An interdenominational community does not want to become another church with its own services. No, an interdenominational community is called to bring people together and, through them, their churches. Its role is to help people discover each other more deeply, their beliefs and their beauty, and to help people discover that the things that unite are far deeper than the things that divide. Jean Vanier
You are the one Lord. I believe in you, and I want to follow you. You have every right over me, and I renew my commitment to obey you in all things. What a great gift you have given me! I know you, I am close to you, and I live through your grace. Dear Lord, never let me be separated from you, and help me to bring many others into your friendship…
You have always reached out to all peoples through your Church. Only because of that did the faith make its way to my people, to my nation, and into my life. Thank you for coming to me; thank you for the Church. Guide and protect your Church, Lord, and make me an energetic, faithful, active member within her ranks…
Why do I prefer extraordinary manifestations of your presence in my life and ignore so regularly the normal ways you speak to me – the Church’s teaching, the everyday circumstances of my life, the Scriptures, the sacraments? You have given me so much, and you just keep on giving. Open my eyes, Lord, so that I can see you in all your gifts, and thank you in them, and respond to your love with love
Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Move into the future with hope.
Find creative ways to proclaim the gospel ofJOY
The beauty of human beings lies in their capacity to accept who they are, just as they are; not to live in a world of dreams or illusions, in anger or despair, wanting to be other than they are, or trying to run away from reality. They realize that they have the right to be themselves. And there, they discover that they are loved by god, that they are unique and important for God and that they can do things for others. We may not all be called to do great things that make the headlines, but we are all called to love and be loved, wherever we may be. We are called to be open and to grow in love and thus to communicate life to others, especially to those in need
“And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night-watches over their flocks. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone about them, and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold I bring you tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people. For this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign to you: you shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12 1. Later in His life, when our Lord was preaching on the Kingdom of Heaven, He described the master of the feast as angry with those who had been invited and had refused, and as giving orders that his servants should turn to those in the byways, and should compel them to come in. Such indeed has been His way from the beginning until now; “the poor have the Gospel preached to them”; in the poor rests the true life of the Church; a safe test of the power of the Church in any country is the hold she has upon the poor of that country. And this character of His call was the first He struck on coming into the world. The great and powerful had ignored Him; the busy world had all manner of excuses; so His angels were sent to the shepherds on the hillside, here, as so often afterwards, the first-fruits of His coming. GovertFlinckAngelsAnnouncingTheBirthOfChristToTheShepherdsWGA079282. Nor is it to be by some kind of accident that these shepherds are to be called. They are not to wander down the hill and along the road to Bethlehem, and to find the Child on the way. It is possible that the cave was one in which they had often taken shelter; but that was not to be their guide this night. Another principle God would establish; not only would He show that the poor are His special choice, but He would also show that, when He willed it, He is independent of man for the spreading of His glory. He has His ministering angels, sometimes manifesting themselves to simple souls, more often doing their work in hiddenness, because the souls of men are not simple. It is a true instinct which makes us associate angels with little children; for it is the eyes of simple children that best can see them; it is the minds of children that best can understand them, just as it is little children that seem to come nearest to grasping the reality of the Blessed Sacrament. 3. The shepherds “feared with a great fear” at the sight of the Angel of the Lord who stood by them, and at the brightness of God which shone about them; as who would not? But this implies no doubt; it implies the simplicity of children. So they were reassured; and as children they accepted the reassurance. “Fear not,” said the Angel; this is the third time we have heard the words from an angel’s lips. “Fear not, Mary,” Our Lady was told; “Fear not, Zachary,” was said to the priest; and now “Fear not” is said to the shepherds and “all the people.” No wonder that a master-saint has said that the first operation of an angel of light is to calm the human soul and to remove from it fear and unrest. The rest of his message is full of deep meaning. He brings “tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people.” The message is the news of the birth of the “Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord.” And they are shown how and when they shall find Him. And to this day Christmas remains the season of “great joy to all the peopl Read more: spiritualdirection.com/2014/12/26/the-an...
There is a real danger that these powers of sadness and inner emptiness, and the need to throw ourselves into feverish activity or kinds of entertainment, will control us. We try to forget by keeping busy no matter what. For as soon as we stop, the anguish creeps in and the guilt resurfaces. Many people are able to keep going by doing that. They cannot stop, frequently because stopping seems too dangerous.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..
And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you: the publicans and the prostitutes are ahead of you on the way to the kingdom of heaven. For John came, to show you the way of goodness, and you did not believe him; but the publicans and the prostitutes did. You were witnesses of this, but you neither repented nor believed him.
