- We are Not the Only One Who Weeps ("Helpful Hints of Life" and Catholic Website of the Week)
- WOW, Vatican City Built in Legos (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Angel of God Prayer (under the Praying Hands at end)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Angels of God
`He will give his angels charge of you,' and, `On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
On September 29, the Church honors and called upon the archangels Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. And then on October 2, the Church will honor and call upon Guardian Angels. Let’s here it for angels! Yeah!!!
There are almost 300 references to angels in the Sacred Scriptures, but what are they, what do they do, and what does the Church through which Christ speaks say about them?
An angel is a pure spirit being with no body. They were created ‘before’ humanity. They were given a choice at the moment of their creation to serve God or not serve God. Fallen angels, also called devils, chose not to serve God and were separated forever with no possibility of change because their choice is forever.
They are depicted with wings because everything they do, they do ‘instantaneously.’ Every human person at the moment of their conception is assigned a guardian angel. “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels always see the face of my Father in heaven.” -Matthew 18:10-11
When we die, we do NOT become angels. Our soul goes either to Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell and waits to be reunited with our bodies at the Last Judgment when our bodies will be resurrected. If we have loved ones in heaven, they are saints and are "like the angels (Luke 20:36),' but not real angels.
The Church teaches much more on the Holy Angels of God. But the most important is that we should cooperate with our Guardian Angel to get to heaven. Our Guardian Angel is always with us to protect if we let our angel, obtain for us grace if we let our angel, helps us be good if we let our angel. SCROLL DOWN TO THE END TO READ MORE ABOUT ANGELS.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time Sunday Readings can be found at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092621.cfm
P.S.S. More below on the Holy Angels from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
P.S.S.S. Sunday Readings with commentary and reflection questions are near end.
a) because one has to get up so early to do it
b) because we can only do it in silence
c) because we deal with ourselves, our surroundings, and especially the devil
d) because it is something we will on our own
573. What are some objections to praying?(CCC 2726-2728, 2752-2753)
a) people think they do not have the time
b) some think praying is useless
c) some find it difficult or not having effect
d) all of the above
574. What are the difficulties in prayer? (CCC 2729-2733, 2754-2755)
a) being distracted
b) being too happy
c) getting all we want
d) none of the above
- a spiritual being created by God superior to humans in power and intelligence;
- [In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.]
-“who is like God” (The title given to one of the chief angels (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He had special charge of Israel as a nation. He disputed withSatan (Jude 1:9) about the body of Moses. He is also represented as warning against "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveththe whole world" (Rev. 12:7-9).
-“strength of God” (Dan. 8:16, 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26.)
-“remedy of God” (one of the archangels; the angel of healing and the guardian of Tobias (Tobit 3:17; 5--12).
(-el means “of God”)
All of the weeping mothers, widows and virgins will add nothing to this copious outpouring that would suffice to cleanse the hearts of ten thousand desperate worlds.
All those who are hurt, destitute or oppressed, the sad tide of humanity that choke the fearful paths of life will find succor in the ample folds of the sky-blue cloak of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.
Each time that someone falls weeping, whether in a throng of people or alone, she is there weeping too, because all tears belong to her as the Empress of Beatitude and Love.
Mary’s tears are the very Blood of Jesus Christ, but differently shed, just as her compassion was a sort of internal crucifixion for the divine humanity of her Son.
-Léon Bloy (1846-1917)
"Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will." Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: "all things are possible to him who believes." Jesus is as saddened by the "lack of faith" of his own neighbors and the "little faith" of his own disciples as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2610
The Purgatory Project exists to aid the souls in purgatory. Anyone can register the names of people who have died. It costs nothing to register and will benefit those you add to the registry. Perpetual Masses are said for all souls in the Purgatory Project. The site also offers articles and links.
TEACH AND REMIND PEOPLE OF THEIR GUARDIAN ANGELS (as the pandemic allows)
From Catholic Schools and PSRs to parish groups, teach and speak about the presence and power of Guardian Angels in each person's life.
