Friends, today’s Gospel asks us to do three things: pray, fast, and give alms. Let’s focus today on prayer. Studies show that prayer is a very common, very popular activity. Even those who profess no belief in God pray!
What is prayer, and how should we pray? Prayer is intimate communion and conversation with God. Judging from Jesus’ own life, prayer is something that we ought to do often, especially at key moments of our lives.
Well, how should we pray? What does it look like? You have to pray with faith, and according to Jesus’ model, you have to pray with forgiveness. The efficacy of prayer seems to depend on the reconciliation of differences.
By Brigid Curtis Ayer
Carmel—Silence is hard to come by in today’s noisy world, but not for those who attend a tri-weekly, contemplative prayer group at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in Carmel. Silence drives the experience of encountering Jesus.
Barb Gryna, who created and leads the prayer group, says the format draws together a small group seeking peace and conversation with God. The group’s genesis provided a way for Gryna to deal with her anxiety and depression and support others suffering with it. Gryna say one need not have depression or anxiety to attend, the group welcomes anyone who seeks to deepen his or her relationship with God.
All About The Grace –Perspectives on Faith, Culture & Media Savvy
Do you remember the “Cone of Silence”? Think Nickelodeon TV, MeTV, or if you are old enough, perhaps you recall it from your after-school television viewing. If you are not familiar with it, the “Cone of Silence” is a device used by good guy Control agents from one of my favorite 1960’s television comedy spy shows called Get Smart. The main characters, the Chief and Maxwell Smart, also known as Agent 86, attempt to have “top secret” conversations inside a plastic double dome that appears from the ceiling at the press of a button. The scenes where this “silent” chamber is used for private conversations results in exaggerated speaking and listening. It’s hysterical. You see, the gadget rarely works as designed rendering the characters virtually mute to each other. Subsequently, it requires shouting so they can be heard. This exercise hardly accomplishes the desired goal of a “top secret” conversation, to prevent the bad guy organization, known as Kaos, from getting wind of their plan.
Gospel Reading LK 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”
Would you like to make a significant difference? Would you join me in prayer for nine days for life?
Thank you in advance for your participation and your prayers.
CLICK HERE for the details.
9 Days for Life is an annual period of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person’s life.
Surrounding the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children*, the overarching intention of the centerpiece novena is the end to abortion.
However, the novena also highlights many other facets of respecting each other’s God-given dignity, especially by respecting human life at every stage and in every circumstance.
9 Days for Life is an opportunity to:
- PRAY for the respect and protection of each person’s life;
- GATHER together in prayer, action, and fellowship with others;
- SHARE your stories online!
*Typically observed each year on January 22 (also the anniversary of Roe v. Wade), the 2017 observance will be January 23. More information.
During Lent, I light my Advent candles and enjoy some quiet time with the Lord. Over the years, my bookshelf of spiritual reading grows. One selection which I enjoy very much and only use during the Advent Season is a book called simply “Little Blue Book.” I have the paper version book, but it’s also available online. CLICK HERE. Today’s reflection struck a chord. I share with you an excerpt.
“Let us keep that joy of loving Jesus in our hearts, and share that joy with all we come in touch with. That radiating joy is real, for we have no reason not to be happy because we have Christ with us. Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and the smile we receive.”
—–Mother Teresa’s remarks when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize Dec. 10, 1970.
Stewardship–A Story about a King and Three Servants.
The king gave three servants a talent. The first servant earned 10x what the king had given him. The second steward had earned 5x what the king had given him. And the third servant, buried the talent and gave the one talent back to the king. The king got very mad at the third steward and told him what little had been given to him would be taken away. What in the world? What does all this mean for us?
What’s a good steward?
The message God wants us to take away from this parable is to be a good steward. What does that mean? We are to be good managers with what God have given us. Our resources are not only monetary, but our time, abilities and everything. If we have a car that seats 5 people, we had better be filling up those seats. If you have a house for 10 people, you should have 10 people in there. Got a big yard? You had better be using that yard a lot. That seems kind of strict. Doesn’t it? You can see that God is very strict with this.