Browsing News Entries

Journaling Your Prayers

Praying through journaling can be a liberating and beautiful means of expression. Your writing can take on the feeling of a love letter or a song and can be accompanied by a heart-wrenching release of emotions.

Do not attempt to censor yourself as you write. Don’t worry about spelling or proper grammar. Do not be afraid of writing down how you truly feel—God knows your heart already. Instead, offer yourself—in all your beauty and your brokenness—freely to God and ask him to use your journal to bring you closer to him. Do not be afraid to give it all to God, who can turn our ashes to beauty, heal our deepest wounds, and set us free.

–from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God's Word in Your Life

Blessed Jutta of Thuringia

Grave Monument for Jutta, wife of count Louis II of Thuringia | Saint George parish Church, Thuringia | photographed by Wolfgang Sauber
Image: Grave Monument for Jutta, wife of count Louis II of Thuringia | Saint George parish Church, Thuringia | photographed by Wolfgang Sauber

Blessed Jutta of Thuringia

Saint of the Day for June 25

(d. c. 1260)

 

Blessed Jutta of Thuringia’s Story

Today’s patroness of Prussia began her life amidst luxury and power but died the death of a simple servant of the poor.

In truth, virtue and piety were always of prime importance to Jutta and her husband, both of noble rank. The two were set to make a pilgrimage together to the holy places in Jerusalem, but her husband died on the way. The newly widowed Jutta, after taking care to provide for her children, resolved to live in a manner she felt was utterly pleasing to God. She disposed of the costly clothes, jewels, and furniture befitting one of her rank, and became a Secular Franciscan, taking on the simple garment of a religious.

From that point her life was utterly devoted to others: caring for the sick, particularly lepers; tending to the poor, whom she visited in their hovels; helping the crippled and blind with whom she shared her own home. Many of the townspeople of Thuringia laughed at how the once-distinguished lady now spent all her time. But Jutta saw the face of God in the poor and felt honored to render whatever services she could.

About the year 1260, not long before her death, Jutta lived near the non-Christians in eastern Germany. There she built a small hermitage and prayed unceasingly for their conversion. She has been venerated for centuries as the special patron of Prussia.


Reflection

Jesus once said that a camel can pass through a needle’s eye more easily than a rich person can enter God’s realm. That’s pretty scary news for us. We may not have great fortunes, but we who live in the West enjoy a share of the world’s goods that people in the rest of the world cannot imagine. Much to the amusement of her neighbors, Jutta disposed of her wealth after her husband’s death and devoted her life to caring for those who had no means. Should we follow her example, people will probably laugh at us, too. But God will smile.


Blessed Jutta of Thuringia is the Patron Saint of:

Prussia

Mary Draws Us to Jesus

Pope Francis announced the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and asked the Blessed Mother’s help: “Guard our lives in your arms. Bless and strengthen every desire for goodness; revive and grow faith; sustain and illuminate hope; arouse and enliven charity; guide all of us on the path to holiness.”

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary reminds us that the love in Mary’s heart is a love we seek to imitate. Our generous and selfless mother shares with us many helps and graces. Her only desire is to direct us to her son, so that we might “do whatever he tells us” (see John 2:5). Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart can only lead us more swiftly and intimately to the heart of her son. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I give myself to you through Mary!

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

We Offer Our Hearts to Jesus

Jesus does not wish his heart to be a mystery to us. Rather his heart is an open door; he wears it on his sleeve for us, so to speak. Jesus makes his heart completely available to us. He is meek, he is humble, and he makes himself vulnerable, as he is consumed by love for us and concern for our eternal destiny.

In turn, we are invited to offer our devotion, to have our hearts “burn within us,” to offer consolation to Jesus and make reparation for all of our offenses and those of the whole world. He wants us to unite ourselves completely with the flow of love and mercy that pours forth from his heart.

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

God Is in Love with You

Even if you have never felt loved or struggled to love, being loved is an ever-present reality and a never-to-be broken promise that flows directly from the heart of God.

You are loved, and as Saint Augustine said, “God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.” Think about that! You are loved exclusively and completely by God. You don’t have to compete for or earn God’s love or be anybody different from who you are, because God is in love with you.

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

Jesus Soothes Our Weary Souls

Jesus is the answer to all our questions, no matter what our age or state of life. He offers solace to those aching for relief. He offers truth to young people who are searching for deeper meaning and security. He restores the dignity and moral center of those who are looking for life and see only death.

To each of these weary souls, Jesus says: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest…learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28–29).

–from the book Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart

Stand against Evil

Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, please guide me closer to your Son Jesus. All of the angels and saints, please help me to be strong against the evil influences in this world by avoiding temptation, by praying constantly, and by leading a virtuous life. Amen.

–from the book Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions

Manifestation of Christ

Lord God, through the preaching and ministry of John the Baptist, you manifested your Son to the world in the waters of the Jordan River. Prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ so that we may trust in him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Through our repentance, may we recognize and work toward the coming of your Kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

from the book Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions

United in Peace

Most High, glorious God, enlighten the shadows of our hearts, and grant to us a right faith, a certain hope, and perfect charity, so that we may accomplish your holy will. As we walk in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, give us a spirit of poverty and humility so that we may be united with Jesus your Son in joy and in peace.

-from: Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions

The Salt of the Earth

The world you are inheriting is a world which needs to be touched and healed by the beauty and richness of God’s love. It needs witnesses to that love. The world needs salt. It needs you—to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world....

Do not let that hope die! Stake your lives on it! We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.

­­­–St. John Paul II 

–from the book The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare