In time for Lent – Time for God

Time for God cover 411hjz2baQL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_featured on CatholicMom.com

Time for God by Jacques Philippe is about mental prayer. Facing God in solitude and silence for a time, to enter into intimate, loving communication with him. I read this as a participant in a group study initiated by my covenant community, with talks each Sunday on the five chapters of this small but dynamic book. It is a resource for beginners trying to establish a daily prayer time, and for many of us who know the value of this habit but have strayed from that well-spent time we offer God in which he transforms our lives.

Mental prayer is not a kind of Christian Yoga. Our life of prayer is not the result of technique but a gift we receive. In fact, St. Jane Frances de Chantal writes, “The best method of prayer is not to have one.” We don’t need a formula any more than we need a script when we get together with our best friend. Having a good time together happens naturally. Continue reading

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Friars Corner: God’s Mercy is falling on us. Alleluia!

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Isaiah 49:14-15; Ps 62:2-3, 6-9; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34

The precious and healing Blood of Jesus Christ over us and our country. The readings this weekend remind us that God’s love for us is far more than that of a caring mother for her child. Psalm 62 speaks of our resting in God’s care for us. In this is our hope and sure foundation.

Matthew’s gospel tells us not to worry about what we are to eat, drink or wear. God will provide as he does for the animals. That does not mean that we sit on a park bench and wait for others to provide everything for us. God gave us talents and abilities when we were conceived. We use those to earn a living, care for those in our charge and help the less fortunate. This is Christian responsibility. Following Jesus will lead us to eternal happiness one day in heavenly glory. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 2-24-17

Girl on swing at sunset (DollarPhotoClub.com)

  • Sweeter than Honey  – I recalled how Psalm 19:11 describes the Lord as, “Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.” I was experiencing exactly what the psalm described.
  • Review: A Body in Prayer by Neil Combs – In A Body in Prayer, Praying from Head to Toe, Neil Combs helped me find new ways to look for God in everything every day and try to make life a prayer.
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Sweeter than Honey

Still life with honey, honeycomb, pollen and propolis by Grafvision (DollarPhotoClub.com)

Still life with honey, honeycomb, pollen and propolis by Grafvision (DollarPhotoClub.com)

Two days before our beloved pastor left for a new assignment, I was bravely surrendering all my attachment to him. Over many years I had come to love him. Memories of attending a 10-part teaching series on Spiritual Direction surfaced as my first encounter with him in 1994. He worked for the diocese for 25 years in the formation of priests, in marriage preparation and gave every kind of retreat. Our parish was his first assignment since the earliest days of his priesthood.

He came to us during a turbulent time in our parish. He was just the one to facilitate healing among factions. It is hard to imagine a better homilist. He prayed our family through many personal struggles and joyfully celebrated our victories. Even so, I bravely was prepared to tell him goodbye after five years of his devoted service.

Continue reading

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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.”

Continue reading

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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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