An Engaging Faith: August 3rd-7th

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Real Life Radio daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise by Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield (Courtesy Of Pauline Publishing)  Drawing runs 8/4-8/12

Looking at the diversity of the vocation to Priesthood..

Tune in this week with.. Fr. Patrick Longalong, Encore with Fr. Vincent Daily Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield author of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise  , Fr. Rick Gribble of Stonehill College,  and  Margaret Felice

Photo by Brenda Vano

Monday:Fr. Patrick Longalong, a priest with a special  Apostolate to Filipino Immigrants at  St Francis De Sales Church in Belle Harbor, New York , and a member of the National Association of Filipino Priests having served as Vice President for 3 years and now as Secretary.

Tuesday:Fr. Vincent Daily pastor of the collaborative of St. Angela Merici Parish, Mattapan; St. Gregory Parish, and St. Matthew Parish, Dorchester is here to share a bit about his own vocation and discuss the challenges and joys of priesthood.


*Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield  has needed to needed to reschedule..will keep you posted! In the meantime I am extending the drawing for his book Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise through next Wednesday the 12th. Tune in for a SURPRISE guest! 


Wednesday: Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield , recent author of Life Everlasting: The Mystery and the Promise serves as the Associate General Secretary at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC.  Msgr. Bransfield also serves as an adjunct professor of moral theology on the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies and at the Canon Law School of the Catholic University of America, both located in Washington, D.C. Other books include, Meeting Jesus Christ:Meditations on the Word, 2013, and The Human Person: According to John Paul II, 2011.

Thursday: Fr. Rick Gribble, began teaching at Stonehill College in 1995. He holds a MDiv. and S.T.M from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley in 1988 and a PHD from The Catholic University of America, in 1995.He has written over 30 books on American church history and spirituality including Apostolic Religious Life in America: A Solution to the Crisis, 2011 which we hope to touch upon.

Felice Fridays!: Margaret FeliceBoston College alumnae and faculty member of Religion and Performing Arts at BC High in Boston MA, Opera Singer and blogger joins us for a fun an engaging talk about all things Catholic!

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Worth Revisiting: Examen-ing My day

Today, I wanted to share with you one of my own personal spiritual reflections, through the Ignatian practice of the Examen. Much like it sounds, the Examen is a prayerful way of looking at our day- examining our feelings, emotions, joys and challenges while being aware of God’s presence and guidance.
Where is God waiting to be discovered in the busyness of my day today?  Don’t forget now through July 31st you can share your thoughts, and pictures on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Vine)  using #FindIggy through Loyola Press.


EXAMEN-ing My Day

“Receive, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.” St. Ignatius

On July 31st we celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius, a former Spanish soldier, who experiencing a profound conversion to the centrality of Christ, much like St. Paul, answered the call to follow. The moment for Iñigo came- that decisive moment when Iñigo’s life would take a radically different turn. In the spring of 1521, a French cannonball would shatter his leg and he would not only physically limp but spiritually be forever changed. After reading the life of Christ and discovering the lives of the saints he began to understand that God was drawing him toward an entirely new way of life. St. Ignatius recognized that putting Christ first, means also discovering anew God’s presence and the Holy Spirit at work in the midst of our daily lives. It is a seeking and then an awareness to God within and without- in all that we see, hear, feel and do. So, in a simple, modified form of the Examen I wish to share with you my day.

1. Become aware of God’s presence.

This morning, before I opened my eyes, I felt You there God. Not ready yet to leave my restful state, I said “thank you” for the day to come, and “yes” to what gifts I might be shown to see and do. I saw your beauty in the sunrise, in the dew on the flowers, and in the little white butterfly family that returns each Summer. I heard your joy in the laughter, albeit giggles, of my children. And I felt your peace as joined in the “Our Father” and prepared my heart to receive such blessed communion at mass.  You are here with me now as I enter into this time of contemplation, Spirit lead me.

2. Review the day with gratitude. 

My heavenly Father, I thank you for both the ups and downs of this day, for you were present in every moment. How I praise you for the gift of friendship with you, for those you have placed in my path, and those opportunities for others to see and know you through me. I give praise also for those who you have given to guide me, who listen, support and advise, who reflect your indescribable love. For those moments that were difficult-oh, the strength you have given me, you never let go. You are amazing God!

3. Pay attention to your emotions. 

Initially, I felt reluctance at starting my day so early, for it is the summer and as I had rationalized I had been so busy the last few weeks.  Yet, I realize that I was in fact procrastinating my pressing “to do” lists, and seeing them as tasks rather than invitations to see You at your best. I was also hesitant to answer the phone from  someone who I have felt continually attempts to  confront peace with frustration and aggravation. However, while I still have much to learn, you gave me courage to stand firm in your grace.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. 

Please Lord, be persistent with me and help me to always be loving and forgiving, even when I feel tempted to be less than what you have shown to me.  You see me as I truly am, you know my thoughts and my heart…and you love and forgive. Lord, please strengthen my steps, embolden my spirit, and help me approach each new day with faith, love, peace, and joy.

5. Look toward tomorrow.

The seeds of hope exist today in trusting that tomorrow provides a newness, a desire to cooperate with God in his will for my life. Ask for God’s grace in gratitude for all that God has given, to encounter the joys and challenges of the next day with the help of the Holy Spirit. Finish your Examen by praying the Our Father.

Book Review: Love & Salt, A Spiritual Friendship

“You and I are here and I hope that Christ is between us as a third. Yes most beloved open your heart now and pour whatever you please into the ears of a friend. Gratefully, let us welcome the time, place and leisure” 

Aelred of Rivaulx, Spiritual Friendship.

What is Spiritual Friendship?

It is a bond between souls – one that cannot be created or induced but is the very knitting together by our Creator from whom all love flows.  This is a friendship that mirrors the love that God has for each of us, a give and take of our very selves, without thought of risk or gain. It is an opening of our hearts to one another, willing to share difficult truths and sorrows as well as joys.  Challenging us to grow, it inspires us to be more like Christ in crossing into one another’s lives through and for the sheer reason of love.

In Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters we are welcomed into the lives of Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith. Two women from very different backgrounds each felt led to take  a creative writing class that would truly be the beginning of an incredible spiritual friendship. While initially there would be a concealment of their own admittance to and searching for faith, their paths with one another would lead to a true discovery of self. Through letter writing they spanned the distance apart, and like Ruth and Naomi realized that they indeed could walk this path together.

For Jessica it was the faith of her childhood which “brought religion to life in a way that theology never could” , through a visible lived faith experience that seemed to permeate everything.  Battling doubts as to Amy’s choosing of her as Confirmation sponsor, Jessica was hopeful that she could help guide Amy into the faith in her own return as well. Meanwhile, continually unfolding the layers of grief of her mother’s death and father’s alienation, Jessica sought to understand her own new vocation as mother.

For Amy, her path from a secular upbringing to conversion was more of a “long crescendo”, an accumulation of experience that spoke to this decision that felt called to make to become a Catholic. Approaching faith initially from a position of trying to prove its truth, she conceded that there was in fact a “leap of faith” beyond reason that was required. When Amy encountered the initial joy of pregnancy to the experience of delivering Claire as stillborn their spiritual friendship was what carried Amy through this difficult time.

Through the sharing of these daily struggles, small and large, and their profound moments of deep questioning they experienced a connection that went beyond a simple exchange of friendship. They had found the freedom and friendship of faith and love that bound them  together like Ruth and Naomi.  Unraveling what it is to have faith, in the midst of grief and through the ups and downs of life, buoyed by the God given companionship in one another.

Have you experienced a friendship like this? Is there someone in your life whom you feel privileged to carry their burdens as well as their joys? If so, take a moment today to say “Thank you” to God for this priceless gift of love.

Peace,

Signature

An Engaging Faith: July 27th-31st

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Real Life Radio daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of  Love and Salt by Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith (Courtesy Of Loyola Press Publishing)  

Where is God leading and meeting you today?

Continuing on our #31Daysof St.Ignatius..Tune in this week with.. Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters , Tony Agnesi of Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life,  Paula Kowalkowski Loyola Chicago alumnae and faculty member of Music at Columbia College and Fr. Vincent Daily, pastor of a new parish collaborative in Massachusetts.

 

 
 

 
Monday: Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith  authors of  Love and Salt:A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters. Amy has an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and her spiritual writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction,River Teeth, and the Bellingham Review. She teaches mathematics at Northwestern University and lives in Evanston with her husband and two children.Jessica has an MFA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh and has published essays in Elle, Creative Nonfiction, and Godspy. She lives in Michigan with her husband, writer David Griffith, and their two children.

