The Secret to a Happy Life

January 3, 2017

“The hope of the righteous ends in gladness.”
Proverbs 10:28

Meditation
The end of one year and the beginning of another comes with celebrations, reflections, new goals, and the famous New Year’s resolution. Each year we say we’ll start doing this, or stop doing that. Unfortunately, for some of us, our big plans rarely make it to February.

It’s time to Live It!

At Paradisus Dei we are here to resolve with you. Strive to become a better person – a person you WANT to be – a person after God’s own Heart. The secret to a “happy life” is to live a holy life. Let’s make 2017 our happiest and holiest year yet!

Prayer
Remember us, O God; from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time, blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.
Bless your children at the turning of the year and fill the months ahead with the bright hope that is ours in the coming of Christ. You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever. Amen.
—From Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers

Christmas is Only Beginning

December 27, 2016

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace
and truth; we have beheld His glory.”

John 1:14

Christmas Meditation
Christmas day marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration. We have spent the past few weeks preparing ourselves for the coming of our Savior, and now we get to rejoice in that coming for 12 full days.

If you wish for the true spirit of Christmas to linger, remember to pray, to lift your eyes from this world, to make time for family and friends, and to put silence into your life. These things help you prepare for Christmas, but they also help you enjoy it.

Merry Christmas!

Prayer for Christmas
Father in Heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth. We ask this in the name of
Jesus the Lord.
Amen.
The Sacramentary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1985)

Spend Time with God in Silence

December 20, 2016

“For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night
in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped
from heaven, from the royal throne.”

Wisdom 18:14-15

Advent Meditation
When it was time for Mary to give birth to Jesus, there was no room for the Holy Family at the inn. That means that the Inn would have been crammed with people scurrying around. To be honest, it sounds a little bit like the mayhem in the mall the week before Christmas.

But notice, that’s not where Christmas happened. Rather, it happened away from the hustle and bustle. It happened in a family, united to God in the silence of the night.

This Christmas, follow St. Joseph’s example. Go into the silence, and perhaps you will glimpse God’s all-powerful Word hidden in the
eyes of a child.

Prayer for Advent
Father in Heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth. We ask this in the name of
Jesus the Lord.
Amen.
The Sacramentary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1985)

Spend Time with Family and Friends

December 13, 2016

“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord
commanded him. He took Mary as his wife.”

Matthew 1: 24

Advent Meditation
When St. Joseph took Mary into his home, the Holy Family was born, which was the first Christian family.  Christmas is certainly about family, and many people get together with friends and family during this time. Nonetheless, the frantic pace of our preparations and the focus on material goods is impacting our relationship with others.

In the Garden of Eden, “God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’” That’s more true than ever when you’re under stress. Make time for family and friends as you prepare for Christmas, and it will change you and your Christmas.

Prayer for Advent
Father in Heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth. We ask this in the name of
Jesus the Lord.
Amen.
The Sacramentary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1985)

Develop a Vision that Goes Beyond this World

December 6, 2016

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2

Advent Meditation
Last week, we learned that an angel of the Lord appeared to St. Joseph. This divine answer to his prayers radically changed St. Joseph’s vision. His mind began to consider the meaning of Christmas not from a human level, but from the divine level.

We need to learn from St. Joseph how to set our minds on things above. For St. Joseph, an angel opened for him the meaning of Scriptures. Reading the nativity stories from Scripture during Advent is an excellent way to help focus your mind on the divine reality of Christmas. Most of us won’t see an angel, but God will give us the grace to enter more deeply into the true meaning of Christmas.

Prayer for Advent
Father in Heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth. We ask this in the name of
Jesus the Lord.
Amen.
The Sacramentary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1985)

Let Prayer Transform Your Christmas

November 29, 2016

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances
for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ in you.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Advent Meditation
When Mary relayed the news that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, it understandably caused a fair amount of turmoil in St. Joseph’s life.

What was St. Joseph’s response? He took it to prayer. It as after St. Joseph started praying about what to do that God responded by sending him an angel in a dream.

As the time crunch set in during this Advent season, don’t let busyness replace prayer. Let’s work to imitate St. Joseph, and build prayer into our daily routines. Find prayers that are right for you and your family. Stick with it, and prayer will transform you and your Christmas.

Prayer for Advent
Father in Heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth. We ask this in the name of
Jesus the Lord.
Amen.
The Sacramentary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1985)

Journey through Advent with St. Joseph

November 22, 2016

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

Advent Meditation
There is a Grinch that is stealing Christmas, and it’s not the one from Dr. Seuss’ story. During the Christmas season, it is easy to get wrapped up in buying gifts, attending special events, sending cards and more, and forget to take time to quiet our hearts and minds in preparation for the coming of our Savior.

Over the next few weeks, we will follow St. Joseph as he prepared for that very first Christmas. We will see that he prepared with prayer, with a vision that goes beyond this world, with family, and with silence. Let’s work to follow his example, so that our Christmas celebrations may be filled with joy.

Prayer for Advent
Father in Heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth. We ask this in the name of
Jesus the Lord.
Amen.
The Sacramentary (New York: Catholic Book Publishing, 1985)

Apostles of Mercy

November 15, 2016

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:36

Jubilee Year of Mercy
If we enter deeply into this merciful love, we can begin to experience a foretaste of paradise even now. Our hearts and our homes can be a Paradise where love and mercy conquers all things.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is coming to a close. Thank you for journeying with Paradisus Dei.  The world awaits merciful Apostles of the New Springtime!

We walked through the Doors of Mercy and lingered here. Now it’s time to go out and shine the light of mercy into a world so desperately in need.

Prayer for Divine Mercy
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelope the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
– Diary of St. Faustina 1319

Live It! Advent Reflection series begins next week
Be on the lookout for the first installment of the Live It! Advent Reflection series beginning next week: Preparation for Advent.

Mercy that Transforms

November 8, 2016

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. – 2 Cor 5:17

Jubilee Year of Mercy
More than penance (which is absolutely necessary), more than piety (which is absolutely necessary), God’s Divine Love has the power to transform us to the very core.

His love is piercing. His love is powerful. His love and mercy can burn away the past and make us new. That’s what God does. He makes all things new.

Prayer for Divine Mercy
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelope the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
– Diary of St. Faustina 1319

Mercy is the Bridge to Paradise

November 1, 2016

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:43

Jubilee Year of Mercy
Pope Francis began this Extraordinary Jubilee by letting us know that, “Mercy is the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”

Recall the inspired words of St. John Paul II, “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us.”

God the Father loves you more intensely that you can ever imagine.

Prayer for Divine Mercy
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelope the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
– Diary of St. Faustina 1319