The whole purpose of Christmas is reconciliation. Through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, His passion, death, and resurrection, God’s mercy flowed into the world, the breach of original sin was mended, and fellowship between God and man was restored. Each Christmas commemorates again this wondrous gift of reconciliation and love. Read the rest…
I have often been amazed at how God answers a particular question, responds to a petition, or gives me guidance on a specific issue through Sacred Scripture. The reality of this points to a great truth — God is always seeking to reveal Himself and His will to us. In fact, one spiritual writer tells us that God already had us in mind when He inspired the evangelists in their writings. Consider this as you pray the Scriptures using Read the rest…
Hopefully, your experience of praying Holy Scripture using the Lectio-Divina form of prayer was a good one. However, it can take a bit of perseverance if this is new to you. Do not be discouraged, but continue to call upon the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Read the rest…
The ancient prayer form called Lectio-Divina is a perfect way for us to enter into an ever deepening relationship with God, and the season of Advent provides us with the perfect opportunity to use it. The following six steps lead us in this beautiful method of prayer: Read the rest…
Friends, we had a beautiful discussion on today’s Women of Grace radio program about embracing our crosses. One of our caller’s shared this prayer by St. Francis De Sales, which I promised to post for you. There is much in it to pray over and I am certain it will deepen our understanding of the mystery of the cross. Read the rest…
(Taken from Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life by Johnnette Benkovic)
On yesterday’s Women of Grace Live radio program, I shared a teaching on discerning God’s will, much of which came from by book Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life. Here are the Seven Steps to Discerning God’s will, in case you missed the program or didn’t get a chance to jot them down. You can also listen to the program in it’s entirety at the podcast link here. God bless you!
1. Is the prompting fully in line with Sacred Scripture, the Ten Commandments, and the teachings of the Church? There is no contradiction in God.
2. Is the prompting proceeding from virtue or the flesh? “What is my motivation?”
3. Has this prompting been confirmed in other ways? God confirms His will for us in a variety of ways.
How Does God Speak To Us?
A. Through other people
1. Directly – someone speaks the prompting to us
a. a homily at Mass
d. something we read
C. Events of the day
4. Has the prompting withstood the test of time? There is a difference between enthusiasm and zeal.
5. Am I going through an emotionally difficult time or am I suffering from mental instability?
6. Have I sought the counsel of others — my spouse, provincial, superior, bishop, spiritual director?
7. Is the prompting or inspiration of grace in conformity with my state in life? There may be sacrifice, but there will not be conflict.
When I came back to the Faith in 1981, one Scripture passage became the rudder of my spiritual life. It is Ephesians 1: 3-4. Through the years, this passage has spoken to me in many ways and has sustained me through many trials.
Verse 4 , however, is particularly relevant for this time of the year, and was echoed by Pope John Paul II in a Christmas reflection. It states this, “God chose us in him before the world began to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love.” Those first five words tell us something about ourselves that is amazing and astounding — each one of us was distinctively and individually chosen by God to have life. Read the rest…
As we approach the solemnity of Christmas tomorrow, we would do well to ask the Holy Spirit to help us enter into the mystery we are celebrating. Implicit in the glory of the birth of Christ, is His death. It is already present, as it has been since His conception in the womb of Mary, in His flesh.
A season of joy, to be sure. A season of wonder, most definitely. A season of magnanimity, most assuredly. For this is the season that proves God’s love for us. His Son has been sent for one mission, and one mission only, to pour Himself out for us.
The Incarnation is the Redemption begun. It is consummated at the conception and culminated at the crucifixion. As we gaze upon the Christ Child lying in the creche, how can we ignore that He is already on the bed of wood?
It is this we celebrate: that in the midst of our depravity, God sent His Son in the fullness of time, born of a woman (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4). It is in this that we find cause for rejoicing.
Carol Houselander, an English author of the last century, asks us to focus our attention on this reality during the Advent season. It is not too late to ponder the cause of our joy in these last hours before Christmas day.
Writing in Reed of God, Houselander offers us these words for meditation and contemplation. She invites us to consider the role of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, as we consider the coming of the Christ Child: Read the rest…
One of my favorite books for Lectio-Divina (see Week One of the Advent Study) is Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene.
This book provides meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year. I have found it to be very efficacious.
One of the meditations offered by Father Gabriel for the fourth week of Advent is entitled, The Call to the Apostolate.
In it, he offers an insightful perspective of the Christian call to evangelization based on the words of St. John the Baptist, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” (Luke 3: 4). In the end, he tells us that “Jesus has need of us.” When I read these words, they infused me with zeal.
Because I found this meditation so spiritually benefiicial, today I’d like to share with you what Father Gabriel presents. Read the rest…
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ has forever changed the destiny of mankind. Through His birth, death, and resurrection, the chains of death are broken, the gates of heaven are flung open wide, and eternal life has been restored to man. However, accepting the salvation Christ has won remains an individual decision to be made by each human being.
I remember well when I made that decision for myself. It all started with a woman who shared her faith in Jesus Christ with me.
Though she was going through an emotionally difficult time, she was certain God had a plan for her in the midst of it. Her trust stood in stark contrast to my own faith experience which had not recovered from my college years. Like living water flooding the landscape of my soul, her words and her witness brought me new life and led me back to Catholicism.