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Notes From the Front Lines: When Silence is Unbelievable PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 01 September 2012 12:56

This is a true story.  I have changed the names and a few details to protect the indentity of our operative who is embedded in a Catholic parish near you.


"I've known Amanda for almost 20 years. She's a church geek-- a Presbyterian pastor's kid. We met at a Catholic youth group.

“She IS the Christian that people claim the Catholic parishes are full of-- the one who has a deep, active life with Christ but is naturally reserved and humble so she doesn't talk about it. She is a private person, and goes out of her way not to offend. She is in church every Sunday. She's modest, generous, lives a life of service. She suffers from a chronic illness and never complains! - which is not actually funny, but it's funny that she fits the "secret disciple" stereotype to the letter (except for the Presbyterian part). She talks about her faith in context, stuff like how she feels about the new pastor, but not so much directly about lived relationship with God. It's just not her way.  She is reserved in her worship as well. These are sit-still-in-the-pews folk and I think their choir knows more Latin than ours does.

So when I quoted Forming Intentional Disciples on Facebook- the part about how outspoken Catholics are considered "Protestant"-- of course she asked me what it all meant.

She was speechless. It took a long time to explain to her because it was too unbelievable.  How is it Protestant to read the Bible? Do you mean, people really say, don't talk about Jesus like he is your "friend?" People really say, we can't all be Jesus? People really think it is prideful to talk about your relationship with God? You have been discouraged from talking about your experiences? In church, with people from your church?

I told her that there were Catholics who had deep or mystical experiences of God but felt compelled to keep quiet about them because it would be bragging, or elitist, to talk about experiences that other people hadn't had. Her reply was, "But you are supposed to share those experiences with people who have never had them, because that is how to bring them closer to God and help them know God. What if telling someone about it would make them interested in the Church, and you didn't tell them?" Hours later she was still bringing up the topic because of how shocked she was.

Just more proof that this is not even a cultural thing- it is a cultural Catholic thing. If my super-quiet, super-tolerant, very un-preachy, mainline Protestant friend, the one who asks for "good thoughts" instead of "prayers"-- if she thinks there is something abnormal about Catholic reticence to speak of relationship with Christ, then it's REALLY not my region vs. the Bible belt. Or happy clappy charismatic folks vs. serious believers. Or introverts vs. extroverts."

Take Up and . . . Read! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 16:02

Yes.  Amazon is finally admitting that they are out of stock of Forming Intentional Disciples (except for the Kindle option).  The first printing has been sold out at OSV for almost two weeks - and we are all waiting for the second printing to arrive.

But - but I can tell our very special friends who have the good taste to actually read this blog  - that we still have some copies in our office so you don't have to wait!  Order from CSI and we'll ship the book to you on the next business day!

Although really big orders for 50 or more will probably have to wait until we get the next shipment in.


Treasures of the Church: Relics of the Saints PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 15:18

Last Lent, I went to Denver to see the exhibit of saint’s relics called Treasures of the Church.   Treasures is an evangelizing ministry of Fr. Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross, one of the new priestly communities that God has raised up.

The highlight of a Treasures of the Church exhibit is the chance to spend over an hour personally reverencing, praying before, and touching and even picking up hundreds of relics of saints both famous and obscure.

As I touched each relic, I asked each saint to pray for me and for the many needs in my own life and lives of others I was praying for.  Of course, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Dominic and other favorites (St. Frances de Sales, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, etc.) loomed large but - although I am something of a saint maven - I encountered saints that I’d never heard of before.

I experienced a strong sense of peace, healing grace, and God’s presence while revering the relics, especially the relic of the True Cross.  I sensed rivers of Christ’s redeeming grace flowing from the relic of the Cross.  I felt very refreshed and strengthened by the time I left and carried a sense of God’s presence away with me.  And I am delighted to report that I received a huge answer to prayer a few days later!

I spoke to Fr. Carlos about the source of his relics and found him to be a theologically acute fountain of knowledge about the history and spirituality of relics and the documented history of each relic in his amazing collection of thousands.

The impact of extended exposure to saint's relics can be dramatic, even miraculous.  Fr. Carlos told me of a young girl miraculously healed of a huge tumor and of a wheelchair bound man who walked again after reverencing the Relic of the True Cross at an exhibition.

Take a look.  Attend an exhibit near you.  Invite Fr. Carlos to your parish.  It could be a powerful evangelical moment for your parish!



More News From the Front Lines: How Can You Expect So LIttle of God? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 14:43

I had another conversation recently that opened a window on another pastoral reality:  the number of highly committed, orthodox, and well catechized Catholic leaders who leave because they and their families are drowning without a supportive culture of discipleship at the local parish level.

As I wrote in chapter 12 of Forming Intentional Disciples:

“  . . . what few people seem to understand is how debilitating spiritual isolation can be even for highly committed Catholics who are disciples.  Many priests and lay leaders who are disciples and long to evangelize experience a devastating isolation.  At least half of the leaders who attended one Making Disciples seminar a few years ago expressed profound loneliness. They were from twenty-two dioceses all over the United States and Australia.  They told us over and over again how isolated they were back home and how incredibly healing it was to be able to talk to other Catholics who cared about the same things they cared about.  Just as discouraging was the fact that five deeply committed, orthodox Catholics had spontaneously used the same ominous language while talking with me during the two weeks prior to the seminar: “If I left the Church….” The reason for their despair was always the same: the lack of a community of spiritual friends with whom they could walk the path of discipleship.

I know that the idea of leaving the Church because you are grieving the fellowship of other disciples can be utterly mystifying or seem whiny and self-indulgent. How could you leave the Eucharist?  Much depends upon whether or not you have ever experienced being part of a group of intentional disciples who were actively supporting one another.  If you have, it can be extraordinarily difficult to live without it, for even the most committed.”

Last week I heard it again from a woman on staff at a very successful, orthodox, and well respected Newman ministry.  Their highly committed, well catechized alumni - even their former staff  - were struggling terrifically once they left college and entered the world of the ordinary parish. She even told me that her best friend had recently left the Church for the evangelical world.

This leader sounded like another friend whom I quote in my book:

"Friendships were key in Seattle. I want to be able to speak of what I truly hope for and the things that appear to thwart those hopes—and I could do that very easily in Seattle. People came to you for help and we did our best. It gave you a sense when you participated in something like that it was holy and this was what God wants us to be about.

Here I’m a father on my own with my wife and kids.  So far, we’ve gotten by spiritually. God help us if we had a real crisis because there is nowhere to go here. I find that a hell of lot worse than not having insurance. I know what a true community “insurance” policy looks like and I know what it can provide. It feels like I’m bleeding.  How can you accept this? How can you expect so little of God?"

Most adults will not and cannot spend their lives in campus environments.  At some point, 98% of practicing Catholics in this country will find themselves left with one spiritual alternative for them and their families: the local parish.  In the US, we have to grasp that the impact of our most dynamic and effective campus ministries will be blunted and sometimes even strangled by the reality of our actual lived parish culture - which is hardly ever one of intentional discipleship. The irony is that the more spiritually mature you are, the harder it is to endure - much less flourish - as a disciple without the support of a community of disciples.  It is harder because now you know what is possible.  It is harder because now you know what ”Normal” is supposed to look like.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  And it doesn’t take that long to see real change begin.  We know of parishes where really significant changes occurred in five years or less because parish leaders did these four things:

I. Break the silence!

    1. A. Talk openly about the possibility of a relationship with the God who loves you.
    2. B. Talk explicitly about following Jesus.  Drop the Name!
    3. C. Do Ask: As others about their lived relationship with God.
    4. D. Do Tell: Tell the “Great Story of Jesus” (the kerygma)
    5. II. Offer multiple, overlapping for baptized and nonbaptized people to personally encounter Jesus Christ in the midst of his Church.
    6. III. Expect conversion.  Plan for conversion.
    7. IV. Lay a spiritual foundation through organized, sustained intercessory prayer.


Obviously, I can't lay this all out in a blog post.  I spend 8 chapters of Forming Intentional Disciples on the four beginning steps above.  Read the book. Join the conversation.

