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.
News in Spirituality
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….
Lent is that time of year when Catholics smear ash on their foreheads and give up eating chocolate or checking Facebook or watching television, right? That may be the basic view from the outside, but for those who observe it, the season of Lent is a period of penitence that prepares the heart for the celebration of Easter — Christ’s resurrection.
Lent 2014 brings the death and resurrection of the Lord more insistently into the horizon of our lives. Before the Lord, we are all weak and needy, poor in who we are, rich in him. Grateful for our various callings and rejoicing in that poverty that opens us to God’s grace, let us observe Lent together in prayer, penance and almsgiving. God bless you.
Lent this year begins on 5 March. From that day until Palm Sunday I'm not going to eat any food. I'll have a glass of fruit juice in the morning, some vegetable stock in the evening and make sure to keep hydrated but otherwise I won't be eating anything at all. This will be a time of study, prayer, my regular work and attempting to highlight the growing crisis of hunger in the UK.
A dictionary would define perseverance in these or similar words: a steady persistence in activity, purpose, or a state in spite of difficulties. Isn’t it then reassuring to know that a great saint and mystic, such as St Teresa of Avila herself, struggled in prayer until she was 41 years of age?
Our culture is too bound up in the world of feelings, even to the point where counselors ask as their main question – “How do you feel about that? or How did that make you feel?” as if feelings were the ultimate litmus test of what is going on in a person’s inner psyche. Feelings however can be very deceptive, the joy of the Lord is not.
With the sometimes rabid exception of people at the ultra-traditionalist fringe of Catholicism who sputter at seeing him being respectful toward non-Catholics and acting “undignified,” Catholics are very pleased with Pope Francis. More notable, though, is the wild adulation he draws from those outside the Church, even more adulation, it appears, than he draws from Catholics.
"Good, hope there will be many like her", says our Godgossip commentator Miss Angela. A group of Christian Girl Guide and Brownies leaders risk being expelled from the movement after publicly refusing to drop God from their traditional promise.