PoC-17 2nd Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation


The Cross of Christ Unites. . .Us in the Work We Have to Do

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila - Audio Mp3 Audio 3Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How can dying to myself help me to know God’s purpose?

Seek—Ask others to describe what your gifts are, and where they see you as being most authentic in your life. Resolve to see everyone who crosses your path as the servants that God sends to obtain fruit from the harvest.

Knock—Meditate on Revelation 22:1–2.

Then the angel showed me the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the pagans.

How has your Baptism changed the curse of original sin in your life into the blessing of the mission that God gives you in Christ? When you receive the Eucharist, imagine that Christ is grafting you to himself, so that his life, his healing, his strength flow through you.

Transform Your Life—Ask Our Lord to reveal to you any areas of your life where you might be serving false gods. Ask him to help you to abandon yourself to God’s will in your life in the same way that he did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Believe in God’s providential care for you, no matter what has happened in your life in the past or present.

Power-of-the-Cross2-198x300

The author of The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ in Your Life, Michael Dubriuel, passed away in 2009.  His wife, author Amy Welborn, has made his book available as a free e-book61189_profile_pic1-213x300! We HIGHLY encourage you to download this exceptional work.

The Power of the Cross is now available as a free e-book,
check out more information by going here

Check out more at the Discerning Hearts’ Michael Dubruiel page

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

2nd Friday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast


2nd Friday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast

As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord.

Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over”

Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart…

From the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew 21:33-43,45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?

‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

What word made this passage come alive for you?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you:

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?

‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

What did your heart feel as you listened?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word:

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people, ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them. “They will respect my son” he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.” So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:

It was the stone rejected by the builders
that became the keystone.
This was the Lord’s doing
and it is wonderful to see?

‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them, but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.

What touched your heart in this time of prayer?

What did your heart feel as you prayed?

What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord?


Our Father, who art in heaven,

  hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

 Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

 and forgive us our trespasses,

 as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation,

 but deliver us from evil.

Amen

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

CP13 – Awareness of God’s Presence in Prayer – Reflections from Contemplative Provocations by Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts

Reflection 13 – Awareness of God’s Presence in Prayer – Reflections from Contemplative Provocations by Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts

The mind cannot think about God in prayer in a way that will ensure a contact between our soul and God. No thought in itself, even the thought that he is looking at us with love, brings him closer. Only a thought accompanied by a blind, passionate desire toward God can do so. And then we are not merely thinking about God.

A refinement of attention is necessary if we are to seek God from a greater silence in our soul. But this cannot be simply the discipline of a mental effort. If we are to find a richer silence in prayer, it is because Jesus Christ has taken greater possession of our inner life. He has a tighter hold upon us. Attention to God in prayer is inseparable from love for him. It is because of love that we listen better in the silence of prayer. With love we wait more patiently upon his divine voice. We come to know only by love that silence is the secret language he prefers when expressing his own love for us.

We must strike a balance in prayer between taking up a thought about God and striving for a real encounter with God. The encounter in love is the purpose of prayer. It goes beyond what engages the mind in prayer. Unfortunately we can place a thought of God before our mind as we might lay an object of interest on a table, where it lies still and unmoving, ready for viewing. On the other hand, there are thoughts which enhance the possibility of a loving encounter with God—that God seeks our soul, that he wants to give himself, that he abandons himself to us inasmuch as he is sought. These thoughts, when pondered, cannot remain fixed and immobile, examined simply as thoughts. They urge our soul to offer itself in turn, fearless and bold before God’s drawing attraction. God wants to give himself to us at this very hour. Unfailingly, this thought can enhance our own offering to God.

Haggerty, Donald. Contemplative Provocations: Brief, Concentrated Observations on Aspects of a Life with God (pp. 84-86). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


Discerning Hearts Daily Contemplative Prompts

How can you differentiate in your own prayer life between merely thinking about God as an abstract concept and actively seeking a real, loving encounter with Him?

Consider the role that desire and love play in transforming your prayer from a mental exercise into a heartfelt communion with God.

In what ways can you cultivate a more profound silence and attention in your prayer to allow Jesus Christ to take greater possession of your inner life, thereby fostering a deeper relationship with God?



Obtain a copy of the book here

A great many religious people undertake a serious dedication to prayer. They are moved by a longing for a deeper encounter with God that beckons them as a distant light at night on the sea. Yet far fewer become true contemplative souls, for it is difficult to continue the quest for God in the face of many obstacles.

For those who are spiritually courageous and full of desire for God, this book will provoke them to persevere in this ultimate adventure in life-the more complete discovery of the living God. Thematically unified by the notion of God’s ultimate transcendence to our limited human knowledge, this work offers a rich profusion of insights on the life of prayer and the pursuit of God.

A key to spiritual growth is the understanding that the hiddenness of God becomes a paradox in the experience of a soul seeking him wholeheartedly. Rather than enjoying a more intimate familiarity with God, the soul advancing in prayer is likely to experience more intensely the concealment of God. This surprising truth undergirds true contemplative prayer. It is a reason why every contemplative soul, and every saint, is inflamed with a never satisfied thirst for God.

 

PoC-16 2nd Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation


The Cross of Christ Unites. . .Those Who Suffer for Justice

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila - Audio Mp3 Audio 3Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What does God ask me to do for those who suffer?

Seek—Look for opportunities to help someone who needs it (and who cannot help you back). Stand up for someone who is being brought low.

Knock—Meditate on Romans 8:18.

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us.

As members of the body of Christ, if one member suffers the entire body suffers. How can you make that suffering redemptive?

Transform Your Life——Read the accounts of the martyrs, those who gave the supreme witness to the gospel with their lives. Many monastic communities read about the lives of the martyrs every day, to inspire those seeking to grow in the Christian life.

Power-of-the-Cross2-198x300

The author of The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ in Your Life, Michael Dubriuel, passed away in 2009.  His wife, author Amy Welborn, has made his book available as a free e-book61189_profile_pic1-213x300! We HIGHLY encourage you to download this exceptional work.

The Power of the Cross is now available as a free e-book,
check out more information by going here

Check out more at the Discerning Hearts’ Michael Dubruiel page

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

2nd Thursday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast


2nd Tuesday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast

As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord.

Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over”

Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart…

From the Holy Gospel of St. Luke 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”
‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.” “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”’

What word made this passage come alive for you?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you:

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”
‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.” “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”’

What did your heart feel as you listened?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word:

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”
‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.” “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”’

What touched your heart in this time of prayer?

What did your heart feel as you prayed?

What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord?


Our Father, who art in heaven,

  hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

 Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

 and forgive us our trespasses,

 as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation,

 but deliver us from evil.

Amen

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

CP12 – Aridity in Prayer – Reflections from Contemplative Provocations by Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts

Reflection 12 – Aridity in Prayer – Reflections from Contemplative Provocations by Fr. Donald Haggerty – Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts

Emotional consolation does not have to disappear from prayer. It is God’s choice whether he wants to grant it or not. But clearly it has to fade and eventually cease as a desired gratification in prayer. It is the longing for it that has to be burnt dry from our soul. This has sometimes been called a Carmelite rule of prayer. And yet often, even perhaps by them, it is little understood or accepted. But it is deleterious to ignore this rule and to expect differently from a loving God. His love may not coincide with our prior notions of love.

Aridity in prayer may strengthen a concentration of love in our soul, a sign of which is a deeper calm in prayer and a detachment from emotion. Or, if not, a kind of spiritual hypochondria can take over, a concern for how one feels that must be examined constantly. The fact is that we are being given a grace to forget ourselves when we feel nothing in prayer. Unfortunately, this is often misunderstood and we may retreat into a chronic petulance in prayer, always on the verge of complaint. It may be that many who pray never realize the grace present in aridity and simply treat it as a form of mild illness, waiting stoically for a better day.

A desire to love God, even if buried in prayer beneath a lack of feeling, is always carried outside of prayer and draws us in ways we do not easily notice. Even when not felt, the desire for God moves us in spontaneous, unplanned ways to actions that would otherwise not have been attractive. The desire to love him in prayer, even in dryness, intensifies a sensitivity to a God who is never absent, and who conceals quietly his presence when he has found an invitation from the first hour of a day.

Haggerty, Donald. Contemplative Provocations: Brief, Concentrated Observations on Aspects of a Life with God (pp. 72, 75). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


Discerning Hearts Daily Contemplative Prompts

How can experiencing aridity in prayer deepen your understanding and experience of God’s love, and how might this influence your actions and attitudes outside of prayer, particularly in moments when you feel distant from emotional consolations in your spiritual life?



Obtain a copy of the book here

A great many religious people undertake a serious dedication to prayer. They are moved by a longing for a deeper encounter with God that beckons them as a distant light at night on the sea. Yet far fewer become true contemplative souls, for it is difficult to continue the quest for God in the face of many obstacles.

For those who are spiritually courageous and full of desire for God, this book will provoke them to persevere in this ultimate adventure in life-the more complete discovery of the living God. Thematically unified by the notion of God’s ultimate transcendence to our limited human knowledge, this work offers a rich profusion of insights on the life of prayer and the pursuit of God.

A key to spiritual growth is the understanding that the hiddenness of God becomes a paradox in the experience of a soul seeking him wholeheartedly. Rather than enjoying a more intimate familiarity with God, the soul advancing in prayer is likely to experience more intensely the concealment of God. This surprising truth undergirds true contemplative prayer. It is a reason why every contemplative soul, and every saint, is inflamed with a never satisfied thirst for God.

