Tag Archive for: healing

The Lord Wept: Dominus Flevit Chapel – Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Take your Lenten journey to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem! Come along with Angela Sealana as she spiritually travels to a holy site many people have not heard of before; a chapel called Dominus Flevit, a Latin name meaning, “The Lord Wept.” Dominus Flevit is located halfway along the western slope of the Mount of Olives.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Why Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem
  • Archeological & architectural history of this tear-shaped chapel
  • Encouragement for us from this holy site

Visit Dominus Flevit’s official website here for more information.

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsor, Patricia Brown, who made this podcast episode possible.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

Are we content with ourselves? Because we have organized everything and do not need new visits from the Lord? – Pope Francis


A Closer Look at San Salvador Cathedral:


Get More Out of Your Journey with These Suggested Readings:

As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

 

At that time some Pharisees came to him and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’ “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. (But) I tell you, you will not see me until (the time comes when) you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:31-35)

 

Anyone listening to these words might say that their meaning is obvious; they were fulfilled in what happened to Jerusalem: The Roman army laid siege to it and sacked it to the point of destruction until the time came that stone did not remain upon stone. I do not deny that Jerusalem was destroyed because of the sins of its inhabitants, but I ask myself if these tears are not also for our Jerusalem. We, in fact, are the Jerusalem that Jesus was mourning, we who think we have the highest knowledge of the Mysteries. (Origen, Homily 38,3)


Where is Dominus Flevit Located?

The Unconditional Love of the Father

The Parable of the Lost Son found in the Gospel of Luke (15:11-32), is often referred to as the prodigal son because it seems to focus on the behavior of the younger son, but there is much more to reflect on here. Certainly, we see how the selfishness of the younger son drew him into deeper sin that eventually brought him to the point of despair. He set aside the love of his father and the security of his home to satisfy his attraction to pleasure and self-indulgence. He even asked for an inheritance that was not rightfully his until his father died. It is as if he was saying to his father, my inheritance is more important to me than you are.

It was not until he ran out of money that he was able to see the tragedy of his choice. When he began to starve, he remembered how good he had it before he left home. His repentance was not of the best of motives because his main reason for returning home was to satisfy his hunger. However, he did confess that he no longer deserved to be called his father’s son and was willing to be treated as a servant.

The most important person in this parable is the father. Even though he was treated with disrespect, he longed for his son to return. As the Gospel of Luke (15:20) states,

“While he (the younger son) was a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was moved with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”

He restored his son to the position he had before he left. This is an image of our heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us. No matter what we have done he longs for us to return to him and renew our relationship with him. For this renewal to happen, like the younger son, we must have a contrite heart and return to God so that we can experience his unconditional love. He never stops loving us, but when removing ourselves from him through sin, we do not have a sense of his loving presence. We lose sight of the plan he has for us and become sad, even hopeless.

Meanwhile, when the older son hears the reason for the celebration, he becomes angry because his brother is welcomed back after such a shameful departure. His jealousy prevents him from sharing his father’s joy at the return of his brother. It seems he would rather his brother continue to suffer the consequences for his selfish behavior, which of course is selfish behavior also. His father tries to convince him of how much he is loved and wants him to share in the joy of his brother’s return.

Putting Yourself in the Parable

Which of the three characters in this parable can you identify with? How about the younger son? Have you ever made a selfish decision that hurt someone else deeply? If so, did you return to ask forgiveness? The best reason for reconciliation is not that we find ourselves desperate like the younger son, but because our conscience tells us it is the right thing to do. Unless we have allowed our heart to become hardened, we cannot be at peace with our self when we know we have been unjust.

Maybe we can relate to the older son who allowed his jealousy to blind him of the joy his father wanted him to share in. Jealousy does not allow us to recognize our own gifts and talents and prevents us from becoming what God wants us to be. Like selfishness, jealousy can cause us to be unhappy and hopeless.

The purpose of the parable is for us to recognize the unconditional love of the father. I personally have been able to relate to both the younger and the older sons at different times in my life. I have also been able to forgive myself and others and develop a desire to love God above all things and my neighbor as myself for the love of God. We all are on a journey and what we were yesterday and what we are today should not be the same as what we will be tomorrow.

How Can You Experience God’s, Unconditional Love?

Hopefully, this parable will convince us of the unconditional love of our heavenly Father, and what we can do to experience that love. It is especially in the sacrament of reconciliation that we experience the love and forgiveness of God. As the father waited for the return of his son, so does Jesus wait for us in the confessional. We confess our sins to Jesus through his priest and Jesus forgives our sins through his priest. When we hear the priest say, “I absolve you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” we can know we are forgiven by God, and just like the prodigal son, we are restored to our dignity as a child of God.


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.

Judean Desert & Journey thru Lent

With Ash Wednesday, we begin the Lenten season. Come along with Mary Jane Fox through the Judean Desert, and learn about what it’s actually like to walk in the same place where Jesus experienced his temptation.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Why did Jesus go to the desert? How far would he have had to walk to get to there? How far was it to the nearest town?
  • What might have Jesus experienced during his time in the Judean Desert? (Climate, storms, isolation, hunger, etc.)
  • How we apply what we’ve learned on this audio pilgrimage to enter into a desert experience during this Season of Lent?

Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey

The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross. – St. Anthony of the Desert


A Closer Look at St. Peter’s Basilica:

 


Where is the Judean Desert Located?

A Call To Action – A Call To Prayer

I’ll pray for you.

How many times have we typed that on a Facebook post where someone is asking for prayers for a difficult situation?

Thoughts and prayers

How often do we hear this after a tragedy occurs in our country? Almost too much, to the point that it is often ridiculed as separate than action. We don’t need your prayers; we need something done!

But prayer is a form of action, it is a beautiful form of charitable action that unites ourselves to our creator on behalf of our brothers and sisters.

St. John Damascene states that prayer is the

“raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2559)

When we pray, we are actively involving ourselves in being open to petition to God, to hear His voice, to listen in peaceful presence to His command for our lives. When we offer the intentions of others who have asked us to pray for them, we are making a committed effort to unite that person’s intentions with our own intentions, coming together as a Body of Christ.

One way to think of prayer is to understand the difference between sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is generally defined as the showing of pity or sorrow for another person. Poor you, we might say to someone. Empathy is regarded as being intimately connected with the sufferings of another, to try to be in their shoes and see things from their perspective in order to fully realize their struggles.

To connect these terms to prayer, imagine sympathy as seeing another person struggling and feeling sad for them, and that’s it. Now imagine seeing someone struggling, and putting their struggles into your mind, reflecting on them, understanding the pain it is causing, The Catechism also states that

“Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays.” (CCC, no. 2562)

Thus, when we pray for another, we are using our whole being to act on that person’s behalf, to state that their petitions are our petitions. Thus, we are expressing full empathy when we pray for someone else.

Of course, we can also fall into the habit of saying “I’ll pray for you,” as an easy way to get out of an uncomfortable situation, and then not pray. I know I’ve done this too many times. It is at that point that our words will ring hollow. To prevent that, here are some habits I’ve developed:

  • Invite someone to pray then and there at the moment they ask for prayers.
  • Talk to the person about their situation, listen attentively, offer prayers and an open ear.
  • If you pray for that person later in the day, imagine seeing their face, reflecting on their presence. For example, instead of saying “I pray for John Smith,” I instead imagine what John Smith looks like, and pause on his face, then I ask for prayers. This has helped me slow down in my prayers and reflect more on the person.
  • Act. Prayer and action go together since both are forms of charity. Action is living out your prayers.

We pray, we act, and we love.


Daniel Quintero is a newlywed husband, writer, and avid karaoke singer. He currently attends Prince of Peace Catholic Church where he volunteers in the lector ministry and with faith formation. His favorite motto: Awkwardness does not exist. 

Journey to Health and Wellness, Wherever You Are

Take the next step toward a healthier, happier life. During this special Journeys of Hope episode, your guides are Mary Jane Fox & health coach Patricia Brown, MBA, BSN, RN.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Discovering your Pillars of Wellness with GOD (Spiritual) as center
  • Physical wellness: Movement, Nutrition, Sleep
  • Social wellness: Interaction, Play, Stress management
  • Much More!

Listen to this program now:


Guest Information

Patricia Brown, M.S.*
Certified Health Coach
315-221-1579
fitbrown@hotmail.com

Patricia holds a master’s degree in Exercise Science from Texas State University. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education with a Kinesiology minor from Angelo State University where she was a collegiate volleyball player. She is a Certified Health Coach by the American Council on Exercise. Holds a lifetime Teaching certificate for the state of Texas.

Over the last 30 years Patricia has worn many hats in the fitness industry, first as an elementary PE Teacher, promoted to college instructor in kinesiology at Palo Alto College, aerobics teacher, boot camp instructor, volleyball coach, Personal Trainer and Corporate Wellness specialist.

*Previous abbreviations listed were incorrect. We apologize for the error.

A Journey to the River Jordan – With Jesus and John the Baptist

Come on a journey with Mary Jane Fox to the sacred site of the Baptism of Jesus, the River Jordan! Fr. Alex Kratz, OFM, Co-Founder & Spiritual Director of Terra Sancta Ministries joins Mary Jane Fox on this week’s spiritual pilgrimage. Listen in, as they discuss the area marked at the River Jordan where John the Baptist was baptizing people in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist
  • What is the connection between John the Baptist & Jesus?
  • Why is Baptism so important?
  • Much More!

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsors, Francisco & Sherry Beatty, who made this podcast episode possible.

For more information about Fr. Alex Kratz, Terra Sancta Ministry and Shrine, click here.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey

“Every baptized person should consider that it is in the womb of the Church where he is transformed from a child of Adam to a child of God.” – St. Vincent Ferrer


A Closer Look at the Jordan River:


Where is the Jordan River?

A Journey to the Milk Grotto

Looking for information about our Radio Encore Broadcast of A Journey to the Milk Grotto?

