September 30, 2012

Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

How Will We Be Recognized?

Over the past two weeks the Jewish community has celebrated Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A thoughtful Rabbi speaks of these celebrations as moments of mindfulness—a mindfulness that sharpens one’s spiritual focus and turns one’s heart anew to serve God in wholeness and freedom.  This clear focus enables a person to freely give talents, time and treasure in service to those in need— especially the poor, the outcast, those at the margins.

Today’s readings offer Christians pretty clear criteria for becoming honest and open followers of Jesus Christ.  Rather than disorder and distrust, we who follow Jesus will be known by the ways we serve those in need and the ways we strengthen each other’s faith, especially the faith of those who are young and vulnerable.  Rather than confusion and mistrust, we are called to fashion a world tangibly alive with the gospel values of love and service.

This brings us back to that faith-filled mindfulness of turning our hearts to God.  Jesus is quite bold in saying that radical surgery may be necessary—if your hand or foot is the problem, cut it off.  If the envy in my eye is leading me astray, better to get to heaven with just one eye.  Our hearts can certainly be renewed if we learn that all-important lesson of handing over our lives to God no matter what… knowing that it is in dying to ourselves that we are all born to eternal life.

—The Jesuit prayer team

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me

Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, drench me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Good Jesus, hear me
Within your wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into your presence lead me
to praise you with all your saints
Forever and ever.
Amen.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, drench me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Good Jesus, hear me
Within your wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into your presence lead me
to praise you with all your saints
Forever and ever.
Amen.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

How Will We Be Recognized?

Over the past two weeks the Jewish community has celebrated Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A thoughtful Rabbi speaks of these celebrations as moments of mindfulness—a mindfulness that sharpens one’s spiritual focus and turns one’s heart anew to serve God in wholeness and freedom.  This clear focus enables a person to freely give talents, time and treasure in service to those in need— especially the poor, the outcast, those at the margins.

Today’s readings offer Christians pretty clear criteria for becoming honest and open followers of Jesus Christ.  Rather than disorder and distrust, we who follow Jesus will be known by the ways we serve those in need and the ways we strengthen each other’s faith, especially the faith of those who are young and vulnerable.  Rather than confusion and mistrust, we are called to fashion a world tangibly alive with the gospel values of love and service.

This brings us back to that faith-filled mindfulness of turning our hearts to God.  Jesus is quite bold in saying that radical surgery may be necessary—if your hand or foot is the problem, cut it off.  If the envy in my eye is leading me astray, better to get to heaven with just one eye.  Our hearts can certainly be renewed if we learn that all-important lesson of handing over our lives to God no matter what… knowing that it is in dying to ourselves that we are all born to eternal life.

—The Jesuit prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.

And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 29, 2012

John 1: 47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

God Speaks to Us through His Messengers

Today’s feast of the archangels reminds us that we are part of a great spiritual world filled with realities invisible to us and yet still real. We participate in this spiritual realm and are affected by it whether we are aware of it or not.  It is very real. The angels (and the demons who are fallen angels) are part of this spiritual world.  Their task is to praise God and to carry out his will.

St. Michael is known in the Bible for fighting against Satan and the other rebel angels.  He reminds us that there is a great spiritual battle going on around us, the forces of good and evil battling each other for souls, and that the angels are our allies and protection in this struggle. St. Gabriel is God’s messenger, bringing to Mary the news of the Incarnation.  He reminds us that God speaks to us through his messengers, communicating his will and his love to us in a spiritual way, which we “hear” with our soul instead of our ears.  St. Raphael brings God’s loving care, sent by God to help Tobias and Tobit in answer to their prayers.  He reminds us that God listens to our prayers and answers them, helping us in our need through his agents, who are both angels and men.

With so much going on around us in the spiritual world, it is worthwhile trying to stay attuned.  Since we are accustomed to seeing and hearing with our senses, this can be difficult.  The ability to perceive spiritual realities is, of course, the fruit of prayer and discernment that allows us to recognize and understand the movements and voices that touch our souls.  Realizing that the spiritual realm is real and important, and turning to the angels as our allies and friends, is a good place to start.

—Matthew Monnig, S.J.

Prayer

Lord, it is not easy to listen for your voice. It takes effort and a degree of discipline.  Lord, give us the desire to sit in quiet and simply be with you. To fully dedicate ourselves to you for mere minutes each day is an extremely powerful way to discern your will and to recommit to putting you first in our lives. While the fruits of such a commitment may not be apparent immediately, such a practice will bear extraordinary gifts over time.  And, Lord, please give our angels a pat on their backs for intervening so many times on our behalf.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, it is not easy to listen for your voice. It takes effort and a degree of discipline.  Lord, give us the desire to sit in quiet and simply be with you. To fully dedicate ourselves to you for mere minutes each day is an extremely powerful way to discern your will and to recommit to putting you first in our lives. While the fruits of such a commitment may not be apparent immediately, such a practice will bear extraordinary gifts over time.  And, Lord, please give our angels a pat on their backs for intervening so many times on our behalf.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

God Speaks to Us through His Messengers

Today’s feast of the archangels reminds us that we are part of a great spiritual world filled with realities invisible to us and yet still real. We participate in this spiritual realm and are affected by it whether we are aware of it or not.  It is very real. The angels (and the demons who are fallen angels) are part of this spiritual world.  Their task is to praise God and to carry out his will.

St. Michael is known in the Bible for fighting against Satan and the other rebel angels.  He reminds us that there is a great spiritual battle going on around us, the forces of good and evil battling each other for souls, and that the angels are our allies and protection in this struggle. St. Gabriel is God’s messenger, bringing to Mary the news of the Incarnation.  He reminds us that God speaks to us through his messengers, communicating his will and his love to us in a spiritual way, which we “hear” with our soul instead of our ears.  St. Raphael brings God’s loving care, sent by God to help Tobias and Tobit in answer to their prayers.  He reminds us that God listens to our prayers and answers them, helping us in our need through his agents, who are both angels and men.

With so much going on around us in the spiritual world, it is worthwhile trying to stay attuned.  Since we are accustomed to seeing and hearing with our senses, this can be difficult.  The ability to perceive spiritual realities is, of course, the fruit of prayer and discernment that allows us to recognize and understand the movements and voices that touch our souls.  Realizing that the spiritual realm is real and important, and turning to the angels as our allies and friends, is a good place to start.

—Matthew Monnig, S.J.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

John 1: 47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 28, 2012

Luke 9: 18-22

Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

The Appointed Time

Fr. John Naus, SJ is an elderly priest who sends out thousands of Christmas cards every year. I usually receive mine in August, because it takes the whole calendar year to get cards out to the entire mailing list. He includes little snippets of wisdom each year, and this year, one pithy line stood out in particular: “Parents give their children two great gifts – one is roots, the other is wings.” These two disparate but connected gifts – roots of family and faith, and the trust to let that faith blossom in its own time – challenge us to discern what response Christ calls us to, and when that response is appropriate.

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill,and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

In today’s first reading, we continue reading the Preacher’s poetry in Ecclesiastes. This passage resonates with us because it summons to mind joys and sorrows from our own life and family. The range of human experiences described here is exalted and transformed in our life of faith.

We mark new birth and death in the Sacrament of Baptism, and again in the Rite of Christian Burial. We weep and mourn at funerals, and we laugh, dance, and weep for joy at weddings and ordinations.  Parents struggle with knowing when it is best to offer advice and when to bite their lip.  When to gather their children in, and when to let them spread their wings.

The life of Christ is a model for this, as well. There is an appointed time for both rejoicing and undergoing suffering.  And how often in His life do joy and suffering follow one another!  In our Gospel today, Jesus acknowledges that the Son of Man must suffer greatly, be rejected, killed, only to be raised on the third day.

Consider the ‘appointed times’ in your own life.  What are you undergoing or rejoicing in right now?  Ask for the grace to hear what the invitation from God is at this appointed time.

—Joseph Simmons, SJ

Prayer

Lord, our lives ebb and flow between beginnings and endings, from emptiness to fullness, from the weariness of depletion to the wonder of creation, from an agony of the heart to the burst of joy that fills our senses. And so goes the lives of all who cling to you.

Lord, through your humanity and divinity, you accepted the cycle of life. When we recall the denial and abandonment by your best friends, the brutality that lifted you up on the cross and drew forth blood and water from your side, we know that death does not have the final word. Because you stand victorious, we will one day cross over to eternal life.

And regardless of our place in our appointed time, we claim your promise “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, our lives ebb and flow between beginnings and endings, from emptiness to fullness, from the weariness of depletion to the wonder of creation, from an agony of the heart to the burst of joy that fills our senses. And so goes the lives of all who cling to you.

Lord, through your humanity and divinity, you accepted the cycle of life. When we recall the denial and abandonment by your best friends, the brutality that lifted you up on the cross and drew forth blood and water from your side, we know that death does not have the final word. Because you stand victorious, we will one day cross over to eternal life.

And regardless of our place in our appointed time, we claim your promise “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Welcome to FaithCP

Creighton Prep and the Midwest Jesuits have partnered to create FaithCP, a daily resource for prayer. FaithCP provides daily scripture, reflections, and prayers grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.


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September 30, 2012

Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

How Will We Be Recognized?

Over the past two weeks the Jewish community has celebrated Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A thoughtful Rabbi speaks of these celebrations as moments of mindfulness—a mindfulness that sharpens one’s spiritual focus and turns one’s heart anew to serve God in wholeness and freedom.  This clear focus enables a person to freely give talents, time and treasure in service to those in need— especially the poor, the outcast, those at the margins.

Today’s readings offer Christians pretty clear criteria for becoming honest and open followers of Jesus Christ.  Rather than disorder and distrust, we who follow Jesus will be known by the ways we serve those in need and the ways we strengthen each other’s faith, especially the faith of those who are young and vulnerable.  Rather than confusion and mistrust, we are called to fashion a world tangibly alive with the gospel values of love and service.

This brings us back to that faith-filled mindfulness of turning our hearts to God.  Jesus is quite bold in saying that radical surgery may be necessary—if your hand or foot is the problem, cut it off.  If the envy in my eye is leading me astray, better to get to heaven with just one eye.  Our hearts can certainly be renewed if we learn that all-important lesson of handing over our lives to God no matter what… knowing that it is in dying to ourselves that we are all born to eternal life.

—The Jesuit prayer team

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me

Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, drench me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Good Jesus, hear me
Within your wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into your presence lead me
to praise you with all your saints
Forever and ever.
Amen.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, drench me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Good Jesus, hear me
Within your wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into your presence lead me
to praise you with all your saints
Forever and ever.
Amen.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

How Will We Be Recognized?

Over the past two weeks the Jewish community has celebrated Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A thoughtful Rabbi speaks of these celebrations as moments of mindfulness—a mindfulness that sharpens one’s spiritual focus and turns one’s heart anew to serve God in wholeness and freedom.  This clear focus enables a person to freely give talents, time and treasure in service to those in need— especially the poor, the outcast, those at the margins.

Today’s readings offer Christians pretty clear criteria for becoming honest and open followers of Jesus Christ.  Rather than disorder and distrust, we who follow Jesus will be known by the ways we serve those in need and the ways we strengthen each other’s faith, especially the faith of those who are young and vulnerable.  Rather than confusion and mistrust, we are called to fashion a world tangibly alive with the gospel values of love and service.

This brings us back to that faith-filled mindfulness of turning our hearts to God.  Jesus is quite bold in saying that radical surgery may be necessary—if your hand or foot is the problem, cut it off.  If the envy in my eye is leading me astray, better to get to heaven with just one eye.  Our hearts can certainly be renewed if we learn that all-important lesson of handing over our lives to God no matter what… knowing that it is in dying to ourselves that we are all born to eternal life.

—The Jesuit prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.

And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 29, 2012

John 1: 47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

God Speaks to Us through His Messengers

Today’s feast of the archangels reminds us that we are part of a great spiritual world filled with realities invisible to us and yet still real. We participate in this spiritual realm and are affected by it whether we are aware of it or not.  It is very real. The angels (and the demons who are fallen angels) are part of this spiritual world.  Their task is to praise God and to carry out his will.

St. Michael is known in the Bible for fighting against Satan and the other rebel angels.  He reminds us that there is a great spiritual battle going on around us, the forces of good and evil battling each other for souls, and that the angels are our allies and protection in this struggle. St. Gabriel is God’s messenger, bringing to Mary the news of the Incarnation.  He reminds us that God speaks to us through his messengers, communicating his will and his love to us in a spiritual way, which we “hear” with our soul instead of our ears.  St. Raphael brings God’s loving care, sent by God to help Tobias and Tobit in answer to their prayers.  He reminds us that God listens to our prayers and answers them, helping us in our need through his agents, who are both angels and men.

With so much going on around us in the spiritual world, it is worthwhile trying to stay attuned.  Since we are accustomed to seeing and hearing with our senses, this can be difficult.  The ability to perceive spiritual realities is, of course, the fruit of prayer and discernment that allows us to recognize and understand the movements and voices that touch our souls.  Realizing that the spiritual realm is real and important, and turning to the angels as our allies and friends, is a good place to start.

—Matthew Monnig, S.J.

