Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts

19 Mar 2017

Loving Lent?

Often people think of Lent as a time to share in the suffering of Christ yet when they try to suffer for Christ, they become morose, centring more on their own sacrificial devotions than on God.
Of course, Lent IS a time to get rid of the flub in our lives but only so we are able to connect more to the heart of our Beloved. I am thankful for ALL the suffering in my life because it has brought me closer to God.
I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not experienced suffering -if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phoney, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice, “Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.” What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was that I would be shallow, without depth and strength.
If this is the situation, I say bring on real suffering, because I want—no I need—to live in reality.
continue

14 Mar 2017

Picking Up the Wrong Cross


...The Gift of Receptivity...

...Personally, my receptivity feelers do not fire on all cylinders. Sure, I’m open to whatever God has for me as long as it is good, healthy, and includes very little discomfort. Unlike Jesus entering into Jerusalem ready to fulfill God’s Will, I spend far too much time avoiding God and his Will. Perhaps I am hoping that if I am really quiet and well-behaved, I will avoid whatever cross is lurking in my day. Ironically, my cross has become my fear of the cross. My focus is far too much on this false fear of the possible tragedy lurking around the corner, and in turn I lose sight the good things God has in store for me—in any situation....

...Holy Thursday Blessings...


All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
Reflection part of the WINE Lenten Book Club #LentenWalk

23 Feb 2017

Pope Francis: A Corrupt Creation, Christian Hope, and Rebirth

On February 22, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the importance of  Christian hope in the face sin during his weekly General Audience. Although his reflections focused on the corruption of creation, they are not the opinions of a left-leaning environmentalist but the profound insights of a man of God.

The Environment

Unfortunately, many Catholics might overreact when they read the title of the pope's latest address, just like they did in September when Pope Francis said it was a sin to destroy the environment, turning it into ‘wasteland full of debris, desolation and filth’  and called for concrete action on climate change. Again, last year, his controversial encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’, seemed to upset some conservatives. However, if we do not react to sensational headlines but actually read the Pontiff's homilies, encyclicals and addresses on the environment in their entirety, we will unearth deep spiritual inspiration which stands on the pronouncements of his predecessors.
continue reading

9 Nov 2016

Shattered and Renewed


I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered or if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.75 kids and lived in a nice house. He put on a phony, pious face, with his hands together in prayer and said in a high, sweet voice,
‘Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.’
What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was that I would be shallow, without depth and strength.
If that is the case, I say bring on the suffering because I want, no I need to live in reality. I refuse to simply play games during my time on earth.

8 Jul 2016

SUFFERING

Why does God allow suffering?
Is it a punishment for our sins?
Or a repayment for what He has done for us?

4 May 2016

Singing through the Pain


by Nancy Ward

Last Mother’s Day we went to the 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Jude’s in Allen, TX,  with my son Andrew and his family. We arrived early while the choir was practicing and sat in the third row behind their two reserved rows. Andrew prepared his French horn and joined the music practice.

When the practice was over, just before Mass started, I observed this young man come from the row of choir microphones and around the pews with an armful of pillows. He headed toward the pew in front of us where an elderly woman and a couple of young people were sitting. He motioned that he wanted to sit in that pew and they moved toward the aisle to allow him to move past them. He hesitated, said something to them and after a short conversation, they moved to another pew. He arranged his pillows in the pew and lay down on his back. 
I turned to my daughter-in-law inquisitively and she told me about the man’s back problems and recent back surgery. His name was Patrick Underwood. He lay there until time to sing the processional, then painstakingly pulled himself to his feet by grasping the back of the pew in front of him and forcing his body erect. He had a booming voice and played the bongo drums during the Alleluia with a passion I had never seen—at least not at mass!
Read more of this Mother's Day Story on JoyAlive.net

2 Feb 2016

For Friends in Crisis

Today I take one last stroll through "Prayerful Thoughts of St. Ignatius of Loyola," this time searching for wisdom in the face of my friends' deep suffering.

©Rick Schroeppel/Getty Images

Please join me in prayer at Praying with Grace.

23 Jan 2016

"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?..."


