Posts Tagged With: Daily Devotions

Annus Fidei: Year of Faith

Is anyone else getting super excited about the Year of Faith starting tomorrow? I think it’s just the thing we all need–a big refresher! Our faith has been pushed from the center of our lives to the outskirts, where it serves as a Sunday activity that has no bearing on the rest of our week. We need to do a deep dive into our faith; to say enough with milk, we’re ready for meat.

“I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet. But neither indeed are you now able; for you are yet carnal.” –1 Corinthians 3:2

Do you want to end up like the Corinthians? Or are you ready for a faith steak? I’m ready! I get all giddy just reading through Porta Fidei, St. Benedict’s latest Apostolic letter.

“Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ…..We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51)…… At this point I would like to sketch a path intended to help us understand more profoundly not only the content of the faith, but also the act by which we choose to entrust ourselves fully to God, in complete freedom. In fact, there exists a profound unity between the act by which we believe and the content to which we give our assent. Saint Paul helps us to enter into this reality when he writes: “Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved” (Rom 10:10). The heart indicates that the first act by which one comes to faith is God’s gift and the action of grace which acts and transforms the person deep within.” –Porta Fidei

The Year of Faith coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 2nd Vatican Council, as well as the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But the Year of Faith isn’t just about developing a deeper understanding of our faith, it’s about becoming more effecting at sharing our faith, so that the faith that we pass on is authentic and vibrant. Our faith has become so watered down, the world around us can’t see Jesus in us, and what’s worse, we don’t see Jesus in our lives. No wonder there’s so much despair in the world! A Year of Faith, a fresh injection of the Holy Spirit–let’s have it! Let’s pass it on! I’m not even sure what to expect, but I’ll keep an eye on the Vatican’s website every day and read from my Magnificat Year of Faith Companion daily. I can’t wait to follow the church on this journey.

Categories: Chasing After God, Everything Else, Year of Faith | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Greatest To-Do List Ever Written

Truth be told, I’m a few days into my quest to re-energize my faith. How am I planning to accomplish this? Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1) Daily Mass Readings. Under ideal circumstances, I’d like to attend Mass every day, and I’m sure a lot of Catholics feel the same way. Well, guess what? You can! Most days, anyway. A few years ago, I realized that EWTN has a Daily Mass podcast featuring the readings and homily. I got into the habit of downloading the podcast before work, loading it onto my mp3 player (pre-smartphone days, how primitive!), and listening on the way to work. It was typically 20-25 minutes and my commute clocked in right around the same time. I did this for a few months and it was a wonderful start to my day. So what happened? Well, there was a stretch of time where the podcasts weren’t ready by the time I needed to leave for work, so I fell out of the habit and just never went back to it. Well, it’s time to get back into the habit! How can I not want to do something that makes me feel so good? The great thing is that now, EWTN has an app for my Android phone! So far, I’m not seeing the podcast I so desire, but they are posting the video, which is essentially the same thing. I just have to avoid the temptation of trying to watch while driving and limit myself to listening. If I don’t have the Daily Mass on the way to work, I can also watch via YouTube on our X-Box.

2) PRAYER. How can you have a relationship with someone you never talk to? Yes, I’m sure God finds that minute and a half before I crawl into bed to be the epitome of devotion. I need MORE than that. It’s hard to describe, but it’s as if my soul thirsts and longs for prayer. Deep-down, serious prayer. To accomplish this, I’m going to have some scheduled prayer as well as spontaneous, throughout-the-day prayer.

  • Morning Prayer
  • Prayers Before Meals
  • Evening Prayers (at least one decade on the rosary)
  • Prayer of the Day from the Treasury of Novenas

I also have guide to daily prayer for business people. I have no idea where I got it, but at some point, I’ll look into that as well and let you know how it goes.

3) Bible Study. This is in ADDITION to Daily Mass Readings. Now, I have tried to knock everything out in one lump sum before bedtime and if we’re doing earnest Bible study, Daily Mass Readings, and prayer, that’s going to be anywhere from an hour and a half to two full hours. I can tell you from experience, trying to tack everything onto the end of the day just flat out doesn’t work. So, instead of putting it at the end of my day, I’ll be doing Bible Study at my lunchtime. I’ve actually already been doing this intermittently for the last few months. Why have I not been consistent? There’s just so much temptation to “get something done” on my lunch break. Why, I could run over to Wal-Mart and do my shopping so I’ll have more time in the evening! I could run to the bank! To the shoe store! The fact is, I am getting something done by doing Bible Study. For the foreseeable future, I’ll be doing the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. I’ve made it through John and am currently working my way through Mark. I love, love, love this study! It is truly in-depth, referencing additional verses, clarifying what was said based on the context of the times, going back to the Catechism, and just really exploring what the full message is.

4) My Own Little Prayer and Meditation Book. When I first started RCIA, I bought a little red leather bound prayer book. I love it. It’s always in my purse. A few years ago, I found myself writing in the back of it. Just a thought, a prayer, a verse. The problem with it is that it’s too big for my pocket and generally stays in my purse for most of the day. To resolve this, I purchased a small Moleskin notebook that fits perfectly in my pocket (the place of honor typically reserved for my smartphone). I can jot down my prayer for the day, a verse that inspires me, a quote from a saint. I know I can do all of this with my phone (I work at the CellPhone Store, after all), but I feel like I get more out of it if I write it down. Additionally, when I reach for my phone, it does EVERYTHING, so it’s a lot easier to get distracted. I still carry my prayer book in my purse, but when I put my hand in my pocket, I have a personalized book of inspiration.

5) No Idleness Allowed! I’ve been working in retail for about a year and a half now, and let me tell you, we have a LOT of downtime. People don’t really start coming in until 4pm on most days. I’ve been using that downtime to look at Facebook, window-shop online, browse humor sites, etc. This is, for the most part, a waste of time. Catholic blogs! The National Catholic Register! There are so many websites I can look at and actually benefit from. No more goofing around.

I’m flexible and open to suggestions! For now, I think it’s going to be enough to get me on the right track.

Categories: Chasing After God | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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