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Urban Impressions of the Stations of the Cross

Thursday, March 16, 2017

People Pleasing

The following is a reflection from one of our Young Adult Board members. It offers an unusual Lenten sacrifice that helps us to see the difference between artificial love and manifesting the love of God. If we focus solely on 'people pleasing' we do not focus on the true needs and humanity of the other, just the other's surface level response.

Lent is about self sacrificing a need to draw closer to God. I decided to give up being a “people pleaser” for the season of Lent. This habit was distracting me from drawing closer to God. By giving up pleasing people I will be able to develop a stronger relationship with God and his son Jesus Christ. Tartakovsky (2016) People-pleasers “want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to” keep it that way. The reason why I was people pleasing because I wanted my friends and relatives to like me, and I wanted them to be happy even at the expense of my own happiness. By giving “up” people pleasing I will be able to develop a greater sense of self-confidence and a love for God by staying in his presence through daily devotionals, reading scripture, and meeting with other church members to discuss God’s goodness and how his Grace and Mercy has been displayed in our lives.

Heather B. Duke
Young Adult Member

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Doctors of the Church: St. Alphonsus Ligouri

In 1732, St. Alphonsus Liguori founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. He regarded God as merciful.

His writings address topics that are pertinent throughout the liturgical year.

In some writings he references the words of various saints.

During Lent, you may be particularly interested in the meditations he wrote for Stations of the Cross.

He had severe rheumatism and is a patron of those who have arthritis.

He is also the patron saint of theologians and vocations.

The following quotations are representative of some of the topics he addressed.

"Jesus was the fruit of Mary, and as St. Elizabeth told her: 'Blessed art thou amongst woman, and blessed in the fruit of thy womb.' Whoever, therefore, desires the fruit must go to the tree; whoever desires Jesus must go to Mary; and whoever finds Mary will most certainly find Jesus."

'It is not enough to pray only with the tongue: we must, according to the Apostle, pray also with the heart if we wish to receive God's graces: "Praying at all times in the spirit."'

"Your God is ever beside you — indeed, He is even within you."

"Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears— of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not wont to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.”

“The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.”

After reading some of his words, consider:
  • When you walk the Stations of the Cross, are there particular stations which especially resonate with concerns you or your friends have?
  • How does your image of God shape the prayers you bring to God?
  • How do your prayers to Mary help you contemplate about God?
  • Do you have particular saints to whom you pray?
  • Does your family have devotional practices for particular saints' feast days? 

To read more about St. Alphonsus, see here or here.

By: Laura Ross

Note: Holy Name Cathedral Parish provides these links to other web sites for your convenience on an “as is” basis and cannot vouch for the correctness or appropriateness of their content.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Just in case...

Just in case you were the kid doing their homework on the bus...

Here's a great help for you as you enter into the first full week of Lent.

Busted Halo is an incredible website that offers many different articles, countless videos, even games.

They have an article we encourage you to check out: 25 Great Things You Can Do For Lent. Take a look, explore what they offer, click through their suggestions of resources or videos. You might find a new way to approach the ancient tradition of Lent.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dinner and a Movie

It's finally Friday!

Wait, it's do you know what you're having for dinner tonight?

With the need to keep it meatless, you might not have a recipe to try or maybe you want to expand beyond your mom's tuna noodle casserole. Why not explore the many recipes from around the world that Catholic Relief Services has available? Each of them is meatless and originates in one of the many locations where CRS operates.

I also want to highlight a great video on mercy and Lent by Kerry Weber, author of Mercy in the City.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books for Coffee

For Lent I wanted to give up coffee, but reality set in. Thus I decided that I could give up coffee in the Coffee Shop that cost $5 a cup and instead make instant bright and early. (I remember going abroad and thinking I was going to get a marvelous cup of coffee and I got instant!) I am not fond of instant but this is Lent; so for my penance I will drink instant for 40 days. With the money I’ll save  I will purchase a book for another (almsgiving). The book is called Before the Living God by Ruth Burrows, OCD. 

Since I'll be saving those $5 per cup of coffee, it means the book will cost me three cups of coffee. In less than a week I will be able to share this book with others.

Before the Living God is about a wonderful woman who is a Carmelite nun in England. It shares the story of her life from her childhood to adulthood. Her ordinariness is one that captures Christ as the essence of life. She relates her joy and struggle in putting Christ first. It is about those ordinary moments in life and how they are dealt with by deepening her relationship with Christ and her ‘neighbors’. On page 100 she states: “What God wants from us above all is trust, that trust which is our profoundest homage to Him. He want us to believe utterly in His will to load us with blessings.” Take a few minutes to prayerfully reflect on her words.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rend Your Hearts

Broken hearts are the food for countless films, books, poems, and country songs. Have you ever stopped to consider that the prophet Joel is asking us to break our hearts today?

Heartbreak is something that is all consuming. It cuts so very deep and can take so very long to recover from, though we often carry the scars of such wounds for the rest of our lives.

Today God is asking us to change our ways, in as significant and life-altering ways as a heart break is. We are asked to pry away our sins. We are called to humility and self sacrifice. We are invited back into a whole-hearted relationship with God. 

How might God be challenging you to break your heart away from those things that separate you from him?