Our Lenten March, Plus Our New App The Better Part! – Weekly Message 3-17-15

Dear Fellow Digital Missionary, pax Christi:

I am looking forward to sharing a bit of news in this message – but first, a small confession.

This year, the middle of March is also the middle of our Lenten “march” towards the celebration of our Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. It’s possible that you feel like Lent is slipping by too quickly. Maybe our own hopes for spiritual growth for this season seem to be behind schedule. Maybe some disappointment or frustration is clawing at the doors and window sills of our interior lives… That’s okay. Each day truly is a fresh start through Christ, with him, and in him. He tried to teach us this during his Sermon on the Mount: “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil” (Matthew 6:34).

In today’s terms, we might paraphrase that by saying, “Just live one day at a time.” I hope you won’t be scandalized by this, but for me, personally, that’s one of the hardest things to do. To simply live each moment resting in the sure embrace of God’s infinite love, letting the Lord absorb the weight of my worries, concerns, desires, dreams… Even after two decades as a religious and more than ten years as a priest, that kind of childlike trust still eludes me so many times. And in my regular confession, I find myself continuing to repent from that lack of faith.

And yet, when I look back on the bigger picture, I can see that although I still have so much room for growth, I can’t deny that some growth has already happened. God has been faithful! He is more patient than I am, and his love always seems to find a way to bring a little more spiritual fruit into my life. I believe that; I know that. And I am sure that as you look back on your own faith journey, you can say that same thing.

So there is no reason to let discouragement or frustration have the final say. Today we can seek the Lord. Today we can seek to discover and embrace his will.

Now for the news. Many of you are familiar with the book The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer. This book is designed to help us all in that daily effort to focus on the essentials, to seek and discover God’s will each day as we try to know, love, and follow Christ a bit more fully. The book is in its fifth printing, but the App went out of service last year. Thanks be to God, my new publisher, Ministry23, has just released a new version of the iPhone App for The Better Part, which you can find at the iTunes App store. It contains the entire book, including the Gospel passages, and you can set it up for easy access to daily meditations, whether or not you like to follow the daily Mass readings in your personal prayer life.

If you were familiar with the previous version, you will like this one even better. If you didn’t know there was an App for The Better Part, now you do, and maybe it can help you in your day-by-day Lenten journey along with other resources offered at RCSpirituality. I certainly hope so.

Please keep us in your prayers, and keep counting on ours for you – today, and if God gives us that chance, tomorrow too.

Peace in Him, Fr. John


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