Singing Alleluia Through Our Tears

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Image by Amanda Rose 2012 Petite Jean State Park, AK Easter is our season to rejoice, for our “Alleluia” to resound after forty penitential days preparing for our Savior’s Passion, death, and resurrection. But can we rejoice when we feel no joy? How do we sing “Alleluia” through our tears?  We each have suffering in our own lives that cannot be measured or compared. Whether it is the physical and emotional suffering experienced by victims of an unexpected explosion, the suffering of a mother holding a terminally ill child, the agony of a body wracked by cancer eating away within…continued

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The Hidden Blessing of Trials, Sacrifices and Hardships

I have never been on a pilgrimage. Traveling is not something I enjoy and the thought of a pilgrimage has seemed to me merely an opportunity to spend a lot of money to be uncomfortable. However, I do enjoy living vicariously, and so I very much enjoyed the photos and videos in the article series by Dr. Lilles at Beginning to Pray: Pilgrimage as he accompanied a group of seminarians on a pilgrimage through Krakow, Milan, Venice, Manresa, and finally to Madrid. Don’t tell anyone – but I almost want to go on a pilgrimage now, despite the likelihood of…continued

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Praising God in All Things

It is easy to praise God when we look around us and see a beautiful sunset or a beautiful mountain vista. It’s easy to praise God when our lives are comfortable, when our health is good, when good friends love us. We thank Him for the good He brings to us, just as we should, and it is not difficult, although we may sometimes become so caught up with the good things that we do in fact forget to thank God for them. There is a real grace that comes from thanking and blessing God, not only in the joys…continued

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Catholic Spiritual Warfare

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Spiritual warfare is not a concept we hear much about. Spiritual warfare, or spiritual combat, is simply our struggle against the enemy of our soul. He attacks, and with the grace of God we defend. This is part of our normal spiritual life as we grow in faith and virtue.     This book was recommended to me when I asked about a simple book on spiritual warfare – I didn’t want anything scary, nothing that would be too complicated. I just needed something that would give me some tips and courage. I was experiencing some deep struggles, and knew…continued

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How to Love God’s Will

The will of God is one of my favorite subjects to read about. The Will of God in Other Words by Dom Hubert Van Zeller excited me because it was published in 1964, not too long ago really, compared to most of the spiritual “classics.” This book is out of print but you can still find it used (click on the image to buy it on Amazon or read more information about it there.)  Also keep an eye out to see if it is one that is republished by Sophia Institute Press. Van Zeller wrote: “It is important to think…continued

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A Crisis of Faith or Crisis of Holiness?

“Some people say there is a crisis of faith or of authority, but I think there is actually a crisis of holiness. Any trials you can encounter can refine you and seperate the good from the bad in you.” The Road of Hope by Bishop Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan I am so excited to now own this book! I first learned about it through a presentation by a Vietnemese seminarian to our little prayer group. He shared a qoute from this book and I wanted to read more. Last month I read another qoute from it at Beginning to Pray and I knew I had to get…continued

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Actively Submitting to God’s Will

Meekness, Passivity, Submission I have always thought of the meekness with which Jesus accepted His final persecution as a passive suffering. I thought that He merely endured it. I had never considered that it might have taken substantial emotional and spiritual, even physical, work to so simply endure all that occurred, all that He experienced. My Holy Week lesson in submission began with the arthrogram MRI and culminated with an excruciating “cortisone flare” from the cortisone shot administered on Holy Thursday. I had to relax my body to receive the cortisone shot into my elbow and then continue to relax…continued

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