Tag Archives: Relationships

Daily Mass: Giving thanks to God for the people in our lives. Catholic Inspiration

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The first reading offers a beautiful reflection on Paul’s gratitude for the people in the Church of the Thessalonians. It’s a good reminder for us as we thank the Lord for the relationships in our lives.

Mass Readings – Monday of the 21st Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

St. Rose of Lima…pray for us!


6th Sunday of the Year: How suffering affects our relationships.

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Study:  Reflect on wounded relationships in your life.  What needs to be done to bring them healing?

Pray:  Ask the Lord for the grace to bring healing to the relationships in your life, especially where suffering has caused misunderstanding or fear has led to doubt and uncertainty.

Serve:  Are there people in your life that are struggling in their relationships?  How can you be a bridge that fosters unity and reconciliation?

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of the Year

Last week I focused on the personal nature of suffering.  When we are in pain, when we hurt, we can easily focus on ourselves.  This is not necessarily a bad thing; suffering can help us confront reality and strive for healing and wholeness.  In our suffering we are aware of blessings that we may have taken for granted – our sight can become sharper as we realize the gifts that have been lavished upon us.

There is another dimension of suffering, however.  Suffering commonly affects relationships; when one person suffers, it is often the case that others suffer as well.  Consider the following:

  • Physical suffering can keep us from human touch/contact
  • Intellectual distress can cause us to lash out in doubt and misunderstanding
  • Emotional anguish can prevent us from connecting with others because of fear and anger
  • Spiritual suffering can obscure our values and beliefs with God and others

There are countless examples, but the point is clear – the pain and anguish a person suffers can directly affect relationships with God and one another.  Suffering can become an obstacle that blocks us from the very persons who can bring healing and relief.  Often the greatest wound from suffering is isolation: in our weakness we withdraw from the very people who can help us the most.

The 1st Reading, Responsorial Psalm, and Gospel today reveal both the obstacles of suffering and the bridges that God makes possible through healing grace.  In the face of suffering the Lord comes, not just to bring healing to a person, but healing to the relationships among persons.  God longs not only to renew our lives but the lives around us as well.  Where suffering brings isolation the Lord brings unity – drawing us together in reconciliation and love.

This communal aspect of suffering thus begs two questions for our consideration:

  1. Is suffering affecting relationships in my life right now?
  2. How can I invite the Lord to bring healing/reconciliation?

When the Jesus healed the leper in the Gospel today, he did more than give the man back his health – he gave back his relationships as well.  The man (formerly cut off from human society) is now restored to his family, his friendships, and his participation in the community.  His life has been restored.

As we look to our own encounters with suffering we keep an eye to the ways in which our relationships are harmed/healed.  May we call upon the grace of Christ to touch our lives, and bless the lives of those around us.

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Note: This post was originally published on February 9, 2015.


Daily Mass: Christ drives out demons and restores relationships. Catholic Inspiration

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Jesus drives out the demon “Legion” from a man and directs him to return to his family. May we call upon the Lord to help us remove anything that divides our families as we unite in faith, hope and love.

Mass Readings – Monday of the 4th Week of the Year


Daily Mass: Practical advice about broken relationships. Catholic Inspiration

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Jesus offers practical advice for dealing with broken relationships in a way that is empowering and crucial for our personal growth.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 19th Week of the Year


17th Sunday of the Year: The beauty and power of relationships

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Study:  Think about a best friend or cherished family member.  What qualities do you find particularly precious?

Pray:  Is there a relationship in your life in need of healing?  Ask the Lord for grace, wisdom, and guidance to make it happen.

Serve: Is there a relationship in your life that needs to be renewed?  What can you do to strengthen the connection?

Mass Readings – 17th Sunday of the Year

A thumbnail sketch of the readings this week looks something like this:

  • 1st Reading – Abraham haggles with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Psalm – “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.”
  • 2nd Reading – We were buried in baptism and risen with Christ through his Cross
  • Gospel – The Lord’s prayer, a friend & neighbor, and a father & son

In all of these readings we see the power of relationships at work touching hearts and changing lives.  We are not meant to walk through this life (or the next) alone; rather, God calls us into communion and invites us to deepen the connections we have with the Lord and one another.  Looking at it this way, the readings point out that a relationship with God makes many things possible:

  • Abraham pleads and negotiates with God to try to save the people.
  • The Psalmist proclaims the Lord’s help in time of trial.
  • Our baptism connects us to Christ’s saving death & resurrection.
  • We can call God “father” and request, give, and seek for what we need.

Our relationship with the Lord is made possible through Jesus.  For remember, God makes it possible for us to draw near, and God invites us to enter into this very unequal relationship to raise us up as the Lord’s sons & daughters.  We’ve been “allowed in” to this intimate and tender connection with Christ.

And thus we are called to strengthen our relationships in two distinct ways – with the Lord and with the people in our lives.  That means we are called to consider how we might spend a little quality time building and strengthening our connections.  With the Lord that means Prayer, Sacraments, Service, and a Call to Holiness.  With other people it means forgiveness, charity, “wasting time” with loved ones in wholesome recreation, and seeking to bring out the best in one another.

And if something is wounded or broken…if a relationship is in need of healing – then ask the Lord for the grace to make it happen!  Remember:  the Lord calls us into relationships.  May we take the gift of today to strengthen these connections in our lives.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on July 18, 2019.


Daily Mass: Stir into flame the gift of God! Catholic Inspiration

The reading from the Second Letter to Timothy offers the exhortation to “stir into flame the gift of God” and live with conviction and courage.  This gift is our Christian faith; and just as a tiny spark can produce a bonfire, so too, our faith can provide the spiritual spark that ignites our lives for service in the world as we draw near to the Lord and one another.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 9th Week of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


The Communion of the Most Holy Trinity. Catholic Inspiration

The mystery of the Trinity – one God and three Persons – reveals the crucial role of communion in our spiritual lives.  We can measure our discipleship in a powerful way by the depth of our communion with God and one another, and we can actively explore the opportunities that we receive and extend communion with the people in our lives.

Mass Readings – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


6th Sunday of the Year: Renewing relationships afflicted with suffering. Catholic Inspiration

Suffering affects our lives on many levels – body, mind, heart and soul – and it can weaken and wound our relationships with one another.  When we respond with compassion, help, unity and God’s grace we can restore what was broken with the healing power of Christ.

Mass Readings – 6th Sunday of the Year

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Practical Reconciliation. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 19th Week of the Year

The Lord offers a three-step process to confront division within a relationship.  It’s practical and powerful…and crucial for us to put into practice.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The healing touch of Christ. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 12th Week of the Year

A leper comes to Jesus and receives healing, encouraging us to look into our hearts to discern where we are wounded so that the Lord might heal us as well.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


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