pharisee and the tax collector. That's in Luke 18:1-14.

Maybe someone's taken those verses and decided it means that Christians should be saying prayers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or at least until our voices give out or we drop from exhaustion.

I'm pretty sure that's not what our Lord had in mind. Prayer is important, though.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Second Collections

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The neighborhood parish took a second collection again today. This week's was to help folks hit by Hurricane Irma. The one before that was for those affected by Harvey.

Folks in the Caribbean, Gulf Coast, and Florida weren't the only ones dealing with disaster recently....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Sweet Tea and Jesus

Welcome Here with me, today guest posting is Steve Sawyer. He has more than three decades of experience as a writer, editor, reporter, technical writer and writing teacher. He graduated from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama with a degree in journalism studies. He and his wife Marie, co-parent their two granddaughters, four and seven. He sings in his church choir and remains active in his men’s prayer group. Since he retired in 2010 he enjoys writing for his family-friendly, Christ-centered blog Monday through Friday. He is passionate about writing to help readers know, understand, believe, and live out of their true identity in Christ. Sweet Tea and Jesus  Folks who live outside the Deep South don’t understand Sweet Tea. If you go to most restaurants or truck stops north of the Tennessee read more

A Prayer for Wisdom

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How Often Do We Think to Turn to God for Wisdom?
Lord, There are things in this world that clearly perplex me. Illness, Death, Poverty Just to name a few.
There are things to surprise and delight me as well. There I need your guidance on which you have for me and to know my limits.
Generous are your ways, it is clear you hold nothing back except for that which is not for my best. For YOU know the plans you have alone for me.

An Unexpected Invitation to Spend Time with Jesus

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Learning Something New My road to sitting with Jesus in Adoration began nearly 10 years ago.  Quite, some might say serendipitously but after spending many hours in His presence, I would say this has the Holy Spirit's finger prints all over it!!

My husband and I, along with our children, had just made the transition to this new Church.  It was actually where we met and were eventually married,  but we'd not worshiped there since our wedding nearly 20 years earlier.  We had moved out of town, and spent many years at my childhood Church until circumstances changed and it became clear we had to find a new place to call our Spiritual Home