October 31, 2012

Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1533-1617)

Luke 13: 22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from. ’

Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

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)

Much to Teach Us

Some Jesuit saints attack the world head-on, like St. Peter Claver, the friend and disciple of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. Others like Alphonsus himself fight personal battles against failure, loss, temptation, and disease. We tend to admire more activist champions such as Peter Claver, who worked among slaves for forty years. But why should we think any the less of saints such as Alphonsus who was more like us in his ordinariness and suffering? And who showed us how to be faithful in long lasting spiritual and personal struggles?

Alphonsus’s early years in Segovia, Spain, are a story of tragedies. When he was fourteen his father died and he left school to help his mother run the family business. At twenty-three he married, but his wife died in childbirth three years later. Within a few years his mother and son also died. On top of this, his business was failing, so he sold it. Recognizing a late vocation to religious life, he applied for admission to the Jesuits at Segovia, but was refused because he was not educated.

Undaunted, Alphonsus returned to Latin school, humbly bearing the ridicule of his adolescent classmates. Finally, in 1571, the Jesuit provincial accepted him as a lay brother. He was sent to Montesione College on Majorca, where he served as doorkeeper for forty-five years. His post allowed him to minister to many visitors. And he became the spiritual adviser to many students. He exerted wide-reaching influence, most notably in guiding St. Peter Claver into his mission to the slaves of the New World.

Alphonsus adhered to a few simple spiritual guidelines that navigated him through his troubles and trials. For example, a method for finding joy in hardship:

“Another exercise is very valuable for the imitation of Christ—for love of him, taking the sweet for the bitter and the bitter for sweet. So, I put myself in spirit before our crucified Lord, looking at him full of sorrow, shedding his blood and bearing great bodily hardships for me. As love is paid for in love, I must imitate him, sharing in spirit all his sufferings.

I must consider how much I owe him and what he has done for me. Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say, “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

—Excerpt from Bert Ghezzi, Voices of the Saints © 2000 Doubleday. Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com

Prayer

Lord, as the nights lengthen and autumn begins its surrender to winter, so, too, the Scripture readings for the church year focus on the last things….this is truly a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks. You have brought us safe thus far. Above all, we thank you for the wisdom that has come from our suffering and for your grace that has protected us from bitterness. Little by little, you have grown us into the people we are now.  And before I say farewell to this day, I embrace the insight of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J: “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

 —The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, as the nights lengthen and autumn begins its surrender to winter, so, too, the Scripture readings for the church year focus on the last things….this is truly a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks. You have brought us safe thus far. Above all, we thank you for the wisdom that has come from our suffering and for your grace that has protected us from bitterness. Little by little, you have grown us into the people we are now. And before I say farewell to this day, I embrace the insight of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J: “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

 —The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Much to Teach Us

Some Jesuit saints attack the world head-on, like St. Peter Claver, the friend and disciple of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. Others like Alphonsus himself fight personal battles against failure, loss, temptation, and disease. We tend to admire more activist champions such as Peter Claver, who worked among slaves for forty years. But why should we think any the less of saints such as Alphonsus who was more like us in his ordinariness and suffering? And who showed us how to be faithful in long lasting spiritual and personal struggles?

Alphonsus’s early years in Segovia, Spain, are a story of tragedies. When he was fourteen his father died and he left school to help his mother run the family business. At twenty-three he married, but his wife died in childbirth three years later. Within a few years his mother and son also died. On top of this, his business was failing, so he sold it. Recognizing a late vocation to religious life, he applied for admission to the Jesuits at Segovia, but was refused because he was not educated.

Undaunted, Alphonsus returned to Latin school, humbly bearing the ridicule of his adolescent classmates. Finally, in 1571, the Jesuit provincial accepted him as a lay brother. He was sent to Montesione College on Majorca, where he served as doorkeeper for forty-five years. His post allowed him to minister to many visitors. And he became the spiritual adviser to many students. He exerted wide-reaching influence, most notably in guiding St. Peter Claver into his mission to the slaves of the New World.