Tuesday: Tony Agnesi, who is Finding God’s Grace in Everyday Life is the Senior Vice President of Rubber City Radio Group, WQMX, WONE, and WAKR in Akron and WNWV in Cleveland and member of Radio and Television Hall of Fame. A relentless storyteller, his Sunday blog and Wednesday podcast have an International audience in over 70 counties and has been translated in over 40 languages. Tony and his wife Diane have two adult sons and are members of the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Wadsworth, Ohio.

Wednesday: Fr. Vincent Daily pastor of the collaborative of St. Angela Merici Parish, Mattapan; St. Gregory Parish, and St. Matthew Parish, Dorchester is here to share a bit about his own vocation and discuss the challenges and joys of priesthood.

Thursday: Paula Kowalkowski, Loyola Chicago alumnae and faculty member of Music at Columbia College in Chicago joins us again to talk about bereavement and spirituality.  

 

Friday: Weekly Recap Join me as discuss the past week’s news, events, tweets and posts! And of course to celebrate St. Ignatius’ Feast Day!! 

 

Worth Revisiting: Quite A Latte Going On!

Sometimes when we are overly busy, overwhelmed, wondering how we will ever get through all the demands upon time and self..remembering that we have been there before is such a consolation! What were the graces then and how did I experience God’s faithful presence? Perhaps through prayer, readings, a song, a conversation or the support of a spouse or a friend?
Where is God waiting to be discovered in the busyness of my day today?  Don’t forget now through July 31st you can share your thoughts, and pictures on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Vine)  using #FindIggy through Loyola Press.


 1. If the title hadn’t given it away already, I would begin by saying how incredibly eventful this week has been… and continues to be!  With something “extra” scheduled every day, I have found myself wanting for another me to complete the monotonous tasks that are important but not necessarily fun. Late nights, prayer and countless cups of coffee have been the norm these last few days. As I write this I am finishing up the last of three loads of laundry, and enjoying this pause in a very busy but blessed week.

Graces and Opportunities//

2. I realize that I can, with the grace of God, take on all my normal commitments and add a few more balls in the air without totally being stressed. As I am nearing the end of my graduate school work, I contemplate life changing once again as I discern my new place in the larger world. My family too has needed to make adjustments in what they contribute to the running of the family household. While change is not always welcomed initially, it is so gratifying it is to see them grow and take on additional responsibilities.

3. With that being said, my middle son Peter now 15 tied his own tie for school today for the first time! Passing by him this morning I offered my services, as is customary, to which he surprisingly replied, “Hold on Mom just a minute, I almost have it! Love it 🙂

Peter before school this morning!

A post shared by Elizabeth Reardon (@theologyisaverb) on

4. On Monday evening I joined in on an existing bible study group and met a fantastic group of ladies. The insight, coffee and conversation flowed so that had we not set an end time, I would not have made it home before 10pm! Thank you to all for a great time!

5.The following night my hubby stepped in to lead Why Catholic for a friend whose husband had surgery. For those unfamiliar with the Why Catholic program, it was created for adults to “foster spiritual renewal, evangelization, catechesis and faith formation through small Christian communities”. What a joy it was to see him prepare and leave to spend that time with others in scripture and prayer.

6. Last night, I attended a seminar on Catechesis and the New Evangelization hosted by Loyola Press and featuring Joe Paprocki author of The Catechist’s Toolbox, and The Bible Blueprint. Paprocki’s books are clear, engaging and filled with humor and parables. In his presentation, he explained that while we as Catholics have seen many leave the Church that there are countless new “opportunities for bringing the Good News” to flourish within hearts and minds. Essential to these opportunities is a new “ardor” or attitude of joy and hope that “things can change”. That change begins with each one of us. We are as a people called to be inviting others into a “transformative” experience of faith. This is accomplished by a living active witness to Christ’s love and mercy in our own lives. Here, Catholic social teaching provide a much needed connection to the realities of our everyday life and the call to “put that faith into action”. If interested in hearing more, this seminar can be accessed in a few days on http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/ .

7. Tomorrow, I am thrilled to attend the Boston Archdiocesan Social Justice Convention at the Pastoral Center in Braintree. The focus this year will be on making social justice a priority within our communities and interfaith outreach to overcome violence. Not to mention there will be numerous exhibitors such as Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit Volunteers on hand to provide more information to serving others in our local communities. Exciting stuff!
Peace,Signature

Beside Still Waters

Anyone close to me knows that despite sometimes bemoaning my busy schedule, I am indeed blessed and appear to thrive on chaos. On my already full plate there’s been ample room to take another helping of “Would you be able to join us?” , “Oh, and another thing”, or “I cannot be there.”  Yet over the last few weeks ,   I have felt the pressing need for a break -a respite to  gather my thoughts and silence to find my peace in the midst of the all that I am being asked to do. With my head swimming with service commitments, recordings, preparations, and conversations, the question of just when I would take this break was weighing on me too. That is until the answer came to me in prayer once again.

What began quite simply as a bodily sigh, gave way to a petition, and then to a surrendering of my very self.

“Lord, I need you… You have graced my life with so many wondrous opportunities to love and serve you. And while I cannot believe that you have called me, and given me the gifts necessary to answer that call, I am in need of some time with you alone. I want to be joyful in all that I do, not just simply go through the motions. I want to be close to you, so that others can come to know you through me. Come Holy Spirit..”

Then closing my eyes, I sat in silence in recognition of  that which had kept me busy, my deep desire to serve  and God’s ever presence through it all. Suddenly, I became aware too of the missed moments I had failed to take advantage of, glimpses of God inviting me to sit a spell and simply be.  No sooner was this acknowledgment expressed, than was God’s beautiful gift to me revealed. The vision that now lay before my still closed eyes was that sanctuary that I had pleaded for. Waters so tranquil and glassy that they could not help but reflect the beauty of the heavens that stretched across the bright blue sky.  There was truly no separation between the two, and I understood that this was his lesson as well.

You are my vision..

As St. Ignatius of Loyola’s own experience has shown, if we are to reflect God’s love, joy and beauty in our world this time of contemplation with our Creator and loving Father is essential.  In our surrender, the ripples of fear and doubt are dispelled , and our self reliance gives way to a peace that can only come from the One who has created and ordered it all. So, yes the One who set the sun and stars in motion also set aside for rest and serenity. And, this time need not always be extensive but as was the case here, just a cursory foretaste of what awaits when our time here on earth is done.

For the remainder of this week, whenever I have needed a short break, I have returned in prayer to find God ‘s invitation still present. So much so, I know that the smile and joy that breaks forth has been more than visible to others.  If this were not enough, God whose generosity is not to be outdone, has spoken to me again in Word and song. No surprise here, the responsorial psalm that I led with the children for this Sunday’s liturgy  was …

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures he makes me lie down;
to still waters he leads me;
he restores my soul… (Psalm 23:1-6)

The invitation is there for you as well..to be led beside still waters. Are you in true need of a break in your life? Have you found God calling you to spend some quality time with Him today? He’s there..already waiting for you!

Peace,

Signature

An Engaging Faith: July 20-24th

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Real Life Radio daily at 4pm EST.

Enter To Win a Copy of  A Purposeful Path by Fr. Casey Beaumier (Courtesy Of Loyola Press Publishing)  

Where is God leading and meeting you today?

Continuing on our #31Daysof St.Ignatius..Tune in this week with.. Fr. Casey Beaumier with his latest

book A Purposeful Path, to Lisa Jones and Shelly Kelly of A Sound Mind and Spirit, then Jeannie Ewing of  Love Alone Creates and finally Margaret Felice!

Monday: Fr. Casey Beaumier, S.J.,  is the director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College. , Fr. Beaumier teaches in the Capstone Program and serves as mentor and spiritual director for students, seminarians, women religious, and priests. He is also the author of a new book entitled S.J., A Purposeful Path: How far can you go with $30, a bus ticket and a Dream. 

For my own review on the book...

 Tuesday: Lisa Henley Jones and Shelly Henley Kelly, sisters and co-bloggers at Sound Mind and Spirit. Lisa is a mom of three, catechist, Catholic speaker and contributor at Loyola Press. Shelly is a full-time working mom of three herself involved in IT and telecommunications. Both have been contributors over at CatholicMom.com.

Wednesday: Jeannie Ewingof Love Alone Creates is a writer and inspirational speaker about spiritual life reflections, grief, and parenting children with special needs.    She has worked for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and as a freelance journalist for Today’s Catholic, the diocesan newspaper.  I have been published in Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2013 and Countrysidemagazine, as well as various, other periodicals; I am also a regular contributor to RealHousekeeing.comCatholicMom.com and CatholicExchange.com.

Thursday: Let’s talk..What is it to be a Church of Mercy? Today we take a look at Pope Francis’ book The Church of Mercy,  through a collection of his homilies, addresses, and excerpts taken from Evangelii gaudium, Lumen Fidei and Regina Coeli.

