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Spiritual Life

Post date: 10/03/2019
Most of our knowledge comes to us through our five senses. We know things that we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Even those things we know conceptually are extrapolated from our many sense experiences. Knowledge from the senses, however, falls short in one’s quest to know God, especially when trying to find him in the darkness of the world...
Post date: 10/03/2019
On Sept. 6, the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith in Spain released a document entitled “My Soul Thirsts for God, for the Living God: Doctrinal Orientations on Christian Prayer.” It echoes the 1989 document from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “On Some Aspects of Christian Meditation.” Both documents...
Post date: 10/03/2019
A recent Pew Research study found that only 31% of American Catholics believe in the Church’s teaching that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus and not just a symbol. That news would have completely flabbergasted a saint whose feast we celebrate on Oct. 17, St. Ignatius of Antioch. Antioch was the first Christian city in history....
Post date: 09/20/2019
In the Gospel passage from Luke this Sunday, the Lord gives us the Parable of the Dishonest Steward, ending with: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” That’s a word we do not hear every day. “Mammon” means material wealth or pleasure or anything in which we indulge at the expense of a healthy and holy relationship with God. The Lord instructs...
Post date: 09/20/2019
Among all the questions people ask regarding prayer, there is one that has probably been on each of our lips at some point: “Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?” Didn’t Jesus promise that he would hear and answer us? The lack of response can lead to doubt of God’s goodness and faithfulness. However, there is one category of prayer that God always...
Post date: 09/09/2019
Do you have what it takes to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Try not to answer too quickly, for the demands of discipleship are extremely difficult and not for the faint of heart. Jesus clearly warns his disciples and would-be disciples about this truth in our passage for today. He tells them there is a cost that comes with being one of his...
Post date: 09/09/2019
The Catechism speaks of four forms of prayer: blessing and adoration (which can also be spoken of separately), petition, intercession and thanksgiving (nos. 2625-43). Pope Francis emphasized the importance of one of these forms, “the prayer of adoration,” in his Angelus address on Aug. 18. What is this prayer and why should we practice it? Pope...
Post date: 08/09/2019
Jesuit author Father John Cavanaugh was working at the Home for the Dying Destitutes in Calcutta, India. On the first morning, he met Mother Teresa after Mass at dawn. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” He asked her to pray for him: “Pray that I have clarity.” She said no. That was that. When he asked why, she announced that clarity was the...
Post date: 08/09/2019
This summer we’ve been discussing St. Ignatius of Loyola’s teaching on consolation and desolation in prayer, which he calls “discernment of spirits.” Let’s look briefly at desolation to see how we should respond to it. Recall Ignatius’ definition of desolation: “I call desolation all the contrary of (consolation), such as darkness of soul,...
Post date: 07/10/2019
In the July 14 Gospel, we hear the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. In the background of this Gospel was the Jews’ hatred of Samaritans, a hatred that had existed for several hundred years before Jesus came. The Samaritans were the people who stayed behind when the Jewish people went into exile. They chose to intermarry with Gentiles and...

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