News from the Front Lines of Evangelization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 12:14

And now for news from the front lines of evangelization:

First the good news which starts with a bit of bad news:

I told the story of a lay parish leader in Forming Intentional Disciples, who had the stunning experience of having six unrelated adults come to her in a single month last year, all saying “I’m about to leave the Church for the Protestant world because I’m having these spiritual experiences and I can’t find anyone in the parish to talk to about it”.

Word had gotten out in the parish that you could talk to my friend about issues of relationship with God and so Catholics on the verge of leaving came to her – and she was able to talk four of the six into staying.

Since then, she has been a catalyst of discipleship in her parish and region and is currently writing the first draft of a simple mini-retreat/formation process that will help parishioners gain an understanding of pre-discipleship thresholds of conversion and how to have supportive spiritual conversation with other Catholics.

I got this e-mail from her yesterday:

Our anemic little RCIA program is suddenly inundated with folk:

Last year, we had 4 baptisms: 2 youth and 2 adults.  We also had 2 youth and 2 adult who were baptized but uncatechized and one adult profession of faith. (Total: 9)

This year we have eleven youth, ages 7-19 preparing for baptism, and six youth who are baptized but uncatechized.  We also have eight adults preparing for profession of faith, and already four unbaptized adult inquirers...(total: 29)

Can we say explosion?  We have families that walked away and are coming back...I start interviews with them next month. I look forward to hearing the stories

Nationally, the number of people entering the Church through RCIA has dropped 35% since 2000.  But the experience of pioneering evangelizers that we are working with around the country indicate that it doesn’t take a herculean effort to reverse that trend. All it takes is a clear vision for making disciples and the willingness to make this possibility visible and easily accessible to the semi-practicing and marginal Catholics and non-Catholics who float in and out of our parishes in a regular basis and are quietly scanning the spiritual horizon for options.

We’ve heard these stories before.  The same spiritual hunger that lures spiritual seekers out of the Church draws them back in when parishes begin to openly talk about relationship with God and following Jesus Christ.  When parishes break the culture of silence, spiritual seekers in the community and outside the community begin to come to you.

The fastest and easiest way I know of to break the silence and begin the conversation is to do what dioceses, and parishes are doing around the country: buy quantities of Forming Intentional Disciples and download the Instrumentum Laboris from the Synod on the New Evangelization and read and discuss them together.

This is the conversation we desparately need to be having in this Year of Faith!

Have I Had the Personal Encounter with Jesus Christ? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 27 August 2012 08:57
Fr. Robert W. Chorey, pastor in Fernley, Nevada, wrote this very thoughtful and remarkably candid little essay on reading . . . Forming Intentional Disciples.

I think that many of us who are trying to walk the road of discipleship, ask ourselves the same questions.  Not because we are not disciples but because we are not yet saints.  Just ordinary men and women on the Way (which was one of the early Church's terms for followers of Jesus.)

"I have doubts in whether I am truly evangelizing the good news. I have doubts to whether I am communicating well the beauty and the power of faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, as Savior of the world.

Here again is the crux of my thoughts….have I had the personal encounter with the person of Jesus Christ?"

Every day, we begin again.  Every day, we seek God's face anew.  Read Father's whole essay.  Your thoughts?

Good Stuff Happening in Los Angeles! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 24 August 2012 21:40

Katie Dawson, one of our long time collarators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is featured in an article in the Tiding about her role as Director of Evangelization for one of LA's five pastoral regions.  It's a great article and gives you a good sense of some of the work that has been going on in LA over the past 4 years.

As the article points out,  Katie's region has established four very exciting priorities which have since been adopted by the whole Archdiocese:

imagine a parish and/or diocese where the following was really happening!

—Seeking out and drawing in the unbelieving and the unchurched.
—Fostering life-long discipleship and spiritual growth.
—Discernment of spiritual gifts (charisms) and vocations.
—Equipping and supporting extraordinary apostolates.

Read the whole piece for inspiration about what your parish, region, or diocese could be doing.

