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Authentic Prayer: Battling Distractions PDF Print E-mail

Chariot

David Torkington • March 23, AD2017

Did you know that you can’t really pray without distractions? Don’t take my word for it, take the word of St Teresa of Avila. When she went to confession to St Peter of Alcantara she told him that she couldn’t pray any longer because of the distractions that attacked her every time she tried to pray. He told her that you can’t really pray without them. If that is not enough to convince you, read about Jesus and the distractions and temptations that he had to combat during his forty days in the desert. The first Christians had similar experiences when they tried to follow his example in the forty days before Easter by setting aside extra time for daily prayer.

When Prayer Becomes Difficult

For those who take prayer seriously and journey on beyond the fizz and pop of first fervour, what was once easy and filled with sweetness and light will become dark and difficult and full of distractions and temptations. Prayer does not grow because distractions and temptations gradually disappear it grows because they get stronger and stronger and the ensuing battle is the place where true Christian prayer reaches its height. Beginners always think it is about having nice feelings and emotional highs. Romantics think it is all about having feelings of inner peace, and the latest gurus from the East, seem to think it is all about having high states of transcendental awareness and mastering the techniques that lead to Nirvana. When St Francis came back from his first serious attempts at prayer, he came back so exhausted that even his friends hardly recognized him. He probably overdid it as beginners often do, but the truth is, trying to fend off distractions and temptations in prayer can be rather exacting for those who persevere when they are tempted to throw the towel in too soon and turn on the telly.

 
HOLY THURSDAY: MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER PDF Print E-mail

THE LORD'S SUPPER

This is the Body that will be given up for you; this is the Chalice of the new covenant in my Blood, says the Lord; do this, whenever you receive it, in memory of me.
(Communion Antiphon)

 
PALM SUNDAY - THE COMMEMORATION OF THE LORD'S ENTRANCE INTO JERUSALEM PDF Print E-mail

 THE LORD'S ENTRANCE INTO JERUSALEM

Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice cried out: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy! 
(Palm Sunday, Entrance Antiphon)

 
D'ALZON, AMORIS LAETITIA, AND EDGARDO MORTARA PDF Print E-mail

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By: Bro. Ryan Carlsen, AA

With all the debate happening right now concerning the proper interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, I wondered: would Fr. d’Alzon, founder of the Assumptionists, take sides in this debate? For anyone wanting to learn more about the Assumptionists, I thought a brief reflection on the founder’s views might be useful since the charism of the congregation comes from the Holy Spirit through the founder. A possible answer to the question of whether he would take sides came to me after reading about Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.

The Edgardo Mortara case was a big story in 19th-century Europe. Edgardo was born into a Jewish family in Bologna, Italy, the sixth of eight children. A severe illness in early childhood left him on the brink of death. At that point the family’s Catholic maid secretly baptized the boy. The Church’s teaching at that time, as it is today, was that no child could be baptized without parental consent and a commitment to raise the child as a Catholic. However, if death was near, this kind of baptism was permitted because it cleansed and saved the soul, preparing it for heaven.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 15:02
 
CONVERSATIONS – PATHWAYS OF LIFE AS A SINGLE CATHOLIC PERSON IN TODAY’S WORLD PDF Print E-mail

Elyse Raby, a doctoral student in Systematic Theology at Boston CollegeAt a recent Sunday “Conversations…” at the Assumptionist Center in Brighton, the topic of life as a Catholic single person as experienced by many in today’s world was addressed. The presenters were Elyse Raby, a doctoral student in Systematic Theology at Boston College, with an interest in theological anthropology and ecclesiology and Alfred Pang, a doctoral student in Theology and Education, also at Boston College and a resident at the Assumptionist Center.

In an issue of America Magazine (Jan. 2016), it was said that the “church is increasingly recognizing the vocational dimension of the single life, but that does not mean that today’s single Catholics have it easy.”