An awareness of this friend of God in our lives and in the lives of each person help us keep a better awareness of God and truly following Him.
Pray the "Angel of God" prayer after each class or parish group meeting. Speak and teach about Guardian Angels. Cultivate an awareness of praying to one's guardian angel for daily help, and to pray to the guardian angel of another to help them and help them to be open to interactions with them.
September 25, 2021
Rocco Buttliere is the first person to depict an entire country in a single Lego build. He chose the Vatican, and his creation consists of about 67,000 pieces. It is the world’s first contiguous LEGO landscape of an entire sovereign country.
The structure is a 1:650 ratio and took nearly 500 hours of planning plus 300 hours of building to complete. Buttliere's website showcases some 80 LEGO models from building replications to historical architecture.
Vatican City is the smallest nation on Earth. However, the sovereign entity of today’s Holy See, the Roman Catholic Church is the largest and oldest continuously functioning international institution - and Vatican City is the spiritual, religious, and diplomatic center of the Catholic Church. Since the time of Peter, the church has been overseen by a single monarchical figurehead; a Bishop of Rome; a Pontifex Maximus; a Pope. Today, Pope Francis is the 266th Bishop of Rome and resides within Vatican City. The country is also home to the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, the Apostolic Palace, the Vatican Gardens, St. Peter’s Square, and the Papal Basilica of Peter in the Vatican (or simply, St. Peter’s Basilica). Across its 121 acres, Vatican City contains an innumerable sum of significant works of cultural and architectural heritage. For this reason, Vatican City represents far more than a spiritual center for 1.3 billion Catholics.
Dimensions from the Website:
Parts: 67,000+ (~1,300 unique) Scale: 1:650 Dimensions: 52in x 68in (131cm x 173cm) Design Time: 500+ hours in 70 days Build Time: 300+ hours in 28 days
He continues, “One of the things that gives men identity is a sense of duty.
“Number one: Mass is fulfilling. It’s spiritually nourishing and you’re communing with the Body of Christ. But there’s also a sense of fulfilling your duty. You have a duty as a Catholic to attend Mass every week. There’s few things that edify a man more than the ability to consistently fulfill his duty.
“You look at soldiers, you look at fathers of past generations–of course, you wake up, you do your job, you do it well. As a Catholic man, your job is to go to Mass every week.
“The sense of accomplishment that you can have a sort of structure in your life to go to Mass every week–number one, it provides a structure to your week. Number two, it provides a sense of accomplishment of your duty as a Christian.
“To me, the most important part is number three: the impact of what happens to the families of Catholics where the man does not go to Mass.”
Click here find out what happens to families when the male does not go to Mass.
Fr. Rich Pagano adds, “Mary is the perfection of femininity. She is the New Eve.”
“When I went through my reversion…the very first contact that I had was with the Blessed Mother and her Sorrows–the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
“Learning the Rosary, praying the Rosary–and it’s the manifest femininity of the Blessed Virgin Mary that drew me out to make me want to become more of a man,” Fr. Pagano says.
“Male participation has been seated in many cases to women, and men no longer find a real home in the parish because they’ve been somewhat feminized by the nature that women are the ones making those decisions,” Scheel explains.
“And rightly, they’re making decisions from their own genius, so they do things that make sense to them. But they don’t have the complimentary male perspective to then be adding to what they’re doing. This is not to say that female participation in parishes make them overly-feminized, it’s saying that it’s lacking male participation to balance that to make it a full-functioning place.”
Scheel adds that male participation in parish life “brings the Church into the community where it can actually have an impact on society,” and faith and parish life no longer becomes the view that religion is merely something personal–it’s communal.
“You don’t have to set up the tent or anything, but just go to something, and shake hands with somebody else and just get to know them.” Ryan DellaCrosse adds.
The four guys then explain the importance of Christian brotherhood.
“Michael is the one who fights against the devil,” he said. The archangel Michael aids our resistance against Satan’s temptations, and protects us when the devil tries to claim us as his own, Pope Francis said.