Good job, Katie!


Yes. This is a Catholic Parish. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 06:56

Yes.  Church of the Nativity is a Catholic parish in full communion with the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Archbishop Lori.

No.  We’ve never worked there.



Church of the Nativity is a movement of growing disciples of Jesus Christ committed to loving God, loving others and making disciples. As Roman Catholics, we seek to honor our faith tradition by authentically and creatively presenting it in our community of North Baltimore, especially to Catholics who have become disconnected to the Church. We are thrilled you have visited us.

Faith: Nicene Creed

Mission: Love God.  Love others.  Make disciples.

Vision: Making Church matter by growing disciples among disconnected Catholics in North Baltimore and influencing churches to do the same elsewhere.

Strategy (They have a strategy?)

Currently one in three Catholics are no longer connected to the Catholic Church. Our strategy is to creatively reach out to disconnected Catholics in our North Baltimore community with a fresh and relevant presentation of the life-changing message of the Gospel to make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

RCIA is called Vantage Point, there is a "online campus", a director of missions, and "As a Church, we want insiders to reach outsiders."  The pastor studied at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, not (as you may wonder) at some evangelical school.

Check the Nativity website out.  What do you think?



Theology & Life: Bridging the Gap in the New Evangelization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:03

Linda Oppelt and I hung out one morning last month at our local Panera's while she interviewed me about the New Evangelization and my book, Forming Intentional Disciples, for our local Diocese of Colorado Springs Catholic newspaper.  You can read the results here. Here's a snippet of a much longer conversation:

Even though the church has a beautiful theology of evangelization, there’s very little existential connection for a lot of people. It’s the gap between the lived experience of the faith in the average parish for the average person, and what our theology says. I can articulate the theology all day but they can’t take it and go anywhere with it. There’s no connection with their lived experience.



Do We Believe More in God's Love than in Our Weakness? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 13 August 2012 11:54

I stumbled across this great quote from Mother Teresa this morning:

"Jesus will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness. Only then, his hand will be free with you."

- Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta


If this is true - and I suspect it is - it may be one explanation for the fact that relatively little fruit is manifested in our parishes.  If only 60% of Catholics who-still-hold-onto-the-indentity believe in a personal God and only 48% are certain that you can have a relationship with a personal God, that has to be one of the big contributors to our communal tepidness and powerlessness.

As a thought experiment, I have sometimes attempted to imagine what isn't happening in our lives, our families, our parishes, and our world because we only foster (de facto) roughly 1 -2 % of the all vocations God is giving us and only about 2% of all the charism that God is giving us.

Our failure to make disciples has many unintended consequences.  The vast majority of the vocations and charisms intended to emerge don't manifest because the living relationship with God from which vocations and charisms flow does not yet exist for the vast majority of Catholics.  And the vacuum where a universal culture and practice of discerning God's call should be is one of those consequences.

What suffering, what tragedies could have been avoided, how many families have been destroyed or diminished and the hopes of million crushed, how many millions of saints have not risen up to transform and heal our world, how many people have despaired of God altogether because they longed for but have not seen the goodness of God in the land of the living?

How much of what God passionately desires to do through his people and his Church has not happened, because he insists upon doing it through our assent and cooperation and huge numbers of our people do not even know that personal relationship with God and discipleship exists as a possibility?

The earthly and eternal consequences of our failure to make disciples is almost impossible to exaggerate.


As I wrote in Forming Intentional Disciples:

"The Holy Spirit is planting charisms and vocations of amazing diveristy in the hearts of all his people.  Like the graces of the sacraments, they are reall but they are not magic.  . . .

In this area, we are not asking for too much; we are settling for too little.  God is not asking us to call forth the gifts and vocations of a few people; he is aksing us to call forth the gifts and vocations of millions.  Our problem is not that there is a shortage of vocations but that we do not have the support systems and leaderhsip in place to foster the vast majority of the vocations that God has given us.

Most fundamentally, when we fail to call our own to discipleship, we are unwittingly pushing away the vast majority of the vocations God has given us. . .

"The Church fulfills her mission when she guides every member of the faithful to discover and live his or her own vocation in freedom and to being it to fulfillment in charity.

. . . Indeed, God with his call reaches the call of each individual, and the Spirit, who abides deep within each disciple (df. I Jn 3:24) give himself to each Christian with different charisms and special signs.   Each one, therefore, must be helped to embrace the gift entrusted to him as a completely unique person and to hear the words which the Spirit of God personally addresses to him"

Pastores Dabo Vobis, 40 (I Will Give You Shepherds, John Paul II)


Christians of the Persian Gulf: One Face of the New Christian Majority PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 13 August 2012 08:08

When I was getting my undergraduate degree in Modern Middle Eastern history, Kuwait was widely regarded as an exceptionally tolerant Islamic country.  Not any more.

The Vicariate of Northern Arabia, (Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait) which stunningly, is responsible for two million Catholics, is moving its HQ from Kuwait to Bahrain because of looming threats to religious freedom in Kuwait.

"In February, it was reported that a Kuwaiti parliamentarian was set to submit a draft law banning the construction of churches and non-Islamic places of worship in the Gulf state.

Kuwaiti Member of Parliament Osama Al-Munawer announced on Twitter he plans to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country.

However, he later clarified that existing churches should remain but the construction of new non-Islamic places of worship should be banned.

In March, it was reported that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia said it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region”.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, made the comment in view of an age-old rule that only Islam can be practiced in the region."

Presumably, the "region" indicated is Saudia Arabia itself, although it is only the area around Mecca and Medina which is totally "off limits" to non-Muslims.

This is a Christian world unknown to most of us. According to the Atlas of Global Christianty, the 2010 populations of Kuwait and Bahrain were 10% and 9% Christian respectively.   Even Saudi Arabia is nearly 5% Christian. The vast majority of Catholics in the Gulf are Asians there for work purposes. Many, especially domestic and construction workers, work under very difficult circumstances. Even in more tolerant Gulf countries, the choices of Christian services on weekends often amounts to 1) Catholic; 2) generic "Protestant" since the historic denominations have little meaning in such a setting and functional ecumenism is a matter of survival. I've had Christian friends who have lived in the Gulf for many years and have heard a lot of stories.

The Christians of the Persian Gulf are one face of the new Christian majority which is neither European or North American.  Pray for them.

My Illness Does Not Define Me; My Relationship with Jesus Does PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 09 August 2012 08:00

Here's a moving, beautifully written article by Anthony Shefter about his experience of mental illness and his Catholic faith. Anthony was part of the Institute's original trio of staff (including Fr. Michael Sweeney and I) back in Seattle.

It was during our first year that his illness began to manifest. This is a man who has lived faith, gratitude, and abandonment to God as has his family. If you come from a family or are in a family or have friends plagued with mental illness, this will resonate.

A few snippets:

"Whatever you call it, I’m crazy as a hoot owl on hormone therapy. When I am not on my meds, I take off in the middle of the night to go wander the streets; I listen to voices telling me to do things that are a really bad idea (like leave the restaurant without paying); I hallucinate; and sometimes I freeze up like the tin man in a rain storm, and stand stock still for an hour at a time. My most superlative exploit? Sliding under the back gate of the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, and then commanding God to set the prisoners free."

"My Catholic faith gets me through everything. I know that I am a human person who has value, despite consistently underperforming in almost every job I’ve had in the last 13 years, and there have been many. I am not a “mentally-ill person” or a “schizophrenic”; I am a human person who struggles with mental illness. My illness does not define me; my relationship with Jesus does. "


Read it all and pass it on to someone who might be encouraged.  If you are encouraged, drop Anthony a line and let him know.

The Diocese of Lansing gets it! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry Curp   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 19:31

The Diocese of Lansing, Michigan just started a Year of Prayer, to coincide with and complement the Year of Faith. See This is the prayer the Bishop of Lansing has directed to be recited at every Mass in the diocese during this year:

Let us pray that every person within
the Catholic Diocese of Lansing
will come to know and love our Lord Jesus Christ
in a personal way,
grow in maturity as a disciple of Christ,
become actively engaged in the full life of the Church,
and joyfully utilize his or her gifts
for building up the Kingdom of God
and the salvation of souls.

