Tag Archives: Confession

3rd Sunday of Lent: Christ and COVID-19. Catholic Inspiration

The worldwide response to COVID-19 offers some insights into how we might consider living our lives for the gift of God that comes to us through Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


27th Sunday of the Year: Stir into flame the gift of faith. Catholic Inspiration

The Second Letter to Timothy inspires us to take the gift of faith and stir it into flame, realizing that this task requires daily attention and effort.

Mass Readings – 27th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Be reconciled with your brother. Catholic Inspiration

The Lord boldly states that we are called to reconcile with one another.  That begs a simple question: who do I need to forgive in my life today?  Once we recognize the essential aspect of forgiveness in our lives the next step is to call upon Christ for the grace required to make it happen.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 10th Week of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Monday Conversation: What are you doing for Lent? Catholic Inspiration

Fr. Andrew - Color

Monday Conversation – 25 Minutes

Lent provides a wonderful opportunity to implement new actions that draw us closer to the Lord and one another.  As we reflect on our current situation, consider ways that speak to our interests, and integrate the sacraments of the Church, we find ourselves poised to make this the best Lent ever.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Final Judgment. Catholic Inspiration

the-last-judgment

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Friday of the 34th Week of the Year

We acknowledge that at the end of time there will be a final judgment – where our lives will be examined and we will either be saved or damned in the light of our relationship with Jesus Christ.

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The Last Judgment, Michelangelo, 1536-1541, Sistine Chapel, Vatican.


27th Sunday of the Year – Stir into flame the gift of God. Catholic Inspiration

Candlelight

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – 27th Sunday of the Year

We stir into flame our faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, sacraments, and our relationships with one another.


Daily Mass: Clear sight. Catholic Inspiration

sight

Fr. Andrew’s Daily Mass Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – Friday of the 23rd Week of the Year (St. Peter Claver)

Jesus reminds his disciples that before we can point out the faults of others we have to see our own, taking the time to remove the chunk of wood in our own eye before we point out the splinter in another.


22nd Sunday of the Year – The Battle is Within – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

In football, trick plays are sometimes used to fake out an opponent with misdirection – focusing on something unimportant while the play is happening somewhere else.  Life works the same way: it is easy to spend our time and resources on trivial matters and miss out on critical issues.

The Lord points this out in the Gospel today, inviting us to concentrate on the battle within our hearts.  Here are three things to consider:

  • Using an Examination of Conscience
  • Going to Confession
  • Daily Prayer and Sunday Mass

Through regular use we strengthen our hearts and focus our lives on important things, asking the Lord for the help and guidance we need to conquer our daily battles.


Preparations for Lent

Cross

NOTE:  This post was first published on February 26, 2014.  I share it once again because I know that if we take a little time now to prepare our hearts then this holy season comes alive with grace and power.  May this podcast and the ideas listed below help us all make this Lent the best ever!

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast – Preparing for our Best Lent!

Web Resources from the US Bishops 

Study:  Looking back in my life, are there any activities, people, or situations that have helped me to grow?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the wisdom to recognize the Fruits of the Spirit and the courage to embrace them.

Serve:  Look for an opportunity this Lent to offer a part of your life to helping another – especially someone who has no way to pay you back.

The season of Lent offers a powerful opportunity for conversion, spiritual growth, and developing our relationships with the Lord and one another.  However, I also know that this season has a way of sneaking up on us.  Life moves fast, and we can get caught up in any number of tasks – missing the necessary preparation and perspective to get the most out of these 40 Days.

As a guide, I suggest starting with the “Fruits of the Spirit” that St. Paul writes about in his letter to the Galatians (5:22-23).  They are:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

First, do we see these in our lives?  Are there people, situations, interactions, locations (home, work, school, community) where we see consistent evidence of their presence?  If so, then how can we help them flourish and grow?  How can we create more opportunities to allow the Spirit to work in our lives?

Second, are these absent in our lives?  Or worse, are their opposites present?  Is hatred, despair, turmoil, and the like alive in our hearts?  If so, how can we make the necessary changes to allow the Spirit into our lives?

Now here’s how this gets practical.  It is often customary during Lent to “do” something or “give up” something for these 40 days.  How about this…

  1. “Do” something that fosters the Fruits of the Spirit in my life.
  2. “Give up” something that is in conflict with the Fruits of the Spirit.

Where do we look?  Try this for starters…

  1. WHAT we do – the Activity
  2. WHO we do it with – the People
  3. WHERE we do it – the Location

“Doing” can include any number of things:

  • Helping a neighbor, family member or friend – in a spirit of kindness and gentleness
  • Drawing near to people who are spiritually good – who make us more loving and peaceful
  • Spending time on activities that help us use God’s talents in a good and holy way
  • Concentrating our efforts on opportunities where we know that God is present
  • Being in locations and situations that foster a strong and healthy life

“Giving up” can look like this:

  • Is there anything destructive, harmful, unholy, or evil that needs to be removed?
  • Are there people who are leading us to harm or destruction?
  • Are there locations, situations, or circumstances that are unholy for us?

Using the “Fruits of the Spirit” as a measurement, we can quickly reveal the pattern of our lives.  If it is spiritually fruitful, then we can strengthen this.  If it is spiritually destructive, then perhaps this season of Lent gives us an opportunity to give it up and start directing our lives in better ways.

Furthermore, Lent has classic opportunities for Study, Prayer, and Service:

Study: Scripture, the Catechism, a Devotional, Spiritual Reading

Prayer: Mass, Confession, Rosary, Scripture, Devotions, Stations of the Cross

Service: at home, the neighborhood, the community, the Church

God keeps inviting, keeps forgiving, and keeps extending grace and mercy to all who seek it.  Now is the time to get ready for a powerful Lent – where we turn to Jesus and allow His grace to transform our hearts.  Give serious thought to what you can do to make this season special, and open your to heart to Jesus Christ.

What will you do?  What will you give up?  Make it a great Lent!


Reconciliation – Catholic Inspiration

Three Great Things

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, which also goes by the names of Confession or Penance, is a powerful treasure.  Yet there are many misconceptions, many fears, and many questions that surround this great gift to the Church.  Sometimes I think that folks would rather have a dental root canal than walk into a confessional…

If it has been some time since you have gone to Confession, do not fear!  This incredible Sacrament continues to transform hearts and change lives; the following presentation dispels some of the myths and answers many of the common questions that are frequently asked.

This sacrament has four components:

  • Contrition – sometimes called repentance, shows we are sorry
  • Confession – where we admit what we have done
  • Reparation – where we undertake a penance as an outward sign we want to make things right
  • Absolution – where the priest, speaking on God’s behalf, extends God’s grace and forgiveness

This sacrament will touch our hearts and change our lives!  Confession is not only an experience of forgiveness, but it is a direct encounter with God’s grace – a profound and intense path that leads to the love of Jesus Christ.

This 45 minute presentation was given to the RCIA class on March 16, 2014.  These remarks address a wide range of practical issues that are frequently asked and are meant to help us all understand how to embrace the great sacrament of Confession, especially if we are a little hazy about the last time we stepped into a confessional.

Fr. Andrew’s Reconciliation Podcast