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Lent – a time of growth … a deepening of our relationship with Christ

Listen live every Monday 6pm central /7pm eastern
Listen live every Monday 6pm central /7pm eastern

 

This Wednesday we began the season of Lent.  It is a time when the Christian Church reflects on the experience of Christ’s Forty days in the Desert, which for us will end with the Passion and the death and eventually the resurrection of our Lord.  But first we must each have our own desert experience.

The analogy of the desert can bring out many different images for us, especially in these days.  Just a cursory review of the daily news from the Middle East focuses our attention on the daily violence and cruelty of the demonic forces in that region, so populated by deserts. The solitude of the desert and its barrenness strike many of us here in the west as a very inhospitable place.  But despite all of this, Christ does, by His own example, beckon us to overcome our reservations and journey with Him into the desert.

For many of us this season will evoke childhood memories of having to give up something we enjoy; we may remember being asked by our parents to make some sacrifice, to deny ourselves for a time, but with the expectation that we would later enjoy an abundance of whatever little sacrifice we might make.  It was good training for us as children, but as adults the lesson must go a little deeper.

As our spiritual life matures we come to understand this season not only as a time of sacrifice but also as a time of growth, a deepening of our relationship with Christ, not just because we agree to follow Him out into the desert of sacrifice, but more importantly because we are also invited into the desert that resides within our own hearts.  We must come face to face with the question of whether God is really at the center of our lives or whether we are dependent on some other form of consolation from this material world. (the very thing that hopefully we are willing to give up).

What Christ is really asking of us through these little sacrifices is whether God is enough for us. “Are the consolations of God too small for you?  Even the word spoken gently to you?” (Job 15:11)  What the desert experience of this season really reveals is the all-too often barrenness of our interior lives.  Is Christ really the source of our strength, or are we actually more dependent on something else.  Are we willing to face this barrenness of our own interior desert and rely only Christ as our consolation?  This barrenness can be experienced as nothing more than day-to-day life. Every day we face some challenge, some struggle, especially as we get older and come to understand how fleeting are the exterior comforts of all those things we strove so earnestly for when we were young.  In those moments are we really willing to abandon our reliance on some temporal and material consolation and accept Christ’s promise:

“That he would grant (us), according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 3:16)

Mark Danis

Host Carmelite Conversations

Mondays 7-8 pm eastern/ 6-7pm central

August 12, 2014 – Devotion at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

What will we do with this golden opportunity to help secure eternal salvation? Today Joe talked about how we ought to prepare for Mass as well as how we ought to attend Mass. Recognizing that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the holiest act of worship we can perform, we must give it nothing less than our best!

August 11, 2014 – Fr. Nick Schneider on Sacred Liturgy, Eucharist & Mass

Host Kathleen Beckman dialogues with Fr. Nick Schneider, S.L.D. on the subject of God’s truth and beauty revealed in the sacred liturgy of the Church. Father unpacks the mystical events of the holy sacrifice of the Mass and helps us to develop a deeper awareness of the True Presence of Jesus. They dialogue about the healing power of the Eucharist through worship and encounter, the Trinitarian presence in the liturgy, the espousal love of the Divine Bridegroom for His Bride (the Church). Emphasis is on the Eucharist as source and summit of faith and how to experience the Mass more deeply.

August 5, 2014

Joe hit on a variety of topics today. He discussed our duty to step us as Godparents to talk, pray and sacrifice for the souls of the Godchildren entrusted to our care. He also shared a story about how he had to speak with the father of one of his Godchildren to address a major issue and the challenge that lied therein. He also read and commented upon an article written by Archbishop Lori entitled “Who Matters Most”. It stated that God should matter most in our Lives. Why? Because a life of union (prayer & sacraments) with God is what brings us true peace and joy! Rounding it all out, Joe read a catechetical instruction by St. John Vianney entitled “The glorious duty of man: to pray and to love.” ……….“If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies!”