Many years ago when I used to run courses for school leavers, I used to begin by asking the boys and girls to tell me when they were last really happy. I remember one boy said that it was when he was fishing with his father, another when watching one of his favorite films, and yet another when he was playing football with his friends. One of the girls loved a day of retail therapy with her mother, another loved playing the piano, not for her exams, but for the sheer pleasure of it. Finally one girls said her happiest moments were spent on holiday with her boyfriend. Strangely enough it always used to take them a long time to see the common denominator – the reason why doing all these different things had given them all so much pleasure. For a greater or less period of time they had been so absorbed in something, or someone else, that they simply forgot about themselves. In the discussions that followed they usually came to the same conclusion, namely that, this happiness could be found and perpetuated more in loving someone else than in anything else. 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.
As I sit in my window seat, gazing at the newly fallen snow, its color so white, so pure, so beautiful. The way it covers the ground, the wires, the trees in simplicity creating a one of a kind masterpiece. It’s profoundly peaceful.Your Read More Link Text
Many Catholics believe church culture is the same as basic tenets of the faith. Challenging custom is then synonymous with challenging the faith.
Every thinking, praying, honest person who seeks the Spirit of in their own heart, experiences conflict with those who are afraid of the inner spiritual life. They fall back on fulfilling the letter of the law, even if that law is simply tradition.
Jesus called this sort of believer a Pharisee. This religious spirit chains many believers; they focus on outer conformity to tradition. If we understand the difference between cultural tradition and a relationship with God, our focus changes. All we want to do is allow God to love us and pass it on to those around us.
Don’t jump to conclusions. I Do believe that the Catholic Church is the fullest expression of revealed truth that is why I converted 38 years. continue reading
For the life of me, I have no idea why my 17-month-old couldn’t sleep last night. Finally at 2:00 a.m., I brought him downstairs so my husband could get some sleep.
We rocked. I got him a cup of almond milk. We rocked some more. I turned on cartoons. I sang to him. I got him a snack, which he gobbled up. I gave him some water, and we rocked a million times more.
Was he still feeling sick? No, his ears and tummy seemed fine. Teething? Maybe. All I knew was he was fussy and just wouldn’t go back to sleep.
I started to half-ignore him, my patience wearing thin. I dutifully rocked him, sleepily browsing Facebook on my phone and trying not to snap. Nothing was helping him anyway!
Out of the blue, the Holy Spirit made me think of this scripture:
“…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36
I began picturing Mother Mary rocking baby Jesus. Surely he was fussy or sick at times and she felt the same exhaustion!
I’ve been going to Mass at least once a week for over 44 years. Even with the New Translation of 2011, the text of the Mass is pretty familiar…or is it?
The truth is, I don’t always hear the beautiful words of the Mass. It’s true I’m a little hearing impaired, but I think it’s quite possible for most of us to glaze over and not listen intently to the words of the priest. Heck, it seems like sometimes the priest can even glaze over a little bit and speed-read the prayers of the Mass, taking for granted the wisdom and the diligence of our Church to carefully choose these beautiful and meaningful words invoking the Holy Spirit, rounding up the Faithful and transubstantiating the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ out of mere bread and wine.
When was the last time you really listened to all the words of the Eucharistic prayer? Even our responses can be kind of rote. We can rattle off the Apostles Creed…the very collection of beliefs we should be able to stake our lives on….as flippantly as we respond “fine thanks, how are you?”
I don’t want to be negative or critical or judgmental…especially knowing how deeply and how quickly I fall short of virtuous or spiritually-disciplined. But I’d feel better if I had some practical tips to put in place to help me and my family participate more deliberately and consciously in Mass.
Want to read my 9 Resolutions to ‘get more out of Mass’?
Have you ever heard a Protestant friend refer to the idea of ‘once saved, always saved’? Living in the Bible belt, I sure have! When I heard the recent Mass reading from Ezekiel last week, I found myself questioning how anyone can hold that view. I’ve invited charitable discussion in various social media outlets but have yet to understand…
Birgit Jones is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the Church and the prolife movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and eight living grandchildren (all age eleven and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest!
Birgit is Graphics Editor and Columnist at Catholic Stand. She can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she utilizes her Fine Arts training to promote Life through her prolife memes.
PETE: Your new book, Grace of Yes, seems to have become a banner holder for a saying yes to God movement. Why is having the grace of yes so important in our lives?
LISA HENDEY: Thanks for inviting me into this conversation Pete.
The more work that I do around The Grace of Yes, the more I realize that my “Yes” to God is at the heart of my existence. Giving myself fully to God’s will for my life fuels my work, my relationships, my intellectual pursuits and the way I view the world around me. When I give a full and worthy “Yes”, it motivates me to live more generously in the world—to share the best of what God has blessed me with in a world greatly in need of love. Each of us has a unique “Yes”, but as Catholic Christians, we’re called to emulate our Blessed Mother’s “Fiat” in giving our lives to the service of God and others.
Mercy – How elusive is this virtue from one’s grasp? Is it something only Christ can give, or can we give mercy to others? Are we expected to give mercy?
Mercy is as elusive as you want it to be – it’s that simple! Christ is at the ready, waiting to bestow His Mercy upon you. All you need to do is acknowledge that you need His Mercy, and that means acknowledging your sinfulness. For some, that is difficult to do; for others it is easy. Therein lays the answer to the elusiveness of Christ’s Mercy. The choice is yours.
Mercy is defined as a preference to provide a softer attitude toward a repentant sinner rather than the deserved punishment. Mercy was Jesus’ calling card throughout His ministry. He was…Read more…
Everyone during their lives is faced with an option. That option is whether we continue to do things for ourselves or we choose to do things for others is adherence to God’s will. In her new book The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Livingauthor Lisa Hendey uses examples from her own life to show how we can make the right decision. Her approach is effective and leaves the reader with much to consider.
The book consists of eight chapters, one on each selected virtue the title alludes to. They are as follows:
A most unusual idea inspired by the actor, Alec McGowan, hit the London stage in the 1970s, when, in a personal tour de force, he rendered the whole of St Mark’s Gospel. Against all predictions he performed to a full house night after night. When the same thing happened in New York, where it was performed at the Marymount Manhattan and Playhouse theatres, a Catholic impresario had an idea. He approached Kieron Moore, who had made a name for himself playing Count Vronsky in the film version of Anna Karenina, opposite Vivien Leigh. He asked Moore, who was a devout Catholic, if he would ‘star’ in a similar stage production, but this time in a rendering of St John’s final discourse of Jesus at the Last Supper.
“It cannot be done,” said Moore, “And it most certainly will not be attempted by me. Only one person could utter such deep and profound mystical truths, and that is Jesus himself, and when they are read they can only be read and understood by those who are inspired by the same ‘Spirit’ who inspired him.” 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 and podcast at http://www.davidtorkington.com