How My Dad Taught Me a Lenten Resolution I Would Never Forget 10

Fr Jason Smith LC

Fr Jason Smith LC

One Ash Wednesday, my dad announced to my brother and I that for Lent he would be fasting on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. He wondered if we would like to join him.

Aaron and I looked at each other thinking he had flipped his lid. Aaron said he’d stick to giving up arguing; I said I’d continue to refrain from hitting Aaron until Easter. With all of our resolutions on the table we were ready to begin our Lenten regimen. More…

Praying When We’re Busy (And We’re All Busy) 10

Fr Jason Smith

Fr Jason Smith

I went to Manhattan yesterday to get a wisdom tooth pulled. Thankfully the dentist was so adroit I was left with an hour or two of leisure to snap pictures of the city and Grand Central as I waited for the train.

As I snapped shots here and there I couldn’t help but observe the energy of the city. I kept thinking to myself, “No wonder it is so hard to stop and pray.” On the train ride home I put down the camera and picked up the pen to jot down a few notes–both to remind myself and to help others–on how to pray amid our busy life. More…

Reflections on Confession and Rembrandt’s “Return of the Prodigal Son” 20

By Fr Jason Smith

A few weeks back I was hearing confessions in an old, cold, and rather uncomfortable confessional, the kind that our forefathers once used with a screen and two wooden doors, one on either side, so that the priest can slide them closed and the person on the right can’t hear what the person on the left is saying, or vice versa. More…

What Every Married Couple Should Know about the Truth of Sex and the Lies of Contraception 4

Fr Jason Smith

Fr Jason Smith

Words are not the only way we communicate, the body itself speaks a language.

A smile is, for example, one of the most obvious and effective means of non-verbal communication. It is so important Dale Carnegie notes that:

The expression worn on your face is far more important than the clothes worn on your back.

Eye contact is another powerful means of non-verbal communication. We use phrases that show this such as ‘He had that gleam in his eye’, ‘If looks could kill…’, ‘She gave an icy stare’, ‘He gave me the evil eye’, or my all time favorite, ‘He married her for her looks, but not the one’s she’s been giving him lately.’

More…

The Penitent Magdalene and True Conversion of Heart 4

By Fr Jason Smith

I have found no better representation of conversion and penance in art than The Penitent Magdalene, by George de la Tour. Though simple, it expresses the essential elements behind every conversion, and we can find in it powerful lessons to apply to our own life. Let’s take a closer look.

The Penitent Magdalen, George de la Tour

More…

Lenten Temptation 3

20140309-171129.jpg
Why does God allow us to be tempted? Precisely because we grow so much when we are. We grow in faith. We grow in fortitude. We grow in humility. We learn to trust less in ourselves and more on God. Our prayer deepens. We turn more fervently to the Sacraments. Slowly, surely, we become more mature spiritually as God’s grace engages our freedom.

Lenten Fulfillment Reply

Lent is a time to stop the frantic pursuit of things and kneel down, worshiping Jesus, allowing him to be God and Lord of our life.

20140308-090443.jpg
Our fallen nature wants to make a golden calf out of many things, especially ourselves, yet paradoxically worshiping this calf never brings deep and lasting completion. The empty ache within is still there. By kneeling, adoring, praising, and worshiping Jesus we tear down the calf we’ve built and allow him to fill us. It’s by losing our life in Him that we find it.

Fasting on Fish 13

Fr Jason Smith

Fasting means going on a disciplined diet. And like all real diets it should be hard.

The purpose is to find out who is in charge: You or your stomach. The battle between the two tempers the will, heightens spiritual sensitivity, and leads us to find strength in God through prayer. More…

Advent Tip: Reach Out 1

20131216-165708.jpg

The world is smaller. We travel great distances easily; social media connects us; we know immediately everything that is going on. Yet, paradoxically, many people feel more lonely than ever.

Mary, after the Annunciation, teaches us a valuable lesson. She traveled through the hill county to bring the good news to Elizabeth, not an easy journey for anyone, especially a young pregnant girl. The joy and light of Christ needs to be shared.

It might be a good idea to stop and ask ourselves, More…

Advent Tip: Finding God’s Will 3

20131215-094725.jpg

Perhaps it’s the winter storm of ice and snow that’s turned my thoughts to the insightful and inspiring story of Fr Walter Ciszek, SJ. He wrote, “With God in Russia” and “He Leadeth Me”, documenting his spiritual journey during his 23 years in solitary confinement and in the labor camps of communist Russia after World War II. It was his utter reliance on God’s will that enabled him to endure.

His insight is brief and profoundly life changing: Don’t look for God’s will as something “out there” for you to obtain; rather, see the circumstances, people, everyday events, as it is presented today, as God’s will.

He writes, More…