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Jesus Conquers Death

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus dies before he dies, and thereby readies himself for what awaits him. The next day, when Pilate threatens him with death, Jesus stands in a freedom and courage that can be understood only if we understand what happened to him in the garden. When Pilate says to him: “Don’t you know that I have power over you, power to take your life or to save it?” Jesus answers: “You have no power over me whatsoever. Nobody takes my life; I give it over freely.” Pilate is threatening a man who is already dead. No big threat. Jesus had already undergone the agonia. In great anguish, he had given his life over freely the night before, and so he is ready for whatever awaits him.

—from the book The Passion and the Cross by Ronald Rolheiser

The Passion and the Cross

God Forgives the Maximum

In the Our Father we say: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” This is an equation. If you are not capable of forgiveness, how can God forgive you? The Lord wants to forgive you, but he cannot if you keep your heart closed and mercy cannot enter. One might object: “Father, I forgive, but I cannot forget that awful thing that he did to me….” The answer is to ask the Lord to help you forget. One must forgive as God forgives, and God forgives the maximum. 

—Pope Francis, as quoted in the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent

Indebted to God

God of life, we are grateful for the many gifts that you have given to us. May we become prudent stewards of your many gifts and not thoughtlessly waste water, food, and other resources. May we respond to your Son’s cry of thirst with lives of peacemaking and just action. We make his prayer in your name. Amen.

—from The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

The Last Words of Jesus 

Heaven and Earth

When Saint Francis met the leper, it was Jesus he’d met, and the Lord was saying, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35–37).

These words made everything clear for Francis, and living them, even when God seemed distant or an enveloping cloud, brought near the kingdom of God. That is what the brothers’ lives had proven from the very beginning: Living the Gospel revealed to them the kingdom of God. 

—from the book Francis and Jesus by Murray Bodo 

Francis and Jesus

God Is Within Us

If something is completely foreign to you, you’re normally bored by it or do not even notice it. We cannot deeply experience, much less desire union with, something that is foreign to us. So God planted a little bit of God inside of us—and all things. It seduces us into even more universal love and life. Some might call it the Holy spirit, some might call it the soul, some might simply speak of inner resonance. The point is that a force of love can move from God to us and back again. 

—from the book Yes, And...: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr

Yes, And ...: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr

God Speaks through Everything

How does God speak? Through everything there is. Every thing, every person, every situation, is ultimately the Word. It tells me something and challenges me to respond. Each moment, with all that it contains, spells out the great “yes” in a new and unique way. By making my response, moment by moment, word by word, I myself am becoming the Word that God speaks in me and to me and through me. 

—from the book The Way of Silence by Brother David Steindl-Rast 

The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

A Meditation on the Cross

Grasping the secret of the cross is not something we do once and for all. Sometimes we grasp it, and we are inside the circle of understanding; and sometimes we don’t grasp it, and we are outside the circle of understanding.

For example, after Peter denies Jesus during the passion, the Gospels tell us that “Peter went outside.” They are referring to much more than simply stepping outside through some courtyard door. Peter was stepping outside the circle of both true discipleship and of a true understanding of life. His denial of Jesus took him “outside.” We too, in our following of Jesus, sometimes step “outside” when we give in to temptation or adversity. But then, if we repent, like Peter, we can step back “inside.”

—from the book The Passion and the Cross by Ronald Rolheiser

The Passion and the Cross

Ash Wednesday: A Day of Surprises

There’s something about Ash Wednesday that draws us in, calls us to return to sanity, to a change of heart and mind.

Lent doesn’t take us away from our ordinary lives, but rather it invites us to bring a new and holy attention to those activities. This should be the way with all of our spiritual practices. We take time apart in order to return to our daily activities with new inspiration. God will always surprise us with possibilities when we least expect them. Let this Lent be one of those surprises.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent

To Everything a Season

Saint Bridget of Sweden longed from an early age to become a nun. But she was obedient to her prominent family’s desire that she marry a prince. Their marriage was happy and produced eight children (including one, Catherine, who would go on to be a saint herself). After her husband’s death, Bridget followed the call of her youth.

There are different seasons to our lives, as Bridget found. Her example shows us that God knows what’s best for each season; all we have to do is listen.

—from the book Sisterhood of Saints by Melanie Rigney

Saint of the Day

We Are Made in God's Image

To be a human creature, a person that somehow bears the image of God, means that love is properly at our core. When we move in proper relation to the world we move with affection. And it is this affection that guides our action and directs the boundaries of our limits. 
God may love the world, but we live into God’s image by reflecting such love on a proper scale—among particular places and people. We live into our love when we love our neighbors.

–from the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life by Ragan Sutterfield

Wendell Berry and the Given Life - Book