Freedom is Living For Christ

07-03-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Freedom properly defined is freedom properly understood. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that it is, “the condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say, think, etc., whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited.” That same dictionary defines liberty as, “the freedom to live, work, and travel as you want to.” Both definitions sound very similar. Is there a difference between freedom and liberty? Many are accustomed to believing that freedom and liberty are interchangeable and simply involve possessing rights and privileges. For the Christian, however, there is a big difference between the two.

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Listen! God is Calling

06-26-2022Weekly Reflection©LP

"And to another he said, “Follow me.” In every moment of every day, in every circumstance and experience, God is calling us." Luke 9:59

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See the Face of Christ

06-19-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Jesus went to those most in need. He forgave the sinner, ate with the outcast, defended, and fed those who were poor and hungry. He worked for true justice, risked being unpopular, willingly accepted suffering and death, and always stayed connected with his Abba, Father. Jesus also consistently reminded folks that God’s compassion, love, and mercy trump everything, even the law. This is the Christ that the Eucharist calls us to be.

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Trinity Sunday

06-12-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Question: I accept on faith that God is a Trinity of Persons, and I know it’s something we can’t fully understand. Should I just accept that, or should I try to learn more?

Answer: There’s a legend from the life of St. Augustine. As the early Church grappled with the identity of Christ and his relation to the other Persons in the Trinity, the holy theologian wrote a book about the Trinity.

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Transformed by the Holy Spirit

06-05-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Even though Pentecost is rightly celebrated in late spring, the robust experience of a New England fall can provide a profound metaphor for reflection. A full expression of fall colors is beautiful to behold. But, with all of its majesty and beauty, the observer knows the experience of death is soon to come. Creation will be dark and barren for a while. Pentecost cannot be separated from the cross. Before God’s transformative, life-giving power can bear fruit, we must first die.

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One in the Body of Christ

05-29-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Unity and diversity can exist together. Our western minds have a grave difficulty seeing unity without conformity. We tend to believe that unless everyone believes the same thing, assents to the same body of truths, styles, and opinions, unity is not possible. Jesus, in today’s Gospel, expresses a tenderness and an intimacy that the disciples actually can witness. This same tenderness and love are also reflected in his desire for unity and oneness. Jesus passionately wants all to be one. It is very clear that the success of Jesus’ mission and the advance of the Gospel rises or falls with whether this unity is achieved. And it is a unity that is achieved around a person and not particulars.

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Peace be with you

05-22-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Jesus tells his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” The peace that Jesus gives is far different than the kind that comes from the absence of war, conflict, or affliction. The peace that God offers is found alongside suffering and hardship, not necessarily in their absence. St. Teresa of Avila offers us a bit of wisdom regarding peace: “May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

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Take Up Your Cross

05-15-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” Many folks really work very hard to circumvent difficult situations. We prefer the easier way around something, rather than risk inconvenience, hurt or prolonged suffering. It’s no wonder euthanasia is rapidly becoming acceptable around the world. Through purely human eyes, there is no issue bypassing the inevitable, taking control and bringing things more swiftly to a place of peace. If this is the way God sees things, then why does Jesus make such a big deal helping us understand the experience of suffering and embrace it? God’s wisdom clearly takes us in another direction.

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Listen to the Voice of Truth

05-08-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

“Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.” (Pope Francis) We have a difficult time figuring out what is true and best for us. There are many voices talking and so many trying to get our attention. We wrongly convince ourselves that the true voice is the voice of progress, the one that speaks of contemporary wants and desires, enticing us with the latest trends and causes. We are taught, by listening to the voices around us, that truth is found in feelings and thought, and ideals must match current and popular human wants. Because we feel a particular way it must be true. Then, we find a shepherd who empathizes with us and affirms us. We follow that voice even though listening to that voice will render us powerless and lead us to harm. There are many with me in this procession to this pasture. I must be on the right path and listening to the right voice.

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We are called to transform and change

05-01-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Could it be that God’s image has become so soiled and distorted that it is hard for us to see it? Our self-serving agendas have done a great job twisting God’s image into what profits us. We want our agenda to be God’s agenda and use prayer as the convincing leverage we need. Worse still, our success and egocentric agenda often erases God’s image completely, replacing it with our own. St. Oscar Romero instructs us that the Son of Man “dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.” Striving to preserve control of our destinies at all costs, we fail to see the risen suffering servant, the Christ, standing right beside us.

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