Burning Hearts Disciples Blog

The Burning Hearts Disciples Blog is a place where you will find faith-based reflections on current events, reviews on the newest Catholic resources, and is the heart of the Burning Hearts community. 

Inspiring, Equipping, and Supporting Disciples

Choosing a 2016 Advent Calendar

on Sunday, 27 November 2016. Fr. Larry Rice Posted in Family Faith, Seasons, Advent, Resource Reviews

Choosing a 2016 Advent Calendar

This week, the Church begins the season of Advent, the first season of a new liturgical year and the time we set aside to prepare for the coming of Christ: both his coming into the world at Christmas and his return in glory at the end of time.

One challenge facing us—and parents especially— is keeping Advent as its own season, while all around us, the world seems steeped in Christmas, which for us doesn’t begin until Christmas Eve. With all the shopping, entertaining, and advertising we have to contend with, how do we keep Advent as a time of prayerful preparation for the Lord?

Accompaniment & Politics

on Wednesday, 05 October 2016. Jill Raugh Posted in New Evangelization

Ten Tips on Dialogue from Pope Francis

Accompaniment & Politics

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis calls dialogue “essential” for family life. His guidelines on dialogue are easily applicable to civil society as well.

Can you imagine how this election cycle might be different if we challenged ourselves, candidates, political parties, commentators, and others to follow Pope Francis’s advice?

1.  Recognize the real importance and dignity of the other person.

Recognize others’ right “to think as they do and to be happy.” Pope Francis challenges us to acknowledge the values of the other’s “deepest concerns” and what he or she is trying to say (no. 138).

 

Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

on Thursday, 01 September 2016. Kristin Bird Posted in New Evangelization, For Parish Leaders, Prayer

Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

At it's core, the New Evangelization has everything to do with this question: Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

If we want to be intentional disciples who live the New Evanglization in our parishes, schools, workplaces, and homes, we must begin by deepening our own relationships with God.

A central tenet of Pope Benedict XVI's teaching on the New Evangelization focused on the centrality of prayer in this mission. Benedict XVI understands prayer as holding a two-fold significance in evangelization:

Holy Week with Dante

on Monday, 21 March 2016. Brittany Miller Posted in Seasons, Lent, Resource Reviews

Holy Week with Dante

I have been wanting to read Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy for some time, but have always been too busy to begin. However, after learning of Pope Francis’ high valuation of the poem, I knew that I could no longer delay.

Through his writings, Dante, is a man who invites us to regain the path of our human journey and the hope to once again see the bright horizon where shines the full dignity of the human person.

Happily, I have found the poem to be much more understandable and enlightening than I had envisioned. Despite its Medieval nature, the poem ignites the deadened imagination and reminds the reader of the undeniable human desire for God.

Dante’s Divine Comedy begins with Inferno, which describes the principle character’s journey through hell. I began Inferno near the beginning of Lent and have found it to be an excellent aide to Lenten preparations for confession. Journeying through the various rings of hell, and the corresponding human sins, invites the reader to make an interior journey into the depth of one’s own soul.

Dante’s punishments are carefully crafted to reflect the underlying nature of unholy human behaviors. The vivid images compel the reader to determine if one’s current state of being corresponds to the state of the punished sinners.

For example, Dante’s pilgrim encounters a group of souls who lived their life with no real purpose. They were too cowardly, or too lazy, to devote themselves completely to God or even to adamantly resist Him. As the pilgrim watches, he sees a blank banner go by:

Fully Alive: Summer 2016

on Wednesday, 09 March 2016. Posted in Burning Hearts Disciples

Theology of the Body Series

Fully Alive: Summer 2016

Discover the meaning of life & the purpose of love

Wednesday Evenings
June 1, June 8, June 15, June 29, July 6 & July 13
6:30 - 8:30PM

Location:
St. Raphael the Archangel Parish
830 S. Westhaven Dr
Oshkosh, WI 
[view map]

Cost:
There is no charge to attend the series.*


Presented by Burning Hearts Disicples in collaboration with the Diocese of Green Bay Department of Education.
A Diocese of Green Bay Ongoing Catechetical Formation Course.

In this 6-part series, learn more about the legacy left behind by St. John Paul II. This introduction to his Theology of the Body will explore these questions (and more):

  • What does Scripture reveal to us about who God is? About who we are?
  • Why do I have to go to Church? Why can’t I just pray by myself?
  • How is God’s Divine Design revealed in sacred art and architecture?
  • What exactly is God’s Plan for sexuality? What does the Church really teach about sex?

*Materials Needed: 

Participants will be encouraged to read selections from Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body by St. John Paul II which is available for free online.  Copies of the text (as well as other resources) will be available for sale during the course.

A free-will offering will be accepted to help defray material, hospitality and presenter costs.

 

Groundhog Day - A Catholic Tradition

Groundhog Day - A Catholic Tradition

on Tuesday, 02 February 2016. Kristin Bird Posted in Ordinary Time, Family Faith, Seasons

Did you know that Groundhog Day is a direct descendant of one of the most ancient feasts of the Church?  

Ordinary Time for Ordinary Lives

on Tuesday, 19 January 2016. Kristin Bird Posted in Ordinary Time, Seasons

Green is the color of most of our Church year.  Green vestments on the priest and deacon, green banners hanging behind the altar, green plants adorning the sanctuary.  After the glitz and glamor of the Christmas and Easter seasons, this season in our Church year can seem, well, ordinary.

Ordinary Time

The period in our Church year that follows the Christmas season, and then again follows the Easter season, has an unfortunate name—Ordinary Time.  The name comes from the fact that while we are outside of special seasons, the Church simply counts the time as it passes (3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, etc).  It's counted time using the ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd...) which is how it got it's name.  Of course, being that it's also outside of the special seasons, it often feels mundane, routine, ordinary as well. 

lit cal

Rev. Larry Rice, CSP explains Ordinary Time this way...

Becoming Like a Child

on Thursday, 22 October 2015. Brittany Miller Posted in For Parents, Family Faith

Parenting Lessons in Humility

Becoming Like a Child

Of all the great teachers in my life, my most surprising teachers have been my own children. Clearly, they do not help me gain basic knowledge or life skills (I do that for them), but they have opened up for me the path to virtuous living in ways that I could have never foreseen.Caring for my children has provided me with ample schooling in the virtues of patience, kindness and love, to name a few.

However, my children first taught me to practice humility, which was the gateway to desiring to grow in virtue and holiness at all.

The Art of Accompaniment

on Tuesday, 20 October 2015. Kristin Bird Posted in New Evangelization, Burning Hearts Disciples

The Art of Accompaniment

 

During World Youth Day 2013, Pope Francis issued a challenge to today's church:

“[W]e need a church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a church that accompanies them on their journey; a church able to make sense of the ‘night’ contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a church that realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return.

But we need to know how to interpret, with courage, the larger picture. Jesus warmed the hearts of the disciples of Emmaus.

[I]t is important to devise and ensure a suitable formation, one which will provide persons able to step into the night without being overcome by the darkness and losing their bearings; able to listen to people’s dreams without being seduced and to share their disappointments without losing hope and becoming bitter; able to sympathize with the brokenness of others without losing their own strength and identity.

Our Lady of Sorrows: A Companion for the Suffering

on Tuesday, 15 September 2015. Kristin Bird Posted in Ordinary Time, Seasons

Our Lady of Sorrows:  A Companion for the Suffering

September 15 is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

May she who followed her Son to Calvary help us to follow him, carrying his cross with serenity and love, to reach the joy of Easter. May the Virgin of Sorrows especially comfort those who are facing the most difficult situations. (Pope Francis,

Mary, through her intercession, obtains for us many blessings in this life and the life to come, especially at the hour of death. Devotion to the sorrows of Mary helps us to get a glimpse of how much she suffered on our behalf – how she stood faithfully at the foot of the cross. 

The Sorrows of Mary show us how in a life filled with suffering, there is also grace, and that a world overcome with challenges awaits our strength. Like Mary, we too can persevere and accept our struggles as paths to growing closer and understanding more deeply the power of her Son.

When we are despondent and feeling hopeless, Our Lady of Sorrows can be a wellspring of hope.

Our Lady of Sorrows Gold Framed Print 12901Who do you know that is struggling with great sorrow?  Consider sharing a reflection on Our Lady of Sorrows with them. 