 

Felice Fridays!: Margaret Felice, Boston College alumnae and faculty member of Religion and Performing Arts at BC High in Boston MA, Opera Singer and blogger joins us for a fun an engaging talk about all things Catholic!

Worth Revisiting: God’s Reset Button

It’s Worth Revisiting Wednesday! A place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link-up with fellow bloggers! Co-Hosted with Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You.

 

Where do we find ourselves in the midst of challenges and self reliance?..In need of God’s mercy and hopefully anticipating God’s reset button for the day to  follow. As we continue with #31DayswithIgnatius, let’s remember how essential this last step in the Examen truly is in our lives as Christians.


God's Reset ButtonA few years ago, a good friend of mine made a comment about how thankful he was that God had given him a reset button that morning after a very trying day. Well, that image and my appreciation of it hasn’t left me since. We all have those days, mine was just yesterday, where very little is going as planned, no one is on our timeline, and our patience is slim to none. Honestly, I could not even get out of my own way! So, that Jesuit training came into play once again last night as I sat down to Examen where it all went wrong, as well as, how to get back on track.

 file3031348651890First, I had started my day by placing my own priorities ahead of my time with God. I know, “say it ain’t so”, but yes that was me. Seemingly too busy for mass, prayer or reflection- I plunged into the day’s events headfirst.  In doing so, I realize that I had let the events of the day control me, allowing them to dictate where and what I was to do next. Moreover, this was creating within me a growing exasperation,
at my ineptitude at getting anything done much less doing it correctly.

weather oddity MGD©Instead of giving God the space to meet these frustrations, as only God can, I was multiplying my mistakes and laying the path of destruction far and wide. Perhaps, this is a tad harsh but if you need a visual… just picture a funnel cloud.

-Father, help me!-

“Father, I need you!” Spoken, around 4pm, this prayer was the first good decision that I had made all day. “I need your help and guidance for I don’t want to do it alone anymore.” Yes! Finally, after having spun my wheels and stuck in the muck, I reached out for my lifeline.  God had heard me, and almost immediately I began to feel God drawing near to me. I say feel because God was there all along, simply waiting for the invitation to be a part of my day

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAthings kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.” -from The Confessions of Augustine

And just like that, I had begun my Examen…1. Become aware of God’s presence. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  1. Review the day with gratitude. Certainly something that I could not have done adequately earlier, I could now meet God with a grateful heart. Initially, just simply grateful that God came so quickly, and my inner peace restored. Yet, I was grateful also to have been given this time for reflection and a new perspective.
  2. Pay attention to your emotions. Ahh, peace. Yet, just a few hours earlier I was anything but at peace. While these feelings aren’t what we wish to recall or dwell on, they are an important part of our spiritual growth. Merely glossing over them, or worse, avoidance, doesn’t allow for us the time to learn from our mistakes.
  3. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Thank you, Father, for taking my frustrations and meeting them with peace. Thank you for not holding a grudge or saying I told you so – but hurrying to meet me when I called. While I slipped, you never let me fall. Your love is ever so faithful!
  4. God's Reset ButtonLook toward tomorrow. God’s great, big, awesome reset button – Oh, how I welcomed you today!Signature

All Roads Lead to Rome: Santa Prassede

It has been said that “All roads lead to Rome” and this morning as I awoke, truly my very thoughts turned to Rome. To the many visual and epicurean feasts for the eyes and palate, but also to those moments which speak to our very soul.  At one time distance itself was measured in proportion to Rome, to the Milliarium Aureum, a monumental marker erected by Emperor Augustus centrally placed in the heart of the city. Dependent and connected through the well constructed Roman roads there seemed little way as a traveler to avoid passing through this jewel of the Empire. Today, we are beckoned here still, to walk in the footsteps of the saints and martyrs that have gone before us and to see where this road is continuing to lead us as a people of faith.

With this in mind, I wanted to invite you to reflectively join me on my last pilgrimage to Rome, as part of a series, and to share your insights and impressions as well from each of these incredible sites of early Christianity. While I am certainly not a noted historian or an archaeologist by trade, I am more accurately termed a theological pilgrim. Moreover, since no discussion of Rome is complete without reminiscences of the incredible food, people and surprises along the way that one encounters, be prepared for these fun diversions too! One such experience can be found in an earlier post entitled “A Spirit Led Day”.

