Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts

7 Feb 2018

Lent is a Week Away! Are You Ready to Make It Fruitful?


Can you believe it? Lent is only one week away! We’ve barely left the Christmas season, and we are about to walk the journey, with Christ, to Calvary. Are you prepared to enter the Lenten season? Are you ready to make the most of it?

Things You Can Do to Make Your Lent Fruitful


  1. Prayer: Make a point to set aside a few minutes each day to pray. If you have enough time to say a full Rosary, great! But, sometimes, the day gets away from us. So, a vow to say a single Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be is a commitment I think we all could easily make. Prayer is talking with God. He wants to hear from you!
  2. Fasting: At a minimum, make the effort to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting, I mean a reduced breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner. No desserts! If you can do this on a set day of the week, once weekly during Lent, all the better! Fasting helps us to understand that without God, we are nothing. It is God who provides for us: our homes, our jobs, our food, everything!
  3. Almsgiving: Make a point to reach out to the less fortunate. Clean your closets and donate some clothes/goods to the poor. Donate your time, money and/or food to a food pantry. Volunteer for a ministry at your Church. Remember what Jesus said, “whatever you did for the least of these, my brothers, you did for Me” (Matt 25:40). Be charitable toward others.
Read more...

1 Feb 2018

Man-Made Spirituality versus Communion With God

After a few decades of dry spiritual exercises, Catholics either become just like the Pharisees who thought they were holy because they acted and looked holy on the outside or if they are honest with themselves, they become so frustrated they lose hope, believing communion with God is only for ancient saints or a few chosen ones. Most settle for a man-made spirituality when God offers all intimate communion with Him. The truth is a vibrant, joyful relationship with Christ is simply the normal Christian life when we learn how to surrender to God and let go of control.
For years, I did not understand the subtle difference between authentic and man-made spirituality.  It is not an easy distinction to make; most of us remain in delusion until a spiritual director can shake some sense into us. For myself, I tried to force God to relate to me on my own terms. Since God refused to be manipulated, the harder I tried to grow closer to Him, the more I hit a wall. The experience often brought me to tears of frustration.
What I failed to grasp was with all my striving, I was actually centred completely on my own efforts to please God ... continue

24 Jan 2018

When I Pray, I Never Have to Say Goodbye


I am not just reciting theology when I remind you there is neither time nor distance when we live and move and breathe in the Spirit.
When someone dies or moves far away, I don’t have to say goodbye just whisper hello, a different kind of hello which moves with the speed of light to brighten each heart when I think of them.
God is the great “I AM” who exists in yesterday, today and tomorrow. His Spirit mysteriously unites all of us, intimately present to each soul, all at the same time.
Our whispered hello to God and each other is called prayer.

17 Jan 2018

God Saved Me From Myself

Christian spirituality, inner transformation, and contemplation are not at all what I first imagined them to be.
I initially began the inner journey striving, depending on my discipline and willpower.

JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN, l failed miserably.
Striving to transform spiritually into a person of Love and Light is sort of like an ant straining and trying to turn himself into a human.
Like my Irish grandmother used to say,”You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.”

When I admitted defeat, God had an opportunity to save me from myself

18 Dec 2017

The Best Way to Fix It is to Pray About It


It was my husband’s turn to have “one of those weeks”.
I don’t like it when he is stressed or upset. It makes me sad for him! So, I made sure he had coffee in one hand and a loaded lunch bag in the other as he left, and he’ll have one of his dinner favorites waiting for him when he get’s home. I’m a big fan of the idea that the way to a man’s heart is through his tummy. But there’s only so much food can do.
As he walked out the door this morning, I was left wishing that I could have done more.
I feel this way a lot. I’m a “fixer”, if something is wrong, I want to fix it. I’m probably a very bad listener because of it. I have a hard time just sitting and being compassionate. My brain immediately jumps to all the things that should be done to resolve the situation. And of course (insert sarcastic tone here), my advice is simply excellent all the time, because I am just at that right age where I’m young enough to think I know everything and old enough to think that I’m old enough to know everything...

