theROCK

Signature Statement

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My friend Christine does something unique on her Instagram account. The first thing you see on her profile, right under her name is this: 1 Corinthians 13. She calls it her signature statement.

When I asked her about it, she said she did it for three reasons:

  1. She wanted to choose a bible verse that would represent her. It’s her guiding principle, her north star, something that would always remind her how to live her life.
  2. She wanted it to be straight forward, yet cause the reader to have to do a bit of research to see what it means. What exactly is the Bible verse? Why this verse?
  3. She wanted to put her faith on display. Let everyone know this is how she lives her life.

I love the idea of a signature statement, something that would guide me every day. I’m now on the search for my own. Which, in all honesty, is leading me to read more of the Bible and study the various verses. And it’s causing me to look at my life and declare what I stand for and who I am. And it’s causing me to put my faith front and forward in my life.

And now I’ve just realized how clever Christine actually is. She’s brought me closer to God without even trying, just by adding a few words and numbers to her social media profile.

“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”

Posted by Dan Herda

Stations of the Cross

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The  Catholic Church has so many rich symbols that deepen our prayer life such as a the crucifix, the crown of thorns, and the color purple, which call us to conversion and reconciliation during the liturgical season of Lent.

One of the forms of prayer common during Lent is the Stations of the Cross. The object of the Stations is to help Christians make a pilgrimage through the contemplation of the Passion of Christ. It was in the 15th and 16th centuries that the Franciscans were granted permission by the Holy Father to erect Stations in their churches. Pilgrimages to the Holy Land deepen that practice. Walking and praying on the holy ground where our Lord walked, helps the pilgrim to draw very close to our Lord, and his passion, suffering, and death. 

Praying with one another and for one another also lifts us up, helps us to carry our personal crosses, and unites us all the more with the faithful who are also carrying burdens in life. Do you have a favorite station? I am often drawn to the 5th Station--Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the heavy cross. I am reminded of the people in my life who bless me with their prayers, friendship, and love.

Think about each Station. Which one speaks most personally to you? The Stations remind us of the great love Christ had for us to willingly suffer and die for each of us.

Fasting and Prayer

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When reading Scripture, we often hear about how people are fasting. Fasting is usually combined with prayer. Jesus even fasted for 40 days in the desert. It was in those 40 days that Jesus was discerning his plan for changing the world. It was in those 40 days that the devil tempted him. It is in the 40 days of Lent that we strive to be like Jesus and shut down temptation and depend on the providence of God. 

When we fast, we should be drawn to prayer. For myself, fasting pushes me to think about those less fortunate. I think about how easy it would be for me to break the fast, but it isn't easy for them. I start to offer up this tiny sacrifice in solidarity with those who truly suffer. My suffering will pass while their suffering won't or can't. My suffering in experiencing temporary hunger is minuscule to the suffering Christ did for me. It humbles me.

That is what Lent reminds us to be - humble. In prayer and supplication, we find Jesus.

Posted by Jill Fischer

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