Upcoming Retreat in Los Angeles!

Thank you for your patience with me as I return from my trip to Illinois and catch up with a few urgent projects. For the beginning of the New Year, I will be in Los Angeles for meetings with our sisters, and I am taking that opportunity to offer a retreat day at our Pauline Book & Media Center in Culver City, CA, on Saturday, January 7th. Retreat will be followed by Mass at our chapel at 4 PM.

A day of retreat is a wonderful way to “start the New Year right,” to rejoice in the gift of God’s love and to allow his love to transform us so that we can once again align our will with God’s will. If you live in the Los Angeles area, I hope you can join us!

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Your Chance to Support Evangelization Through Catholic Media!

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Every year, we host a webathon to help raise support for our evangelization efforts. This year, we are raising funds to replace our generator, which died last winter and serves our convent, our infirmary, and our entire publishing house. We will be praying a live Novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, daily at 12 noon and 8 PM EST, for the needs of those we serve, and in a particular way for those who pray the novena with us, supporting us with their prayers and sharing their intentions with us.

I hope you can join us: www.pauline.org/webathon2016

Catholics on Social Media & Visio Divina!

Our Sunday Visitor does a marvelous job of  periodically “rounding up” wonderful Catholic resources online. The June 26th print issue had a wonderful article entitled “Digital Discovery” written by Mark Shea about Catholics in podcasting. He introduced me to a couple of podcasts that I hadn’t discovered yet, so this is well worth checking this out! I was especially interested because I am researching the possibility of us beginning a Pauline podcast, and he has quick tips for an easy start up.

Another series of recent articles from OSV gives families practical tips of how to make your use of social media balanced, discerning, and healthy. Here’s a list of those articles online.

OurLadysGardencoverFor those who are visually artistic, I wanted to mention that Pauline Books & Media is publishing two religious coloring books that the sisters hope can become “gateways” to contemplation. Our Lady’s Garden is a simply exquisite coloring book of various images of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the sisters have put up one page of the coloring book online that is free to download (and color)!

The Pinterest Board with the results are beautiful.

Ever since I was introduced to Sr. Wendy Beckett’s work years ago, I have occasionally enjoyed praying with sacred art, which I have heard described as visio divina—a way of prayer that uses visual art as an entryway to prayer. Like cinema divina—a way of prayer that uses film as a way to enter into prayer, visio divina engages our senses directly with an image.  Creating sacred images to inspire has a long and sacred history, as does praying with sacred images.

 

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Windows into Christ is the second coloring book that the sisters hope will be used for prayer and meditation.

Enter To Win Today: Risen DVD Giveaway

RISEN is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. It’s a great faith story of a soldier’s search for Christ.

Here at Windows to the Soul, I decided to take part in a blog tour that a number of Catholic bloggers joined in order to encourage people to see this film, and to encourage filmmakers to make more films about faith. (See Reconciled to You’s blogpost here.) If you haven’t seen Risen yet, you might want to follow the blog tour to learn more about it and decide whether to get a copy!

As a special bonus on the blog tour, I’m hosting a Rafflecopter Giveaway for 3 readers who live in the USA to win a RISEN DVD! (You must be a US resident to enter.) For my blog on May 27th, I will post a downloadable lectio divina guide for watching the film that you can use personally or with your family or prayer group.

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway by clicking on the image below:

Terms and conditions are posted below. 

Open to Residents of the US only. Giveaway ends May 27, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter.com and be notified by email. Each winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Sr. Marie Paul Curley will send the prize to each winner directly. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Sr. Marie Paul Curley and Pauline Books & Media (the ministry of the Daughters of St. Paul). We will not share or sell the information in any way, and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner, unless you sign up for the newsletter, which you must confirm separately that you want to receive. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send Sr. Marie Paul Curley an email! Read the privacy policy of Pauline Books and Media here.

Glad to be back to blogging…

Thanks for your patience as I gradually find my way back to blogging weekly. Here’s my update on just a few notable events—some of which have prevented me from blogging the past couple of months!

* Our Pauline digital apostolate has some new features: online novenas, courses, and retreats. I’m in the midst of preparing an online version of a few mini-retreats that I’ve given, which I hope will become available in the fall (on the Eucharist and on God’s love for us), but first we had to put in the structure and put together the website. There are already some wonderful resources there, especially some lovely ones by Sr. Kathryn Heremes.  Visit: www.lightalongtheway.com to check it out!

