Once a lamb...

Once a Lamb...
By Jerome Placido
September 3, 2012

Being part of three very different Prayer Communities in the past 10 years and also the domestic prayer community of my family I have seen many come and go (including myself). The community in which I am a part of right now, the Mary Help of Christians Crusade (MHCC) locally known in Moreno Valley as the Lambs of Christ (L.O.C.) has definitely seen it’s ups and downs. When I speak to people about this community or even about the Catholic Church, or Christianity in general, the objection has always come up that each is full of hypocrites. Just so we’re on the same page:

A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

This is a pretty serious accusation. Jesus on a few occasions in the Bible call the Pharisees hypocrites (Mt 15:7, 16:3, 22:18 just to mention a few). In the same Gospel of Matthew he says “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Mt 23:31-33)

These hypocrites prove as scandals because rather than drawing people to their religious beliefs and morals they turn others away from them. To be a scandal is a serious offense and our Lord in Luke 17:2 says that it is better for that person that a millstone be tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Here’s some pictures and information on what a millstone is:

As you can see that definitely would be far from pleasant. But this is the grave nature of causing scandal and in leading or deterring people from what is good and holy.

Bill Sunday, an American Athlete and influential Evangelist of the 1880’s said this:
“Hypocrites in the Church? Yes, and in the lodge and at the home. Don’t hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the mirror. Hypocrites? Yes. See that you make the number one less.”

We don’t have to go far to find them. G.K. Chesterton a famous convert to the Catholic Faith in 1922 has been noted to have said: “Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our own worst enemies within us”

So what is the lesson to learn here? Well that’s really up to you. Take this with a grain of salt if you like. Or take it to heart and let it change your outlook on prayer communities, the Church, or individuals in general. But I can tell you without a shred of doubt that this community is interested in Christ and what it takes to achieve what St. John Bosco calls the greatest success we can ever have: Heaven.

Am I saying that outside of this prayer community everyone else is lost? Absolutely not. Again using the example of St. John Bosco for his boys in his Oratory, our community has an open door to which youth and it’s leaders may come and go as they please. However with that coming and going I urge you to ask yourself if that move would make you closer or further from God. This is the very thought that should drive all our actions and decisions.

That being said, no matter where we go there are going to be people who we just may not always see eye to eye in opinions or personalities may just naturally conflict. These things should not be the driving force of whether or not we join or leave a group. Especially when it comes to groups and communities regarding our faith it should be based on prayer and discernment and how our spiritual journey to God will be directly affected.

I have made my own mistakes and guarantee that there are still mistakes that are going to be made. Some of my shortcomings may have been contradictory of my what I have professed to believe. I propose that the difference between a hypocrite and someone who is sincere is the purity of their intention and the earnest effort to do better. Since we can measure neither effort or intention sujectively, we tread dangerous grounds to throw such accusations around.

Out of charity towards our brothers and sisters we should do all we can ourselves to ensure we do NOT include ourselves among the hypocrites and pray for those who may struggle with their own intentions. Dr. Richard Sudek from Chapman University in his TEDx Talk “Courage to Fail” posed the following question: “How many of you would fail ten thousand times to succeed?” I can guarantee you even the great saints of the church had experienced some disappointments and failures in their lives. They did not waiver in the face of sin but loved with the mercy and compassion of God and we are challenged to do exactly the same. Follow the Good Shepherd and know that “once a lamb… always a lamb.”

Faithful Catholic Living on Campus

Faithful Catholic Living on Campus
By Jerome Placido

As I sit in the middle of a cafe/lounge area at UC Riverside I can’t help but think of the many different types of people here.  The truth is that in college, it’s hard to be Catholic.  Not just in this institution in particular but I could argue in any.  For some it’s a young adults first taste of freedom from the cold chains of good or bad parenting.  For others it’s a new experience with a larger variety of people with different backgrounds and beliefs.  For most in higher level institutions it’s almost taboo to mention God or religion.  Catholicism especially seems looked down upon with all its “rituals and medieval thinking.”

So how do you survive?  How do we as Catholics persevere in the midsts of hostile or daunting surroundings?  My opinion?  There’s no need to stand in the middle of crowds with large signs “REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL THE END IS NEAR.”  But rather our living out our faith as Catholics, FAITHFUL Catholics, is all the sign we need.  We’ll save money on poster papers and pens.  

St. Francis of Assisi once said “Preach the Gospel and if you must, use words.”  From practicing modesty, mortifying our eyes around impurities, not taking part in immoral gatherings, to acts of kindness and charity.  Our mere actions will scream to those around us and they’ll hopefully notice and say to themselves, “somethings different about him/her.”  They’ll search for an answer and if we’re doing it right, they’ll find God and not us.  