 

2nd Wednesday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast


2nd Wednesday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast

As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord.

Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over”

Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart…

From the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew 20:17-28

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

What word made this passage come alive for you?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you:

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

What did your heart feel as you listened?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word:

Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the way he took the Twelve to one side and said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will rise again.’
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus answered. ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’ ‘Very well,’ he said ‘you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

What touched your heart in this time of prayer?

What did your heart feel as you prayed?

What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord?


Our Father, who art in heaven,

  hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

 Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

 and forgive us our trespasses,

 as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation,

 but deliver us from evil.

Amen

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

PoC-15 2nd Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation


The Cross of Christ Unites. . .In Liberty

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila - Audio Mp3 Audio 3Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What continues to enslave me?

Seek—Ask God to point out areas of slavery that still exist in your life. As you go through your day, catch yourself not being true to who you really are, and ask yourself: Who are you serving now?

Knock—Meditate on Romans 7:22–25.

In my inmost self I dearly love God’s Law, but I can see that my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates. This is what makes me a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! In short, it is I who with my reason serve the Law of God, and no less I who serve in my unspiritual self the law of sin’.

Paul talks about delighting in the law of God but finding himself at war with other parts of himself. Spend time reflecting on what delights you about God’s law.

Ask Christ to save you.

Transform Your Life—Thomas Merton wrote about what he called a person’s True Self. Prayer, Merton argued, helps us to discover our True Self: the person God created us to be, totally free from the expectations and demands of others. By contrast, the False Self is enslaved; he cannot be himself, but only what he thinks others want him to be. Starting today, ask God to redeem you from the slavery of the False Self.

Power-of-the-Cross2-198x300

The author of The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ in Your Life, Michael Dubriuel, passed away in 2009.  His wife, author Amy Welborn, has made his book available as a free e-book61189_profile_pic1-213x300! We HIGHLY encourage you to download this exceptional work.

The Power of the Cross is now available as a free e-book,
check out more information by going here

Check out more at the Discerning Hearts’ Michael Dubruiel page

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.

CTD2 – The Desert of Ordinary Life – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating – Discerning Hearts Podcasts


The Desert of Ordinary Life – Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion with Deacon James Keating

In this episode, Deacon James Keating and Kris McGregor discuss integrating faith into daily life, warning against separating religion from ordinary activities. They stress the need for vulnerability in worship to avoid routine and self-centeredness.

Lent offers opportunities for spiritual growth, including reconciliation and stations of the cross. They lament the decline of shame and public judgment in society, emphasizing the community’s role in upholding moral truth. The Eucharist brings peace and transforms individuals, impacting society through witness.


Discerning Hearts Reflection Questions

  1. Integration of Faith: How can we ensure that our faith is not compartmentalized but integrated into every aspect of our daily lives?
  2. Vulnerability in Worship: Reflect on times when worship has felt routine or self-centered. How can we cultivate vulnerability and openness to God during worship?
  3. Lenten Practices: In what ways can Lenten practices such as reconciliation and stations of the cross deepen our relationship with God?
  4. Decline of Shame: What are the implications of the decline of shame and public judgment in contemporary society for moral behavior and community life?
  5. Role of Community: How can communities uphold moral truth while respecting individual conscience and freedom?
  6. Transformative Power of the Eucharist: Reflect on the transformative power of the Eucharist in bringing peace and impacting society through witness.

An excerpt from “Crossing the Desert: Lent and Conversion”:

“The only location for God to interact with us is deep within the ordinariness of our days. We are called to cherish the ordinary day, not because of its routine or common features, but because within this daily forum God reaches us through others, through worship, charity, and our relational commitments. Our daily lives carry an invitation from God to become morally good and holy; it is the only medium through which this invitation can come. Cherish the days.”
– Keating, James  (2012-07-20).  Liguori Publications. Kindle Edition.


Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., is a professor of Spiritual Theology and serves as a spiritual director at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

Check out Deacon Keating’s “Discerning Heart” page

2nd Tuesday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast


2nd Tuesday of Lent – A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast

As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  For at least the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord.

Say slowly from your heart “Jesus, I Trust In You…You Take Over”

Become aware that He is with you, looking upon you with love, wanting to be heard deep within in your heart…

From the Holy Gospel of Matthew 23:1-12

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

What word made this passage come alive for you?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you:

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

What did your heart feel as you listened?

What did you sense the Lord saying to you?

Once more, through Him, with Him and in Him listen to the Word:

Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.
‘You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one master, and you are all brothers. You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.’

What touched your heart in this time of prayer?

What did your heart feel as you prayed?

What do you hope to carry with you from this time with the Lord?


Our Father, who art in heaven,

  hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

 Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

 and forgive us our trespasses,

 as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation,

 but deliver us from evil.

Amen

Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.