As we began our 11.7-mile trek at the Saddleback Mountain trailhead in Maine we were immediately surrounded by beauty. The terrain varied as we hiked… with wooded paths becoming rocky and then ascending through thick forests of green to pristine lakes that seemed to appear from nowhere. I was stunned by the beauty of the creation around me.
The Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem, in which over 4,000 babies are delivered each year, is located on the West Bank in Palestine and is known as the “birthplace of hope.” To see the tiniest of humans in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit of the hospital, with their little white and red caps, is to understand why this hospital is such a vital presence in the Holy Land.
Have you ever had a “lightning bolt” moment in your spiritual life? This “lightning moment” might be exactly like it sounds: a striking, unmistakable moment of enlightenment. It could be a line from a book that strikes you to the core and becomes imprinted on your heart, as happened with St. Augustine. It could be […]
“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.”
Most people think that Christmas is over on December 26th. But for the Catholic Church, the celebration has just begun. There is a reason why Christmas is called a season. It does not last for a single day. We have been preparing for it for four weeks, and the Church couldn’t possibly start and end its celebration of Christ’s birth in one day.
“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.”
Before you start down a rabbit hole of anxious planning, don’t forget that, as we face any situation, God’s grace is there too – in abundance! It’s always easier to recall God’s presence and peace when we have visible reminders of that presence in front of us. With that in mind, we present for your reflective, lighthearted enjoyment, twelve steps to a peaceful planning, preparation, and execution of a Catholic Christmas gathering.
Even a simple glance at St. John’s poetry reveals a depth and richness that can be understood only by living the reality spoken of. It was in St. John’s darkest time that Our Lord drew him close and gifted him with words to poignantly describe the journey of the soul, and the path to God that inevitably passes through darkness.
Con constelaciones doradas en su manto y la luna bajo sus pies, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe sigue capturando corazones hoy tanto como aquel día en la colina de Tepeyac en 1531. La tilma milagrosa contiene innumerables signos y símbolos místicos, todos comunicando verdades profundas a sus primeras espectadores. Y aun con los muchos detalles que […]
O holy, patient, and loving God, in this season of grace-filled longing, we await the coming of your Son and our Savior. It is difficult for us to remember that this is a holy time. There are many distractions: commitments seem to pile up, and expectations are high. In the midst of our busy world, our busy lives, we need your help to remind us of what is important and necessary.