Alphonsus adhered to a few simple spiritual guidelines that navigated him through his troubles and trials. For example, a method for finding joy in hardship:

“Another exercise is very valuable for the imitation of Christ—for love of him, taking the sweet for the bitter and the bitter for sweet. So, I put myself in spirit before our crucified Lord, looking at him full of sorrow, shedding his blood and bearing great bodily hardships for me. As love is paid for in love, I must imitate him, sharing in spirit all his sufferings.

I must consider how much I owe him and what he has done for me. Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say, “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

Excerpt from Bert Ghezzi, Voices of the Saints © 2000 Doubleday. Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1533-1617)

Luke 13: 22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from. ’

Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

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!

October 30, 2012

Ephesians 5: 21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body.“ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

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)

A Captive Heart

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  [Ephesians 5: 21]

Everybody wants to be in charge. No one wants to be under the thumb. Subordination sounds one step away from servitude – a heart beat up from slavery. Yet love serves the beloved with boundless joy, at any cost.  If love makes our hearts captive, then we say, “Bring on the chains.”  Paul tried to say something, smothered in gender roles and strangled by history’s prejudices.  If we listen carefully, we can hear the true thing beneath all the lies told about it.

—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com

Prayer

Lord, we know how much we love another by the degree to which we are willing to sacrifice for that person.  If there are loved ones who need our sacrifice this day, direct our words and actions to support them. Help us to be generous with our time; help us to slow down and listen with our eyes and heart; help us to be present when grief has no relief. And if we are in need of another’s sacrifice, help us to receive this gift with gratitude and be freed from any sense of guilt. In thanksgiving we pray for those who have sacrificed for us and remained faithful as we worked through a difficult time.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, we know how much we love another by the degree to which we are willing to sacrifice for that person.  If there are loved ones who need our sacrifice this day, direct our words and actions to support them. Help us to be generous with our time; help us to slow down and listen with our eyes and heart; help us to be present when grief has no relief. And if we are in need of another’s sacrifice, help us to receive this gift with gratitude and be freed from any sense of guilt. In thanksgiving we pray for those who have sacrificed for us and remained faithful as we worked through a difficult time.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

A Captive Heart

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  [Ephesians 5: 21]

Everybody wants to be in charge. No one wants to be under the thumb. Subordination sounds one step away from servitude – a heart beat up from slavery. Yet love serves the beloved with boundless joy, at any cost.  If love makes our hearts captive, then we say, “Bring on the chains.”  Paul tried to say something, smothered in gender roles and strangled by history’s prejudices.  If we listen carefully, we can hear the true thing beneath all the lies told about it.

—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Ephesians 5: 21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body.“ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

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!

October 29, 2012

Ephesians 4: 32-5:8

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.T herefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light.

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 Gift of Forgiveness

Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.  [Ephesians 4: 32]

Mrs. Hannah was a widow in Colorado. Her daughter was murdered. The killer was convicted and sentenced. But Mrs. Hannah could not forgive him. Worse yet, her bitterness destroyed all her peace of mind and heart. One day she remembered Jesus’ words: “Love your enemies.” Then and there she surrendered to Jesus, bought a Bible, wrote a note of forgiveness in it, and sent it to the prisoner. It changed not only his life but also hers.

Before receiving the note, he feared God would never forgive him. After receiving it, he realized that if she could forgive him, God could too. Mrs. Hannah’s act of forgiveness dissolved her bitterness and filled her with deep inner peace. How can I scale the walls that keep me from forgiving as Mrs. Hannah did?

Forgiveness is the fragrance a violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.  [Mark Twain]

—Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com

Prayer

Lord, this day we say “Yes” to your mercy. We will acknowledge our break in trust with you and others. We will ask forgiveness and move forward with integrity.  If we feel unworthy of your forgiveness and move away from you, we are simply imposing a limit on your love.  Lord, give us the grace to embrace your forgiveness and help us to understand how we are to forgive when we have been  deeply hurt.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, this day we say “Yes” to your mercy. We will acknowledge our break in trust with you and others. We will ask forgiveness and move forward with integrity.  If we feel unworthy of your forgiveness and move away from you, we are simply imposing a limit on your love.  Lord, give us the grace to embrace your forgiveness and help us to understand how we are to forgive when we have been deeply hurt.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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October 31, 2012

Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1533-1617)

Luke 13: 22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from. ’

Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

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)

Much to Teach Us

Some Jesuit saints attack the world head-on, like St. Peter Claver, the friend and disciple of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. Others like Alphonsus himself fight personal battles against failure, loss, temptation, and disease. We tend to admire more activist champions such as Peter Claver, who worked among slaves for forty years. But why should we think any the less of saints such as Alphonsus who was more like us in his ordinariness and suffering? And who showed us how to be faithful in long lasting spiritual and personal struggles?

