O is for Our Father

Our Father #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on twitter
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O is for Our Father #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on Twitter

The Our Father. For those of you unfamiliar with the prayer, that’s fine. I’ll give you some insight into what this prayer is and why it’s so special to me. For those of you familiar with this prayer, offer one up for me, will ya?

Yesterday, I offered to start a Novena for anyone who shared their intentions. You can still get in on that action!

 

What is it?

The Our Father, quite simply, is the perfect prayer. It’s how Jesus taught us to pray. How do I know? Says so, right in the bible. *taps mic*

Matthew 6:7-13

O is for Our Father #atozchallenge

“Thy Will Be Done” by Morgan Weistling

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial
but rescue us from the evil one.

Now, the actual prayer is slightly different. But breaking down this prayer, that is so easily rattled off, it really is perfect. We acknowledge God and venerate him understanding that it is His will we accept, not ours. Our daily bread can be a nod to daily communion, the trials and joys we undertake on this earth, daily. We also are reminded that we cannot expect forgiveness if we aren’t willing to forgive absolutely, as He does. We end with petitioning for protection from temptation, and sin. Now isn’t that something?

Why did I choose to share this particular “O” with you?

The Our Father is the first prayer I ever learned. It’s also the only prayer I ever knew growing up – with the exception of the scariest prayer on the planet (to me as a child): “Now I lay me down to sleep…if I die before I wake, I pray The Lord my souls to take”. Without the understanding of the prayer and why it was said, it terrified me. I digress.

The Our Father, for me, is a prayer of strength. When I am angry, tempted, worried it just starts within me and I find myself mouthing it to myself, subtly. I am so practiced in this prayer, that I often wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, half way through the prayer. It’s almost ingrained in me to pray when fear and anxiety strike. I think it’s the “thy will be done” part. I know that I really don’t have much control over the events of my life. None of us do. Even when I try to tell myself, I control, this or that, I think of the action preceding my “controlled” event and am always back at my lack of control.

Try it. Where do you end up? 

For an even deeper look into the Our Father, take a stab at this from Conversion Diary. A word by word interpretation written by a ton of people. That’s a lot of perspective for ya, and further proof that this is a wonderfully rich, layered prayer.

Come back tomorrow to read all about my Catholic take on the letter P. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

N is for Novena

@fillpraycloset #atozchallenge #novena #catholic
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N is for Novena #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterWhat the Novena? That’s what we’re going to discuss today. I will also share some of my favorites ones to pray (that should give you a hint).

Yesterday, I shared a typical day in the life of a new Catholic in only a way I can. In a word? FEET! Head over for a laugh and a toe’s worth of Maundy Thursday. We’ll just pray while we wait for you to catch up.

What is it?

The word novena (nōˈvēnə) is derived from the number nine. A novena is a set of prayers prayed over nine days. Novena’s have also been used as a term for prayers that last longer than nine days – such as the 54 day novena (I’ve prayed it!). Novena’s are usually prayers of petition (or making requests) but sometimes, they are of thanksgiving. That 54 day novena is one of them that includes both. Some novenas can be prayed with the intercession of a particular saint’s feast day. For example, I began praying the St. Francis de Sales Novena on January 15th, to end on January 23rd as his feast day (or day he died) is on January 24th.

Why did I choose to share this particular “N” with you?

I pray novenas. I have prayed novenas for the conversion of my husband, admittedly. I’ve prayed a novena to become a published writer, for someone’s healing from cancer and to undo the knots in my life. The list goes on and on. These novena’s are usually the same every night, however it causes one to focus, or derive meaning from different words depending on the events of your day. One word can speak different meanings to you on different days and that’s what I appreciate and love about novena’s the most. Sometimes, you don’t know what to pray. You don’t have the words, it’s hard to just sit and be still, enter the novena – it’s all written out for you. All you need to do is focus on your intentions and the people you are praying for.

On to my favorites:

Our Lady Undoer of Knots (Pope Francis’ favorite and her image is right there on the left, it’s my ultimate favorite too!)
Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (a trusting let it all go kind of novena)
The Miraculous 54 day Rosary Novena (exactly, miraculous indeed)
Novena to St. Francis de Sales (Patron Saint of Writers and Journalists)

If you would rather go the reminder of what to pray and when to pray it, or don’t know which novena to pick, Pray More Novena’s will take care of all of that for ya. Join the Next Novena to Divine Mercy (remember that?!)

What would you pray for? If you share them, I would be honored, no thrilled, to pray for you. I’ll even start a novena for all of the intentions mentioned in the comments below. TONIGHT!

N is for Novena #atozchallenge

A group of pious women gathered for a novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, most likely a mourning event. circa 1940.

Come back tomorrow to read all about my Catholic take on the letter O. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

M is for Maundy Thursday

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#atozchallenge M is for Maundy Thursday @fillpraycloset on TwitterToday, I will discuss Maundy Thursday in the Catholic church and then how it went down in my church. Embarrassing story coming!

I shared with you some interesting tidbits about St. Luke the Evangelist yesterday. I really do try to incorporate his evangelization approach here with you.

Let’s DO this…

What is it?

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday takes place during Holy Week in Lent (smack before Easter). This is where we celebrate the Last Supper (and also the institution of the priesthood). In John 31:1-17 we read about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. This washing of the feet reminds us of baptism. The church is also stripped and washed. For more information and symbolism associated with this special day, please visit the special section devoted to it on Catholic Online.

Why did I choose to share this particular “M” with you?

As I was coming into the faith in 2012, I was still very much in the learn-as-you go stage. I think I will always be there, it’s called continual conversion. I have come to accept that I will never be an expert in all things Catholic. Actually, I love that.

There I was, Holy Week 2012. I cantored (lead the music of the mass through singing). I heard that people were going up to have their feet washed by the priest. I got very nervous. I wasn’t ready for my feet to see daylight – no pedicure in months – I was sock-less, in ballet flats and my toes were clammy! (Sorry). I was freaking out as I saw people walk up to have their feet washed. The church was filled to the rafters. I soon figured that this also meant there was time to air out my feet! I stood behind the podium in the choir area, took off my shoes and tried to move them back and forth, slowly, to get some air on those puppies without inciting attention while simultaneously paying attention to the music I was singing. Well, as it happened, people are asked ahead of time and since I wasn’t asked I got no suds on the toes. Can you imagine?

And that’s my Maundy Thursday story!

If you have a few more moments, read an account of Pope Francis, in the first year of his Pontificate as he, washed the feet of “12 young people of different nationalities and faiths, including at least two Muslims and two women”.

Maundy Thursday #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter N. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

L is for Luke (St. Luke)

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L is for Luke (St. Luke) #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterSt. Luke the Evangelist, love him. I can’t not talk about L, without throwing this Apostle out there!

He is one of the OGs , or OAs? Original Apsotles?

In case you missed it, find out more about the Kerygma enigma, here.

 

Who is it?

St. Luke the Evangelist is the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. He is the Patron saint of Physicians and Surgeons.

Why did I choose to share this particular “L” with you?

Luke’s Gospel is different in many ways (here are aL is for St. Luke #atozchallenge few):

  • The parable of the Good Samaritan is only written of in this Gospel
  • Mary’s Magnificat, only appears in St. Luke’s Gospel
  • Further to the connection with women and Mary, St. Luke is where we get the scripturally based prayer, the Rosary.

St. Luke had an affinity and love for the poor and marginalized. He preached about forgiveness and God’s mercy for sinners. He’s also my patron saint for this year.

I leave you with this from Catholic Online:

Reading Luke’s gospel gives a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God’s kingdom opened to all, who respected women, and who saw hope in God’s mercy for everyone.

I didn’t choose this saint for 2014, he chose me and I’m glad he did.

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter M. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

K is for Kerygma

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K is for Kerygma #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterKerygma. I am sure there is at least one reader who has NO idea what this is. I had no idea what this was until just last year. How does that happen? RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) or how I came into the faith, provides you with a wonderful overview and hits all of the important points (there’s that Sacrament word again), but its up to you, the pilgrim, to continue learning.

I won’t judge you if you haven’t read yesterday’s post on judgement.

What is it?

Kerygma, pronounced \kə-ˈrig-mə\ is the Greek word used in the New Testament for the initial and essential proclamation of the the Gospel. That’s it.

Why did I choose to share this particular “K” with you?

Kerygma #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset #Catholic

Cosimo Rosselli Sermon on the Mount (1439-1507)

Surprisingly, not many Catholics have ever heard of the Kerygma or know what it means, when they do! I was. Last May, when I started this blog, I responded to a series called Lawn Chair Catechism, where we delved into Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherri Weddell where an entire chapter was devoted to the Kerygma. A key takeaway for me:

“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Romans 10: 17), where by “preaching” the same thing is understood, that is, the “gospel” or kerygma.

