Discover Your Sacred Story

tumblr_mhwetq3sCl1rrutr7o1_400Don’t you just love it when God keeps reminding us of something everywhere we turn.  Yesterday the Holy Father announced an extraordinary holy year, a Jubilee Year of Mercy. This morning during the Office of Readings we couldn’t help but smile at the second reading from St. Gregory of Nazianzen, which was all about mercy:

The Lord of all asks for mercy, not sacrifice, and mercy is greater than myriads of fattened lambs. Let us then show him mercy in the persons of the poor and those who today are lying on the ground, so that when we come to leave this world they may receive us into everlasting dwelling places, in Christ our Lord himself, to whom be glory for ever and ever. 

And then the Gospel at Mass confirmed it again as we heard the publican’s humble prayer “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

The holy year will be organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization because, the Holy Father says, it is the mission of the Church to bring everyone to the Gospel of Mercy.  Truly, to encounter Mercy is to encounter Christ, Who is Mercy itself.  The devil lies to us, telling us that our mistakes and the sins we have committed throughout our lives have the final word.  The truth is Christ has the final word, and it is a word of mercy – if we are willing to accept it and turn from sin.

But how can we tell others of the renewing power of God’s mercy if we ourselves haven’t experienced it?  We can’t.  Everyone’s life has been touched by the merciful love of God, Continue reading

Authentic Human Nature

2bf0d2b71647108bbe114c62009c426eAs previously mentioned, we are undertaking a 10 month Ignatian “retreat” this year using Fr. William Watson’s book Forty Weeks.  He talks about how St. Ignatius’ “sinful vices and self-indulgent pleasures blinded him to his authentic human nature and a fruitful life guided by a well-formed conscience.”  Authenticity is key; discovering our authentic selves in the light of God’s enduring love for us.  If God, our Creator, is absent, we cannot being to understand who we truly are.

Because of original sin, and our own sinfulness, none of us escapes this struggle to make meaning of our lives and our selves.  “Who am I? Why was I created?”  These questions burn in every heart, whether one is fully aware of it or not.  And satan loves to step into this searching void and fill it with his lies, distorting elements of the truth to lead us further away from God.

Recently, the Mother of the Americas Institute sponsored a presentation by Dr. Mark Regnerus from the University of Texas at Austin.  The topic was “Men and Women in Today’s Marriage Market,” and though it may not sound like a topic nuns are interested in, it really touches on the idea of authenticity and what we are created for, who we are created to be.  He showed a very moving short video, part of the Humanum series, which beautifully presents enduring truths on the meaning of masculinity and femininity.  The truth, even a truth one may find hard to hear, is always the answer to the pain caused by distortion and lies.

Here is the video we watched, which is part 3 of a 6 part series.  All of the videos can be viewed at humanum.it

Journeying to the Christ Child

tumblr_my2cl61mTI1ssmm02o1_1280“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Is 60:1-3).

Today I planned on sharing what Pope Francis had to say today about the Epiphany, and the I realized that he hasn’t said anything about it because in Rome it’s celebrated on the traditional date of January 6th, the twelfth day after Christmas.  So this forced me to come up with some semi-original thoughts, something which, I’m sorry to admit, I was trying to Continue reading

‘Higher Time’ & the Here and Now

the-four-last-thingsThe four last things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell.  Not exactly popular topics of conversation, but during Advent the Church calls us to take a deep look at these four realities, and to look within our own souls.  Are we ready for death?  Are we prepared to be judged by God after death?  Where will our life choices leave us after our judgment?

In a recent homily we were reminded that on our tombstone will be two dates: our date of birth and our date of death, and between those dates will be a dash (-), indicating our life.  It’s just a short line, but it’s what matters the most, because what we do in that dash determines where we spend eternity.

As a community we are reading Sacred Story, by Fr. William Watson, SJ.  He calls it “an Ignatian examen for the third millenium.”  Hearing that little description of our life as a dash reminded me of something I read in Sacred Story, that we live a very compartmentalized life, easily forgetting that what we do in the here and now impacts where we will be in the after life: Continue reading

33 Days of Prayer for Religious Freedom

Please join us during our 33 Days of Prayer for Religious Freedom.

Beginning on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and ending November 6th, Election Day, we will be praying especially for our Nation.

Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke of Religious Liberty as the “Most Cherished of American Freedoms.”  Sadly, this freedom is truly under attack; therefore as Catholics we must pray and act to protect this fundamental right.

Every Christian therefore knows well that he must do all he can, but that the final result depends on God: this awareness sustains him in his daily effort, especially in difficult situations.

Pope Benedict XVI

This is a time not only to discern what it means to vote Catholic, but an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Catholic!

Together may we use these days before the National Elections to:

Pray, Fast, Read, Study, Learn, and Educate!

St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote in this regard: “Act as though everything depended on you, but in the knowledge that really everything depends on God.”