When ever I give talks or I help in a skit my prayer is that people do not remember me afterwards but rather that they remember whatever it is God shared with them in the small moment that our lives crossed paths.  Because when people look to us, eventually they will find disappointment.  Why because we are imperfect.  When we lead those around us to God and not us, they’ll NEVER be disappointed because God cannot disappoint.

Sure there will be moments where we MUST speak out, but there are those moments where we are challenged to imitate the Blessed Mother.  Imagine her as she witnessed evil at its strongest, the greatest injustice of all time, the Crucifixion of Christ.  Yet she remained silent.  I can only imagine what those around her thought and the strength it took to do so.

So Pray the rosary as you walk through campus, smile as you pass people, help open a door for someone, be creative and offer it all to God that your actions may stand out to your neighbors as arrows pointing to the singular source of our Salvation.  We can scream to the top of our lungs about how much we love Jesus or you can save your breath and have Christ Himself breathe on them as He did on His Apostles as He gave them the Holy Spirit.


Seeking the things that are above

In the world, not of the world
Seeking the things that are above
By Laurence Gonzaga

Some have asked why I have deactivated my account on facebook. There was no deliberate reason. I was just on it yesterday, and made a response-comment, and was moved to deactivate it. So, I did. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit. Now, for those who know how facebook works, the account is never deleted, just hidden, in hopes that one day, the person misses facebook and comes back. When that happens, all is as it was: friends, groups, favorites, and all.

I think I have resolved to “fast” from facebook during weekdays, as it has easily become a distraction not only from my professional duties, but my spiritual duties. This does not mean facebook is evil. Just as a knife is not evil, but can be used for evil, the same goes for other things. Almost immediately after deactivating facebook I was able to focus on looking into doctoral programs which I have been holding off on for months. I

s there anything keeping you from fulfilling your professional and spiritual duties? If so, fix it.

Recently, I went on two retreats; very different retreats. The first was a retreat for professional or aspiring professional men in various fields. It was a Catholic retreat, but it focused on how ordinary men, in their various professions could have an impact on the world, quietly and invisibly, through the professional work that they do. There is no fanfare; there is no special apologetics or technique in this kind of apostolate. It is simply an approach of ordinary friendships as we have always done since we were all in grade school.

However, whereas the motivation before would be for social status or whatever, ours is now a motivation for apostolate in loving service to God, to bring the message of the Gospel to those who may never cross paths with a Roman Catholic priest or ever darken the doors of a Catholic Biblical Conference. They may be atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims. They may be Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, SDA’s, or Lutherans. They may even be fallen away Catholics, or traditionalist Catholics. As the priest’s mission is to bring the Gospel to the “people of God” which is His Church-the lay-faithful, our mission is to bring that same Gospel to the rest of the world, in a language which the particular individual can understand.

The second retreat was on a different level. Even though both were silent retreats, the latter was strictly enforced. We chanted entirely in Latin at least three hours of the traditional Breviarum Romanum daily as well as the Holy Mass in Latin. It also had spiritual conferences on Pentecost. It gave a different perspective, perhaps a different vision of the lay-spirituality. It had a tinge of what is a principle of religious life, a “contemptus mundi”, a contempt or aversion of the world and the things of the world.

Many lay people have adopted this idea into their everyday life. They avoid the malls, the theatres, the sports events, the beaches, etc. They have contempt for the world, because to them the world is evil. Is it the world that is evil, or is it the people who do evil things which make it evil? Is there something intrinsically evil about a market place, or a theatre?

Somehow, I think at least for me, these two ideas can be reconciled. At least at this point in my life, I live in the world. I am not a monk or a religious. So, I cannot have contempt for the world, as I work, study, and travel in the world. However, there are times, when I and I think everyone does need to retreat from the world, which was the theme of my second retreat, “Quae sursum sunt sapite non quae supra terram” (Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth, Colossians 3:2). However, in contrast, even though there was no theme to my first retreat, I think an appropriate Scripture is, “Non rogo ut tollas eos de mundo sed ut serves eos ex malo” (I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil, John 17:15). The latter was the prayer of our Lord to the Father regarding the mission he has given us.

It seems from the surrounding context of the passage that our mission is to be sanctified in our Lord Jesus, as we are called to bring His Gospel to the world. We cannot do it alone. We are fueled by His grace, and His grace alone. We must keep our eyes fixed on the things above, but our apostolate is in the world.

In closing, I would like to include below an ancient account of the life of the Christian. It is taken from a letter written to a man named Diognetus, who is curious about the Christian life. I hope you enjoy it and meditate upon it, that you may be edified and motivated to begin to answer the call of Vatican II’s revitalized vision of the lay-apostolate in Apostolicam Actuositatem.

Instaurare omnia in Christo.

The Christians in the world (From the “Letter to Diognetus”, emphases are mine)

Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them [Note: the Greeks used to expose unwanted infants to the elements to die]. They share their meals, but not their wives.

They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body's hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.


Top 50 Saints' Quotes

Top 50 Saints' Quotes
By Marcel of Aggie Catholics

MAY 22, 2010 ( - The top 50 Saints' quotes, in an arbitrary ranking. There are many others that I didn't put on the list that are great. Feel free to leave them in the comments.

  1. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."
    -St. Jerome

  2. "Since Christ Himself has said, "This is My Body" who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?"
    -St. Cyril of Jerusalem

  3. "Teach us to give and not count the cost."
    -St. Ignatius de Loyola

  4. "Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you."
    -St. Augustine

  5. "Don't you long to shout to those youths who are bustling around you: Fools! Leave those worldly things that shackle the heart - and very often degrade it - leave all that and come with us in search of Love!"
    -St. Josemaria Escriva

  6. "For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy."
    -St. Therese of Lisieux

  7. "To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them."
    -St. Thomas Aquinas

  8. "On the question of relating to our fellowman – our neighbor’s spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already, since God is love."
    -St. Teresia Benedicta (Edith Stein)

  9. "If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!"
    -St. Catherine of Sienna

  10. "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy."
    -St. Francis

  11. "Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you."
    -St. Augustine of Hippo

  12. "Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity."
    -St. Vincent de Paul

  13. "Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!"
    -St. Augustine

  14. "O Master, make me chaste, but not yet!"
    -St. Augustine

  15. "’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children"
    -St. Clement of Alexandria

  16. "Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven?...What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven"
    -St. John Chrysostom

  17. "The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are."
    -St. Teresia Benedicta (Edith Stein)

  18. "We are to love God for Himself, because of a twofold reason; nothing is more reasonable, nothing more profitable."
    -St. Bernard of Clairvaux

  19. "We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials."
    -St. Teresa of Avila

  20. "Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."
    -St. Ignatius of Antioch

  21. "If this is the way You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few!"
    -St. Teresa of Avila

  22. "Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could."
    -St. Gregory Nazianzen

  23. "Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger."
    -St. Patrick

  24. "Christ said, “I am the Truth”; he did not say “I am the custom."
    -St. Toribio

  25. "All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly."
    -St. Thomas Aquinas

  26. "There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers."
    -St. Teresa of Avila

  27. "I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible"
    -St. Ignatius of Antioch

  28. "You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all."
    -St. Therese of Lisieux

  29. "You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy – the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud."
    -St. Vincent de Paul

  30. "Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors."
    -St. Therese of Lisieux

  31. "When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries."
    - St. Josemaria Escriva

  32. "From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us!"
    -St. Teresa of Avila

  33. "Love God, serve God; everything is in that."
    -St. Clare of Assisi

  34. "Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray."
    -St. Louis de Montfort

  35. "Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven."
    -St. Rose of Lima

  36. "The creator of the heavens obeys a carpenter; the God of eternal glory listens to a poor virgin. Has anyone ever witnessed anything comparable to this? Let the philosopher no longer disdain from listening to the common laborer; the wise, to the simple; the educated, to the illiterate; a child of a prince, to a peasant."
    -St. Anthony of Padua

  37. "Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved."
    -St. Robert Bellarmine

  38. "Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us."
    -St. John Chrysostom

  39. "What does the poor man do at the rich man’s door, the sick man in the presence of his physician, the thirsty man at a limpid stream? What they do, I do before the Eucharistic God. I pray. I adore. I love." -St. Francis

  40. "Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven."
    -Pope St. Pius X

  41. "We will either accuse ourselves or excuse ourselves."
    -St. John Vianney

  42. "If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark."
    -St. John of the Cross

  43. "He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant."
    -St. Julian Peter Eymard

  44. "Love is the most necessary of all virtues. Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders."
    -St. Anthony Mary Claret

  45. "Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love, it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes."
    -St. Pio of Pietrelcino

  46. "You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves."
    -St. Francis de Sales

  47. "Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry"
    -St. Pio of Pietrelcino

  48. "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."
    -St. Francis

  49. "Tribulation is a gift from God - one that he especially gives His special friends."
    -St. Thomas More

  50. "If I speak to thee in friendship's name, thou think'st I speak too coldly, if I mention love's devoted flame, thou say'st I speak too boldly"
    - St. Thomas More
From the "he never said it" file:
  • "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." -St. Francis
From the "not quite yet canonized" file:
  • "There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church. Which is, of course, quite a different thing."
    -Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen
  • "Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius."
    -Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen
  • "Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn."
    -Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen
  • "We can do no great things; only small things with great love."
    -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • "Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls."
    -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."
    -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  • "As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."
    -Venerable John Paul II
  • "Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ."
    -Venerable John Paul II
  • "The human person is a good towards which the only proper attitude is love."
    -Venerable John Paul II
  • "Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."
    -Venerable John Paul II
In my opinion, the most quotable Catholic of all time is G.K. Chesterton - so I have not included any of his here, there are too many.

