Spiritual Development Communique #3

National Chairperson of Spiritual Development Jacqueline Nogier, December 13, 2017

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Finding God In Nature

Lord of All Hopefulness

Pray Like Children

Holy Season of Advent and Christmas
In the secular world when people talk about advent, they are usually referring to the December calendars containing little chocolates, counting down the days until Santa comes. It is important to remember that Advent and Christmas are two very different seasons. While preparations are taking place in our homes for Christmas, we should be preparing for Jesus’ coming into our lives. He is the house guest that can show up at any time, without any warning.

Think of the bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom; some were prepared and remembered to bring extra oil for their lamps. Like the bridesmaids, we need to properly prepare for Jesus’ coming, for the time and place are not known. Many options are available for daily reflections during Advent and Christmas, both digital options and traditional books. Encourage members to spend time, even with the daily mass readings, to be fully prepared for the bridegroom.

Prayer Services: Creating Your Own and Using Someone Else’s
One of the most daunting tasks that chairpersons of spiritual development sometimes face can be finding or creating new prayer services. Many organizations post prayer services online. As long as you receive permission to use and reproduce them, you are not breaking any copyright laws. I have had great luck with the organizations from which I have requested such permission. Always remember that unless a prayer service is something that YOU have created in its entirety, permission must always be obtained before reproducing it in any way. It is important to source these types of services with the name of the organization and the URL. At the end of this document you will find three prayer services that I have created, please use and adapt as needed.

Book and Website Suggestions
1. Dynamic Catholic: an organization whose mission is “to re-energize the Catholic Church in America by developing world-class resources that inspire people to rediscover the genius of Catholicism.” They have great print and digital resources including their program “Best Advent Ever.” Upon sign up you receive daily emails including short videos, and personal reflections.
Visit dynamiccatholic.com/best-advent-ever or dynamiccatholic.com/

2. The Pope Video: Features a short video each month related to the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions. The initiative was developed by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer) to help circulate the Holy Father’s monthly intentions.
Monthly videos can be found at thepopevideo.org/

3. Prayer Seeds: A Gathering of Blessings, Reflections, and Poems for Spiritual Growth, by Joyce Rupp is a new publication that contains about 100 never before seen thematically organized poems and reflections. All works produced by Joyce Rupp may be used as long as proper credit is given.

Both St. Teresa of Calcutta and St. Therese of Lisieux were inspired to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. As Christians and Catholic women, we need to step aside from negative thinking in media and in society. Instead, concentrate on the good we see in people and do good for others. I challenge you this Advent and Christmas season to take time for prayer and meditation and to prepare for the joy that the season promises.

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”
–Mother Teresa

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant count as nothing.”
–St. Therese of Lisieux

May Our Lady of Good Counsel keep us and guide us,
Jacqueline Nogier
National Chairperson of Spiritual Development