Quote of the Week

A lot happens in the parish at the beginning of September.  Everyone is busy getting ready to begin programs and carry out events.  It is so important that we don’t forget that prayer accomplishes far more than activity (although both are necessary).  St. Teresa gives some great advice for us busy folks.  Let us take moments and be sure to offer up all our ministry endeavors and seek the wisdom and strength we need from God, the giver of all good gifts.
“Much more is obtained by a single word of the “Our Father” said from the heart every so often, than by saying the whole “Our Father” many times but hastily and distractedly.”
 ~St. Theresa of Avila

“One of the most beautiful experiences a person can have in the Church is that of being able to see and touch the work of the Lord in people’s lives, of experiencing the fact that God is not some abstract entity, but a reality so great and strong as to fill man’s heart to overflowing; a living Person Who is close to us, Who loves us and asks to be loved”.  ~ Pope Benedict XVI

The Buzz Word of the Third Millennium

Evangelization is a buzz word that we hear a lot about.  We use to think of it as something you did to people who were not Catholic or Christian.  However, today we know that we need to evangelize to those around us not about who Jesus is and what He is inviting everyone to, but we need to evangelize with our lives.

Jesus the Evangelist

I sometimes get the impression that we don’t think of Jesus as being an evangelizer as much as we think of Him as the one we “evangelize about”.  The General Directory of Catechesis in paragraph 34 said:

He [Jesus Christ] was the first and supreme evangelizer. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God, as the urgent and definitive intervention of God in history, and defined this proclamation “the Gospel”, that is, the Good News. To this Gospel, Jesus devoted his entire earthly life: he made known the joy of belonging to the Kingdom, its demands, its magna carta, the mysteries which it embraces, the life of fraternal charity of those who enter it and its future fulfillment.

How Are You Evangelizing?

Today, at a day and age where sin is bringing scandal to the Church and this Church of sinners is being seen by the world as equally wounded and captive to sin (at least in some respects).  We need to evangelize by the way we live our faith in the grocery store, at the beach, in the movie theater, at a wedding, and at a friends bachelor party.  Today there truly is an urgent and definitive need to proclaim the Gospel and help others experience it as good news in our world.  Don’t get me wrong, lots of “good news” is happening.  We just need to pray and seek to make the joy of Jesus and his grace present in all aspects of society.

Be Committed to Prayer

Through a life of prayer Christ will do great things in and through us.  Let us ask Our Lady to assist us in being the evangelizers we are called to be:

We ask you, Mary, to help us to fulfill this mission of evangelization which your Son has given to his Church and which falls to us. Mindful of your role as Help of Christians, we entrust ourselves to you in the work of carrying the Gospel ever deeper into the hearts and lives of all the people. We entrust to you our missionary mandate and commit our  cause totally to your prayers. To Jesus Christ your Son, with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit be praise and thanksgiving forever and ever.  Amen (prayer from catholic.org)

“The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light.”

~ St. Francis de Sales (Feast Day is January 24)

Pope Benedict XVI has constantly spoken about the need to strive for holiness and for Christ’s disciples to aim to be saints.

“What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.”

“Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception.  That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

‘The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.'”

~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph # 491

Fire of Advent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, p. 187

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”

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