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Cultivating the Wisdom of Vatican II

31 Jul

Sister Joan has written five two-page summaries of the teaching of this extraordinary council. Click here to read and download this free online retreat. Find a friend to talk with. Or put a notice in your parish bulletin calling people together around this topic.

Important Feast Days Coming Up!

16 Jul

Two feast days of Gospel women are coming up in the next weeks.

July 22 is the feast day of Mary Magdalene, first witness to Jesus’ resurrection. July 29 is the day that honors Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus. These women are pictured for you in Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel.

Mary Magdalene is first witness to Jesus’ resurrection in all four Gospels. She was among the women from Galilee who follow Jesus and provide for him out of their resources. From early Christianity she has been called “the apostle to the apostle”, the bringer of good news to them and to us all. Click here to pray with Mary for resurrection in your own life.

 

Martha of Bethany and her sister Mary welcomed Jesus into their home. Most women remember Martha for the scolding she got from Jesus. “Martha, Martha, you are busy about many things, but your sister Mary has chosen the better part.” To read her story and an up-to-date interpretation, click here. Pray with Martha to resist the social pressures in your own life.

You will need a copy of Holy Women in Luke’s Gospel to meet and pray with the 14 other women he features. Go to goodgroundpress.com to order or call 800-232-5533.

Tiny Retreat #2: Hildegard of Bingen

9 Jul

Hildegard of Bingen: Patron saint of green and growing

Hildegard was only five years old in 1098 when her parents brought her, their tenth child, to the monastery of St. Disibode. A holy woman named Jutta took the little girl in and taught her Latin and music so she could sing the psalms with the monks and nuns. Jutta also taught Hildegard everything she knew about herbal medicine. At age 15, Hildegard decided to follow the Benedictine way and become a nun. When Jutta died, Hildegard became the prioress of the community.

Hildegard was a mystic, a person who experiences extraordinary communion with God. Hildegard wrote down her understandings of God in vivid pictures. Many women were attracted to her teaching about God and came to join her monastery, which grew so large that Hildegard started another monastery near Bingen, a nearby city. She continued to write and teach. Here is one of her poems.

Again I am in turmoil.

Should I speak, or must I be silent?

I feel like a gnarled old tree, withered and crooked and flaky.

All the stories of the years are written on my branches.

The sap is gone, the voice is dead.
 


But I long to make again a sacred sound.

I want to sound out God

I want to be a young juicy, sap-running tree

So that I can sing God as God knows how.
 


O God, you gentle viridity

O Mary, honeycomb of life

O Jesus, hidden in sweetness as flowing honey,

Release my voice again.
 


I have sweetness to share.
I have stories to tell.

I have God to announce.

I have green life to celebrate.

I have rivers of fire to ignite.

Hildegard make up the word viridity. It means greening, the life power of God that is in everything. For Hildegard the Word of God is greening; it has the power to create Christians. A tree growing and branching out is greenness in motion. Love is green. Jesus is greenness incarnate. Sin is not green. Sin is drying up, losing one’s ability to create.

• Read the first two verses of the poem again. When have you felt your sap is gone, your voice dead? What or who helped you know you could sing again?

• Does Hildegard’s way of calling on God, on Mary, on Jesus resonate with you? Can you read the last verse of the poem as your own song?

If Hildegard were alive today, she would sing about God’s work in the unfolding of creation in evolution. “O Holy Spirit” she writes, “you make life alive, you move in all things, you are the root of all created being, you waken and reawaken everything that is.”
 
For her teaching, Pope Benedict named Hildegard a Doctor of the Church. This means she is one of the Catholic Church’s greatest teachers. There are four women Doctors—St. Hildegard, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux.

• Make a resolution to see the Holy Spirit greening the earth around you. Pray a thanksgiving prayer each day for one beautiful thing you see.

 

 

“I am a feather on the breath of God.”

 

 


 

 

Each of the Cosmos Cards has a fact about one of God’s creative moves and a blessing. These cards are ready to mail as a postcard for someone who needs a regular reminder that God is with him or her. $15 for all 25 cards.

 

 

An Amazing Journey is a discussion guide on the Universe Story. The book features 50 articles by leaders in this field. Click here to view the Table of Contents. Only $20!

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

Every Sunday Belongs To Luke

11 Jun

Beginning next week, every Sunday Gospel until Advent is from the Gospel of Luke. For 23 consecutive Sundays we hear Luke’s stories and parables of forgiveness and healing. We experience Jesus standing up for the poor and forgotten, searching for the lost sheep, lost coin, lost souls.

