Got Joy? Latest posts 2-12-16

Girl on swing at sunset (


Posted in Books, Catholic, Conversion, Covenant, Evangelism, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Lent, Nancy Ward, Prayer, Sacraments, Scriptures, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Featured Favorite: Cultivating God’s Garden through Lent

Just in time for Lent, I interviewed Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB author of a beautiful book of Lenten devotions, Cultivating God’s Garden through Lent.  As an Advanced Master Gardener, Margaret knows how to grow just about anything and shares her spiritual insights received while working with nature. During Lent, will feature short quotes from her book for meditation, inspiration and encouragement in your faith walk toward Easter.

Nancy: How did you develop this book with nature and spirituality woven together so beautifully?

Margaret: The book is a collection of columns from my original blog. I now write columns for the Catholic channel on Patheos. In the book’s introduction I mention that as a child I always felt God was close at hand, especially when I was outdoors playing in nature. As an adult (who still likes to play outdoors!) I try to be attentive to God’s presence in the present, in the ordinary things of my day.

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Posted in Books, Holy Spirit, Interviews, Joy, Lent, Prayer, Sacraments, Scriptures, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writers: Journal your faith story

Writing-Journaling by Dustin Lee (Unsplash)

Writing-Journaling by Dustin Lee (Unsplash)

Part 1 – Always be ready to evangelize  

Featured on

As a sidebar to my presentation of “Sharing Your Faith Story as a Writer” for the March 4-6 Catholic Writers Conference Online, I stress the value of preparing to evangelize by maintaining a spiritual journal. 

Writers keep a journal to capture inspirations, observations, story ideas, helpful quotes and random musings. These purposes all relate to our writing vocation, which urges us to express ourselves in writing. Christians have a higher calling. We are anointed at Baptism to become evangelists. How fortunate are Catholic writers to have such a rich heritage of spiritual resources to inspire us. The majesty of the Magisterium, the sanctity of the sacraments and the companionship of the Counselor, are ours.

If we are meant to be evangelists, how do we start? The most effective method of evangelization is our personal witness. Yes, that scary, vulnerable stepping out in faith to share what God has done in our lives.

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Posted in Evangelism, Identity, Joy, Prayer, Renewal, Sacraments, Scriptures, Sharing YOUR Faith Story, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friar’s Corner: Our joy is fishing with Jesus

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8; Ps 138:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

In the readings this weekend we have the call of two major evangelists in our biblical history. They realized they were sinners. We are also sinners, not perfectly following Jesus. Isaiah is purified through an angel bringing a hot coal from God’s altar. He realized his sinfulness but God cleansed it for Isaiah’s future mission.

In Luke’s gospel today, Peter is the first called, followed by his fishing partners, James and John. They listened to Jesus preaching from Peter’s boat. After working hard all night, Jesus told them to put out into the deep. They had caught nothing but at Jesus words they moved into deep water. They caught so many fish Peter asked for help from James and John. They filled both boats to nearly sinking. They were so amazed that they left fishing to follow Jesus and catch people for the kingdom of God.

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Got Joy? Latest posts 2-5-16

Girl on swing at sunset

Posted in Catholic, Community, Conversion, Evangelism, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Nancy Ward, Pope Francis, Sacraments, Sharing YOUR Faith Story | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Answered: Five questions on how to share your faith

Nancy Ward is interviewed by Dave Palmer, KATH 910 AM, at Sacred Heart Books, Dallas, 1-25-16  (photo by Phil Ward)

Nancy Ward is interviewed by Dave Palmer, KATH 910 AM, at Sacred Heart Books, Dallas, 1-25-16
(photo by Phil Ward)

In Five Ways to Share Your Faith, I encouraged you to always be ready to evangelize through your personal witness.  

Remember that every baptized Christian is commissioned to be an evangelist. The most effective way we can evangelize is by sharing our unique story — the faith story only we can tell.

What about the mechanics of knowing and sharing our story? My recent interview at Sacred Heart Books and Gifts in Dallas covered this. I spoke on our local Catholic radio station, KATH 910 AM. Here are five questions about getting started:

1. What different kinds of faith stories are there?

Faith stories are circumstances or trials unexpectedly or slowly resolved with supernatural solutions that boost your faith. They include stories about:

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Find true mercy and justice in the confessional

Pope Francis child smGeneral audience: God's justice is mercy

Vatican City, 3 February 2016 (VIS) – The relationship between mercy and justice, in the light of the Sacred Scriptures, was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis in this Wednesday's general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square and was attended by more than ten thousand people.

"The Sacred Scripture presents God as infinite mercy, but also as perfect justice", he said. "How can the two be reconciled? They may appear to be contradictory, but this is not the case, as it is precisely God's mercy that leads us to achieve true justice. In the legal administration of justice, we see that those who consider themselves to have been victims of abuse consult a judge in court and ask that justice be done. It is a retributive justice, inflicting punishment on the guilty, according to the principle that each person receives what he deserves. … But this route does not lead to true justice, as in reality it does not conquer evil, it simply limits it. Instead, only by responding with good can evil truly be conquered".

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Two funerals show me how to let God love me

Hazy Sunrise on Lake Ray Hubbzrd (Photo by Nancy Ward)Featured on New Evangelizers

Two funerals of close friends of more than 40 years were not what I planned to do in a busier-than-usual week. But funerals are never convenient; we go with the flow.

Both funerals were at the same church across town with the same spectacular music ministry from our covenant community.  I put aside my plans and entered into the reverent spirit of the wake and funeral services. They were celebrations of the lives of the beloved deceased. The Holy Spirit was alive in the prayers and singing of the congregation, united in the Spirit. I was more than content to be there honoring the deceased and supporting the families I know and love. Each service was a little hint of heaven, and I felt I was contributing to the consolation of the family just by showing up.

Read more about how to let God love you on New Evangelizers

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Posted in Catholic, Community, Covenant, Faithfulness, Healing, Holy Spirit, Joy, Nancy Ward, Prayer, Sacraments | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment