In Times of Stress and Worry

In Times of Stress and Worry

In Times of Stress and Worry

We know that not every day in life is easy.

There are times of struggle or uncertainty or fear. A recent weekday Gospel dealt with such times.

The friends of Jesus were in a boat out on the lake and the winds got strong, the boat was rocking and they felt they might sink. Jesus was, somehow in all this commotion, asleep, and they cried out to him in fear. The story tells us Jesus awoke and calmed the seas and winds and told his friends, do not be afraid.

“Who is this man? The story asks, that he has such power.” This story may have happened as the Gospel writer tells us, but it is also meant to be about us.

Sometimes life gets rough, and we are filled with fear or grief. What to do? As friends of Jesus we can do what his friends did in that boat. We can speak with Jesus (or the Holy Spirit or the Father), and in all honesty, tell God our fears. Not so much describe the problem (“my boat is sinking”) but tell God what is in your heart (“I am scared to death”).  Find those words that really say how it is with you. Speak them.

And then listen.

Jesus does not claim to be a magician, always making things “right” in our lives. He promises always to be with us, even, maybe especially, in times of stress, danger, fear, or grief.

As Bishop Desmond Tutu put it “Victory is Ours. Goodness is stronger than evil; Love is stronger than hate; Light is stronger than darkness; Life is stronger than death; Victory is ours through Him who loves us.” This is the Christian proclamation of faith.

Ignatius invites us to speak with Jesus as you would speak with your closest friend.

Fr. Paul SJ

Prayerful Concerns of Our Parish Community: 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

Prayerful Concerns of Our Parish Community: 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

Prayerful Concerns of Our Parish Community: 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

Each week we share the Prayers of the Faithful from the prior weekend in hopes that they are helpful to you throughout the week in your personal reflections, prayers, and conversations with God.
Prayers of the Faithful: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time June 25-26. 2022

Jesus touched people and invited them to join him through everyday encounters; so he invites us, each day. As we pray for those around us, we ask, too, for the gift to recognize these daily invitations and respond.

Bless and protect Pope Francis. Enable all Christian leaders and people to be signs of welcome and healing, of the love of Christ’s Sacred Heart, not judgement or rejection, we pray to the Lord.

For public officials here and everywhere, that they work to build up the human family in justice and peace, we pray to the Lord.

For Javier Campos and Joaquin Mora, Jesuit priests, and their guide Pedro Palma, murdered this past week in Mexico –  and for all victims of violence and the drug trade, we pray to the Lord.

Let us not forget those suffering in the destructive war in the Ukraine and other places where people are being oppressed. God, help our suffering sisters and brothers, and help us to see how we can do more than pray and feel sorry for them, we pray to the Lord.

That each of us may take our baptismal commitment to Jesus seriously, that our faith may be really shown in the way we think and act, that being a people of the Eucharist makes a practical difference in our lives, we pray to the Lord.

For those who risk their lives, their reputations, their careers by speaking and acting the truth, we pray to the Lord.

For those who have run the race and kept the faith, that they now be united to God. At this liturgy we especially remember:
4:30 PM Settimo Trivellin
7:30 AM Jody Rafferty Nappi 
9:30 AM Joseph Falcone 
5:00 PM St. Joseph For the People of the Parish both Living & Deceased
We pray to the Lord

Lord God, you have set us on the way of discipleship. As we journey together we ask you to answer our prayers and help us to be your hands and heart in our world. We make these prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Society of Jesus Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Society of Jesus Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Society of Jesus Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Society of Jesus in the United States Welcomes Overruling of Roe v. Wade
June 24, 2022

The Society of Jesus in the United States welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. Abortion is a massive injustice in our society, and today’s ruling is a critical step toward the legal protection of all unborn children. As we wrote in our 2018 pro-life statement Protecting the Least Among Us, “The most fundamental building block of a just social order is respect for human life. Until men and women individually and collectively make a profound commitment to the value and dignity of all human life, we will never find the true peace, justice and reconciliation God desires for us.”

