It’s easy to forget that God and Mary often choose the poor, the ignorant and the downtrodden to spread the message of the Kingdom. So many times, saint stories get glamorized in Hollywood soft-focus and backlighting and gilt-edged holy card pictures.
“As odd as it sounds, cancer was a gift for me.” “Gift” isn’t the typical word used by many cancer survivors, but for pediatrician John Spitzer, a three-time cancer survivor, his illness was just the kick in the pants he needed to go searching for God. And it’s his decades-long journey of spending time with God that became the content for his recently published book, “Finding God, Again and Again.” John hopes his honest look at his own faith struggles, which he details in his spiritual memoir, serve as an inspiration for others. According to John, adding “author” to his list of accomplishments is just another way he can be God’s instrument.
I reached into Bishop Bradley’s basket of handmade doves — each one imprinted with a different gift or fruit of the Holy Spirit and a corresponding suggested activity. I carefully averted my eyes as I rifled through the stack so as to let the Holy Spirit guide my choice. And there it was: wisdom. Drat!
You’re probably familiar with the proverb, “God gave us one mouth, but two ears”; that is, it’s more important for us to listen than to speak. These four weeks of the Advent season are a good time to ask ourselves whether we are paying attention to others. How well do we listen? Do we let our emotions cause us to react rashly? Do we take time to listen before speaking?
Probablemente esté familiarizado con el proverbio, “Dios nos dio una boca, pero dos oídos”; es decir, para nosotros es más importante escuchar que hablar. Estas cuatro semanas del tiempo de Adviento son un buen momento para preguntarnos si estamos prestando atención a los demás; qué tan bien escuchamos; ¿Dejamos que nuestras emociones nos hagan reaccionar precipitadamente? ¿Nos tomamos el tiempo para escuchar antes de hablar?
Some family traditions (or customs) are easy to identify because they are different from our day-to-day routine. For example, the way my family always opens one Christmas present on Christmas Eve right before preparing to go to Mass at midnight, or the way our family goes out to celebrate the birth of Jesus with an early morning breakfast on Christmas Day, or the way families always get together for the Thanksgiving dinner celebrations, or the way we celebrate birthdays.
Las Posadas, or “The Inns” or “Shelters,” is a common novena celebration in Hispanic communities during the week before Christmas that commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for refuge. Its origins stretch back hundreds of years in Mexico.
As we enter into this Jubilee Year of the Holy Spirit, I invite you to join with me in prayerfully reflecting on the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, sometimes called “the Breath of God,” who comes to us in prayer, in the Sacraments and in all our efforts to carry out the Great Commandment. Although the Holy Spirit is always with us, we do not ordinarily see or feel His presence.