Guide to Goodness

Have you started thinking about Lent? 

Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, is just two weeks away. Have you started contemplating how you will enter this penitential season and spend 40 days uniting your heart with Jesus’?  Through the good works of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, God prunes our hearts as we are united to Christ and his suffering.  These practices give us the strength to resist sin and follow the counter cultural path of love.  If we open our heart and hear God’s word, we learn how Jesus, exposed in his humanity, rejects sin when confronted with temptations and seeks solace in God the Father.  This serves as an example for us in our own personal deserts. 

There are many great resources out there to help guide your Lenten journey.  Here are a few to explore to begin preparing your heart to determine what is best for you in journey through Lent:

Blessed is She invites us to travel along the road of our interior poverty this Lent and to embrace our utter dependence on God with All She Had  Lent 2022 Devotional. In this fresh devotional, we will find ourselves gently guided through six poverties: of promise, of desire, of security, poverty of hope, poverty of control, poverty of intimacy and poverty of everything.

My spiritual buddy gave me this Magnificat Lenten Journey Companion which I will enjoy along with the Word on Fire reflections. Along with Day by Day Finding God’s Goodness meditations.

Walking with Purpose helps to prepare your heart for the triumph of resurrection through several short, powerful bible studies:

  • Looking to feel revived and refreshed as you grow in the knowledge that you are loved? Choose Living In The Father’s Love.
  • Need to be awakened to the reality of who you are in Christ? Choose Fearless and Free
  • Desire to learn how all Scripture points to Jesus, and recognize and appreciate God’s plan for your own life? Choose Beholding His Glory.   
  • Want to counter feeling weighed down by a culture that all too often leaves us feeling empty and dissatisfied? Choose Beholding Your King.   

Dynamic Catholic continues their Best Lent Ever series and you can sign up for free.  This year, for the first time ever, Dynamic Catholic is offering two options for Best Lent Ever. Every day, you will receive two short, practical, and inspiring videos in your inbox, each representing a pathway leading toward a better version of you and a closer relationship with God. Why did they double up? Well, the world has changed. We have changed. And to offer a truly transformative experience, they developed two pathways designed specifically to meet us where we are, no matter where we are in your spiritual journey.

Good Catholic invites us to deepen our relationship with Christ this lent. Being a Christian means imitating Christ. But how can we imitate Him if we don’t personally know Him? Discover Jesus’ works, loves, joys, and sorrows in The Life of Christ so that you can follow Him more closely. Change Your Life By Studying His. You can learn more here.

We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. 

Hebrews 10:23-24

Pope Francis says, the word of God consoles and encourages us. At the same time, it summons us to conversion, challenges us, frees us from the bondage of our selfishness. For His word has the power to change our lives and to lead us out of darkness into the light.

Let’s use this Lent to walk further into the light finding God’s goodness!


Guide to Goodness

Day by Day Finding God’s Goodness

With the weight of the past few years, do you feel you’ve been living the good life? How would you like to spend a few minutes each day cultivating a life worth living. Living the good life is the journey to find the divine within. It’s not so much looking outside ourselves but inviting our Creator to reveal the goodness present in the day-to-day moments of our life. Too often we are hurried, unconscious or unaware of the gifts of peace, hope and joy that are ours for the taking if only we seek the things that feed our soul such as our relationship with God. The whole of the Bible is about how we can restore and build this relationship with the Divine. God, who is always good, constantly seeks us and is ever present. It is we who turn away, following our own agenda and trying to fill a God-size hole with things other than grace and divine love.

Continue reading “Day by Day Finding God’s Goodness”
Guide to Goodness

Have You Met Wisdom?

I believe that most of us want goodness in our lives which is ultimately to be loved. The problem is that in our humanity we have limited capacity to understand and give love due to our ego, inflated or wounded, getting in the way. I might suggest that as we seek wisdom, we learn how to love a life giving love.

Continue reading “Have You Met Wisdom?”
Guide to Goodness

Preparing Your Heart for Christ – An Advent Nativity Reflection – The Child’s Perspective

As we get ready for the birth of love itself in Jesus Christ, let us take the necessary steps to prepare our hearts and minds. What if we bring out the creche or nativity scene and place it where it can be seen and, if the moment is right, contemplated? What if, in the Spirit of the season, the creche characters began to talk? What if they asked us questions to bring home our faith, to encourage us into gratitude and commitment? How would we answer?

The Child

I am the Father of the Child.

My Son is too young to speak.

So I will say a few words

to help you place him

at the center of your crèche

and, as you do it, allow him

to place himself in the center of you.

How many have I courted seekers

in dreams and deserts

only to be forgotten

in the demands of day?

They put me on a throne,

so you must kneel.

They say I withhold blessings,

so you must beg.

They claim I punish,

so you must be afraid.

Then my Son came out of the water

and swallowed my Word from the sky.

The dove of love descended

and my pleasure ran through him.

He never looked back,

but looked everywhere else

and saw what no one else did.

When people cried from the crowd,

he turned.

When people hid in their sin,

he forgave.

When people lost their way,

he pursued.

When people were shunned,

he reached out.

When people were in pain, he touched.

When people did not understand, he explained.

He gave himself away like one who lays

in the feeding trough of the manger

as food for every hunger.

He knows Me well.

Yet no one could thin a crowd like my Son.

His parables were mirrors.

People saw themselves and did not like what they saw.

His actions were scandalous attacks

on the conventions of separateness.

His arguments silenced adversaries.

The cry of the child in the manger

became the voice of the prophet.

My word of mercy was never so strong, yet never so rejected.

My word of love was never so perseverant,

yet never so avoided.

Of course, they came for him with clubs and swords and lies

and he met them with Me.

I was always his welcome

for those who do not know,

drawing light from their darkness,

life from their death.

In him, I Am Who I Am.

You see, he is Me among you.

So my question to you will be no surprise.

How do you listen my Son?

The perspective of the Child was originally published on December 24, 2019, written by author and theologian John “Jack” Shea for Catholic Extension. Smitten With Goodness exists to shine a light on goodness. The presence of the Catholic Church is a guiding light in many places darkened by poverty and conflict. Catholic Extension uplifts faith communities and supports individuals who bring the light of Christ to the most forgotten areas of our country, and you can support their mission here