We also affirm our belief that building what Saint John Paul II called a “culture of life” requires a stronger social safety net than our country has today. To be truly pro-life, we must support all women, expectant parents and their children by advocating for policies like universal health care, paid parental leave and a more equitable distribution of our country’s abundant resources.

We approach this topic as pastors, scholars, social activists and educators. No part of our ministry is removed from the essential work of promoting and protecting the dignity of every child of God. We pray that the Lord might continue to inspire our efforts and to help us always see the face of Christ revealed in each person, both before their birth and after it.

This statement is published by the Jesuits, on their website . We have reprinted it here in full.

 

Summer Reading: The What, How, and Why of Prayer

Summer Reading: The What, How, and Why of Prayer

Summer Reading: The What, How, and Why of Prayer

If you are looking to explore prayer you might try one or more of these links. What is Ignatian prayer? How can I pray? Why do we pray? These questions all speak to a desire to grow closer to God.

If you are looking to explore approaches to Ignatian prayer you might enjoy one or more of these essays and article, which are linked at the end of the descriptions. 

Why Do We Pray? By William A. Barry, SJ 
“We pray, then, at our deepest level, because we are drawn by the bonds of love. We pray because we love, and not just for utilitarian purposes.” The Ignatian Spirituality website has a beautiful article by Fr. Barry, which you can find here.

A Short Course on Prayer By J.J. O’Leary, SJ
Fr. O’Leary explains that prayer begins with reality. Some of the comments and questions are directed specifically to students or teachers, but the full article is relevant to anyone seeking a prayer life that touches the inner core based on an awareness of self. A link to the full article is here.

What Prayer Is By Thomas H. Green, SJ 
This chapter from Fr. Green’s Opening to God provides a basic description of prayer. It’s a meaty essay, that provides theological, historical context for those of us who have not deeply studied this; Green discusses the effects of semi-Pelagianism (Fr. Green explains what that means) on our traditional concepts of prayer and goes on to describe prayer as the opening of our hearts and minds to God. Fr. Green’s article is found here.

Praying with Scripture By Douglas J. Leonhardt, SJ
Fr. Leonhardt explains Lectio Divina and Gospel Contemplation, two ways to pray with Scripture. His essay is here.

Distractions in Prayer By Kevin O’Brien, SJ
Fr. O’Brien encourages those who are experiencing distractions in prayer. His article can be found here.

Experiences of Boredom or Dryness in Prayer By Kevin O’Brien, SJ
Fr. O’Brien counsels careful discernment of feelings of boredom or dryness in prayer. Like all interior movements, they can tell us something. Read his article here .

Review Prayer by Keeping a Journal By Kevin O’Brien, SJ
Fr. O’Brien offers some questions to ask after a period of prayer that might be helpful to consider while journaling. You can read his article here.

Prayer: A Personal Response to God’s Presence By Armand M. Nigro, SJ
A straightforward description of prayer as a loving response to God’s presence. Fr. Nigro describes the 5 “P’s” of prayer and ends with a suggestion for group or family prayer in an article found here.

Hopefully one or more of these essays spark your interest during this summer season.  May it be a season of renewed prayer for each of us.  And, as always if you’ve found something you’d like to talk over, drop us a line, or give us a call!

Generosity, Gratitude, and Grace – Gardeners Share their Gifts

Generosity, Gratitude, and Grace – Gardeners Share their Gifts

Generosity, Gratitude, and Grace – Gardeners Share their Gifts

“Is this a weed?” “Yank it out!” “You know, some annuals might fill this space nicely, and bring color in July.”

“Wouldn’t a restful spot for prayer be lovely over here?”

“Oh, yes, a contemplative space would be lovely – gardens of remembrance.”

It’s a joyous ministry, These gardeners know how to have a good time – together. And, the grounds around St. Pius X are shaping up beautifully, thanks to their hard work each Thursday morning. Unless there’s pouring rain, you’ll find them there, starting at 7:30, wrapping up around 9:30 each Thursday morning. Your help is welcome – and needed – whether on a one time, occasional or frequent basis. You’ll learn as much as you’ll laugh.

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