For more resources, please read the Lawn Chair Catechism Series hosted by CatholicMom I responded to.

Sherri Weddell also has a Facebook Group just for this book and it’s quite lively. Forming intentional disciples isn’t a one and done process!

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter L. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

Feature Friday: Everyday Gyann and The Naptime Novelist

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Feature Friday – the one post that I think about writing all week. I am reading so many blogs this month and keeping an eye out for special ones to share with you. If you’re visiting from the #AtoZchallenge, no Judgement <—that’s your hint! Just head over to read and share your thoughts. Feature Friday peeps, if you want to be all in-it-to-win-it, you can head over too.

Blogitudes Feature Friday Link up

Corinne Rodrigues at Everyday Gyaan

This chick had me at the letter B! I know, this is from last week and the rules clearly state this week, but I have to give you a background. I can’t just come at you sideways all crazy like!? Can I? She is a blog I found during the A to Z challenge. If you’ve been around, you’ll see that she’s commented on every post throughout the challenge. She lives half way across the world (Mumbai) and comments. I don’t know if she’s Catholic or purple, lives on a diet of cheese and cupcakes or what. All I know, is I really loved her Back to Blogging Basics post. Not that I haven’t read a ton of these kinds of posts before. Corinne is a variation on a theme that goes against the current. She’s slowly turning social media off and ramping up engagement right where she writes. Her blog space. You know I’m hooked – gotta see what happens.

Rhonda Ortiz at The Naptime Novelist

How do you not feature a blog with that name? I love it and hate that I didn’t think of it first! Damn. Her site is clean and has pops of color. She writes about Catholicky things, family things, knitting things, writing things and she grows stuff – like stuff I would kill (plants, vegetables, flowers and the like). Double damn!

I can’t remember how I found her blog. I’m in a bit of a haze of late, but I fell face first onto her about me page and haven’t looked back. Because I live in the land of the literal, when I read that I could contact her I did!  I asked her about her writing and whether I could, you know, do that too. After sending it (in my usual, “hey I’m a little off, I hope that’s ok” style) she responded and asked me to contribute to her other space Real Housekeeping because I made her laugh! I told my husband about it and he just did this:

because he knows. Oh he knows – he really does all the cleaning and he’;s totally the funny one around here. Back to why she’s gettin’ the Sazón sprinkles (a.k.a. Boriqua glitter, just ask any Nuyorican). It’s her birthday week and she asked for a gift that’s SUPER easy to give. Bloggy, commenty, linky love. Who can’t participate in that? AND, she’s married to a Nuyorican herself which, coming from Michigan, had to be SUPER hard to pull off. Settle in and read peeps  - she won’t disappoint because she writes stuff like this and even I’m all…

What I wrote about this week

What a week peeps! This week, we talked about St. Faustina, Grace, the Holy Spirit, Study as it relates to the Lay Dominican postulantSt. Ignatius and Judgment. I know it’s a lot of writing, right? But I said I was a writer, so I kinda have to put my money where my mouth is.

I also wrote a mini post about my break up with Facebook, WHAT? Yeah, just the Facebook blog page. Just in from Facebook…

Only I’m not wrong. I’m totally right (for once).

And that’s how you Feature Friday Hop people. Interested? I was! Anytime I can share my faves with you, it’s a must do in my book! Won’t you share with us?

Instructions

To enter the Feature Friday Hop, <— that was the link, by the way! You must follow these few simple rules:

Enter a Feature Friday or Weekly Wrap-Up type post written by you in which you:

  1. feature/list a post that you recently read that was written by another blogger (complete with URL link, name of author and blog) – and briefly explain why you are featuring it. (You can feature more than one fellow-blogger post if you’d like.)
  2. feature and include a post that was written by you within the last week or two (complete with URL link) – and explain why you wrote it.
  • Please do not link up contests, product reviews, or sponsored posts.
  • Read and comment on at least two other Feature Friday posts that are entered in the hop.

(Optional) Share this blog hop with your friends and beg them to join in the fun. The more the merrier!

And those are the simple rules. This hop is all about sharing great content – promoting others and promoting yourself.

See? LOVE!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

J is for Judgment

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J is for Judgment #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterToday we’re going to do our best to cover Judgment. I had to get slightly controversial on ya. I wanted to be sure to get you when you least expected it. As always, it will not be what you expect. So do read on.

