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What Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Can Do for You

Our comfort zone can mean different things. It could be

  • a specific routine each day
  • minimizing activities in order to manage stress
  • or an overall state of mind in which people are in control of their environment without any anxiety.
  • ‘Comfort zone’ can also have negative aspects such as addictions that may be detrimental to our mental and physical health as well as our souls.

While this pandemic and the situation in the world has caused many people to restrict their movement, staying home more often than we would otherwise choose; this may now cause us to make our comfort zones even more comfortable!

You may be thinking by now: But what is this about? How am I to get out of my comfortable routine? Don’t rock my boat!

A Strong Act of Our Will

In conversations with friends and acquaintances these last few months, I have often heard them say: I am being creative with my time at home, my limited travels outside my home. They continue to list activities they have started to do such as a new hobby, additional prayer time, spiritual reading, researching topics, volunteering for their church during certain events such as funerals, or calling sick parishioners. In the workplace; becoming patient with those around me. These can be good examples of getting out of your comfort zone, because doing so takes an act of will.

Saint Josemaria Escriva, a priest from Spain who died in 1975, spoke extensively about sanctifying all we do, from our home life to work. He said:

As well as having given you abundant and effective grace, the Lord has given you a brain, a pair of hands and intellectual powers so that your talents may yield fruit. God wants to work miracles all the time – to raise the dead, make the deaf hear, restore sight to the blind, enable the lame to walk… through your sanctified professional work, which is both pleasing to God and useful to souls. (The Forge, 984)

The Power of Stepping Out… and of Not Doing So

Our Lord and Savior Jesus, when walking along the shores of Galilee, called out to fishermen to follow him as they were mending their fishing nets. They certainly left their comfort zone to begin a new “career,” one as a disciple to the Son of God! The fruit of stepping out of their comfort zone was not only an incredible new life for them, but for the world; they would become the foundation stones of the Catholic Church.

Stepping out of our comfort zone can do the following for us:

  • Build self-confidence
  • Discover our gifts and talents
  • Give us satisfaction of doing good.

Stepping out of our comfort zone can do the following for others:

  • Build an environment of positive action
  • Encourage others
  • Support an important cause that will bring hope

Not stepping out of comfort zone at times can stunt our intellectual and spiritual growth. It can possibly lead to lack of enthusiasm.

Take the Next Step

Yes, it does take time and effort to step out of our comfort zones. Our Lord knows who you are. Ask him for the grace to do things that you know you should do, but find difficult to do. This not only facilitates our development, it also strengthens our faith and trust in God who is the source of our accomplishments.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1: 7)


Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Meet the Master: Jesus’ Love

You are invited to spend a VIRTUAL morning of reflection on Jesus’ love with Pilgrim Center of Hope.

Meet Jesus as a man who had friends & family, an Aramaic-speaking Jew.

  • What did he say about love? Whom did he love?
  • How could a loving God allow evil & suffering?
  • Encounter Jesus’ words and actions; informed by history and role models for us today.

Presenter: Angela Sealana

To Participate: Simply show up at this website by the starting time listed! The video will be here for you to watch along. To participate in the live chat, watch from our Facebook page.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for attending, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!



Materials for this Morning of Reflection

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Finding Joy, Faith & Hope In Any Situation

Some Context

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a treasure, and to a pearl of great price. When they are discovered, the one who finds them sells all he has to acquire them. The point is not the value of the treasure or of the pearl, but of the kingdom of heaven, which leads us to the last comparison; the net thrown into the sea. At the end of the age, all humanity will be gathered together; some will be invited into the kingdom of heaven and others will not.

As Jesus says in another place, “Where ever your treasure is, so also will your heart be” (Matthew 6:21). Those to whom the kingdom of heaven was of primary importance during their life and who were faithful witnesses of their love for God and neighbor will receive their treasure in heaven.

What To Seek

In the first reading, we see that Solomon answered wisely when God offered to give him whatever he asked for. When he asked for an understanding heart so that he could serve God and His people better, God was pleased. In his heart, Solomon was not far from the kingdom of heaven.

It was as if he was prophesying what Jesus would tell us in the Gospel of Matthew: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33). These words from Jesus are the light that will guide us into his kingdom. They are the fulfillment of the Two Greatest Commandments; we must love the Lord Our God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourself. When we order our lives toward God, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

So we must ask ourselves, where is our treasure? What are you willing to give everything you have for? In what are you investing?

How to Find the Treasure

One resource that we all have equally is time. Everyone of us has 24 hours each day, and how we use that time has a great deal to do with our proximity to the kingdom of heaven. All we need to make an eternal investment is our intellect and our free will.

I remember Fr. Bruce Nieli, a Paulist priest who used to live in Austin, telling us that when he was going through a difficult time he would visit a friend who was a quadriplegic. He said, this man, though handicapped was always filled with joy because of his love of God and his great prayer life. Joy does not mean the absence of difficulty; it means having great faith and trust that in the end “… all things work for good for those who love God…” as Paul tells us in the second reading (Romans 8:28).

I have heard people say they do not have time to pray. What is it that you are doing that you can do on your own without God’s help? It is His love that allows us to take our next breath. There is a saying, “No prayer means no faith,” because prayer is our connection to God. Without faith, we have no hope.

Perhaps it could be said that the kingdom of heaven is like the prayer of a faithful person, because it always puts us in the company of God. Jesus said, “Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). When we pray, we are always at least in the company of our Guardian Angel.

Make the Commitment

It is especially our commitment to daily prayer and to the sacraments of reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist that keep us invested into eternal life and help us to reach our greatest happiness on earth. Prayer and the sacraments help us to be better husbands, wives, parents, children, etc. Whatever is most dear to our hearts is best protected by prayer and the sacraments of the Church.

Jesus closes this Gospel by asking, “Do you understand all these things?” Like Solomon, let us pray for the gift of understanding, but also for the greater gift of believing; because by faith we are often called to believe that which we cannot understand. The Scriptures and the Church will guide us into the kingdom of heaven if we believe what has been revealed to us, and then act on what we believe.

If you want to be close to the kingdom of heaven, make a commitment to spend time close to Jesus in his Eucharistic Presence in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. You’ll be glad you did.


Deacon Tom FoxK.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Do Something to Spread Hope (Here’s How)

By now you’ve probably seen the signs in people’s yards and along city streets that say things like — Don’t give upyou’re not alone — you matteryou are worthy of love, and — your mistakes do not define you.

What began in 2017 with 20 yard signs – one woman’s response to a high suicide rate in her Oregon town – has evolved into a movement with thousands of these signs popping up all over the United States and abroad, and yes; along my route to work in San Antonio, Texas.

I bring this up, because these days, we all need to do our part to spread messages of hope. The most beautiful thing about these signs is that they are a reminder that anyone, anywhere, can make a difference. Like Amy Wolff, the sign lady, all we have to do is something.

Today, I would like to focus on some of the “something” we can do to lift each other up spiritually. The last thing we want to do during this time is to forget about or abandon our spiritual exercises which are at the heart of maintaining a spirit of hope.

How to Start

First and foremost, praying for each other and for our country & world is so important right now.

Letting others know that we are praying for them can be very consoling and encouraging.

What Else Can We Do?

Here are some other ideas and ways we can attend to the spiritual well-being of those around us:

  • Provide Sacramentals to Others: Surprise someone – even a stranger – with a Rosary, small bottle of holy water, or perhaps a prayer card. Not only does this make someone feel cared about, but it also encourages them in their faith life.
  • Start a Group Virtual Prayer Time: Gather with others at a particular time for a virtual prayer session. During this time, participants can share what their particular prayer needs are, and then the group can offer up these prayer intentions as they pray together.
  • Email Links to Online Messages of Hope to Others: While you may be aware of all the spiritually enriching resources offered by Pilgrim Center of Hope, others may not be. Take a moment to send out a link to our Journey with Jesus and Meet Mary weekly virtual reflections. You can also send them one of our monthly video presentations – Meet the Master or Socials with the Saints.
  • Gather the Family Together: Even though our churches have re-opened, some folks haven’t returned to in-person Mass to avoid the coronavirus. If that’s the case in your household, aside from watching live-streams from your parish or other parts, build in some family time to read Scripture, pray together, and as a family engage in acts of kindness.
  • Consider Doing More Tithing: Taking into account that the economic impact of the pandemic has been far reaching, if you are not having to endure a financial crisis and have been relatively un-affected by COVID-19, then perhaps you will consider utilizing what you might have spent on entertainment, vacations, and eating out to help support non-profits that are suffering. For families, this can provide a great lesson for children when it comes to the importance of tithing and supporting worthy causes.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind. (Hebrews 13:16)

Doing something to spread hope to others is not easy. This takes sacrifice and stepping out of your routine or comfort zone, but the rewards are tremendous.


Robert V. Rodriguez  is Public Relations & Outreach Assistant for Pilgrim Center of Hope. He combines a passion for the Catholic faith together with years of professional experience as a TV news journalist, video producer, and PR/marketing specialist. Robert also serves as Chairman for our annual “Master, I Want to See” Catholic Men’s Conference.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Meet the Master: Jesus’ Peace

You are invited to spend a morning of reflection on Jesus’ peace with Pilgrim Center of Hope.

  • Enter into relevant Scripture, to encounter Jesus in his words and actions.
  • Receive relevant direction and elaboration from the Church tradition and teaching.
  • Be introduced to a role model of faith; a saint who helps us understand Jesus’ peace.

Presenter: Angela Sealana

 

To Participate: Simply show up at this website by the starting time listed! The video will be here for you to watch along. To participate in the live chat, watch from our Facebook page.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for attending, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!



Materials for this Morning of Reflection

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How We Can Amaze God

Are you a hero?

A hero is defined as:

  1. A person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character.
  2. A person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.

In the Gospel of Matthew 8:5-9, we find two heroes . . .

When he [Jesus] entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

Our first hero is the Centurion. This man’s faith that Jesus could heal his servant gave him the courage to risk livelihood, reputation, and life. This military commander of one-hundred soldiers, a Roman citizen; a man expected to worship pagan gods and Caesar, sacrificed everything by humbling himself to Jesus of Nazareth and calling him Lord.

Who is the second hero in this story? I discovered who it was during a recent homily. Father asked us, “What made the Centurion seek out Jesus?” The answer that brought a smile to the priest’s face was, “His love for his servant.” “Yes!” said Father.

There had to be something special in achievement, quality or witness in his servant that would cause the Centurion to risk rank, status, and life in hopes of securing a healing. There had to be a nobility of character in this lowly servant that impressed the Centurion. There had to be goodness, kindness, virtue in this servant that inspired the Centurion to love and to courageously act in this love.

I have to wonder if our Lord was speaking of both the Centurion and his servant that, when Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matthew 8:10).

We often dismiss ourselves as insignificant. We become discouraged that we are doing nothing of importance in the world. We may have educational degrees and sports trophies from years gone by, but believe we no longer impress or amaze anyone. Our lives seem as nothing but a series of seemingly endless days of household chores, child-rearing duties and work tasks.

Yet this Gospel passage tells a different story.

It is a story of what the Kingdom of God treasures; not power and rank, but rather humility in ourselves and trust in God. We see this in the Centurion’s response to Jesus’ offer to come to his home, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

In his amazement at the faith of the Centurion and the one who inspired it, Jesus exclaims, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed” (Matthew 8:13).

Following as disciples of Jesus Christ, we must guard against judging the worth of a person based on performance or worldly achievements. The Church lives this way of discipleship. For example, Pope John Paul II wrote in the encyclical, Centesimus Annus, “Human persons are willed by God; they are imprinted with God’s image. Their dignity does not come from the work they do, but from the persons they are.”

So, are you a hero?

If you say no and feel like the Centurion – unworthy for God to visit you, have courage! This is a great place to begin your faith journey. May it inspire you to know that it is the words of the Centurion that begin the prayer offered at every Mass right before we welcome our Lord Jesus Christ into our very being at Communion; Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

A favorite saying at Pilgrim Center of Hope is, “You do not have to be perfect to begin anew in Christ.” Let us journey with you!


Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Meet the Master: Jesus’ Compassion

You are invited to spend time reflecting on Jesus’ compassion, with Pilgrim Center of Hope ONLINE!