* A 10-day get-away in which I focused solely on completing the rough draft of my next book about discernment. I’m letting it sit for about 6 weeks to gain perspective, and then I’ll begin to revise.

* The privilege of guiding a seven-day retreat for a group of our senior sisters

* A trip to Rome to participate in a seminar on Pauline (apostolic) mysticism

* Continuing to develop plans for the Communicators’ Retreat coming up in October

It seems this is one of those times when the Lord is “stirring the waters” inside me, offering multiple opportunities to deepen the spirituality of communication from several perspectives: the writings of the Founder of the Pauline Family, Blessed James Alberione; the wonderful book In a New Light: Spirituality and the Media Arts by Ron Austin; the Pope’s Message for the 50th World Communications Day; and preparing for the seminar on Pauline mysticism which is, of course, all about the mysticism of communication. All of these have been wonderful companions during this time of reflection. In particular, I’m seeing the connection more clearly between:

  • the need to keep our gaze on Christ the Master-Communicator—including our thoughts and our hearts, our focused attention
  • the importance of attentiveness or “being awake” so as to live in the present moment (which includes Alberione’s insight about the importance of sanctifying our thoughts and attitudes)
  • the “spirituality” of encounter, wherein it is possible to discover the sacredness of every interaction with another person

In the eyes of Alberione, the call to holiness of life and holiness of communication are intimately connected and could be described as the “integration” of our entire person and life in Christ, Way, Truth, and Life; an integration in which we are transformed in Christ and thus all our communication is also transformed.

The Year of Mercy for Writers

This morning, I rose at 4:25 and immediately checked to see if Pope Francis had opened the Holy Door yet. (Of course he hadn’t; I wasn’t sure what time it was in Rome.) But I was excited to begin the Year of Mercy with the Blessed Mother, today being the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the woman who received and lived such great mercy that “Mother of Mercy” could easily be her most fitting title after “Mother of God.”

Like many other sisters in my community–and many readers here, I’m sure–I’ve been praying with Dives in Misericordia (St. John Paul II’s Encyclical on Mercy, published in 1980), and Misericordiae Vultus for a few weeks now. Last night, I fell asleep to the questions, “How do want to live this Jubilee Year of Mercy? What will this Year of Mercy mean for me?”

I have to confess that for me, mercy has always been an occasion of deep, heartfelt thanksgiving. But it’s never been a virtue that I’ve thought very much about practicing, except when I’ve struggled to forgive others. Now that I have this opportunity to focus on mercy, both receiving it and extending it, I would like to also give my writing special focus on mercy as well.

In a special way as a communicator of Christ, I can connect with the Spiritual Works of Mercy:

  • To instruct the ignorant
  • To counsel the doubtful
  • To admonish sinners
  • To bear wrongs patiently
  • To forgive offenses willingly
  • To comfort the afflicted
  • To pray for the living and the dead

How can I be a communicator of mercy this year, not just in my life but especially through my writing? In addition to various projects we are working on together here at Pauline Books & Media, I came up with a few more ideas:

  • Write and highlight stories about mercy in my writing
  • Visit more often the online sites where I have previously connected with those who are sincerely seeking to understand the Church’s teaching, and “hang out” there to answer questions about faith and the spiritual life as best I can
  • More thoughtfully practice the works of mercy in my life and write about those experiences
  • Write more about the way the Church practices mercy, especially the sacraments of mercy
  • Open my heart more fully to the needs of the world, especially those for whom mercy is not a way of life…perhaps because they have not received mercy as I have, and be open to where God leads me
  • Review movies that explore the theme of mercy (see link to Sr. Rose Pacatte’s article about “The Cinema of Mercy” below); perhaps even put together a series of cinema divina guides for movies that explore the theme of mercy more deeply
  • Finish my “blogging a book”!
  • To integrate the theme of mercy in the one-day and three-day retreats I am developing

I would love to hear how you hope to live the Year of Mercy, whether in your personal life, your writing life, your ministry, your family, etc. If you share your ideas here, you may inspire me or someone else in their living this grace-filled year!

 
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There are many wonderful resources for the Year of Mercy. (You can launch your celebration of the Year of Mercy by reading what it’s all about here in Sr. Kathryn Hermes’ insightful article.) Here are a few of my favorites:

Today’s Webathon Novena Prayer for Artists

day3quoteToday’s Webathon Novena Prayer for Artists: pray with us!

And meet Sr. Laura: the artist without a studio here on Periscope! 

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