Both of our presenters presented some of the realities and challenges of this topic, as well as the gift of being a single person of faith. In addition they offered ways in which faith communities can nourish the possibilities offered by the single life in the church. It is a complex phenomenon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 April 2017 21:02
 
ASSUMPTIONISTS ESTABLISH A NEW COMMUNITY IN MEXICO PDF Print E-mail

Orizaba, Vera Cruz, Mexico

ASSUMPTIONISTS ESTABLISH A NEW COMMUNITY IN MEXICO

ASSUMPTIONISTS ESTABLISH A NEW COMMUNITY IN MEXICO -  PDF file

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 10:27
 
'Togo opened the path to my religious vocation' PDF Print E-mail

Jérémie Six was in Togo from 2012 – 2014 with the Catholic Delegation for Cooperation (DCC) and the AssumptionistsPhoto: Jérémie Six

On the fiftieth anniversary of the encyclical "Populorum progressio", Catholics who have been deeply affected by their experiences as volunteers speak to "La Croix".

Claire Lesegretain

Jérémie Six was in Togo from 2012 – 2014 with the Catholic Delegation for Cooperation (DCC) and the Assumptionists. In September 2106, he took his first vows as an Augustinian of the Assumption.

For a long time, I was trying to find myself, asking about the meaning of my life. Without a doubt, my two years as a volunteer in Africa helped me to discover who I am.

In Togo, a reality worlds away from France, I learned to know myself better. In retrospect, I think that the Lord was knocking at my door but I was afraid to let him in. I feel an affinity with the apostle Peter, who was a bit rough around the edges but also clear-cut and pure.

 
A LENTEN REFLECTION: THE IDEA OF GOD PDF Print E-mail

Moses and the Burning Bush by Sébastien Bourdon, c. 1645 [Hermitage, St. Petersburg] “It is said that man deifies the heavens. Let it be granted. But where, exactly, did he find the idea of the divine that he applies to the heavens? Why do we discover the same spontaneous movement wherever we look at our kind? Why that impulse to deify?” (Henri de Lubac, The Discovery of God)

I am not aware of a single atheist argument that can answer any one of these questions. Are you? So why is it that, despite all the voices sounding the drumbeat of a world without God, there yet remains this intractable tendency to deify the heavens? Why is it that even the best and the brightest, with all their huffing and puffing on behalf of unbelief, cannot kill the desire for God? “Against the wild prayer of longing,” as the poet W.H. Auden reminds us, “legislation remains helpless.” How maddening and perverse it must all seem to the wise and the clever.

And yet, until we ask such questions, we’ve no business asking anything else. How can this be?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:42
 
ASSUMPTION STUDENTS SPEND SPRING BREAK VOLUNTEERING IN COMMUNITIES ALONG THE EAST COAST PDF Print E-mail

Assumption Students Spend Spring Break Volunteering in Communities Along the East CoastThis month, 63 students spent their spring breaks positively contributing to several communities along the East Coast. During the week of March 6-10, students traveled to Baltimore, MD; Georgetown, DE; Immokalee, FL; Norristown, PA; Trenton, NJ; and Washington, D.C. as part of the College’s Campus Ministry Office’s SEND Service Immersion Program.

SEND, which was established in 1986, provides students—who are accompanied by faculty, staff and alumni—the opportunity to directly impact communities through volunteer work. SEND participants bond with fellow peers, faculty, staff, and alumni while working side-by-side to rebuild neighborhoods, gain new cultural perspective, and engage in prayer activities that reflect on ideals rooted in the Assumptionist tradition. This spring, SEND partnered with organizations like Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, and Ministry of Presence sites.

“Our hope for the students participating in SEND is that they begin to view service as an opportunity to build relationships with others in ways that recognize our shared human dignity and call us to a life of faith in action,” said Vincent Sullivan-Jacques, assistant director of Campus Ministry and director of volunteer outreach and community engagement.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:41
 
CONVERSATIONS AT THE CENTER: Social Media - An Opportunity for or Threat to Christian Witness? PDF Print E-mail

CONVERSATIONS AT THE CENTER: Social Media - An Opportunity for or Threat to Christian Witness?

CONVERSATIONS AT THE CENTER: Social Media - An Opportunity for or Threat to Christian Witness? -  PDF file

Last Updated on Monday, 27 March 2017 09:43
 
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