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Results filtered by “Jill Fischer”

Everything is Grace: the LIfe and Way of Therese of Lisieux

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One of my favorite saints is St. Therese of Lisieux. She is known for her “little way” that strives to find joy in all the little things as an expression and appreciation for God’s love. Recently, I picked up a book as a spiritual read titled, "Everything is Grace: the Life and Way of Therese of Lisieux." by Joseph Schmidt, FSC. One of the pages I marked as being significant. I sat on this paragraph for quite a bit and share it with you for your own pondering:

Therese says to modern people, burdened with a sense of homelessness in life and suffering a sense of quiet despair, "You are searching in the face of death for meaning in your life, for authentic existence, for liberation, for happiness, for freedom, and for truth; you are looking for love and transcendence, for connectedness and companionship, for affirmation and a sense of fulfillment. I have discovered what you search for: it is God, it is divine love stooping down to embrace you. And I know a way that will lead you out of your darkness and suffering. The way is the path of accepting divine love into your life. Of willing to be available to the beloved God even in our weakness and despair. It is the way of being aware of your need for love, willing to give yourself to God’s loving embrace like a child abandons itself with confidence and love into the arms of its loving parent, and the freely sharing love with others in creative good works of peace and justice. It is the willingness to be the person God calls you to be."

There is so much in our world that zaps us of the simplicity required to put God first. Just imagine if we focused on nothing but loving God and loving others what a wonderful world this would be.

The Interior Castle

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St. Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church who led many people to build a relationship with Jesus through a very special type of prayer. She taught people to build an interior castle. The interior castle is inside of each of us. We each have our own interior castle. Consider using the time in Lent to discover it and make it strong.

Written for children ages 7 and up, "The Interior Castle," by Judith Boulloc will be enjoyed and will inspired readers of all ages. Based on St. Theresa of Avila’s classic work, "The Interior Castle," it is a beautifully illustrated book that engages the reader in the treasure to be found in a personal conversation with God. The story follows a boy who journeys through the steps of contemplative prayer. 

Illustrated by award-winner Eric Puybaret. 

Posted by Jill Fischer

Secrets of the Sacred Heart

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Is Jesus in your home? We all know that He is, but when you stop and think, is His image in your home? This question was raised to me in the context of reading a lovely text that I received at Christmas entitled Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Twelve Ways to Claim Jesus’ Promises in Your Life, by Emily Jaminet. When being forced to think about it, I mentally ran through every room in our house. We have crucifixes. We have Marian objects. I don’t have a picture of Jesus. After noting that this needs to be fixed, I read about a process called enthronement. Enthronement is a special act of consecration done by a family or individual who wishes to welcome Jesus into their home (or other dedicated space) as King, Savior,
Brother or Friend (p.11). It involves placing an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a place of importance to signify the intention of all those present to grow closer to God and to allow him to enlighten their souls with Divine Truth (p. 12). Upon learning this, I felt compelled to make sure that I did this. Who doesn’t want peace in their home? In their place of work? I know I do and am so grateful that a very large statue of the Sacred Heart graces our school stairwell right
by the office. As I further moved my way through the text, I was taught a very simple way to engage the Sacred Heart in my daily life. These are called small prayers of aspiration. Upon passing an image of the Sacred Heart, whisper a small little prayer like “Jesus, I trust in you” or “Jesus, I love you” or “Make my home in your heart”. Starting there can open up a conversation with Jesus. I liken this to when I pass a photo I took of my father that rests on my dresser. He passed away nearly eight years ago, but every time I pass the photo, I talk to him. I can do that same thing with the image of Jesus. Doing so can bring peace to my home and my heart. Who couldn’t use that these days?

When we lack peace, it prevents us from seeing God’s hand, especially in times of struggle and difficulty. Often, fear and anxiety steal our peace and we begin to tremble and worry. Jesus wants to exchange our restless, broken hearts for his heart that is full of peace. (p. 15)

 

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