Two Essential Elements
Celebration and forgiveness are the fruits of community life; they also create this life of togetherness and bonding. A community that no longer celebrates and lives forgiveness will tend to break up, each one behind her or her closed door. It will become a bad institution.
Letter to My Brothers and
Sisters in L'Arche (1996), p. 29
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Peace is Our Problem
Peace is not just a problem for political leaders, it is our problem. Peace comes when we live in truth and accept who we are, with our strengths and weaknesses, and when we help others with their strengths and weaknesses to do the same. Peace also comes as we realise that we are not alone. God is with us, like a friend [and] is guiding us. And so in the midst of all our difficulties we can give thanks!
Letter, June 2006
Friday, 13 May 2016
Mercy Press announces the release of author Jean M. Heimann’s new book, Learning to Love With the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir. Available in digital ($2.99) and paperback ($13.99) editions at Amazon.com, Learning to Love with the Saints gives us practical insight into the abundant love and mercy that flows from the Sacred Heart of Jesus to our hearts when we learn to trust in His love and mercy. The lives of the saints convey precious lessons of love and guidance on how to live virtuous lives. When we befriend them and ask for their prayers, miraculous transformations can occur in our lives and the lives of those around us. Learning to Love with the Saints shows us how to develop a personal relationship with God, to grow more deeply in love with Him, to trust in His mercy and to use the saints as our supporters and spiritual guides.
Learning to Love with the Saints is the inspiring personal witness of how Jean M. Heimann was wooed by Jesus to return to the Church after being raised Catholic and then leaving her faith for fifteen years. In this riveting memoir, Jean tells the story of growing up in the Midwest in a French-Catholic family during the tumultuous times of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War and mass misinterpretation of Vatican II in the Church in the '60s.
Jean grew up in a stable home environment with devout, hardworking Catholic parents. As a young adult, she deeply desired adventure and romance and yearned for love; however, she searched for it with unsuitable partners. Her life took some treacherous turns as she entered into marriage with a drug-addicted, abusive man, which was soon followed by divorce, causing her to leave her Catholic faith.
Throughout her life, Jean faced numerous sufferings and trials: unemployment, loss, divorce, chronic illness, financial difficulties, and emotional heartaches. In spite of personal and professional accomplishments and successes, she describes feeling empty inside. In this intimate account, Jean shares her fears, her pain and the graces she received from God to rise above her circumstances. She reveals how she came to see her own value in the eyes of God, to surrender to Him and to embrace His tender love and mercy.
Jean expertly weaves Pope St. John Paul II’s theology of the body, Scripture passages, brief biographies of the saints, and poignant quotes from the saints into her story to illustrate how the saints served as spiritual guides who interceded for her, resulting in some astonishing miracles. Through all these trials, it was the saints who restored her faith, kept it alive and helped her discover the meaning of true love.
JEAN M. HEIMANN is a Catholic author and freelance writer with an M.A. in Theology, a parish minister and a diocesan speaker, a retired psychologist and educator, and an Oblate with the Community of St. John. In addition to her highly acclaimed first book, Seven Saints for Seven Virtues, Jean has had her work published in a variety of Catholic periodicals, some of which include: National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, Canticle Magazine, and St. Anthony Messenger/America. Visit Jean at her award-winning blog, Catholic Fire http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Becoming entirely ready
“We... get a good look at what these defects are doing to our lives. We begin to long for freedom from these defects.”
Basic Text, p. 34
Becoming entirely ready to have our defects of character removed can be a long process, often taking place over the course of a lifetime. Our state of readiness grows in direct proportion to our awareness of these defects and the destruction they cause.
We may have trouble seeing the devastation our defects are inflicting on our lives and the lives of those around us. If this is the case, we would do well to ask our Higher Power to reveal those flaws which stand in the way of our progress.
As we let go of our shortcomings and find their influence waning, we’ll notice that a loving God replaces those defects with quality attributes. Where we were fearful, we find courage. Where we were selfish, we find generosity. Our delusions about ourselves will disappear to be replaced by self-honesty and self-acceptance.
Yes, becoming entirely ready means we will change. Each new level of readiness brings new gifts. Our basic nature changes, and we soon find our readiness is no longer sparked only by pain but by a desire to grow spiritually.
Just for today: I will increase my state of readiness by becoming more aware of my shortcomings.
Copyright © 1991-2016 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Disappointments are part of every human reality. In marriage, there is the honeymoon period where each one idealizes the other. Then one day they discover that the other has his/her broken parts, shadow sides, places of darkness, deceit, egoism.... Conflicts arise. The couple then needs help in order to love not the ideal but the other, just as he or she is, with all the beauty and all the brokenness.
Letter to My Brothers and Sisters in L'Arche
(1996) Introduction p. 23
Saturday, 7 May 2016
We can only care for others if we are cared for....Caring is not something sentimental; it means giving time, listening, affirming, understanding and encouraging. It means also challenging and evaluating, when necessary....To care for people does not mean to flatter them; it is to help them discover their own worth and their gifts, in order to grow in truth, and to accept their brokenness and shadow sides...
Letter to My Brothers and Sisters in L'Arche
(1996) Introduction p. 19