Advent Week Four: A Time for Sharing, A Time for Caring

divine intimacyOne 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…

Advent Week Three: A Time for Charity, A Time for Love, Part II

As we discovered yesterday, for our good deeds to become charitable acts, we must center our hearts, our souls, our minds, and all of our strength on love of God. Then, and only then, will our good deeds effect a change that reaches beyond the finite to touch the eternal. And when we do that, every thought, word, deed, and suffering can become an act of charity — even our daily labor. Read the rest…

Advent Week Three: A Time for Charity, A Time for Love, Part I

stk23557sis“May the Lord make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love does for you. May He strengthen your hearts…At the coming of our Lord Jesus…” — Thes. 3:12-13

Toy collections, food drives, charity bazaars — all common activities in communities and parishes during the Christmas season. And they are good. They help fulfill Jesus’ mandate to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

However, this command of Jesus is subordinate to the one preceding it — “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.”

Love of neighbor flows from love of God, and love of God is a prerequisite for a charitable action. There is a profound difference between a humanitarian act and an act of charity.

A humanitarian action, admirable as it may be, is limited in potential. Rooted in human compassion and accomplished through human incentive, it goes only as far as the individual’s generosity and goodwill carry it. Read the rest…

Advent Preparation Week Two: A Time for Reconciliation, A Time for Forgiveness, Part IV

While the six steps toward forgiveness outlined by psychologists can be of great help, forgiveness itself is primarily a spiritual work that takes place deeply within the inner confines of our heart. Therefore, making use of the remedies given to us in Sacred Scripture and through Holy Mother Church are of ultimate benefits.

Today, we will look at three spiritual remedies that enable us to move along the path to forgiveness. Read the rest…

Advent Week Two: A Time for Reconciliation, A Time for Forgiveness, Part III

106564606I hope that your time of prayer yesterday was a fruitful one as you began the process of forgiveness. The first three steps we discussed yesterday are fundamental to the healing process and they may need to be revisited often as you journey toward forgiveness. Read the rest…

Advent Week Two: A Time for Reconciliation, A Time for Forgiveness, Part II

87688950Yesterday, our Advent post introduced us to seven of the most common misconceptions regarding forgiveness. It presented to us that forgiveness does not mean that we condone the hurtful behavior nor does it mean that our pain doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean that once we extend it, everything is magically “okay” and it doesn’t mean that we allow ill will toward us to continue. It doesn’t mean that we stay in an abusive or harmful situation nor does it mean that a just resolution to our situation is unnecessary. And, it does not mean that we feel forgiveness. Read the rest…

Advent Week Two: A Time for Reconciliation, A Time for Forgiveness, Part I

John Paul II Forgives“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

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…

Advent Week One: A Time of Preparation, A Time of Prayer, Part IV

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…

Advent Week One: A Time of Preparation, A Time of Prayer, Part III

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…