A talk by Deacon Dan Foley introducing the Year of Prayer is here.

The Bishop of Lansing has also promulgated a pastoral letter: Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord.

I have not yet had time to read it in detail, but I want to recommend it, and Deacon Foley's introductory talk, to anyone who would like to see what an attempt at a diocese-wide embrace of the New Evangelization can look like. I especially appreciate the pastoral wisdom that recognizes that any such effort must begin with sustained communal prayer.

Some excerpts:

Until we have encountered Jesus at a deep and personal level, at a heart level, our engagement in the life of his bride, the Church, will remain quite limited. … Jesus calls us his friends. Friendship is built on communicating with one another. Prayer is communicating and so we need to pray….

We also need to pray because the task ahead is daunting. In begging God’s help, we acknowledge that what we cannot do ourselves can be accomplished by the grace of God.

So as we say at Mass, “Let us pray.” As a diocese, let us join in a long Year of Prayer, starting on Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, and ending on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. This time frame coincides with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Lansing on Aug. 4, 1937, and the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of our diocese and our cathedral, dedicated on that date in 1913.

We also will join the universal Church which has been called to a Year of Faith by Pope Benedict XVI, beginning Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, and concluding on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. This period also includes the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome during October 2012 (the 50th anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council) when the bishops will advise the Holy Father on the theme of the new evangelization.

… I invite all of our parishes, schools and agencies, our houses of consecrated men and women, and all families and individuals to pray that all of us in the Household of Faith will become friends with Jesus and a community of witnesses to the world.

St. Dominic: Prayer & Raising the Dead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 12:46

Once upon a time in Rome, Fr. Michael Sweeney and I and our OP host were standing jammed upright in a Roman bus famous for its crowds and its pick-pockets. I had my purse firmly clapsed under my arm and my arms rigidly down at my side when our guide casually nodded his head toward a church that we were passing and said "Oh, and that's where St. Dominic raised the boy from the dead." "Wait!" I squealed inwardly as I desperately tried to turn my wedged body so that I could see what he was referring to but we had passed the spot by before I managed to extract myself.

Another tantalizing almost-brush with resurrection.

Bl Jordan of Saxony, who followed St. Dominic as Master of the Order, wrote a very sober account of the miracle which was witnessed by a number of intelligent Dominicans.

"It happened that, once while he was in Rome, a young man, related to the Lord Cardinal Stephen of Fossa Nuova, was riding recklessly down a steep hill and thrown from his horse. While he was being carried away, it was hard to tell whether he was still alive or dead. As the crowd which had gathered was displaying its grief with wails and lamentations, Master Dominic happened along with Brother Tancred, a good, fervant man and one prior in Rome; in fact, it was he who told me of this incident. Brother Tancred said to him, "Why do you hesitate? Why don't you call on the Lord? Where is your pity for your neighbor, your confidence in God?"

Stirred by these words and inflamed by the fire of his own ardent compassion, he ordered that the young man be brought to a nearby house. There he restored him to life by his prayers and personally led him out of the house in the sight of those who had gathered."

He had expired. That is what I heard from his parents, who lived in the Roman Campagna.)

Wow. A Dominican whose instinctive response to a fatal injury was "Why do you hesitate to pray for life? Where is your pity for your neighbor, your confidence in God?"

That should give us all a jolt on this feastday of St. Dominic.  And encouragement to ask this famous intercessor to pray for us.

As Pope Benedict observed today:

"Blessed Jordan of Saxony (who died in 1237), his successor as head of the Order, thus writes: "During the day, no-one was more sociable than he…conversely at night, no one more diligent in keeping vigil in prayer. He devoted his days to others, but the night he gave to God "(P. Filippini, Domenico visto dai suoi contemporanei, Bologna 1982, p 133). In St. Dominic we can see an example of the harmonious integration of contemplation of the divine mysteries and apostolic activity. According to the testimonies of those closest to him, "he always spoke with God or of God."

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