How will you remain faithful to daily prayer this Advent season?

Welcoming Jesus to reconcile the world.

How many times each day do you and I make decisions based on how God sees it compared to what “wins” for me?  I’m reminded how in Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscovering Catholicism he shares a story something like how a family was relocated due to a temporary job transfer, so they decided to rent out their house while they were out of town. 

When it came time for them to return they knew that the renters were in financial hardship due to employment changes.  To avoid causing more hardship on the renters, this family paid to rent another house a block away from their own which cost them to do this, in addition to the renters not being able to pay their rent. Once the renters regained their employment several months later, this family moved back into their own house.  Kelly calls this “the Catholic way”.

People in our culture don’t want to hear that you are a Catholic.  They want to experience what an authentic Catholic is.  Every decision that you make, and action that you example, affects another person’s life one way or another.  The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.

It is a time to “stay awake” and seek how God wants you to be an example of your relationship with Him and His Word while we await His return. It is a time to consider how you (and I) will demonstrate until then unconditional love to help each other make it through life … even if it costs you.

Are you in God’s will or in God’s way?

In the midst of the increasingly hurried, materialistic and stressful pace of the season, Advent is a graced time to slow down and pause in awareness of our more deeper longings. To find more deeply who we are as a person, and the man that God calls us to be.

The readings and prayers of Advent attune and orient our hearts and minds to welcome Jesus, the one sent by God to reconcile the world to friendship with God. The Holy Spirit’s gentle voice rouses us from the distractions and indifference of the world to spiritual alertness so we can respond to Jesus’ call to meet Him in His work.

Frank J Casella

Documentary: The life of Francis Cardinal George

 

You can also watch on Shalom World TV

As Catholic Men, what can we learn from the life of Chicago’s very own, Cardinal Francis George?  This documentary, shared on Shalom World TV, talks about the faithfulness of this man of our city and our time. Not only to the Church, but the concentrated effort he made to serve the people that he was called to serve. The challenges he overcame, and how God used it through his life all over the world.  Watch this video and you will see how Cardinal George, though not perfect but rather as a work in progress, through redemptive suffering, was like a Father to us all.

I pray for his intersession and find it very powerful. I truly believe one day he will be a Saint of the Church. As Matthew Kelly says in one of his books, (something like) many Saints learned to transform their shortcomings into Virtues. And this too can be said for the Cardinal.

— Frank J Casella 

 

If our love is deep and broad enough, we will be pained by obstacles to unity and will work harder to overcome them.

– Francis Cardinal George, OMI

 

Frank J Casella is a photographer, and cofounder of Catholic Chicago Men’s Forum

 

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