God is with us

Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared to St. Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. She looked like a woman from his own culture and spoke to him in his own language, and she gave a message like the angel’s message in today’s Gospel: “Don’t be afraid. Nothing is impossible with God. Go, and tell those in power that God is with you.”

When I was teaching students from Mexican immigrant families at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, I heard the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe often in conversations with my students’ parents about their prayers and hopes for their children. She reminds us that God is with us, in all nations, and has a special care for the humble and those in need.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

 

 

 

 

 


God’s Deepest Desire: Our Closeness

Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep is one we have heard very often. In the context of Advent, we can imagine not only ourselves, but the entire world as a lost sheep. At one point in the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites those making the retreat to look down on the world with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They see the world for what it is, the holy, the profane, and the mundane. They look on us now, too. They see people loving and hating, at peace and at war, some starving and some in luxury, those working for justice and those who (hopefully) unknowingly work against it. Those who have wandered, and those who are close to his heart. They see our own hearts, at times following the law written in our hearts, at other times turning away from our creator. And they say in unison “It is time for salvation to come. It is time for them to know how great Our love is.”

—Mike Tedone, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province in his first year of regency at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, CA.

 

 

 

 


Bringing another into the presence of Jesus

In Jesus’ time, it was believed that disease or paralysis was a result of a personal sin. It was believed that being paralyzed was an outward sign that identified that the person had a shady moral compass.

What sticks out to me about the Gospel passage today is the willingness and dedication of the people who help the paralyzed man attain forgiveness (ultimately, to be physically healed) for his sins. First, these men are helping a man who by his physical health was considered by society to be a bad person. Then these men are going out of their way, climbing a roof, lowering a paralyzed man who is probably very heavy and difficult to move, from the top story of a building just to bring him in the presence of Jesus. These men took the outcast of society and did all that they could to bring that individual to the face of God.

Perhaps we should look within our own society and lives. Who are the “paralyzed” outcasts that are in need of seeing the love, forgiveness, and greatness of God? In what ways can we lower them, so they may find themselves in the presence of Jesus?

—Beth Moeller is a member of the Billiken Teacher Corps through Saint Louis University and is the campus minister and theology teacher at Loyola Academy of Saint Louis, a middle school for boys.

 


Preparing to see God

Advent brings a time of hope and expectation for new life. Luke quotes the prophet Isaiah:

In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD….
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low; 
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain. 
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed

Preparation is needed to “see” God’s saving action. Images include creating a level playing field and facilitating an encounter with God.

The prophet Baruch gives hope to God’s people. Paul, in Philippians, wants us to grow in awareness to then choose well: 

… that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value …

What are the “rough places” and disordered affects in my life? Can I perceive and react to suffering – and also to grace! – in my midst?

—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He serves as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas, where he ministers to people who are migrants and refugees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Called and Sent

A personal challenge during these Advent days is to recognize just what Jesus’ invitation and call might involve for me this year. Who are the “sick” I am to cure? How in particular—perhaps with a listening ear, a bright smile, or a few thoughtful words—can I strengthen the heart of a family member or good friend?

And then there is Jesus’ challenging reminder that “without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Who needs a piece of my heart this weekend? Probably not in a dramatic, earth-shattering way, but more likely in the time it takes to listen, to affirm, perhaps to challenge, but always to love. Ask Mary to help you love totally as she did!

—The Jesuit Prayer team at St. Camillus

 


Healed by a touch

Many of us are tempted to hide our wounds, pain, and brokenness. Our shame may run deep. We may wonder: If people really knew the things we’ve said and done and thought… if they really knew us, would they love us?

This story shows Jesus healing in a very particular way. He heals not with a look or with words but with touch. Touch requires closeness. Jesus does not keep them – or us- at arm’s length.

Our God is the God of the incarnation, our God is a God of intimacy.

As we prepare our hearts this Advent, I invite you to pray with me: What is the pain in your life that you’d like Jesus to touch? What is the pain in our world that you’d like Jesus to touch?

—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division and serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House.

 

 

 

 


Bulldozed by God

Bulldozers! Dynamite! Global warming! These are the very literal explanations my first graders give for how God tumbles cities to the ground, lifts valleys, and makes low mountains. As adults, we look for meaning in these texts instead of trying to figure out how God might accomplish such wonders. The reading today, however, addresses both the how and the why.

“The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” Creation is transformed by the poor, for the poor. We should know this. We’ve read the Gospels and listened to Pope Francis. Somehow we still miss it. I live in suburbia, numbed to physical poverty by landscaping and consumerism, but I encounter the spiritually deprived daily. Yet, I shelter my eyes to their need too. My busyness shelters me and oppresses others.

Will I let the Christmas Incarnation bulldoze me? Will you?