We in the flesh are hindered in such a way that with our senses we cannot perceive eternity.   The God who took flesh in the form of Jesus in order to be like us in all things chose to forgo some knowledge in agreement that such temporarily 'forgetting' was part of the perfection of the plan of God.  As God shielded Moses when God passed by, Moses was denied a knowledge of God because his flesh could not look upon the face of God and live.  So to Jesus while incarnate in the flesh would suffer a 'shielding', or a lack of knowledge of some things that He would have had access to prior to the incarnation and would again gain access at the exact moment of His last heart beat.  This 'forgetting' of certain things for a time was part of God's participation in our humanity and the perfection of His passion on the Cross. The God who knows all could by His own will decide to forgo knowledge in order that an infinite benefit could be given to us by His Passion.

What did Jesus not know?  When Jesus spoke of the sign of His coming and the end of the age He said,  "But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Matthew 24: 36.   

But there was something else He did not know when He went to His passion.  ...TO READ MORE CLICK HERE. 

26 Aug 2015

The Gift of Sufferring

“God loves us, so He makes us 
the gift of suffering.
I once asked a priest what my life would have been like if I had not suffered, if I had married a well-off dentist, had 1.25 kids, and lived in an efficient, modern house. He put on a phony, pious face, put his hands together in prayer, and said in a high, mocking voice,

”Oh, you would be a nice Christian lady, praising the Lord.”

What he meant by that amusing bit of acting was I would be shallow, without depth and strength.
If this is the situation, I say bring on suffering because I want—no I need—to live in reality, in God.

16 Jun 2015

Front Row With Francis: How Families Deal With Illness

On June 10th, the Pope’s Wednesday general audience continued his catecheses on the family, focusing on the theme of sickness and suffering. Man experiences his own fragility primarily in the family, first as a child and, then, as an elderly person.While family sickness presents obvious challenges, it can also be a source of quiet strength and deepening faith.
Pope Francis stresses that we must ” educate children as little ones to solidarity in the time of sickness because,

28 Apr 2015

How to Talk to Children about Suffering

When we talk to children about suffering, it's unhelpful to discuss WHY bad things happen. Suffering--a result of the Fall--makes no sense in and of itself. What children need to hear is that our suffering can be a powerful source of good for others. Jesus shows us how.

Children can learn to be sensitive to suffering. When adults empathize with them (I'm so sorry you tripped and scraped your knee. Oooh, I know that must hurt!), they learn to share others' sadness. And when empathetic children grow up, they become courageous citizens who defend the weak and the suffering.
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 36:26)
Please click on over to Praying with Grace to read more of today's article
and to see the reflection & activity sheets for children.

16 Apr 2015

Oh Mother...The Victory.


What victory is this, that all suffering that we suffer now will pass away, and every tear, every pain along with every joy, and shout of praise will bring to fruition the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.

I have seen the victory, and it is wondrous.

In a moment at God's will I was shown the end....TO READ MORE..CLICK HERE!

27 Mar 2015

Behind the Name, Beautiful Thorns

Years ago I went through a severe trial and very intense spiritual warfare. After that happened, I cried out to the Lord and told him, "I just want a normal, leisurely life"!  Well, he heard my prayer and he left me alone for the next 6 years. Needless to say, I was miserable! There were no spiritual consolations; I did not sense or hear from the Lord at all during that time. The worst part about it though was my passion towards him was gone! I had no desire to pray or serve him. I felt like Jesus could have appeared in all his glory right in front of me and I would not have been moved. It was a very scary place to be and even made me question my salvation.

Continue Reading @ Beautiful Thorns >

24 Feb 2015

The "Hygiene Hypothesis" Blows Lent Wide Open

Getty Images
Driving to work yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about scientists studying the "hygiene hypothesis." The thinking behind the hypothesis goes like this:
  • Developed countries have detergents, sanitizers, and machines to clean things in ways humans have never cleaned things before.
  • We also don't hang out around livestock like our ancestors did Back In The Day.
  • Children who grow up in these super-clean environments lose contact with good old-fashioned GERMS, tricking their bodies into thinking every microbe in town is hazardous.
  • Thus, their adorable little immune systems go berserk: #eczema #allergies # asthma

Are we too clean?

