Tag Archives: Difficulty

1st Sunday of Lent: Be with me Lord when I am in trouble

Helping Hand 2

Study: Reflect on a moment when you were in a critical need.  What pulled you through?

Pray: Ask the Lord for grace regarding a difficult situation.

Serve:  How can you be a helping hand to another?

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Lent

Let’s take a look at these readings that help us kick off Lent:

  • 1st Reading – a recap of how God saved the Israelites in Egypt
  • Psalm – “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”
  • 2nd Reading – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • Gospel – Jesus overcomes the Devil’s 3 temptations

Have you ever been in trouble?  Serious trouble?  End of your rope?  Lost?  Confused?  Abandoned?  Scared?  Feeling like you cannot breathe because the air has gone out of your chest?  Feeling utterly alone?

You’re in good company.  People of faith for over 3000 years have called upon the Lord in their darkest moments – seeking guidance and strength.

And God provides.  We don’t have to look very hard to find examples of pain and suffering, hardship and loss, struggle, catastrophe and sin.  We also know that there are no promises that life will be easy and free from pain.  What we know is simple:  God walks with us and sustains us in our moments of need.

Of course this is only a half truth – God walks with us always!  God never leaves us, but for some very human reason we seem to call out loud and strong when we recognize our need for the Lord.  Isn’t it odd that we “get it” when we are in need…that many of us who dedicate our lives to Christ see much more clearly when the truth is self-evident?

Perhaps not.  Perhaps what this first week of Lent shows us is that our need for God (always present in our lives) is most easily observed when we cannot hide from our need.  For when we are in trouble, we are confronted with the clear and obvious reality that it is only with the Lord’s grace that we can be guided and sustained.  In the times of our testing we discover both our limitations and the Lord’s love.

What are you facing in your life right now?  What requires your own personal admission and acceptance of Christ’s mercy?  Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble!

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If you are looking for more material to help you this Lent, you might consider this list of presentations I have offered over the last couple of years.  Feel free to check it out and share if you find it helpful:

Podcast Resources for getting the most out of Lent

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Note: this post was first published on February 9, 2016.


4th Sunday of the Year: We confront the tension of life with the love of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Like Jeremiah and Jesus, we experience times in life that are filled with tension and difficulty.  Yet following the example of St. Paul, we face these challenging moments with God’s grace as we embrace and live the love of Christ each and every day.

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


4th Sunday of the Year: When the going gets tough…keep going!

when the going gets tough

Study:  Recall a time when you had to speak up in a difficult situation.  How did you face it?  What gave you strength to do it?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to respond to challenging circumstances with love.  Call upon the Holy Spirit for the gifts you need.

Serve:  How can you support someone who is faced with a tough task right now?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of the Year

Let’s start with a quick recap of the readings this week:

  • 1st Reading: Jeremiah will be strengthened to preach a difficult message
  • Psalm: We proclaim God’s goodness, especially when life is tough
  • 2nd Reading: The Love of God shapes and directs our lives
  • Gospel: Jesus encounters opposition at Nazareth

The first reading, psalm, and Gospel all refer to moments that challenge us.  The prophets encountered it, the Psalmist sings about it, and the Lord himself met resistance and opposition to the message he proclaimed.  But note this: in spite of the difficulty they did it.

Sometimes saying what needs to be said is unpleasant and unwelcome.  We might want to avoid it or wish someone else could do it, but there are times in life when it’s up to us to deliver a tough message.  We know what needs to be said…and that it’s up to us to speak.

The key is how we say it.  How does our intention, our desire, and our tone convey a tough message?  The answer is found in the second reading: Love.  The love of Christ guides and directs every aspect of our lives – including those times when we are called to speak about a difficult topic.

This notion of “what” and “how” shows up repeatedly in the spiritual life:

  • What refers to the issue, content, and “facts” of a situation or circumstance
  • How refers to the manner in which it is conveyed – the way we do something

Our faith calls us to confront the reality of life, particularly when things are tough.  We need not fear engaging a difficult situation; rather, we draw on the love of Christ to guide us – both in what we say and how we say it – trusting that the Lord will provide us with the grace we need.

Let’s face it:  Life is tough!  But when the going gets tough, the tough get going…guided by God’s love.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on January 26, 2016.


5th Sunday of Easter: Christ is the vine that sustains us in times of struggle. Catholic Inspiration

The accident at the oil refinery in Superior last week was a stark reminder how we rely on and support one another in times of danger.  Where do we find the strength to work together?  United in our faith in Jesus Christ we are nourished with God’s grace so that we can offer our lives for one another.

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Easter

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Standing in the presence of God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 15th Week of the Year

Moses stands before God and receives his commission to go to Egypt.  It will be hard, but the Lord will walk with him.  As we face our challenges in life, God will give us what we need as well.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


St. Peter & St. Paul Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – The Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul

These two great saints made an enormous impact in the Church, even as they encountered hard work and confronted their own weaknesses and sins.  May we look to their example and trust in the Lord for the grace we need to face the challenges of life.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Chosen by God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 5th Week of Easter

Chosen by God does not mean that life will be easy; on the contrary, it will be hard!  We know from experience that there are times when we pay the price for doing the right thing, and as we follow Jesus Christ we know that we will meet opposition and difficulty…yet with the Lord’s grace we will be given what we need to keep going.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts