Category Archives: Shared Stories

Lent – A Time For Prayer

IMG_20130215_124354Lent – an act of prayer spread out over 40 days. When we pray, we go on a journey, one that hopefully brings us closer to Christ and leaves us changed by the encounter with him.

In prayer when we are directed by the Spirit we win the world for Christ. Through this kind of spirit-led prayer we imitate Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. Filled and led by the Spirit, Jesus came out of the Lenton desert “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).

In 2009,Pope Benedict XVI Left his Pallium on Saint Celestine’s Tomb

From Dr. Scott Hahn:
Back on April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather
striking, but which went largely unnoticed.

He stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure
medieval Pope named St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief
prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal
authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s tomb!

Fifteen months later, on July 4, 2010, Benedict went out of his way
again, this time to visit and pray in the cathedral of Sulmona, near
Rome, before the relics of this same saint, Celestine V.

Few people, however, noticed at the time.

Only now, we may be gaining a better understanding of what it meant.
These actions were probably more than pious acts. More likely, they
were profound and symbolic gestures of a very personal nature, which
conveyed a message that a Pope can hardly deliver any other way.

In the year 1294, this man (Fr. Pietro Angelerio), known by all as a
devout and holy priest, was elected Pope, somewhat against his will,
shortly before his 80th birthday (Ratzinger was 78 when he was
elected Pope in 2005). Just five months later, after issuing a
formal decree allowing popes to resign (or abdicate, like other
rulers), Pope Celestine V exercised that right. And now Pope
Benedict XVI has chosen to follow in the footsteps of this venerable
model.

Advent, suffering and the promise of joy

An awesome reflection from Archbishop Chaput, of Philadelphia:

 

Scripture is a love story, the story of God’s love for humanity.  But it’s a real story filled with real people.  It’s not a fairytale.  In Scripture, as in the real world, evil things happen to innocent persons.  The wicked seem to thrive.  Cruelty and suffering are common.

The Psalmist cries out to heaven again and again for justice; Job is crushed by misfortune; Herod murders blameless infants; Jesus is nailed to a cross.  God is good, but we human beings are free, and being free, we help fashion the nature of our world with the choices we make.

This is why evil is frightening, but it’s not incomprehensible.  We know it from intimate experience.  What we never quite expect is for our private sins, multiplied and fermented by millions of lives with the same or similar “little” sins, to somehow feed the kind of evil that walks into a Connecticut school and guns down 26 innocent lives, 20 of them children.

Thirteen years ago, as archbishop of Denver, I helped bury some of the victims of the Columbine High School massacre.  Nothing is more helpless or heart-breaking than to sit with parents who kissed their children goodbye in the morning and will never see them alive again in this world.  The pain of loss is excruciating.  Words of comfort all sound empty.

The victims in the Sandy Hook massacre were even younger and more numerous than those at Columbine, and if such intense sorrow could be measured, the suffering of the Connecticut family members left behind might easily be worse.

With such young lives cut so short, every parental memory of an absent child will be precious — compounded by a hunger for more time and more memories that will never happen.  This is why we need to keep the grieving families so urgently in our hearts and prayers.

People will ask, “How could a loving God allow such wickedness?”  Every life lost in Connecticut was unique, precious and irreplaceable.  But the evil was routine; every human generation is rich with it.  Why does God allow war?  Why does God allow hunger?  Why does God allow the kind of poverty that strips away the dignity of millions of people in countries around the world?

All of these questions sound reasonable, and yet they’re all evasions.  We might as well ask, “Why does God allow us to be free?”  We have the gift of being loved by a Creator who seeks our love in return; and being loved, we will never be coerced by the One who loves us.  God gives us the dignity of freedom – freedom to choose between right and wrong, a path of life or a path of death.

We are not the inevitable products of history or economics or any other determinist equation.  We’re free, and therefore we’re responsible for both the beauty and the suffering we help make.  Why does God allow wickedness?  He allows it because we – or others just like us – choose it.  The only effective antidote to the wickedness around us is to live differently from this moment forward.  We make the future beginning now.

Continue reading here.

“Perseverance is like the stone cutter”

Shared Story from Luis

Perseverance is like the stone cutter. When he strikes the stone, the 100 first strikes don’t make a dent. But the 101st strike breaks it in two and we see that it wasn’t the 101st strike that destroyed the rock but all the effort combined. If we think logically, we have to reach our goals for they are constant and we aren’t. We keep growing. Dreams are like targets. All we have to do is keep firing, one will hit eventually.

Luis, Thanks for Lighting the Way!

Psalm 23

THIS CAME TO ME FROM A FRIEND.

The Lord is my Shepherd = That’s Relationship!

I shall not want = That’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters = That’s Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul = That’s Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That’s Guidance!

For His name sake = That’s Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
= That’s Testing!

I will fear no evil = That’s Protection!
For Thou art with me = That’s Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That’s Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
Enemies = That’s Hope!

Thou annointest my head with oil = That’s Consecration!

My cup runneth over = That’s Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That’s Blessing !

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That’s Security!

Forever = That’s Eternity!

Face it, the Lord is crazy about you.

Send this to people you are crazy about..

I thought this was pretty special, just like YOU!!!

What is most valuable,

Is not what we have in our lives, but

WHO we have in our lives!

Do not ask the Lord to Guide your Footsteps if you are not
Willing to move your Feet’
Peace.

A Lesson in Faith – True Story

The Charles Blondin Story

The amazing story of Charles Blondin, a famous French tightrope walker, is a wonderful illustration of what true faith is.

Blondin’s greatest fame came on September 14, 1860, when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11,000 feet (over a quarter of a mile) across the mighty Niagara Falls. People from both Canada and America came from miles away to see this great feat.

He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times… each time with a different daring feat – once in a sack, on stilts, on a bicycle, in the dark, and blindfolded. One time he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope!

A large crowd gathered and the buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oohed and Aahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across – one dangerous step after another – pushing a wheelbarrow holding a sack of potatoes.

Then a one point, he asked for the participation of a volunteer. Upon reaching the other side, the crowd’s applause was louder than the roar of the falls!

Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?”

The crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!”

“Okay,” said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow.”

As far as the Blondin story goes, no one did at the time!

This unique story illustrates a real life picture of what faith actually is. The crowd watched these daring feats. They said they believed. But… their actions proved they truly did not believe.

Similarly, it is one thing for us to say we believe in God. However, it’s true faith when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.

—–

Note: In August of 1859, Blondin’s manager, Harry Colcord, did ride on Blondin’s back across the Falls.