—Mark Bartholet is a John Carroll University alumnus who coordinates the Contemplative Leaders in Action program and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Peter Catholic Church, the Jesuit parish in Charlotte, NC.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Begin with compassion

Jesus tells the disciples, “I have compassion for the crowd.” Do the disciples allow themselves to feel this compassion? Or, when they ask where they will get enough bread, are they too overwhelmed by the impossibility of the of the task of feeding them all? Reading this account, I see myself as one of the disciples and remember many times I’ve looked at hunger or other problems in the world and in my own community and thought, “It’s too much. How can I even begin to address it??

Jesus gently guides the disciples away from their complacency by asking, “What do you have?” Let us begin by allowing ourselves to be moved with compassion, offering the little we have to begin, and praying with faith that Jesus will make it enough.

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Justice and Peace

In today’s first reading, Isaiah boldly claims what the expected Messiah will bring the world. The lion and calf with walk together with a child to guide them, children will play with poisonous snakes. Justice will come for the poor and the ruthless. The order of violence will be turned on its head – fear will no longer guide us and those who have oppressed will finally see their day. These scenes fill us with peace and make for wonderful displays and banners. They also make us pause with desire that these images become reality.

It’s easy to imagine the people I am frustrated by, people I know personally and in the news. These are people I am afraid of, or who have hurt me and who I am resentful towards. Each of us has these people in our lives. Through the prophet, God asks us move towards peace. St. Ignatius of Loyola, recognizing that some of us might not feel ready to ask for that grace, suggests we can at least pray for the desire to move towards peace.

—Mike Tedone, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province in his first year of regency at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, CA.

 

 

 


The world returning to its original glory

The end of times will be a transition in which the world will return to its original glory and perfection. The state of the end times is beyond any human’s imagination and because of this is often thought of as a scary scene. However, when looking at the reading from today, when the end times come, the common sins that divide humanity and provoke war one against another (swords and spears) are transformed into tools to distribute the riches that God provides. I like to think that the end of times is when the smudges of human desire and imperfection are wiped clean from our glasses so we can finally see clearly the glory of God and God’s gifts.

—Beth Moeller is a member of the Billiken Teacher Corps through Saint Louis University and is the campus minister and theology teacher at Loyola Academy of Saint Louis, a middle school for boys.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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
      1
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     
    123
25262728   
       
   1234
262728    
       
       
       
    123
45678910
       
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
       
      1
       
     12
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
       

God is with us

Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared to St. Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. She looked like a woman from his own culture and spoke to him in his own language, and she gave a message like the angel’s message in today’s Gospel: “Don’t be afraid. Nothing is impossible with God. Go, and tell those in power that God is with you.”

When I was teaching students from Mexican immigrant families at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, I heard the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe often in conversations with my students’ parents about their prayers and hopes for their children. She reminds us that God is with us, in all nations, and has a special care for the humble and those in need.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

 

 

 

 

 


God’s Deepest Desire: Our Closeness

Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep is one we have heard very often. In the context of Advent, we can imagine not only ourselves, but the entire world as a lost sheep. At one point in the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites those making the retreat to look down on the world with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They see the world for what it is, the holy, the profane, and the mundane. They look on us now, too. They see people loving and hating, at peace and at war, some starving and some in luxury, those working for justice and those who (hopefully) unknowingly work against it. Those who have wandered, and those who are close to his heart. They see our own hearts, at times following the law written in our hearts, at other times turning away from our creator. And they say in unison “It is time for salvation to come. It is time for them to know how great Our love is.”

—Mike Tedone, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province in his first year of regency at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, CA.

 

 

 

 


Bringing another into the presence of Jesus

In Jesus’ time, it was believed that disease or paralysis was a result of a personal sin. It was believed that being paralyzed was an outward sign that identified that the person had a shady moral compass.

What sticks out to me about the Gospel passage today is the willingness and dedication of the people who help the paralyzed man attain forgiveness (ultimately, to be physically healed) for his sins. First, these men are helping a man who by his physical health was considered by society to be a bad person. Then these men are going out of their way, climbing a roof, lowering a paralyzed man who is probably very heavy and difficult to move, from the top story of a building just to bring him in the presence of Jesus. These men took the outcast of society and did all that they could to bring that individual to the face of God.

Perhaps we should look within our own society and lives. Who are the “paralyzed” outcasts that are in need of seeing the love, forgiveness, and greatness of God? In what ways can we lower them, so they may find themselves in the presence of Jesus?

—Beth Moeller is a member of the Billiken Teacher Corps through Saint Louis University and is the campus minister and theology teacher at Loyola Academy of Saint Louis, a middle school for boys.

 


Preparing to see God

Advent brings a time of hope and expectation for new life. Luke quotes the prophet Isaiah:

In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD….
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low; 
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain. 
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed

Preparation is needed to “see” God’s saving action. Images include creating a level playing field and facilitating an encounter with God.

The prophet Baruch gives hope to God’s people. Paul, in Philippians, wants us to grow in awareness to then choose well: 

… that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value …

What are the “rough places” and disordered affects in my life? Can I perceive and react to suffering – and also to grace! – in my midst?

—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He serves as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas, where he ministers to people who are migrants and refugees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Called and Sent

A personal challenge during these Advent days is to recognize just what Jesus’ invitation and call might involve for me this year. Who are the “sick” I am to cure? How in particular—perhaps with a listening ear, a bright smile, or a few thoughtful words—can I strengthen the heart of a family member or good friend?

And then there is Jesus’ challenging reminder that “without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Who needs a piece of my heart this weekend? Probably not in a dramatic, earth-shattering way, but more likely in the time it takes to listen, to affirm, perhaps to challenge, but always to love. Ask Mary to help you love totally as she did!

—The Jesuit Prayer team at St. Camillus

 


Healed by a touch

Many of us are tempted to hide our wounds, pain, and brokenness. Our shame may run deep. We may wonder: If people really knew the things we’ve said and done and thought… if they really knew us, would they love us?

This story shows Jesus healing in a very particular way. He heals not with a look or with words but with touch. Touch requires closeness. Jesus does not keep them – or us- at arm’s length.

Our God is the God of the incarnation, our God is a God of intimacy.

As we prepare our hearts this Advent, I invite you to pray with me: What is the pain in your life that you’d like Jesus to touch? What is the pain in our world that you’d like Jesus to touch?

—Lauren Hackman-Brooks is a Chaplain in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago – Health Sciences Division and serves on the Board of Directors at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House.

 

 

 

 


Bulldozed by God

Bulldozers! Dynamite! Global warming! These are the very literal explanations my first graders give for how God tumbles cities to the ground, lifts valleys, and makes low mountains. As adults, we look for meaning in these texts instead of trying to figure out how God might accomplish such wonders. The reading today, however, addresses both the how and the why.

“The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” Creation is transformed by the poor, for the poor. We should know this. We’ve read the Gospels and listened to Pope Francis. Somehow we still miss it. I live in suburbia, numbed to physical poverty by landscaping and consumerism, but I encounter the spiritually deprived daily. Yet, I shelter my eyes to their need too. My busyness shelters me and oppresses others.

Will I let the Christmas Incarnation bulldoze me? Will you?

—Mark Bartholet is a John Carroll University alumnus who coordinates the Contemplative Leaders in Action program and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Peter Catholic Church, the Jesuit parish in Charlotte, NC.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Begin with compassion

Jesus tells the disciples, “I have compassion for the crowd.” Do the disciples allow themselves to feel this compassion? Or, when they ask where they will get enough bread, are they too overwhelmed by the impossibility of the of the task of feeding them all? Reading this account, I see myself as one of the disciples and remember many times I’ve looked at hunger or other problems in the world and in my own community and thought, “It’s too much. How can I even begin to address it??

Jesus gently guides the disciples away from their complacency by asking, “What do you have?” Let us begin by allowing ourselves to be moved with compassion, offering the little we have to begin, and praying with faith that Jesus will make it enough.

—Beth Franzosa teaches in the Religious Studies department at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Justice and Peace

In today’s first reading, Isaiah boldly claims what the expected Messiah will bring the world. The lion and calf with walk together with a child to guide them, children will play with poisonous snakes. Justice will come for the poor and the ruthless. The order of violence will be turned on its head – fear will no longer guide us and those who have oppressed will finally see their day. These scenes fill us with peace and make for wonderful displays and banners. They also make us pause with desire that these images become reality.

It’s easy to imagine the people I am frustrated by, people I know personally and in the news. These are people I am afraid of, or who have hurt me and who I am resentful towards. Each of us has these people in our lives. Through the prophet, God asks us move towards peace. St. Ignatius of Loyola, recognizing that some of us might not feel ready to ask for that grace, suggests we can at least pray for the desire to move towards peace.

—Mike Tedone, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits West Province in his first year of regency at Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, CA.

 

 

 


The world returning to its original glory

The end of times will be a transition in which the world will return to its original glory and perfection. The state of the end times is beyond any human’s imagination and because of this is often thought of as a scary scene. However, when looking at the reading from today, when the end times come, the common sins that divide humanity and provoke war one against another (swords and spears) are transformed into tools to distribute the riches that God provides. I like to think that the end of times is when the smudges of human desire and imperfection are wiped clean from our glasses so we can finally see clearly the glory of God and God’s gifts.

—Beth Moeller is a member of the Billiken Teacher Corps through Saint Louis University and is the campus minister and theology teacher at Loyola Academy of Saint Louis, a middle school for boys.