After an “exhaustive biological analysis” of a consecrated host that turned blood red this summer in a St. Paul church, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced that the cause of the phenomenon was a fungus, not a miracle.
As shocking as it might sound, progress on the normalization of pedophilia is well under way as a small but influential group of mental health professionals, academics and pedophile “activists” quietly work to convince the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to decriminalize pedophilia and be more tolerant of “minor-attracted persons.”
“What should characterize our behavior when we ask for pardon? Humility, contriteness of heart, no defensiveness or rationalization of our behavior, no rehashing the argument, no expectation on the reaction we will receive, surrender of the outcome to God.”
Am I willing to apply these characteristics to my behavior when I ask for forgiveness? Why or why not? Which virtue do I need to acquire to do so?Â
ST asks: “A few of my friends have been singing the praises of hot stone massage which they have been receiving at a local spa. From the little I read about it, it sounded awfully New Age. What do you know about it?”
This is the time of year when advertisements for weight-loss fads are a-dime-a-dozen. “Take this magic pill” or “lose weight without diet or exercise” sound irresistible to the person who is desperate to lose a few pounds. But when the claims sound too good to be true, beware! They probably are.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Psalm 51: 10,17
This passage gives us the two characteristics necessary for true contrition – a broken and contrite heart. Is there someone whom I have offended? Are these two characteristics present in me in relation to that person? In light of this, what should I do?
“For the individual who has been injured through the actions of another, it is important to find meaning in the suffering. Such a perspective infuses value and worth into the heartache of the injury sustained. It reminds us that God has a plan in all things and works all things to the good.”
How have I seen God work good out of the sufferings I have endured because of the actions of others? Can I then see this suffering as a blessing and not a curse?
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” –Isaiah 9:6
My Dear Friends in Christ,
As we enter the final days of Advent and begin our journey into the season of Christmas, we joyfully anticipate the great gift of the Christ Child and all that His birth has meant to humanity. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for this unfathomable gift.
We are also filled with gratitude for all that you have done to support the mission of Women of Grace and all of our outreaches. We wish all of our benefactors, customers and friends the peace, joy and love of Jesus Christ and pray that the He will fill your hearts with His Love and Peace! May the coming New Year bring you “every spiritual blessing in the heaven!” (Ephesians 1:3)
All of the staff of Living His Life Abundantly® and Women of Grace® offer our prayers for you and your intentions during this Christmas season. We ask you to please remember us and the efforts of our apostolate during your times of prayer! I would also ask you to prayerfully consider making a sacrificial year-end donation to assist us in our mission of evangelization for the coming year.
May you and your families have an even greater experience of the presence of the Child Jesus and His Holy Mother, Mary in the deepest recesses of your soul this Christmas and always!
God bless you!
Johnnette S. Benkovic and Staff
“For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that everyone who believed in Him might not perish but have life everlasting.”
quote from Scripture tells us that God loves everyone. If God loves everyone, what right do I have to hold on to hatred and resentment? During this holy season, am I willing to forgive and to ask for forgiveness? With whom should I begin?
It was about this time last year when Pope Benedict XVI gave a brilliant reflection on the history and meaning of Christmas, saying that only those who welcome Jesus with a child’s heart can recognize “the Lord in the Child” who comes to us on Christmas Day.