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Showing posts from November, 2014

New (Liturgical) Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!  No - I haven't mis-scheduled a blog post. On the first Sunday of Advent, the Church marks the first day of a new Liturgical year.  As with the celebration of the new calendar year each January, the new Church year is a time of new beginnings, of fresh starts, and of renewed purpose. It is with good reason that the church chooses a penitential season to begin each new year. Advent, contrary to what every blaring cyber-Monday commercial and glittering fully-decorated Christmas trees at the local Mall would have you believe, is a season of interior preparation, not merely for the infant Jesus' birth into history which we celebrate on Christmas, but for the Lord's second coming in glory and for our own personal judgment which comes at our deaths. Like the other penitential season in the Church's calendar - Lent, it is a time of interior purification and renewal - preparing our hearts and souls to more fully live in union with God in this life in order

5 Ways to Grow in Gratitude

As we look forward to the annual celebration of Thanksgiving, I'm participating in "Worth Revisiting Wednesday" over at Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You by sharing this post on growing in the virtue of gratitude. If you have ever watched at toddler, you will quickly conclude that gratitude is not an innate response that flows off the tongue with ease. Gratitude, like all virtues, needs to be practiced - built like a muscle through constant use and discipline. "Blow, blow thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man's ingratitude." The past several years, our winters here in the Northeast have been particularly harsh. In the midst of those long, cold, snowy winter days,  Shakespeare's words have taken on a whole new meaning. That winter wind is  nasty. Yet, Shakespeare suggests, its bitter bite is not as wicked as man's ingratitude. Ingratitude, it seems, has been a problem for people forever - rearing its ugly head long before Shake

Saints Quotes on Gratitude

As we look ahead to the celebration of Thanksgiving, here are five powerful quotes from the Saints on gratitude. What struck me the most about these quotes is that taken together they provide a broad picture of the "attitude of gratitude" which we should have towards the Lord. Our gratitude should be expressed in prayer, for God's mercy, his goodness and the blessings of the past. It should be lived out in both the joy-filled times in our lives and in the struggles as well. Finally, our gratitude should lead us to live radically for Jesus - to the point, as St. Ignatius bluntly states, of being considered a fool. Have you thanked the Lord today?  -1- -2-   -3- -4- -5- Receive new posts directly via email. Sign up for free today by entering your email address below!

Novermber Daybook: A Snapshot into My Life

Outside My Window... Fall foliage is fully present in my neighborhood. Fall is my favorite season and I am always amazed at the beauty of the colors. This photo was taken at the end of my street. Just gorgeous! I am thankful... For the road trip we took with our Pastor and a few families from our parish this past weekend to the Catholic Underground in NYC.  The Catholic Underground is an apostolate of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The Underground is a Eucharistic Holy Hour accompanied by the melodic chanting of the friars. During the Holy Hour, the lights of the church are shut off and the Monstrance is illuminated by spotlight and candles. It was such a powerful night of prayer and worship of our Lord Jesus. Truly a glimpse of heaven. The congregation was comprised primarily of young adults - what a witness and a joy to see a church packed to capacity on a Saturday night in the middle of NYC! Here's a picture of the sanctuary of the church immediately prior to the

Testimonies From the Heroic Minute Challenge

Many, many thanks to all who participated in the 14 Day "Heroic Minute" Challenge . I'd like to share with you some testimonies from people's experience with the challenge. God truly cannot be outdone in generosity. When we set our minds to knowing, loving and serving him from the moment our eyes first open in the morning, he truly does respond by showering us with grace, strength and blessing. Hearing the testimonies, struggles and victories of others has been a great source of witness and inspiration for me and I hope they will be for you too! From Charisse T:  "'Just as man cannot live in the flesh unless he is born in the flesh, even so a man cannot have the spiritual life of grace unless he is born again spiritually.'    St. Thomas Aquinas   I've done this heroic minute thing before.  I read some of St. Josemaria Escriva's writings a few months ago, taped a Miraculous Mary medal to my snooze button, and committed.  5:30am on the dot every