Spiritual Growth in the Season of Lent

William Skurla | February 7, 2017

The Sunday of Zacchaeus begins our planning for our Lenten efforts to open our hearts for the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. For all, there are the pastoral guidelines for fasting and attendance at weekend Divine Liturgies and Pre-sanctified, and Holy and Great Week services. As always, there is the goal that we do something extra to spiritually help us to grow closer to God during the Season of the Great Fast.

When I ask someone how they feel about their physical health, they are able to explain their list of illnesses and what medicines they take and their efforts to stay healthy. For young people, they are more active and unrestricted in what they can eat and do. As they get older the lists of drugs and operations gets longer and the efforts to stay healthy get shorter or more difficult to maintain. The measures of body weight ad vital statistics give a clear indication of whether they are getting stronger or weaker physically.

When I ask someone how they feel about their spiritual health, most people look puzzled, but when you ask them the question if they feel like they are getting closer to God and what is holding them back, they are able to answer. They know how often they attend their church, how often they confess their sins, how they schedule their personal prayer and fasting, and what they do to serve their church and community.

Like physical exercise, it gets harder for most to do the spiritual and community tasks as we get busy. The actual measures of spiritual health are less defined than physical health. But after explaining what they are doing, most people are able to say whether they are falling away from or growing closer to God.

Whether you feel that you are growing closer or falling away from God the question remains the same. What are you going to do for the Great Lenten Fast?

For children and for beginners, we chose something to give up for during this Great Fast. Cutting out chocolate or some other food for children or even adults can still be an excellent daily reminder of our connection to loss and suffering of Christ, who died for our sins. The return of the missing treat on Easter Continue reading

The Sick, Our Everyday Heroes

Sister Constance Veit | February 7, 2017

by Sister Constance Veit Little Sisters of the Poor Over Christmas, two of my family members were talking about a mutual friend who, though chronically ill, routinely does heroic acts of kindness for others. Though they get exasperated with her … Continue reading

Mark Your Calendar

Editor | February 7, 2017

Women’s Spirituality Day Amy Brooks will be one of the presenters during Women’s Spirituality Day at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa. on May 6.      Brooks, who was born with with the rare condition … Continue reading

“Now there is a great need for prayers”

David Mayernik Jr. | February 7, 2017

When Pope John Paul II was a comic-book hero by David Mayernik Jr., editor One of my hobbies is collecting comic books. I’ve been reading them since I first started reading — “Archie,” “Richie Rich” and “Scooby-Doo” were favorites — … Continue reading

Though snubbed by Women’s March, pro-life groups still participate

Rhina Guidos | February 8, 2017

“It Was An Amazing Experience,” says one Marcher by Rhina Guidos Catholic News Service WASHINGTON, D.C — After being removed from a list of partner organizations for the Women’s March on Washington, members of a pro-life group based in Texas … Continue reading

EWTN launches “Pro-Life Weekly”

Editor | February 8, 2017

Program is Partnership with the Susan B. Anthony List EWTN Global Catholic Network, in partnership with the Susan B. Anthony List, will launch a new half-hour weekly program that will inform and educate viewers about current issues of importance in … Continue reading

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According to the venerable tradition of the Byzantine Rite Church, which was confirmed by St. John Damascene (+ 749), the Blessed Virgin Mary as a child was brought by her parents, SS. Joachim and Anne, to the temple as an offering to God, and she “grew up in the house of God, nourished by the Holy Spirit … Thus she sought holiness and was shown to be a holy and wondrous temple worthy of the Most High.” (cf. The Orthodox Faith, IV, 14) This mystery from the early life of the Blessed Mother in our Byzantine Rite is commemorated on November 21, with the feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary Into the Temple. In Church-Slavonic the feast is called, in a shortened form, – Vovedenije. Continue reading