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Letting God Love You: The Five Love Languages

Written by Kristin Bird on .

If you were certain that the God of the universe delighted in you, would it change your life in any way? We hear others say that God loves us, yet sometimes we may feel unloved. We all have a deep longing, a desire to know that we are loved deeply. With an awareness of unchanging love, we find a settled security for our lives.

The concept of “love languages” can help us understand how God communicates His love to us and how we in turn can respond to that love. It could be that we are trying to receive God’s love in a language we do not speak well. Instead, consider trying to let God love you the way He created you to best receive love - through your primary Love Language(s).

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The Role of Sacramentals in Evangelization

Written by Steve Anderson on .

Sacramentals are a part of most Catholics’ prayer lives.  Before we jump to how to use sacramentals to evangelize, we need to understand what they are.  A quick review on the difference between sacraments and sacramentals...

Sacraments

Sacraments are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church (CCC 1116). These actions are a visible symbol of invisible reality, signs that communicate the grace they signify (CCC 1127). God speaks to us through his visible creation and is incarnate (made flesh) in the visible world.  

Christ used physical signs and symbolic gestures as a visual means to help those he was healing understand the invisible reality. He used spit and clay to heal the man born blind (John 9:1-12), healed the deaf man by placing his finger in his ear, spitting and touching his tongue (Mark 7:31-37) and by spitting on the blind man’s eyes and laying his hands on him (Mark 8:22-26).

God, who created us body and soul, communicates his truth to us not only through ideas and words, but through sensible signs as well.

Sacramentals

Sacramentals, on the other hand are objects intended to strengthen our faith by reminding us of God’s presence in our lives and calling us to prayer.   They are different than the sacraments in that they are instituted by the Church versus sacraments which originate in Christ.  

How Do You Pray? Praying Through Transition

Written by Katherine Reay on .

I have to be honest, I've been struggling with prayer lately. Well, if I'm REALLY honest, I've been struggling for the last 4 + 1/2 years. I don’t hear Him like I used to. I don’t feel as close to His heart. My Holy Spirit flags are not flying as high. I'm mourning my spiritual life, as it was, before I became a mother.

I've spent the greater part of my adult life trying to deepen my faith. Trying to grow closer to the heart of God. The more time passed, the closer I grew. My faith even literally became my job. I became the Youth Minister at our parish, in those last years before I met My husband and became a mother. Living out, sharing, and teaching my Catholic faith was my JOB.

I worked in the same building as Jesus, who I could go and visit whenever I wanted. 1 on 1 prayer time in the chapel. I had countless opportunities to attend daily Mass. Attending retreats, hearing speakers, seeing God at work. I had never felt so close. Of course, it's much easier to focus on deepening a relationship when you only have you to worry about; and then came this thing called motherhood.

How Do You Pray? 7 Tips to Help You Focus During Prayer

Written by Amy Brooks on .

Huge thank you to Amy Brooks at Prayer, Wine & Chocolate for this list of tips for staying focused in prayer - and for permission to reblog it as part of our How Do You Pray? series.  

I have never been tested for ADHD; however, I am certain, I would pass that test with flying colors. 

So, I write this post with great empathy for those who have trouble staying focused during prayer time.

(Note: Our Executive Director, Kristin, has been tested and is being treated for ADHD, so we totally understand the sometimes challenging task of staying focused.  You can also check out: Overcoming Distractions & Anxieties in Prayer.)

Easter’s Promise: Lessons from the Lilies

Written by Mike Nelson on .

Alongside our front porch is a patch of ground that, for much of the year, we struggle to keep the weeds out of. They grow, we pull them out, they come back, and on and on it goes. But within that patch are plants that lie dormant for much of the year, yet somehow spring back to life.

They are our calla lilies, plants whose green shoots spring determinedly from the ground and soon produce lovely white blooms that last, well, a few weeks or so. Then the flowers begin to shrivel and fade. The stems falter and the calla lilies, it would seem, die— until the following year. They reappear, to again share their God-given beauty with the world.

That bears consideration during this Easter season, a season that, we are told year after year, is one of hope, of promise, of new life. Given the challenges and obstacles and even hardships that life presents in varying sizes and degrees, that message can be difficult to hear, much less accept.

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