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Living Like Francis Today

5 Nov

Live simply. Live prayerfully. Live in peace.

Living Like Francis Today puts you in touch with the God of love and mercy Pope Francis wants us to know. Each of the six short chapters begin and end with a simple prayer from scripture or from the writing of St. Francis. Short reflections invite you to apply the themes in your own life.

Read a sample chapter. Then call us to order copies for you and your seeker friends. Living Like Francis is only $5.50 per copy. Order online at goodgroundpress.com or call us at 800-232-5533. We will put your books in the mail the same day we get your order.


Get more out of the Sunday scripture readings for Advent and Christmas time with Sunday by Sunday. The issues for December 1 through January 12 are only $4.00 per person. Call Lacy at 800-323-5533 to order your copies today.

Is Your Bible Study Ready to Go?

11 Oct

If you mean to start a bible study in your parish or among your friends, we can help. This fall the Sunday Gospels are all from Luke. We have three books that are bible-study friendly.

Luke’s Gospel: Written for Us is a short, easy to use introduction to Luke’s best parables and stories. Guaranteed to make any bible group one people won’t want to miss.

Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel is a bible study, a prayer book, and a visual way to reflect on Luke’s gospel.

Holy Women, Full of Grace, profiles the unique women of Mark’s gospel. Read a few sample pages and you will see how this book helps a group pray and reflect together.

You do not need a trained leader for these bible studies. Just a commitment to time together. Let us help you make this fall a time for growth in the gospel. 

Order online or call Lacy at 800-232-5533. Thank you!


Check out our website! Come to goodgroundpress.com for daily prayer, free online retreats, links to social justice websites, and free seasonal posters and family activities!

 

What power does faith have?

3 Oct

How does our faith strengthen us? According to Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel even a smidgen of faith is enough. Our part is to live the faith we have.

Sunday by Sunday has a reflection on faith that can hearten you. Consider becoming a subscriber. You will receive a reflection on the Sunday scriptures for the whole year, in the form of easy-to-use, 4-page handouts, one for each week. If faith is to sustain us in these chaotic times, we need to nourish it and share it with others. Sunday by Sunday can help do just that.

Call 800-232-5533 to place your order. We will send it out the same day, so you won’t miss a Sunday.

Visit our website—goodgroundpress.com—to explore our other spirituality resources.

Image 24 Jun

Luke’s Gospel: Written For Us

17 May

Beginning in June all our Sunday gospels will be from Luke. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus seeks out the lost and forgotten, gives second chances, welcomes the sinner home. Sister Joan’s new book focuses on these themes in its nine short chapters. Ideal for bible study and faith-sharing groups and for homilists. Go to goodgroundpress.com to read sample chapters. Call 800-232-5533 to place your order today or order online!

1-9 copies, $10.00 each; 10-99, $8.00; 100 or more, $7.00.


 

In both his gospel and the Acts of Apostles, Luke tells women’s stories — Mary and Martha, the widow of Nain, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe and Priscilla. You will meet them and more in word, illustrations, and prayer. Visit goodgroundpress.com to read sample chapters and to order your copy of Sister Joan’s new book, Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel. Only $8 per copy! Call 800-232-5533 to place your order today or order online!

Two Books For Lent!

14 Mar

This Lent we read from Luke’s Gospel with his stories of forgiveness, compassion, and second chances. Sister Joan’s new book is ideal for faith-sharing groups, Bible study, RCIA, homilists, and anyone who wants to understand scripture better. Only $10!

Order online at goodgroundpress.com or call us at 800-232-5533.


Sister Joan and Sister Ansgar have collaborated for a second time on Gospel women. In both his Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles, Luke tells women’s stories — Mary and Martha, the widow of Nain, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe and Priscilla. You will meet them and more in word and illustration and prayer.

Book available in April, 2019. Click here to pre-order your copy of Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel today.

Softcover, 88 pages. 1-9 copies, $8; 10-99, $7; 100+, $5.50.

The God Trump Card

21 Oct
Photo via Flickr user Dwight Stone

Photo via Flickr user Dwight Stone

In part because I was lucky enough to receive an excellent theological education from grade school through seminary, I wince when I hear someone start a sentence with, “God says…” or even, “The Bible says…” Quoting the Bible does not mean quoting God, and even quoting the Bible has to be done with great care and reflection. These phrases can stunt conversation and dialogue, two things I’m in the business of promoting. I call it playing the God card, or throwing Bible bullets. The God card and Bible bullets are difficult for many people to argue, even though they so often used inaccurately.

