These Advent reflections by the abbess of a Poor Clare monastery, an accomplished spiritual writer, focus our attention on the coming of Jesus into our lives. There is a double movement to this coming: both our active preparation to be ready for him and our patient waiting for the Lord to arrive in his own good time. There is also an art to this simultaneous preparation and waiting, and no one knows better than the beloved Mother Mary Francis how to encourage us in our attempts to master this art.
Meditating on passages from Scripture about the coming of the Messiah into the world and our hearts, Mother challenges us to persevere in overcoming our faults and keeping our eyes on the Lord who has called us to himself--for it is he, through the gifts of his grace, who will complete in us the work of sanctification that he has begun.
One Saturday night last winter one of our maintenance men came in the side door of the rectory and found the radiator there had a broken pipe and the area was filled with steam and hot water. The first thought was, “Oh no, it is Saturday night, I can’t turn off the heat because it is freezing outside and the pipes will freeze if I do. Who can we call?” Fortunately we got one of the plumbers who does work in the rectory who sealed off the pipe that was leaking within an hour. As resourceful as we are and as much as so much information is readily available on the Internet, we still need the help of other people. How good it is to have people we can trust mechanically, technologically, medically, psychologically, educationally, and spiritually.READ MORE
A few hours before I began writing this column, I looked out of one of the front windows of the rectory and saw leaves falling from the maple tree outside. There was a constant, gentle descent of the leaves as the tree became more and more barren. The leaves have served their purpose and the life of the tree continues. Next spring its buds will come forth and the leaves will once again adorn it with their rich, green color. Today we celebrate the thirty-third Sunday of the Church year. Next Sunday will be the final Sunday as we will celebrate the feast of Christ the King. The following Sunday will call us to begin our preparation for the celebration of Christmas as we begin the new Church year with the first Sunday of Advent.READ MORE
The Story of a Holy Muse - Meet an inspiring woman with fierce courage and unwavering faith, willing to follow the path of beauty and truth-no matter the cost. Saint Cecilia's remarkable story will come to life in Augustine Institute Radio Theatre's most recent audio drama featuring award-winning actors and cinematic sound and music.
As we honor our veterans on Veterans’ Day, listen to the story of an American hero, Admiral Jeremiah Denton. Admiral Denton spent more than seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In this moving presentation, he recalls how, through the power of prayer, he withstood extreme torture rather than betray God or his country. For his valor, he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Navy Cross, and the POW Medal. He is now a champion of various humanitarian causes. To download this audio talk, go to the link below or search for Admiral Denton.
There is an old proverb: “Man plans, God laughs.” I have found this to be true.
In 2014, my religious order asked me to come to the United States. I received my visa on March 4, 2014 and was invited by the Diocese of Rockville Centre to work in a parish. However as an educator, I hoped to attend a university to study the American educational system while in the U.S. I thought that a hospital chaplaincy position would better accommodate my studies. The diocese said I would have to wait for such a position. After eight months, a hospital chaplaincy position opened up. I arrived in the U.S. and shortly thereafter I was told there was an emergency need for an associate pastor at a parish in Smithtown. This was not what I had expected and I was somewhat disappointed. God had other plans for me.READ MORE
There are many questions that go through our minds every day. We ask ourselves: “What do I do in this situation?” “Will I really make any difference?” “Does anyone really care what I do?” Our challenge as followers of Jesus is to ask the very simple question that is represented by the four letters on elastic bracelets that some people wear: WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). In the Gospel reading for the past three Sundays and today, we see people asking Jesus profound or foolish questions. Three Sunday’s ago, the rich young man asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus told him to share his resources with the poor. Our relationship with God involves far more than just saying prayers and avoiding the sins the commandments tell us to get beyond. Two Sundays ago two of Jesus’ apostles asked a foolish question: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.... Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” They were looking for places of honor, power, and prestige in an earthly sense. Jesus’ response made it clear to them and us that real glory is seen in the powerful and simple things we do in love for one another, day in and day out. Last Sunday Bartimaeus, a blind man, said to Jesus, “Master, I want to see.” Not only did Bartimaeus get physical vision with his eyes, he saw the goodness and love of God and immediately followed Jesus. His spiritual vision was vibrantly clear. In today’s Gospel a scribe asks Jesus, “Which is the first of all the commandments? Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all you mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”READ MORE
Well-known author, psychologist, and priest Fr. Benedict Groeschel draws on his own years of personal experiences in dealing with people's problems, tragedies, and"darkness" as he offers help and guidance for any Christian troubled or burdened by life. If you are struggling with fear, anxiety, grief, loss of loved ones, hurt, anger, or anything that makes life difficult or the road through it dark, then this book was written for you. Fr. Benedict offers practical suggestions on how to keep going and even grow with the help of God's grace, even when this help seems remote.READ MORE