Discerning God’s will for your life

National Vocation Awareness Week

Question of the Day

What is my vocation? Along what path does God call me to grow in holiness and love?

What is Jesus doing in my life today? Who is He bringing into my life? How am I called to bless, to be a gift, to be present?

Video of the Day

Quote of the Day

I had no idea that Jesus Christ is alive and well, and that he loved me.

We think holiness is something weird or awkward. Holiness is captivating….We think somehow it’s a truncated version of humanity, but it’s not. It’s the fullness of humanity.

A vocation is a call to love. Every person has a call to love. We are made in love, by love, and for love. However you are called to love, it will bring God the greatest glory, it will bring you the most joy, It will bring the world the most beauty, when you finally find the way that God is calling you to love, because every single person ever created is called to give the gift of the themselves. We are made to be a gift.

The Church does affirm the beauty of women….her feminine genius, her attentiveness to the person. John Paul II said that extensively. He said, as a woman, go into whatever work you want to. But go in as a woman. Bring the gift of yourself. Bring your heart for the person. Bring your reverence for the human person, and bring that back to the world. Because we as woman and our gift, we make the world more human. We are very intuitive. We are very intelligent. We see how things work. We gather people.

The world needs that witness: of what it means to love God, of what it means for God to love us.

— Sister Miriam James, interviewed by Marcus Grodi on The Journey Home

Profile of a Religious Sister
Loved as I am: Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

Prayer of the Day: to know one’s vocation

O great Saint Joseph, you were completely obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spi3rit. Obtain for me the grace to know the state of life that God in His Providence has chosen for me. Since my happiness on earth, and perhaps even my final happiness in heaven, depends on this choice, let me not be deceived in making it.

Obtain for me the light to know God’s Will, to carry it out faithfully, and to choose the vocation that will lead me to a happy eternity.

— New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book # 952

Lord, you made me for love. You call me to make a gift of myself to others. What is it you are asking me to do with my life? Give me the grace to hear your voice and the courage to heed your call.

Pray to Jesus about your vocation

Learn more about vocations

 

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All I need

All religions are not the same.

The Almighty God is Our Father. This is a fundamental reality. So many people either do not live this or don’t believe it or outright ignore this reality. Frequently, a difficult relationship with our earthly fathers disfigures our relationship with and alters our view of our divine and holy Father. We can not live fully alive unless we embrace reality. Jesus said to us “everything I have is yours.” The triune God calls us to relationship. We are made in His image and likeness, but the Fall ruptured that relationship. In Jesus, God adopts us and restores us to the divine life he always intended us to live. Praised be Jesus Christ!

Scriptures of the Day

Romans 8:14–16

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

First Question of the Day

Is God your Father?

Video of the Day
The Wild Goose is Loose #7: The Spirit of Adoption

More Questions of the Day

  • When you approach God in prayer, do you approach your Father with confidence? with fear? with gratitude?
  • Do you not dare approach God, because you think He is disappointed in you, because you have offended Him so grievously?
  • Have you experienced God’s tenderness? His healing power? His mercy?
  • Do you believe God not only hears but also answers all your prayers?

Factoid of the Day

In the United States, 51 percent of children will go to bed tonight without a father in the home.

Prayer of the Day

Come, Holy Spirit, and reveal to us God Our Father. Help us to pray as Our Father’s chosen, beloved children. Do not let us run far, or avoid Our Father out of fear. Fill us with courage to draw near to our creator, our healer, our redeemer, that we may experience His merciful and bountiful love. Help us to return love to the One who is Love. Help us understand in our hearts how much God delights in us and rejoices over us when we come to Him and call out, Abba!

Our Father
who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

From loved not to loved

Questions of the Day

  • What do you do when your prayer is dry?
  • What do you do when you go through a crisis of religion and you can’t ask questions because those questions become a fight and drama?
  • Do I sign up for this fight?
  • Do I want to know the truth?
  • Am I ready for this battle?
  • Who are you Hazem Farraj to question our prophet?

Video of the Day
Hazem Farraj wrestles with the Lord

Hazem Farraj shares about a religious struggle during his youth and his conversion process, which took about three years. Though that seemed long for him, for most Muslims to convert to Christianity, the process takes longer—an average of seven years. What ignited his conversion? Unconditional love. He describes the last prayer he prayed as a Muslim. But toward the end, Hazem mentions something that I have been thinking about a lot this year: the idea that ISIS is going to start leading people to Jesus.

Scripture of the Day

the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. — Jesus, John 16:2

Quotes of the Day

I was taught things like a tribal Islamic culture teaches, that apostasy is worthy of death and infidels are worthy of murder.

The concept of grace does not exist within Islam.

Now there’s more happy people! But that’s really the most spiritual thing you can do: be at peace inside when the world is crumbling around you. That’s when people will know that you are following the Lord.

Suddenly God who was this ethereal myth in the heavenly somewhere, suddenly becomes someone in front of you whispering to your soul: You are not alone and I love you. I don’t know who lied to you, but the truth is you are loved. I remember thinking 99 names of Allah, and not one of them is love.

For Allah loves not the sinner. For Allah loves not the transgressor. I went from being loved not to being so loved that he gave his only begotten son.

There is a transition happening in the Islamic world. A man of God came up to me about a year and a half ago. He said to me the Lord showed me something. He said, “The Lord said ISIS is going to start leading people to Jesus.” …A year later, a pastor in Iraq says to me, “Hazem, I don’t know what happened, but as soon as ISIS showed up we started filling our churches and having a revival.”

— Hazem Faraj, talk from Muslim to #ExMuslim at Celebration Church

Islam says that God has a 100th name, and it is revealed to whomever God chooses to reveal it. Christians know that God is Love.

Prayer

May God guide us all on our journey from loved not to loved,
from bondage to freedom, from sin to grace and darkness to light,
from slaves to children and death to life.

Receive the Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday
Lord, Send out your spirit and renew the face of the earth

Pentecost is a day of transformation. Transformation is work that the Lord God does. May God send out his Spirit to enlighten our minds and lead us into the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and he paid the price for our sins, opening to us The Way to God our Father.

In the first reading, people are amazed by these Galileans, who are able to communicate with Jews and Christian converts from other nations. The pslam and the epistle both echo that the work is the Lord’s and the glory is the Lord’s, and the power comes from God. We are God’s instruments when we cooperate with the inspirations of His Spirit.

The reading from John’s Gospel is foreshadows what will happen on the day of Pentecost. Jesus appears to his disciples after his Resurrection and before his Ascension, and breathes his Spirit into them to empower them to do the reconciling work of God.

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: The Spirit enabled them: Acts 2:1–11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

Psalm: Renew the face of the earth: 104: 1, 29–30, 31, 34

Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.

If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

Epistle: Jesus is Lord: 1 Corinthians 12:3b–7, 12–13

Brothers and sisters: No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Gospel: Shalom: John 20:19–23

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Blessings of the Day

May God the Father of lights, who was pleased to enlighten the disciples’ minds by the outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete, grant you gladness by his blessing and make you always abound in the gifts of the same Spirit.

May the wondrous flame that appeared above the disciples, powerfully cleanse your hearts from every evil and pervade them with its purifying light.

And may God who has been pleased to unite many tongues in the profession of faith, give you perseverance in that same faith and, by believing, may you journey from hope to clear vision.

Quote of the Day: You are loved

Once again, we find ourselves experiencing pain before which words seem insufficient. I have previously addressed victims of terrorist acts; I have addressed their families; I have even addressed those who may have had an opportunity, even in some small way, to advocate for or support those most vulnerable. This time however, I feel a need to address those who perpetrate these crimes.

You are loved. The violent and deadly crimes you perpetrate are abhorrent and detestable, but YOU are loved.

You are loved by God, your Creator, for He created you in His Image and according to His Likeness, and placed you on this earth for much greater things, according to His plan for all humankind. You are loved by me and millions like me, not because of what you do, but what you are capable of as that wonderful creation of God, Who has created us with a shared humanity. You are loved by me and millions like me because I, and we, believe in transformation.

Transformation is core to the Christian message for throughout history we have seen many transformed from being those who persecuted Christ Himself and Christians, to those who went on to live with grace. We believe in transformation because, on a daily basis, we are personally transformed from a life of human weakness and sinfulness to a life of power and righteousness. We believe in transformation because the whole message of the Cross and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is to take humanity from the bonds of sin and death to a liberation in goodness and everlasting life. Our world is certainly suffering from the brokenness of our humanity, but it is our responsibility, personally and collectively, to encourage and inspire ourselves, and all those whom we meet along our path, to a life of virtue and holiness, and the love and forgiveness of all.

— Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church of the United Kingdom, May 27 response to terror attacks

Prayer of Pope Francis on Pentecost Sunday

The Holy Spirit is the fire of love burning in the Church and in our hearts, even though we often cover him with the ash of our sins.  Let us ask him: “Spirit of God, Lord, who dwell in my heart and in the heart of the Church, guiding and shaping her in diversity, come!  Like water, we need you to live.  Come down upon us anew, teach us unity, renew our hearts and teach us to love as you love us, to forgive as you forgive us.  Amen.”

More about Pentecost

Question of the Day

Has the Holy Spirit empowered you to proclaim “Jesus is Lord”? Has the Spirit strengthened you to proclaim “Jesus is Lord,” not just in your mind and heart, but also in the public square?

Do you desire to have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life? If yes, then pray:

Come, Holy Spirit,
send forth the heavenly
radiance of your light.

Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come, light of the heart.

Greatest comforter,
sweet guest of the soul,
sweet consolation.

In labor, rest,
in heat, temperance,
in tears, solace.

O most blessed light,
fill the inmost heart
of your faithful.

Without your grace,
there is nothing in us,
nothing that is not harmful.

Cleanse that which is unclean,
water that which is dry,
heal that which is wounded.

Bend that which is inflexible,
fire that which is chilled,
correct what goes astray.

Give to your faithful,
those who trust in you,
the sevenfold gifts.

Grant the reward of virtue,
grant the deliverance of salvation,
grant eternal joy.

The Father himself loves you

Feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Apostle of England

In today’s reading from Acts, Apollos is preaching accurately that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. Yet, he has not received the fullness of the Truth. Missionary couple Priscilla and Aquila instruct him in The Way, and he becomes a great assistance to the Christian community. He also vigorously refutes the Jews in public. We have to be honest about our differences. All religions are not the same, and there is only one Prince of Peace. In the Gospel reading, the Prince of Peace tells us that God—which the psalm tells us is Awesome, king over all the earth, supreme—is our Father and loves us. Yes, God loves us, because he is love. We are his children, and he is our Father, and through his Son, who humbled himself to become like us and show us The Way and give us his Holy Spirit, we can be at peace. And though Jesus returns to the Father, he promised that he would be with us always until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He is with us through the gift of his Spirit and through his presence in the Eucharist, and in the scriptures, and dwelling in every believer. Indeed, we ought to shout to God with cries of gladness and sing hymns of praise!

Scriptures of the Day
The Christ is Jesus, sent by the Father, who loves you

Early Church: Acts 18:23–28

After staying in Antioch some time, Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence through the Galatian country and Phrygia, bringing strength to all the disciples. A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus. He was an authority on the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and, with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately. And when he wanted to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. After his arrival he gave great assistance to those who had come to believe through grace. He vigorously refuted the Jews in public, establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.

Psalm: 47:2–3, 8–9, 10

All you peoples, clap your hands;
shout to God with cries of gladness.
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.

For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples are gathered together
with the people of the God of Abraham.
For God’s are the guardians of the earth;
he is supreme.

Gospel: John 16:23b–28

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. “I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Question of the Day

How is God’s love active in your life?

My Lord, My God

Second Sunday of Easter: Feast of Divine Mercy

February 22, 1931

47. In the evening when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside from at breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world.

48. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.

49. …My image is already in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Image of Divine Mercy

divinemercy_vilnius

313. Once when I was visiting the artist [Eugene Kazimirowki] who was painting the image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this deep in my heart. When we had left the artist’s house, Mother Superior [Irene] stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I said to the Lord, “Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?” Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Message of Divine Mercy
Ask for mercy; be merciful to others; completely trust in Jesus

965. Jesus looked at me and said, Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My Mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My Mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

699. My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. …On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47

They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Epistle: 1 Peter 1:3–9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel of the Day: John 20:19–31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Mini Homily: Mercy Heals a Wounded Heart

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Questions of the Day

  • What obstacle prevents you from believing in Jesus?
  • Are you present to the presence of Jesus?

502. Only love has meaning; it raises up our smallest actions into infinity.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina