Today the Church celebrates Saint Teresa of Avila, who reminds us of the power of an authentic relationship with God.
This is one of those “Do you remember where you were?” moments in history, especially for those who lived in the Northeast. Even though so much time has passed, the memories of the event are vivid. For all the students in the high school where I work, this is history. They were not born on September 11, 2001. Remembering this momentous day has to be for Christians a reminder to pray for peace and to work for justice.
WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited the faithful to join him in a moment of prayer on Good Friday (April 10) to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart.. . . Praying together as a nation, the archbishop asks that we seek healing for all who are unwell, wisdom for those whose work is halting the spread of coronavirus, and strength for all God’s children.
Today we pray for all those who are sick with the Coronavirus, that by joining their sufferings with Christ, they may make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.
During Lent, it is important to remember that God is always with us, through the good times and bad times. Lent is all about the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins and is the perfect time to do this. During Ash Wednesday we received ashes in the shape of a cross on our forehead and heard the words “Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return”. This is very meaningful to me because it is a reminder that God has forgiven me and is always with me through this time of Lent and throughout the rest of the year as well.
What matters to God? Do our sins, even if we repent? Do our virtuous actions count even if we turn away? What really matters to God?
It is called the most complete prayer ever. The Our Father is one we pray often. But how often do with really think about the words we are saying. Do we pray the Our Father thinking only of ourselves? Do we pray for God’s will to be done when we hold back from doing God’s will? Do we seek forgiveness without forgiving? Today we are given the time to really consider the prayer and what we are saying.
It seems the life of faith can sometimes feel like a ping pong match. On the one hand, a faith life is assenting to eternal truths. On the other hand, there is also the requirement to meet the needs of others in all we do as well.
The first reading from Mass today is all about the challenge of living the Christian life. Authentic Christianity is about being a member of the body of Christ in a way that witnesses to all our care for others. The deeper we can place our faith in the Jesus who saves, the more our own struggles become manageable. It is not that we should not work on our own struggles, but we should do so by realizing we have Jesus really present in our lives. Turn toward others, and you will meet the Christ.
Moses sets before the people today a blessing and a curse. It is hard to imagine that anyone would really choose a curse, but every time we sin we do. Why? How is it we can turn our back on God’s gift of life and choose the curse? Well, choosing life has consequences. Standing up for what is right and true can be hard, we can be persecuted for it. For this reason Jesus tells his disciples about his death, or warns his followers about self-denial and taking up a cross. Lent is a time where we are called to remember to take up a Cross so that we choose the blessing.