Love is the Excellent Way of Life

#MyMassTakeaway for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Wow! – what an amazing segue from last week’s reading to this week’s.

Last week we heard about all the different spiritual gifts in the Body of Christ.

It’s edifying and powerful to think about our gifts, discover them, and use them to serve the Church. I cried like a baby when I did the discernment of charisms.

This week’s second reading pick up there.

It starts by saying: Yes, pursue all spiritual gifts.

Then it changes course: But I will show you a still more excellent way.

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Empathy, Compassion, and Love Like the Trinity

This post is not about snow.

Our elderly neighbor, Miss H., waved from her mailbox across the street. We decided to stop over real quick before heading out to the grocery store.

“It’s going to snow tonight!” my 5 year old informed her with a smile on her face.

Miss H.’s eyes wrinkled, “Oh,” she said, “I don’t like the snow much. It’s difficult for me to get out for my mail.” She shifted her weight on her cane. My kids, undeterred, regaled her with stories about their favorite snow day activities.

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Life is Sacred in its Living

Life is sacred in its creation.

It’s sacred from the moment it springs into existence. The very moment a human sperm fertilizes a human egg, and God blesses it with the gift of a soul.

Life is sacred in its vulnerability. It’s sacred while at the mercy of its mother for 9 months in the womb. It’s sacred in the helplessness of old age. And in the beautiful needs of illness and disability.

Life is sacred when it needs protection.

The least of these stir up our love and compassion. They exude unspoken pleas for protection. We fight for their rights.

But our fight doesn’t end there.

Life is also sacred in its living. Continue reading

Christlike: don’t give them leftovers

A reflection on Sunday’s Gospel

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.”  But he did not say a word in answer to her.  His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”  He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”  He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”  She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”  Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed from that hour.  – Matthew 15:21-28

What are You trying to teach me, Jesus? Continue reading

NFP: Our Story

My husband Chad and I share our story as an NFP teaching couple.

Sara:

Chad and I met in college. Just a couple of nerds studying math together.

We began dating in September 2007. Around Christmas time that year, Chad took me aside and told me he’d decided to join the Catholic Church.

I was so excited! This was a huge moment for me. Continue reading

Charity: Love. Everybody.

Hello, April!  Time for the Charity Challenge: Love of Neighbor.

Jesus said,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  [And] you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31

Before you can love your neighbor as yourself, you need to make sure you have a healthy love of self.  If you’re struggling with that, make a quick stop at the Humility Challenge, then come back here.

You back?

Okay, here we go.

Love your neighbor. Continue reading

Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength

A modern examination of conscience.  (But not too modern… we’re loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church here!)

This month we round up our focus on the three theological virtues with a challenge in charity.  Jesus shows us the importance of charity when He sums up the ten commandments with only two commandments of love.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  [And] you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:30-31

This is the definition and essence of charity Continue reading

Martha, Martha. Revamp your to-do list

A lesson from Martha and Mary on the importance of adding love to your to-do list

I just finished making a to-do list for the day

  • laundry
  • dishes
  • important phone call
  • school work
  • haircuts
  • dinner (plan and prep)
  • de-clutter the living room (i.e. project: find the tabletops)
  • try not to freak out.

I feel my stress level rising. Put that to-do list on hold!

Time to pray.

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