Gabriel is the bearer of good news, he continued. “Gabriel too accompanies us and helps us on our journey when we ‘forget’ the Gospel,” he said, noting the archangel’s message acts as a reminder that “Jesus came to save us.”
Raphael, he said, “walks with us taking care of us on our journey and helping us not take the wrong step.”
The Pope encouraged Catholics to call upon the help of the archangels, and concluded by invoking their intercession.
“Michael: help us in our battle – each of us has a battle to fight in our lives; Gabriel: bring us news, bring us the good news of salvation; Raphael: take us by the hand and lead us forward without taking the wrong turning,” the Pope prayed. “Always walking forward, but with your help!”
By Mary Rezac
Vatican City (EWTN News/CNA) - It’s been said that saints often come in pairs.
Perhaps the best-known modern saintly pair of friends would be Mother Teresa and John Paul II, whose lives intersected many times during her time as Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, and his pontificate.
When John Paul II came to visit Mother Teresa’s home in the heart of the slums in Kolkata in 1986, Mother Teresa called declared it “the happiest day of my life.”
When he arrived, Mother Teresa climbed up into the white popemobile and kissed the ring of the Bishop of Rome, who then kissed the top of Mother’s head, a greeting they would exchange almost every time they met.
After their warm hello, Mother took John Paul II to her Nirmal Hriday (Sacred Heart) home, a home for the sick and the dying she had founded in the 1950s.
Footage of the visit shows Mother Teresa leading John Paul II by the hand to various parts of the home, while he stops to embrace, bless, and greet the patients. He also blessed four corpses, including that of a child.
According to reports of the visit from the BBC, the Pope was “visibly moved” by what he saw during his visit, as he helped the nuns feed and care for the sick and the dying. At some points the Pope was so disturbed by what he saw that he found himself speechless in response to Mother Teresa.
Afterwards, the Pope gave a short address outside the home, calling Nirmal Hriday “a place that bears witness to the primacy of love.”
“When Jesus Christ was teaching his disciples how they could best show their love for him, he said: 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' Through Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, and through the many others who have served here, Jesus has been deeply loved in people whom society often considers ‘the least of our brethren,’” the Pope remarked.
“Nirmal Hriday proclaims the profound dignity of every human person. The loving care which is shown here bears witness to the truth that the worth of a human being is not measured by usefulness or talents, by health or sickness, by age or creed or race. Our human dignity comes from God our Creators in whose image we are all made. No amount of privation or suffering can ever remove this dignity, for we are always precious in the eyes of God,” he added.
After his address, the Pope greeted the gathered crowds, making a special stop to greet the smiling and singing sisters of the Missionaries of Charity.
Besides calling the visit the happiest day of her life, Mother Teresa also added: "It is a wonderful thing for the people, for his touch is the touch of Christ."
The two remained close friends, visiting each other several times over the years. After her death in 1997, John Paul II waived the five-year waiting period usually observed before opening her cause for canonization. At her beatification in 2003, John Paul II praised Mother Teresa’s love for God, shown through her love for the poor.
“Let us praise the Lord for this diminutive woman in love with God, a humble Gospel messenger and a tireless benefactor of humanity. In her we honour one of the most important figures of our time. Let us welcome her message and follow her example.”
The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1399
-My dog once ate all the Scrabble tiles. He kept leaving messages around the house for days.
----Wife asks her husband: “Did you like the dinner today?“-Husband replies: “Really, Shirley? Why are you always trying to pick a fight?”
-The first time I see a jogger smile, I will consider it.
-My dad always said fight fire with fire…that is probably why we got thrown out of the volunteer fire department.
-Little Johnny to his mom: “I shot 4 goals at the soccer match today!” Mom: “Wonderful, looks like your team won, right?” Little Johnny: “Not really, we tied 2:2.”
