Tag: Faith Magazine

Run the Race: Grow and Go

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This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Faith Magazine.

Anyone who’s played sports, pursued music or developed a new personal skill or trait has probably heard it said, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse!” While overly simplistic, this motivational quote speaks to a human truth; stagnation or lethargy does not produce things that are new, better, and transformed. Not surprisingly, this also applies to our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24, St. Paul compares our journey to heaven to a foot race, “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.” The takeaway here is not that only one of us is getting into heaven, but the same mentality and disciplines of training hard, moving quickly and crossing the finish line apply to our Christian journey. We then are faced with the question, “How do we run?” The Church provides 2,000 years of insights, inspiration and teachings on what it looks like for us to “run,” but I want to boil it down to the two fundamental invitations given to all baptized Catholics: the universal call to holiness and the universal call to mission. Just as a healthy runner utilizes both legs, holiness and mission must be utilized in tandem to achieve maximum speed and ensure finishing the course.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Transfiguration

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This article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Faith Magazine. It is based on the Gospel reading for Aug. 6, the Transfiguration of the Lord.


Jesus took Peter, James and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” (Mt 17:1-9)

This passage from Scripture is one of my favorite sections to read. Why? Because it tells us so much about God’s care for his disciples and, as a result, it speaks powerfully to what awaits us when we leave this earthly life and enter eternal life—fullness of life, true and lasting life forever. Even that is hard to grasp because we are finite. So, let’s “walk” through this scene. Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain, and he is transfigured before them. What does that mean? As far as the disciples could tolerate, Jesus shows himself in his majesty and glory of God the Son.

Then something further happens: Jesus is seen conversing with Moses and Elijah. Peter speaks for them all when he asks the Lord if he could build three tents—dwelling places—for the majesty and splendor of Jesus and the reflection of that glory in Moses and Elijah. No dwelling could ever contain God’s glory, but Peter is trying to find a way, with his human resources, to honor them.

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Prayer Prepares Our Hearts for Pentecost

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Sr. Ann Shields originally wrote this article for Faith, the magazine for the Catholic diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

“Fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.”

One of the most ancient prayers of the Church, Come Holy Spirit, is a beautiful sequence sung in the liturgy for Pentecost Sunday.

It is a prayer we should make our own. Why? Jesus told us: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (Jn 14:15-17)

Jesus knew the difficulties we would face in life. He knew the help and the strength and the wisdom and courage that would be needed so as to not fall into severe discouragement or even despair. When you were baptized, the Holy Spirit was given you to lead you into the fullness of Truth itself. He was given you to accompany you through the struggles and the joys that life on this earth would bring. It is not a pious idea; it is not a metaphor. God chose to share with you his very own Spirit. When you became his sons and daughters in baptism, you genuinely were brought into the family of God. He desires to accompany you through all your daily activities and relationships. He wants to impart his priorities, equip you with all you need to live his will which is guaranteed to bring you to eternal life.

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Consider Motives When Serving Others

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The following article by Sr. Ann Shields originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Faith, a magazine published by the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

Jesus said to His disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Continue reading here.

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I am so grateful for my readers and for those who listen to my radio program, Food for the Journey. I want to tell you know about a new initiative that will enable me to share a deeper conversation with my listeners, Friends of Food for the Journey. With a gift of $10 each month, you will help sustain the production of new programs, and join me in my work of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ—a message of hope, mercy, and joy—to listeners across the world. You also will receive a special monthly email message from me, and you will be remembered in my prayers and those of my sisters. You can learn more by visiting the donation page here. Thank you for your consideration, and may God bless you.

Make Room for God—Even in Hectic Days

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The following article by Sr. Ann Shields originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Faith, a magazine published by the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

Q: How can I keep God present in my life during a hectic work/school schedule? I can I be attentive to Him?

A: These are two very good questions which require a clear answer, especially in the times in which we live. Noise surrounds us these days – more than ever before. Between keeping up with our jobs, schoolwork, social media and the daily news – not to mention spending quality time with family and friends each day, we are squeezed for time. We struggle to keep up.

But if we are going to make a real effort to keep God in our daily lives, we have to shut out the noise, at least for a few minutes here and there.

Continue reading here.

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I am so grateful for my readers and for those who listen to my radio program, Food for the Journey. I want to tell you know about a new initiative that will enable me to share a deeper conversation with my listeners, Friends of Food for the Journey. With a gift of $10 each month, you will help sustain the production of new programs, and join me in my work of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ—a message of hope, mercy, and joy—to listeners across the world. You also will receive a special monthly email message from me, and you will be remembered in my prayers and those of my sisters. You can learn more by visiting the donation page here. Thank you for your consideration, and may God bless you.