Wednesday, November 19, 2014
What will your new year's resolution be next
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
The end of another liturgical year is upon us! Where did
another year go? As we look back over the year, what will we
discover? How did we make use of the 365 days given to us by
At the close of each calendar year, many people make resolutions
that are soon tossed aside because they weren't practical. The
close of the liturgical year is an opportunity to make a leap of
faith, to do something transformative, with each day. We might ask
at the beginning of each day for the Holy Spirit's help to see
opportunities that need our compassion and mercy. We might choose
to pray at the end of the day to see how we used the day. How
much compassion and mercy was shared by us in our workplace, with
Pope Francis has said numerous times that our God is a God of
mercy. If we believe that to be true, wouldn't we be just a
bit more merciful to another and to ourselves? "Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you." Pope Francis is challenging our
Church and the world to spread mercy and love, not destruction and
There is a song that rings out: "Let there be peace on
earth and let it begin with me." May this song be in our hearts and
on our lips as we move closer to the beginning of a new liturgical
year, beginning the last Sunday of November.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
God's laws are about what to do as well as
what not to do
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
As someone who often works with Church law, today's Gospel is a
gentle but clear reminder that law, even Church law, provide us
with guidelines for living, but they are not the maximum for which
we strive - they only give us the "bottom line."
That's true if we simply read the words of the law. But if
we look beyond the words to the values that underlie the law we see
much more. "Thou shalt not kill" prohibits the intentional taking
of someone's life by murder or reckless driving. But the
spirit of the law includes positive encouragement to safeguard and
promote life; to help others to obtain the basic necessities of
life; and the responsibility to care for our own health and
person. The commandment reminds us that all life is precious.
In our day, we have become aware that abortion, violence, and
physical abuse are threats to human life. More recently the
issue of human trafficking of vulnerable people for sexual or
economic profit has come to our attention - even here in the State
of Wisconsin. Women and men, children and elders, and
immigrants are trafficked and exploited sexually or economically or
both, for the profit or pleasure of others.
The USCCB Committee on Immigration designated February 8, the
feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, as a national day of prayer for
survivors and victims of human trafficking. Our prayer should
also lead us to a greater awareness and to join in action to combat
this threat to life. For more information visit the USCCB
When we bring our gift to the altar this week, we also bring our
prayer, concern, and action on behalf of the vulnerable members of
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Christ our King says 'be with me in
by Sister Jackie Capelle
In his Gospel, Luke opens the door to Jesus' death and opens the
doors to the death of the two men who also would die along side
him. What a difference between these. Jesus' death is the
highlight of his life. He is the King, there is no guilt in his
We stand before Jesus knowing he was not guilty in anyway. We
stand before Jesus knowing he was an innocent King. Being King, He
has all of us in his care. As King he is filled with goodness and
we are also filled with that goodness.
Prayer for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the
As we offer you, O Lord, the sacrifice by which the human race
is reconciled to you, we humbly pray that your Son himself may
bestow on all nations the gifts of unity and peace. Through Christ
our Lord, Amen.
(2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy
Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)
'Year of Faith'
Prayer -- The 'Our Father'
Chapter 36, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Laura Zelten
11:1-13, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray The Lord's Prayer
(or "Our Father"). Jesus prayed every day to his heavenly Father,
and he gave his followers a prayer that we continue to pray today.
The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers, containing all
that we rightly desire before God. It is at the heart of every
personal and communal prayer.
Our Church loves this prayer because it includes several
different prayers. We honor and adore God when we say, "Hallowed be
thy name." We pray for God's kingdom -- a kingdom of love and
justice and peace to be realized in our world. We ask God for daily
bread -- whatever we need both physically and spiritually to live
faithfully this day. We ask God to forgive us -- but only as much
as we are willing to forgive others. That's a challenging one! And
we ask for God's help so that we aren't tempted to sin and turn
away from him.
It's the perfect prayer!
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Church's
"Year of Faith" concludes on Sunday, Nov. 24. We hope you've
enjoyed this journey through the Study Guide of the US Catholic
Catechism for Adults.