Branching-Out

Re-ing in the New Year

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 15, 2021 6:00:00 AM

I enjoy working and playing words, sometimes to the exasperation of the “autocorrect” on my iPad. So, I decided to consider words that start with “re” in relation to the year 2021 and how they might relate to bolstering spirituality. Are you ready?

I am not too good with New Year’s resolutions, but here goes.

It is a good idea to recommit to your regular prayer time every day. Maintaining a relationship with the Lord certainly has its rewards.

Realize that God is always with us, listening to our prayers and loving us with a merciful love.

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Topics: evangelization, catholic program renew, God's love, Good News, prayer, RENEW International, The Gospel

Neighborhoods

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 13, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Just for a little change of scenery, my husband and I will sometimes take a car ride. We go past neighborhoods that I visited years ago when I pursued customers for my direct- sales decorating business. Other times, I think about neighborhoods where we or our friends or relatives have lived. It is interesting what memories pop up as certain houses or businesses come into view.

Each neighborhood can have a kind of personality. When I was a little child, my neighborhood was very friendly, with many senior citizens. I could safely and freely visit Mrs. Cudney on her porch or expect an enthusiastic return good-morning wave from Mr. Nelson. When Mr. Buckley’s wife died, neighbors took up a collection for flowers and brought him dishes of food.

When I was first married, I lived in an apartment on a very busy state road, and houses were a bit far apart, so I did not get to meet many of my neighbors. Our next neighborhood was in the historic part of a town, with old apartment houses that used to accommodate silk mill workers. That neighborhood had a mix of old and young friendly families. It was close to a grammar school, a bus route, a bank branch, a pharmacy, a grocery store, a restaurant, and even a postal substation. It lent itself to both business errands and pleasant strolls. It was great for a young family.

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Topics: evangelization, catholic program renew, God's love, Good News, prayer, RENEW International, The Boy Jesus, The Gospel

Inside and Out

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 7, 2021 6:00:00 AM

While I have been distancing myself from family and friends in my quest to stay healthy, my husband has gotten to know me even better than he did before the pandemic. We have not been going out to eat or visiting others’ homes for any extended socialization. He has learned to ignore my little quirks and to be patient with my imperfections. So far, so good. I am probably aiding his path toward sainthood.

No matter how well my husband knows me, he will never know me the way God does. As the new year begins, it is reassuring to me to pray with Psalm 139. I think it’s my favorite psalm of all the 150.

Each verse of the psalm delightfully stresses how thoroughly God knows me. He knows my physical activities, my thoughts, my habits, even what I am about to sayor type right now! I know many people would say it is a coincidence, but when I decided to write a blog post about Psalm 139, I sat at my kitchen table and opened up my Bible; and without any bookmark or my consulting the table of contents, I opened up to the exact page containing that psalm. Some folks might call that confirmation.

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Topics: catholic program renew, God's love, prayer, Psalm 139, renew catholic program, RENEW International, pandemic, covid-19

'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Posted by Bill Ayres on Dec 18, 2020 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the second Book of Samuel
(Chapter 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16)

God made a series of promises to his people throughout the Old Testament that are called covenants. This one is the Davidic covenant because it is with King David and the whole people. God says it will endure forever.

Responsorial Psalm
(Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29)

This psalm refers to the previous reading about the promise to David. The response that we sing is “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” Saint Augustine said that when we sing our prayers it is like praying twice. That is something to be aware of when we sing hymns or psalms.

A reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
(Chapter 16:25-27)

Paul talks about “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages.” This is a mystery in the deepest sense of the word, not like a mystery story in which there is an answer, even though it may take a while for the detective to find out “who done it.” No! This mystery is the continual unfolding of God’s love for us in Jesus, and it is this mystery that you and I live every day. Imagine that! The true mystery of life is the unfolding of God’s love for us in and through our brother Jesus Christ. We live in mystery. Although we may not think about it often, it is always there.

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Topics: 4th Sunday of Advent, a reflection on the coming Sunday's Gospel, agapé, catholic renew progam, God's love, Gospel according to Luke, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, RENEW International

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