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

Mercy through Love

October 25, 2016

“Above all hold unfailing your love for one another,
since love covers a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8

Jubilee Year of Mercy
The Gospel is all about love. All of the law, the prophets, the commandments, the beatitudes, and the Cross point to this profound message of love. The Old Testament taught us that “God is.” The New Testament finishes the sentence, “God is…Love.”

Once we comprehend that we are objects of such a divine love, our sets are set on fire.

“Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.”

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 through Mercy

October 18, 2016

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15

Jubilee Year of Mercy
It’s the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Now is the time! Pray for the grace to forgive everyone who has ever sinned against you or our loved ones. This week ponder your deepest grudge against another and entrust it to the infinite mercy of God.

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 through Faith

October 11, 2016

And when he saw their faith he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
Luke 5:20

Jubilee Year of Mercy
We have all heard that the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. It can also move the Heart of the Father to compassion. For the Apostle Thomas, he had to put his hand in the side of the Risen One to believe. What about you? What do you believe of the Father’s mercy and goodness?

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 through Repentance

October 4, 2016

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Acts 3:19

Jubilee Year of Mercy
The Church teaches us that a contrite heart experiences “sorrow of the soul and detestation of the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again”. And when this contrition arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, it’s called “perfect” contrition.

May our hearts be set aflame with a love of God above all else. In this extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, let us pray for the grace to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with perfect contrition. May your next Confession, be your very best Confession.

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