Tag Archive for: Rosary

It’s About Time

Is Time God-made or a human invention?

“You made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun that knows the hour of its setting. You bring darkness and night falls . . . ” (Psalm 104:19-20).

God created the seasons and their changing weather patterns. He created the Sun to bring light to the day and the Moon to govern the night. He made man to sleep and rest during the dark and He gave man talent, skills, and mission to tend the earth in the light. Depending on where one lives in the world, the ebb and flow of seasons and the duration of light and dark varies; one man’s day is another man’s night.

God created order and pattern. The invention of measuring time belongs to man.

From the invention of calendars by the Babylonians and Egyptians 5000 years ago up until the present standard for time accuracy of the atomic clock, man has willed to harness time for the benefit of humanity by bringing all in the world together through it. Measuring time is a worthy invention, of course, but let us consider the question of authority; who is serving whom?

Does Time Rule?

Does time serve humanity . . . or has humanity become slaves to time?

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we have the blessing of looking at time through God’s vision. St. Paul explains,

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, Abba, Father! (Gal 4:4-5).

God in his Son, Jesus Christ, entered into time and therefore has divinized it. This means our days are not meant to be frantic races against time as if we were gerbils running on wheels to nowhere but exhaustion. By entering into time, Jesus witnesses how we are to exercise authority over time through God.

A Solution to the Anxiety that Comes with Responsibilities

For many years I felt pulled by many responsibilities; family needs and work deadlines were causing me much anxiety. When all my responsibilities became more than I could bear, I prayed, Lord, you cannot want me to be this overwhelmed all the time. I must be doing something wrong. Please help me.

Our Lord answered by leading me to his Mother, the Virgin Mary, through a daily praying of the Rosary. It made sense to spend time with her considering Jesus spent 30 of his 33 years on Earth living with her in a simple, quiet family life; the very life I longed for. Growing out of my daily Rosary came time each morning contemplating for 30 minutes the daily Mass readings through the devotional I had subscribed to. It may seem strange that the way to carve more time in one’s day is to take away from your daily duties in order to pray, but that is exactly what happened. It is what Mother Teresa must have discovered too. I read where one of her sisters complained she had no time for all that needed to be done. Mother advised, “Then spend an additional hour in Adoration.”

When we give the ‘first-fruits’ of our time to God, amazingly we find our priorities come into order, deadlines are met and that which we have no idea how they are going to get done, do get done or we discover they didn’t need to be. The most interesting aspect is that what we may think are interruptions in our schedules become God’s way of providing unexpected blessings that we would have missed otherwise.

Not at all coincidentally, it takes 40 days to begin a new habit. If you find yourself stressed feeling you could use some more time in your day, then consider this time of Lent to ‘fast’ from your schedule and ‘offer it up’ to God through a daily praying of the Rosary and contemplation of Scripture, especially the daily Mass readings.  It’s about time.


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.

A Journey with Terra Sancta Ministries

Come on a journey with Mary Jane Fox to Terra Sancta Ministries in Pontiac, MI! To help guide us on our spiritual pilgrimage is Fr. Alex Kratz, OFM. He is Co-Founder & Spiritual Director of Terra Sancta Ministries, oversees St. Joseph Chapel and the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Pontiac where the ministry is headquartered.

During this spiritual pilgrimage, we will:

  • Learn about the history of Terra Sancta Ministries and its mission.
  • Be introduced to the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary.
  • Discover what pilgrims can experience while visiting the Shrine.
  • Much more!

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


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received–only what you have given; a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.” – St. Francis of Assisi


A Closer Look at Terra Sancta Ministries:

Images courtesy of Terra Sancta Ministries or captured from their Official Facebook Page.  All rights reserved.


Where is Terra Sancta Ministries?

Jesus, Show Me The Way

I remember sitting in my 9th grade Theology class at Bishop McNamara High School in Maryland, hearing our teacher recite from Scripture: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” (John 14:6). Sounded easy enough. So, Jesus is the Way. Do what He did. We have good reminders, like those wristbands that say “W.W.J.D.” (What Would Jesus Do?). Back then, in 1967, it sounded easy enough for a Freshman.

What About When Life Happens?

Then life got complicated. With all its ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies, joys, and sorrows. “If anyone is willing to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24). Clearly, He is leading the way. Also, I think what a lot of us do not often realize, me included, is that the crosses will come, no matter what you do. There is no guarantee that you can avoid the crosses that come your way. In fact, sometimes we make our own crosses. So, what to do when we are faced with those crosses? What about the crosses that we feel are much too heavy for us to carry?

That is when Jesus is standing right next to us, to help us deal with those heavy crosses. How does He do that? Much the same way a good friend does as they cheer a marathon runner along a tough course: they encourage and sustain us. But you cannot hear Him, you say? You are not sure He is beside you, encouraging you? So, what to do when I need direction from Jesus? My methods and suggestions are amazingly simple and available to anyone, but certainly not the only ways to allow Jesus to direct our paths.

Helpful Ways in Seeking Direction from Jesus

Let me start with the most obvious: daily Mass. If there is any way you can get to daily Mass, do so. I have often found myself pondering a problem or a difficulty, then going to daily Mass and hearing the readings, or the homily, and getting help just from these sources.

Another wonderful way is to quiet myself by going to see Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, in the Adoration Chapel at my parish. I always keep in mind that if I am looking to Jesus for direction, I should try and get to know Him. That is where going to adoration lets me get acquainted with the Eucharistic Jesus. It is quiet and peaceful and lets me tap into that one part of me that I most often neglect: the contemplative dimension of my life. In adoration, or out, I can take my Bible with me. Oftentimes, I start out with a favorite passage (e.g., Luke 15:11-32), and the Lord takes it from there. I also have a prayer journal I write in sometimes, which helps me to focus and direct my thoughts. Oftentimes, the answers come, and if not the answer, then I have the peace and strength that help me to endure whatever it is that is bothering me.

Confession is another resource where I can talk about those thorns that persistently misdirect me.

The peace I get from praying the Rosary is also a source of direction from Jesus. If you are not used to praying the Rosary, start with 10 Hail Marys, then you’ll see how quickly it becomes something you look forward to in your day. I pray it in the car most times, where it is quiet, and I don’t have the radio blaring. I do not know about you, but noise is all around us, drowning out God’s little whisper in the breeze, like the one Elijah heard (1 Kings 19:11-13). The Rosary leads me to quiet contemplation.

St. Teresa of Calcutta said that she would see Jesus “in the distressing disguise of the poor”. Jesus is all around us: in the poor, your family, creation, in those small daily events where you feel blessed. Look for Jesus in your day, in your duties, and the closer you look, the more you will see Him, know Him, and can follow Him.

Call To Action

Finally, talk to others about Jesus. The more you know about someone, the more you can describe that person to others. In the line at the grocery store, helping someone pick up something they dropped, just saying “Thank God”, or “Thank You, Jesus”, when good things happen. Bless yourself often with holy water. Tell others that Jesus loves them. Most people are hungry for Good News, and thirsty to hear about Jesus. You will find that the more you talk about Him to others, the more you will become like Him. And before you realize it, you are walking in His Way.


Victor Negrón is a husband, father, grandfather, practicing lawyer, former judge, past-President of the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild, lay evangelist, Board Member of Pilgrim Center of Hope, and A Woman’s Haven. Judge Negrón became Board Certified in Family Law in 1987. As a lay evangelist, Victor has served as a leader for Eucharistic Adoration of San Antonio, Inc., and has been involved with Pilgrim Center of Hope’s evangelizing activities since its early years – formerly as emcee for the Catholic Men’s Conference, and currently, Victor is a member of our Speaker Team and as a member of the PCH Board of Directors.

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.

Joy… with a Pierced Heart? | Meet Mary

Fear & Anxiety

I think most will agree that 2020 gets the award for worst year in the 21st Century. One reason would be the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus closely following the most contentious Presidential election in memory. The virus and its aftermath of masks, social distancing, isolation, national shutdowns, deaths of close friends and relatives, mental health issues, hospital crowding, etc., compounded by the extreme vitriol, hatred, and divisiveness of the election has driven most sane Christians into a mental cage of sorts closely resembling solitary confinement in San Quentin Prison. We are emotionally sitting on the floor, probably in a fetal position, wringing our hands and enveloped in palpable fear.

Do Not Be Afraid

But wait! Why are we afraid? Why are we anxious? We’re people of faith, and fear is the antithesis of faith, right? And Our Lord told us to expect what we are now seeing, right? So why am I afraid and anxious?

Even people of great faith are not immune to the fear brought on by the upheaval and changes we are seeing. But fear is a hungry monster. It is fed by media hyperbole, the unknown, herd mentality, insecurities, and the list goes on. If fear was visible, it would be a morbidly obese monster. There’s so much food we can give it.

What do we do? Well, first of all, we need to understand that the only way to acquire the peace that only Jesus can give us (John 14:27), we need to get closer to Jesus and try to listen harder than we have been. The closer we get to Jesus, the more Heavenly peace we acquire. Jesus tells us:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Here is a suggestion on how to get on how to put the fear monster on a diet:

  • Consider disconnecting your cable. The provider will fight this and try and keep you. Fight the temptation: lose the cable. Get a digital antenna if you really need to have access to the news and weather when those storm warnings come around. Other than the cost of installation, there are no monthly charges once you install. When you’ve cut the cable, STOP.WATCHING.THE.NEWS! News producers pick the blood and gore and put the icing of hyperbole on the stories that will most alarm, frighten and appeal to our baser senses. A priest once gave me some great advice:

“Don’t watch the news. It will disturb the very peace Our Lord is trying so hard to give us, and will drown out His voice.”

