The holy season of Lent is approaching — or may already be underway — as you read this article. Lent: that 40 day period (excluding Sundays) leading up to the celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death. Traditionally these 40 days are a time when holy Mother Church calls her children throughout the world to an intensification of the usual disciplines of the Christian life: prayer, fasting and alms-giving. What follows are several examples of how we might intensify the spiritual discipline of prayer during this Lenten season and beyond.
by JonMarc Grodi. Is the familiar colloquialism “I have better things to do” ever really true? When we say, “I have better things to do,” we assert that the present frustration or inanity is keeping us from something more important – something “better”. But is this really the case? What does the word “better” mean here?
Today is the Memorial of St. Monica, the mother of the famous St. Augustine whose feast is tomorrow. In his Confessions, Augustine tells us of the last days of his mother’s life. It is one of the most moving tributes of a son to his mother that we have from the ancient world.
by Marcus Grodi. After 40 years of ministry, half as a Protestant and half as a Catholic, I’ve come to the deep conviction that every single person needs continual conversion, especially when it comes to me. I’m constantly being startled by new aspects of this wonderful Catholic faith, which I thought I had come to understand, but which in reality I understand only as “in a mirror dimly.” And I believe the cause behind most of the conflicts that divide Christians stems from this need for continual conversion, from the top down.
by Kevin Lowry. As a child, I bounced around several Christian denominations, but made a conscious decision to live for Christ during my pre-teen years. In fact, I did this a few times, as there were countless opportunities to do so. In my travels, there were frequent altar calls and other invitations to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In all sincerity, I made that choice in my heart…
The reason we must evangelize with both creative yet charitable strategies is because of the biblical concepts of being “in Christ” and “abiding in Christ.”
IN CHRIST: Our Lord told his disciples that, after his death and resurrection, “In that day you will know that I am in the Father, you in me and I in you” (Jn 14:20).
The process of conversion to the Faith may be compared to the ascent to Jerusalem of the ancient Israelite pilgrims, who as they came nearer to the Temple uttered that cry of joy recorded in Psalm 122, “I rejoiced when they said to me, we will go into the house of the Lord.” This psalm expresses the gladness of heart experienced by so many converts as they embrace the Catholic Faith, sometimes after even a lifetime of study or wandering or doubt. But after our conversion, after we become members in fullness of His Church — what then? What is our next step?
My friend, Sean, watched his father, Henry, die. Henry had been a WWII hero, a flying Tiger. Henry radiated Yankee independence, frugality, and self-sufficiency. He built his own house in Connecticut. He loved time in the woods. He raised his children well. But now he was gone.
Sean’s mother, Mary, continued to live in their family home for the next few years, until she chose to move to Florida. My friend, Sean, helped her clean out the decades of belongings and collections from the family home so she could sell it and relocate. Fifty years of memories had accumulated in that old house.
Here is an intriguing quote from Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Bishop, (330-395) taken from Monday morning’s Office of Readings. He describes how our new life in Christ–our new existence–is nurtured through the Church and her sacraments. I would love your thoughts. – Marcus Grodi
Former secular agnostic John Nahrgang joins Marcus Grodi on Deep in Scripture to discuss celibacy, the priesthood, and vocational discernment in Matthew 19:9-12 and 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.