“I was sick, and you visited Me”

Tip of the Day:

Visit a friend in the hospital, nursing home or homebound.  At least call him or her.

Verse of the Day:

           

Bible Readings for Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

 

Reflection of the Day:

Our words are not as powerful and miraculous as Jesus telling a man to pick up his mat and walk, but let’s not underestimate the healing power of solidarity with someone who is ill and suffering. Emotional or psychological isolation and separation are added burdens to many who are struggling with serious illnesses.

 

Stop Worrying and Just Thank God

Tip of the Day:

 Listen to Hallelujah

 

Bible Readings for Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reflection of the Day:

Periodically it’s worth taking time off from complaining about trials and tribulations, worrying about problems and asking for things we think we need. God gets tired and so do we.  Both God and we need a break.  Now mind you, complaining, worrying and asking are legit – and we better do them a lot, but not incessantly. Reflect on one or two good things that have happened to you recently – even if you are generally going through a bad time. Say a simple thank you God and praise his name.  It will make you feel better.            

 

 

Announcing Jesus Coming to Mary – Take a Break from Lenten Practices

Tip of the Day:

What’s the Lenten practice this year that’s the hardest for you: Hanging with God, Discipline or Helping Others?  Don’t worry about it today.  Today, you can take a break from it.  It will give you renewed incentive to begin again tomorrow for the second half of Lent.

 

Bible Readings for the Fest of the Annunciation on Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

  

Reflection of the Day:          

No reflection today – I’m taking my mid-Lent break also! 

 

Focus on God and NOT on You

Tip of the day:

Take 15 minutes to read the Bible today.  In the first 5 minutes read both Jeremiah 7:23-28 and Luke 11:14-23. In the next 5 minutes pick one verse that strikes you and think about it the last 5 minutes to figure out one concrete way you will follow up on that verse.

 

Verse of the day:

         

 Bible Readings for Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

 

Reflection of the day:

Thanks to the printing press the Bible became the all-time bestseller. I haven’t yet seen the comps on the e-version or social media fronts. It’s o.k. that the Bible doesn’t top Beyonce’s prego announcement breaking the one-day Instagram record.  I’m betting on the Bible’s staying power long after Bey’s kids are grown. (No offense meant to Bey or her kids.) Despite its popularity, getting at the Bible’s meaning takes effort. You can’t put it under your pillow and get the message through osmosis. You need to open the book, or download the file and READ or LISTEN to it. There is no other way. Sorry. And because it was written a long time ago some of it is hard to decipher – and not to mention it’s a long book.  O.k. all this is true, but the Bible is life-giving, so it’s worth the discipline of reading and listening to it. What I don’t get, I’ll let God fill in the blanks.  It’s worth the discipline.

 

Discipline Leads to Happiness & Fulfillment

Tip of the day:

Pick a particularly difficult commandment today and focus on keeping that command for the whole day.  See how much more alive you feel at the end of the day.



Bible Readings for Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

 

Reflection of the day:

Our world sometimes seems torn between obsessions with either “spring breaks” or “spas.” For a Gemini like me, I enjoy the wonderful contrasts.  “Spring breaks” stand for allowing anything and everything.  All forms of restraint are abandoned, which leads to happiness, fulfillment and renewal – or so the ads would have us believe.  Another set of ads tout the “spa” approach. Come for a week or two of deprivation and regimentation and, at the end, a “new you” will emerge – happy and fulfilled.  In a more moderate version, most of us tend to gravitate toward the “spring break” approach to life: less restraint will make us happier and more fulfilled.  Lent suggests we rethink that a bit: a healthy dose of discipline leads to happiness and fulfillment.  It’s worth mentioning that the “big fulfillment” – the resurrection – came through Jesus’ discipline of the cross.  IJS.

Have Mercy & Forgive

Tip of the day:

Pick someone near-by who has hurt you and forgive. It’s best if you can say that word directly to the person. If not, then at least begin to say mercy in your own heart.

Bible Readings for Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

 

Reflection of the day:

Mercy and forgiveness are among the greatest gifts of love we can give to help another. Portia in Shakespeare’s, Merchant of Venice has said it better than most,

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

Enough said.

