World at Prayer blog
Reflections of Family and Faith
"The family that prays together stays together." - Venerable Patrick Peyton
Holy lives of inspiration | Why pray?
Recently I heard a Christian man on the radio say that he doesn’t really believe in religion; all he needs is his relationship with Jesus. He went on to say that he didn’t need stained glass or incense or the building we call a church or even the structure of the Church that provides governance and teaching. I was surprised and disappointed because I’d heard him before and was impressed with his knowledge of scripture and applying Jesus’ teaching to our everyday lives.
Today, we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, and in chapels around the world, we also give thanks to God for the birth of Venerable Patrick Peyton. (Founder of Holy Cross Family Ministries, a Holy Cross priest who touched countless families and souls around the world.) In today’s gospel, we hear those famous words from God the Father, “This is my beloved Son; with whom I am well pleased.” Every time we hear or read those words, it’s a chance to ask ourselves, “am I listening to Jesus?”
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Today we celebrate the memorial of Saint (Brother) André Bessette (1845–1937), the humble brother who was known as the "Miracle Man of Montreal” and who became the Congregation of Holy Cross’ first canonized Saint on October 17, 2010, in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, Brother André would humbly touch countless souls without leaving his city, first as doorkeeper of Notre Dame College in Montreal, then at the trolley station, and ultimately at the Oratory of St. Joseph that he helped build.
Holy lives of inspiration | Learn more about our faith
Jesus' story is a human story. Although He lived two thousand years ago in a culture and climate different from ours, His story is our shared human story. Who has not suffered discrimination because of our family history, education, status, age, profession, social class, ethnicity, or simply the color of our skin? Jesus was discriminated against too.
Earthly death gives us reason to pause. Even when it comes with a warning, we can’t help but stop and reflect upon a person’s life, our mortality, and most importantly, God’s plan for our salvation. At the age of 95, my old neighbor and family friend, Mr. Dick Murphy, passed away on the same day as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and at the same age. I’m sure neither man had any inkling of the number of lives their lives would touch nor the number of years they would spend here on earth.
“What does God look like?” asked Johnny in Sunday school. By now, the catechist knew the precocious boy for his unusual questions and thought it was time to make him search for his answers. So she replied, "Why don't you open your heart to everyone? Perhaps you will also catch a glimpse of God today?”