Year of Faith Retreat – Week 4, Day 3: In the Mood (Forms of Prayer, Part II)

WEEK FOUR: Prayer DAY 3: In the Mood (Forms of Prayer, Part II) During the “Big Band” era of the 1940s, bandleader Glenn Miller topped the charts with his #1 hit “In the Mood.” While appearing well before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the title of the song is, of course, highly suggestive. In the mood for WHAT? Intimacy, of course. That should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 4, Day 2: The Three “Venues” of Prayer (Forms of Prayer, Part I)

WEEK FOUR: Prayer DAY 2: The Three “Venues” of Prayer (Forms of Prayer, Part I) Take a moment to think of all of the ways we can communicate with someone nowadays:     In person (orally) Handwritten note E-mail Text message Skype Tweet Voice mail Telegram FAX Instant message In today’s world we have many different ways by which we can send and receive messages. In our prayer lives, as well, we have many different ways in […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 4, Day 1: To Pray Without Ceasing (Prayer)

WEEK FOUR: Prayer DAY 1: To Pray without Ceasing (Prayer) Welcome to the 4th and final week of our online retreat, Preparing for a Year of Faith. This week, we explore and reflect upon the 4th pillar of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Prayer. Let’s begin with a brief video: I’m sure you are familiar with a game that kids love to play when they’re at the swimming pool. It’s called Marco Polo. In this game, […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 5: What Were You Thinking? (Conscience and Moral Decision Making)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 5:  What Were You Thinking? (Conscience and Moral Decision Making) Do you know who scores highest on religious literacy tests? Catholics? Protestants? Mormons? Jews? The answer is: ATHEISTS! Does that surprise you? It does and it doesn’t for me. In truth, I would say that it disappoints me more than it surprises me. Why doesn’t it surprise me? Because too many of us Christians approach our faith as simply […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 4: Learning to Detect Patterns (Social Justice)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 4:  Learning to Detect Patterns (Social Justice) The children’s show Sesame Street has a feature called One of These Things is Not Like the Others in which they show a series of images, inviting the viewer to identify which of the things was different or doesn’t match or belong to the group. The activity is accompanied by a song with the following lyrics: One of these things is not […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 3: First-Aid (The Works of Mercy)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 3:  First-Aid (The Works of Mercy) What would you expect to find in a typcial first-aid kit? No doubt bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, burn ointment, and so on. What would you include in a spiritual first-aid kit? The fact is, we provide first aid for people when they have an urgent physical need. Some physical needs that people have are ongoing and are not the result of a medical emergency. […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 2: What’s Your Secret? (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 2:  What’s Your Secret?  (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues) Did you ever try to find out if someone was planning a surprise party for you or try to find out what kind of gift they may have gotten you for your birthday or Christmas? It’s not easy to pry a secret out of someone!  Thankfully, we have a God who does not keep secrets. In fact, God is quite the opposite. God […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 1: Before They Were Famous (Human Dignity, Sin, and Mercy)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 1: Before They Were Famous  (Human Dignity, Sin, and Mercy) httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWmZ98dOEEA Every so often, on the Internet, you come across these fun features that show pictures of celebrities when they were young – before they were famous – and ask you to guess their identity. Try your hand at some of these. Recognizing someone’s true identity can be challenging. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 5: Because It’s the Right Thing To Do (The Sacraments at the Service of Communion)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 5: Because It’s the Right Thing to Do  (The Sacraments at the Service of Communion) I once took a group of high school youth to visit Fr. Larry Craig, who was the chaplain at Cook County Jail in Chicago. Fr. Larry was a pretty tough cookie with a chiseled face like Clint Eastwood and a husky voice like Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). One of the kids asked him […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 4: We Are All Broken (The Sacraments of Healing)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 4: We Are All Broken (The Sacraments of Healing) No doubt you are familiar with Horatio Alger. Horatio Alger, Jr. was a 19th century American author who wrote a number of what came to be known as “rags-to-riches” stories, which embodied what became known as the American Dream—that is, the idea that through hard work, determination, and courage, anyone could lift themselves up out of poverty. This kind of thinking is […]

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