Four Attitudes To Find God in Prayer

How may of us wonder if God knows who we are? Or does He hear my prayer?

During this episode of Living Catholicism, Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox will share 4 indispensable attitudes given to us by St. Anthony of Padua:

  • Open one’s heart confidently to God
  • Speak affectionately with him
  • Present him your needs
  • Praise him and thank him

Not only will this program answer the questions posed, but you will also discover how loved, valued, and necessary each of us is to God.

Encore – Tues., July 30 @ 11 AM

  • Facebook.com/CTSA15
  • Catholic Television of San Antonio (Spectrum channel 15)

… Watch the archived video on our website, ASAP!

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

St Joseph of Nazareth

St. Joseph – A Lesson In Trust

Why is placing our trust in God so crucial? How can we learn to trust as St. Joseph did?

Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox as they examine how the example of St. Joseph can help you trust God with all aspects of your life, especially in times of crisis or when faced with adversity.

Message of Hope:
We should, indeed, honor St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honor him by calling him father. The Holy Scriptures speak of him as the father of Jesus. If the King of Kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to strive to honor him as much as we can.”
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

Mary, The Most Powerful Woman

When you think about powerful women, who first comes to your mind?

In December 2015, National Geographic magazine called Mary, Mother of God, the most powerful woman in the world.

Join Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox as they discuss the impact Mary has had on the world since the beginning of Christianity.

During this program we will look at Mary’s role as Mediatrix and intercessor, how often she is mentioned in the Bible, and why Catholics revere her.

Message of Hope:
Love our Lady. And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle.  – St. Josemaria Escriva

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

Finding Hope in the Darkness

Are you feeling desperate or anxious? Are you in need of hope?

Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox for an enlightening conversation on finding hope in the darkness. The Foxes will reveal ways to sustain and grow in your faith. Learn what it means to Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction and persevere in prayer (Romans 12:12). Discover how to live your faith and trust in God so as to grow in the virtue of hope.

Please tune-in, and be reminded of all the ways God is present in your life, especially in times of difficulty.

Message of Hope:
I plead with you–never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.
– St. Pope John Paul II

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

Unique & United: Church’s Diversity Testifies to Truth

Can you imagine John Williams’ Star Wars orchestral scores, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue performed with only one type of instrument? Or even more impossible: one scale… or one note?

An orchestra’s beauty and power derives from the diversity of instruments, sounds, musicians, notes, and many other factors—all playing various parts toward communicating one piece of music.

God works similarly!

Within the Roman Catholic Church, we see a wide variety of gifts from God called charisms, manifested in diverse spiritualities. Even further, most Roman Catholics here have no idea that Roman Catholicism is just one of many expressions of the Catholic faith.

Let’s reflect on how God is working through both types of diversity.

In San Antonio alone, we see a wide variety of religious orders—Franciscans, Oblates, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Claretians, Jesuits, Salesians, and more. One might ask: Why are there so many? Don’t they all believe the same thing? Don’t they all do similar work?

Each person who has ever existed, has been gifted with a unique set of experiences, characteristics, talents, etc. Just so, the saints who founded each religious order, lived within different cultural, historical, and personal circumstances. While every religious order professes the same faith, their charisms are unique.

For example, the Carmelite community trace their origin to the Prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, and emphasize listening to God’s voice interiorly. Their charism is contemplation, and they wear distinctive uniforms or habits. Whereas, the Marianists were founded during the French Revolution and grew among small faith-sharing communities. They emphasize inclusive social outreach, and wear clothing similar to the people they are serving. Side-by-side, these communities look very different, but they compliment each other and work toward the common goal of union with God and love of neighbor.

In San Antonio, we are also blessed to have Catholic communities other than Roman Catholics. These include the Maronite, Byzantine, and Syro-Malabar Catholics. Walk into any of their gatherings for Sunday worship, and you’ll not only hear different languages spoken or sung, but you’ll also notice different forms of our sit-stand, bow-kneel Catholic calisthenics. You’ll see different ways of receiving the sacraments—which may even have different names. For example, what Roman Catholics call the Sacrament of Matrimony, some eastern Catholic Churches call the Mystery of Crowning.

How did this happen? When the first apostles were sent forth and empowered by the Holy Spirit, they went to many peoples and cultures to spread faith in Christ. Today under Pope Francis, there are different hierarchies of leadership for many Catholic Churches.

At the same time, we are all one Church, one Body of Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that there are diverse histories, symbolism, theologies, forms of holiness… “The mystery celebrated in the liturgy is one, but the forms of its celebration are diverse.” (cf. 1200, 1202)

In other words, our Catholic family is the most beautiful orchestra. When we profess during Mass that the church is “one” and “catholic” (universal), this is what we mean.

“From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God’s gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. […] The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church’s unity.” (CCC 814)

This is beautiful, good news in an increasingly divided world. How can so many different people, languages, cultures, histories, theologies, and missions be united? God shows us how; in the Church. Let’s embrace this good news and share it with others. We need to be witnesses for God through unity.

I encourage and challenge you to learn more about the various expressions of our one faith. Do not be afraid of differences; the unity among these unique expressions will help us all together testify to the living God among us!


Angela Sealana is Media Coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope. Living Catholicism is a regular column of this Catholic evangelization apostolate that answers Christ’s call by guiding people to encounter Him through pilgrimages, conferences and outreach. Read the column monthly in Today’s Catholic newspaper.

Doubting Thomas

We can learn a lot from the Apostle Thomas, also known as ‘Doubting Thomas.’ Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox for an in-depth look at this encounter between the Risen Lord and Thomas in the Upper Room. During this discussion about the Gospel of John 20: 24-29 you will receive insight on:

  • How God knows us where we are
  • How every doubt can lead to an outcome brighter than any uncertainty
  • How the words of Jesus to Thomas speak to the true meaning of mature faith and give us the courage to persevere

Message of Hope
Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God’s providence. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened.    – Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

St Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica – Yours

During this program, your spiritual guides Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox will address three key points:

  • Why is St. Peter Basilica considered one of the most important churches in Roman Catholicism? (chair of St. Peter)
  • Does this Basilica have the Chair of St. Peter?
  • What is its significance for me today?  (Chair of the Pope – authority of the Church, which comes from Christ)

Message of Hope
And only where God is seen does life truly begin.  Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. … There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ.  There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.  – Pope Benedict XVI

 

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org/Living for more information.

Love or hate?

As human beings, we have a real capacity to hurt one another very deeply. Sometimes the things we experience can change the course of our lives and have a profound effect on how we see our self and others. There is no excuse for the terrible things that people do to each other, but no act of violence has the power to destroy our potential for peace and happiness unless we give ourselves over to hate, which consumes our spirit. Can you think of anything that one person could do to another that would not have to be forgiven?

Josephine Bakhita was born in the region of the Sudan around 1869. Seven years later she was kidnapped by Arab slave traders and forced to walk barefoot 600 miles to a slave market. For the next twelve years she was bought and sold more than a dozen times and treated with extreme cruelty, beaten severely and mutilated. Eventually she found her way to a convent of sisters in Venice where she was baptized and formed in the faith. Her new life in Christ brought her so much joy that she said:

If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for it that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today…The Lord has loved me so much; we must be compassionate.

She joined the religious community as a sister in 1896 and was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II on October 1st, 2000.

There are thousands of stories of individuals who have overcome terrible injustices and have been able to forgive the ones who hurt them because they discovered a love greater than their hurt. God is the source of all love and everything good and when we humbly approach him with our brokenness, he will gradually make us whole if we persevere with our prayers and trust in him. He promises that he will be with us if we come to him.

If we persist in asking why the injustice happened, we are asking the wrong question. However, if our priority is to be made whole, God will do it. No matter how bad we have it on the worst day of our life, there will always be someone who has had it much worse and was able to experience forgiveness, peace and happiness because they approached our loving God. Love conquers hate!

A Dominican Priest wrote:

To Thee, and those who love Thee, nothing is impossible,
I can do all things in Thee who strengthens me to do them.


Living Catholicism is a monthly column originally appearing in Today’s Catholic newspaper. Deacon Tom Fox is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope.