May 28, 2017

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Mt 28: 16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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.

On Mission

Pentecost has been called “the birthday of the Church” or the beginning of “the Age of the Church.” This majestic feast signals the completion of Christ’s redemptive mission. Jesus had been sent by his eternal Father to redeem the human community by his passion and death.

Do we have a role in helping to advance our Lord’s mission? St. Paul leaves little doubt. He writes: “God in Christ has reconciled the world to himself, and the Good News of reconciliation He has entrusted to us.” (2 Cor. 5, 17-18)

Could there be a more significant and satisfying life assignment for us?  I doubt it very much!  We are a pentecostal people with a noble mission. Ignatius of Loyola helped refine the meaning of this call in founding the Society of Jesus.  

—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.

Prayer

Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Send for your Spirit and we will be re-created,
And you will renew the face of the earth.

—a traditional prayer

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 27, 2017

St. Augustine of Canterbury

Jn 16: 23b-28

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

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.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Jesus’ words in today’s gospel were spoken to his apostles during the Last Supper. They are equally important for us today as we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Ascension. Jesus promises to ask the Father for whatever each of usas well as our families and co-workers, neighbors and friendsmight need. “Ask and you shall receive,” Jesus says, “that your joy may be full.”

Amidst the busy-ness of this weekend, take a few moments to ponder whatever you wish to “ask” God for. As we celebrate Jesus’ reunion with the Father, what requests do I wish to place in Jesus’ hands? What persons and situations among my family and neighbors and friends do I entrust in a special way to the Father’s loving concern? And, for myself, what do I really need deep down in my heart, that my joy “may be full”?

—the Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

A hymn of glory let us sing!
New hymns throughout the world shall ring: Alleluia Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,|
Ascends unto the throne of God: Alleluia Alleluia, Alleluia!

—Text: Venerable Bede; Tune: Lasst Uns Effreuen.  © 1996, GIA Publications, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 26, 2017

St. Philip Neri

Jn 16: 20-23

Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

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.

An Easter People

Christians are fundamentally an “Easter People.” The Resurrection lies central to the mystery of our faith and the grounding of our daily lives.

Yet, in a world which so often lacks joy and hope, the Resurrection can seem far away. For example, the coverage of politics—on both sides of the aisle—makes it feel as if we are in a continual, hopeless fight.

But, we are an Easter People. Jesus calls us to something deeper than a blind optimism. In today’s Gospel, we hear the words “anguish” and “pain” interwoven with “joy.”

How can that be?

The answer lies in the Christ we see after the Resurrection—a Christ glorified, but still bearing the wounds of the Passion. The cost of following always remains, but that cost is always less than the Glory of God. It is by seeking the Glory of God that we find our joy and hope.

—Colten Biro, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province; he is currently studying English at St. Louis University.

Prayer

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.

—St. John Paul II

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 25, 2017

St. Gregory VII / St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Jn 16: 16-20

”A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”

They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

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.

Hope in the Darkest Moments

We will rejoice…even in our darkest moments, there will be happiness! Easier said than to believe, right?  Am I like the disciples, not understanding what Jesus was saying to them?  

I recently lost a friend due to cancer.  She was a beautiful, young, intelligent woman.  She was a wife who was very caring for her husband, she was a mother to four young children who love and miss her dearly.  Her death was heart-breaking to many of us.  Will there be joy after this grief?  

As I walked into church, I saw her family strong and together with big smiles.  They shared their thoughts about her life as we celebrated together.  They knew Carol was with God.  Their faith reminded me of what Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.”

—Cecilia Hernandez works in the Vocations Office for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, in this month of May, we pray for all the children who have lost their mothers due to illness. May they find peace and comfort. One day, may we all rejoice with you.  

—Cecilia Hernandez

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 24, 2017

Jn 16: 12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

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.

Leaving “Home”

Growing up on the Southside of Milwaukee, where are you from meant the Parish. It was later in life that I realized the world was a whole lot bigger than I imagined.

Now “where are you from,” means from what part of this big world did we start. When Jesus said “I have so much more to teach you” makes me reflect on my experiences with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Ignatian Spirituality Program.  In both of these ministries I meet people with totally different life experiences. I could not have understood this if I never left “home.”

God teaches us slowly and calls us to grow when we are ready to experience the wisdom he has to share. It is only with God’s guidance that we can experience “the more He has to share with us,” each at and in God’s time.

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).  

Prayer

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust,
yet the law of the Lord will stand
as a shelter for all who will call on his name.
Sing the praise and the glory of God.

—Dan Schutte, “Though the Mountains May Fall” © OCP Publications, Inc.

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 23, 2017

Jn 16: 5-11

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

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.

Following Christ

Before I go to bed at night, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. This means I have given it all in my day.

Before I wake in the morning, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. For this means I am ready to receive it all in my day.

When I follow Christ, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty and bear his wounds. For now giving and receiving have become one.

—Michael Martinez, SJ, a Jesuit scholastic of the Antilles Jesuit province, writes from Arrupe House, on the campus of Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

—lines from “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 22, 2017

St. Rita of Cascia

Acts 16: 11-15

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.

A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

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.

Paying Attention

The holy women in my life are good at noticing things:

Our five-year- old Maeve: “Daddy, Tess wiped her yogurt cereal on your pants.”
Our two-year- old Tess: “Daddy, your pants dirty.”
My wife Megan: “That’s okay. Daddy doesn’t mind, really.”

Noticing things is at the heart of Ignatian Spirituality. St. Ignatius tells us at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises to savor our experiences for quality of meaning that only the heart can know.

I wonder what quality of character drew Paul to recognize that being in Lydia’s and the other women’s presence would be a “place of prayer.” We know that she “listened” and “paid attention” and that she generously opened her home.  Perhaps our own prayer and our evangelization of the Gospel today can be to similarly “pay attention” to whom in our life offers us this gift and to whom we might offer it in return.

—Jordan Skarr works in the Office of Pastoral Ministries for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Lord, open our eyes to notice the people in our lives who offer us the space to foster a deeper relationship with God.  May we seek them out for ourselves, and provide that space for others.

—The Jesuit prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 21, 2017

Acts 8: 5-8. 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

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.

Jesus In the Poor

In years past it was not uncommon to be accosted on the street by someone asking if you knew Jesus. I always wondered if they had read Peter’s first letter. Jesus invited his followers to witness to him through acts of kindness: visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry.

Our Catholic tradition is largely institutionalized in organizations like Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Poor, St. Vincent de Paul Society. But, since Vatican II, many Catholics have followed the call of the Spirit to step out of their comfort zone and become personally involved. Now many of these, when asked “Do you know Jesus?” will answer “I have met Him.” Jesus reveals himself in a most wonderful way to those who serve him in the poor.

—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.

Prayer

Show your ways to me, O Lord, and teach me your paths.
Direct me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my Saviour.

—St. Peter Faber, S.J.

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 20, 2017

St. Bernardine of Siena

Acts 16: 1-10

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.

During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

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.

Growing in Faith

Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”

Today marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 28 and then the great celebration of Pentecost on June 4, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:

What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts do I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2017?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”

—The Jesuit prayer team

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 19, 2017

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.

You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

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.

Love One Another

In the Gospel today, Jesus’ command seems simultaneously simple and complicated. Three words: “love one another.” Three simple words which appear in direct contrast to most of the news of recent months, and even the tone of our national conversation. Yet, if we are truly to be Christ’s disciples following him with our whole hearts, his command remains simple: Love one another.

And that sounds lovely; but we often complicate that command. Sure, we love others…but do we love those with whom we disagree? Sure we love others… but do we love those who offend us or hurt us? Sure we love others… but we complicate the command as a way to avoid the hard work of laying down our very life and preferences for another.

Still, Jesus remains calling us as friends to walk with him in his simple mission of love: [Go] Love one another.

—Colten Biro, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province; he is currently studying philosophy at St. Louis University.

Prayer

Love is shown more in deeds than in words.

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 


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.


Get our FREE App

Submit a Prayer Request

Archives

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
28293031   
       
   1234
262728    
       
       
       
    123
45678910
       
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
       
      1
       
     12
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
       

May 28, 2017

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Mt 28: 16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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.

On Mission

Pentecost has been called “the birthday of the Church” or the beginning of “the Age of the Church.” This majestic feast signals the completion of Christ’s redemptive mission. Jesus had been sent by his eternal Father to redeem the human community by his passion and death.

Do we have a role in helping to advance our Lord’s mission? St. Paul leaves little doubt. He writes: “God in Christ has reconciled the world to himself, and the Good News of reconciliation He has entrusted to us.” (2 Cor. 5, 17-18)

Could there be a more significant and satisfying life assignment for us?  I doubt it very much!  We are a pentecostal people with a noble mission. Ignatius of Loyola helped refine the meaning of this call in founding the Society of Jesus.  

—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.

Prayer

Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Send for your Spirit and we will be re-created,
And you will renew the face of the earth.

—a traditional prayer

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 27, 2017

St. Augustine of Canterbury

Jn 16: 23b-28

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

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.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Jesus’ words in today’s gospel were spoken to his apostles during the Last Supper. They are equally important for us today as we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Ascension. Jesus promises to ask the Father for whatever each of usas well as our families and co-workers, neighbors and friendsmight need. “Ask and you shall receive,” Jesus says, “that your joy may be full.”

Amidst the busy-ness of this weekend, take a few moments to ponder whatever you wish to “ask” God for. As we celebrate Jesus’ reunion with the Father, what requests do I wish to place in Jesus’ hands? What persons and situations among my family and neighbors and friends do I entrust in a special way to the Father’s loving concern? And, for myself, what do I really need deep down in my heart, that my joy “may be full”?

—the Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

A hymn of glory let us sing!
New hymns throughout the world shall ring: Alleluia Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,|
Ascends unto the throne of God: Alleluia Alleluia, Alleluia!

—Text: Venerable Bede; Tune: Lasst Uns Effreuen.  © 1996, GIA Publications, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 26, 2017

St. Philip Neri

Jn 16: 20-23

Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

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.

An Easter People

Christians are fundamentally an “Easter People.” The Resurrection lies central to the mystery of our faith and the grounding of our daily lives.

Yet, in a world which so often lacks joy and hope, the Resurrection can seem far away. For example, the coverage of politics—on both sides of the aisle—makes it feel as if we are in a continual, hopeless fight.

But, we are an Easter People. Jesus calls us to something deeper than a blind optimism. In today’s Gospel, we hear the words “anguish” and “pain” interwoven with “joy.”

How can that be?

The answer lies in the Christ we see after the Resurrection—a Christ glorified, but still bearing the wounds of the Passion. The cost of following always remains, but that cost is always less than the Glory of God. It is by seeking the Glory of God that we find our joy and hope.

—Colten Biro, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province; he is currently studying English at St. Louis University.

Prayer

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.

—St. John Paul II

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 25, 2017

St. Gregory VII / St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Jn 16: 16-20

”A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”

They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

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.

Hope in the Darkest Moments

We will rejoice…even in our darkest moments, there will be happiness! Easier said than to believe, right?  Am I like the disciples, not understanding what Jesus was saying to them?  

I recently lost a friend due to cancer.  She was a beautiful, young, intelligent woman.  She was a wife who was very caring for her husband, she was a mother to four young children who love and miss her dearly.  Her death was heart-breaking to many of us.  Will there be joy after this grief?  

As I walked into church, I saw her family strong and together with big smiles.  They shared their thoughts about her life as we celebrated together.  They knew Carol was with God.  Their faith reminded me of what Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.”

—Cecilia Hernandez works in the Vocations Office for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, in this month of May, we pray for all the children who have lost their mothers due to illness. May they find peace and comfort. One day, may we all rejoice with you.  

—Cecilia Hernandez

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 24, 2017

Jn 16: 12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

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.

Leaving “Home”

Growing up on the Southside of Milwaukee, where are you from meant the Parish. It was later in life that I realized the world was a whole lot bigger than I imagined.

Now “where are you from,” means from what part of this big world did we start. When Jesus said “I have so much more to teach you” makes me reflect on my experiences with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Ignatian Spirituality Program.  In both of these ministries I meet people with totally different life experiences. I could not have understood this if I never left “home.”

God teaches us slowly and calls us to grow when we are ready to experience the wisdom he has to share. It is only with God’s guidance that we can experience “the more He has to share with us,” each at and in God’s time.

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).  

Prayer

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust,
yet the law of the Lord will stand
as a shelter for all who will call on his name.
Sing the praise and the glory of God.

—Dan Schutte, “Though the Mountains May Fall” © OCP Publications, Inc.

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 23, 2017

Jn 16: 5-11

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

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.

Following Christ

Before I go to bed at night, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. This means I have given it all in my day.

Before I wake in the morning, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. For this means I am ready to receive it all in my day.

When I follow Christ, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty and bear his wounds. For now giving and receiving have become one.

—Michael Martinez, SJ, a Jesuit scholastic of the Antilles Jesuit province, writes from Arrupe House, on the campus of Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

—lines from “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 22, 2017

St. Rita of Cascia

Acts 16: 11-15

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.

A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

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.

Paying Attention

The holy women in my life are good at noticing things:

Our five-year- old Maeve: “Daddy, Tess wiped her yogurt cereal on your pants.”
Our two-year- old Tess: “Daddy, your pants dirty.”
My wife Megan: “That’s okay. Daddy doesn’t mind, really.”

Noticing things is at the heart of Ignatian Spirituality. St. Ignatius tells us at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises to savor our experiences for quality of meaning that only the heart can know.

I wonder what quality of character drew Paul to recognize that being in Lydia’s and the other women’s presence would be a “place of prayer.” We know that she “listened” and “paid attention” and that she generously opened her home.  Perhaps our own prayer and our evangelization of the Gospel today can be to similarly “pay attention” to whom in our life offers us this gift and to whom we might offer it in return.

—Jordan Skarr works in the Office of Pastoral Ministries for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Lord, open our eyes to notice the people in our lives who offer us the space to foster a deeper relationship with God.  May we seek them out for ourselves, and provide that space for others.

—The Jesuit prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 21, 2017

Acts 8: 5-8. 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

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.

Jesus In the Poor

In years past it was not uncommon to be accosted on the street by someone asking if you knew Jesus. I always wondered if they had read Peter’s first letter. Jesus invited his followers to witness to him through acts of kindness: visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry.

Our Catholic tradition is largely institutionalized in organizations like Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Poor, St. Vincent de Paul Society. But, since Vatican II, many Catholics have followed the call of the Spirit to step out of their comfort zone and become personally involved. Now many of these, when asked “Do you know Jesus?” will answer “I have met Him.” Jesus reveals himself in a most wonderful way to those who serve him in the poor.

—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.

Prayer

Show your ways to me, O Lord, and teach me your paths.
Direct me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my Saviour.

—St. Peter Faber, S.J.

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 20, 2017

St. Bernardine of Siena

Acts 16: 1-10

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.

During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

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.

Growing in Faith

Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”

Today marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 28 and then the great celebration of Pentecost on June 4, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:

What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts do I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2017?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”

—The Jesuit prayer team

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 19, 2017

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.

You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

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.

Love One Another

In the Gospel today, Jesus’ command seems simultaneously simple and complicated. Three words: “love one another.” Three simple words which appear in direct contrast to most of the news of recent months, and even the tone of our national conversation. Yet, if we are truly to be Christ’s disciples following him with our whole hearts, his command remains simple: Love one another.

And that sounds lovely; but we often complicate that command. Sure, we love others…but do we love those with whom we disagree? Sure we love others… but do we love those who offend us or hurt us? Sure we love others… but we complicate the command as a way to avoid the hard work of laying down our very life and preferences for another.

Still, Jesus remains calling us as friends to walk with him in his simple mission of love: [Go] Love one another.

—Colten Biro, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province; he is currently studying philosophy at St. Louis University.

Prayer

Love is shown more in deeds than in words.

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!