Recipe for Holiness: 2 Parts Courage

Pope Francis_Recipe for Holiness

Personally, I am not good with courage or living simply.   My anxieties have me afraid of pretty much everything:

  • lightning storms
  • spiders, snakes, anything that creeps
  • germs
  • being alone
  • injury or illness to my kids

…just to name a few.

As I have well documented in my Money Monday series; my inability to live within my means for the last 30+ years has wreaked havoc on my finances and my peace of mind.  Where was Pope Francis’ message when I needed it? If I’m honest, would I have even listened back then?

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Well, luckily as long as I’m breathing – there is always time to find out.  Here’s the amazing thing about being a believer and a friend of God – “see I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5); today I can make the changes necessary to embrace this message and apply its teaching to my current (and for hence forth) circumstances.

Life requires courage.  That is clear in the horrific events of this year – just making the decision to leave our homes can be cause for pause.  In the case of my dear friend from our parish, stabbed in her own home by a random act by a distraught young man, even home doesn’t feel safe any longer.  There is illness and accidents; and so much beyond our control that can lead our hearts to ache; and fall into despair and fear.   As a person who has battled anxiety her entire life (diagnosed with a ‘nervous stomach’ at age 9); just watching the news or reading social media can send me spiraling into a panic attack.

So what do we do?  …  read more on Reconciled To You 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016
Cover photo copyright – Debbie Guadino, Saints 365

Navigating God’s Way Out of Debt

money mondays

Reflection on Week 3 of Navigating Your Finances God’s Way:

Last week, it was time to pull my shopping happy head out of the sand, and make the list I have been dreading – pulling together a list of our current debts (specifically credit card)!

As long as I could make all the monthly minimums (sometimes even a little extra), I never felt the need to add them all up.  Hence, the November disaster of 2015!    We learned in this week’s scripture readings that debt has some stinky consequences (enslaves us*, for one) and that it is NOT what God wants for us (OWE Nothing – Romans 13:8).  As I sheepishly listed credit card balance after credit card balance, I was amazed at how far into the sand I had placed my head.

*Let me just quickly add here – that the Lord made sure I understood this concept first hand this week as I was faced for a few decisions that required me to consider the motives behind why I was or wasn’t accepting an invitation.  It amazed me how many times I have decided not on what I felt I was being called to  but what would bring in some type of payment  –  I have been totally enslaved and I LONG to be free to follow where the SPIRIT guides and not where my creditors require!

I have said it before, spending money is one of my drugs of choice. I know it has addictive qualities by my reaction to when I am in the midst of the behavior (shopping elation is totally a thing) and how I feel as we discuss things such as … read more

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

An Enclosed Carmelite Missionary

800px-Padre_Pio_portretIt was my mother who first taught me something so profound that I could never forget it. She said even though I may make my Morning Offering alone by the side of my bed or in bed I was not alone. Nor would I be alone even if I became a hermit and lived in the middle of some distant desert or a prisoner locked up in solitary confinement.  My prayer would always be made in with and through Jesus and so with all other living Christians wherever they were. She quoted the Our Father to press her point home. When we petition the Father we do not petition him for ourselves alone as the prayer makes abundantly clear – it is – ‘Give US this day our daily bread and forgive US our trespasses as WE forgive those who trespass against US and lead Us not into temptation, but deliver Us from evil Amen.’  She taught me further that praying to the Father in Jesus also means praying with all those who have died and who are now alive again in him. That means with Mary and Joseph, with St Peter and St Paul, St Dominic and St Francis, with St Catherine of Siena, St Teresa of Avila and St Thérèse of Lisieux, and all the other great saints and mystics too.  read on…….

Prayer – How to get Started

Giordano_Communion_of_the_ApostlesMany years ago I used to run a retreat and conference centre in London. As I had to run the place on a shoe string I tried to do as many of the odd jobs myself to save money. But I always had to call in the plumber when the drains were blocked. One day when he was having his lunch I went to look inside his tool box to see if I could find the tool that he used to save me calling him again. It was then that I saw these words written in Latin inside the lid. ‘All for the greater  honour and glory of God’ (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam).

 read on………

 

Through the Looking Glass

544px-Michelangelo_Merisi_da_Caravaggio_-_The_Seven_Acts_of_Mercy_(detail)_-_WGA04175I saw my grandfather forty years after he died. I loved him with all my heart, not because he gave me toys, bought me ice creams or took me to the Fun Fair, but because he loved me so much. I was only eight years old when he died of a heart attack and I cried myself to sleep. The next day my mother told me that he loved me very especially, so much so that he made special plans for me and so I should always pray for him each day when I said my morning prayers. That’s why I felt so guilty when I saw him again forty years later.  read on

The Hound of Heaven

abrazo-jesusBefore the swinging sixties, before Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, and even before Bill Haley and the Comets had set these Isles throbbing with the sound of Rock ‘n’ Roll, I fell in love for the first time. I was only sixteen, but it was the real thing. My Juliet, who was so beautiful, so pure, so perfect in every way seemed utterly beyond me. How could she possibly feel even so much as a spark, to match the flame that set me alight with love for her? I simply couldn’t believe it possible. How could such a beautiful creature even want to look at a gauche beanpole like me, who hadn’t even grown out of pimples and into poetry?   read on …..

 

First Beginnings

450px-Eastman_Johnson,_Child_at_Prayer,_circa_1873Prayer and My Personal Journey:  To mark the publication of my new website I would like to introduce you to my own personal spiritual journey, as I first learnt how to pray. I am only doing this so that you may learn from my failures more quickly that I did, and in the hope that what little I have learnt may be of some help to you on your journey. My first recollections of prayer were of kneeling at my bedside repeating the same set of petitions night after night. God bless Mummy and Daddy, my brothers, and all my aunts and uncles who were mentioned by name. It was only after my cousins were prayed for in order of age that my turn came. I was not taught to ask God to bless me as he was asked to bless everyone else, but to make me a good boy! Who wants to be a good boy?  I didn’t!  read on…..

 

I’m David Torkington, a Spiritual Theologian, Author and Speaker. I specialize in Prayer, Christian Spirituality and Mystical Theology. I write and speak predominantly about Prayer which I believe transforms us into Christ in this life, and enables us to share in something of the life and love that continually flows between Christ and his Father. I blog on http://www.davidtorkington.com where my podcasts can be found.

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A Book Review on Catholicmom.com

I’m honored that Sister Margaret Kerry, for forty years a daughter of St. Paul, reviewed my trilogy of novels on Catholicmom. I “met” her on Twitter. Sister Margaret proclaims the gospel in all sorts of ways, writing books and conducting workshops on media literacy. She’s great on Twitter! I’m often struck by how many wonderful people you can get to know on social media.

To learn more, go here.