This is a broad topic and one that I deal with and have dealt with on a daily basis from all vantage points.

In yesterday’s mini-Catholicism morsel, we talked about Ignatian Spirituality and a tad on St. Ignatius himself.

What is it?

Judgment (aside from always being misspelled by your resident Catholic) is only to be given by God upon one’s death. As in, those that are judged to go to heaven or hell. The end. That’s it. I mean, there is Purgatory – but we’re in the land of J.

Why did I choose to share this particular “J” with you?

A few reasons. I judge and I am judged. My family is judged. My family judges others. My church judges, I judge the church. Ugh, I could do this all day. How can this be? Look up at how small that definition of judgment is according to the Catholic faith. considering the deep teaching and theology present in the church on – well everything – you would think we, as Catholics, would have it in the bag! Not so…let’s take a look at a verse a friend just mentioned to me:

James 1: 23-24

For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.

She said it was kind of similar to this verse that I then shared with her:

Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

J is for Judgement #atozchallenge

The Last Judgement Stefan Lochner (circa 1400/1410–1451) Pretty intense, isn’t it? Eeek!

Now, you’re probably familiar with, or have heard the latter of these two bits of scripture. Joined together, though, and through the lens of judgment, it’s as if Jesus knew that we would have a problem with judging others. We can be so self-righteous can’t we? Just recently at mass, for example, I was sitting behind a woman I hadn’t seen before. She kept motioning to her husband throughout mass. It seemed she wasn’t pleased with how the priest was conducting mass. The more she fidgeted, the more bothered I got. “Where does she get off? How disrespectful! This priest is awesome. He’s visiting from Haiti and we couldn’t be MORE blessed to have him. And then the eye rolls. I hope she turns around so I can give her an eyeslap” (super crazy eye roll)…See what I’ve been doing? I’ve been judging her. Even as I was “defending the priest” I was judging her. Tsk tsk tsk. It’s an easy trap to fall into folks, and honestly, it will creep up on me and happen again. I think the important thing though, is to recognize it. Recognize it so you can get better (not perfect), at minimizing the easy slide to judgment. And for all of my already-Catholics, not to worry, at the Sign of Peace, she was the first person I shook hands with, looked right in the eye (no slapping) and smiled a sincere, full-of-agape, authentic smile.

Can you recognize the small slip into judgment-land? What are your triggers?

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter K. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

I is for St. Ignatius

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I is for Ignatius #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterToday we’re going to chat about Ignatian Spirituality. We could talk about St. Ignatius of Loyola too, I’m not counting him out. Again, the goal is short, sweet and appetizing. So let’s hope I can do that for ya.

Come Holy Spirit, Come! That’s what we talked about yesterday, inspired by some old school Hip-Hop.

That’s how I roll.

What is it?

Ignatian Spirituality comes from St. Ignatius. But let’s hold on him for a minute. IgnatianSpirituality.com says:

Ignatian spirituality sees God as actively involved in the world and intimately involved with us in every moment and place.

St. Ignatius is a saint, as of March 12, 1622. He is also a Spaniard and was kinda full of himself – quite the peacock in his finery, until he was injured via cannonball to his legs, breaking one and severely injuring another. What then? You’re laid up. Just you and your thoughts – no finery. That’s when his spiritual conversion took place through reading spiritual texts of Jesus and the lives of saints and well…look at him now?! A saint! For a really great book on St. Ignatius, I recommend this one by Margaret Silf titled Just Call Me López: Getting to the Heart of Ignatius Loyola. It’s not your typical book.

“In this unlikely tale of a 16th-century soldier-turned-saint and 21st-century woman, we see what happens when one person opens herself to a real-life, real-time experience of the communion of saints. The two are as different as pen-and-ink and laptops are as writing instruments, but their conversations show us that life’s really important questions don’t change with the times and technology.”

—Steve Givens, Faith, History and the Creative Life

Why did I choose to share this particular “I” with you?

There’s this type of prayer, a reflection really, called the Daily Examen. I have to tell you, it’s almost perfect (why not all the way perfect? Because the Our Father is the perfect one, silly!) Now I’ve written on a special way to do this that I just learned recently which may or may not involved baked goods. But there’s this infographic that’s just sublime. If I laminate it, that’s what brings it to sublime status and I have. Twice.

The Daily Examen by Busted Halo

The Daily Examen by Busted Halo

So are you laminating this? What are your thoughts on incorporating this into your prayer routine? Or maybe you’re looking at this whole prayer thing a little differently? Nothing wrong with reviewing your day and being thankful to God for it, resolving to do better tomorrow? Is there?

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter J. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

Questions that Need answering: Study

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As part of my ongoing formation as a Lay Dominican postulant, I have to answer questions and present my findings to the chapter. This way, they can be certain of that they’re getting themselves into. Mwahahahaha indeed. This month, I am presenting on the topic of Study from the module of the same name, found here. The meetings for my chapter take place every second Thursday of the month. For prior module treatments on St. Dominic, Prayer, Community and Laity, the links are provided. I tried to tell you, I am serious about this Lay Dominican vocation thing.

If you’re looking for the #AtoZChallenge post for H, not to worry. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the post! 

  1. Discuss the contributions of early Dominicans to study.

Dominican constitutions clearly state that brethren are to be that the brethren be “intent on study, always reading something, or thinking about something, by day and by night, at home or abroad.” This foundation brought about very important Catholic writings such as St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Contra Gentiles, a guidebook-catechism for preaching orthodox Catholic faith. “St. Albert the Great wrote commentaries on almost every Aristotelian book including even the minor works on natural science. Furthermore, he wrote a few new treatises in areas where Aristotle had not ventured, such as botany” (p.1). Pope John Paul II has written two very Thomistic encyclical letters, The Splendor of the Truth (Veritatis splendor) (1993) and Fides et ratio (On the Relationship between Faith and Reason) (1998). Finally, the mystical reflections titled The Dialogue by St. Catherine of Siena, patroness of the Fraternities of St. Dominic, are also a great contribution in Dominican thought and spirituality to study. “Thus, Dominican study, in a very real sense, has become a mission for the entire Church”.

  1. What is your purpose for study as a lay Dominican? Give some concrete examples of ways you can use the results of your study and contemplation.

My purpose for Lay Dominican study is to contemplate the truth of the Catholic faith. Further to that, my purpose in study is to share with others. I have entered a challenge on my blog where I could write about anything, every day in the month of April (except Sundays) on any theme whatsoever. While this challenge stems from a secular site, I chose to write about the Catholic faith every day.  I have received the most positive feedback from atheists, agnostics, Protestants and others who state they “never knew” this or that about the Catholic faith. In this series, I talk about relatively heavy topics in Catholicism like third orders, St. Dominic, Grace, the Holy Spirit and Divine Mercy to name a few. I have included links to other Catholic sites, posts, encyclicals and scripture. In analyzing my stats, people are clicking on these links to read more about our rich faith. I have to wonder if they would have otherwise.

#3op Lay Dominican Study Module follow @fillpraycloset

  1. What are the recommended sources essential for study by a lay Dominican? Why do you think it is important to study them?

Holy Scripture, the Catechism, and our Dominican heritage, including but not limited to our saints, history, great writings and the lives of Dominicans are essential study materials for ongoing formation. We should also study issues of social justice and current events as it relates and is explained through the Catholic lens. Finally, Papal Encyclicals as well as the documents of the Second Vatican Council are also vital to include and are recommended reading for a Lay Dominican.

If our charism is to preach, we must know what we are preaching about. “A preacher needs to study carefully about what he is to preach.” To simply be about spirituality without study, can result in situations where engaging with others about faith will prove fruitless, at worst damaging the beliefs and perceptions of what the Catholic faith is to and for others. (p.1)

One friar reportedly “turned silly because of his excess devotion” while neglecting his studies. Although Dominicans devoutly celebrated the Divine Office and were deeply devoted to Mary, the main purpose of the Order was preaching, which required study and knowledge to be credible.”

  1. In Module #4: Our Chapter, Our Community, you saw the role of community in lay Dominican  life. Why is the study and discussion of important secular (sometimes controversial) issues within the Chapter community beneficial?

While I haven’t been exposed to any controversial discussion with my chapter, we do disagree as it relates to opinion. This is beneficial as practice for actual discussions with others. Within the chapter, you learn how to disagree without judgment, anger or pride (surprising). In the larger community, we reside under the umbrella of learning to preach truth. With truth being a common goal, ideas, thoughts, doctrine and discussion are pointed toward that purpose. This allows for freer discussion and humility when approaching others with differences outside of the chapter.

Another positive outcome of controversial discussion is to actually gain more knowledge about the stance we as Catholics are taking on social teaching for example, should we have missed a newscast or blog post.