Prayer

Lord, it is not easy to listen for your voice. It takes effort and a degree of discipline.  Lord, give us the desire to sit in quiet and simply be with you. To fully dedicate ourselves to you for mere minutes each day is an extremely powerful way to discern your will and to recommit to putting you first in our lives. While the fruits of such a commitment may not be apparent immediately, such a practice will bear extraordinary gifts over time.  And, Lord, please give our angels a pat on their backs for intervening so many times on our behalf.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, it is not easy to listen for your voice. It takes effort and a degree of discipline.  Lord, give us the desire to sit in quiet and simply be with you. To fully dedicate ourselves to you for mere minutes each day is an extremely powerful way to discern your will and to recommit to putting you first in our lives. While the fruits of such a commitment may not be apparent immediately, such a practice will bear extraordinary gifts over time.  And, Lord, please give our angels a pat on their backs for intervening so many times on our behalf.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

God Speaks to Us through His Messengers

Today’s feast of the archangels reminds us that we are part of a great spiritual world filled with realities invisible to us and yet still real. We participate in this spiritual realm and are affected by it whether we are aware of it or not.  It is very real. The angels (and the demons who are fallen angels) are part of this spiritual world.  Their task is to praise God and to carry out his will.

St. Michael is known in the Bible for fighting against Satan and the other rebel angels.  He reminds us that there is a great spiritual battle going on around us, the forces of good and evil battling each other for souls, and that the angels are our allies and protection in this struggle. St. Gabriel is God’s messenger, bringing to Mary the news of the Incarnation.  He reminds us that God speaks to us through his messengers, communicating his will and his love to us in a spiritual way, which we “hear” with our soul instead of our ears.  St. Raphael brings God’s loving care, sent by God to help Tobias and Tobit in answer to their prayers.  He reminds us that God listens to our prayers and answers them, helping us in our need through his agents, who are both angels and men.

With so much going on around us in the spiritual world, it is worthwhile trying to stay attuned.  Since we are accustomed to seeing and hearing with our senses, this can be difficult.  The ability to perceive spiritual realities is, of course, the fruit of prayer and discernment that allows us to recognize and understand the movements and voices that touch our souls.  Realizing that the spiritual realm is real and important, and turning to the angels as our allies and friends, is a good place to start.

—Matthew Monnig, S.J.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

John 1: 47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

September 28, 2012

Luke 9: 18-22

Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)

The Appointed Time

Fr. John Naus, SJ is an elderly priest who sends out thousands of Christmas cards every year. I usually receive mine in August, because it takes the whole calendar year to get cards out to the entire mailing list. He includes little snippets of wisdom each year, and this year, one pithy line stood out in particular: “Parents give their children two great gifts – one is roots, the other is wings.” These two disparate but connected gifts – roots of family and faith, and the trust to let that faith blossom in its own time – challenge us to discern what response Christ calls us to, and when that response is appropriate.

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill,and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

In today’s first reading, we continue reading the Preacher’s poetry in Ecclesiastes. This passage resonates with us because it summons to mind joys and sorrows from our own life and family. The range of human experiences described here is exalted and transformed in our life of faith.

We mark new birth and death in the Sacrament of Baptism, and again in the Rite of Christian Burial. We weep and mourn at funerals, and we laugh, dance, and weep for joy at weddings and ordinations.  Parents struggle with knowing when it is best to offer advice and when to bite their lip.  When to gather their children in, and when to let them spread their wings.

The life of Christ is a model for this, as well. There is an appointed time for both rejoicing and undergoing suffering.  And how often in His life do joy and suffering follow one another!  In our Gospel today, Jesus acknowledges that the Son of Man must suffer greatly, be rejected, killed, only to be raised on the third day.

Consider the ‘appointed times’ in your own life.  What are you undergoing or rejoicing in right now?  Ask for the grace to hear what the invitation from God is at this appointed time.

—Joseph Simmons, SJ

Prayer

Lord, our lives ebb and flow between beginnings and endings, from emptiness to fullness, from the weariness of depletion to the wonder of creation, from an agony of the heart to the burst of joy that fills our senses. And so goes the lives of all who cling to you.

Lord, through your humanity and divinity, you accepted the cycle of life. When we recall the denial and abandonment by your best friends, the brutality that lifted you up on the cross and drew forth blood and water from your side, we know that death does not have the final word. Because you stand victorious, we will one day cross over to eternal life.

And regardless of our place in our appointed time, we claim your promise “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, our lives ebb and flow between beginnings and endings, from emptiness to fullness, from the weariness of depletion to the wonder of creation, from an agony of the heart to the burst of joy that fills our senses. And so goes the lives of all who cling to you.

Lord, through your humanity and divinity, you accepted the cycle of life. When we recall the denial and abandonment by your best friends, the brutality that lifted you up on the cross and drew forth blood and water from your side, we know that death does not have the final word. Because you stand victorious, we will one day cross over to eternal life.

And regardless of our place in our appointed time, we claim your promise “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!