Lectio Divina is a form of meditation rooted in liturgical celebration that dates back to early monastic communities. It involves focused reading of Scripture (lectio), meditation on the Word of God (meditatio), contemplation of the Word and its meaning in one’s life (contemplatio) and ends with prayer (oratio). For this Lent, we will have a Lectio Divina resource for the readings for Ash Wednesday and the Sundays of Lent that can be used by individuals or in group settings. Click here to read the entire post.
Anyone who belongs to a gym and exercises regularly knows that gyms will get crowded soon. People give gym memberships, or others make New Year’s resolutions. Either way, shortly after the first of the year, the gym is crowded. But soon, people begin to fade away, the initial resolutions become weak, and the commitment to get in shape is gone. Our spiritual lives can become like that too. We have some initial enthusiasm, but without commitment and discipline, we find that we do not remain engaged in growing spiritually.
And so with the start of the second week of Advent, time to get into spiritual shape. Read the bible. Pray the rosary. Seek out adoration. Find the sacrament of confession. Read a good spiritual book. Talk to others. Share your faith. C’mon! It is time for all of us to get into spiritual shape!
Ever feel left out of a group? Sometimes we sell ourselves short by thinking we are not good enough, talented enough, smart enough to belong. But with Jesus, everyone can belong and be saved.
Bible Study and Preaching in the Dominican Order – History, Ideal, Practice (Bibelstudium und Predigt bei den Dominikanern – Geschichte, Ideal, Praxis) was the title of the Third Isnard Frank Colloquium which took place on 27-29 October 2016 in the venerable Dominican priory of the Austria’s capital Vienna. The conference was organized by the Historical Institute of the Order of Preachers, the local Dominican priory and the Department for Historical Theology at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of Vienna on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Order and in honour of the Dominican friar and Church historian Isnard Wilhelm Frank (†2010).
It is easy to forget that so much of our relationship with God is not dependent upon us. All we need to do is to place ourselves in the presence of God. By doing so, we both lose those sins and shortcomings that keep us from being the person God has created us to be, and we are able to be sent forth for the mission that God gives to only us. As we move into the season of Lent this Wednesday, let us place ourselves in God’s presence to receive the powerful and life-changing love of God.
The DePorres Pages is pleased to announce a new YouTube feature called Theology 4snackers. It is designed to provide short video clips of various theology topics of interest. The first is posted now and is entitled, “Lectionary – The Bible at Mass.”
Do you like surprises? I suppose a lot depends upon what type of surprise it is. Winning the lottery might be a surprise we enjoy, notice that we are receiving an audit from the IRS, not so much. Most surprises are not so dramatic. But surprise is a part of our lives. We simply cannot plan for each moment of the day, because life is, by definition, unpredictable.
When we consider faith, it too can create surprises. We may become aware of God’s presence at unpredictable times. We may discover that even though we thought our vocation a “settled” matter, God continues to call us in unpredictable ways. I found this to be true when I moved from a feeling of certainty about being ordained a diocesan priest only to feel further called to life as a Dominican. God’s call is constant in its desire to help us to be led more and more deeply in relationship with Jesus.
But when it comes to the biggest surprise, the Day of the Lord when Christ will return, we need not be surprised. Why? Because as baptized Christians, we are children of the light. God has enlightened us so that we can realize that we are always immersed in the presence and love of God. It does not “catch us off guard” because we have available this life-changing relationship with God.
I suspect all of us have had the occasion to have our eyes tested for vision and other things. It is important, because being able to see clearly is important. Since I have, on both sides of my family, a history of Glaucoma in the family, I get a battery of such tests each year. While they are not difficult or painful tests, they do serve as a reminder of how precious the gift of sight is, and how many threats there can be to seeing well. Having had to use reading glasses for the past couple of years, I am reminded even more often of the importance of being able to see clearly.
Today’s readings show the importance of seeing clearly in another way. That is, just as we may need glasses to see clearly, at the same time, to gain understanding it matters how we see something. Things may not be what they appear if we do not see something clearly. Just as a person may need glasses or contacts to make things visible, so too we learn today that a person needs wisdom to see things clearly.
The “glasses” of faith are used when we engage Wisdom. The definition I have always found helpful for wisdom is this: wisdom is seeing as God sees. The reason I like this definition is that so much of what we do and know in life only really makes sense when we consider how God views things. If we do not consider that human beings are made in God’s image and likeness, it becomes easy to throw them away.
I am preaching the Novena of Saint Jude, days 4-9. This is an audio recording of my day seven preaching, which focused on seeing the Bible as a method of prayer. Following religious commandments is not enough if we fail to come to know Jesus and follow him unreservedly. For more information about the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in Chicago, visit their website here.
It can be easy to become discouraged. Every day it seems we hear of bad news occurring in our area and around the world. Each day it seems people we love, or even ourselves, can discover we have some really awful disease. Sometimes we are treated badly by others. Also, there are times when our own actions, our own sinfulness can cause discouragement as well.