Santa Prassede-Rome, Italy

    

That morning, as my friends and I gathered outside, we were met by the gaze of one of Rome’s poor, disabled elderly. With one foot bound and misshapen, she sat rather motionless and quiet. That is, until Fr. Steve came close!

c. Berthold Werner

Upon entering, my eyes were amazed at the splendid array of brightly colored paintings and golden mosaic images that filled this 9th century Byzantine church.  First, above the altar is an incredible apse depiction of the presentation of St. Prassede (Praxedes) and Prudentiana to Peter and Paul at the river Jordan with Jesus. Here too, you’ll see Pascal I , the then pope surrounded by a square blue halo indicating his assured sainthood upon his death, presenting a model of the church. What is so endearing about this is that we can see that despite being separated by centuries, this continuity of faith, tradition and call to sainthood in our own discipleship.

Interestingly this church is said to hold not only the remains of Sts. Prassede and Prudentiana, but also the remains of many Christian relics from the catacombs that were moved when invaders sought to take control of the area.  As you enter the funeral chapel of St. Zeno, you are prompted for a small euro donation to which the room is suddenly lit with a soft ambient light. Definitely worth the small price, beauty and holy silence envelopes the entirety of this space.

Above you, you’ll see an image of Christ supported by four angels. Above one doorway are the portraits of Pope Paschal’s mother Theodora (with square nimbus indicated she was living at the time), Prassede, Pudenziana, and Agnes.  On the outside doorway is another storytelling mosaic featuring Mary with child, the apostles Peter, Paul James, John and Andrew and Sts. Prassede, Pudenziana, and Agnes.

Also contained within this church is the pillar of black granite that Christ is believed to have been tied to and scourged upon, brought to Rome in 1223.

Amid this splendor, however, I must note the breathtaking crucifix that left me speechless and remains with me to this day.  Tucked away in a side chapel, is this almost life size and lifelike crucifix that is said to have spoken both to Sts. Bridget of Sweden and Francis of Assisi. Here at the feet of Christ I stood, knelt and prayed as countless others before me have done. Yet, in this holy moment I was no longer an onlooker, a spectator of the history that lay before me but a living testimony of the faith. Called to Christ, I too had been inextricably linked to a breadth of tradition and set upon this incredible path to witness his presence in my life today.

Have you been on a pilgrimage to Rome before? If so, what are your favorite sites? Is there significance in your own faith life to the lives of these early Christians?  If not, might I suggest a pilgrimage..even a virtual one?

Peace,

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An Engaging Faith: July13th-17th

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Real Life Radio daily at 4pm EST.

 Enter To Win a Copy of Either Chime Traveler Book: The Secret of the Shamrock  or The Sign of the Carved Cross  (Courtesy Of Franciscan Media Publishing)  

Let’s get moving this week on at An Engaging Faith!

Tune in this week as we travel to.. Jordan with the Faithful Traveler, through Twitter with #CatholicEdChat, through time with Lisa Hendey and Marcellino D’Ambrosio to visit with the Saints!

Monday: Diana Von Glahn,  host and co-producer with her husband, David of The Faithful Traveler,  a television series on EWTN  that looks at travel and pilgrimage through the eyes of faith. Diana explores the art, architecture, history, and doctrine behind shrines and places of pilgrimage around the world. For those who can’t make the travels themselves, Diana hopes to bring these amazing sites into their homes, and enable them to virtually make pilgrimage with her.

Tuesday: Lisa M. Hendey, is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Grace of Yes,The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. Lisa’s newest project, the Chime Travelers fiction for elementary school readers, is based upon the lives of the saints. The first two books in the series are The Secret of the Shamrock (St. Patrick) and The Sign of the Carved Cross (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

Wednesday: Barb Gilman, Catholic School Teacher, 2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher- Plains States, co-organizer of #CatholicEdChat Saturday 8am CT – Co-founder of EdCampArchOmaha and blogger at Barb In Nebraska.com

Thursday: Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio , world renowned speaker, author, radio and television personality on the Catholic faith joins us to discuss his book, When the Church Was Young:Voices of the Early Fathers, Servant Books (August 22, 2014).

After nine years at Loyola College and the University of Dallas, Dr. D’Ambrosio left academia to direct www.CrossroadsInitiative.com, one of the world’s leading Catholic websites, and to oversee Wellness Opportunities Group, a company promoting physical, mental, and financial freedom.  He, his wife Susan, and their five children reside near Dallas, TX.