  • Enter into relevant Scripture, to encounter Jesus in his words and actions.
  • Receive relevant direction and elaboration from the Church tradition and teaching.
  • Be introduced to a role model of faith; a saint who helps us understand Jesus’ tenderness.

Presenter: Mary Jane Fox (Co-Founder, Co-Director; Pilgrim Center of Hope)

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for attending, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!



Materials for this Morning of Reflection

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How to Pray These Days: Expert Advice

Do you ever feel like you’re “praying wrong” or don’t know how to start praying? I can assure you from our experience at Pilgrim Center of Hope (PCH)… Don’t worry; almost everyone wonders that!

Even Jesus’ disciples wanted to know how to pray. They implored him, “Teach us to pray.” So, Jesus outlined the most fundamental prayer, known today as the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father. Each line of this prayer teaches us something important about prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed (holy) be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts
as we forgive our debtors;
and do not subject us to the final test,
but deliver us from the evil one.
(Matthew 6:9-13)

We could meditate on what each line of this prayer means, and still would find new insights with each day.

One of the greatest treasures we have is the model of the saints, who were human just like us—with complicated lives, struggles, challenges, joys, and sorrows. Through practice, they became prayer experts. At Pilgrim Center of Hope, we mine their treasured insights like the spiritual gold and jewels that they are, especially through our monthly Socials with the Saints.

Here are some of our favorite pieces of advice:

Four Simple Attitudes

St. Anthony of Padua was known for his teaching style that would captivate the listener. Here’s what he taught about how we should pray:

  1. Open your heart confidently to God.
  2. Speak affectionately with God.
  3. Present to God your needs.
  4. Praise and thank God.
In Difficult Times

When we face challenges, prayer can become more difficult. Through a Social with the Saints at PCH, we’ve learned from someone who understands this well; St. Mary MacKillop. Like Jesus, Mary MacKillop experienced the rejection of her own religious leaders, through an unjust excommunication.

We were in awe as we read that Mary would often say, “Today, God has been so good to me.” Considering her tremendously difficult circumstances, what an insight this was for us, into maintaining a prayerful attitude. She advised,

Let us study the Heart of God and, in doing so, we shall learn many beautiful lessons of patience and love.

About prayer, she said; “Let me humbly place myself in the presence of my God, of my God who created me, my God who redeemed me, my God who sanctified me.”

When Words Fail

What about when we simply cannot express ourselves in words? St. Teresa of Avila assured us, “Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.”

Saint Paul further reminds us that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together to communicate with us, as long as we open our hearts: “We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will” (Romans 8:26-27).

Don’t worry; “the holy ones” in this context does not leave you out. “Holy” means “set apart,” and when we choose to pray, we are setting ourselves apart. Jesus encourages us: “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day” (John 6:40).

Start Now

Do not be afraid; simply choose to pray. Picture Jesus in your mind. Ask for guidance. You have nothing to lose! God is eager to enter this journey with you.

Take advantage of upcoming opportunities to grow spiritually and practice prayer. We invite you to browse our Port of Hope & Events Calendar; we’re here for you, but most importantly—God is here for you.


Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life.

Angela Sealana is Media Coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, having served at the apostolate since 2010. She also serves on the PCH Speaker Team.

How Jesus’ Love Is Real

Jesus said to his apostles, “Whoever loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me.” To receive this message literally may seem quite harsh, but actually it is another way of stating the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

God’s Love

With the help of our parents, God created us out of love, and it is his love that keeps us in existence. God, in his wisdom, commands us to love him above all else – because he knows this is the only way to perfect happiness. Since God is Love and is the source of love, we can only reach our potential for loving ourselves and others when we love God first.

In God’s plan, everything is connected to his love, even the crosses he asks us to carry.

  • He has already proven his love for us by sending his Son to become one of us. Born of the Virgin Mary, he took the name Jesus, and fulfilled all that the Scriptures prophesied about him.
  • He spoke with authority and performed miracles while teaching about the love of the Heavenly Father.
  • Out of love for us he established his Church upon Peter, the first pope, and the apostles so that his authority will be with us until the end of time, showing us how to live our lives close to God.
  • On the night before he died, at the Last Supper, he instituted the priesthood and the Holy Eucharist so that those who believe in him might be one with him in a supernatural way when we receive him sacramentally. Such is his love for us.
  • In obedience to the Father, he suffered his terrible passion and death on the cross for our salvation; he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven so that the Father would send the Holy Spirit on the Church he founded.
Love for God

This Jesus who has done all of this for us is telling us what we must do if we are to share eternal life with him. When God is our priority, we will recognize the specific plan he has for each of us. Then when we undergo trials, we know he will help us carry our crosses, because he promised he would.

