Openness & Self-emptying

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

Lent – it’s not only about you

“Where is your brother?” is the second question Pope Francis asks in his Lenten message for 2024.

The first is, “where are you?” which I talked about in the previous episode, Where are You?

In the book of Exodus, God reaches out to the Israelites. They are so downtrodden that they are unable to even call out to God for help. But God cares for them. And cares for each of us.

3 Pillars of Lent

Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are not meant to be three separate acts. One leads to the other, pulling together the three leads us to learn how to detach from created things of this world that separate us from God.

The three together, as Pope Francis says, create an openness and self-emptying that rids us of attachments.

Then, we are able to better care for those around us.

Our attitude has an effect on others.

 

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Standards and Attachment

A Production of the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.

July 31 is the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. One of the greatest gifts St. Ignatius gave the Church is the Spiritual Exercises.  The Spiritual Exercises are a way to grow closer to God, to learn to live for him and for the world. In week 2, day 4 of the Exercises he leads you through a meditation on the two standards and then on attachment.

The Two Standards

Do we choose God or the evil one? That is the question. If we choose God, then all of our actions and decisions flow from that choice. If we choose the evil one, our actions and decisions flow from there. Do we want to live for God and orient our lives toward him or not? The answer will help or hinder us in our spiritual lives.

Attachment

How attached are we to material goods? Or our own needs, ideas, and desires? How attached are we to our life, to good health, to money? I tell the story Ignatius uses as an example, a person who comes into a large sum of money. What does she do with it? It is a reminder not to hold on tightly to our own desires but to follow God’s will. When we can follow his lead in all things, we learn to be attached first and most firmly to him.

Our Not Lukewarm challenge this week

Pray the Suscpice prayer morning and evening. 

For more about St. Ignatius, take a look at my website.