March 18, 2018

PRAYER IS THE KEY TO SERENITY

serenity

During the season of Lent, we discover Prayer as the Key to Serenity through homilies, bulletin and website articles, song and personal prayer time. The Serenity Prayer is the focus of our Lenten Theme.

PRAYER
prayer
The Serenity Prayer was born from the anguish that American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr experienced, as he watched the oppression of the Nazis grow in Germany during the 1930s. Accepting what he could not change and learning in prayer what was within his power to accomplish, was Niebuhr’s struggle and something we understand in our own lives very well.
Prayer is the Key to Serenity. Serenity is not dependent upon outer circumstances but is inner stillness and a confident assurance in God’s providence care – no matter what’s going on around us, or even within us.
Acceptance of what cannot be changed does not mean that we like or approve of certain behaviors or situations. Acceptance means that we let go of the frustrating mental activity, emotional exhaustion and spiritual depletion that is wasted on what is beyond our power to change. We let go of playing God.
Courage means ‘with heart.’ With hearts desiring to live our mission to do Christ’s Work of love and service, we seek to be agents of positive change.
Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit that resides in the deep stillness of our being. Prayer is the key to unlocking the generous bounty of wisdom. God empowers us with wisdom through new ideas, possibilities, changes of direction and the ability to let go of one agenda to accept another with a discerning heart and an open mind.
The Serenity Prayer is a rich source for spiritual growth and empowers us to change ourselves and our world with God’s grace.

Reflection Story – Week V
WOW IS NOW
Rita Rudner tells this story, “I gave my father $100 and said, ‘Buy yourself something that will make your life easier.’ So he went out and bought a present for my mother.”
The story is humorous and also very wise. Rita asked her dad how he came up with the idea of giving a gift to his wife. The dad responded that he started to think about what he wanted but suddenly stopped. He thought, ‘Wow’ and thanked God for the gift of his daughter, her love and generosity. He prayed. His wife came to mind and her goodness to him and the many ways that she aggravated him. ‘Wow’ he thought wisely ‘Now’ is the time to be a ‘Wow’ for my wife, (and to make my life a little easier too)!
Wisdom is a gift that is given when we stop what we are doing and recognize that ‘Now’ is the time for ‘Wow.’
Now is Wow. Yesterday is only a memory; tomorrow is only our imagination. God grants wisdom in the present moment.

Prayer practice
• Suggested prayer posture: grab your own hand. Hold it tightly to ground yourself in the present moment.
God is closer to you than you are to yourself.
Prayer helps us to grasp God’s hand right ‘Now.’
God grants us serenity, when we see God as the
‘Wow’ in the ‘Now.’
• We have choices and decisions and the power of freedom to make a wise difference for good in our lives and for the benefit of others.
• When seeking wisdom:
Stop. Pray. Give thanks; God is always working. Ask:
“Okay God, what’s the good news?”
“Where is the gift in this?”
“How can I be a ‘Wow’ right ‘Now?'”
“What one action will I take to be a ‘Wow’ for someone 
‘Now?'”      
Pay attention to the wisdom God is granting in your ideas, perception, and ability to discern between what cannot and what can be changed. Thank God by praying the serenity prayer.

LENTEN PRACTICES
• Participating in weekly or even daily celebration of the Eucharist is the most perfect prayer and Lenten observance
• Engage in the variety of opportunities for community and private prayer and reflection.
Bible Study: Mondays at 11:30 AM in Church
Welcome Home: Sacrament of Reconciliation;
Mondays 7:00 to 8:00 PM
Saturdays 11:00 AM to 12 Noon
Stations of the Cross: Fridays 7:00 PM in Church
Lenten penance includes acts of self-denial as a tool for mindfulness of God’s bountiful gifts and presence and/or an increase in charitable acts and works of kindness.
• Days of Fast and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday we refrain from eating meat and have one full meal and two lesser meals. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.

CHRISM MASS
The Chrism Mass this yeartakes place on Monday of Holy Week, March 26, 2018 at 7:00 PM at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Paterson.The procession starts promptly at 6:45 PM.This year’s celebration will be of special significance as it will mark the first Chrism Mass in our newly renovated Cathedral.

17110610 Xmas Ornament COLOR - Jubilee

JUBILEE YEAR 2018
The Year of our Lord 2018 is our parish Jubilee commemorating 75 years of fulfilling our mission of Opus Christi –which is Latin for Christ’s Work. During the decades our parish has been love in action, bringing good news through spiritual, service and social ministry.
Jesus said to our parish patron St. Philip, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I do and even great works.” John 14:22

WEB SITE AND FACE BOOK INFORMATION
Share your e-mail with us so as not to miss any of the good news. Visit stphilip.org/jubilee to be included in our email list. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/stphilipclifton.

Fr. Matt is looking for some old photos and film in any format about St. Philip Church and/or school to compile our history.  Items can be left with Barbara Salzer at the Parish Office.

Our Jubilee Prayer
Rejoicing in you, O Lord, with thankful hearts we pray as .  .  .
We Remember
gratefully our past companions on the Journey whose sacrifice inspires us.
We Celebrate
the good news of love in action that empowers spiritual, service and social ministry.
We Believe
in God’s providence as faithful stewards who continue Christ’s work using the Keys to the Kingdom.       
Amen

To read complete bulletin click here