Podcast Episode

Come along with Mary Jane Fox on this week’s spiritual pilgrimage to Milk Grotto, not far from the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square in Bethlehem! According to Tradition, the Holy Family took refuge in this grotto on their way to Egypt as they were fleeing the Slaughter of the Innocents. Listen in, as Mary Jane shares why the Milk Grotto is a pilgrim destination, especially for new mothers and women who are trying to conceive.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Why is this place called the Milk Grotto?
  • What is it like inside?
  • Learn the prayer shared by the Franciscan Friars, to all who visit the Milk Grotto to pray for Mary’s help.
  • Much more!


Listen to this program on our podcast feeds starting Thursday, Dec. 30, on any of the following podcast services:

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify  Listen on Google Podcasts Listen on Breaker Subscribe via RSS Feed


Jewel for the Journey

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)


A Closer Look at the Milk Grotto


Where is the Chapel of the Milk Grotto?

The Urgency of Being Ourselves

I remember the first time I cried in front of my closest friends at college. The dorm room was poorly lit, and they were all gathered around me as I expressed some frustration and disappointment.

Their faces are still vivid in my mind’s eye; not only sad, but also a bit stunned. Despite our closeness, over years of friendship, I had never allowed myself to be that vulnerable with them.

A Struggle We All Face

We all struggle with mask-wearing. Here I’m not speaking about physical masks, but about spiritual and emotional personas which we portray in various situations; with certain friend groups, at work, at church, etc., and which ultimately hide parts of ourselves.

Certainly, different situations require different types of behavior. Going a step further, we all need healthy emotional boundaries. Neither of these are the issue at hand.

Rather, the challenge requiring our immediate attention is the challenge to be authentically ourselves; with ourselves and with God.

For example, how often do you and I try to push aside the struggles we are facing with our health, employment situation, marital or familial relationships…? How often do you and I choose to ignore those nagging wounds we carry—anxiety, loneliness, fears or scruples, unforgiveness, anger, feelings of inadequacy…? Too often, we mask them, and move on.

Problems arise when these wounds fester; when these struggles stretch us thin. The wounds worsen—spreading to our family, our neighborhood and workplace, to our city, our country, and yes, even to our Church.

Take a Cue From the Saints

What then, are we to do?

Someone who understood intense problems of society, State, and Church was St. Catherine of Siena—who is credited with resolving social disputes in Italy, advising royalty, and even bringing the Pope back to Rome following the scandalous Great Western Schism.

It sounds absurd. How could a young, non-royal female living in the 1300s have been so influential?

The powerful key to her impact is described in Catherine’s mystical Dialogue with God, whom she recounts as revealing to her;

“The only way to taste my truth and to walk in my brilliant light is by means of humble and constant prayer, prayer rooted in a knowledge of yourself and of me.”

If we fail to be truly honest and vulnerable with ourselves, and with God, we will continue to live in the darkness of our hiding places.

Perhaps we prefer to hide. We are ashamed, uncomfortable, or too hardened to care anymore.

God understands. In a famous prayer, St. Ignatius Loyola underscores God’s understanding;

“O Good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds, hide me.”

You Are Not Alone in Your Suffering

God sees our woundedness, and does not leave us to suffer alone. He chose to become one of us; to adopt our wounds onto his own human body, and to allow his own human heart to be pierced.

Don’t hide in the wounds that the world has inflicted upon you; abide instead in the wounds of Jesus. As unbelievable as it sounds, by his wounds, we are healed (cf. 1 Peter 2:24).

How can this happen? Begin with an image of Jesus; on the Cross or resurrected with his wounds exposed. Keep it in a visible place in your home, or carry it with you. Commit to a consistent, daily, and honest dialogue with him. Speak from the heart. Smile, laugh, and cry if you need to.

In humble, constant prayer with our loving and wounded God, we can find the freedom to be our true selves. Better yet, the more we surrender into his pierced heart, the more we will find ourselves renewed. Like St. Catherine, we will see that renewal overflow into the world around us.


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.

A Medal from Heaven | Meet Mary

We especially thank Michele Maxwell (Marian Center of San Antonio) for sponsoring this episode of Meet Mary! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.

National Shrine of Divine Mercy – Stockbridge, MA

Come on a journey with Angela Sealana to The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA! To help guide us on our spiritual pilgrimage is the rector of the shrine, Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC.

During this spiritual pilgrimage, we will:

  • Address the question of God’s mercy; Does God really forgive me? Why do we often struggle with forgiveness and our relationship with God, and how can we embrace God’s mercy for us and for others?
  • Hear the amazing story of how the message of God’s mercy was given to us in modern times through a very special diary, and the miraculous journey of how it made its way from Poland during World War II all the way to Massachusetts!
  • Learn how the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy came to be established, what it’s like, and what pilgrims can experience there.

For more information on The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, click here to visit their website.

Featured Images captured from the Official Facebook Page for The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

ABCs of Divine Mercy: Ask for Mercy, Be Merciful, and Completely trust in Jesus.


A Closer Look at The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy:

Image courtesy of The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy. All rights reserved.


Where is The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy?