Pope St. John Paul II was well known for having a deep and abiding love for the Blessed Virgin Mary. His devotion to her was evident in all that he did: his teaching, his prayer life, even his papal motto and coat of arms were dedicated to the Blessed Mother. When he was nearly fatally shot during his papacy he credited the intercession of the Virgin Mary, specifically Our Lady of Fatima, with the miraculous save of his life.
These are common concerns regarding prayer. But don’t worry; even the saints have struggled at times with knowing how to pray. As a faith formation teacher, I had always loved teaching second grade because it was also the year of First Holy Communion. Talking about prayer was an important part of the class, and it is amazing what I learned as I worked with these seven and eight-year-olds. We taught the kids to use the acronym “ACTS” as they prayed: A = adoration, C = confession, T= thanksgiving, S = supplication. What I didn’t realize at the time was that we were teaching a method of prayer long established by the Church as a wonderful way to teach her children to properly reverence Our Lord.
We didn’t know that there was such a strong relationship between theology and food until we interviewed EWTN’s star “cooking priest,” Fr. Leo Patalinghug, about his cookbook and successful family apostolate Grace Before Meals.
Have you always wanted to participate in a Lenten retreat, but don’t have the time or money to spend a whole weekend away from home? Sometimes just managing to attend a one-day retreat can be difficult! Doors of Mercy: Exploring God’s Covenant With You is a wonderful option for an at-home Lenten retreat, that can be done at […]
These medieval parish church doors in England, flanked by two ancient Yew trees, are believed to be the inspiration for the Doors of Durin from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. These enchanting doors are the west entry of St. Edward’s Church in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. This is a cotswold stone Norman church dating from the 11th-14th century built on the location of an older wooden Saxon church.
In the legendary story by the famous Catholic author, the Doors of Durin were the dwarf-built and elf-embellished secret doors that made the west gate leading to the land of Moria in Middle Earth.
You cannot go far on the Internet these days without running into something about the decline of masculinity in our culture today. For decades the value of men, fathers, and maleness in general have been marginalized. The rise of feminism and a “me first” attitude has degraded the substance that men bring to society. Men, for their part, have taken a back seat in many ways in which they are expected to be strong leaders. As my wife said to me yesterday, “men are destined for greatness.”
How many people believe that today? Do you believe you are destined for greatness? Do you believe your husband is destined for greatness? Do you believe your son or your daughter’s husband is destined for greatness?
Much research has been done to uncover the therapeutic science of adult coloring books. Far from being just a favorite childhood pastime, the activity of coloring has proven to be simple and effective therapy for those suffering from even serious medical conditions such as depression, dementia, and stress disorders. It has even been reported that adult cancer patients “overwhelmingly expressed comfort” after spending an hour with a coloring book.
All in all, coloring takes the mind away from bothersome and overwhelming thoughts and feelings and focuses them on a new task that requires concentration and creative energy. After an hour spent, negative thoughts and feelings are replaced with a sense of calm and a more positive frame of mind.
“Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, give us miserable ones the grace to do for You alone what we know you want us to do and always to desire what pleases You. Inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footsteps of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified God almighty, forever and ever. Amen.”
“O Almighty God, gracious provider and giver of life, we anxiously await the celebration of your birth. Like the people of long ago, our ancestors in faith, we, too, are in need of light, in need of direction, in need of your Word, to show us the way. Our busy lives and the consumerism that surrounds us make it difficult to recognize your kingdom and to hear your voice. Help us Lord, to focus on you.We pray that you hear our prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
Prepare the way of the Lord Second Sunday of Advent Advent Prayers “All-powerful, most holy, most high, supreme God: all good, supreme good, totally good, You Who alone are good, may we give You all praise, all glory, all thanks, all honor, all blessing, and all good. So be it! So be it! Amen.” ~ […]