Worth Revisiting: Shadows and Darkness

This Lent, our Catholic collaborative parishes will once again host a Tenebrae service of worship. Latin for darkness or shadows, Tenebrae invites us to prayerfully reflect on Christ’s pain and suffering the day of His crucifixion through both music and readings. One of the most conspicuous features of the Tenebrae service is the gradual extinguishing of candles as well as the pauses for silent prayer.  In contrast to the celebration of Easter, the mournful tone of Tenebrae enables us to enter into the reason for our hope and joy through these expressions of grief.

The service is typically divided into eight parts, an Evening Office prayer and seven Day Offices or prayers: Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline.  The first part consists of  three nocturns each composed of 3 psalms with responses and three lessons, which are taken either from scripture or from the Church Fathers.  The second part has 5 psalms, verse and response, a Benedictus song reflecting on the birth of John the Baptist and a Pater reflection on the death of our Lord. This dramatic service even includes a loud noise to indicate the earthquake that occurred when Christ died. After each of these sections of psalms and prayers a candle is extinguished until the church is left in relative darkness and silence.

It is an intentional glance forward as we begin our journey through the liturgical celebrations for Holy Thursday and Good Friday culminating in the joyful celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Please accept this as your invitation to join us tonight or participate in a Tenebrae service near you if you are able.  May God bless you all in this most sacred of weeks!

Peace,

Signature

 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

 

Advertisements

An Engaging Faith: 2/8-2/12

You are invited to join me this week for An Engaging Faith on Breadbox Media daily at 4pm EST

Getting ready for Lent with great invitations for Reflection and Action!

Greg Wolfe with God For Us, Fr. Don Maldari with The Creed, Fr. Albert Haase with Saying Yes!,  Karee Santos, will be joining  us again this time to talk about how to celebrate Valentine’s during Lent…

and Encores Fr. Paul Farren with Freedom & Forgiveness: A Fresh look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Danielle Shroyer with Where Jesus Prayed.



Snowstorm- Greg Wolfe rescheduled for 2/15

 

 

Tuesday: Donald Maldari, S.J. is a Catholic theologian who earned a doctorate and a master’s degree at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University. A member of the Society of Jesus since 1977, Professor Maldari began his teaching The Creed: the Faith That Moves Evolutioncareer in 1980. Having a keen interest in ecclesiology and spirituality, he has taught at Le Moyne College since 1999. Father Maldari, fluent in five non-native languages, has ministered as a chaplain in a Mexican prison and by teaching and providing spiritual direction in Haiti

Wednesday: EncoreFreedom & Forgiveness: A Fresh look at the Sacrament of ReconciliationFr. Paul Farren a native of Clonmany in Co. Donegal, was ordained in 1997. He studied in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and in the Catholic University of America, Washington DC.  He served as a curate in Derry City from 1997 – 2004.   Fr. Paul has served as Director of Religious Education in the Freedom and Forgiveness: A Fresh Look at the Sacrament of ReconciliationDerry Diocese and the Director of the Catechetical Centre as well as administrator of St. Eugene’s Cathedral and Long Tower Church. He has also been a vocations director in the Diocese of Derry for the last 14 years.  In 2006 he founded The Pope John Paul II Award to help young people become more involved in their parish community. Fr. Paul joins us to discuss Freedom and Forgiveness: A Fresh Look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Thursday: Karee Santos, will be joining  us again this time to talk about how to celebrate Valentine’s during Lent as a family. Karee and husband, Manuel P. Santos, M.D., a psychiatrist, began teaching marriage preparation and enrichment classes in New York City in 2003. Their Catholic marriage advice book The Four Keys to Everlasting Love will be published by Ave Maria Press in 2016. She also blogs aCan We Cana? a community to support Catholic Marriages.

Friday:  Ordained a Franciscan priest in 1983, Albert Haase, OFM, is a popular preacher, teacher, spiritual director and radio talk show Saying Yes: Discovering and Responding to God's Will in Your Lifeguest. A former missionary to mainland China for over eleven years, he is the award-winning author of nine books on popular spirituality and the presenter on four bestselling DVDs. He trains spiritual directors in the diocese of Springfield, IL. He lives in Texas. Visit his website at www.AlbertOFM.org

 

Worth Revisiting: Why Pray the Stations of the Cross?

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

Though this is a new post,the idea of revisiting the Stations of the Cross is a much needed conversation to be had this Lent. And one that in true Jesuit imagining I invite you to consider:

This past week as I accompanied my 4th grade students, from this past summer, for the Stations of the Cross I began to think…Why do we not do this more often? Here, we have been given this beautiful imaginative way to immerse ourselves in the story of the Passion of our Lord. More than merely listening we are asked to contemplate the scene, and walk in faith with Christ on the way to the cross. As we picture the faces of the crowd, the thoughts of the disciples, and the heart of Christ himself we glimpse the magnitude of the sacrifice of love that has been given to us. If you have never participated in the Stations of the Cross before, all are welcome, just call your local parish for the date and time. This is a graced pilgrimage and one that I hope that you too will make this Lent.

The First Station: Jesus Is Condemned – Tried unjustly for crimes he didn’t commit, would we have spoken up for Jesus? Do I speak up for others?

The Second Station: Jesus Takes up His Cross – Oh the sight of Christ beaten, crowned with thorns, and now asked to carry the cross! Do I seek to feel compassion for those carrying burdens?

The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time –Would I have rushed to His side? Am I a source of strength for others?

The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother – As a ‘sword piercing her heart’, the pain Mary felt to see her Son had to have been tremendous and yet she was there beside him. Do I meet others in their pain or only in joy?

The Fifth Station: Simon Helps to Carry the Cross – Chosen because he was different, Simon was called upon to carry Jesus’ cross. What unique gifts do I have that could serve Christ today?

 The Sixth Station: Veronica Offers Her Veil to Jesus – This woman seeing a way to help Jesus, in turn leaves with his image on her veil and in her heart. Do my actions today bear the image of Christ?

 The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time –  Weak and weary, the weight of the cross with our sinfulness was greater than anything we have ever known. How does my own sinfulness weigh on me today?

    The Eighth Station: Jesus meets the Weeping Women –  Jesus meets the women with a profound understanding of the pain our sin carries. Do I consider the effects of my sin on others though the things I do or fail to do?

The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time – Pushed and prodded on, there was to be no rest for Jesus on the way to the cross. Yet, we find rest in Christ who continually strengthens us and shares our burdens.

The Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Clothing- Humiliated and stripped of his dignity, oh how our Savior seeks for us to see the suffering of our most vulnerable.

The Eleventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross – What a cruel scene that lays before our eyes- and yet the love that is poured out as You take on our sins upon Yourself! Help me dear Lord to live this life in gratitude for your sacrifice, help me to love You and your creation as I should.

The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross – Forgiveness You have given for those who sought to crucify you. Christ forgive me of my sins, and guide me to extend forgiveness to all I encounter in life.

  The Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross – Holding the body of her Son in her arms, we dare to imagine the loss and pain that Mary felt in this moment. In those times that I have experienced loss, do I rely on the strength of God and my brothers and sisters in Christ to carry me?

The Fourteenth Station: Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb –  As  Joseph and Nicodemus lay Jesus in the tomb, joined by Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalen  we imagine the stone that is rolled into place.  For those times we too are asked to place our trust in the events of our lives, unknowing what is to come next we pray for guidance.

The Resurrection – We know that this last station is not the end of the story- For Christ has risen and calls us all to a new life in Him! Let my life be a witness to his Passion and revealing of his love to the world!

Peace,

Signature

Worth Revisiting {Ash} Wednesday

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.


Ash Wednesday Edition!

Today as we begin the season of Lent I thought that this beloved Catholic funny was definitely worth revisiting!  Beyond the obvious, when many of us have left with just a smear across our forehead, I see myself. (As a bit of perspective, I have actually corrected the cross of ashes on my forehead more than once in my life!) For so many years, I have let my own desire of perfectionism determine the outcome of success. It is a fruitless game of never fully being pleased. and where often the reason why we even tried gets lost in our own sense of pride.

True, this time of Lent is intended to work on those things in our life that distance us from God. However, we cannot do this solely on our own, nor were we ever meant to. Rather than seeking control, by forcing a square peg in a round hole, we are to allow God to chip away at our sins and challenges. To shape us in the true image we were always intended to be.

This is why I encourage you this Lent to let go of who you think you once were, or who others have defined you to be to allow God to accomplish His work and what he wills within you. These next 40 days are a gift- an invitation to carve out space and time for both quiet reflection and dialogue. If you decide to pick up a devotion this Lent, whether it be the rosary, adoration time, daily mass, Bible study, Liturgy of the Hours, or the Examen..agree to make it meaningful. Rather than passively going about this time be purposeful in seeking direction and unhurried in reaching a destination. Keeping in mind that our faith is a journey- one in which Our Father not only meets us but leads and indeed carries us home.

This Lent: Can I hear my Father’s Voice?

Can we even imagine a world where none of these exist? In small ways, I believe that we can, because we know the existence of good in knowing God. We have witnessed kindness and compassion, and instances whereby goodness has triumphed over evil. Yet in the kingdom of God, God’s goodness and reign is completely sovereign. I am not ready, however,  to give up the dream, and diligence toward a world where justice and goodness prevail. In fact, it is in posing this question that I am reminding myself again of that ideal that the kingdom of God reveals to us. In imagining it, it provides the vision to hope for, and the desire to work towards fulfilling it.

With the approach of Lent, I have been giving much thought to our journey of faith as a community, the lifelong invitation of dying to self and accepting a life transformed. The most striking reality is that Jesus also underwent this ongoing transformation of mind, heart, and action (metanoia) in becoming more and more who he was intended to be. We know that Jesus spent countless hours in prayer, and this was time spent in getting to know Abba more intimately, reconnecting with the Spirit, and redirecting his life towards infinite love. In doing so, he could see beyond himself to the poor, oppressed, and those in need of healing. Consciously he then answered God’s call to make a transformation not only within himself but in the world.

In understanding the dynamic, ongoing, and transformative conversion of life, we too need to make the necessary connection to one’s lived experience of faith- as a project of life integration.  Simply stated, as Christians our lived experience of faith in the Spirit calls us to continually redirect our hearts, minds and steps towards the values and actions necessary in being followers of Christ and in building the kingdom of God. Beautifully, I do believe we see metanoia in community in partaking in the Eucharist. For, here we are invited to bring our brokenness, recommit ourselves to God and the community, and are sent forth to be Eucharist to the world.

Even so, Lent gives us a period of time to reflect on our own desires, to surrender ourselves, and better discern where and who God is calling us to be. Do you feel a spiritual dryness in prayer? Is your day consumed with a laundry list of essential to-do’s with your energy and time in short supply? Like Jesus, we need this time with God to hear and become familiar with the voice of our loving Father.

So, in this way, I invite you to consider carving out quiet time and space this Lent to do just that. It needn’t be vast, but a committed time each day just to sit, “be still and know that He is God”. Pay attention to the stillness, to the absence of your voice, and the freedom found in just being present with God. Feel the Holy Spirit’s constant reminder of life in every breath you take.

Thank you God for the gift in rediscovering You. Here in your presence, I know that your love, truth and guidance both for me and for the world are always there to be found..if we truly seek to hear your voice!