Featured on NewEvangelizers.com
“Down in my bones, my deepest need is to know Jesus better,“ thus Julie Davis opens her second book, Seeking Jesus in Everyday Life: Prayers and Reflections for Getting Closer. I’ve been a fan of Julie Davis since she autographed her first book, Happy Catholic, for me five years ago. I finally summoned the courage to request an interview, which became a long lunch of conversation among fellow writers.
During our time together, I discovered how this new book reflects her journey from atheism to Catholicism, why she wrote it and for whom, how it helps us become missionary disciples and the main takeaway for readers.
Nancy: Your faith journey has taken you from your childhood in an atheist home, into Christianity and then into Catholicism. How does your new book, Seeking Jesus In Everyday Life with its variety of quotes reflect that journey?
Julie: It reflects where I wound up. When I was telling a non-Catholic friend about the book, I realized how some parts of the book are so embedded in me. It didn’t occur to me that I was talking to a Protestant — about novenas, Mary, or the saints — in a way that some Protestants would not understand. Continue reading
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10; John 1:35-42
I pray you received the Epiphany Home Blessing of the Magi I gave you last week. As I wrote then, we officially ended the Christmas Season of only two weeks. However, in your personal prayer and thoughts you can continue to pray about what God did in those awesome events of Christ’s birth, the shepherds, kings and other visitors who went to visit and welcome Jesus to earth. No other birthday has been celebrated so universally for two thousand years.
Now we go back to ordinary time until Lent begins. This week we read about Eli and Samuel in the temple. God called young Samuel three times while he slept. He got up and went to Eli, who was asleep and who had not called the lad. Finally Eli realized God called him. Eli told Samuel if he heard the call again to simply say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Continue reading
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
Isaiah 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12
This is the Eastern Church’s Christmas. In ancient times an Epiphany meant either the showing of a god or the solemn visit of a ruler, considered a god, to the cities of his realm. So the birth of Christ was truly the coming of God to his people.
The clergy in Alexandria, Egypt, picked January 5-6th to replace a pagan celebration of the birthday of Aion, god of time and eternity. The pagan priests would draw water from the Nile and store it for ritual purposes. It was claimed to turn into wine using divine power. The Christian feast celebrated: 1) the Birth of Christ, 2) His baptism and 3) the first miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding of Cana in Galilee. They also developed the practice of doing baptisms on that day thus further replacing the pagan water rites. In the second half of the 4th century the Eastern and Western Churches adopted each other’s feast of celebrating Christ’s birthday yet with a different emphasis. Continue reading
Featured in The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion: A Book of Daily Reflections
“Acquire the Holy Spirit and thousands around you will acquire salvation” – St. Seraphim of Sarov
St. Seraphim dreamed big. Honored by both the Roman Catholic (today) and Orthodox (January 15) calendars, this wonderworker emphasized seeking communion with God as the true purpose of life for every Christian. St. Seraphim’s life demonstrated that everything else was merely the means for “acquiring the Holy Spirit.”
Wait! Didn’t we acquire the Holy Spirit at baptism and weren’t we sealed with the gift of the Spirit at Confirmation? Can’t we acquire more of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or receive the Eucharist? A resounding “yes” to all of these.
How do we acquire the Holy Spirit when we are alone, frustrated, and confused? Continue reading
Admiralteysky Gates by AAV MASTER (Wikimedia Commons)
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills
and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR
LET US PRAY FOR ALL PEOPLE TO HAVE A SAFE AND BLESSED NEW YEAR IN GOD’S MERCY.
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-5; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:22-40
It is a little difficult reflecting on four different themes in a week or two around Christmas. With this Holy Family Sunday it is helpful to go back the creation stories and read the first and second stories that come from different Jewish traditions. In both, God created everything — the earth water, animals, plants and one male human, Adam. The animal kingdom had no suitable “partner,” match for Adam so God operated on him and formed a woman (Eve) from a rib in Adam, more details in the second account. Now they were suitable to help God create more human beings.
The second creation story is a little different. God created the earth and then Adam and the other animals, water and a garden where God put Adam. Yet the animals were not suitable partners. God put Adam to sleep and took out a rib from which he built up, a suitable partner, Eve. “This one, at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.’” (Genesis 2:23) “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (Genesis 2:24} This was God’s plan from creation and two human, male and female, help God continue to create the human race. Continue reading