October 20, 2019

TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME OCTOBER 20, 2019

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GOD IS LOVE: WEEK VIII

During the next weeks we are exploring our theme “God Is Love”. Bulletin articles, homilies, music, reflection questions and prayer practices will enable us to grow spiritually and to live our mission to do Christ’s Work as love in action. Follow our journey at www.stphilip.org.

Banner Symbols
At the center of love’s heart is the cross, the symbol of God’s unconditional acceptance of us. The joined hands remind us that we love God by being love in action for one another. The hands reflect our Dalle de Verre stained-glass windows which represent the diversity of God’s gifts in us and in our Church as a community.

God is Love
Beloved, let us love one another, because love has its source in God…No one has seen God, yet as we love each other God dwells in us and God’s love is perfected in us… We love because God first loved us…God is love.

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) was a French poet and novelist. He is the author of the famous work Les Miserables from which the quote is taken.

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Our Theme Prayer:
Lord, turn my face with grace to love.
Turning our face with grace to love is a prayer practice based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s prayer The Examen. This type of prayer takes an honest look at our thoughts, feelings and motivations. It invites God to move our mind, hearts and will toward loving self, others and God.

Banner Symbols
The first acronym (vertical left column) in our theme F.A.C.E – Fear, Attachment, Control, Entitlement is based on the ideas of David Richo and Mark Thibodeaux S.J.
The center prayer, Lord, turn my face with grace to love and the second acronym (vertical right column) is an original idea of our theme F.A.C.E. – Faith, Acceptance, Cooperation, Empathy.
In prayer we turn from Fear to Faith – Attachment to Acceptance – Control to Cooperation – Entitlement to Empathy.

Prayer Practice Procedure
1. Ask for the Grace (Gift) of honest prayer
2. Reflect on the banner/Prayer Card words or emoji’s
3. Ask the Lord to help you FACE which applies most to you in this present moment
4. Choose one that seems most appropriate
5. Ask the Lord to turn your face with grace toward love
6. What thoughts, feelings or ideas come to you in this prayer?
7. Simply recognizing what is within us with God as our companion is often enough for a change
8. Ask “OK God, what is the good news?” Give thanks.
This Prayer can be prayed once or twice a day. Keeping it brief is helpful, it is about growing in awareness and spending time with God.
For homily and all weeks of the theme, please visit our website: stphilip.org and YouTube: stphilipclifton

Reflection Week VIII
One day a lady decides to go to a movie matinee. The theater is crowded. She sits in the only seat left. As the movie begins, two people behind her are distracting her with their constant talking. The lady becomes annoyed. Her anger increases as one of them begins kicking her seat in an endless beat. Although upset, she is fearful of confrontation and attached to her idea of how people should behave in a movie theater. She wishes to control their behavior because she is entitled to a quiet, non-jolting experience. Suddenly, she feels a hot, rough wet something on her neck. Enough! She turns quickly around and finds herself face to face with a German Shepherd. Next, she notices the blind man holding the collar of the seeing-eye dog. Of course, the talking was one man explaining the movie to the blind man. The kicking of her seat was the dog’s tail and we presume that the dog licked her neck.

The ladies change of perspective was great! But what really changed – nothing; yet, what changed – everything!

The lady quickly moved, with her new perspective, to a deeper faith in the goodness of others. She accepted her situation because her compassion overcame her inconvenience. Empathy erased her annoyance and empowered her to cooperate with her gentle pat to the dog’s head. The circumstances were the same yet her experience was transformed by grace.

In today’s Gospel, the woman in the parable persistently works for her cause. Eventually, she turns the judge in her direction. She receives the outcome she wishes through persistence. During the last eight weeks we have explored and prayed with our Parish Theme: God is Love. We persistently prayed and used our prayer practices to turn our faces with grace to love. On this, our last theme week, we are challenged to continue using what we have learned to turn from fear to faith, from attachment to acceptance, from control to cooperation, from unhealthy entitlement to empathy.

To read complete bulletin click here