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Contributing Publications [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Contributing Publications America, the national Catholic weekly magazine, has been published since 1909 by Jesuits in the United States for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking. America is online at www.americamagazine.org. Subscribe via the Web or call 1-800-627-9533. Catholic Digest puts the power of faith to work in everyday life, offering a generous article selection: news, stories, profiles, faith insight, saints, recipes, traditions, quips, Quiet Moments, and more. www.CatholicDigest.com. Spiritual Directors International is an international, multifaith learning community of people who share a common concern, passion, and commitment to the art and contemplative practice of spiritual direction. For more information, visit http://sdiworld.org/. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, considered by many to be the foremost publication for studying and communicating the Word of God , is a source of inspiration for writing and preaching....
Lectio Divina [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Lectio Divina BY SANDRA M. SCHNEIDERS, IHM Transformative Engagement with Scripture A rich practice of biblical spirituality, or transformative engagement with the Word, that is ancient but is enjoying a renaissance in our own time is lectio divina} The practice is described in the episode in Acts 8:26-39 in which the Ethiopian court official of Queen Candace is reading and meditating on the Servant Song of Isaiah (cf. 53: 7-8), which he does not understand. He appeals to Philip for enlightenment. Philip's teaching results in the official's conversion and subsequent baptism. The origin of the practice of lectio divina among Christians can be traced back to the desert fathers and mothers whose spirituality consisted primarily of prayerful rumination on biblical texts. Later, in the Benedictine monasteries organized around the Rule of St. Benedict (c. 540), the practice was both legislated and to some extent formalized. The Carthusian Guigo II (d. ca. 1188) finally supplied a carefull...
The Morning Offering [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
The Morning Offering BY MARY JO LEDDY A " Morning Offering" of Gratitude There is a moment each day when it is morning before it is morning. Darkness still hovers over the deep. Those who wait for the dawn can hear it even before they see it. At first there are only the slight sounds of attunement as a chorus of birds assembles. Slowly they gather into one great concerted song of supplication: Let it begin! Let us begin! May it begin again! The birds are of one accord. They do not take the dawn for granted. When it bursts upon them, once again, as on the first day of creation, they give thanks once again for this once only day, to begin. A "Morning Offering" How we begin a day affects how we will live that day. Many of us start the day in a rather mechanical way jarred into motion by the ring of an alarm clock or the sound of coffee dripping. We have set the time to begin, or so we believe, and thus we take the possibility of each new day for granted. All the gadgets of technology l...
The Ignatian Examen [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
The Ignatian Examen BY DENNIS HAMM, S.J. Rummaging for God: Praying Backwards Through Your Day The Biblical phrase, "If today you hear his voice," implies that the divine voice must somehow be accessible in our daily experience, for this verse expresses a conviction central to Hebrew and Christian faith, that we live a life in dialogue with God. We are creatures who live one day at a time. If God wants to communicate with us, it has to happen in the course of a 24-hour day, for we live in no other time. And how do we go about this kind of listening? Long tradition has provided a helpful tool, which we call the examination of consciousness today. "Rummaging for God" is an expression that suggests going through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around, looking for something that you are sure must be in there somewhere. I think that image catches some of the feel of what is classically known in church language as the prayer of "examen." The examen, or examination, of conscience is an anc...
Page 4 Advertisements Column 1 [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
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Intercessory Prayer [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Intercessory Prayer BY ANN AND BARRY UIANOV A Practice of Praying for Others All prayer is social. We discover this when we pray for others. Whom do we pray for? What is this zone of mutuality we share with others, on which our being depends? Who intercedes for whom? The whole society of persons who make up our world comes quickly to mind, their hurts and hopes, their causes and failures. We speak of them to God; we lift them up to God; we entrust them to God, and often enough they do the same for us. We pray for those we love because we must. We know that our love is not powerful enough to protect them from all harm, from all illness, from all evil, from death. Our love is not omnipotent. Our care for them, our insistence that they must have a good life, a full life, a life lived from the center of themselves, forces us to intercede with God on their behalf. By ourselves we cannot guarantee them much. We cannot even prevent our own faults from hurting them. We cannot restrain our o...
Fasting [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Fasting BY JOAN CHITTISTER, 0.5.8. Not So Fast: Revisiting the Practice of Fasting If Ireland is a bellwether of anything today, it is surely of the Catholic consciousness. The Angelus still plays on public TV and radio at noon and 6 p.m. every day. "Stations" —house Masses that developed during penal times when the practice of Catholicism was forbidden by British law—are still practiced in rural areas. St. Brigid's Day is even more of a celebration in some ways than St. Patrick's Day. But don't be deceived. All is not traditional anymore. When the waitress took our orders in a little village restaurant in the west of Ireland, for instance, she didn't know how to respond to my request that the chef wrap a starter of goat cheese in something besides ham. "The meat," I explained. "It's Lent." She looked puzzled, raised her eyebrows, and scurried away from the table, confused and embarrassed. I was in Ireland in Lent 2006, and the Friday fast meant absolutely nothing. And why was I sur...
Praying with Images [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Praying with Images BY COLLEEN M. GRIFFITH On What Meets the Eye: Praying with Visual Images 44 A picture is worth a thousand / \ words." So the saying goes, J_ A- and historical Christians were quick to grasp this. They recognized the formative power of visual images, particularly the way that images gathered the energy and affect of worshippers, stimulating their desire to deepen in a Christian way of life. Twenty-first century Christians have less experience utilizing visual images as a spiritual resource. It's not that we are image starved. We're barraged by massive doses of media images and we've grown accustomed to this. Press photographs and advertising images surround us on a daily basis, orienting us to events of our world and forming our attitudes and desires at conscious and unconscious levels. But are our spiritual selves formed by these images? What critical and faith perspectives are we bringing to the media images to which we've become habituated? And what visual imag...