God has always loved me, but I did not always give much thought about my love for God. How could I? Prayer was only an occasional activity. For love to be real, it must be a relationship with mutual and frequent communication. God is constantly communicating with us through his creation, through the events of the day, and through the people around us. When we spend time in prayer every day, when we read the Scriptures, and when we participate in the Mass and the sacraments of the Church; we become more aware of how close God is to us, and we begin to love God because we are able to experience his love.

What I Didn’t Know

Like most Catholics, I received my First Communion when I was in second grade. Through the years, I knew this was a special gift that I should not receive if I committed a mortal sin, but I did not have a deep understanding that this was the greatest gift of my life. Our Lord loves us so much that he gives us himself totally under the appearance of bread and wine. He does this so that we can become one with him in a supernatural way, and this is as close as we can get to heaven on earth.

Before the three children from Fatima received Holy Communion from the angel, they were taught this prayer. “I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love thee. And I ask pardon of those who do not believe, adore hope and love thee.” If we ask God, he will help us believe, adore, hope, and love him.

Lord, you have proven your love for me, help me to prove my love for you.


Deacon Tom FoxK.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Pilgrims carry the Cross along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem - January 2017

When Your Cross Is Too Heavy!

Pilgrims carry the Cross along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem - January 2017

Any person, whether a follower of Jesus or not, will suffer frustration and pain in this life. Taking up one’s cross and following Jesus is something completely different. The Lord Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark 8:34, Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. In Jesus’ day, the cross wasn’t just a symbol of pain and suffering; it was mainly a symbol of death. That doesn’t sound very good does it?

What is your cross?

What Jesus is referring to is an invitation to:

  • Walk with him – and as we do, we learn about his teachings; his message on how to live daily with his peace.
  • Begin a relationship with him, with a commitment to the end.
  • To be obedient, even to the extreme measure and willingness to die in pursuit of obedience to him, who is the Truth.
  • To trust him alone for our salvation, and then to follow him as his disciples. He said, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

Our cross can be physical or spiritual or psychological. It can range from a sickness or disorder to the inner wounds caused by someone who has hurt us.

St. Paul had a thorn in the flesh, as we read in 2 Corinthians 12:7. We don’t exactly know what the thorn in the flesh was that St. Paul carried. Whatever it was, Paul’s first course of action was to ask the Lord to take this thorn away. So we, too, can ask the Lord Jesus to remove our pains or lighten them. However, if they remain, like Paul we will find our strength and peace in Jesus.

How do I embrace my cross?

Only with the help of God’s grace – which is quite different from trying our best to accept a cross without grace. When we do embrace our cross with God’s grace, we find ourselves depending on God more and more each day! Then it is possible to carry our cross knowing that God is helping us!

I met a woman a few years ago who was dying of cancer. She thanked God for the cancer because it brought her to know Him – and to a point where she could forgive those who had hurt her. She told me that if she would have died before her illness, she may have lost her soul, because she had been filled with bitterness due to wounds and hurts from her past. During that time, she didn’t know about the life of Jesus. Her illness placed her on a journey of healing, a different healing than expected; her healing was in her soul and her mind. She was at peace and ready to meet her Creator. She embraced her cross, and it brought her to new life with Jesus.

Take a moment now to ask the Lord Jesus to give you his grace; the strength needed to carry your cross.

The Lord Jesus willingly embraced the cross for our sake to atone for our sins and to free us from slavery to sin, Satan, and death. Proclaim boldly what no earthly power can destroy -the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus had to carry his cross, so the disciples must carry their cross and not try to evade it. To suffer for the faith is to share in the work of Christ. Do you trust in God’s grace to carry your cross for Jesus’ sake? – DailyScripture.net

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – St. Paul the Apostle

Jesus, with you I can carry my cross!


Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.