That question is really insightful. I imagine that many of us have gone to confession and wondered where “for your penance, I would like you to ...” fits into the concept that God’s love and forgiveness is free.
“So,” I started, a bit nervously. This was our first real conversation about the faith. “Are there any particular books of the Bible you’d like to learn more about?”
“I want to go deeper in my prayer life, but I’m not sure how to start. What is my first step?”
Your first step is the one in front of you. I know that sounds like I’m out of the TV show Kung Fu, young grasshopper, but it is true. We all find ourselves at different starting points. That means that our first step is going to be our own; it is going to be very personal and unique to ourselves.
Ever since Pope Benedict XVI told us that the key to evangelization is the art of living, I’ve been thinking, “Yes, thank you, Holy Father. But what do you MEAN exactly?” A product of our process-oriented culture, I wanted an exact solution to this elusive goal, a step-by-step, Buzzfeed-like guide to virtue, happiness and general sanctity. But Benedict told us it’s not really an exact science: “This art can only be communicated by one who has life – he who is the Gospel personified.”
If I could travel in time, I would deliver this letter to myself before the beginning of my freshman year of college. Since I can't do that, I'll just publish it here.
If you're anything like me, then you need all the help you can get when it comes to prayer. I'm just not always sure what I'm supposed to do in Adoration. Do I sit there and try to look holy? Do I pray for other people the whole time? Do I read the Bible? Or do I just talk to God about what's on my heart?
There's lots of super smart documents out there explaining this. However, we also have some really beautiful stories that we pass on to each other about the power of Eucharistic prayer. I encourage you to remember these the next time you go to the chapel.
We are clearly in a day and age when fatherhood is struggling. We see men allowing their children to be killed by abortion, men abandoning their children to the care of the mother, men caring more about their career than spending time with their children, men who are so distant; it is as if their children have no father at all. Struggling is actually an understatement: crisis is a better word – a crisis of fatherhood.
The Garden of Eden. This was the very first place that a woman was lied to by Satan.
“Prove to me there is a God!” A Russian priest had been pulled from the crowd by an angry Soviet officer. He felt the gun at his head as he heard these words. For a moment, he hung between Heaven and Earth. Then, calmly, the priest turned to the crowd and offered his response:
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, one of the Pharisees asks Jesus, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
Jesus responds: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
For FOCUS, this means meeting college students across the nation where they are and challenging them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through personal relationships and friendship, we offer college students the true peace and fulfillment they seek in the good news of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith, inviting them to answer His calling in their lives.
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