December 2019

Reflection 1: “The” Divine Mercy

When speaking of Divine Mercy we refer to this gift from God as “The Divine Mercy.” By pondering “The” Divine Mercy we are more aware of two things:  First, The Divine Mercy of God is real, definite and concrete. It is not some abstract concept but it is a reality that we must understand and enter into.  Second, there is only One Divine Mercy. It is “The” one and only… Read More »Reflection 1: “The” Divine Mercy

Sharing the Word for December 30, 2019 – Octave of Christmas – Year 2

December 30, 2019 Daily Reading from the USCCB: 1 John 2:12-17 https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/SW_123010_I.mp3   The author wants to be clear about the addressees of his reflections. He is writing for people at different stages of life who have experienced forgiveness of sin and knowledge of Christ. He is speaking to “children”–those who are not yet fully mature but who have experienced the Father and been freed from sin. He addresses “fathers”–the… Read More »Sharing the Word for December 30, 2019 – Octave of Christmas – Year 2

St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr

December 29, 2019 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his own cathedral in 1170. Soon after his death there were reports of miracles at his grave and he was canonized only two years after his death. His life entails the story of the power struggle between church and state in medieval society. Thomas was born in England on December 21, 1118, son of Matilda and Gilbert, who was… Read More »St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr

Remembering the Holy Innocents — Integrated Catholic Life™

“The Flight to Egypt” (detail) by Carl Spitzweg On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a murderous rage… Read More »Remembering the Holy Innocents — Integrated Catholic Life™

Reflection 361: Sacrifice and Prayer

Though this may be hard to understand and to believe, interior sacrifice united with pure prayer does incredible good for the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world.  In fact, if missionaries did not have the power of holy souls who offered daily interior sacrifices and prayers, their efforts would have little effect.  The grace of God is what moves people and this grace is especially won through souls whose… Read More »Reflection 361: Sacrifice and Prayer

Sharing the Word for December 26, 2019

December 26, 2019 Daily Reading from the USCCB: Matthew 10:17-22 https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/SW_122609_II.mp3   People sometimes wonder why the Feast of St. Stephen is observed one day after Christmas. It’s not due to closeness of dates, since we don’t know either the date of the birth of Christ or of the martyrdom of St. Stephen. The association of these two observances is rather due to the commonality of what is being observed… Read More »Sharing the Word for December 26, 2019

The Silent Wonder of Mary and Joseph

Merry Christmas from all of us at Catholic Exchange! To celebrate this holy day, we offer a short sermon from the great Bishop Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. You can read more by picking up the book Meditations for Advent. Once more, Merry Christmas to all. Christ is born, and dwells among us! We beheld the shepherds coming in from their fields glo­rifying God and bringing all who heard them to glorify him… Read More »The Silent Wonder of Mary and Joseph

Learning from the Shepherds at Midnight Mass — Integrated Catholic Life™

“Adoration of the Shepherds” (detail) by Murillo This message, indeed, “cannot leave us indifferent.” Because it is true, “it changes everything.” There is something beautifully symbolic about the tradition of Midnight Mass. It shows that Christians are so eager for Christmas to begin that they want to start celebrating on the first moment of Christmas day. People who ordinarily never go out late at night and are often at that… Read More »Learning from the Shepherds at Midnight Mass — Integrated Catholic Life™

Reflection 357: The Promptings of Grace

When someone is troubled, you may shy away from them.  It’s easy to think that engaging them will impose a heavy burden on your time and energy.  But if the Lord is the one directing your conversation, He can do amazing things in a short while.  Sure, there are times when love demands many hours of care, but often times a few words, a listening ear, or a gentle smile… Read More »Reflection 357: The Promptings of Grace

Sharing the Word for December 21, 2019

December 21, 2019 Daily Reading from the USCCB: Song of Songs 2:8-14 https://www.franciscanmedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/SW_122110_I.mp3   The Song of Songs is a scriptural love poem. Two lovers have been separated by the rigors of winter. Now spring returns. The flowers and the trees are in bloom. The suitor runs across the mountains and approaches the house of his beloved. She waits impatiently, watching behind the wall near the window, then at the… Read More »Sharing the Word for December 21, 2019