THE POWER OF ICONS [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
THE POWER OF ICONS Icons are a particular type of visual image with which Christians pray. Visual images bearing the name "icon" are painted in a distinctive style and from an accompanying posture of prayer and reflection. Manuals of iconography from the second millennium offer detailed instructions regarding the writing of icons, precise guidelines pertaining to particular forms, features, and colors of Christ and the saints. Icons are not decorations but holders of sacred history that serve a sacramental function. Through icons, persons in prayer enter sacred time and place moving toward communion with the mystery signified. This is holy practice. In praying with icons, one comes to fresh insight and perception into reality. The world of icons discloses the eternal dimension present in the realm of sense and experience. The icon bespeaks an inner vision where the material and the spiritual meet, where creation and divinity are one. Being thick signifiers with many layers of meanin...
Labyrinth Meditation [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Labyrinth Meditation BY HEIDI SCHIUMPF Walking a Prayerful Path Life has a way of disrupting our inner peace and sense of direction. But walking the labyrinth remains a time-honored way to slow down and encounter God. My life was starting to sound like that insurance company list of most stressful life changes—a divorce, a new job, a return to graduate school. With each transition, I took it to prayer, seeking meaning and a sense of direction. Where was my life's path headed? What was the next step? I found some answers by literally walking in circles. A labyrinth program at a local women's spirituality center piqued my curiosity. I had heard of this ancient prayer tool but never actually experienced it. It turns out those medieval monks were onto something: the simple process of prayerful walking was meditative for me, prompting a sense of inner peace and surfacing spiritual insights. With the labyrinth, everything operates on the level of metaphor. The path symbolizes our life's j...
Living the Sacramental Principle [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Living the Sacramental Principle BY ESTHER DE WAAL Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary A woman kneels on the hard earth floor in her small hut in the Outer Hebrides, those harsh and inhospitable islands lying off the west coast of Scotland. She has already washed by splashing her face with three palmfuls of water (for this is in the nineteenth century), and as she did so she invoked the name of the Trinity. The palmful of the God of Life The palmful of the Christ of Love The palmful of the Spirit of Peace Triune Of grace. Now, at daybreak, and before the rest of her family is awake, she starts to do what is her daily chore: to stir into life the fire banked down the night before. Nothing could be more mundane, more prosaic, than this essential household obligation, performed day by day and year by year. Yet by her gestures and her words, she transforms it and brings to the action a deeper meaning. As she works, she says aloud in a quiet crooning to herself: I will kindle my fi...
Eucharistic Adoration [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Eucharistic Adoration BY BRIAN E. DALEY, S.J Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament In the current practice of the Catholic Church in the United States, people are free to receive Communion either in the open hand or on the tongue. Although I have not conducted a survey, my impression from presiding at both student and parish liturgies is that the practice tends to vary largely along lines of age: most of the people to whom I give Communion on the tongue, at least here at Notre Dame, seem to be under 35. And while I have never attempted to find out why so many young Catholics seem to prefer this practice, I suspect it is part of a more general desire on the part of their generation to find physical, not merely verbal, ways of expressing and deepening a reverent awareness of the mystery of Christ's presence in the Eucharist. The subject of how best to express reverence for what we Catholics so dryly call the eucharistic "species" has become a contentious one in the church. It touches on ...
ADDITIONAL READING ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICES [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
ADDITIONAL READING ON SPIRITUAL PRACTICES 1 Bass, Dorothy, ed. The Practices of Faith Series. Jossey-Bass, 1998-present. 2 Hall, Thelma. Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina. New York: Paulist Press, 1988. 3 Monks of Saint Meinrad, The Tradition of Catholic Prayer. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2007. 4 Sheldrake, Philip, ed. Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series. Orbis, 1998-present.
Liturgy of the Hours [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Liturgy of the Hours BY ELIZABETH COLLIER Giving Rhythm to Our Days Having spent the past 15 years at various Jesuit institutions, I have probably logged more hours on retreats, in spiritual direction, in prayer groups, discussing or teaching theological topics, and doing or organizing service work than your average 30-something. But despite all of the above, I am embarrassed to say that for the past few years I have not spent much time praying, and when I have it has not been as fruitful as I would like. This is due, in large part, to the pace of my life. As with many people I know, I am over-committed, juggle too much responsibility, and collapse at night very much aware of all I was not able to accomplish during the day. To fill the void of my poor prayer life, I have often browsed through the many meditation books and resources for "busy people," but nothing I have tried has satisfied more than a feeling of fulfilling an obligation. My search was more for something with the dept...
PRAYING THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS: THE MAGNIFICAT AND THE CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
PRAYING THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS: THE MAGNIFICAT AND THE CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH The Magnificat My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and to his children forever. —Luke 1:46-55 The Canticle of Zechariah Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant D...
Practicing Hospitality [Newspaper Article] — C21 Resources — 1 January 2009
Practicing Hospitality BY ANA MARIA PINEDA, R.S.M Extending Welcome to Those in Need For many decades, the Mission District of San Francisco has been a home and a welcome posada (shelter) for a diverse population of Hispanics and Latinos. Over the years, it has taken on the aged familiarity of the neighborhoods its inhabitants left behind in their Latin American countries of origin. Its streets bustle with activity as people attend to the daily needs of family and work and as children come and goto school. Throughout the day, the bells of St. Peter's announce the presence of the church. The Mission District teems with life, as the culture and customs of the Latino world fill its days with vitality. On this December evening, children of every age process down TwentyFourth Street, some with lighted candles in hand and others carrying on their shoulders statues of Mary and Joseph. Each Advent, the young and the old reenact the story of Joseph seeking lodging for his young wife, Mary, w...