The Sacraments: What Christ is Still Doing

Sacraments

At RCIA a couple of weeks ago, our pastor made the comment that the Sacraments are how Christ continues to do today what He did while He was here on earth. Fr. Ed then went over the seven sacraments, what they are, what distinguishes them, and so forth; and then he left me to continue the discussion at the RCIA session last week.Consequently, I put together some ideas about how Christ is doing today what He did then, with these major headings:What was Jesus doing then? How is He … [Read more...]

On Praying for What You Really Want

Should I ask God for what I want? Is it arrogant to ask the Lord of Creation to listen to my requests, or to think that they might affect the way things are? Ought I instead to assume that God knows what I need and pray simply for His will to be done?I see these questions come up time and again. I've asked them myself, and I often see others asking them. My basic response has always been that we should ask God for what we really want, when we want it, and then trust in Him to give us … [Read more...]

#GraceOfYesDay

Spaceman

Today is #GraceOfYesDay, celebrating my friend Lisa Hendey's new book, The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living. Be sure to get your own copy or the spaceman gets it. … [Read more...]

Becoming Family and Encouraging the Unnoticed

Last week Katrina Fernandez, my fellow Patheoso, issued this cry from the heart: Overlooked and Dismissed During the Synod, How Single Parents Continue to be Regarded in the Church.... As a single mom, she feels isolated and unnoticed at Church. Greater participation in parish activities isn't the answer; she doesn't have enough time for everything she needs to be doing now.This led to a discussion amongst us all as to how best to welcome and encourage single moms, and members of other … [Read more...]

When Prayer becomes Mortification

I first started praying the Liturgy of the Hours in the mid-winter of 2008, a few months after my reversion to Catholicism. At that time it was all exciting and new, and I looked forward to my prayer times every day; but that's not why I adopted the Liturgy of the Hours as a personal devotion. And then, when I became a Lay Dominican, I necessarily embarked on a life of diligent prayer. Per the rule, I am to pray a significant fraction of the Liturgy of the Hours, a daily rosary, daily mass … [Read more...]

Praying for the Islamic State

One of my friends at Patheos, Rebecca Hamilton, recently wrote a post about the monstrous actions of the Islamic State in the Middle East, and noted that she prayed for the conversion of the Muslims.Someone commented on this, to another Patheos blogger,I could barely get past "I prayed for the conversion of the Muslims", a statement as oppressive as anything Isis has done.The comment stuck in my head. I wonder what the commenter thinks "the conversion of the Muslims" entails? … [Read more...]

In Mosul, Crown Him with Many Thorns

There's a fine old hymn I learned in college:Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his throne, Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for thee, and hail him as thy matchless King through all eternity.And it seems clear that we are to do so by living for Him, by leading lives that redound to His glory. (That's an interesting word, "redound". I'm not sure I've seen it in any other … [Read more...]

Active Contemplation—Wait, What?

Dripping Shower Head

I've sometimes thought that Dominican contemplation is very active contemplation, because Dominicans are active contemplatives.Religious orders are often described as being "active," working in the world, or "contemplative", praying behind walls. Dominicans, by contrast, are said to be "active contemplatives", embracing the activity of preaching, where preaching flows from contemplation. Somewhere (I cannot find it at the moment) I read that St. Thomas Aquinas looked at the merits of the … [Read more...]

The Mystery of Obedience: The Presentation of the Lord

My latest at CatholicMom.com. Mary and Joseph had no idea, as they gathered their things and took up their infant son for the long walk to Jerusalem, that they were going to be an answer to prayer, and would be the redeemers of God’s promise to Simeon. But they went in obedience, and in His providence God used their obedience in ways they would never have imagined. … [Read more...]


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