Include a note that says:

"I know you've been heavyhearted and in pain recently.  I just wanted to share this reflection with you to remind you that you're not alone.  I'm praying for you in a special way today."

Some reflections to consider sharing...

Understanding the "Hail Mary"

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015. Posted in Prayer

Along with the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary is one of the most widely used prayers in the Catholic Church. The first half of the Hail Mary comes from Luke’s Gospel accounts of the Angel Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary that she was called to be the Mother of God’s Son (Lk 1:26-56).

St. John Paul II explains that although the Hail Mary is addressed to Our Lady, "it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed" (RVM, no. 26).  Every time we recite the Hail Mary, we are repeating the words of Gabriel and Elizabeth.  In doing so, we enter into the ecstatic joy of "heaven and earth" over the mystery of Christ: heaven, represented by Gabriel, and earth, represented by Elizabeth.

“Hail Mary, full of grace.”

800px Fra Angelico 069Annunciation - Fra Angelico

This is the greeting the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary of Nazareth. Gabriel proclaims that Mary is full of grace, meaning that she is a sinless woman, blessed with a deep union with God, who had come to dwell in her.

In awe over that profound mystery of his eternal God becoming a little embryo in Mary's womb, Gabriel greets Mary.  The grace with which Mary is filled is the very life of God who is the source of all grace.

Reflect:  Allow yourself to greet Mary in the same way and to exult in the same joy in Mary that God had for her.  Imagine yourself bowing with the deepest respect before our Queen and Mother - imitating the reverence shown to her even by such a great being as an archangel.

Resource Review: Head & Heart, Becoming Spiritual Leaders for your Family by Katie Warner.

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015. Brian Hellmann Posted in For Parents, Family Faith, Resource Reviews

Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for your Family
by Katie Warner

head heart warner

Husbands and wives. Fathers and Mothers. Breadwinners and Homemakers. As men and women, we have many ways of approaching our roles in family life. But what if we could find even deeper meaning in our God-given vocations by viewing ourselves as the spiritual head or the spiritual heart of our family?

 

Resource Review: Exploring Catholic Theology Essays on God, Liturgy and Evangelization

on Monday, 24 August 2015. Jean Buffington Posted in New Evangelization, Resource Reviews

Exploring Catholic Theology Essays on God, Liturgy and Evangelization
by Bishop-Elect Robert Barron

exploring catholic theology barron

I love Bishop-Elect Barron and always find him to be a wonderful source of inspiration. This book does not disappoint, but it is definitely a "slow read."

One Catholic's Reflection on the Charleston Shooting

on Thursday, 13 August 2015. Jean Buffington Posted in Burning Hearts Disciples

One Catholic's Reflection on the Charleston Shooting

On June 17, 2015 a young man entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and quietly joined a group of people gathered for their weekly prayer meeting. He was a stranger to them but, never the less, they welcomed him without reservation. He prayed with them for several minutes and then quietly stood up and methodically shot all but one of them, leaving nine people dead. The tenth victims life was spared so the she could, in his words, be a witness to “what happened here.”

7 Day Virtual Marriage Retreat

on Friday, 24 July 2015. Posted in Family Faith, Prayer

7 Day Virtual Marriage Retreat

Looking for a way to enrich your marriage? Sign up for our 7 Day Virtual Marriage Retreat!

How it Works:

Each day you will receive the day's retreat via email.

Plan to set aside some time for prayer each day for the seven days of the retreat.

When you get to your prayer time, open the email and read about the theme for the day, reflect on a real-life marriage scenario, and think about ways to strengthen your own marriage.

If possible, do the retreat together with your spouse!

Materials Needed:

All you need is about 15 minutes a day and access to your email!

There are questions for reflection/discussion included each day. Some retreat participants also like to have a journal available to jot down their thoughts.

Sign Up Today!



 

Retreat Schedule:

Day 1: Marriage is a Blessing and a Gift

Day 2: Marriage is the Unique Union of a Man and a Woman

Day 3: Marriage is a Communion of Love and Life

Day 4: Marriage is a Sacrament of Christ’s Love

Day 5: Marriage is the Foundation of the Family and Society

Day 6: Marriage is a Journey of Human and Spiritual Growth

Day 7: Marriage is a School of Love and Gratitude

BONUS! Day 8:  Now What?  Keep a Good Thing Going

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