Alphonsus’s early years in Segovia, Spain, are a story of tragedies. When he was fourteen his father died and he left school to help his mother run the family business. At twenty-three he married, but his wife died in childbirth three years later. Within a few years his mother and son also died. On top of this, his business was failing, so he sold it. Recognizing a late vocation to religious life, he applied for admission to the Jesuits at Segovia, but was refused because he was not educated.

Undaunted, Alphonsus returned to Latin school, humbly bearing the ridicule of his adolescent classmates. Finally, in 1571, the Jesuit provincial accepted him as a lay brother. He was sent to Montesione College on Majorca, where he served as doorkeeper for forty-five years. His post allowed him to minister to many visitors. And he became the spiritual adviser to many students. He exerted wide-reaching influence, most notably in guiding St. Peter Claver into his mission to the slaves of the New World.

Alphonsus adhered to a few simple spiritual guidelines that navigated him through his troubles and trials. For example, a method for finding joy in hardship:

“Another exercise is very valuable for the imitation of Christ—for love of him, taking the sweet for the bitter and the bitter for sweet. So, I put myself in spirit before our crucified Lord, looking at him full of sorrow, shedding his blood and bearing great bodily hardships for me. As love is paid for in love, I must imitate him, sharing in spirit all his sufferings.

I must consider how much I owe him and what he has done for me. Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say, “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

—Excerpt from Bert Ghezzi, Voices of the Saints © 2000 Doubleday. Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com

Prayer

Lord, as the nights lengthen and autumn begins its surrender to winter, so, too, the Scripture readings for the church year focus on the last things….this is truly a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks. You have brought us safe thus far. Above all, we thank you for the wisdom that has come from our suffering and for your grace that has protected us from bitterness. Little by little, you have grown us into the people we are now.  And before I say farewell to this day, I embrace the insight of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J: “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

 —The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, as the nights lengthen and autumn begins its surrender to winter, so, too, the Scripture readings for the church year focus on the last things….this is truly a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks. You have brought us safe thus far. Above all, we thank you for the wisdom that has come from our suffering and for your grace that has protected us from bitterness. Little by little, you have grown us into the people we are now. And before I say farewell to this day, I embrace the insight of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J: “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

 —The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Much to Teach Us

Some Jesuit saints attack the world head-on, like St. Peter Claver, the friend and disciple of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. Others like Alphonsus himself fight personal battles against failure, loss, temptation, and disease. We tend to admire more activist champions such as Peter Claver, who worked among slaves for forty years. But why should we think any the less of saints such as Alphonsus who was more like us in his ordinariness and suffering? And who showed us how to be faithful in long lasting spiritual and personal struggles?

Alphonsus’s early years in Segovia, Spain, are a story of tragedies. When he was fourteen his father died and he left school to help his mother run the family business. At twenty-three he married, but his wife died in childbirth three years later. Within a few years his mother and son also died. On top of this, his business was failing, so he sold it. Recognizing a late vocation to religious life, he applied for admission to the Jesuits at Segovia, but was refused because he was not educated.

Undaunted, Alphonsus returned to Latin school, humbly bearing the ridicule of his adolescent classmates. Finally, in 1571, the Jesuit provincial accepted him as a lay brother. He was sent to Montesione College on Majorca, where he served as doorkeeper for forty-five years. His post allowed him to minister to many visitors. And he became the spiritual adviser to many students. He exerted wide-reaching influence, most notably in guiding St. Peter Claver into his mission to the slaves of the New World.

Alphonsus adhered to a few simple spiritual guidelines that navigated him through his troubles and trials. For example, a method for finding joy in hardship:

“Another exercise is very valuable for the imitation of Christ—for love of him, taking the sweet for the bitter and the bitter for sweet. So, I put myself in spirit before our crucified Lord, looking at him full of sorrow, shedding his blood and bearing great bodily hardships for me. As love is paid for in love, I must imitate him, sharing in spirit all his sufferings.

