Showing posts with label faith as a gift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faith as a gift. Show all posts

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

2 Oct 2014

Becoming the Best Prayer Warrior You Can Be!

Without exception, God calls each believer to become a prayer warrior.

While some believers are uniquely gifted as intercessors and their prayers seem to flow right out of their spirit, all are nonetheless expected to intercede for others.

But how do we respond to that call to mediate for another person—especially if intercession is not one of our gifts and we stumble along in our attempts at intercession, feeling inadequate and even inept?

How can we answer God’s call upon us and become the best prayer warriors this side of heaven?

Abraham is the first example of intercession as he speaks to God about Sodom and Gomorrah and gives us a couple of excellent clues on how to be a prayer warrior.

First and foremost, Abraham models a personal relationship with his God.

Think about it: which of our personal relationships allow us to be most like our real selves? Which of our relationships encourage us to be open and honest? It is always those relationships that are the most open and honest themselves that give us the platform to speak freely and not worry about condemnation or recrimination.

So the first step in becoming the best prayer warrior we can be for others is to develop a rich, authentic relationship with God.

The next thing that Abraham models is a boldness that often startles us when we read his words in Genesis 18: What if there are …. ?

13 Sep 2014

'So must the Son of Man be lifted up.' Sunday Reflections, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Art Museum, Cincinnati, USA [Web Gallery of Art]


Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 


Jesus said to Nicodemus: No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
NicodemusUnknown Master, Flemish
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium [Web Gallery of Art]
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has designated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross this year as National Day of Prayer for Peace in Iraq and Syria. Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, President of the CBCP, wrote to his fellow bishops: In all our Masses on the feast of the Holy Cross, let us unite ourselves with our suffering brothers and sisters, commending to the God who is our hope their pains, their shattered lives and dreams, their bereavement and their loss. He also asked for a special collection at all Masses, the money to be sent by the CBCP to the charity aid of the Apostolic Nunciatures in Iraq and Syria.
Full post here.

22 Aug 2014

'Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.' Sunday Reflections, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Saint Peter, El Greco,1610-13
Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial, Spain [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
Gospel Matthew 16:13-20 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” continue gospel reading>

Pope Francis in Korea, 13-18 August 2014 [Wikipedia]


In his homily on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June 2013, Pope Francis said: I would like to offer three thoughts on the Petrine ministry, guided by the word 'confirm'.  What has the Bishop of Rome been called to confirm? By 'Petrine ministry' the pope was speaking of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, of the Pope, the successor of St Peter.
     Full post here.

27 Aug 2013

Was St Monica an 'Irish mother'?



St Monica, Luis Tristán de Escamilla 1616 [Web Gallery of Art]

I posted the following four years ago on Bangor to Bobbio and two years ago here. I thought it might be of interest to the newer contributors to  and readers of Catholic Women Bloggers and so I'm posting it again here on the feast of St Monica:

The second reading in the Office of Readings for the feast of St Monica (332-387) always brings a smile to my face and leads me to ask, ‘Was St Monica an “Irish mother”?’ St Augustine’s brother had said to their mother when she was dying that it might be better if she died in her homeland in north Africa, rather than in Italy. The extract from St Augustine’s Confessions goes on: But as she heard this she looked at me and said: ‘See the way he talks’. And then she said to us both: ‘Lay this body where it may be. Let no care of it disturb you: this only I ask of you that you should remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be’.

The latter part of the last quotation appears on innumerable memorial cards and I don’t know of a better request for prayers for the dead. But it’s the ‘See the way he talks’ that makes me smile. Many’s the time I heard my own mother – and other Irish mothers – say, nearly always in a family-type context, ‘Did you ever hear such nonsense?’ It’s the kind of thing that only people intimately related can say to one another, conveying gentle criticism/a reprimand and affection at the same time.

A variation of St Monica’s request is on the memorial card of my own mother, Mary who, like the saint, died at the age of 55: ‘All I ask of you is that you will remember me at Mass and Holy Communion’.

read more


Augustine is not an Excuse

Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.  -St.Augustine A few weeks back, the incorrigible Milo Yiannopolus posted  his side ...