Articles Under: Spiritual Formation and Prayer

Every Ash Wednesday around the globe—in lavishly tiled basilicas, in wood planked chapels, in modest oratories with dirt floors, and in carpeted and cushioned suburban parishes—Catholics are called by Christ himself to reflect on the three great activities of Christian discipleship: “When you pray…” “When you give alms…” “When you fast…” For nearly two thousand years, Catholics have read, re-read, and reflected upon these three passages from the sixth chapter of Matthew. When the Ash Wednesday Mass concludes, the following forty days—all of Lent—is observed within this context. How many Catholics understand that a normal living of the Christian life... Read more
Do You Believe in Me or Not? When I was a student teacher of Grade 12 Philosophy Religion and Grade 11 World Religions classes, I felt inspired to have the students in both classes do an assignment that would involve them spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. The emphasis for the Philosophy class was more on whether or not they can know God exists, as we were covering St. Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs for the Existence of God at the time. For the World Religions class, the emphasis was more on communicating with God, as we were covering meditation. The... Read more
To find out more about the Discipleship Quads or to download your FREE Starter Kit click here . Or c all (740) 283-6315 or email discipleship@franciscan.edu with any inquiries. Find out more about all the Steubenville Conferences here. Próximamente en españolRead more
In my role as a director of religious education, I have listened to catechists make sweeping statements about their students, “These kids today don’t care about anything.” “Most of them don’t even want to be here.” Admittedly, such words are spoken in moments of frustration. I have also heard teachers make sentimental statements about their students, “They’re so sweet and innocent. What could they possibly have to confess?” Both expressions betray a lack of appreciation for the dignity of each child, a dignity which compels us to offer them a complete catechesis about who God is and who they are... Read more
Amid the dark shadows that have at times been cast over the face of the Church, too often obscuring for our contemporaries the clear light of Christ shining from her (see Lumen Gentium n. 1), we need to focus anew on the universal call to holiness . It is very striking that, amid all the crises of the 20 th Century, the central message of the Second Vatican Council was simple, direct, and clear: that every one of us, in every state of life, is called to the fullness of the Christian life and the perfection of love; that is,... Read more
The Wounded Heart “Time heals all wounds,” except when it does not. When we are hurt by someone, all too often, time makes a wound grow deeper and fester. The Divine Doctor, Jesus, gave us very clear instructions for the healing process: forgive the ones who hurt you. Yet for many Catholics, this is not striven for in their spiritual life. We have no rite, no ritual, no process that would guide us to forgive. Often, we focus our attention on God’s forgiveness of our sins, our own faults, and our hurtful actions towards others. While these are important, we... Read more
The fifth chapter of Lumen Gentium on “the universal call to holiness” reads very much like it could have been composed by St. Francis de Sales, as it echoes what he had written around 1609 in the first pages of his Introduction to the Devout Life . What St. Francis refers to repeatedly throughout his text as “devotion” could easily be rendered “holiness” or “sanctity.” This vocation is universal; that is, there is no member of the Church, configured to Christ dead-and-risen in the waters of baptism, who is not called to sanctity. However, what precisely this sanctity will look... Read more
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“ Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia .” Juan 10,10 Al colaborar con Jesús en el pastoreo del rebaño en Su Nombre, ¿qué aspecto tiene la abundancia para ti? Con el paso de los años, a través del coacheo directo y al impartir talleres y retiros, hemos identificado las ocho mejores prácticas para tener una vida en abundancia como agente de pastoral. 1. Toma tu cruz y síguelo a Él. Los tres Evangelios sinópticos incluyen este mandamiento aleccionador de parte de Nuestro Señor (ver Mateo 16, 24-26; Marcos 8,34; y Lucas 9,24)... Read more
“ I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. ” John 10:10 As you partner with Jesus to minister in his name, what does abundance look like for you? Over the years, through direct coaching and providing workshops and retreats, we have identified the following eight best practices for living abundantly as a minister. 1. Take up your cross and follow him. All three synoptic gospels include this sobering commandment from our Lord (see Matthew 16:24-26, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:24). Jesus, as the best psychologist, offers this advice not as a dark, oppressive reality,... Read more