Jesus tells the story of the two sons who were requested by their father to go to his vineyard to work. The first said flatly that he will not obey his father but thought the better of it afterwards and went anyway. The second promised to obey the father’s request but failed to do so. His hearers commended the eldest son who in turn was a mirror of the publicans and the prostitutes who initially violated God’s command but turned a new leaf and repented when they heard the preaching of John. On the other hand, the chief priests and the elders did not effectively take the role of the youngest son.
An open rebellion that leads to repentance and consequent obedience is better than a passive obedience that later leads to a secret rebellion. That is why we are better off with people who are loud and transparent with their intentions than those whose mind we cannot read. We know at least what to expect from the former and will be genuinely surprised if they have a change of heart. On the other hand we will have a hard time reconciling the good attitude the former has shown us while secretly harboring seditious thoughts. The known sinners in Jesus’ time were like that. They made no secrets of their opposition to God by the lives they led, yet at a point in time, they changed course and mended their ways. It was a shock to note that those who were so sure of receiving the kingdom were instead disinherited of their claimed birthright because their disobedience was not forthright.
I may be both the elder and the younger son in my response to obedience but they are not ideal examples. I should mean what I say and say what I mean clearly and without pretence. Today I take my word seriously. My word is my bond
PRAYER TO ST. JUDE
Are you faced with a desperate situation? The prayer to St. Jude (pictured at left) printed below helps remind us that nothing is impossible with God, even help when you’re at your wit’s end. Considering that thanksgiving notes appear in newspapers to this patron saint of desperate cases, praying to him must have some effect!
St. Jude was one of the twelve Apostles. Mark’s (3:18) and Matthew’s (10:3) gospels refer to him as Thaddeus (a surname meaning “amiable or “loving”), possibly in part to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot, our Lord’s betrayer! John’s gospel refers to him in the last supper as “Judas… not the Iscariot” (14:22).
The evangelist no doubt wanted to make sure that he would not be confused with the man Jesus Himself referred to as the “son of perdition” in John 17:11!
This prayer to St. Jude touches on that:
Oh glorious apostle St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered thy beloved Master into the hands of His enemies has caused thee to be forgotten by many, but the Church honors and invokes thee universally as the patron of hopeless cases--of things despaired of. Pray for me who am so miserable; make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded thee of bringing visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (mention your request), and that I may bless God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity. I promise thee, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, and I will never cease to honor thee as my special and powerful patron, and to do all in my power to encourage devotion to thee. Amen
St. Jude is known as the brother of Saint James the Less. According to tradition, he wrote the epistle bearing his name in the New Testament as well, although this is not as certain.
In his letter he stressed having faith in apostolic teachings in the midst of heresies through fraternal charity, prayer, and loving obedience to God. According to the historian Eusebius he assisted in his brother St. Simeon’s election as Bishop of Jerusalem in 62 A.D.
St. Jude is said to have preached the gospel in such regions as Judea, Samaria, Libya, and Mesopotamia, before suffering martyrdom in Armenia, which was then part of Persia. According to one account, he is said to have cured the King of Edessa’s leprosy in Mesopotamia with an image of Jesus’s face that our Lord had pressed on a cloth.
The king was so impressed he converted to Christianity, along with much of his family and kingdom. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words! St. Jude converted countless others to the faith as well.
He is often shown in drawings, like the one above, holding an image of Jesus in one hand and a club (a symbol of his martyrdom) in the other. Often the Holy Spirit is seen over his head as a tongue of fire (in remembrance of Pentecost when He came upon the apostles).
These two prayers to St. Jude, like the previous one and some otherslisted here can be used as a novena (a prayer said for nine consecutive days).
O Holy St Jude!
Apostle and Martyr,
great in virtue and rich in miracles,
near kinsman of Jesus Christ,
faithful intercessor for all who invoke you,
special patron in time of need;
to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart,
and humbly beg you,
to whom God has given such great power,
to come to my assistance;
help me now in my urgent need and grant my earnest petition.
I will never forget thy graces and favors you obtain for me
and I will do my utmost to spread devotion to you. Amen.
St. Jude, pray for us and all who honor thee and invoke thy aid.
(Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary’s, and 3 Glory Be’s after this.)
Note that in addition to saying a prayer to St. Jude, we can invoke his aid by offering Holy Masses and Communions in his honor. We can also engage in charitable works in his name.
As St. Leo once said “Prayer has the greatest efficacy to obtain favors from God when it is supported by works of mercy.” Don’t forget to help someone in need as part of your prayer to St. Jude.
"A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good." (Luke 6:45)
And it leads me to ask ,"What type of a person am I.
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