Add your favotite to this list. Post your comment below.

Going Forth

Going Forth
Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010
By Sarah Waninger

Sunday Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
Sunday Readings Bible Study
Prayer of the Hours
Burning Question: What do say when asked if you are a Christian?

In today’s reading Jesus sends his disciples to continue doing the works that he has taught them. He blesses them to take the Holy Spirit with them on their travels, wherever they would be going next.

As a graduating senior, this message of peace and accompaniment means so much to me, more now than ever before in my life. I have learned so much about life, God, myself, my faith, and the world around me in my time at SLU. I am really struggling to accept the fact that this phase of my life is over. It is sad but glad.

As my friends and I scatter literally to all parts of the country: Indiana, California, Texas, Michigan, Massachusetts, etc., I am excited to see what this new phase brings for each of us. It is time to take the gifts, great blessings and life lessons given us during this university time and go forward to into the world.

I am both nervous and excited for my next step. Medical school in Indiana will be a challenging and difficult learning experience. But I am confident that the learnings and blessings I have received from SLU in the last four years will continue to provide the peace that Jesus wishes his disciples in today’s gospel.

It is a time of great transition for me and my companions. A time of new challenges and of course goodbyes. I hope the training and life I have built here and the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit will continue to work in my heart and the hearts of my classmates as we go forth. Jesus is sending us forth as his disciples today.

Sarah Waninger
Senior, Saint Louis University

How to Change the World

How to Change the World
Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 16, 2010 (AscensionC)
By Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Sunday Readings (Seventh Sunday Easter C)
Sunday Readings (Ascension Sunday)
Lecturas y Comentarios
Sunday Readings Bible Study
Prayer of the Hours
Burning Question: What are the 5 reasons we pray?

The Easter readings are full of hope for the end of the world, or at least for the end of my life. But these readings on the feast of the Ascension are the most hopeful readings for my day-to-day life that I’ve read in a long time.

In the first reading, the Apostles ask Jesus when he will restore Israel, and Jesus says “I’m not, you are. But don’t worry, you will receive the Holy Spirit, through whom you will do great things.”

In the second reading, St. Paul tells the Ephesians that God will give them wisdom and revelation to help them make a difference in the world. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the Apostles that they will transform the world through God’s power.

As a graduating senior, there is a lot of unknown in the future, and unknown always brings fear and worry. But these readings give me hope.

I have no idea what I will be doing in the next three years, and I don’t know how to make a difference in the world, or even if I can. But Jesus sounds like he has confidence in me.

There is always going to be unknown in my life, but God has sent the Holy Spirit to me. In reality, I don’t think that I have to change the world. If I can listen to God’s call and trust in God, the rest will be taken care of. God gives me hope that through him, I will do great things.

Clayton Chmiel
Senior, Saint Louis University

Surpasses Understanding

Surpasses Understanding
Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 9, 2010 (6EasterC)
By Colleen Corcoran

Sunday Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios
Prayer of the Hours

Discussion Questions & Online Bible Study

Burning Question: What does the Holy Spirit do in your life?

In this week’s Gospel is one of my favorite Bible verses: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). This is one of my favorite because of the comfort I feel when I read it.

I can imagine Jesus speaking it calmly to his disciples as he tries to convey the depth of his love. In my head, I see him looking at his friends and giving each person a significant glance. Maybe the reason I find it so calming is the peace that it evokes in my heart.

As an involved SLU student, I never see too much down-time in my day, and I usually run about campus in a state of perpetual activity. When I do get a moment of world-given peace, it usually involves me taking a nap to re-vamp for my coming activities.

I can feel a stark contrast between this peace and the spiritual peace that Jesus offers. Although not as tangible, God’s peace always seems more substantial to me.

Studying abroad this semester, I have often thought of the final line of the verse: “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Being placed in entirely new situations on a daily basis can take a toll on my mind and spirit. Be it by getting lost in Paris, or stuck in Germany, I find that life likes to throw me curveballs.

In these situations, I try to remember that it doesn’t signify the end of the world, and I should not let my fear get the best of me. Trying to find my inner strength, I’ll think of that scripture verse or the ones when Jesus promises to be with us always.

There, in my mental picture of Jesus before his disciples, I find the peace and confidence that I need to tackle my problems.

Colleen Corcoran, Sophomore

Saint Louis University

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