New Spring of Water Series: Friendship with God

New Spring of Water Series: Friendship with God

We live in a world of isolation. Though Zoom and Instagram seem to “connect” us, in reality we long for deeper communion. Jesus desires this communion with each one of us, and no matter where we are at in our relationship with Him, we can take that next step to deeper friendship through prayer. Distractions and busyness might tempt us to think that daily prayer is impossible and we’ll never be capable; but by making small, intentional changes, we can learn how to listen to His voice and receive His love. There is always a next step towards communion: will we say yes to real relationships with Jesus through daily prayer?

The One who sees me

The One who sees me

“While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him.”  — Luke 15:20 Have you ever walked into a room and felt invisible? Or have you ever invested in a relationship only to be slowly ignored? Have you ever felt that you were unseen or unknown? Each of us processes these types of relational limitations in different ways. Some of us try to make our presence louder until we “force” others to pay attention. Some of us become like quiet, well-behaved chameleons, because being noticed is actually painful when the deep and authentic connection we actually long for seems impossible. And it doesn’t take a psychology degree to know that many children (and adults) who act out are knowingly or unknowingly starving for the healthy attention they’ve never...

St. John Henry Newman, Apostle of Truth

St. John Henry Newman, Apostle of Truth

One of the blessings of living in Rome, the heart of the Catholic Church, is the possibility of attending Mass at the Vatican. One such Mass that a few of us Apostles of the Interior Life attended back in October was the canonization Mass for six new saints, including Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman. I had known this saint’s name growing up, mostly because the Newman Center at my local university had been named after him, but I knew little about his life. When I later studied at the local university, I continued attending my neighborhood church, and didn’t happen to participate much at the university’s Newman Center. Yet a few years after that, I found myself working for my alma mater and attending daily Mass there. The Newman Center became a part of my daily...

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity: Apostle of Friendship

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity: Apostle of Friendship

In July of 2016, sitting around the breakfast table, I shared with one of the AVI Sisters the difficulty I was having with two of my character traits, sensitivity and stubbornness, that I struggled calling “gifts” from God. They seemed to me a source of fatigue, and often temptation/sin, rather than a potential gift. Without even blinking an eye, the Sister turned towards me and said: “Briana, you must read the story of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity. I think the two of you would become great friends.” Led by my own curiosity, I asked another Sister to bring me a book about St. Elizabeth and I immediately began to read. Elizabeth Catez was born in something rather like a shack on a military base in d’Avor (Bourges, France) on July 18th, 1880 to Captain Joseph Catez...

St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

St. Mary Magdalene, Apostles to the Apostles

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, by request of Pope Francis, the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene was elevated in the liturgical calendar to the level of a feast day. The greatness of this saint, who was already acknowledged by St. Thomas Aquinas as Apostola apostolorum — the “Apostle to the Apostles” — is now celebrated on July 22 as a feast day on the same liturgical level as the other Apostles. Mary Magdalene has been given this eminent title of “Apostle” because of her unique and singular privilege of being the first to have witnessed the Risen Christ. Why has her feast been given this dignity? It is because the Church wants to give special attention to this woman, who showed an immense love for Christ and who was immensely loved by Christ. We see in...

My heart is yours now

My heart is yours now

On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we strive to open our hearts that we might receive this gift with greater receptivity. Today if we are unable to be in His physical presence in the Eucharist, we remember that He dwells faithfully within our hearts and will never abandon us. “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is. 43:5). Come to Me, to receive what you have always longed for. My heart is yours now. Come to Me today, as you are: no need to perform, to earn, to appear. Come to Me with your worries and distractions, your weariness and your stress, your joys and your thankfulness. You have My undivided attention. So, let down your guard and come, come to Me as you are. Today I desire to look at you, My child. Today I want to remind...

St. John Paul II and St. Faustina: Apostles of Mercy

St. John Paul II and St. Faustina: Apostles of Mercy

Dear John Paul II and Sr. Faustina, This past summer I saw you both painted in Cracow, under the rain that gushes forth from the heart of Jesus in the painting of the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. You were actively collaborating in the spreading of the ocean of mercy that is reaching the entire world. Dear Faustina, Jesus Himself revealed to you that the showering of love and Sacraments is ongoing: “My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; [urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. [Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. I desire trust from My creatures. Encourage souls to place great trust in...