Review: A Body in Prayer by Neil Combs

When I met Neil Combs at the Catholic Writers Guild Live conference, I sensed a connection that was beyond Catholics and writers. He introduced himself to me when we were volunteering at the Catholic Writers Guild booth in the CMN trade show. He was excited about his book, A Body in Prayer: Praying from Head to Toe, a subject that fascinates me.

Then I discovered his conversion story from a Lutheran family was similar to mine from an Episcopalian family.  We both converted after our marriage to a Catholic. We both struggle with what to give up in our busy lives in order to establish a good prayer time. So I relate to his journey to write the book and to convert to the Catholic Church.

The simple organization of the chapters makes it easy to concentrate on the gems of wisdom.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“Open Mouth” –  “A great way to evangelize is to create the opportunity for a conversation about the faith.”

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Friars Corner: Our joy is in God’s kindness and love for all people

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Leviticus 19:1-2, 1-18; Ps 103: 1-4, 8,10, 12-13; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-

When we read and study the Bible, we see over and over again how much God loves and cares for his children that he has placed on earth. St. John tells us in 8:31-2, “If you make your home in My Word, you will truly be my disciples. You will learn my truth and it will set you free,” (New Jerusalem Bible).

God made a beautiful creation and placed Adam and Eve in that beauty. He gave them only one command, not to eat of the tree of good and evil in the garden. Satan, a fallen angel, tempted them to eat of that fruit and they would be like God. They ate it and suffered the consequences of their sin. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JoyAlive.net posts 2-17-17

Girl on swing at sunset (DollarPhotoClub.com)

  • Valentines for GodFeatured on CatholicWritersGuild.com – How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? God wants valentines, not resolutions. He wants us to change our lives in response to our love for him.
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Mary leads us to the secret of evangelization

The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner (Wikimedia Commons)

The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner (Wikimedia Commons)

Mary, model of evangelization, has much to teach us about evangelization by the way she relates to God and his people. Here are three scenes in Mary’s life that reveal the secret of evangelization.

  1. The Annunciation. Mary had a personal relationship with God and said “yes” to what he asked of her.

Mary’s encounter with God’s messenger changed her life. The Holy Spirit overwhelmed her with such joy she could only say “yes” to God’s will for her. This is mind-boggling, unfathomable and truly mystical! Continue reading

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Valentines for God

Valentine 's DayFeatured on CatholicWritersGuild.com

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Feeling guilty yet? The excesses of the holidays make clear the need to evaluate many aspects of our lives and resolve to change them.

In February we realize how idealistic we were on the first day of a new year. What’s so obvious it hurts is that we haven’t limited our good intentions to one or two gentle self-improvements, but tried to remake the whole of our little world. Does the Lord chide us for thinking so much of ourselves that we can change our bad habits by sheer willpower? How many of those resolutions did he inspire? Aren’t the few he gave us the habits that we successfully change?

The Lord impresses me as a loving guide, not a finger-pointing judge constantly pinging us on our human failures. He put his unselfish love in our hearts. We have the privilege of nurturing it and sharing it with his people. The other-centered desires that he puts in our hearts are not difficult to attain, for he gives us all we need to fulfill them.

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Friars Corner: Blessed are they who walk in the Light of the Lord

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Sirach 15:15-20; Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37

The New Catechism says this about the new life that Jesus came to earth to bring us into, his Kingdom.

The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than from fear; a law of grace, because it confers the strength of grace (God’s power) to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom, because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old (Jewish) Law. It inclines us to act spontaneously by the prompting of charity and finally, lets us pass from the condition of a servant who “does not know what his master is doing” to that of a friend of Christ – “For all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” – or even to the status of sons and daughters and heir.” (CCC, 1972.) Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 2-10-17

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Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance

I discovered Neal Lozano’s book, “Unbound,” when our covenant community planned an Unbound Conference with him. About 50 of us learned how to cooperate with the Lord to gain freedom from the influence of evil spirits and then guide those coming to the conference in this prayer method.

We learned the five keys that unlock the doors we have opened to intimidating spirits and how to close them. The five keys are not complicated when we understand that not our power but the power of the name of Jesus accomplishes it all: Repentance and faith. Forgiveness. Renunciation of evil spirits. Taking authority over those spirits. The Father’s blessing. That’s the strategy that answers our prayer “deliver us from evil, freeing us from the lies Satan tells to keep us from God’s plan for our life.

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