Guide to Goodness

The Greatest Solemnity of the Year

After recollecting our Lord’s Passion and Death on Good Friday, Holy Saturday begins as a day of quiet prayer and reflection.  It is a day when no Mass is celebrated in the Catholic Church (until the solemn Easter Vigil that begins after sundown).  Instead, the faithful pray and meditate on the great sacrifice our Lord has made for all of us, and anticipate His Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday. 

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Guide to Goodness

Good Friday Lord’s Passion: Action Speaks Louder than Words

So much of my life I was caught up in what people would say instead of basing reality on their behaviors.  This likely stems from having significant relationships in my life who were emotionally unavailable to me in my formative years.  This destructive coping mechanism led me into a lot of wishful thinking and living in the hopeful future.  After suffering the consequences of a failed marriage and another long-term dating relationship, I was able to see how this habit was not serving me well and was able to change my mindset to ensure that actions must match words.

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Guide to Goodness

Finding Perfect Precious Love

Joy isn’t what happens when life goes perfectly. It’s what happens when you know you’re loved perfectly, even when life’s a mess.

Chris Stefanick, Living Joy

The journey of Smitten With Goodness began with a simple question.  What does it mean to love?

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Guide to Goodness

Are You Perfectly Merciful?

Return to me with your whole heart for I am gracious and merciful

During this third Sunday of Lent as I continue wandering in the desert of my soul, I am very grateful for God’s endless mercy and graciousness.  As the Master Gardener pulls the sinful weeds that crowd out the flowers of beauty, my Creator is pruning my heart for beauty to burst forth!  Ouch!

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Guide to Goodness

Hope is Not Canceled

Today’s post is written by a guest contributor Jacquelyne Rocan. Jacquelyne has been a spiritual sister to me throughout the years and I am pleased to introduce you to her!

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and I find myself recalling this time last year.  While there were certainly reports of the new coronavirus circulating in more and more communities, I celebrated Ash Wednesday in 2020 in many of the same ways that I have always marked that day — attending Mass, receiving ashes on my forehead, fasting, and setting in place plans for experiencing a holy and spiritual Lenten season.  This included plans for additional prayers, readings, and attending Stations of the Cross.  I marked times for all of the Holy Week services on my calendar — the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday Mass, Good Friday service, and Easter Vigil Mass.  It was important to me to fully participate and prepare by attending these services, as much as I could (especially through many years of serving on the RCIA team in my parish).  My Lenten and Easter seasons have felt incomplete when I have been unable to prepare and attend the Easter Triduum services.

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Guide to Goodness

Are You A Giver Or A Taker?

I recently listened to organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s podcast about Givers and Takers where he breaks down three personalities and offers simple strategies to promote a culture of generosity in the workplace.  It was validating to know that the givers win out in affecting positive culture and increased results. Go figure!

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Guide to Goodness

Fasting For The Love Of It

Fasting is amazingly popular in our culture today if you are seeking to shed some weight or reap the debated health benefits.  A google search provides an overwhelming amount of information.  On the other hand, not much is written about fasting as a tool for our spiritual growth.  This time-tested practice is a proven method for shedding the weight of self-will and the evolution to our lower self.  Today, I challenge us see how fasting trains our soul for goodness and the higher purpose of love.  I have mentioned previously, God prunes our hearts through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, as we unite with Him. 

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Guide to Goodness

Prayer is Allowing God to Love You

In last week’s blog, I talked about growing in good works through prayer, fasting and service and how they unite us to Christ.  These are the three tools we have in our spiritual toolbox to resist sin and follow the path of true love.  I find Lent is a perfect time to examine my choices and search the desert within me to evaluate my motivations.  I can learn, with God’s grace, where I am flirting with darkness and then make a conscious decision to snuggle up with my Creator instead of turning to the fleeting relief the world provides.  Prayer helps me see my life as God sees it and assures me I am loved.

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Guide to Goodness

Action: Ready, Fire, Aim or Aim, Ready, Fire?

Photo by Steven Arenas on Pexels.com

Have you ever heard the expression ready, fire, aim?  It seems to me that a lot of our culture operates this way taking immediate action and reacting to something before thinking it through.  If we are not careful and intentional, this behavior can transcend our life, including our spiritual life.

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