Spring is here and soon the trees will recover their leaves and flowers will bloom. Many people say spring is the happiest time of the year. Perhaps this feeling has something to do with spending more time outdoors, admiring God's creation. Though there is surely a common desire for happiness in the hearts of men and women of all ages, there are people who seem to avoid happiness because they feel it is too hard or impossible to achieve.
"God has placed in the heart of every man and woman an irrepressible desire for happiness, for fulfillment".
Last Monday, March 13th, Pope Francis celebrated his 4th anniversary as Bishop of Rome and leader of the Global Catholic Church. The Holy Father's first four years have been driven by mercy, service and humility. Reading about the pope in the media one confirms that his message and actions have clearly captured the world's attention. An important theme during the first four years of his papacy has been "forgiveness".
I want to share some experts taken from an article published by Loyola Press: Pope Francis on the Parable of the Merciful Father. This reflection speaks to the people who might feel their sins are too great to ask God for forgiveness.READ MORE
As we come to the second Sunday of the Lenten season, I hope you have noticed the direction signs, travel posters and the suitcases that we have placed around our parish building and worship space. The intention of placing these objects is to evoke some reflection and inspire people to approach their Lenten journey with the same kind of interest and passion they approach a vacation trip.
Most people take the time to plan an upcoming trip whether they are traveling overseas, across the country or just a few hours away from home. We spend time planning our trip and we make sure all things are in order so we can enjoy our trip without any problem.READ MORE
Our Catholic Lenten Practices: Prayer – Giving - Sacrifice
Giving up something for Lent, eating fish on Fridays and fasting from meat, almsgiving and penance throughout the forty days of lent —are some of the practices for which Catholics are known. The Catholic Church calls each of us to renew our discipleship in Christ each year during Lent through our commitment to pray, give alms and sacrifice.
Prayer it's important to understand the meaning of prayer in our lives—as individuals, as families, and as a community. Prayer is especially important during the Lenten season, because it is a way of personal reflection, evaluation, and repentance. Lent calls us to a personal conversion and renewal so that we might not just celebrate Easter at the end of the forty days of the season but also feel the risen Christ alive in us and in the world.READ MORE
Sitting down for family meals seems harder to do these days when everyone is running in different directions. But a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found young adults who ate just one or two family meals a week as kids were 45 perfect less likely to be overweight as compared to those who had never eaten with their families.
Some of the thinking behind this is that when we eat as a family we eat more slowly and intentionally. Parents may be more careful about the kinds of foods they serve. Portion sizes or how much we actually consume tends to be less. But eating together can also promote connection and a sense of love and belonging which helps reduce the impact of stress on the body. We know that stress can stimulate the production of hormones that can affect our metabolism, or our ability to burn fat. Caring, supportive interaction with other people is one of the most powerful ways to help our bodies release.READ MORE