Tag Archives: struggle

33rd Sunday of the Year: Facing the tough times.

Study: Consider a time when you felt paralyzed by fear.  What helped you to act in a healthy way?

Pray: Do you have a situation where you are struggling for the right words to day?  Ask the Lord for the wisdom to speak.

Serve:  Is someone struggling in your life right now?  How can you help them persevere?

Mass Readings – 33rd Sunday of the Year

In the Gospel Jesus responds to the questions of those who are wondering when the destruction of the Temple will happen.  Through the course of his dialogue three key points surface:

  1. Do not fear.
  2. Trust in the Lord for the wisdom to speak.
  3. Persevere!

These points are crucial – they touch so much of our daily lives!  How often have we experienced moments of fear, or searched for just the right words to say, or looked for strength when we felt weak?  This advice is solid, practical, and helpful.

And yet while we may very well find ourselves nodding in agreement, we also know that this is often hard to do.  Fear can suffocate us and manipulate how we speak and act; sometimes we speak and live to regret what we said or how we said it; and there are days when we wonder why are we doing what we do.

The Lord understands.  Christ faced his fears in the Garden of Gethsemane; he spoke to the hearts of those who persecuted him, even as he persevered on the way to Calvary.

Today we examine our lives for vulnerable spots where we are weak and prone to temptation.  It is here that we call upon the Lord – to face our fears, trust in God’s wisdom, and keep going with a strength that is greater than our own.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on November 7, 2016.


20th Sunday of the Year: Running the race of faith. Catholic Inspiration

The Letter to the Hebrews describes our life as a great race before a cloud of witnesses. Life is difficult, yet with God’s grace and the help of people, angels and saints we can face our struggles with the conviction that we will cross the finish line into Heaven.

Mass Readings – 20th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


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.


25th Sunday of the Year: Life is a battle; keep fighting with faith. Catholic Inspiration

The readings state plainly the hostility and difficulty we often find in lives.  Sometimes the battle is outside ourselves, and sometimes it is within.  Yet as we fight our battles, we constantly use our most powerful weapon: the grace we receive through our faith in Jesus Christ!

Mass Readings – 25th Sunday of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


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


Daily Mass: Faith in the midst of adversity. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 4th Week of Easter

Paul & Barnabas faced tremendous challenges, even as they spread the Gospel in amazing ways.  It’s a good reminder that we, too, will face adversity as we live our faith in the world today.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts