The Heart of Service
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure... Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.
Lenten Message PDF- click here
THE STEWARD'S BOOKSHELF
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NATIONAL CATHOLIC NEWS
- Vatican security always on high alert, chief says after IS threats
- Rural families have strong ties to their farms and their faith
- Assyrian Christians released, but many concerned for those still held
- During Lent, pope offers handy tips for preparing for confession
- Father Theodore Hesburgh, higher education leader, diplomat, dies at 97
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Prayers of the Saints: St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
From the Stewardship Today Archives:
As a service to the Church this Lenten season, and in celebration of the life of the great fifth century saint, St. Patrick of Ireland, the Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick is provided in full. Born late in the fourth century, Patrick successfully evangelized thousands, converting the tribal residents of Ireland to Catholicism. Clear from the content of his prayer, he was a man of great faith and devotion.
St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer
I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
LOCAL DIOCESAN NEWS
|Catholic Sexual Morality|
The Office of Evangelization & Catechesis and the Youth & Young Adults Department are sponsoring a course on Catholic Sexual Morality on successive Thursdays: March 5, 12, 19 and 26, from 6 to 9 PM at St. John the Baptist Church in Brusly. For additional information, please call (225) 336-8760.
STEWARDSHIP: THE LOCAL PARISH
One of a new generation of parishes in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, St. Patrick Catholic Church has enjoyed forty years of growth, grace and Catholic community in the eastern part of the capital city, located south of Coursey and east of Sherwood Forest. The current sanctuary was dedicated in January of 1978, and the parish promotes healthy programs for individuals and families, children and youth, newborns and senior adults. Plus, a popular preschool utilizes educational and recreational facilities that stay busy throughout the week.
The congregation offers the following invitation on the parish website: “One of our major goals at St. Patrick is to deepen the sense of belonging among our parish members. One major way in which we hope to accomplish this goal is by urging our parishioners to become involved in our parish programs, projects, organizations and activities. After all, is this not what our spiritual lives are all about—returning to Almighty God what He has given to us?” A worthy question.
For additional information concerning the community and spiritual life of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Baton Rouge, and their St. Patrick Preschool, please visit the parish website: www.stpatrickbr.org
STEWARDSHIP IN SCRIPTURE
From the Old Testament Book of Proverbs, Wisdom cries out, securing value far beyond the treasure of silver and gold:
“Does not Wisdom call, and Understanding raise her voice? On the top of the heights along the road, at the crossroads she takes her stand; by the gates at the approaches of the city, in the entryways she cries aloud.”
“ ‘Listen, for noble things I speak; my lips proclaim honest words. Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.’ For wisdom is better than corals, and no treasures can compare with her.”
(Proverbs 8:1-3, 6, 10-11; New American Bible, Revised Edition)
CATHOLIC SAINTS ON STEWARDSHIP
Pope St. Gregory the Great wrote the following Lenten poem in the sixth century:
“The glory of these forty days we celebrate with songs of praise; for Christ, by whom all things were made, Himself has fasted and has prayed. Alone and fasting Moses saw the loving God who gave the Law; and to Elijah, fasting, came the steeds and chariots of flame. So Daniel trained his mystic sight, delivered from the lion’s might; and John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became the herald of Messiah’ name. Then grant us, Lord, like them to be full oft in fast and prayer with Thee; our spirits strengthen with Thy grace, and give us joy to see Thy face.”
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“Whatever our bodies may be doing, we should at the same time continually lift up our minds to God, which is the most acceptable form of prayer. For no matter which way we turn our steps, as long as our minds are turned to God, we clearly are not turned away from Him who is present everywhere.”
(St. Thomas More, 1478-1535, English Statesman and Catholic Martyr)