When we think about it, if we want to go deeper in the spiritual life, what we have to do is learn to connect our beliefs to what we are living. We have to find the Paschal Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus something that is alive and impacting our own lives. Stop and think. Almost everyday, sometimes in small and ordinary ways, we encounter the cross. We have to wait patiently for the car in front of us to merge over on the freeway. We have to listen to a co-worker or a family member as they complete their sentences and thoughts rather than insert our own words into the conversation. We have to welcome the way others do things or their ideas that may differ from our own for we have to let up our own need to control or be right. We have to manage our own feelings so we can honestly react to others and not our own concerns for them. I am remembering about this as I walk alongside the teenagers and young adults in my family. In fact, as I wrote this I had to remove the word my from the sentence…”as I walk alongside my teenagers and young adults. The people in my family are not mine for they are given to me for a time to nurture and love but ultimately they are Gods. God inspires them too for family life is a cross for others by working with your own needs that may be out of balance and impinge on the legitimate needs of others? How can you let the ordinary moments, that cause you to hold yourself back, put you in touch with the Death and Resurrection of Jesus which is a real time force for good in your life. Ask God for a new awareness of just how real the Paschal Mystery is for you today! ~ Mary
Sometimes we learn profound things from our everyday experiences, even at work. I work as a part time chaplain with Community Hospice, as well as provide retreats/conferences and spiritual direction to my parish and way beyond. One day, I was called to visit a man with dementia in a local care facility. He was always either sound asleep or unresponsive when I visited him. I never had a conversation with him and he never opened his eyes and looked at me, but he taught me profound things about cultivating habits of holiness through the Eucharist.
I phoned his wife and learned that he had been a daily Mass goer, a sacristan, an involved member of their parish and a compassionate and successful business man back home. They had moved to my town once he got sick to be closer to their daughter. We spoke about ways she could honor her marital commitment to him when it was difficult to figure out how to relate to him. She could rub his hands with lotion etc. She requested that I arrange sacramental anointing, which I did.
What really moved me was when I came to his bedside along with his wife and daughter on the day he died. While he seemed unresponsive, I broke off a tiny morsel of the Eucharist, recited the Lord’s Prayer with his family and said, “Bob, This is the Body of Christ!” He opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue. His daughter bolted off her chair and shouted, “He hasn’t even opened his mouth in 10 days! Look at that!” I was dumbfounded too. He died a few hours later. The power of his love for Our Lord in the Eucharist came through at the last hour! This is truly Eucharistic adoration at it’s best! ~ Mary
Today I was at a formation retreat for deacon formation as my husband is in formation to be ordained a permanent deacon July 18, 2015 for the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The topic was on gratitude! I have come to a new understanding of this most precious virtue and spiritual capacity. I came to see that we have to work at gratitude for many factors in today’s world keep us from it.
Gratitude is about being mindful or aware of the now moments in life. Our culture tends to be future oriented. We can cultivate the capacity for gratitude by taking the same approach that our mothers taught us when we cross the street. We are to stop, look, and go! We have to stop, to bring ourselves back to paying attention and savoring the gift of the present moment and then we have to live that moment as a gift. If we don’t we are vulnerable spiritually. Desolation can take us down or immobilize us.
Each of us has unique vulnerabilities, maybe we rush through life, take on too much so we don’t have to notice our present reactions. For me, being a sensitive person, I get hurt or immobilized by noticing too long the hurts of life. We are to notice, feel the feelings and mine the gift of the suffering. We are not to let it continue on and stop us. What about you? Do you notice both the ups and the downs each as a distinct gift to praise God for, for each has made you who you are.~ Mary
We are so busy this time of year with Christmas preparation, we often fail to keep our perspectives on the coming of Christ. Advent can slip away and we may find we haven’t taken time. I notice this even in my own house. At Mass this morning, when I caught sight of the Advent wreath, I remembered that I hadn’t gotten the family wreath out yet. Today, that is one of my missions among many.
Take time to slow down and keep yourself grounded. Join Incarnate Institute and Pietra Fitness for, Build the Cathedral of You: Healthy Holiness for Advent. This is an email retreat with MWF emails for the first three weeks of Advent, followed by a short, live, interactive online retreat session on Dec. 21 at 7 PM, CST. Sign up by emailing us at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a theologian, certified spiritual director and licensed dietitian, I will explore a Catholic perspective to healthy eating and weight management that can help you grow in holiness. Pietra Fitness is a beautiful ministry of physical fitness and prayer, a true Catholic light and alternative to new age practices like Yoga and eastern meditation. Join us today. ~Mary
- Advent Retreat
- Deacon Wives
- Eucharistic adoration
- farm wife
- feminine genius
- Preparing for Christmas
- resolutions for holiness
- Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Skills for the Disciple
- spiritual gifts
- spiritual mothers of priests
- Spirituality of the Cross
- The Cross
- The Holy Spirit
- Year of Faith