Please join me at Praying with Grace to reflect and comment on how our faith might be too sterile, as well. Do children need to suffer?

11 Jan 2015

The Greatest Victory on the Earth



He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer."

Why. Why did He desire it, and for how long? He is God, how long can God desire one Passover? I'll tell you how long, since the fall of Adam and Eve. Before there was a Passover, God desired this one. Why this one? Because it is a sacrifice offered that would NEVER be rejected by God...


17 Dec 2014

A Very Special Prayer Request

I have a couple of posts that I am writing, and I apologize that it's been a few days since my last post, but I have a favor to ask. My mom's health is failing. After an almost six and a half year long goodbye, it seems that her time really is getting short. Brain cancer always wins in the end. There are so many emotions right now. I pray for a swift and easy death, but it is hard to wish her gone. However, she is suffering so, and it is selfish to want that to continue for the sake of continuing.

Source


God has been filling my heart and mind with memories of my mom.

Read more at Veils and Vocations, and please pray and share.

12 Dec 2014

Why I Cope With Life Better Today (as a Catholic)

I do not know how I would cope with my life if I were not Catholic. I can easily tell you that I would not cope well. Years of living beforehand would bear that out.

Here are some differences in how I get through tough times today vs. during my "heretical" years. 

(1) My emotions do not control my decisions as much

Free will has to do with making decisions without being driven by emotions. I am making more solid, logical and clear choices now than I ever have before. During my "heretical years," I believed that free will had to do with extricating myself from the oppression of moral obligations in order to be free to follow my feelings. How did that work out for me? Hmm.. I'm writing this... so...

(2) I take care to have selfless motives. 

When I pursue being of the greatest service to God above the motives for comfort, public opinion or material things, each decision I make has meaning. When I work to make my life a gift to God rather than a gift to myself, I do not have time to immerse myself in self-pity or resentment.

Good feelings and material things will all pass away. Peace in my heart, mind and soul will never be possible if I waste any time trying to chase any other goal than to serve God. 


4 Dec 2014

Laughing, Loving, and Crying Through 36 Years of Marriage: 10 Years & Then Some

Today we welcome Michael and Melanie Jean Juneau to the series How to Stay Married 10 Years & Then Some. Michael and Melanie live on a small family farm in Canada, where they raised their nine kids. I know Melanie from her excellent work at the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers and through her prolific writing. Today Michael and Melanie explain how suffering doesn't have to crush a marriage, instead it can lead to great joy!



1. How many years have you been married and how many kids do you have?


We have been married for 36 years, and we are still in love. Surprisingly, we really have become one, deeply in tune with each other’s spirits. Our tangible joy is inexplicable through secular eyes because from all outward appearances our life together has been a tough journey including poverty, nine kids, overwhelming chores on a small family farm and clinical depression.

One priest gently consoled us by explaining we have lived through “trials by fire.” Another friend, not given to dramatics, once pointed out to my adult children,“You do not realize it, but your parents have suffered deeply.” I have a running joke on the typical marriage vow about for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. I say, "Well, we’ve seen worse, poorer and sickness and we are more than ready for better, richer and health.” Then I dissolve into gales of laughter.

Read more here...

20 Nov 2014

Be a Living Rosary!

Drawing by Anna Ponchak
I believe God calls us to the vocation that is going to best help us encounter him and help us grow in holiness. The more we encounter him and grow in holiness, the more joy we will have. For me, that vocation is Motherhood. 

My children have definitely helped me in my quest for holiness and have helped me grow closer to Christ. Through my first two, the Lord started teaching me about resting in him and receiving his grace. The next two helped teach me perseverance. Through my fifth child however, I feel like I have grown the most. You see, she was miserable from day one and continued to be that way until she turned four.       


Continue Reading @ Beautifulthorns >

17 Oct 2014

I'm Here."


"Mom, why do you go to Mass everyday?"

"Because I love Him."  

"Who?"

"Our Lord."

"Oh."

"You don't understand do you."

"Not really."  

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE!  

Beauty and the Beast: My Take on the Controversy

I've heard a lot of varying reactions to Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast remake. I'm talking, thoughts that are ...