Rejoice Always? Really?

Morning Paper by Crissy Pauley (FreeImages.com)

Morning Paper by Crissy Pauley (FreeImages.com)

Have you ever been grateful for something negative that happened to you?  Well, maybe not while it’s happening.

A friend of mine is a classic doting grandmother. Nothing fills her with joy more than a visit from her little grandson, who lives hundreds of miles away. She talks about nothing else before, during and after these visits.  She uses her camera to capture his every smile, frown and messy face.

Four days after one of these visits, we were enjoying a backyard birthday party when she slipped off an uneven stone walkway and fell.  The chips went flying off her plate in one direction, the barbecued brisket and coleslaw in another. Her iced tea drenched her shirt and then the nearby flowerbed. Her awkward fall twisted her leg and broke her ankle was so severely that the surgery required seven screws and a plate.

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Friars Corner: To do your will O my God, is my delight

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; 1:29-34

Last Sunday we celebrated the Eastern Church’s Christmas and Jesus’ baptism. On Monday, the Roman Church remembered the baptism of Jesus, some thirty years later. Now the Sunday and weekday liturgies go to ordinary time until Lent begins.

In our daily prayers and meditations, we can remain for a while with the Nativity theme. We can see ourselves praising and adoring the little Jesus with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and magi. The holy family stayed in Bethlehem for about a month before they “fled” from Herod’s soldiers to Egypt. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 1-13-17

Girl on swing at sunset (DollarPhotoClub.com)

  • I Cannot Tell – The Holy Spirit prepares us to tell our stories. He reminds us of poignant moments he has indelibly marked in our souls that can touch the hearts of others.
Posted in Books, Catholic family, Conversion, Evangelism, Fr. Bob Hilz, Jesus, Joy, Nancy Ward, Prayer, Scriptures, Sharing YOUR Faith Story | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Cannot Tell

Fire in the Sky by Brett Theriault (Freeimages.com)

Fire in the Sky by Brett Theriault (Freeimages.com)

The view from the top of the mountain in New Mexico was enchanting. I could almost see the Texas border as the sun set on the wooden cross. I was 15 and finally old enough to go to the annual youth retreat sponsored by my Protestant church in El Paso. The crackle of the campfire, the smell of the marshmallows toasting and the cool breeze of early March kept us near the fire.

We sang and sang and prayed and prayed. Then the youth minister directed us to spread out into the trees and think about our relationship with God. As I walk through the woods, I quietly sang the words William Young Fullerton wrote to the tune of Danny Boy, “I Cannot Tell.” I found a grassy spot and sat down under a tree. The verses relate Jesus’ birth and death for our salvation, and the jubilation of his returning as the savior of the world. The second verse says: Continue reading

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True Radiance, Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life

trueradiance-coverfeatured on CatholicWritersGuild.com

The subtitle of True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life, reflects Lisa Mladinich’s way of relating her experience and encouragement to women. Readers find grace here in her wisdom and insight.

Lisa covers all aspects of menopause and asks searching questions about inner and outer beauty. She sees a true friendship as “a glimpse of Heaven” and promotes the Communion of Saints as our companions.

She delves into our calling as women to a specific vocation as wives or consecrated virgins and how our vocations mature or change, perhaps to single parents or widows. We can guard against and adjust to the impact of health, setbacks and temptations that thwart the fulfillment of our life’s work. When all our efforts fail, no matter! We can respond to God’s loving ways of communicating his will to us. We can honor our vows of love in our hearts through diligent prayer and perseverance. Continue reading

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Friars Corner: Happy Epiphany, our second Christmas

Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR

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

Jesus, your gifts and joy are worth more than gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Christianity celebrates the 33-year life and ministry of Jesus Christ each year. However, its focal point is Sunday, the day of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. All the other Sundays are “Little Easters.”

Ancient civilizations followed different calendars. As the Roman Empire became Christianized, the birth of Jesus became the beginning of the Christian era, A.D., in the year of the Lord. Yet the Roman calendar was off about 4 years. The Roman West followed one calendar and the East another calendar. Continue reading

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Got Joy? Latest JOYAlive.net posts 1-6-17

Girl on swing at sunset (DollarPhotoClub.com)

Posted in Books, Catholic family, Communion of Saints, Community, Fr. Bob Hilz, Holidays, Jesus, Joy, Mary, Nancy Ward, Prayer, Sacraments, Saints | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A reason, a season, a lifetime

Happy Teens (Dollarphotoclub.com)

Happy Teens (Dollarphotoclub.com)

Featured in NewEvangelizers.com

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (Jn 15:13)

I love the saying, “People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” As the Christmas season gives way to Valentine’s Day and Lent approaches, how do we relate to our friends?

During this season, new people bump into our lives, some of them for a specific reason. Usually, the reason doesn’t become clear immediately, perhaps only in the rear-view mirror of time. Often only the Lord knows the reason he puts new friends within our circle of influence.

New people

So pray about the new people in your life. Ask the Lord to guide you in sorting out where they belong in your life—whether it is a neighbor you barely know, a co-worker you tolerate or a newcomer to a ministry where you serve. Continue reading

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