16 Jun 2017
22 Mar 2016
Brilliantly simple! A letter from Seattle contains practical wisdom for praying through Holy Week and the Easter Season.
Click over to Praying with Grace to read the letter.
10 Sep 2015
My husband and I were watching the investigative reporting program 60 Minutes recently, and one of the segments had to do with Buddhist "mind-emptying" meditation. The reporting journalist told of how he'd decided to try to immerse himself in the practice as part of a week-long journalistic piece he was preparing, but that he'd not ever given it much thought and didn't expect much to come of it.
6 Apr 2015
|Virgin with Jesus giving Holy Rosary to St. Dominic|
You do not choose to be a Warrior, God chooses you, and His choice is quite terrifying.
When God chooses the Warrior, there is no false humility. When God says to you, "You ARE a Warrior," you don't say, "Oh no God...not me." On the contrary, you say, "Yes sir!" and then youtremble at what being a Warrior for God could truly mean. The fear at being called as a Warrior, is to shake so violently before the Lord that you think every bone in your body will break. The fear comes on the realization that a warrior will be given souls to fight for, and will be asked to account for them.
TO READ MORE...CLICK HERE!
19 Jan 2015
23 Dec 2014
Last week Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Joseph. One of his remarks there was eagerly snatched up by social media: "Babies cry, make noise, go here and there. But it annoys me when a baby cries in church and there are those who say he needs to go out. The cry of a baby is God's voice: never drive them away from the church!"
Considering how much I crave silence, it is with great wonder and gratitude I realize how much I love to hear crying babies and noisy toddlers at church. And I don't mean I just love to hear other people's children cry, making my rambunctious brood seem comparatively docile. No, I mean squalling children help me pray.
Please continue the reflection with me at Praying with Grace. . . .
2 Dec 2014
19 Sep 2014
|Does your heart look like this pantry?|
If we want God to enter our lives in a significant way, we must make room for Him. He never forces Himself on anyone. Counterfeit spiritual silence can exist alongside mortal sin. But sin is incompatible with union with God. The writer to the Hebrews urges us:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:1-2)Notice, we have two types of burdens to get rid of, sin and “every weight.” To grow closer to God, we must first work to avoid mortal sin and its near occasion.
Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool.
30 Dec 2013
The words prayer and contemplation intimidate many people but the reality is that prayer is simple, so simple that it eludes many adults.
Rest in God and enjoy God in the silence. Sometimes we need to simply cease our activity, live in the moment and breathe in God. This is reality. When the Spirit flows in and through us we are in sync with everything and everybody. We are part of the Trinity, part of the human community and part of the communion of saints.
How do we relax into this state? In and through prayer. Have you ever noticed that every liturgy begins with a blessing of peace and simultaneously a call to prayer because they are intricately connected.
L: “Peace be with you”P: “And also with you.”L: “Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord”P: “We lift them up to the Lord”
L: Faithful and gracious God, we seek to draw nearer to you in this time of devotion and prayer. Open us to your word that we might be guided in your Spirit toward all truth and love, for we pray in Christ’s name. P: Amen.
Sometimes we need repetition, written prayers because we are in such turmoil that it is impossible to unwind and come to a place of inner silence without the familiar. Sacred music helps shut down crazy thoughts and connect us to God. Of course God initiated moments of grace are the most effective. Slowly I am discovering that I can centre on Him when I simply breathe the Holy Spirit in deeply and relax into reality because I am always connected to God. The reality is simple. I am in God and He is in me. I am just not always aware of that fact.
Breathe in Deeply.
Soak in His Presence. read more>
17 Nov 2013
Today, on Vivificat, Teófilo de Jesús posted a quote by a Carthusian monk. Interestingly enough, when I tried to visit his site, Google told me to stay away because his site was infected by Malware. I don't understand computers but this was all bogus and it was soon fixed. When I got to the site and read the message, it was as if God was speaking just to me.
What a consolation and encouragement. Tears of relief come to my eyes with this quote because my private prayer has been a wordless encounter with Light and Joy for a long time. No effort on my part; I just glance in His direction and Christ takes over. Praying like this, it is easy to feel slack, lazy.... .
The Wound of Love By A. Carthusian"Solitude is the place of prayer" first published in 1994 by the Carthusian Order in EnglandSolitude is the place of prayer. The only true prayer which radiates there is that of Jesus: all other prayer is a reflection of the light that shines forth from his face.Let us, therefore, follow Jesus in solitude, relying only on the power of his call; it is not our competence or our virtues which give us access to the Father, but the invitation of Jesus to follow him up the mountain.
8 Nov 2013
7 Aug 2013
Remember when God spoke to Elijah on Mt. Horeb? There was a mighty wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but it was not until Elijah heard a gentle whisper or “a still, small voice” that he knew God was present (see 1 Kings 19:11-13). God wants to be present to you and me too. He desires to commune with us in a gentle whisper. In order to “hear” Him—to be open to receive Him—we must be silent.
Blessed Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature —trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
Our modern world is full of noise and activity. With four young boys at home, silence is a rare blessing for me. Still, there are many ways I can cultivate silence both during and away from my prayer time. Except for on long trips, I do not turn on the radio or CDs in the car. At home we never use music or TV for background noise.
Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.
26 Apr 2013
Prayer takes energy. When you are stressed, you may find you can’t use your imagination to meditate. You may be too worn out to converse with God. This was the case with me last year, when homeschooling three kids with a baby overwhelmed me.
Several times when I went to pray, I had too little strength to picture a scene from the Gospels. I could barely muster the energy to think the words, “Jesus, I love you.”
But I knew I had to pray. And I knew Jesus was there. I knew His love was constant. That meant He was loving me at that moment. So I decided just to soak in God’s love, like I might soak in the sunlight. I sat silent, reminding myself briefly every few minutes that God’s love was surrounding me. I let Him love me, and that was my prayer for half an hour.
I’ll never forget one trip to the confessional at this period of my life. I don’t remember what I said to the priest–certainly no specifics about my prayer method–but his advice astonished me. He said I should just sit and let God love me–the very thing I had felt inspired to do.
If you are too emotionally drained to pray, try this method.
Today's Gospel, Mark 9:2 through 10 , describes the Transfiguration. I'll be talking about that. Partly. Also Peter, perceptions,...