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The steadfast shepherd of Santiago Atitlán

-1The path to sainthood consists of many steps. One of those steps to make sure that the person’s life story and cause is well known. Up until now, you may have never heard of Father Stanley Rother, but based on the wonderful new book, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run, Father Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma, I hope and pray that will change!

My own involvement with this project began some time ago. Catholic journalist and author María Ruiz Scaperlanda told me that she was writing a book about Father Rother. This caught my attention because a priest that I know went to seminary with Fr. Rother, so I was familiar with him. One thing led to another and this provided me with the opportunity for me to connect Maria to Father Tom Connery to further her research.

So who was Stanley Rother? This book will sweep Continue reading

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Lenten Prayer Resources

7056_ImportantUpdateIMPORTANT UPDATE… please take note!
It has come to my attention that even though Amazon is offering Not By Bread Alone. The page for the book says that it is out of stock, will ship later – but they are NOT selling the book. Please go to the Liturgical Press website to order!

That got me thinking, what if that is also the case for Sacred Space for Lent? It also shows as out of stock. Anyway, that can be ordered via the Loyola Press website.

If you visit the Ave Maria Press website you will find Sacred Reading for Lent and the Living Gospel.

And how could I have forgotten two important resources? I did! One is absolutely free – go to the USCCB Daily Readings page to sign up for an email of each day’s Scriptures. Video reflections are also offered and can be found here.

Last but not least, I highly recommend a subscription to Give Us This Day. Yes I have a bias, I do write for them, but before that day ever dawned, I was a charter subscriber. Go have a look at their subscription page, you can even request a free sample.

 

Lent-631x295While it was my hope to have had this post out earlier, here it is at last! Lent begins on February 10, a little more than two weeks away. As has been my custom, I would like to offer up some ideas for your Lenten prayers and reflection.

Sometimes we feel too busy for Lent, but most of these resources are small enough to put in a pocket or purse, and are short enough for brief periods of prayer. The idea is not to add stress, but to create spaces, however “small” they may seem, to invite the peace of God into our lives. At Lent we truly are on a “journey” through the desert, as we make our way towards Easter. It is good to have one or more resources to accompany us – maybe think of these books as road maps pointing us toward the Triduum.

In no particular order, I present to you:: Continue reading

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Remain in my love, a reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter

13746Have you ever heard someone say, “I used to go to church, but I’m not welcome now.”? These words, and variations of them, may be spoken in anger, sadness, resignation, but most always in hurt. Hearing them breaks my heart.

What church doesn’t welcome/like God’s people? God’s longing is to draw everyone in relationship with God, as members of the mystical Body of Christ in the world. All three of today’s readings orient us towards God’s invitation to all people, offered in love, and made manifest through our own participation and action.

image002First we hear about Cornelius, a Roman citizen, who prostrates himself before Peter. Without hesitation, Peter tells him to get up, reminding Cornelius that he too is human, not divine. We are all human, and Jesus – who is divinity enfleshed, came to draw us into deeper relationship with God through one another. Peter tells Cornelius that God shows no partiality, and that every nation that “fears him and acts uprightly” is “acceptable” to Him. At this point, the Holy Spirit “fell upon all who were listening to the word.” Such an event is shocking to the “circumcised” who were amazed by God’s generosity and welcome to those they considered outsiders.

This makes me wonder why God’s generous welcome remains Continue reading

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Am I too late? A last day of Lent reflection from jail

tell-me-not(This Last-day-of Lent reflection is a guest post offered by Shannon O’Donnell. She is a longtime online Catholic friend, from the Seattle-Tacoma area, author, and jail chaplain. Her words never fail to move me.) It’s the last week of Lent, the last days, really. Some days I have been aware of the season, other days, not so much. In the county jail where I work, “Lent” describes more than just those six weeks before Easter. Some people refer to it as “Hell on the Hill.”

In mid-February, we distributed ashes at Catholic services. At communion services and prayer groups, at the one Mass, and I carried a small box of ashes with me as I met with offenders for private talks. Ashes were one thing most people could relate to, so anyone who asked received them.

Out in the parishes, Continue reading

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Taking the cup – a Lenten reflection

'Interesting. . . I see you have a degree in 'Under Achieving'. . .'Another day in Lent, another Gospel challenge. Today – underachieving by design! Yes, you are thinking, “what is she on about now?” You know me, sometimes I like to kid – even, perhaps especially, during Lent.

Achievement. Our world seems pretty much built around it. I worked in the media business for 27 years. My first job was as what was then called (does it even exist now?) “sales assistant.” What did I do? I was a glorified secretary, working for a salesperson. In 1980, this was more likely a man than a woman. If you did your job really well, you would be promoted to – wow, I can’t even remember the title. In was the over-glorified secretary I guess, because you worked for the sales manager, and you supervised the other sales assistants. Yes, I did get this job and I was an incredible disaster at it. At that age I did not have a clue about servant leadership, or that such a thing existed – I was just not ready for any of it.

Today’s Gospel is very clear, if you seek greatness, be willing to serve, not lord your greatness over people. In this passage from Matthew, the mother of the sons of Zebedee approaches Jesus and Continue reading

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Reflection of the Journey of Winter – by Don Wilson

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Reflection for the Journey of Winter

A time for reflection stirs deep within….
To ponder this journey that we each trod.
For this season I will hopefully find much peace…
It will bid me to be blessed by God.

Many view this season with intrepidation and fear…
For what perhaps another season holds.
The season that I put aside for now….
Not ready to venture out in the cold.

I choose to relish in this winter time….
I will not waste on what might not be.
For what lies in store before these eyes…
Is the season God has gifted me.

There are thoughts of many folks as well…
Some of family also some of friends
I will embrace each that God has sent….
Until this journey has reached it end.

There is peace in this quiet reflection….
That clears my cluttered thoughts in mind.
I will stand before another season…
But for now I am graced by this winter time.

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Returning – and an invitation

Good day! Yes, it is me Fran, warming up the blog as we celebrate the last Sunday of the liturgical year, Christ the King. Beginning next Sunday – God willing – our Advent posts will begin.

Please join us by reading, and if you are so inclined, find a day of Advent that you might like to write about. The readings for each day are easily found at the USCCB website. Click through the calendar and see what moves you. Typically we run one post per day, but sometimes two. If you find a day or day that you might like to write about, please contact me through email or the comments. I can read the comments and not approve them, and they will provide me with your contact email.

Looking forward to returning after a long hiatus!

 

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