Prayer In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul says, “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself.” (Phil 2:5-7) Why? To save us. Paul encourages us to imitate our Lord. When there’s someone we wish to pray for, we have to be able to go for broke. Oftentimes that includes prayer, fasting and penance.
Dear Fr. Joe: Every year, Lent happens and I start off really hoping to make something of it. My intentions are the best, but it always seems like, the next thing I know, it's Easter and I’ve missed it. Can you help me do better this year?
I believe I can help you! Let’s start with an important point: You are struggling with something that I think most people do – the inability to “get it right," no matter how good our intentions or plans. What do we do about that?
Does God exist? For Catholics, the answer to this question is ultimately a matter of faith. However, not everyone in the world shares this faith. So how are believers to argue for the existence of God when entering into dialogue with non-believers? A good place to begin is by looking back to a few of the more famous arguments put forward in favor of the existence of God. You will notice that each attempts to appeal to human reason, an approach that the Church approves of for it offers the possibility of encountering a starting point for discussion with non-believers.
“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sm 3:10)
My mom used to say, “God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we talk.” The older I get, the more I realize I need to put her wise words into practice. I’m often guilty of half listening and double-talking, and that bad habit even spills into my relationship with God, the Father. When I get tangled up in my plans or worries, my prayer is more like, “Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking,” instead of the other way around.
Now an intentional disciple of Christ, an employee of the Diocese of Lansing and an involved parishioner, Cheryl Olsen sees that the Lord has gently and patiently called her closer to himself throughout her life. Early on, the clear and contagious witness of Cheryl’s grandfather was a model of evangelization. “My grandfather converted to Catholicism when I was 13, and when I saw what he was doing and experiencing, I begged my mom to put me through classes so I could become Catholic too. I was baptized when I was 14,” she says.