Life-in-Christ

Knowing Christ & His Message through Scripture, the Catechism, & the Catholic Church

Guiding our children (& others) in the right direction…

When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.

—CS Lewis

 

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3 Key sources for teaching & guiding our children:

1. Scripture

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Introduce your children to the Bible at an early age.  There are many children’s Bibles, teen Bibles, and study Bibles.  Let them see you reading, studying, & praying the Bible. Let the know that not only is it a good guide book, but it is also a love story from God Himself.  It is a story of our salvation, and yet, so much more.  It can bring us consolation & comfort when we are lost and uncertain.

2. The Catechism

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On the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by John Paul II, he wrote: GUARDING THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH IS THE MISSION WHICH THE LORD ENTRUSTED TO HIS CHURCH, and which she fulfills in every age… The Catechism of the Catholic Church … is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom!

No matter what age our children are, they will have questions about choices to make.  The Catechism can help guide them in those choices.  It can provide other sources to help them search and explore some of life’s toughest questions.  Let them know that this great source book exists.  Sometimes our children will want to question & explore on some of these things on their own.  How great to have a book like this readily available at home.  Practice using it in front of them.  If they ask questions about the Faith, or moral issues, don’t hesitate to say, “Why don’t we look that up in the Catechism…”

3. Example

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Oh yes, example!  The most obvious, but one we often forget about… We might think our children aren’t paying attention to us, or think we are “uncool,” or out of touch, but just wait, all the sudden, they will say or do something, & that alarm will go off in your head:”That’s  me talking!”  As parents, we do have an influence.  Let’s try to make sure we are modeling the behavior, actions, choices we want our children to imitate.

Come Holy Spirit, help us to guide our children & all those we meet along the path of true Life, Love, & Happiness!

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The Trinity…

Celebrating the Trinity & Sharing Their Love & Life…
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From the Gospel of Matthew (Mt. 28: 16-20): The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw Him (Jesus), they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, & make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Evangelization is a carrying out of the Divine Mandate of the Trinity to Baptize & Bear Witness in Word and Action to the Love & Truth of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit!

The Celebration of the Feast of the Holy Trinity: What we believe & hold to be true:
From a letter by St. Athanasius: In the Church, one God is preached, one God who is above all things & through all things & in all things. God is above all things as Father, for he is principle and source; he is through all things through the Word (Jesus Christ); and he is in all things in the Holy Spirit… Writing to the Corinthians about spiritual matters, Paul traces all reality back to one God, the Father, saying: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone.

Even the gifts that the Spirit dispenses to individuals are given by the Father through the Word. For all that belongs to the Father belongs also to the Son, and so the graces given by the Son in the Spirit are true gifts of the Father. Similarly, when the Spirit dwells in us, the Word who bestows the Spirit is in us too, and the Father is present in the Word. This is the meaning of the text: My Father and I will come to him and make our home with him.For where the light is, there also is the radiance; and where the radiance is, there too are its power and its resplendent grace.

This is also Paul’s teaching in his second letter to the Corinthians: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. For grace and the gift of the Trinity are given by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Just as grace is given from the Father through the Son, so there could be no communication of the gift to us except in the Holy Spirit. But when we share in the Spirit, we possess the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the fellowship of the Spirit himself.

Let us bless the Father and the Son together with the Holy Spirit. Let us praise and exalt them above all for ever.

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Have you done your Spring Cleaning…

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world.

A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Mt 5:13-16

The Bible will help you be the light you are called to be…. Come Holy Spirit, guide me, enlighten me, make my goodness shine forth!

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Seeing & Being Seen…

Christ be our Light, so we may truly see.

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness (Jn 12:44).

The Gospel of John makes several references to light & sight. Do we really want to see and know Christ? Are we more comfortable in the darkness? Are we afraid of what the Light might reveal to us? Are we afraid of the life-giving relationship that we are being invited to if only we enter fully into the Light?

Image result for Jesus - prayer- clipartTake some time this month to read and to meditate on the Gospel of John. Ask God to be your Light, and to clear your mind and heart of any darkness – of anything separating you from Him.

Jesus, You Who said: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life, be with us, send us Your Holy Spirit & guide us out of darkness. Amen!

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Jesus tells us Who He is…

Do you know Jesus? Do you know who He is? Do you talk to Him daily? Take a few moments & be with Him; let Jesus feed you, guide you, give you life…

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Pentecost:Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

Pentecost

O Holy Spirit, on those who evermore You confess and You Adore, in Your sevenfold gift, descend; Give us Comfort when we die; Give us Life with You on high; Give us joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God.

Prayer
Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Your heavenly fruits, Your  charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and temperance, that I may never weary in Your service, but by continued faithful submission to Your inspiration may merit to be united eternally with You in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Click on image to join in Prayer & Praise.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples,  please grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love.

Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.

Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/seven.htm#ixzz1vs6HSMp2

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Preparing for Pentecost: Day 9 (Saturday)

NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God.

Prayer
Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Your heavenly fruits; Your charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and temperance, that I may never weary in Your service, but by continued faithful submission to Your inspiration may merit to be united eternally with You in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Click on image to join in Prayer & Praise.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, please grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/seven.htm#ixzz1vs6HSMp2

Preparing for Pentecost:Day 8 (Friday)

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power & beauty. Teach me to love them above & beyond all the passing joys & satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them & possess them for ever. Amen.

Click on image to join in Prayer & Praise.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, please grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/seven.htm#ixzz1vs6HSMp2

Preparing for Pentecost: Day 7 (Thursday)

SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

Heal our wounds–our strength renew; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help & guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Your holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is not good, & direct me by the straight path of Your commandments -  to that goal of eternal life & love for which I long.

Click on image to join in Prayer & Praise.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, please grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
(To be recited daily during the Novena)

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/seven.htm#ixzz1vm9uYuz2

Preparing for Pentecost: Day 6 (Wednesday)

SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn’d to ill.

The Gift of Understanding
Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths, and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things: pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Click on image to join in Prayer & Praise.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, please grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; and the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/

M Crooks, Doctorate Pastoral Ministry: 2009-2012 http://xtnfamily.tumblr.com/