Here we cannot fail to mention Ignatius of Loyola, who in his Spiritual Exercises wrote: “See Our Lady and Joseph and the handmaiden and child Jesus, after he is born, making myself the poor unworthy servant boy who looks at them, contemplates them and serves them in their needs as if I were present, with every possible respect and reverence” (ES 114).
News in Spirituality
It's a recurring question, but one that is badly formulated. Because every baptized person is called to live a life of holiness. Pope Francis reminds us that this is our vocation in his 2018 apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et exsultate,"on the call to holiness in today's world".
As parishes re-open to varying extents – and with a range of anti-viral measures from face-shields to people scattered by tape in near empty benches, many clergy note that the numbers have not returned to the pre-COVID-19 level. The preferred explanation seems to be that now is still not 'normality' and that many are fearful about a church gathering as a potential source of infection.
Putting the paschal mystery at the centre of our lives means feeling compassion towards the wounds of the crucified Christ present in the many innocent victims of wars, in attacks on life, from that of the unborn to that of the elderly, and various forms of violence. They are likewise present in environmental disasters, the unequal distribution of the earth’s goods, human trafficking in all its forms, and the unbridled thirst for profit, which is a form of idolatry.
The end of the seventh chapter of the Letter to the Romans contains an exclamation in which Saint Paul gives voice to a deep pain that permeates his entire existence: “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24). At first glance, it seems that the apostle is making a very severe judgment about his own body, as if he almost preferred to do away with it so as to live serenely the spiritual life. But this is not so.
"If families have an average number of five members, 50 million Filipinos have a chance to read, pray and share their insights of the Bible," said Bishop Bastes. "The Bible is indeed the most read book in our country. By the power of the Word of God, may the Philippines be transformed into a real Christian nation."
Ever since he was a boy in Norway, the son of a country vet, Erik Varden has felt a sense of longing – of homesickness “for a homeland I recall but have not seen”. There were decades of “rudderlessness, pain and questions” before he discovered where this was leading him: the enclosed Cistercian monastery of Mount Saint Bernard in Leicestershire, where he is now Abbot, and where he hopes to die.
Responses from young Catholics in East Africa and America to the survey published ahead of the Church’s Youth Synod give a fascinating insight into the concerns and hopes of a young generation of Christians.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also knows as Claretian Missionaries. This year the celebration of his feast is combined with the great joy for the Beatification of 109 Claretian Martyrs that took place last Saturday 21 October at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Who was St. Anthony Mary Claret?
With this anthology of texts the four Institutes of Consecrated Life run by the Claretian missionaries want to offer to the English speaking public some of its practical theological reflections. Book Published in March, 2017
The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord celebrates the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), his announcement that the Blessed Virgin had been chosen to be the mother of Our Lord, and Mary's fiat—her willing acceptance of God's holy plan.
Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord.
Carlo remains an inspiration, especially to teenagers who aren’t sure whether they could be both holy and “normal” and individually unique. “All people are born as originals,” he said, “but many die as photocopies.” To die as an “original,” Carlo maintained, was to be guided by Christ, and to look at Him constantly.
Saint Francis, Italian mystic, preacher and founder of the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, was born in Assisi (Umbria, Italy) in 1182. St. Francis of Assisi abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. Francis of Assisi was the founder of the Franciscans Order.
God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn. In an ever new miracle, divine mercy shines forth in our lives, inspiring each of us to love our neighbour and to devote ourselves to what the Church’s tradition calls the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
"Our faith is focused on externals and rituals, processions and private devotions," Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato told some 12,000 congress delegates, comprised of priests, religious, and lay church leaders. He reminded delegates that the Eucharist is "the deepest kind of union" that shares in the mission of Jesus "to the poor, the oppressed and marginalized, to all who are needy and in need of love and service.
Many Catholics are becoming interested in including the O antiphons as part of their Advent preparations, by singing or reciting or listening to recordings (or doing all of these things) between Dec. 17 and 23. Everyone can find renewed inspiration at the end of Advent by praying the O antiphons as a countdown to the great feast that is to come. Names of a Scriptural type of the Messiah. He is the Wisdom of God, the Ruler of the House of Israel, the Root of Jesse, the Key of David, the Dawn, the King of the Nations, and God with us.
The London School of Economics’ recent study of the kinds of social activities that help to overcome depression has shown up religion observance as the only activity to make a positive difference to mental wellbeing over time, outranking voluntary work and joining political parties, sport and social clubs.
On one occasion during the 1858 apparitions, Our Lady confirmed to Bernadette that her life would be scarred with suffering, saying, “I cannot promise to make you happy in this world, only in the next.” On the 21st of February 1858, Our Lady explained to Bernadette her role in life, “you will pray to God for sinners.”
We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination….