Tag: 2017

‘Whoever Follows Me . . . Will Have the Light of Life’

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Image Credit

At Renewal Ministries’ 2017 Gathering, Sr. Ann Shields discussed the need for “our faith to grow” and “our roots to go deep.”

“There’s a way it’s easier to live in faith when the world supports you,” she said. “But that’s not the case right now. Ask God every day: ‘Increase my faith.’”

Sr. Ann’s recommendation for deepening faith include reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Scripture, going to Reconciliation, and receiving the Eucharist.

Sr. Ann explained that following Jesus and His Word allows His light to shine in us. She shared almost a dozen Scripture verses that supported the theme of doing the Father’s will, which can be viewed here.

She shared a quote from Sr. Ruth Burrows on faith, which describes it as “a sustained decision to take God with utter seriousness as the God of my life. . . . (and) a decision to shift the center of our lives from ourselves to Him, to forgo self-interest and to make His interest, His will our sole concern.”

Sr. Ann asked, “Is our life filled with adoration and worship of God? Or is it kept to something we think we can handle?”

She continued, “The Lord says, ‘Open your heart to me, because I have so much to give you. But it has to be what He wants, how He wants—‘not my will, but yours be done.’”

“His will—that’s what brings life out of darkness,” concluded Sr. Ann. “When we’re able to say, ‘Lord, I give You my children, my marriage, my godchildren, my friends—be it done unto me according to Your word. It’s a hard prayer to pray, but my call is to surrender, and then He will use me, and then the light will shine in the darkness.”

Fatima Anniversary Calls Us to Prayer in 2017

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The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Image Source.

Msgr. Charles Pope opened the new year with a profound blog post for Community in Mission that reflects both on the significance of 2017 being the one-hundredth anniversary of the miracle at Fatima and why we should heed a special call to prayer this year.

By Msgr. Charles Pope

Last week at Christmas we celebrated an event that was both pivotal and hidden. The conception and birth of Jesus Christ were events that changed human history. It was a daring, hidden raid by the Kingdom of Light into the kingdom of darkness, an incursion behind enemy lines, into enemy territory. Only some shepherds in Bethlehem and a few magi from distant lands were witnesses to this event, one which began the undoing of the long reign of sin.

St. Paul hints at this drama in today’s second reading: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman (Gal 4:4). Yes, all time meets here. The long reign of sin is ending; Our Savior stealthily emerges to begin His work of giving us a way out. The wall has been breached and will one day wholly crumble.

Even Satan, to whom we often attribute exaggerated powers, seems unaware. The later visit of the Magi makes him suspicious, but even with that, his knowledge is lacking. Through his agent, Herod, he stabs wildly, searching for the interloper, but he misses the mark. Jesus eludes him for another thirty years, preparing for a final showdown that will seal Satan’s fate as the great loser.

Something happened that quiet Christmas night, enormous in its implications but mostly hidden and unnoticed. A ray of light flashes in a darkened world, just long enough to be remembered by a few. It is like a seed that is sown; it remains hidden for a time, but later yields a harvest that will undermine the world of darkness.

I offer all of this as a prelude to a year that I think will be significant for the Church and for the world . . . . Continue reading here.