Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prayer. Show all posts

8 Apr 2017

You Cannot Fail at Lent


Plans are Meant to be Altered

All over social media, those still left after the Lenten Exodus, people are confessing to their inability to keep their Lenten promises.  According to Facebook and Twitter, there has been lots of coffee drunk, chocolate eaten, swears said, and prayer time skipped.  The hashtag #LentenFail started showing up just a day into the liturgical season.  The #LentFail numbers grew again after bacon bits, chicken broth and unintentional "Oh no, I totally forgot it was Lent" hamburger consumption on the first Friday of Lent.

Here is the good news. YOU Cannot Fail Lent.  It is not a test. Lent is a time of looking at our lives and trying new ways to grow closer to Christ.  Through prayer, fasting and charity, these forty days can be used to challenge our current choices and behaviors, and try on new ones.    The fasting, prayer and alms we take on for Lent, can also enhance our lives well beyond Easter ... read more for ideas on how and extra encouragement 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

7 Apr 2017

Gifts Not Being Used are Simply Useless


Prayer is a Gift that is Only Useful when Being Used
When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads:
“Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
After contemplating St. Paul’s words, I decided to change my self-absorbed habit 

All Rights Reserved. Allison Gingras 2017

31 Mar 2017

The Gift Of Prayer - Only Useful When Being Used

Prayer is a Gift are Meant to Be Used a Reflection by Allison Gingras part of the Walk in Her Sandals WINE Lenten Book Club series

Gifts are Meant to be Used

“What is the gift of prayer?” is the first question asked in the Walk in Her Sandals’ journal with regard to Pat’s reflection. Personally, I see prayer as part of what I’ve dubbed, “The Grace Trifecta.” This trifecta consists of one engaging in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, as well as reading and reflecting on Scripture — prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. It truly amazes me that God allows us to communicate with Him in this intimate way. What a gift that he allows us to enter into conversation with Him.

When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads .... 
READ MORE 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017 

21 Feb 2017

A Lenten Overachiever (CWBN Blog Hop)


The Lent 2017 Kickoff

Here we are at the beginning of another Lent.  I am not sure when my Lenten love affair began, but I can tell you that it is currently in full bloom!   I feel energized during this time of sacrifice. The grace of a Christian world praying, fasting and helping others in order to strengthen their relationship with Christ, is exciting! This year, as I contemplated what areas of my life could use a booster shot of faith - 6 ideas came to me.  Being the overachiever that I am - instead of picking and choosing, I'm going to do my best to rock all of 6 them!

19 Feb 2017

New Daily Prayer Routine



I tried — briefly — bargaining with God when we lost Elizabeth, our youngest child. (October 9, 2016)

When the somewhat one-sided conversation was over, I was accepting the unpleasant realities, and asking for help dealing with them: so I don't feel particularly guilty.

I suspect that some folks say bargaining with God is always wrong because they see it as trying to manipulate God. That's a bad idea: also impossible. The Almighty is just that. I can't make God do anything....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

1 Jan 2017

Blessing the House

I 'blessed the house' today, sprinkling holy water in each room.

It isn't the formal blessing of the home and household that's sometimes done on Epiphany.

The formal blessing is a wonderful ceremony: and one we don't do.

By not performing the formal blessing, we're missing out on part of what it is to be Catholic. That doesn't bother me.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Dec 2016

Winter Blessings Bear Much Fruit


We officially entered the winter season last Wednesday, and are now in that time of year when life slows down dramatically, in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We welcome the opportunity to come in out of the cold and seek the warmth of a roaring fire. Unlike many people, I love this time of year! I appreciate a good snowfall, especially when I get to stay inside, all cozy and warm. As an avid reader, I love sitting by the fire, curled up with my favorite afghan and a good book. I appreciate the solitude that winter blessings bring!

Even in winter, when all life seems dormant, God is at work, renewing us. The lull of winter is a gracious gift from God, filled with winter blessings. Read more...

6 Dec 2016

An Interview on Christian Prayer With Our David Torkington


There is a wonderful blog written by a man of prayer, David Torkington, who considers it his life’s work to share the joy of true Christian prayer and to teach people how to pray.  He has also published countless books.
 
