Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Living Bread Radio Reflections September 2009

Living Bread Radio
27 September 2009
26th Sunday of the Year

Today’s gospel is one of Jesus’ more shocking parables. If it were meant to be taken literally, there would be far more people walking around with arms and feet missing, for we all are repenting sinners with weak elements in our lives.
Instead, Jesus offers us this stark image of amputating our scandalous limbs as an invitation to greater introspection. As we reflect on our lives. We might ask: what part of my life is causing me to stumble in the spiritual life, what is leading me away from the Lord? Perhaps it’s an unhealthy relationship, a bad habit, an inappropriate TV show or music, an ideology or way of thinking – something we have held on to that is not truly good for us.
These habits and ways of perceiving the world can be ingrained from childhood, passed on from ancestors, absorbed from the culture. They become like parts of our body, deeply rooted and not easily perceived.
Therefore, it is important that we make an examination of our lives on a regular, even daily, basis, in order that we might come to recognize and understand where we need to grow. If there is anything that does not further the deepening of our relationship with Christ, we have an obligation to cut it out of our lives. Far better is this that to live separated from the Lord.
Jesus loves us and he wants all of us, every fiber of our being, to be purified in His love and united to Him.

Living Bread Radio
28 September 2009
Monday of the 26th Week of the Year

Several times in the gospels, Jesus uses the image of a child to illustrate his vision for discipleship. He asks us to be like little children and to embrace the virtues He sees in being child-like.
So, what is it about children that is so virtuous, so exemplary, so worthy of imitation? What do we see in the children around us that is so beautiful?
Children are so inquisitive. They always ask questions and their minds are like sponges soaking up every new piece of knowledge or experience. So, it is good for us to long to know Jesus better and to be saturated with love for Him.
Little children are and simple. Everything is new and amazing. Until they are exposed to the world around them and discover the tendency toward sin, their little minds and hearts are pure and loving. We are called to turn away from sin and to strive for a pure innocence that allows us to be in a sense wide-eyed and joyful at the things of God.
The greatest in the eyes of Jesus are those whose hearts are pure and who live not for themselves but for Him who has loved us and brought us life.

Living Bread Radio
29 September 2009

Today the universal Church celebrates God’s powerful and faithful protectors, the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Raphael, whose name means “Medicine of God,” is the archangel who traveled with and cared for Tobias on his journey, in the OT Book of Tobit. We each have a guardian angel who cares for us on our journey of life and faith. God’s love for us is manifested in the care shown to us by His messengers, the angels.
Gabriel, whose name means “Strength of God,” appears in famous scenes of important announcements in the Gospels. He announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Blessed Mother – “Hail, full of Grace” – is part of the “Hail Mary.”
Michael, whose name means “Who is like God?” is the archangel who fought against Satan. He is the protector of humanity against the snares of the Devil. Evil is not simply an impersonal reality. The Devil and his temptations are real. Whenever we experience Satan’s attack, it is good to have recourse to St. Michael.
The Archangels are an incredible gift to us from God. They remind us of His constant love and protection, which comes to us in a very personal way through God’s chosen messengers.

Living Bread Radio
30 September 2009
St. Jerome

The Gospel stories from yesterday and today depict the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, a major turning point in His life and ministry. Jesus literally and figuratively “sets His face” toward Jerusalem, resolutely determining to go to that city, where He knows that ultimately His passion will take place. He determines to go and accomplish the mission for which He was sent.
At times the disciples to not understand His mission and their words betray their confusion. The Samaritans will not receive Him as He travels because His destiny is Jerusalem, and they have disagreements with the Jews. Others who desire to follow Him are torn between Him and the pleasures or needs of their earthly life.
All the while, Jesus remains steady as He journeys toward Jerusalem. His message remains consistent and He challenges others to lay themselves aside and come to Him. Jesus is the rock of truth and all who love Him find fulfillment.
Jesus warns us once we have set our hand to the plow, not to look back at what was left behind. It is often tempting to have doubts on our journey of faith, especially when we, like Jesus, encounter others who are confused, opposed to the Gospel, or hostile to what we believe. It is certainly not popular to be devoutly Christian. We also can be tempted by worldly pleasures that we have given up in order to follow Jesus.
Jesus’ example calls us to gather our resolve when we stumble and again and again set our faces toward Him.

Living Bread Radio
1 October 2009
Saint Therese

As Jesus sends out the seventy-two disciples in today’s gospel, He gives them unique instructions. He says: I am sending you out like lambs among wolves…do carry anything that will weigh you down, do not engage in idle conversation…wish peace on everyone. Jesus calls His disciples to simplicity of life. Acts of service to God and love of others are effective in their simplicity.
The Lord also asks us to divest ourselves of worldly attachments as we enter into His service. He is our shepherd. On Him we depend for our spiritual nourishment and bodily needs. Jesus, who loves us so dearly, will never fail to provide everything that is good for us, if we trust in His love.
Filled with God’s love and relying on His strength, we are able to accomplish the mission which belongs to every disciple – to bring Christ to others.
Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Therese, whose life and spiritual writings exemplify her unique approach to discipleship. Her “little way” reminds us that we should not be disappointed if we cannot do grand works of faith. Instead she reminds us of the tremendous value in doing little things with great love.
The impact and value of daily acts of kindness, when we go out of our way to make another’s life easier or happier, is beyond what we realize. Only in heaven will we fully grasp how God’s love has strengthened us to simply love and do good, and how that simple love has changed lives forever.

Living Bread Radio
2 October 2009
Guardian Angels

The intimacy of God’s love for us and of our relationship with Him should not be taken for granted. He knows us completely. He has created us and given us life. He is the author of all life, both spiritual and human.
In His wisdom, God has appointed angels to watch over us and to be messengers of God’s loving presence. Angels are pure spirits, who always behold the presence of God. The Holy Scriptures are full of stories of angels being sent by God to assist, protect and care for His faithful people. Each of us has a guardian angel, charged with God’s message just for us. What a splendid gift from the Lord. We always have a spiritual friend in our guardian angel.
Today, as we celebrate the feast of the guardian angels, we recall the lovely little prayer that is dear to the heart of the Church.

Living Bread Radio
3 October 2009
Saturday of the 26th Week

By our baptism, we have been incorporated into the Church. Our identity as disciples includes the calling to bring the light of faith to the world. We are constantly praying and striving to grow in the spiritual life.
In our spiritual journey, there are times when we become discouraged. It is if great benefit for us to remember Jesus’ words in today’s gospel.
Jesus says: remember, your names are written in heaven. God sees the good we do, even the good we try in our weakness to do and do incompletely, and is pleased with our love and service.
He waits for us in the sacraments, desiring to pour His love into our hearts. He strengthens us in our prayer for the tasks that lie ahead. He sees and appreciates our love for Him and one another.
Then Jesus says: blessed are the eyes that see what you see. Many have longed to se what you see and have not seen it. Consider the splendor of the church – the beauty of her traditions, the richness of her history, the value of knowing the fullness of the truth through her teachings, and above all the joy of experiencing the Lord’s presence through the sacraments.
In our greatest joys and our darkest hours, the splendor of God’s love and truth is alive and powerful. For this we give Him thanks and praise!

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