Category: USCCB

contemplative prayer as you wait out the coronavirus19

Today, my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) was about how fortunate I am to have time to focus on Christ and taking time to meditate on various topics and look up things on the Internet to help me do that. Yes, the coronavirus is bad….

PROFOUND LISTENING

As I was trying vainly to describe contemplation to prisoners at the Wakulla Correctional Institution (Annex) near Tallahassee, Florida, I happened to use the words “profound listening.” I reflected on these words in light of the admonition of St. Benedict to his monks in…

POPE FRANCIS ON PRAYER AND FASTING

Pope Francis on Fasting and Prayer Here are some penitential practices for all year long.Pope Francis proposes these 15 simple acts of charity as concrete manifestations of love: SMILE. A Christian is always cheerful Say THANK YOU for little things (even if you don’t…

MY ANNIVERSARY OF FINAL PROFESSION AS A LAY CISTERCIAN: FIVE LESSONS THAT SHAPE MY LIFE

As I look back on my life, and that is a very long look indeed, I usually reflect on what is good and try to forget all those times (the majority of my life) where I made a fool out of myself or was…

WONDER IF….

As I sat musing the state of my world with the introduction of the Coronavirus, I kept wondering what would happen if certain scenarios played out. One such outcome is, this virus would mutate, become airborne, and kill millions of people, including myself. Such…

SeekING GOD AT COSTCO

Several days ago, I found myself looking at a very low tire pressure on my right front tire of my car. It looked like a slow leak. The next day, I went to Costco, Tallahassee, Florida, where I had purchased the tires and told…

KERNELS OF FAITH

If Faith is the infinite storehouse of God’s goodness for us as adopted sons and daughters of the Father, then Belief is how we take the kernels of Faith and dispose them to those around us. For those who consciously seek God where they…

i have a problem

For the last several weeks, I have been experiencing some very unusual thoughts. I would not say they are bad thoughts, but just persistent. Let me share. For the last month, I have been waking up at night almost always about 2:30 a.m. I…

LINKING life’s lessons

Sometimes, thoughts trickle into my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) reflections from very unlikely places. I have noticed recently that my focus is interrupted by sources, like my wife asking me to take her to Publix or Trader Joe’s. I always take her, or anyone…

THE TOWER OF BABEL rEDUX: the INEXPLICABLE race by our race toWARDS ignorance and self delusion

Where I am in my spiritual journey is not where I expected to be at this point in my life. The first part of my life (from birth to my profession as a Lay Cistercian at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery (Trappist),…

liturgy of the hours:GUIDE TO PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL TO THE FATHER THROUGH CHRIST

When I made my promises as a Professed Lay Cistercian at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, I promised to seek God every day where I might be and in whatever venue I might find myself. This is a lifetime promise…

Liturgy of the Hours: WWW.DIVINE OFFICE.ORG

A favorite site of mine is the URL http://www.divineoffice.org. Divine Office is another name for saying the Liturgy of the Hours, like Lectio Divina is a more in-depth look at contemplation. The purpose of all of these prayers is to “have in you the…

CONTEMPLATION: Sharing

THE SIXTY SECOND CATHOLIC: Here are some of my thoughts from a Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) on sharing. I was thinking, as I always do, about “have in you the mind of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5) and h THE SIXTY SECOND CATHOLIC: Here are…

A SPIRITUAL AUDIT

Everyone during tax season seems to be doing an audit (filing taxes), our parish just concluded an audit of their books and procedures. I wondered what it would look like if I conducted an audit on my spiritual experiences today. It would be a…

CANTICLE OF PURE ENERGY

What follows is the Canticle of Daniel’s prayer as the three where praising God in the fiery furnace. At 3:50 A.M., this Saturday morning, I awoke suddenly and started my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5). What came out was Daniel’s Canticle, but with a twist….

CONTEMPLATION: Focus on Christ alone

I must admit to having trouble focusing on Christ, an acquired skill. I can think of Christ for a while, but my spiritual attention span is minutes, if not seconds. What has helped me is my introduction to Cistercian Spirituality, in terms of contemplative…

SLOW DOWN YOUR PRAYER

This past weekend, I attended the annual retreat for Lay Cistercians of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery (Trappist), Conyers, Georgia. It was a three day retreat (from Friday evening through Noon on Sunday). The theme was Praying with Mary, a topic of…

DO YOU LOVE GOD MORE THAN YOUR SPOUSE?

This topic is like walking in quicksand. If I am talking with my wife, of course, she is more important because she is more present to me (and, I would get killed if I said otherwise). If I am honest with what I believe…

May the Peace of Christ be with you.

My Lectio Divina for Christmas Day (Philippians 2:5) takes me to a place I have never entered. We throw around the word, Peace is such a cavalier way that it almost becomes like eating oatmeal without the sugar and a dab of butter for…

HOW GOOD ARE YOU AT FILLING HOLES?

My Lectio Divina has transported me to many unusual places. This is a recent one. My Lectio is always Philippians 2:5, but, when meditating (meditatio), I find that recent events pop into my consciousness (or is that unconsciousness?) I was recently talking with a…

NOW WHAT?

As an immutable part of living, one of the aspects we take for granted is, everything we do has a beginning and an end. Why is that? I just returned from visiting my 99.10 year old Aunt who is a Sister of Providence at…

CHAPTER 4: Entitlements?

Unless you are a person who hs no television and does not know what Google means, you will recognize the sayings: Be All You Can Be, and, The Few. The Proud. A Marine. These statements suggest that, if you belong to the Army or…

TEN REASONS PEOPLE FALL AWAY FROM THE FAITH

I write this because my Lectio Divina this week took me to a place where the Scriptures said even Jesus could not work miracles because of their lack of Faith. What comes first my belief or Faith? Scriptures also teaches us that no one…

The Mystery of Faith

I never learned to read and speak Hebrew. I came close a couple of times. All language is simply learning the words and then applying them so that others can understand what you are saying. I have come to the awareness that there are…

MY GROWTH IN CHRIST JESUS

One of my spiritual directors told me that I needed to keep growing in Christ Jesus every day in order to sustain my faith, hope, and love. Growing can mean many things, but I had a Lectio Divina meditation on it the other day…

THE SHIBBOLETH OF GOOD WORKS

Is there such a thing as a shibboleth of good works? What seems like a mouth full of gummy bears might actually have some importance for contemplative practice. THE TOWER OF BABLE It would be easier to be tossed into the proverbial briar patch…

HEROES AND HEROINES

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, O.P. When I use the word “saints” (lower case), I refer to a group of people all of whom are baptized with water and the Spirit, those in Heaven, those awaiting purification, and those special persons whom we hold up as…

BIRTHDAY THOUGHT FROM A BROKEN-DOWN, OLD, LAY CISERCIAN

Here is what came out of my Lectio Divina meditation on my 79th birthday. That in all things God be glorified. –St. Benedict. Listen to the poem in silence and solitude. –A traveler in a foreign land

SPIRITUAL READING

Part of what it means to be a Lay Cistercian is a reverence for the word (lower case) that writers have for the Word (upper case) of God and how they interpret it. Cistercian authors advance the understanding of the Word by their words….

A PRAYER BY THOMAS MERTON

Here is one of my favorite prayers from Father M. Louis (Thomas Merton), O.C.S.O. 6 months ago “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it…

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