In his own words, David says,” All my writings try to promote the Christian way of prayer, and I consider it my life’s work.”

read an interview with David on true Christian prayer
 

2 Nov 2016

All Souls Day; Time for Prayer and Celebration


Today we celebrate All Souls Day. Yes, I said “celebrate.” This day is set aside for us to remember and celebrate God’s mercy. This day is meant for remembering all souls who have departed this life and now reside in Purgatory, where they are in the process of having their venial sins cleansed, as well as experience the temporal punishment for confessed mortal sins. As Catholics, we know that to see the face of God, we must first be purified by the fires of Purgatory, where we are cleansed of our sins; refined like fine gold – Only then may we enter the gates of Heaven and see the face of God.

Praying for all souls, on this dedicated day, can only help them. Need some proof that your prayers actually help those in Purgatory? Okay, here is an excerpt from... Read more...

13 Oct 2016

Struggling To Hear God In the Silence? Try Colouring

At Play In God’s Creation is an invitation to experience Divine Love in a concrete way. When people focus on colouring, they concentrate on being present to the moment. Playful creativity helps people relax and let go of distractions and worries. As minds gradually become quiet, people discover they are able to be simply in the moment, in silence, where they are free to meet God in a healing encounter. Many counselors use coloring or drawing to draw out what ails a child – especially in situations of abuse. This is a natural progression from this method.
Most importantly, colouring is a delightful way to discover joyful intimacy with God because people find themselves creating with the Creator. In this way, it seems to me that this book functions as a sacramental. An engagement with the physical activity of picking up a marker draws people into their body, leading to an intense awareness of self and then a forgetting of self where they are open to a touch from God.

9 Aug 2016

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross: Martyr and Model of Reconciliation



August 9 is the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (also known as Edith Stein), virgin and martyr, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, who later became a Discalced Carmelite nun and was martyred at Auschwitz. She is the patron saint of converted Jews, loss of parents, martyrs, and World Youth Day.

Edith Stein was born on October 12, 1891, of Jewish parents, Siegried Stein and Auguste Courant, in Breslau, Germany, the youngest of eleven children. Although her parents were practicing Jews, Edith became an atheist during her adolescent years.

 A critical thinker and a gifted scholar, Edith studied philology and philosophy at the universities of Breslau and Goettingen.

Read the entire article at Catholic Fire.

4 Aug 2016

Meditations on Vultum Dei quaerere for lay people

Carmelitas_Descalzas_de_Nogoyá
In July, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Constitution on women’s contemplative life, called Vultum Dei quarere. Although aimed at orders of cloistered women religious, this document can also teach lay people how to enter into a more authentic relationship with Christ.
Vultum Dei quarere is Latin for “Seeking the Face of God.” The phrase comes from Psalm 27, my favorite Bible passage on prayer. I encourage you to prayerfully read and meditate upon the entire Psalm.
Vultum Dei quarere was addressed to women because they comprise the majority of contemplative orders. It is the first apostolic constitution for contemplative orders issued since Vatican II. Pope Francis wished to address problems in contemplative life that have gone unaddressed for decades, as well as encourage contemplatives in their increasingly counter-cultural vocation.

Read the rest at Contemplative Homeschool.

1 Aug 2016

Recipe for Holiness - Ingredient 4: JOY!



While some may consider strange occurrences in the world as coincidence - I definitely prescribe to what I refer to as the GODCIDENCE mindset! Why wouldn't the God of the universe, who created me out of love, not also want to show himself to me -- especially when I am seeking!! 

 "Seek and ye shall find!"

Today's godcidence is brought to you by the letter J for JOY!! Though when this all began to fall into place, one would have never seen joy as the end result. Late Saturday night I received a private message on Facebook to pray for a young man who had been in a serious accident. I prayed, but went rather quickly back to my reading - feeling confident that all would be fine. 

 The next morning I learned, sadly he did not make it. My heart ached for the family's great loss; but also within those emotions was great shame and guilt for not praying harder. If it had been my son; I would have gone to my knees to beg God's mercy - regardless of my being at a hotel and a seriously germaphobic! Yet, for this young man who we knew but had not seen in many years, I did not.

Where is the joy? It was lost as I sat Sunday afternoon in sadness and wondering ..  read more


All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

19 Jul 2016

Recipe for Holiness: Two Parts Courage


Life requires courage.  That is clear in the horrific events of this year - just making the decision to leave our homes can be cause for pause.  In the case of my dear friend from our parish, stabbed in her own home by a random act by a distraught young man, even home doesn't feel safe any longer.  There is illness and accidents; and so much beyond our control that can lead our hearts to ache; and fall into despair and fear.   As a person who has battled anxiety her entire life (actually diagnosed with a 'nervous stomach' at age 9); just watching the news or reading social media can send me spiraling into a panic attack.  

So what do we do? Where do we find the courage and strength to get out of bed each morning, to love life and those you are blessed to share it with, and to embrace the promise and hope of an unseen heavenly abode?  ...  read full post on my blog: Reconciled To
All rights reserved,  Allison Gingras

12 Jul 2016

Pope Francis' Recipe for Holiness - One Part Grace

The Grace Trifecta

Standing before a room of 30 or so women facilitating my first faith sharing back in 2006, I fumbled around for the proper words as I tried to answer one participant's seemingly simple question on the grace of God.  What is grace?  While I had this innate understanding, I could not formulate the right words to express what I believed it to be. I realized, I had no definition.
Fast forward a few years, I am sitting in a small chapel in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (aka Jesus in the Eucharist). In my reading I once again face the question, what is grace? This time I open the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit.   That day the Allison abridged version of how I define the grace of God, was born (see image above) and I discovered the GRACE TRIFECTA ... Read More 


All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

22 Jun 2016

To pray is human

Anders_Zorn_-_The_Prayer_(etching)_1911
Since starting my new website Is Centering Prayer Catholic?, I’ve been pondering why certain errors about prayer are so common. I think I’ve hit on a root misunderstanding that’s at the bottom of many of these errors: ignoring the distinction between the natural and the supernatural in prayer.
The Catechism quotes St. John Damascene in saying:
Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (No. 2559)
This indicates prayer is a human activity. One raises one’s own mind and heart to God. Note that this is not true of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer is a divine activity. As St. Paul says, “We do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26), so God steps in to help us.

Continue reading at Contemplative Homeschool

15 Jun 2016

Death in Orlando: Love and Solidarity


The 49 folks killed at an Orlando entertainment venue late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, and the person who killed them, are still dead. Others are hospitalized, and may or may not survive. A whole lot of folks are mourning the loss of family and friends.

Repeating what I wrote Sunday afternoon, I should love God, love my neighbors, see everybody as my neighbor, and treat others as I want to be treated....

...Here's what a Bishop, an Archbishop, and someone at the Vatican, had to say....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Jun 2016

Ways Faith Can Help Overcome Stress and Restore Peace


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has plenty to worry about in daily life. Worry seems to be one of those things you just can’t get away from. As soon as we let go of one worry, another comes along. Major worries take priority, but when those run out, there are plenty of trivial ones to fill their place. I can worry about world peace, the future of this nation, and whether or not there’s too much fluoride in my toothpaste all in the same breath. I worry about catastrophes that never take place (thank heaven!) but certainly do drain a lot of mental energy as I envision every possible ending to the story. I second-guess things that I can’t change and aren’t that important anyway in the grand scheme of things. I worry that there just isn’t enough of me to go around enough for my family and people I care about.
Sometimes it helps me to step back for a minute and remember where God is in all of this (...)
Continue reading about ways faith can help move away from stress and restore peace at Eyes On Heaven

17 May 2016

Talking to God

Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for May is "Respect for Women." One innovative way to pray with the Pope this month is to invite women into prayer. Author Julie Dortch Cragon can help, with her unique and refreshing new book from Franciscan Media, Talking to God: Prayers for Catholic Women



Please join me at Praying with Grace for an excerpt!

Journeying with Jesus

The first time I was to fly alone to Abu Dhabi to speak at a religious conference, I was rather frightened—petrified would be more accur...