Our Lord never told us that if we believed that we would never suffer. Quite the contrary: He told us to take up our crosses and follow Him every day (ref. Matt. 16:24). That includes the hefty crosses we make for ourselves. If you really think about it, newspapers and cable subscriptions are really crosses meant to create those very monsters we’re afraid of, and make them materialize in our lives, adding to our fears and anxieties.

Let’s not add to our crosses. Every day comes with its own set of crosses, and they’re plenty to deal with, without adding to them.

Find Strength and Peace in Jesus

Pray to the Holy Spirit, then pick up your Bible. It’s like a big telegram from Heaven. Our Lord is trying to talk to us. Read it in a quiet place. Maybe take it to your parish’s Adoration Chapel and read it before Our Eucharistic Jesus for 15 minutes, and then gradually increase the time. Before you know it, you won’t want to leave the refuge of the Sacred Heart, and you will thank yourself for getting rid of the noise and distractions that come with the media you got rid of.

Pray the Rosary. The gift of peace that Our Lady has given us in the Rosary is a treasure waiting to be opened by you.  “The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

But the bad things haven’t gone away. I know.  Let us remember, Jesus’ peace is not the same kind of peace the world gives: it is more durable and is rooted in your very soul. No matter what comes your way, no matter how bad it may be, Jesus’ peace will stay with you and help you cope with whatever comes.

And once you remove the callous of noise and distraction that encases you, Our Lord can come closer than ever before, and allow you to realize that He is walking right alongside you, whispering “Don’t be afraid. Be at peace. All is well. I am with you.” You are feeding your faith, instead of your fear, and the gift of faith is freedom from fear. Pope Francis says it well:

“Christian hope is rooted not in the attraction of the future but in the certainty of what God has promised and realized in Jesus Christ. If he has guaranteed never to abandon us; if the beginning of every vocation is a ‘Follow Me,’ with which he promised to always go ahead of us, why should we be afraid?”


Victor Negrón is a husband, father, grandfather, practicing lawyer, former judge, past-President of the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild, lay evangelist, Board Member of Pilgrim Center of Hope and A Woman’s Haven. Judge Negrón became Board Certified in Family Law in 1987. As a lay evangelist, Victor has served as a leader for Eucharistic Adoration of San Antonio, Inc., and has been involved with Pilgrim Center of Hope’s evangelizing activities since its early years – formerly as emcee for the Catholic Men’s Conference, and currently as a member of the PCH Board of Directors.

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.

This blog appears slightly edited from its original publication.

Christmas Spirituality

Fr. Ed Hauf welcomes Sr. Maria Kim-Ngan Bui, FSP, on this episode of Catholicism Live! where they discuss the beauty of the spirit of Christmas. Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.


Want to grow deeper in your relationship with Mary? Find information for upcoming Evenings with Mary here.

Virgin Mary – Her Life & Devotions

Explore our Blessed Mother’s life, from her birth, free of original sin, until her Assumption; and various devotions to Mary:

  • First Saturdays
  • Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Green Scapular of Our Lady
  • Brown Scapular
  • Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows

Living Catholicism is a ministry of broadcast, print, and digital media connecting our pilgrimage of daily life with the faith & teachings of the Catholic Church; produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope. It was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

Witness to Our Lady of Kibeho

Three children in Kibeho, a small town in the southern region of Rwanda, Africa, witnessed a supernatural phenomenon. Crowds gathered around them in the schoolyard as they reported interaction with the Blessed Virgin Mary. We discussed this apparition with Brother Alexis Marie Secondaire, O.P. Miss. who was present during the extraordinary apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho.

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

Image of Mary holding a Rosary

Evening with Mary: Marian Apparitions since 1000 AD

After watching, we invite you to pray the Rosary!

Author Karen Robertson offers a presentation about Our Lady of Fatima, and Deacon Ed Domowski leads the Rosary. Evenings with Mary is an outreach ministry of Pilgrim Center of Hope in San Antonio, Texas, providing opportunities to discover how the Rosary can lead individuals, couples and families to a deeper relationship with Christ, and facilitate healing and peace.

Image of Mary holding a Rosary

Evening with Mary: Our Lady of Fatima

Author Karen Robertson offers a presentation about Our Lady of Fatima, and Deacon Ed Domowski leads the Rosary. Evenings with Mary is an outreach ministry of Pilgrim Center of Hope in San Antonio, Texas, providing opportunities to discover how the Rosary can lead individuals, couples and families to a deeper relationship with Christ, and facilitate healing and peace.