Three Ways to Make Hope Real

Our world needs to hear the message of Christian hope. This hope is not mere optimism; rather Christian hope finds its source in a person, Jesus of Nazareth. St. Thomas Aquinas said hope is, “infused in us by God alone.” The universal call of the Church is to be a missionary disciple, to live as one who understands that we are sent forth to make hope real in our world today by sharing the Good […]

Holy Week: Entering the Passion Story

As we journey through this holiest of weeks, and especially the Triduum, I invite you to reflect and respond to one or both of the following questions: Which character(s) in the Passion story do you find most intriguing (whether they are inspiring or tragic) and why? If you could paint a picture or create a sculpture of one moment in the story of Christ’s Passion, what would it be and why? I invite you to […]

Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart

This is the sixth article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Happy are the catechists who are authentic, for the young people will see how much they rely on God. Some days, I find it very hard to be motivated to prepare for my faith formation classes. On these days, more than ever, I need […]

Sacred Spaces

Do you have favorite places to pray? I know I’ve got several, and depending on what’s going on at the time, I will seek out my little locations and get connected with God. Since I’m a morning person, one of my favorite places to pray is my little patio right outside my kitchen. I’ve equipped this patio with comfortable chairs, a table, and a beautiful little terra cotta image of the Madonna and Child. Coffee […]

Hope Is Not a Feeling; It’s a Practice

As much as Facebook can sometimes be annoying and frustrating, with people venting and over-sharing, I also find a number of gems along the way. One person I can count on for that is my friend Bob Burnham, who recently posted the following phrase: “Hope is not a feeling; it’s a practice.” He then generously shared a link to a very nice article he wrote for Busted Halo: “3 Ways to Practice Hope,” in which he […]

A Few Ignatian Items

As you take some time to relax this week and enjoy the Christmas season, we bring to your attention a few articles you might enjoy from another Loyola Press website, IgnatianSpirituality.com. Staying Curious by Marina McCoy In his ministry, Jesus often asks others what they want. For example, he asks the blind Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) On another occasion, James and John approach Jesus, and he asks […]

Thanksgiving: Gratitude Is a Prerequisite for Discipleship

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I’d like to share a few thoughts about gratitude. Today, more than ever, we are hearing the term discipleship used in Catholic circles, as we seek to breathe new life into the Church and advance the New Evangelization. It occurs to me that a prerequisite for discipleship is an attitude of gratitude—a virtue that leads us away from cynicism, pessimism, and indifference and toward hope, faith, and love (charity). I’m sure […]

Strengthening Your Spiritual Life

A healthy and vital spirituality defines who we are and helps us to grow and develop along the way of faith. The way we express our spirituality should be a support and a consolation to us; it should also afford enough challenge to keep us moving forward and to help us avoid complacence. —A Faith Interrupted, p. 127 The crucial thing to understand is that faith needs to be nurtured. No matter where I am […]

Catechist Formation: More Than a Path to Certification

Typically, when you fall in love with someone, you are eager not only to spend as much time with that person as possible, but also to learn as much as you can about him or her: “What’s your favorite food? Favorite hobby? What irritates you? What do you like to read? What are you dreams?” and so on. Ultimately, catechist formation, like all faith formation, is the way we seek to learn more and thus […]

Keeping Up Your Spirits

Hopefully, the dust has settled and all your programs are up and running. I don’t know about you, but I always breathe a sigh of relief about the fourth or fifth week of classes. By then, the latecomers are in classes, the new catechists are feeling a bit more comfortable, and we are all into the rhythm of faith formation. That being said, I also love the energy and excitement that comes with new beginnings. […]

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