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January 2, 2018

Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing  joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Friends in the Faith

A New Year has begun! So many plans for self-improvement! But what could use attention in our spiritual lives? For my part, I’d like to learn more from the lives of the saints. Their inspiring human stories remind me that the road we walk as Christians is a well-traveled one.

And I’m in luck: 2,000 years of Church history yields daily examples to nourish the soul. Of the two saints we honor today, I knew that Gregory of Nazianzen presided over the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, which completed the Nicene Creed we recite at mass each Sunday. St. Basil was a hermit called upon to be a bishop and help the Church through difficult times. Here’s something I didn’t know: the two men were best friends. How wonderful to recall that even the saints had friendships to support their faith journeys!

We have a duty as Christians to help and serve the poor. But some days, the place our attention is needed most is with a friend. Is there a friend who could use a New Year’s check-in today?

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the West Province currently in Regency in the Advancement Office at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.

Prayer

O Lord our God, we beseech you, to ask for the gift we need. Steer the ship of our life to yourself, the quiet harbor of all storm-stressed souls. Show us the course which we are to take. Renew in us the spirit of docility. Let your Spirit curb our fickleness; guide and strengthen us to perform what is for our own good, to keep your commandments and ever to rejoice in your glorious and vivifying presence. Yours is the glory and praise for all eternity. Amen.

—Prayer of St. Basil the Great

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

January 3, 2018

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Jn 1: 29-34

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Blazing the trail

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of John the Baptist (JTB, as I like to say). As a Type A hippie-wannabe, I dig his free-flowing locks and his penchant for berry and locust consumption.

As a campus minister, however, I am inspired above all by the way JTB embraces his role. He has only two areas of focus: 1) “the one who sent [him] to baptize with water,” i.e. God, and 2) the one he baptized, in whom he clearly witnesses the Spirit, i.e. Jesus.

It was never about him. JTB listened deep within for the guidance of God’s voice and followed it boldly, blazing a trail for Jesus. When Jesus emerged, JTB humbly stepped aside, striving not for his own acclaim, but only to magnify the Spirit of God uniquely present in Jesus. That is good ministry.      

Who are the teachers/ministers/guides in my life who have blazed the trail for me?

—Katie Davis is a former member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and JVC Magis currently working as a Chaplain and Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.  She serves on the Advisory Board for Jesuit Connections in Chicago and the Chicago Women’s Team for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.

Prayer

Prayer for Humility

Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
most truthful,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.

—Daniel A. Lord, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 2, 2018

Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen

Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; His right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing  joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Friends in the Faith

A New Year has begun! So many plans for self-improvement! But what could use attention in our spiritual lives? For my part, I’d like to learn more from the lives of the saints. Their inspiring human stories remind me that the road we walk as Christians is a well-traveled one.

And I’m in luck: 2,000 years of Church history yields daily examples to nourish the soul. Of the two saints we honor today, I knew that Gregory of Nazianzen presided over the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, which completed the Nicene Creed we recite at mass each Sunday. St. Basil was a hermit called upon to be a bishop and help the Church through difficult times. Here’s something I didn’t know: the two men were best friends. How wonderful to recall that even the saints had friendships to support their faith journeys!

We have a duty as Christians to help and serve the poor. But some days, the place our attention is needed most is with a friend. Is there a friend who could use a New Year’s check-in today?

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the West Province currently in Regency in the Advancement Office at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.

Prayer

O Lord our God, we beseech you, to ask for the gift we need. Steer the ship of our life to yourself, the quiet harbor of all storm-stressed souls. Show us the course which we are to take. Renew in us the spirit of docility. Let your Spirit curb our fickleness; guide and strengthen us to perform what is for our own good, to keep your commandments and ever to rejoice in your glorious and vivifying presence. Yours is the glory and praise for all eternity. Amen.

—Prayer of St. Basil the Great

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

January 3, 2018

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Jn 1: 29-34

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Blazing the trail

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of John the Baptist (JTB, as I like to say). As a Type A hippie-wannabe, I dig his free-flowing locks and his penchant for berry and locust consumption.

As a campus minister, however, I am inspired above all by the way JTB embraces his role. He has only two areas of focus: 1) “the one who sent [him] to baptize with water,” i.e. God, and 2) the one he baptized, in whom he clearly witnesses the Spirit, i.e. Jesus.

It was never about him. JTB listened deep within for the guidance of God’s voice and followed it boldly, blazing a trail for Jesus. When Jesus emerged, JTB humbly stepped aside, striving not for his own acclaim, but only to magnify the Spirit of God uniquely present in Jesus. That is good ministry.      

Who are the teachers/ministers/guides in my life who have blazed the trail for me?

—Katie Davis is a former member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and JVC Magis currently working as a Chaplain and Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.  She serves on the Advisory Board for Jesuit Connections in Chicago and the Chicago Women’s Team for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.

Prayer

Prayer for Humility

Let me have too deep a sense of humor to be proud.
Let me know my absurdity before I act absurdly.
Let me realize that when I am humble I am most human,
most truthful,
and most worthy of your serious consideration.

—Daniel A. Lord, SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!