Tag Archives: Lent

Dry, Barren, and … Hopeful?

A few weeks ago, I happened to have two different conversations with two very different people in two very different places about the exact same thing: Spiritual dryness.  Both people talked about not feeling God’s presence, about wanting so desperately to have something concrete to hold on to – some proof that He was there, but finding nothing.  Both people talked about a feeling of desolation, and wondered if there was something wrong with them. Sometimes even though we believe in God and we try our best to live out our faith, we all go …

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Purification and Enlightenment

One of the most challenging, most exciting and most meaningful of the “jobs” I did as a Director of Religious Education for the thirty years that I was in that profession was working with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It was a process for those who were exploring entrance into the Catholic Church that lasted as least nine months and for some longer. During that time those in this process listened to presentations on Catholic doctrine/teaching, asked questions and discussed the answers with sponsors, catechists and among themselves, and slowly discerned whether …

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Soul Satisfaction

Luke 9:24-25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?   What are you living your life for? What is the purpose? If it is to satisfy your ego…it is to satisfy your “false self.” As I have said in the past, “ego” stands for: “Edge God Out.” The false self will never be satisfied. It subsists on a program for “happiness” set up in childhood in which every whim and …

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Do Not Be Afraid to Dream of Great Things!

A little over one year ago, on March 13, 2013, the College of Cardinals elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as the 265th successor of St Peter.  He chose the name Francis, and ever since he stepped out onto the Vatican balcony and shyly waved hello, he has taken the world by storm.    The amazing thing I’ve seen about Francis is that he has said nothing really very different from what John Paul II or Benedict had said before him.  On all the so-called controversial issues like women in the Church, abortion, …

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This Lent, consider the Pope Francis’ call to mission…James Havey has

In recent his recent letter, Evangelii Gaudium,  the Holy Father reminds that:  “By virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the …

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Fruits of Lent

During Easter week my wife and I went out to dinner at our local Mexican restaurant and got to talking with Jose’, the restaurant owner, who happens to be a fellow parishioner. We were all talking about how this past Lent had been our best in many years when Jose’ said that now he’s looking for the “fruits of Lent”.  His point was that if the spiritual disciplines we began in Lent were beneficial, it doesn’t make any sense to quit at Easter.  Lent should yield good fruit well afterward, and if it doesn’t, then …

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Hitting the Wall at 80

Hitting the wall at eighty, even if it happens metaphorically, is never easy.  It was a rough Lent.  It seemed to go on forever (as did winter). Wasn’t it at least 100 days long?   We’ve all been there, but for me, an endless procession of intense, grey, days, serious illness and deaths in loved ones, dissertation deadlines, criticism and apathy from others, and random, stupid difficulties added up to an agonizing month. It is not often I feel like I’ve hit the wall and can’t cope – losing things, forgetting more, not sleeping, not even …

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An Oasis During Lent

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of a week’s vacation in Costa Rica. This was hardly a sacrificial experience for the 2nd week of Lent, as I played in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean with my oldest daughter and two granddaughters, lounged on the huge verandah, and fell asleep to the cacophony of what sounded like a million tropical insects. We did eat modestly. Beans and rice were on the menu for dinner most nights. The area where we stayed is far from the tourist centers, and so the small local …

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Your MISSION….. Go!

For Lent this year our pastoral region created a new form of parish mission.  It was in large part the result (or the fault, depending on your viewpoint!) of the diocesan Christ at the Center conference held early last October.  Rather than a traditional preaching mission, we presented a participatory, organic, intergenerational and regional event spread across four Sunday evenings, focusing on the Stations of the Cross, and utilizing the talents of our parishes.  Each evening involved prayer, music, scripture, dramatization, presentations, reflection and small group sharing – as well as supper.  Those planning recognized …

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Where 2 or 3 Are Gathered: Home Edition

Fifth Sunday of Lent: March 17, 2013 Gospel: John 8: 1-11 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So …

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