 

Let God Speak

Tip For Today

Make your communication with God today aimless. Let God take the lead and take you in the direction He wants.  Save your “asks” of God for another day. You just might be surprised with what God has to offer to you. 

 

Bible Readings for the Feast of St. Joseph on Monday of the Third Week of Lent

 

Reflection for Today

At work, I often ask people who propose a new project or idea, “Why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve?” Sometimes similar questions are also worthwhile to ask about our praying.  What’s on my mind?  What am I praying about?  Sometimes, yes, but not always!  There is another part to praying.  Coming to God with a “blank slate” and letting God write on it.  Being patient, non-directive and waiting on God can be really frustrating and challenging because God speaks in his timeframe and his way.   A little daydreaming is a totally acceptable way of praying and waiting on God.  It’s less of a distraction than an opening for God to talk to us in ways that we may not have been expecting.  Our bosses and colleagues at work can sometimes get a little bothered by our daydreaming.  But God kind of likes it – it gives him space to get a word or two in.

 

Can We Truly Forgive and Forget?

 

 Tell someone who has hurt you that forgive them and are no longer angry.

 Click here for today’s readings.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency

I often have discussions about the difference between “forgiving” and “forgetting.”  I am pretty strong in my perspective on this.  I am never going to forget what Dick Fisher did to me in 6th grade.  He pushed me over in the playground and then got a group of his friends to threaten to beat me up.  Fortunately, it did not amount to much.  But I won’t forget it.  However, within a month I forgave him.  I could give scores of example, some much more significant than that , but I just want to make my point.  We can forgive without forgetting. Let me go a little further with a concept that is murkier – letting go. Sometimes we can spiritually or intellectually forgive, without emotionally letting go. I do believe that spiritual forgiveness can sometimes be an important step toward letting go emotionally. It’s not the whole journey but sometimes a liberating first step.  While I am not a counselor or therapist, I professionally interact with enough people to know how valuable they are in helping people to let go. Sometimes we can only let go with the help of another.  Sometimes that is a friend or family member but other times it is a professional counselor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help of give the help when  you notice someone needs it. Maybe Lent can be a time to take that step if needed.  I will probably come back to more on this later in Lent.     

 

Saint Patrick’s Day & Continuing to Make Lent Great Again!

Rabbi Jon Leener & Kyle Clifford

On this week’s episode of JustLove, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan will be speaking with two guests focused on St. Patrick’s Day and Lent. 

Kyle Clifford, Vice President of Development for The Ireland Fund will be discussing the work of his organization and how it contributes to the development of “peace, culture and charity.” The Ireland Fund is a global fundraising network for people of Irish ancestry and friends of Ireland. It is dedicated to raising funds to support programs of peace, reconciliation, arts, culture education and community development throughout Ireland.

Rabbi Jon Leener co-founder of BASE-Brooklyn will be speaking with Monsignor about Lent and the practices of fasting, charity, prayer and service in the Jewish Tradition. BASE-Brooklyn is a Jewish Community committed to pluralism and is founded on 3 core principles: hospitality, learning and service. This group is an affiliate of Hillel International and supported by the UJA-Federation of New York

 

Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Much celebrating for many today.  Do ONE less “celebratory act” to remind ourselves of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on Good Friday.

Click here for today’s reading.

 

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

 

is a big deal in New York, Boston, Chicago and Savannah (Go figure that one out!).  Did you know that the first Irish Associations in the Unites States founded in Boston and New York had among their original missions: “to help the needy?”  Throughout the past century and to this day most major charitable events – Non-Catholic and Catholic alike – count Irish-Americans among the list of major donors.  This year, the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade is dedicated to The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York as it celebrates its Centennial.  This is so fitting because one son of Irish immigrants, Cardinal Hayes, earned the title, Cardinal of Charity, for his attention to growing Catholic Charities in the early part of the 20th century.  The story of charity in New York can only be accurately told by paying tribute to the work of women religious, many of whom were the daughters of Irish immigrants.  None of this can be accomplished without the discipline of self-sacrifice for the sake of helping others, either through direct personal service or through generous philanthropy.