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Spiritual Life

Post date: 02/15/2019
As children we are raised to be independent and self-reliant people, so that when the time comes we will be ready to the face the demands of adulthood. This is a necessary lesson for us to learn. Our parents do us a favor when they teach it to us. It is important for this lesson of trust in self to be tempered with our learning how to trust in God...
Post date: 02/15/2019
We have been looking at the prayers Jesus practiced and taught in the Scriptures. We have seen that he practiced mental prayer, the prayer of the heart, but he did not teach a method of mental prayer. Yet the church and the saints recommend meditating on Scripture as the best way – at least for beginners – to practice mental prayer. Why does...
Post date: 02/01/2019
In the second reading this Sunday from the 13th chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, we hear what many consider to be the most eloquent expression of love’s beauty and grace ever written by humans. The beautiful, rhythmic language can truly speak to us a very deep level of the nature of God and of our highest calling. What does Paul...
Post date: 02/01/2019
In my last column I examined the types of prayers Jesus prayed. He prayed vocal prayer and mental prayer and participated in the liturgy of the synagogue. He made his life a prayer, offering himself in sacrifice for our sins. The common element in all his prayers was his filial relationship with God. Jesus shows us not only the types of prayers we...
Post date: 01/18/2019
This Sunday’s Gospel takes us to the wedding feast at Cana. John writes that Mary, Jesus and his disciples were invited to this wedding.  Did the bride and groom understand how important it was that Jesus was on the guest list? Did they have any clue how great a blessing this poor carpenter and his mother would be to their wedding? Jesus enters...
Post date: 01/18/2019
How should we start a new calendar year in our discussion of prayer? How better than by looking at how Jesus prayed while on earth?  Jesus prayed as a man, being fully human. He gave us an example to follow. But he also prayed as God the Son, addressing his prayers to the Father. In the life of the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit...
Post date: 01/04/2019
As a child – and even now as an adult – my favorite pieces in every Nativity scene are the Three Kings with all their retinue. They add an exotic and exciting element to that lowly manger with their bright colors; their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; and all their camels, horses and elephants. It is as if the silent night of the Christmas...
Post date: 01/04/2019
Christmas Day is over. Perhaps you are already looking back with a sigh, wishing you could prolong it. Well, you can! The liturgical season of Christmas goes through Jan. 13 this year. But you don’t have to stop there. You can extend the grace of Christmas to the entire year.  There was no room for the Holy Family in the inn, but you can make a...
Post date: 12/21/2018
In my last column, I talked about being recollected at the beginning of prayer and practicing recollection throughout the day. Today I’d like to focus on the stage of prayer that is known as acquired recollection, following the teaching of St. Teresa of Avila. Acquired recollection (as a stage) is a simplified meditation that is experienced by...
Post date: 12/21/2018
Each year in the Advent readings, we are reacquainted with several Old Testament figures and prophecies plus New Testament figures such as Joseph, John the Baptist, Zechariah and Elizabeth. But on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the church always saves the best for last by presenting to us the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the preeminent example...

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