 These powerful stories that feed our faith deserve to have more than a cursory hearing. Sister Joan’s new book, Luke’s Gospel: Written for Us, invites individuals and small groups to spend more time with Luke. Click here to read the Introduction and a sample chapter. Imagine sharing the questions in each chapter with friends or family. Call Lacy at 800-232-5533 to place your order, or visit goodgroundpress.com to order online.


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com to read about the Holy Women of the Gospels!

Celebrate the Holy Spirit this week

4 Jun

The Pentecost sequence is one of the most beautiful poems in the liturgy. Remind yourself how close the Holy Spirit is to you — inside you, beside you, on your side — by praying a part of the sequence every day this week. You can download it here or click on the image below. You will come to Pentecost Sunday full of hope and ready to follow the Spirit’s urgings.


During the summer months visit goodgroundpress.com for daily prayers and a variety of online retreats.

Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation

25 Mar

Sister Joan and Sister Ansgar have created a book celebrating the women of Luke’s Gospel. First among them is Mary of Nazareth, whose visit from the angel Gabriel we celebrate today. Click here to find the pages of prayer and reflection on Mary. The entire book, Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel, will be available in mid-April.

Hail, Mary. Full of grace. Blessed are you among all women.
Pray for us.


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com to pre-order your copy of Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel, or call Lacy at 800-232-5533. Only $8.00!

Resources for Lent

5 Mar

 

 

Don’t let Lent 2019 go by without enriching the faith life of your parish, your friends, and yourself. Visit our Lent Resources page to check out FREE material ranging from retreats (for both adults and teens!) and prayers to daily activities and practices that you and your family can do throughout the season.

Gospel Reflection for March 3, 2019, 8th Sunday Ordinary Time

25 Feb

Scripture Readings: Sirach 24.4-7; 1 Corinthians 15.54-58; Luke 6.39-45

“A good person brings for goodness from the good in his or her heart. The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart.” – Luke 6.45

Sunday’s gospel offers a collection of wise sayings. The blind can’t lead the blind. Students are not greater than their teachers. A tree is known by its fruit. Don’t try to take the splinter from your neighbor’s eye when you don’t see the plank in your own. The Greek word for plank refers to a board used for a rafter or a wall stud. The difference between a splinter and a plank is not only between tiny and immense but also between a single splinter and a fault that can threaten a whole building. From a practical point of view, criticizing others invites their scrutiny in return.

These sayings and many more that Luke includes in Jesus’ sermon on the plain provide concrete, everyday wisdom. Out cultural proverbs today tend to express values such as consumerism, individualism, or competition, for example, “Take care of yourself; no one else will.” They stand in tension with Christian values, such as sharing goods, solidarity among the members of the human family, and cooperation.

What proverbs do you try to live by? What proverbs did your parents or guardians quote often? What proverbs do you quote to your children, students, or co-workers?

Be Ready For Lent!

29 Jan

Four Ways to Be Ready for Lent

 

1. The Lent/Easter issues of Sunday by Sunday. Nothing beats sharing the Gospel message with friends and family, especially during Lent. Our special price for the eight Lent/Easter issues is only $2.00 per person. To order call Lacy at 800-232-5533. We will ship them out the next day.

 

 

2. Download this cross from our FREE Lent Resources page at goodgroundpress.com. A separate page lists color-coded activities to choose from. Do an activity and color a section of the Cross. By Easter you will have a joyful symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 

 

3. Teens created this cross of Lenten practices. Print it and post it in your home. Take turns finding an activity that’s right for each day. Or print a copy for each child and let them decide how to keep Lent in their own way.

 

 

 

4. Make simple daily prayer part of your life this Lent. This folding prayer book isn’t much bigger than a credit card and fits in your purse or picket. Click here to download.

 

 

We pray that Lent is filled with blessings for you.


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com to check out Sister Joan’s newest releases: Luke’s Gospel, Written For Us and Holy Women, Full of Grace.

New Online Retreat!

9 Nov

Pray with the women of the gospel.

We have a new retreat for you, based on Sister Joan’s new book, Holy Women, Full of Grace. We hope these four sessions with gospel women will be an occasion for you to bless your own life in Christ and unite you in prayer with women and girls around the world. You can view the whole table of contents for Holy Women at goodgroundpress.com. Please feel free to share this retreat with others. Click here to begin.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to see more of our Advent Resources.

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