October 6, 2019




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.


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 VI
Once upon a time in a tiny village in Poland, famine visited the land. Hungry villagers trying to control the situation hoard what little food they have behind locked doors and closed shutters. One day old Mateusz – a stranger to the townspeople – visits carrying a large pot and a large stone. Sitting next to the village well, he fills the pot with water and the stone announcing, “I will now make stone soup.” He invites curious children to gather some sticks and starts a fire under the pot. As the water boils, he tastes his soup saying, “MMM… So good. A little salt would help. Whomever brings some salt can share in my delicious soup.” From within a hut scurries a villager adding some salt to the pot. “Perhaps an onion will help?” A peasant comes forth with an onion and so it goes – a carrot – a potato – an old chicken – all into the pot. And that day the whole village ate their fill of the fine soup. They feasted abundantly because their faces turned from control to cooperation.

We are familiar with this old folk fable. Yet, it is timely because it points to a spiritual reality that we encounter every day. We are invited by God to share our gifts and talents through cooperation with each other. The challenge found in and relationships that we desire to control are really in need of cooperation. Only prayer can replace our fear with faith, our unhealthy attachments with acceptance and our obsession with control, the grace of cooperation.

Our reading from Habakkuk gives God’s vision for us which includes our cooperation in offering help to others as God helps us. Paul encourages Timothy to stir into flame all the gifts given from God. We are encouraged to use self-control when we seek to hoard our gifts by prayerfully asking for God’s power and an increase of love. The Gospel teaches that even the smallest act of cooperation, with faith the size of a mustard seed, has limitless potential in God’s hands.

Trying to control situations or people is a frustrating and a futile endeavor.
1. What pot of control is boiling in your life? Ask the Lord to turn your face with grace to love toward cooperation.
2. Pray for the wisdom to know how you can change by adding to the pot
3. Pray from the list of ingredients below which will be your cooperative act added to your pot:
Kindness, Gentleness, Strength, Resilience, Caring, Assertiveness, Hard work, Honesty Responsibility, Loyalty, Creativity, Sensitivity, Patience, Thoughtfulness, Trustworthiness, Taking initiative, Motivation, Prayer.

Lord turn our face with grace to love, so that all will be fed by my words and deeds with a nourishing bowl of cooperation.

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