Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ.
The Lord give you peace.
Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you in a special way this Christmas Eve. I am praying that you will enjoy a blessed and merry Christmas season however, wherever and with whomever you choose to spend these holy days.
May the Christ Child find room in the manger of your heart and mine. And may He be born anew in our lives as we seek to perfectly love Him and worthily magnify His Holy Name in thought, word, and deed.
Pax et Bonum,
Circumstances beyond my control have made it nearly impossible for me to post anything for the past week. Please stay tuned for updates on a more regular basis once the challenges are resolved, though it could take several more weeks before I’m back on schedule. These challenges are also opportunities for spiritual growth, of course, as nothing goes to waste for those who are in Christ Jesus. Please pray that I reap all the good that comes from difficult life circumstances, not only for my own sake, but also for the good of those for whom I pray on a daily basis.
Praying that all of you are blessed in a special way these last few days of Advent and may you have a very Merry Christmas season!
Pax et Bonum,
“Our culture has filled our heads but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces “nice” people, not heroes.” ~Dr. Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock
“Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion… They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘for ever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love.” ~Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2013
“Dear sons and daughters, you have wished by means of the practice of the evangelical counsels to follow Christ more freely and to imitate Him more faithfully, dedicating your entire lives to God with a special consecration rooted in that of Baptism and expressing it with greater fullness: could you but understand all the esteem and the affection that We have for you in the name of Christ Jesus! We commend you to Our most dear brothers in the episcopate who, together with their collaborators in the priesthood, realize their own responsibility in regard to the religious life. And We ask all the laity to whom “secular duties and activities belong properly, although not exclusively” to understand what a strong help you are for them in the striving for that holiness, to which they also are called by their baptism in Christ, to the glory of the Father.” ~Blessed Pope Paul VI
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Fr. Robert Barron on Our Lady of Guadalupe
Pope Francis has declared that 2015 will be a year dedicated to the celebration and promotion of consecrated life in the Church.
Watch this informative video regarding Consecrated Life.
This ‘Year of Consecrated Life’ [began] on 30th November 2014 and ends on February 2nd 2016, the annual World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. The Pope is asking the Church’s religious sisters, brothers and priests, together with other forms of consecrated life, to “wake up the Church” with their testimony of faith, holiness and hope. The year will be an opportunity for religious congregations to reflect on their particular charisms, the challenges they face today and on their continuing contribution to the mission of the Church.
Catholics often use the term ‘religious’ to describe those who have taken vows of poverty, chastity (or more precisely: lifelong celibacy) and obedience. The most helpful phrase to use is ‘consecrated life’. This is the way of life embraced by all those who dedicate themselves to the Lord by making these lifelong vows when they are recognized and accepted by the Church. These vows are sometimes called the ‘evangelical counsels’.
Every Christian, of course, is dedicated to the Lord, and has promised through baptism to give his or her life to him. Every Christian is called to live a life of holiness. But those who consecrate themselves in this way are responding to a call to live as Christ lived, and to model their lives more directly on his own way of life – poor, chaste, and obedient – making their hearts more free for prayer and service. They show us more clearly something about the concrete reality of Christ’s love. They also give us a glimpse of the purity of the love we all hope to share in heaven, when our lives will be uncluttered by possessions or family responsibilities, and our hearts will be solely centered on God. The consecrated life includes [hermits], monks and nuns in enclosed communities, religious brothers and sisters in active communities, and also many others who live alone or who live and work ‘in the world’ who have taken the three vows. ~Adapted from the Vocations website of the Diocese of Westminster, UK
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“The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life of the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.” ~Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel
“Let this be thy whole endeavor, this thy prayer, this thy desire, that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.” ~Thomas a Kempis