How to Pray Wednesday, Jan 19 2022 

Believers have it easy. When we truly believe in a loving God who cares for us, we’re assured that when we ask for something and give our worries and wants to God, God will respond in a way that is best for us. We have no need to fret. We are in God’s hands.

So, is there a special way in which we need to pray, to talk to God? The answer is, definitely not. Our prayers are heard however we communicate with the Lord.

Devotion may be shown using words spoken, thought, or read; executing or pondering sacred art or music; holding sacramentals, such as medals and rosaries, to prompt our prayers; meditating in sacred spaces; and through simple acts of charity and love.

For example, adult coloring books are popular ways to destress. When coloring in a book that offers religious words and artwork, we can use the activity as a tool to pray.

After writing the book, Saint Theodora and Her Promise to God for the Sisters of Providence of Indiana, I was asked to write a shorter version of the book for a coloring book. While coloring, we can use this book to think about Saint Theodora, also known as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, and how she prayed and discerned her calling. We then can consider how God calls on us and how we respond to that call.

Try it for yourself. Talk to God, and then listen. God will answer. We just need to pay attention.

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

*Unsure of how to pray the rosary? Here’s an easy and inspiring way. Just turn the pages of The Rosary Prayer by Prayer and follow along.

We Are the Light in 2022 Wednesday, Dec 29 2021 

We glow. Yes, we are radiant. Science says that all living things, including humans, absorb, reflect, and transmit light.

Albeit, that glow is faint. We’re not going to light up a moonless night simply by walking down the street. Our radiance cannot be detected by the human eye. In fact, it’s a thousand time less intense than what we are capable of seeing. However, this doesn’t mean that our light is insignificant as this emission is similar in hertz to that of cell phone systems.

Due to chemical reactions, our bodies release energy, produce heat, and emit small numbers of photons, which are particles of light. Our body glow intensity varies throughout the day. The lowest point is thought to occur around 10 a.m. and peak around 4 p.m. The fluctuation is likely linked to our metabolic rhythm.

Most of the light emission occurs around the face because that is where we absorb the most. When we are unwell, the strength and pattern of waves alter.

Christian Scriptures say that Jesus is the light, and we may obtain light by following him. “Again, Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light’” (John 8:12).

We follow Jesus by spreading love and being loving, because God is love. Acts of love, kindness, justice, and peace can be performed in small ways. Sharing our resources, being grateful for what we have, seeking justice and equality for everyone, treating others as we hope to be treated, checking on the lonely, mentoring co-workers, seeking to understand others with differing ideas, and offering hope to those who are struggling are some things we may do for the people we encounter each day.

No one can deny that we need peace, justice, and love in our world, which all are intertwined. Striving toward that goal is key to a happier, more peaceful 2022.

*Photo: Maui, 2005

You can see my website here.

SEASON OF HOPE AND PEACE Wednesday, Dec 22 2021 

It may not be obvious in the midst of this ongoing pandemic, political differences, and environmental turbulence, but the hope of Christmas truly is ours. We can maintain hope for peace and happiness in this world.

The angel declared this message to the shepherds in the field. The angels said, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

That Good News was, and is, Jesus and the gift of salvation. And did you notice that the angels said that gift is given to all people? Every one of us is a beneficiary of God’s goodness, no matter our profession, financial status, age, ethnicity, gender, or social status.

Jesus is always with us, and good things are in our lives, if not today, in the near future. God never turns away from us. The key is for us not to turn away from God.

*Photo: Paintings in the Chapel of the Angels, Israel

*We meditate on the incarnation of Jesus throughout the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. You can contemplate these mysteries and pray the rosary easily with the book, The Rosary Prayer by Prayer.

Faith-Driven Election Wednesday, Nov 11 2020 

The chaos, division, and anger may not show it, but in my opinion, the 2020 Presidential Election has been one of the most faith-driven elections in U.S. history. Voters examined issues such as immigration, racism, abortion, domestic production, environmental health, and the economy in relation to their interpretation of biblical and religious teachings.

Ironically, most of us fell into one of two camps. We took the very same ideals and saw them from completely opposite view-points. “Fake News” was suspect on both sides. Neither trusted, or continues to trust, information from the other. Each side believes they know God’s truth. Many feared the outcome if one or the other candidate won, and some believe that the end-times is now quickly approaching.

With the rise of COVID-19, severely diminished employment opportunities, vast economic disparity, and friends and neighbors divided on hot issues, toxic slander, and ill perceptions of the candidates, as well as each other, boils and spews across everything from social media to neighborhoods and homes.

Perhaps our best reference for what to do at this time is Jesus’ teaching about the greatest commandments. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” He continued by saying the second is to love our neighbor as our self (Matthew 22:34-40).

Following this guide, we should pray and listen to the Lord all day every day and treat each other with compassion and kindness. We also can strive to live each moment as if it is our last, which, for any number of reasons, may truly be. That would mean to avoid causing pain, injustice, or insult to anyone or anything at all times.

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Have you seen the posts on my other blog, “New Blood Test For Alzheimer’s Disease,” “Compassionate and Devout Saint Margaret,” or “Through the Church Doors?

Check out my recently updated website with information on all of my books.

Writing on the Wall Sunday, Jan 31 2016 

 

You know you’ve been warned when the writing’s on the wall, but do you know where the saying came from?

I remember the morning I was in church and made the biblical connection. I sat straight up and listened closely to the Book of Daniel, “Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the royal palace, next to the lampstand” (5:5).

The story goes on as to how the king’s face turned pale and cried out that whoever could read the writing on the wall would be clothed in purple and rank third in the kingdom. Daniel was the only one who could read it.

The message said that King Belshazzar and Babylon’s days were over. Belshazzar was proud and praised the gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone rather than the one true God, even though he knew what happened to his father who acted in a similar way.

From antiquity until today, we live by phrases and sayings such as this that have proven the test of time. And dozens of them have biblical roots.

Here are a few others:

By the skin of my teeth – “My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20).

Out of the mouths of babes – “Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2).

Eat, drink, and be merry – “And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:19. See also Tobit 7:10)

In the twinkling of an eye – “. . . in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

Go the extra mile – “. . . and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:40-42).

Put words in your mouth – “And Joab put the words into her mouth” (2 Samuel 14:3. See also Exodus 4:15, Deuteronomy 18:18, 2 Samuel 14:19, Isaiah 51:16, Isaiah 59:21, and Jeremiah 1:9).

Root of the matter – “If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’ and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him . . .’” (Job 19:28).

Signs of the times – “And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).

At their wits’ end – “. . . they reeled and staggered like drunkards, and were at their wits’ end” (Psalm 107:27).

Wolves in sheep’s clothing – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

And my favorite:

Arise and shine – “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).

©2016 Mary K. Doyle

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