Inevitably, during election season, the Bible gets dusted off to do the work of promoting person and political agendas. My instinct, backed by my deep respect of the Bible and its power to be used or abused, is to tread very lightly here.

Years ago, I had one professor who had been studying the Hebrew Scripture his entire adult life. He seemed to know God through his studies in a way I only dared to hope. He started the course by sharing some guidelines, some things to consider when approaching the sacred biblical text. I found it exceedingly helpful, so I put them in my own words. Every time I teach the Bible, now, I start out by sharing them, too. Students always seem to find it a helpful place to start. I find it a helpful place to come back to and revisit. I hope you do, too:

Be mindful of how who you are changes how you read the Bible.

The text is not the same as the interpretation of the text.

We are reading a translation, and every translator carries a bias.

No passage has a single meaning.

Reading the Bible is a cross-cultural experience. It was written in a time long ago, in a place far away.

Talking about the Bible with people who think and live differently than us will make the truth more complex, richer and more full.

The Bible contradicts itself and never attempts to be consistent. It interprets itself.

There is a difference between believing in the Bible and believing in the God of the Bible.

Reading the Bible literally is a fairly recent phenomenon.

There are several different genres in the Bible– poetry, myth, genealogy, law, parable– that deserve to be read with different lenses.

Not everything in the Bible happened, but that does not diminish the story’s truth.

Context is key. Taking a verse out of context limits the power of the passage. We must study the passage by looking at what comes before it and after it, by putting it into the context of the whole Bible, and considering the historical and political context the passage is set in. This takes work, challenging us to not just read the Bible, but study it.

Not every Bible passage is equal in its influence over our faith life.

The Bible does not have answers to all our modern-day questions.

Reimagining the Bible, Again

27 May
Photo via Flickr user honorbound

Photo via Flickr user honorbound

I love a good storyteller. She has to ability to break the present, ordinary moment open to a sense of pure transcendence. A good story invites us into a thin space where we can float in truth and beauty. Go to a story telling event or an amateur comedy night and be reminded how hard good storytelling really is.

We need good storytellers to help us read the Bible and make it come alive, again, for us in this time and place.

During the Modern Age, Darrell Jodock explains in his book The Church’s Bible, the Bible lost a good deal of collective authority. This had to do with several cultural shifts including increased value placed on objectivity and the scientific approach and people connecting loyalty to tradition with stagnation.

The Bible, however, continues to withstand the test of time. Christians continue to find it useful to turn to the book. It is time-tested, but each generation has to reclaim it and rediscover its usefulness for their context. The Bible indeed has no authority outside outside the context of community and relationship. It is a book collecting dust until we open it, interact with it, and apply it to our communities. At its best, the Bible can connect us to other communities over time an space, providing a hold continuity. It can mediate the presence of God by providing a language of faith. As time goes on, we have to work harder and harder to translate that language in a way that is relevant to a world far from the original audience.

Reading the Bible with young people is a welcome challenge for me. We talk a lot about stories– those in the text and our own. We work to understand the original context so that we may apply it to our immediate context with care. Re-contextualizing the Bible requires imagination, creativity, patience and empathy. When we do it well, it is worth the work. The richness of the stories, if reimagined well, point beyond itself to God. They break open to transcendence. Beauty and truth rush in.

At the end of his book, Jodock invites us to simply take the Bible and read it. It will only speak when used in community and embodied in the daily lives of its members. In that way, we give the Bible it’s authority. It’s complex, worthy work.

Gospel Reflection for November 22, 2015, Christ the King

17 Nov
Photo via Flickr user Sapphire Dream Photography

Photo via Flickr user Sapphire Dream Photography

Sunday Scripture Readings: Daniel 7.13-14; Revelation 1.5-8; John 18.33-37

Jesus tells Pilate, ” My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my followers would be fighting to save me from being handed over. My kingdom is not from here.”

(John 18.36)

The final Sunday of the Church year, the Feast of Christ the King, holds up in Jesus an alternative vision of power for leaders in the world. Jesus testifies to truth that is not armed and ready to fight but to the truth he demonstrates in feeding the hungry, giving sight tot he blind, raising Lazarus. Jesus reveals God’s power is love that heals and gives life. To follow Jesus we must testify to the truth within us, in the gospels, and in our tradition that recognizes the sacredness of every person.

This week as we lament with the people of France who have experienced terrorist attacks, we need also to ask how we can build up the kingdom Jesus is talking about — the unarmed work of building world community. The representative from our district is the only Muslim in Congress. Yesterday he stood on the steps of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, urging people to extend their hands and introduce ourselves to the followers of Islam among our neighbors.

How can you be an instrument of peace where you live?

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