Branching-Out

Expectations

Posted by Sharon Krause on Mar 10, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Over the past year, I have been at home, staying away from places where people congregate. I have been watching more television shows, both series and news programs. I conclude that audiences seem to expect and consume more drama, intensity, “breaking news,” danger, and the outrageous. Presentations that get the ol’ adrenaline pumping, or super sales offers that get encourage folks to use their credit cards to order more “stuff” are what prevail. Shows that investigate crimes and analyze in great detail the how-tos of perpetrating those crimes are portrayed as “entertaining.”

Because of modern technology, people expect to be quickly entertained. It can be easy to swallow spoonsful of self-indulgence when they are so readily available. If there is good news or incidents that are not so violent, we often see and hear about them only in the last few minutes at the ends of broadcasts.

I also hear about people of all ages being more stressed out and depressed. The virus pandemic has been blamed for this, but I suggest that the intensity of media presentations might be a contributing factorsort of a CTSD, Current Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Read More

Topics: patience, Jesus Christ, prayer, RENEW International, talents, Sharon Krause

Prayer: To Be Attentive

Posted by RENEW International on Jan 31, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Gracious God,
help us to grow 
in our knowledge
and love of you.
Open our ears to all
you would have us hear
as we go about
our daily lives.
Help us to be truly attentive
to your presence within and among us.
Keep us mindful of your nearness,
open to your challenge,
committed to your compassion,
and present to your people.
In your name we pray.

Adapted from The Word on the Go, Cycle B,
© RENEW International

Read More

Topics: attentiveness, catholic RENEW program, compassion, God's presence, prayer, RENEW International

Prayer: Repentance

Posted by RENEW International on Jan 24, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Loving and gentle God,
for the times we have been
insensitive to the needs of others …

For the times we have not resisted evil
but have given in to it instead …

For the times we have failed to offer hope and support …

For the times we have shut ourselves off
from comfort, hope, and support …

For the times we have allowed cynicism to reign …

Lord, we repent and believe in the Good News.

Loving God, we turn to you in love and trust.
Allow your reign to grow continually in our hearts,
now and always. Amen.

Adapted from PrayerTime, Faith-Sharing Reflections on the Sunday Gospels, Cycle B,
© RENEW International

Read More

Topics: catholic RENEW program, Good News, Gospel of Mark, Jesus Christ, prayer, RENEW International, repent and believe in the gospel

Big Fish Lessons

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 20, 2021 6:00:00 AM

For some reason, the story of Jonah and his three days and three nights inside a great big fish inspired some comparisons with life circumstances today. Hmm! Does that sound odd? Let’s think about it.

My husband and I have been somewhat quarantined in our house since last March. Yes, we go out for a few errands now and then, but most of our time is spent inside the belly of our house. So far, we have been safe from the COVID virus waves. Praise God, who has blessed us with resources, retirement, health, and stability.

I went to the Bible and reread the Book of Jonah and found a great deal to consider. Whether we believe that this account is just a teaching story or a description of a truly interesting miracle, the reread was worth the time. Allow me to share.

Read More

Topics: divine mercy, catholic program renew, God's forgiveness, God's love, Good News, his people on earth, prayer, RENEW International, repentance, Jonah

Thoughts about Walking

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 18, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Over the past ten months, I have limited my going to stores, churches, and entertainment venues. Consequently, I have had a lot more free time around my house. When I need a change of environment, depending on the weather, I take a walk around my neighborhood. I have revisited my conclusion that I take so many things for granted and that I need to be mindful of all the things I can do, even though there is a pandemic virus threatening. So a walk around a few blocks helps me to clear my head and focus on positivity; and my doctor encourages me to exercise often for my physical health.

Have we ever considered other opportunities a stroll can provide? If I am walking alone, I have the chance to pray the rosary or some other personal prayers. I find prayers of gratitude pop into my head as I observe beautiful clouds or hear sweet birds’ songs. I am reminded of how grateful I am to have the strength, balance, and flexibility to be able to walk; yet, I see happy people gliding along very successfully in wheelchairs and enjoying what outdoors has to offer them.

And I never know whom I might meet as I amble around the familiar streets. At times, God gives me chances to smile and greet others, and maybe even share brief conversations that could brighten others’ days or help solve little problems.

Read More

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

Prayer: 'What are you looking for?'

Posted by RENEW International on Jan 17, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Gentle God, loving Father, source of all goodness,
you bless us with many gifts,
most especially the gift
of your Son.
Jesus invites us
into loving relationship,
as he is in loving relationship with you and the Spirit.
Grant us the power of the Spirit to discern
the best way to respond to Jesus’ invitation.
Give us the determination to respond
continually and fully to that call.
We ask this in and through the Christ
who calls us and the Spirit who guides us.
All praise to you Lord, now and forever. Amen.

 Adapted from PrayerTime: Faith-Sharing Reflections on the Sunday Gospels, Cycle B.

© RENEW International

Read More

Topics: disciples of Jesus, called to follow, catholic RENEW program, invitation, Jesus Christ, power of the Spirit, prayer, RENEW International, respond to the call

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Beginning With the Ordinary

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 11, 2021 6:00:00 AM

One day I was having an ordinary conversation with my teen-aged grandson, Joshua. I was telling him that when I was a teen, I used to play a few tunes on an acoustic guitar and that my plan was that, after I retired, I might dig it out of the attic and try learning to play it again. My comments sparked his interest, and before I knew it, we were trudging up my old attic ladder entrance to resurrect my instrument.

I showed Josh a few of the things I remembered about the guitar. His birthday was approaching soon, so you can probably guess what Josh’s maternal grandparents’ gift to him wasan ordinary, but brand new, acoustic guitar!

It has been about three years since our trip to the attic, and now Joshua is a very good guitar-player. A family friend, Kevin, gave Josh a few lessons; then Josh bought a better guitar. Next, he took some lessons from a music teacher at the college he now attends. His father helped him to build a guitar storage stand. Josh occasionally comes to my house and serenades me. When his paternal grandfather was dying in a convalescent home, Josh went to see him and played his guitar and sang to him. While that grandpa was rather senile, he could still remember to ask for the “guitar man.” An ordinary conversation led to buying an ordinary guitar which led to Josh becoming an extraordinary guitarist. 

This week, liturgically speaking, we are beginning “Ordinary Time.” We may understand that to mean that we are not in a special season of Christmastime or Eastertide, or the preparation times of Advent or Lent. However the word “ordinary” could connote something without potential or just plain and uneventful. That certainly is not the case with any of our liturgies. Anytime we celebrate the Eucharist it is extraordinary! Ordinary Time liturgies are full of inspiring scripture readings.

Read More

Topics: disciples, catholic program renew, Gospel According to Mark, Jesus Christ, prayer, renew catholic program, RENEW International, Ordinary Time

Prayer: Mission of Service

Posted by RENEW International on Jan 10, 2021 6:00:00 AM

God of love, you revealed Jesus
as your beloved Son
in the Jordan River.
We praise you for the gift of Christ,
our salvation and our peace.
You anointed Jesus
for the service of the world.
Strengthen the Church’s witness
to this mission in our world today.
You brought us to new life
and made us members of Christ’s Body in baptism.
May the gift of your Holy Spirit keep us
ready to meet the demands of our baptism. Amen.

 Adapted from PrayerTime: Faith-Sharing Reflections on the Sunday Gospels, Cycle B.

© RENEW International

Read More

Topics: baptism, Baptism of Our Lord, mission, catholic RENEW program, Jesus Christ, prayer, RENEW International, service

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

See all