Category: Spirituality

Humble prayer will pierce the clouds

The Sunday Gospel The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14) was addressed to people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else. In the traditional list of the roots of sin, known as the seven deadly sins, the first in the list is pride, and rightly so, because pride…

How to pray when we don’t feel like it

If we only prayed when we felt like it, we wouldn’t pray a lot. Enthusiasm, good feelings, and fervour will not sustain anyone’s prayer life for long, good will and firm intention notwithstanding. Our hearts and minds are complex and promiscuous, wild horses frolicking to their own tunes, with prayer frequently not on their agenda.…

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Writing your own obituary

There comes a time in life when it’s time to stop writing your resume and begin to write your obituary. I’m not sure who first coined that line, but there’s wisdom in it. What’s the difference between a resume and an obituary? Well, the former details your achievements, the latter expresses how you want to…

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Gratitude is the heart of prayer

The Sunday Gospel Luke, more than the other writers, is the evangelist of prayer. This Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 17:11-19), the story of the healing of 10 lepers, instructs us on having trust in our prayer of petition and returning to God in thanksgiving. Asking and thanking. “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.” They had to…

Dying alone in the desert

Recently I received a letter from a friend who shared that she was afraid to accept a certain vocation because it would leave her too much alone. She shared this fear with her spiritual director who simply said, “Charles de Foucauld died alone in the desert!” That answer was enough for her. She went ahead…

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The parable of the rich man and Lazarus

The Sunday Gospel Luke, more than the other evangelists, portrays Jesus as being on the side of the poor. In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus referred to money as tainted with temptation. Today’s Gospel (Luke 16:19-23) is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Although he is commonly called Dives, the rich man is not actually named in…