Teacher tells little Johnny, “You know very well you can’t sleep in my class, Johnny.” Johnny admits, “Yes, I know miss. But maybe, if you didn’t speak quite so loud, I could.”
Dentist's Hymn ................................Crown Him with Many Crowns
Weatherman's Hymn ......................There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
Contractor's Hymn ........................The Church's One Foundation
The Tailor's Hymn ...........................Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer's Hymn .........................There's a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician's Hymn....................Standing on the Promises
Optometrist's Hymn.......................Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent's Hymn .....................I Surrender All
The Gossip's Hymn ..........................Pass It On
The Electrician's Hymn ....................Send The Light
The Shopper's Hymn ........................Sweet Bye and Bye
The Realtor's Hymn..........................I've Got a Mansion Just over the Hilltop
The Massage Therapists Hymn .......He touched Me
The Doctor's Hymn .............................The Great Physician
AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:
45mph ....................God Will Take Care of You
65mph ...................Nearer My God To Thee
85mph ....................This World Is Not My Home
95mph .....................Lord, I'm Coming Home
100mph ..................Precious Memories
You May Choose 3
One Sunday a pastor told the congregation that the church needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he'd like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly, saintly lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front.
Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in gratitude asked her to pick out three hymns. Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three handsomest men in the building and said, "I'll take him and him and him."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1073
I. THE ANGELS
The existence of angels - a truth of faith
328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
Who are they?
329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'"188 With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".189
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.190
Christ "with all his angels"
331 Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. . "191 They belong to him because they were created through and for him: "for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through him and for him."192 They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"193
332 Angels have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar and her child; stayed Abraham's hand; communicated the law by their ministry; led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the prophets, just to cite a few examples.194Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.195
333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. When God "brings the firstborn into the world, he says: 'Let all God's angels worship him.'"196 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church's praise: "Glory to God in the highest!"197 They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been.198 Again, it is the angels who "evangelize" by proclaiming the Good News of Christ's Incarnation and Resurrection.199 They will be present at Christ's return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement.200
The angels in the life of the Church
334 In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels.201
335 In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God. She invokes their assistance (in the funeral liturgy's In Paradisum deducant te angeli. . .["May the angels lead you into Paradise. . ."]). Moreover, in the "Cherubic Hymn" of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels).
336 From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.202 "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life."203 Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.
350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).
351 The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.
352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.
188 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 103,1,15: PL 37,1348.
189 Mt 18:10; Ps 103:20.
190 Cf. Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3891; Lk 20:36; Dan 10:9-12.
191 Mt 25:31.
192 Col 1:16.
193 Heb 1:14.
194 Cf. Job 38:7 (where angels are called "sons of God"); Gen 3:24; 19; 21:17; 22:11; Acts 7:53; Ex 23:20-23; Judg 13; 6:11-24; Isa 6:6; 1 Kings 19:5.
195 Cf. Lk 1:11,26.
196 Heb 1:6.
197 Lk 2:14.
198 Cf. Mt 1:20; 2:13,19; 4:11; 26:53; Mk 1:13; Lk 22:43; 2 Macc 10:29-30; 11:8.
199 Cf. Lk 2:8-14; Mk 16:5-7.
200 Cf. Acts 1:10-11; Mt 13:41; 24:31; Lk 12:8-9.
201 Cf. Acts 5:18-20; 8:26-29; 10:3-8; 12:6-11; 27:23-25.
202 Cf. Mt 18:10; Lk 16:22; Ps 34:7; 91:10-13; Job 33:23-24; Zech 1:12; Tob 12:12.
203 St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, I: PG 29,656B.
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, September 26th, 2021
The First Reading- Numbers 11:25-29
The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied. Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, " Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses' aide, said, "Moses, my lord, stop them." But Moses answered him, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"
Need a little fire and brimstone in your diet? Well, this week’s readings are chock full of them! In our first reading from the Book of Numbers, we hear a story of inclusion. God designated some prophets for Israel, and gave them God’s Spirit so they could speak on God’s behalf. A few people didn’t realize that two men who weren’t with the group originally had also been chosen, and they tried to stop them. Moses, who is filled with God’s Spirit, expresses his wish that everyone would be chosen for the job! He doesn’t want to hoard the Spirit, but takes his job of sharing it seriously. He’s not jealous or threatened by anyone else’s gifts.