I must consider how much I owe him and what he has done for me. Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say, “What does it matter, my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?  For you, Lord, endured so many great hardships for me.”

Excerpt from Bert Ghezzi, Voices of the Saints © 2000 Doubleday. Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1533-1617)

Luke 13: 22-30

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from. ’

Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

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!

October 30, 2012

Ephesians 5: 21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body.“ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

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)

A Captive Heart

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  [Ephesians 5: 21]

Everybody wants to be in charge. No one wants to be under the thumb. Subordination sounds one step away from servitude – a heart beat up from slavery. Yet love serves the beloved with boundless joy, at any cost.  If love makes our hearts captive, then we say, “Bring on the chains.”  Paul tried to say something, smothered in gender roles and strangled by history’s prejudices.  If we listen carefully, we can hear the true thing beneath all the lies told about it.

—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com

Prayer

Lord, we know how much we love another by the degree to which we are willing to sacrifice for that person.  If there are loved ones who need our sacrifice this day, direct our words and actions to support them. Help us to be generous with our time; help us to slow down and listen with our eyes and heart; help us to be present when grief has no relief. And if we are in need of another’s sacrifice, help us to receive this gift with gratitude and be freed from any sense of guilt. In thanksgiving we pray for those who have sacrificed for us and remained faithful as we worked through a difficult time.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Prayer

Lord, we know how much we love another by the degree to which we are willing to sacrifice for that person.  If there are loved ones who need our sacrifice this day, direct our words and actions to support them. Help us to be generous with our time; help us to slow down and listen with our eyes and heart; help us to be present when grief has no relief. And if we are in need of another’s sacrifice, help us to receive this gift with gratitude and be freed from any sense of guilt. In thanksgiving we pray for those who have sacrificed for us and remained faithful as we worked through a difficult time.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

A Captive Heart

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  [Ephesians 5: 21]

Everybody wants to be in charge. No one wants to be under the thumb. Subordination sounds one step away from servitude – a heart beat up from slavery. Yet love serves the beloved with boundless joy, at any cost.  If love makes our hearts captive, then we say, “Bring on the chains.”  Paul tried to say something, smothered in gender roles and strangled by history’s prejudices.  If we listen carefully, we can hear the true thing beneath all the lies told about it.

—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com


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Ephesians 5: 21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.

In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body.“ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

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)


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October 29, 2012

Ephesians 4: 32-5:8

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.T herefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light.

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 Gift of Forgiveness

Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.  [Ephesians 4: 32]

Mrs. Hannah was a widow in Colorado. Her daughter was murdered. The killer was convicted and sentenced. But Mrs. Hannah could not forgive him. Worse yet, her bitterness destroyed all her peace of mind and heart. One day she remembered Jesus’ words: “Love your enemies.” Then and there she surrendered to Jesus, bought a Bible, wrote a note of forgiveness in it, and sent it to the prisoner. It changed not only his life but also hers.

Before receiving the note, he feared God would never forgive him. After receiving it, he realized that if she could forgive him, God could too. Mrs. Hannah’s act of forgiveness dissolved her bitterness and filled her with deep inner peace. How can I scale the walls that keep me from forgiving as Mrs. Hannah did?

Forgiveness is the fragrance a violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.  [Mark Twain]

—Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com

Prayer

Lord, this day we say “Yes” to your mercy. We will acknowledge our break in trust with you and others. We will ask forgiveness and move forward with integrity.  If we feel unworthy of your forgiveness and move away from you, we are simply imposing a limit on your love.  Lord, give us the grace to embrace your forgiveness and help us to understand how we are to forgive when we have been  deeply hurt.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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Prayer

Lord, this day we say “Yes” to your mercy. We will acknowledge our break in trust with you and others. We will ask forgiveness and move forward with integrity.  If we feel unworthy of your forgiveness and move away from you, we are simply imposing a limit on your love.  Lord, give us the grace to embrace your forgiveness and help us to understand how we are to forgive when we have been deeply hurt.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


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