Encountering God's Presence

“ I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”     Pope Francis: EVANGELII GAUDIUM

April's Focus: Encountering God's Presence through New Life/Renewal

“In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing.  It was very far away and Diggory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming.  Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once.  Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words.  There was hardly even a tune.  But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard.  It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it…

“Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count.  They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices.  The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars.  They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening.  One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world… The new starts and the new voices began at exactly the same time…

“Far away, and down near the horizon, the sky began to turn gray. A light wind, very fresh, began to stir.  The sky, in that place, grew slowly and steadily paler.  You could see shapes of hills, standing up dark against it.  All the time the Voice went on singing.”

-The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5: 17)

Ways to encounter God through New Life/Renewal

  • Enjoy some new spiritual reading
  • Read (or re-read your favorite) book of the Bible
  • Do a prayer walk as the weather gets nicer
  • Learn and practice contemplative prayer
  • Join a community garden & donate the produce to a food pantry that accepts fresh produce
  • Join a meal train to bring meals to a new mom
  • Offer to babysit for a young family
  • Mend a broken relationship with a friend or loved one
  • Clean out your house and donate the goods to the poor
  • Read the Creation story in Genesis as a family
  • Start a new family prayer routine
  • Pick a bad habit to eliminate from your life
  • Attend daily Mass once a week

Resources and practical suggestions for encountering God through New Life/Renewal

  • Learn more about Baptism through Ascension Press videos: https://youtu.be/jsrJM4MgDFM
  • Suggestions for spiritual reading
    • New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
    • The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis
    • Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
    • God and His Image by Dominique Barthelemy, O.P.
    • Meditation and Contemplation by Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV
    • Listening for God: Spiritual Directives for Searching Christians by Ben Campbell Johnson
    • The Cloud of Unknowing author unknown
  • Download https://catholicapps.com/laudate/ to your phone and use it to read the daily readings or to pray the liturgy of the hours

 

Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Prayer

Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through the Mass

Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Service

Click here to learn how we can Encounter God's Presence through Forgiveness