Spiritual Tools

The Name of Jesus

Did you know that the month of January in the Church is traditionally dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus?

The name of Jesus is radical! On one hand, proclaiming the name of Jesus can call down the power of God and drive out demons. On the other hand, many people today use the name of Jesus as they curse.

This reminds us of an amazing story from one of our Pilgrim Center of Hope pilgrims. When her superior used the Lord’s name in vain during a meeting, our pilgrim confronted her boss (who was not a Christian) and told her how much this offended her. She also assured her, “I will be praying for you.”

Time passed, and our pilgrim grew closer to her Holy Land pilgrimage journey. She approached her boss and said, “I’m going to the Holy Land soon, and I would like to leave a prayer intention for you at the Wailing Wall.” Her boss replied, “Not just there; pray for me everywhere you go.”

So, our pilgrim did just that: At every holy site we visited—most of which are related to the life of Jesus, she prayed.

Not long after our return from pilgrimage, her boss approached our pilgrim and said, “Thank you for praying for me. You helped me to discover God.” She joined the Church!

The name Jesus means, in Hebrew: “God saves.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: “At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, ‘will save his people from their sins’.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 430)

This month, try a simple prayer:
Speak the name, “Jesus,” slowly, and with reverence.

Come to Me

This week’s recommended spiritual tool is the book “Come to Me,” by Mary Jane Fox & Nan Balfour

This book is a spiritual prayer companion for you, and offers just some of the many ways our Mother Church guides us on our earthly journey. It is designed to draw you closer to Christ and help you live out your vocation to womanhood in the days of your weeks, over the obstacles in your way, and through the desires of your heart.  It is written to teach, encourage, and inspire women in our unique and unrepeatable dignity, and to emphasize the importance of women in the Church, in our families, in the world, and—most significantly—to our God!

To purchase a copy of Come to Me, stop by the Pilgrim Center of Hope (7680 Joe Newton St, San Antonio, TX 78251) Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Call us at (210) 521-3377.

Copies can also be bought at the Catholic Women’s Conference.

The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Alphonse Ratisbonne was a French Jew who was miraculously converted while at Rome in the Church of San Andrea della Frate. His brother had previously converted and become a Catholic priest, but Alphonse hated the Catholic church and vowed never to enter.

This is the story of the power of prayer and a miracle of grace. It is a powerful, delightful, and consoling story that every apostolic Catholic should know.

This is how Ratisbonne related his experience in the church that cold day in January of 1842. “All I can say is that the moment when the Blessed Virgin made a sign with her hand, the veil fell from my eyes; not one veil only, but all the veils which were wrapped around me disappeared, just as snow melts beneath the rays of the sun. I am asked how I attained a knowledge of these truths, since it is well known that I never opened a religious book, had never read a page of the Bible, and that the dogma of original sin, which is either denied or utterly forgotten by the modern Jews, had never for a single moment occupied my thoughts indeed, I doubt whether I had ever heard the words which express it. How, then, did I arrive at a knowledge of it? I know not. All that I know is that when I entered that church I was profoundly ignorant of everything, and that when I came out I saw everything clearly and distinctly.”

Baron de Bussieres states, “We have given in this volume a literal translation of the original accounts of the conversion of M. Alphonse Ratisbonne along with many other letters and documents relating to the miraculous conversion.”


Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

There are several practical ways you can incorporate the Chaplet of Divine Mercy into your prayer life:

  • Pray after receiving Holy Communion (it is an intercessory prayer that extends the offering of the Eucharist)
  • Recite during the nine days before the Feast of Mercy (the first Sunday after Easter)
  • Pray at three o’clock each afternoon (the “Hour of Great Mercy,” recalling the time of Christ’s death on the cross)
  • Offer the chaplet for the incarcerated, homeless, conversion of souls and the salvation of souls.

For more information about the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, please visit the official website at theDivineMercy.org


Son of Man to Man

Son of Man to Man spiritual book for menThis week’s recommended spiritual tool is the book “Son of Man to Man” by Deacon Tom Fox.

As men we are often focused on practical things like paying bills and planning for the future. However, we are not just material beings. God has created us primarily as spiritual beings with an eternal existence. When we plan for the future, our first concern should be about our relationship with God and the happiness he promises us if we remain faithful to Him. He has revealed what we must do if we are to remain faithful. If we want to be faithful we must have a plan; and this plan will keep us on the right path.

Practical Ways to Utilize Son of Man to Man

  • Keep it in your glove compartment, get in your car a few minutes early and take a moment to read one page before you start your day.
  • Take it with you to Mass and read a section before Mass begins and open your heart to the message God has for you.
  • Use it to begin saying the Rosary daily or start with once a week.
  • Going to Adoration? Take this inspirational book with you for reflection. Consider reading the same passage two times and deeply meditate on what it means for your life.
  • Read this book with your son, grandson, nephews, or any young man in your life who may be waiting for guidance.
  • Help others use this book by giving it as a gift to someone who could use spiritual inspiration!


You can purchase this book at Pilgrim Center of Hope (7680 Joe Newton St, San Antonio, TX 78251) Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Call us at 210-521-3377.

It may also be purchased at the Catholic Men’s Conference.

Popes’ Quotes on Elderly

Did you know that Pope Francis is especially concerned for those in the later years of life?

Here is an excerpt from one of his morning homilies:

Pope Francis cited the Letter to the Hebrews. “There we read: ‘Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God: consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith’ (13:7). The remembrance of our ancestors leads us to imitate their faith. It is true that old age is at times unpleasant, because of the illnesses it brings. But the wisdom of our grandparents is the inheritance we ought to receive. A people that does not care for its grandparents, that does not respect its grandparents, has no future since it has lost its memory.

You can read a collection of messages from our Popes about seniors, the elderly, and grandparents, by visiting our Catholic Seniors’ Conference page.

Or, you can call Pilgrim Center of Hope to request a flyer with some excerpts. Call 210-521-3377.

For Your Marriage

ForYourMarriage.org / OR / PorTuMatrimonio.org by the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage

This website includes resources for anyone – single, married, divorced, widowed, or separated. Check it out especially for ideas on improving communication, overcoming difficulties, parenting, finances, date ideas, wedding advice, and daily tips on strengthening your marriage.

Also includes information on obtaining resources like programs, books, websites, organizations that can empower you, your spouse, and your family. Enjoy!

LPJ.org Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

We recommend to you the website LPJ.org, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is the Diocese of Jerusalem which includes the Palestinian Territories, the State of Israel, Jordan and the Island of Cypress nearby. The Latin Patriarch is like the ‘archbishop’ of the Holy Land. He is in charge of all the Roman Catholics in the Holy Land.

Discover what’s going on in our ‘Mother Church’ of the Holy Land! This website gives news about Bethlehem and Christmas in the Holy Land, including the Latin Patriarch’s Christmas message. We recommend regularly checking the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Visit LPJ.org

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth by Catholic Answers

Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth is a powerful, yet concise booklet that clearly defines the core beliefs of the Catholic faith!

Each topic is easy to read and easy to understand. And everything is cross-referenced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and supported by Sacred Scripture.

At 32 pages, Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth is packed with information about the Catholic Church and God’s plan for us. Plus, its convenient size and special pricing make it perfect to carry with you and give to others as you share your faith with them.

Stop by Pilgrim Center of Hope if you would like a copy of this booklet.

(Source; online version)

A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ As Described by a Surgeon

by Dr. Pierre Barbet

What the Gospels don’t reveal about Christ’s sufferings, science does.

While the Gospels relate only the barest essentials concerning the physical suffering of Jesus, Dr. Pierre Barbet addresses these gaps with scientific inquiry. A Doctor at Calvary provides a forensic pathologist’s analysis of the Shroud of Turin, which reveals the graphic account of Jesus’s suffering at the hands of the Romans. Through a modern medical lens, Dr. Barbet examines the methods of infliction and physiological effects of each wound. He also delves into the historic practice and mechanics of crucifixion.

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