September 22, 2019

TWENTY- FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

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GOD IS LOVE: WEEK IV

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 IV
“If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; if you can eat happily whatever is put on your plate; if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill; if you can always find contentment just where you are – you are probably a dog.”
We are certainly not dogs because anxiety, distress, worry and fear are a recurring part of our days and nights. Some fears are useful because they protect us. For example, a healthy fear is not rushing into a busy street without looking or not taking unnecessary health risks. However, we often spend our time and energy on pointless anxiety such as obsessively regretting the past or in dread filled imaginings of our future.
Our theme reminds us that God invites us to turn our face with grace from Fear to Faith. The fear we are speaking about here is unnecessary and excessive worry in situations where there is little we can do for change.
How do we gain an increase in faith to diminish our fear? Fear is born of thoughts that run hypothetical outcomes that are little more than guesses. We hear our thoughts as a negative voice or inner dialogue. Faith is stopping the negativity and listening to God’s voice which is deeper and forever calling us to trust. St. Paul teaches that, “Faith comes from hearing and what is heard is the Word of God.” In times of anxiety remembering and prayerfully quoting a Scripture passage reduces fearful feelings by diverting obsessive thoughts to focus on God who is always working in our lives.
Helpful Affirmations to Pray in Turning from Fear to Faith
1. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
2. All things work together for good for those who love God. Romans 8:28
3. Take this tip: T. I. P. Trust In Providence
4. Jesus, I Trust in You
5. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. Romans 8
6. I am with you always beyond the end of time. Matthew 28:20
7. God’s power at work in me can do immeasurably more than we can even hope for or imagine. Ephesians 3:20

To read complete bulletin click here