Centuries of God’s devoted people have found this prayer on their lips: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!” The fundamental prayer has been laid as the cornerstone of many spiritual lives. Where did you learn how to pray or did you? Maybe there is a wisdom figure in your life who inspired and guided you by the genuine, holy simplicity of their lives. His or her example may have led you to God and taught you how to pray. Or perhaps you discovered this art on your own after stumbling over yourself enough times and finally realizing it was time to reach out to Someone greater than yourself. There is a timeless truth that we not only tend to forget, but may have never learned. There is only one God, the Lord alone! As a result, we often worship other gods rather than the One true God. Everything in our life gets distorted and we find ourselves lost and off center.READ MORE
Ask yourself this question — what would you pray for if you really believed God could and would do anything for you? In my experience, we all have something. We all have that miracle we’re afraid to request, afraid we will be disappointed.
Do we doubt God’s readiness to give because we ourselves have such an imperfect understanding of charity and love? Maybe if we had better faith in God we would be more ready to give of ourselves — and maybe if we were more ready to give of ourselves, we would understand more clearly the ways of God.READ MORE
“What do you wish me to do for you?” Whether we realize it, this is a question God is always asking. It’s an important question because the answer we provide will reveal a great deal about where our hearts lie. Our requests of God can often appear very noble and altruistic. They consist of requests for healing for someone in need of prayers, successful resolution of a personal conflict, assistance in overcoming a disease and myriad other desires for both ourselves and others. We are especially concerned about those we love and can easily find ourselves bringing their struggles to God for a hearing in our prayer.READ MORE
If we are truly in love with God, then the basics are not going to be enough. That love is going to want to be expressed in going above and beyond, in leaving the comfortable and familiar, in stretching and growing, and in following a voice other than our own. St. Teresa of Calcutta rightly instructs us that for “love to be real, it must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self.” Being in love with God requires more than just checking the boxes of the commandments. It requires a sincere and unconditional self-investment. Desiring God with our whole heart, mind, and soul means that I must also desire a relationship with my neighbor with that same degree of fervor.READ MORE
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God.” Apart from the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, nothing speaks better of God’s incarnate love than marriage. God designed it this way. We place great value on love and rightly so. What we fail to realize, however, is that love, its very presence and place in our lives, is not simply part of the human package deal. Love comes from God. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to human beings. When we begin to realize that our very ability to love is sacred, it changes up how we see the essence of life, and purpose and sanctity of marriage.READ MORE