Welcome! From time to time people have asked that I start a blog so they can keep up with my comings and goings, my thoughts and talks. I'm the United States director of the Apostleship of Prayer, an organization that goes back to 1844. Here's our Mission Statement:
"The mission of the Apostleship of Prayer is to encourage Christians to make a daily offering of themselves to the Lord for the coming of God's Kingdom and for the Holy Father's monthly intentions. This habit of prayer encourages a Eucharistic spirituality of solidarity with the Body of Christ and loving service to others. Nourishing this spiritual program is the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
That's where the title of this blog--"Offer It Up"--comes from. Many people grew up with the practice of offering up their pains, frustrations, irritations, difficulties. When something bad happened we were told to "offer it up" as a sacrifice and prayer that would play a part in the salvation of souls. This practice comes right out of St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians, Chapter 1 verse 24: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church."
In his second encyclical letter, "Spe Salvi," Pope Benedict asked us to consider a return to this practice if we had forgotten about it. He wrote:
"I would like to add here another brief comment with some relevance for everyday living. There used to be a form of devotion—perhaps less practised today but quite widespread not long ago—that included the idea of “offering up” the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating “jabs”, thereby giving them a meaning. Of course, there were some exaggerations and perhaps unhealthy applications of this devotion, but we need to ask ourselves whether there may not after all have been something essential and helpful contained within it. What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ's great “com-passion” so that they somehow became part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy of good and of human love. Maybe we should consider whether it might be judicious to revive this practice ourselves" (#40).
So with this blog I hope to keep people informed about the work of the Apostleship of Prayer in the U.S. as well as to offer ideas to help you "offer it up."