Attention Catholics in the DC area! FOCUS - the Fellowship of Catholic University Students - is hosting REACH - an opportunity for local community members to gather in prayer and fellowship, to encounter Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, to hear the words of inspirational speakers, and to learn more about how they can live out the evangelical mission of the Church in their families, parishes, workplaces, and communities.
You will hear from experts in evangelization who will discuss what the call for a New Evangelization means for you and how you can live it out daily, equipping you with spiritual and practical resources to reach out effectively with the love of Christ in a way others can understand and embrace.
There are days or weeks or even months when I read the Bible and there are no grand epiphanies.
There are whole seasons of Sundays when I sing praise and feel nothing.
There are times of prayer where the silence kills me.
There are great Christian books and podcasts that I eat up which don’t budge my spiritual life.
There are too many times when I doubt the very existence of God and the sending of His Son. It can all feel like a crazy lie.
I’m probably being too honest — but I’ve found that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
It’s in those times that I ask myself, “Am I out of love with God somehow? Am I losing my faith here? How do I get back to where I used to be?”
But I keep reading my Bible. I keep singing on Sundays. I keep praying. I soak in books and sermons. I serve. I enjoy the company of mature Christians. I enjoy the fellowship of the broken.
And you know what? Sometimes the clouds part and God comes through and His love squeezes my heart and I fall to my knees remembering how good He is. Then I read Scripture and can’t stop weeping and I turn on Christian songs in my car full blast and sing loud enough to scare the traffic. I serve with shaking hands and get convicted by those sermons and soak in God’s goodness all over again.
So I’ve learned over time: I wasn’t really out of love with God. I’m just a fragile human being who changes as much as the weather. I was setting a ridiculous standard for myself that can’t be defined by self-pressuring parameters. I was tricked by the enemy into judging my flesh. My faith is based on His grace and not my feelings. And I think I need to relax.
I can tell you about the different degrees of Purgatory because I have passed through them. In the great Purgatory there are several stages. In the lowest and most painful, it is like a temporary hell, and here there are the sinners who have committed terrible crimes during life and whose death surprised them in that state. It was almost a miracle that they were saved, and often by the prayers of holy parents or other pious persons. Sometimes they did not even have time to confess their sins and the world thought them lost, but God, whose mercy is infinite, gave them at the moment of death the contrition necessary for their salvation on account of one or more good actions which they performed during life. For such souls, Purgatory is terrible. It is a real hell with this difference, that in hell they curse God, whereas we bless Him and thank Him for having saved us.
Next to these come the souls, who though they did not com¬mit great crimes like the others, were indifferent to God. They did not fulfill their Easter duties and were also converted at the point of death. Many were unable to receive Holy Communion. They are in Purgatory for the long years of indifference. They suffer unheard of pains and are abandoned either without prayers or if they are said for them, they are not allowed to profit by them. There are in this stage of Purgatory religious of both sexes, who were tepid, neglectful of their duties, indifferent towards Jesus, also priests who did not exercise their sacred ministry with the reverence due to the Sovereign Majesty and who did not instill the love of God sufficiently into the souls confided to their care. I was in this stage of Purgatory.
In the second Purgatory are the souls of those who died with venial sins not fully expiated before death, or with mortal sins that have been forgiven but for which they have not made entire satisfaction to the Divine Justice. In this part of Purgatory, there are also different degrees according to the merits of each soul.
Thus the Purgatory of the consecrated souls or of those who have received more abundant graces, is longer and far more painful than that of ordinary people of the world.
Lastly, there is the Purgatory of desire which is called the Threshold. Very few escape this. To avoid it altogether, one must ardently desire Heaven and the vision of God. That is rare, rarer than people think, because even pious people are afraid of God and have not, therefore, a sufficiently strong desire of going to Heaven. This Purgatory has its very painful martyrdom like the others. The deprivation of the sight of our loving Jesus adds to the intense suffering.
“You will never go wrong obeying God. You may not know exactly where you are going, but you can be sure of one thing: when you get to the place He has called you to go, you will experience a miraculous blessing.”—God Has a Plan for Your Life: The Discovery that Makes All the Difference, Charles F. Stanley (via jmleblanc)
“A lot of people think that Christianity is you doing all the righteous things you hate and avoiding all the wicked things you love in order to go to Heaven. No, that’s a lost man with religion. A Christian is a person whose heart has been changed; they have new affections.”—Paul Washer (via corazonquenosiente)
My sister’s middle child, whom she always worred about.Â For good reason, this child was always sick, always at the doctor’s office.Â I did not see her as a sickly person, I saw her as a vibrant, beautiful and very loving young lady.Â This was 6 …
She is living in Guam, our home, and costs are more because we have to fly her out of the island to the States where the hospitals can take better care of her. If you can make a donation to her family to help with these costs, please do so. Even $5 can go a long way.
She is being very gracious about her situation and continues to praise the Lord despite these trying times.
Please consider helping out. Thank you and God bless.
“It is very good and holy to consider the passion of our Lord and to meditate on it, for by this sacred path we reach union with God. In this most holy school we learn true wisdom, for it was there that all the saints learned it. Indeed when the cross of our dear Jesus has planted in your hearts, then will you rejoice.”—Saint Paul of the Cross
Pope Francis is speaking to Filipinos via video conference at the University of Santo Tomas. He is speaking in English (and a little Tagalog). To say that this is the best thing I ever heard is an understatement.
I AM HAVING MAJOR POPE FRANCIS FEELS AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THEM!
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”—1 Peter 1:8-9 (via breanna-lynn)
“When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we exchange the normal and comfortable for the radical, extreme and foolish. Normal Christianity means never being ‘normal’ again.”—Leslie Ludy (via littlethingsaboutgod)
“You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.”—St. Josemaria Escriva (via radioteopoli)
CCC 2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.