Adults - Do you ever struggle with jealousy? How can you counteract this in your life?
Teens -The virtue of kindess counteracts the vice of jealousy - where can you counteract jealousy in your life?
Kids - Do you ever feel jealous? What can help you feel less jealous?
Responsorial- Psalm 19: 8, 10, 12-13, 14
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Though your servant is careful of them,
very diligent in keeping them,
yet who can detect failings?
Cleanse me from my unknown faults!
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant;
let it not rule over me.
Then shall I be blameless and innocent
of serious sin.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
-What sin are you struggling with? Ask the Lord for help this week.
The Second Reading- James 5:1-6
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.
In the Second Reading, James kicks the heat up with some serious challenges to the comfortable. He warns us against our hoarding of material goods rather than sharing them. In fact, he claims that the very wealth that we’ve accumulated to the detriment of others will condemn us, particularly when it comes first in our lives - the place that should be held by God.
James, with great passion, warns us against valuing wealth above the people. Where do you see people putting the pursuit of wealth above the needs of the poor? Where do we do this in our own lives?
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 9: 38-43, 45, 47-48
At that time, John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"
In the Gospel, Jesus pulls out some literal fire and brimstone. We’re warned against being an occasion of sin for the “little ones”: the simple, the young, the unlearned, the beginners in faith. Jesus says it would be better to be maimed than to get thrown into the fires of Gehenna, which was a flaming (actually on fire) garbage dump outside the city, and in this story represents hell. Jesus suggests that we should rip — even at the risk of great pain — the things that would prevent us from living lives of charity. Physical comfort often leads to spiritual sleepiness, greed and jealousy. This Gospel is meant to make us uncomfortable; to light a fire under us to get us moving toward the poor and living lives of greater inclusiveness. We’re meant to understand that anyone who puts their own comfort or their ambition above the needs of others are an actual scandal to the “little ones” which could inspire them to sin.
Adults - How can we be good examples for the “little ones” among us? Who all does that include?
Teens -The first reading and Gospel both address “insiders” trying to discourage “outsiders” from participating in God’s work. Do you ever see that in your life? Have you ever been that outsider? What was that like for you?
Kids -How can you help someone who feels left out?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “The...lesson for all of us in today's Gospel is that we should ever realize that eternal life is worth any sacrifice which we may be called on to make. The road we have to travel in life is not an easy one. As our Lord says in another place: "Enter by the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. But the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Mt. 7: 13). We wish to reach heaven, therefore we must be prepared to follow Christ; we must not allow others to lead us astray but be prepared and determined to conquer and resist our own evil inclinations also.” --Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
572. Why is prayer a “battle”? c) because we deal with ourselves, our surroundings, and especially the devil
Prayer is a gift of grace but it always presupposes a determined response on our part because those who pray “battle” against themselves, their surroundings, and especially the Tempter who does all he can to turn them away from prayer. The battle of prayer is inseparable from progress in the spiritual life. We pray as we live because we live as we pray.
573. What are some objections to praying? d) all of the above
Along with erroneous notions of prayer, many think they do not have the time to pray or that praying is useless. Those who pray can be discouraged in the face of difficulties and apparent lack of success. Humility, trust and perseverance are necessary to overcome these obstacles.
574. What are the difficulties in prayer? a) being distracted
Distraction is a habitual difficulty in our prayer. It takes our attention away from God and can also reveal what we are attached to. Our heart therefore must humbly turn to the Lord. Prayer is often affected by dryness. Overcoming this difficulty allows us to cling to the Lord in faith, even without any feeling of consolation. Acedia is a form of spiritual laziness due to relaxed vigilance and a lack of custody of the heart.