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).
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
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.
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!
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!
Saint Paul’s ‘Thorn in the Flesh’ by Apostleship of Prayer
Our difficulties and sufferings are our pathways to God. MJM
Father Farfaglia, pastor of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, shares a Lenton Preparation Message, “Getting Ready for Lent.” Make it a great one!