3 Minute Retreat: Personal Satisfaction

My last  reflection was posted today for Loyola Press’s 3-Minute Retreat!  You can view the retreat on the  3-Minute Retreat web site  or  Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)

Reflection

The Church extols the virtue of humility “ and with good reason! Humility is the starting point for a deep relationship with God, for without humility we risk placing our own accomplishments above those of God. Yet we can also fall into the trap of false humility, in which we downplay the talents and gifts given to us through the Holy Spirit or fail to give thanks to the Father for them. This silence is equally deadly, for it denies that all we have is a gift. It can also be an impediment to spreading the Gospel by failing to demonstrate what we, as Christians, have to be thankful for! Take pride in your work, but remember to give thanks to God for what he has given you.

I want to thank Loyola Press for inviting me to participate in this project. It was an honor to have my reflections hosted with so many other great writers!

Original photo by mkd/flickrCC

3 Minute Retreat: In Remembrance of Me

My latest  reflection was posted today for Loyola Press’s 3-Minute Retreat!  You can view the retreat on the  3-Minute Retreat web site  or  Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)

Reflection

There are some memories that never fail to make me smile: playing board games in a lake cabin with my friends, my mom’s surprise 60th birthday party, the birth of my children. Memory has a powerful effect on our emotions and can make friends and family long gone seem as if they are in the room with us. Jesus must have known about this effect, for why else would he ask us to celebrate in his memory? By coming together to share his Body and Blood, we are reminded not only of the events of Jesus’ life, but of the joy we have in the promises he has made to us. By keeping that joy in our hearts we can become beacons of light in the world, drawing others closer to him whom we remember.

Original photo by Rusty Clark/flickrCC

3 Minute Retreat: Gifts at the Altar

My latest  reflection was posted today for Loyola Press’s 3-Minute Retreat!  You can view the retreat on the  3-Minute Retreat web site  or  Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)

Reflection

When the gifts are brought to the altar at Mass, there is more going on than meets the eye. While the bread and wine which will become the Body and Blood of Christ are carried forward, we also bring our own hearts to be cleansed and purified. In the third Eucharistic Prayer the priest asks on our behalf that Christ œmake of us an eternal offering  to the Father. It is not just the bread and wine that are changed on the altar! We, too, are made more Christ-like through the offering of ourselves. By practicing what we celebrate “ by extending to our brothers and sisters the same forgiveness shown and commanded by Jesus “ we demonstrate this change to the world.

Original photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP/flickrCC

3 Minute Retreat: Never Forgotten

My next reflection was posted today for Loyola Press’s 3-Minute Retreat!  You can view the retreat on the  3-Minute Retreat web site  or  Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)

Reflection

I have a secret: I’ve envied my wife whenever she’s been pregnant. OK, maybe not for the morning sickness or back pain! But she gets a head start on developing a relationship with our children. She gets nine months of deep intimacy which is available to me only dimly. She knows that child in ways I can only imagine “ just as God knows us in such tender, intimate ways. Even when we sin and turn our back on him, God extends a love even deeper than my wife’s love for our children. That’s thrilling, awe-inspiring, and maybe a little terrifying! But such is the way that God carries us, knows us, loves us.

3 Minute Retreat: Blessed and Broken

My next reflection was posted today for Loyola Press’s 3-Minute Retreat!  You can view the retreat on the  3-Minute Retreat web site  or  Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)

Reflection

The breaking of the bread has always been an intriguing symbol to me. Bread can only be shared when it is broken; it can only fulfill its purpose through its own destruction. This seems a fitting image of the call to martyrdom “ loving God so much that we are willing to allow ourselves to be broken for him, to die to ourselves for something greater. Yet in this brokenness is also great blessing, for it is not a barren, empty destruction, but the means by which we are given new life. Just as the broken bread was blessed and sustained the multitudes, so too are our broken lives blessed and made an instrument of the Kingdom of God.

Original photo by libraryman/flickrCC

3 Minute Retreat: On a Peace Mission

Today the first of my Lenten reflections based on Loyola Press’s 3 Minute Retreat series goes live! You can view the retreat on the 3-Minute Retreat web site or Facebook page. (It really does only take three minutes!)

Reflection

Children are natural peacemakers “ probably because they are also natural peace breakers! Not a day goes by that two of my children don’t get into some sort of argument over a toy or game or who touched who. There is yelling, some recriminations, and maybe a few tears. Yet as soon as the problem arises it seems to right itself and they are off on another adventure without a grudge between them. My children are the clearest signs in my life of God’s wonderful gift of peace and the possibility for real reconciliation. They give me hope that maybe one day I’ll be able to practice that same kind of peace with those around me!

3 Minute Retreat Mondays

I am honored and pleased to have been invited by Loyola Press to contribute a series of reflections based on their 3 Minute Retreats for the Mondays of Lent.  My first reflection will be posted on Monday; other authors will be contributing their own reflections for each of the 40 days, beginning with an introductory reflection tomorrow by Fr. James Martin, SJ.

The easiest way to access all the retreats and reflections is by submitting your email address, through the 3 Minute Retreat web site, or via their  Facebook page. I will be posting my reflections every Monday of Lent on this blog and on my Facebook page. I hope that you will find these reflections a beneficial addition to your Lenten preparation!