The Kids are Grown, and Someday's Here: Now What?

My neighbors’ generators hum in the background as I rummage through a pile of work assignments in search of one I can perform without benefit of internet. The power’s out, after an overnight storm. As a freelance writer and researcher, I find the lack of internet access nettlesome. Even cell service is affected today.
It’s quiet as I select the files I can work on. Only a few billable hours in there, but that’s better than nothing. I can work without distractions. The only device at hand is a pen.
As I realize that, it occurs to me that I’ve spent much of my life wishing for days like this. I was sure that if I only had more peace and quiet, less need for structured time, I could…fill in the blank: pray more, study more Scripture, read more devotions, study Church history. I’d go on retreats. I’d have time for more than a morning offering before diving into the day.
I am blessed with children, and grateful for them.  I was blessed to be their “stay-at-home” mom. My husband made that possible. Parenthood never ends once launched, but my kids are now grown. The intense day-to-day five-kids-at-a-time whirlwind is behind me. I distinctly remember thinking in the midst of that whirlwind that someday, things would slow down. Someday, I’d have quiet days to work on other things.
So what am I doing this quiet day? 
Read more at ellenkolb.com.

17 Dec 2017

Rejoicing Anyway



If I thought my faith depended on feeling cheerful, I'd be worried.If I thought my faith depended on feeling cheerful, I'd be worried.

Since I'm a Catholic, I think faith is willingly and consciously embracing "the whole truth that God has revealed." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 142-150)

Faith is easier when my emotions are in sync with my reason. So is acting as if what I believe matters. Emotions can tell me that something needs attention, but "...conscience is a law of the mind...." (Catechism, 1777-1782)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

20 Oct 2017

Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

Christ offers even adults an easy way to commune with Him.  Relax. Give up striving. Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds.
No wonder Jesus praises children,
I assure you,” He said, ‘unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven’ [Matthew 18:4]
continue 

27 Sep 2017

Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play

Christ offers even adults an easy way to commune with Him.  Relax. Give up striving. Surrender to His love and let it saturate every cell of your body. Then simply let His love flow through you. It ends up being a long journey to such carefree lifestyle because pride and ego get in the way. It is so simple that it seems complicated to our adult, logical minds.
No wonder Jesus praises children,
I assure you,” He said, ‘unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven’ [Matthew 18:4]
Union with the living God is child’s play.  Listen to this debate between two of my pre-schoolers.

24 Sep 2017

Prayer Routine: Month Eight



Jesus said we should always pray. Our Lord gave us pointers about prayer, too: the parable of the persistent widow and another about the pharisee and the tax collector. That's in Luke 18:1-14.

Maybe someone's taken those verses and decided it means that Christians should be saying prayers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or at least until our voices give out or we drop from exhaustion.

I'm pretty sure that's not what our Lord had in mind. Prayer is important, though.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 Sep 2017

Second Collections



The neighborhood parish took a second collection again today. This week's was to help folks hit by Hurricane Irma. The one before that was for those affected by Harvey.

Folks in the Caribbean, Gulf Coast, and Florida weren't the only ones dealing with disaster recently....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

2 Jul 2017

Sweet Tea and Jesus

Welcome

Here with me, today guest posting is Steve Sawyer. He has more than three decades of experience as a writer, editor, reporter, technical writer and writing teacher. He graduated from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama with a degree in journalism studies. He and his wife Marie, co-parent their two granddaughters, four and seven.
He sings in his church choir and remains active in his men’s prayer group. Since he retired in 2010 he enjoys writing for his family-friendly, Christ-centered blog Monday through Friday. He is passionate about writing to help readers know, understand, believe, and live out of their true identity in Christ.

Sweet Tea and Jesus 

Folks who live outside the Deep South don’t understand Sweet Tea. If you go to most restaurants or truck stops north of the Tennessee read more

17 Jun 2017

A Prayer for Wisdom

For More Visit Allison Gingras www.ReconciledToYou.com


How Often Do We Think to Turn to God for Wisdom?


Lord,
There are things in this world that clearly perplex me.
Illness, Death, Poverty
Just to name a few.

There are things to surprise and delight me as well.
There I need your guidance
on which you have for me and to know my limits.

Generous are your ways, it is clear you hold nothing back
except for that which is not for my best.
For YOU know the plans you have alone for me.

16 Jun 2017

An Unexpected Invitation to Spend Time with Jesus


Learning Something New

My road to sitting with Jesus in Adoration began nearly 10 years ago.  Quite, some might say serendipitously but after spending many hours in His presence, I would say this has the Holy Spirit's finger prints all over it!!

My husband and I, along with our children, had just made the transition to this new Church.  It was actually where we met and were eventually married,  but we'd not worshiped there since our wedding nearly 20 years earlier.  We had moved out of town, and spent many years at my childhood Church until circumstances changed and it became clear we had to find a new place to call our Spiritual Home

11 Jun 2017

Prayer Routine: Month Four



It's about four months since I started a new daily prayer routine. (February 19, 2017)

I sometimes forget the morning set, but not often. Having a printout of both sets next to my keyboard helps.

The evening prayers are another matter. Happily, I remember the gist of what's between the Lord's prayer and "glory be." That lets me catch up: if I remember before falling asleep, which doesn't always happen.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

8 Apr 2017

You Cannot Fail at Lent


Plans are Meant to be Altered

All over social media, those still left after the Lenten Exodus, people are confessing to their inability to keep their Lenten promises.  According to Facebook and Twitter, there has been lots of coffee drunk, chocolate eaten, swears said, and prayer time skipped.  The hashtag #LentenFail started showing up just a day into the liturgical season.  The #LentFail numbers grew again after bacon bits, chicken broth and unintentional "Oh no, I totally forgot it was Lent" hamburger consumption on the first Friday of Lent.

Here is the good news. YOU Cannot Fail Lent.  It is not a test. Lent is a time of looking at our lives and trying new ways to grow closer to Christ.  Through prayer, fasting and charity, these forty days can be used to challenge our current choices and behaviors, and try on new ones.    The fasting, prayer and alms we take on for Lent, can also enhance our lives well beyond Easter ... read more for ideas on how and extra encouragement 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

7 Apr 2017

Gifts Not Being Used are Simply Useless


Prayer is a Gift that is Only Useful when Being Used
When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads:
“Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
After contemplating St. Paul’s words, I decided to change my self-absorbed habit 

All Rights Reserved. Allison Gingras 2017

31 Mar 2017

The Gift Of Prayer - Only Useful When Being Used

Prayer is a Gift are Meant to Be Used a Reflection by Allison Gingras part of the Walk in Her Sandals WINE Lenten Book Club series

Gifts are Meant to be Used

“What is the gift of prayer?” is the first question asked in the Walk in Her Sandals’ journal with regard to Pat’s reflection. Personally, I see prayer as part of what I’ve dubbed, “The Grace Trifecta.” This trifecta consists of one engaging in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, as well as reading and reflecting on Scripture — prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. It truly amazes me that God allows us to communicate with Him in this intimate way. What a gift that he allows us to enter into conversation with Him.

When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads .... 
READ MORE 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017 

21 Feb 2017

A Lenten Overachiever (CWBN Blog Hop)


The Lent 2017 Kickoff

Here we are at the beginning of another Lent.  I am not sure when my Lenten love affair began, but I can tell you that it is currently in full bloom!   I feel energized during this time of sacrifice. The grace of a Christian world praying, fasting and helping others in order to strengthen their relationship with Christ, is exciting! This year, as I contemplated what areas of my life could use a booster shot of faith - 6 ideas came to me.  Being the overachiever that I am - instead of picking and choosing, I'm going to do my best to rock all of 6 them!

Does Wealth Bring Contentment?

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