  1. Why would you read current magazines, newspapers, or watch media presentations, etc. as part of your study?

Staying current through all forms of media whether social or written is vital to spiritual growth. Just because the content isn’t spiritually based, forming an opinion based on spiritual or theological teachings and beliefs is. To form an opinion to add to or share in the public square, in your home, at work, or anywhere your voice can and should be heard.

  1. Do you allot time each day to religious study – the Bible, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican II documents, encyclicals, etc.? If not, how can you begin to do so?

I allot time each day for reading of Holy Scripture (daily mass readings and currently, the book of Sirach). I receive bits of the Catechism to read daily via an email feeder and try to incorporate use of the encyclicals when I write for my blog. I do need to spend time in Vatican II documents. Because of this module, I have just added a few books on the letters of Vatican II to my wish list (to purchase after Lent) as a primer and will then head over to the Vatican website to dive in the deep end of the pool!

That’s all folks! Till next month when we’re at Module 6, on Apostolate. That will be the final in this segment, where I then, God willing, move into the Novice modules. Pray for me tomorrow, will ya?!

As always, if you are interested in, or have questions about the Lay Dominican community, you can always leave a comment or head over to the Lay Dominican Website

As a loosely related aside, I have removed my Facebook blog page to ramp up social interaction. The page comes down automatically in 14 days. In the meantime, please keep in touch with me here:

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 This post contains Amazon affiliate links, you know, for a kickback to me that you won’t see but I will feel! Means more books for me to review for you too! Win-win, I say!

H is for Holy Spirit

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What’s up Holy Spirit?! H is for the Holy Spirit #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterFor me, this is a perfect snack after Grace which we spoke of yesterday.

The Holy Spirit is so dear to me, and you’ll find if you are Catholic, or Christian or coming into the faith or thinking about faith, it will be dear to you as well. As always, this will not be an in depth treatment, because these are supposed to be short quick bites of Catholic love. Here we go!

What is it?

It’s what people call a hunch, a prompting, your sixth sense, but what is it really?

The Holy Spirit is the third PERSON of the Trinity (the others Father and Son). So the Holy Spirit is a person? Yep. Let’s take a quick look at some scripture to help us with this – it is a mystery after all:

John 14:16-17

And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, who the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.

So the Holy Spirit as Counselor is sent to us. It is sent to us to keep us steeped in the truth, and far from sin – although, as fallen humans we can muck that up. I do.

There’s also the Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – one of my favorites, because that’s the meditation of the rosary. See how connected this Catholic thing is?!

Why did I choose to share this particular “H” with you?

Interestingly, we recently discussed the Holy Spirit in the RCIA class that assist with. The Deacon at my parish noted that the Holy Spirit is the least comfortable part of the Trinity for new Catholics (I think all of us, really) to relate to. It’s not easy to pin down, difficult to relate to because we have no real idea what it could look like. Is it a vapor? Does it wear a sheet? What is it? He went on to say that the argument is that this prompting, this push by a spirit is more of a realization that we really aren’t in control. Believe it or not, the Holy Spirit was, and is what I relate to the most. I know that’s how I got to where I am right now; listening to “A Tribe Call Quest“, writing about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity (which as we all know is my last name after all! WHAT?!? OH yeah) That’s another reason why we should get our Holy Spirit on.

I leave you with this… Catholics are imbued and sealed with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation (another sacrament!) They help us to live a life of virtue and they are

H is for Holy Spirit, the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit

  • Wisdom: Helps us to detach from the world, makes us relish and love only the things of Heaven.
  • Counsel: Enables us to see and choose correctly what is the will of God.
  • Piety: Inspires us with tender and filial love of God.
  • Fear of God: Fills us with love for God, and fear of offending Him.
  • Knowledge: Points us to the path to follow and the dangers to avoid in order to reach Heaven
  • Fortitude: Gives us courage to overcome obstacles and difficulties that arise in fulfilling our religious obligations
  • Understanding: Helps us to grasp the truths of religion, as far as necessary

For more information about the Holy Spirit, check it, and check it.

Do you have any Holy Spirit shares? Or questions? Or are you just a little shocked that I listen to old-school Hip-Hop as I write about Catholic things?

UPDATE: A reader just noted that the Pope spoke on the gifts of the Holy Spirit today too? See how the Holy Spirit works?! Day? MADE!

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter I. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.