Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Morning Offering and the Sacred Heart

Fr. Ambrose, a Benedictine monk of St. Louis Priory (http://www.stlouisabbey.org/)
invited me to visit and to meet with a group of catechists who are reviving the old CCD--Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. The manuals of the CCD indicate that their spirituality was based on the Apostleship of Prayer. Thus they were interested in hearing more about the Apostleship. I spoke with them for about 40 minutes and then answered questions. One of the questions motivated me to write this particular entry: "What is the relationship between the Morning Offering and the Sacred Heart of Jesus?"

The heart is a symbol of love. The Heart of Jesus, pierced and opened, is a symbol of the total love of God. Pope Benedict writes eloquently about this love in his first encyclical "Deus Caritas Est." It is a love that is passionate and self-sacrificing. This Heart is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter announcing the Year of the Eucharist--"Mane Nobiscum Domine"--wrote:

The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting an ever greater number of souls enamoured of him, ready to wait patiently to hear his voice and, as it were, to sense the beating of his heart. “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps 34:8).

The Heart of Jesus is given to us in Holy Communion to fulfill the prophecies that appear in the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 11 and 36, that God would take from us our hard hearts and give us a human heart. The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus transforms our hard hearts into loving hearts, as God intended our human hearts to be.

Having this new Heart beating with our hearts and transforming them allows us to love as Jesus loved--totally. With this Heart we can fulfill the two commandments to love God and to love our neighbor. We do this one day at a time by making a daily offering of ourselves, uniting our day with Jesus' total offering of Himself in the Eucharist. United to this Heart, we share Its concerns and desires which come to us in a particular way through Christ's Vicar on earth--the Holy Father.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pope Benedict and the Sacred Heart

I'm in St. Louis these days giving two retreats at a Jesuit retreat house called "White House." It's always interesting to see people's reactions when I tell them that I'm giving a retreat at the White House! Sixty-seven men were on retreat this weekend and there will be a similar number next weekend.

When I'm away from the office giving retreats like this I often have a chance to catch up on reading the various periodicals to which I subscribe and which keep piling up. I want to share part of an article that appeared in the April 12 issue of "Our Sunday Visitor." The author, Marie Pitt-Payne, writes about Pope Benedict's announcement that beginning June 19, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, we will be celebrating a special Year of the Priest. Pope John Paul II initiated a Day of Prayer for Priests which is celebrated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Both Popes saw a strong connection between Priesthood and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here's a quote from the article:

"A priest united to the Heart of Christ lifts our minds and hearts beyond this present world. Pope Benedict spoke of the truly radical symbol of the Sacred Heart in his book 'Behold the Pierced One': 'The task of the heart is self-preservation, holding together what is its own. The pierced Heart of Jesus has also truly "overturned" this definition. This Heart is not concerned with self-preservation but with self-surrender. It saves the world by opening itself.'

"Self-preservation is normal for those whose minds are taken up with the cares of this life. Only a supernatural hope of things to come frees us from our futile attempts at self-preservation, as seen in the lives of the martyrs. The very person of a priest conformed to the Heart of Christ inspires us to hope, because we see in his life of self-surrender the overturning of worldly self-preservation, inspired by his goal of eternal happiness in heaven."

While the author writes about the connection between ordained priests and the Sacred Heart, we can extend this to the priesthood of all the faithful, the baptized. All who are baptized into Christ have, as St. Paul said, died with Christ and risen with Him. We live a new life because of baptism. We are members of the Body of Christ. His Heart beats within each of us and preserves each of us for eternal life. This allows us to live as He lived, making a total offering of ourselves to the Father.

May the Heart of Jesus help us all--priests, consecrated persons, and laity--to be faithful in living out our daily offerings.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bishop Robert J. Carlson

I was in Saginaw this morning when it was officially announced that their Bishop, Robert J. Carlson, was named the Archbishop of St. Louis. Bishop Carlson, who recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his episcopal ordination, has served the Church in a number of very important ways. He was first an Auxiliary Bishop for St. Paul, then Bishop of Sioux Falls, and most recently Bishop of Saginaw.

When he became Bishop of Saginaw he brought an idea with him that he had been implementing as Bishop of Sioux Falls. Believing that there are few things as important as the prayer life and sanctity of his priests and staff, Bishop Carlson offered to any priest, lay or religious parish administrator, and Chancery official the opportunity for regular spiritual direction. He brought spiritual directors to the diocese on a regular basis and paid their expenses. For the past four years I've flown from Milwaukee across Lake Michigan to Saginaw every month or so to provide spiritual direction for a dozen or so people.

Truly Bishop Carlson is a man of prayer! He faced cancer and through the intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has been in remission for several years.

Last December he wrote a Pastoral Letter entitled "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace." In a section entitled "Eucharistic Adoration: Key to Peace," Bishop Carlson writes: "I believe that every person can help bring peace to the world. If you regularly place yourself in the presence of Christ, especially in the Blessed Sacrament, peace will first come to your own heart. If peace takes possession of your heart, it can spread through you to your family. If peace takes root in your family, it can flower and grow in your community and, ultimately, spread to the nation and the world."

With Fr. Luis Mesa, Bishop Carlson founded a religious community for men and women in Colombia--"Messengers of Peace." They are dedicated, according to Bishop's Pastoral Letter to "1) praying for peace, in Colombia and in the World, before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and 2) working to serve the poor."

I am excited that the Archdiocese of St. Louis is receiving such a man of prayer for its new Archbishop.

The full text of Bishop Carlson's Pastoral Letter on Peace can be found at:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Story of "Offering It Up"

The following is an article that Fr. Richard Tomasek, S.J. just sent me. Fr. Tomasek is currently a spiritual director at the North American College in Rome. He is a member of my province, the Wisconsin Province, and a great Apostle of Prayer and the Sacred Heart. The following article is a magnificent story of the tremendous value there is in offering up the sacrifices and frustrations of our days.

My Priesthood and a Stranger

William Emmanuel Ketteler (1811-1877)

Each of us owes gratitude for our lives and our vocations to the prayers and sacrifices of others. One of the leading figures of the German episcopacy of the 19th century, and among the founders of Catholic sociology, Bishop Ketteler owed his gratitude to a simple nun, the least and poorest lay sister of her convent.
In 1869, a German diocesan bishop was sitting together with his guest, Bishop Ketteler from Mainz. During the course of their conversation, the diocesan bishop brought up his guest's extremely blessed apostolate. Bishop Ketteler explained to his host, "I owe thanks for everything that I have accomplished with God's help, to the prayer and sacrifice of someone I do not even know. I can only say that I know somebody has offered his or her whole life to our loving God for me, and I have this sacrifice to thank that I even became a priest."
He continued, "Originally, I wasn't planning on becoming a priest. I had already finished my law degree and thought only about finding an important place in the world to begin acquiring honour, prestige and wealth. An extraordinary experience held me back and directed my life down a different path.
"One evening I was alone in my room, considering my future plans of fame and fortune, when something happened which I cannot explain. Was I awake or asleep? Did I really see it or was it just a dream? One thing I do know, it brought about a change in my life. I saw Jesus very clearly and distinctly standing over me in a radiant cloud, showing me his Sacred Heart. A nun was kneeling before Him, her hands raised up in prayer. From His mouth, I heard the words, 'She prays unremittingly for you!'
"I distinctly saw the appearance of the sister, and her traits made such an impression on me that she has remained in my memory to this day. She seemed to be quite an ordinary lay sister. Her clothing was very poor and rough. Her hands were red and calloused from hard work. Whatever it was, a dream or not, it was extraordinary. It shook me to the depths of my being so that from that moment on, I decided to consecrate myself to God in the service of the priesthood.
"I withdrew to a monastery for a retreat, and I talked about everything with my confessor. Then, at the age of 30, I began studying theology. You know the rest of the story. So, if you think that I have done something admirable, now you know who really deserves the credit—a religious sister who prayed for me, maybe without even knowing who I was. I am convinced, I was prayed for and I will continue to be prayed for in secret and that without these prayers, I could never have reached the goal that God has destined for me."
"Do you have any idea of the whereabouts or the identity of who has prayed for you?" asked the diocesan bishop.
"No, I can only ask God each day that, while she is still on earth, he bless and repay her a thousand-fold for what she has done for me."
The sister in the barn
The next day, Bishop Ketteler visited a convent of sisters in a nearby city and celebrated Holy Mass in their chapel. He was distributing Holy Communion to the last row of sisters when one of them suddenly caught his eye. His face grew pale, and he stood there, motionless. Finally regaining his composure, he gave Holy Communion to the sister who was kneeling in recollection unaware of his hesitation. He then concluded the liturgy.
The bishop who had invited him the previous day came and joined him at the convent for breakfast. When they had finished, Bishop Ketteler asked the Mother Superior to present to him all the sisters in the house. Before long she had gathered all the sisters together, and both bishops went to meet them. Bishop Ketteler greeted them, but it was apparent that he did not find the one he was looking for.
He quietly asked the Mother Superior, "Are all the sisters really here?"
She looked over the group of sisters and then said, "Your Excellency, I called them all, but, in fact, one of them is not here."
"Why didn't she come?"
"She works in the barn," answered the superior, "and in such a commendable way that, in her enthusiasm, she sometimes forgets other things."
"I would like to see that sister," requested the Bishop.
A little while later, the sister who had been summoned stepped into the room. Again Bishop Ketteler turned pale, and after a few words to all the sisters, he asked if he could be alone with the sister who had just come in.
"Do you know me?" he asked her.
"I have never seen Your Excellency before."
"Have you ever prayed for me or offered up a good deed for me?" he wanted to know.
"I do not recall that I have ever heard of Your Excellency."
The Bishop was silent for a few moments and then he asked, "Do you have a particular devotion that you like?"
"The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus," was the response.
"You have, it seems, the most difficult task in the convent," he continued.
"Oh no, Your Excellency" the sister countered, "but I cannot lie, it is unpleasant for me."
"And what do you do when you have such temptations against your work?"
"For things that cost me greatly, I grew accustomed to facing them with joy and enthusiasm out of love for God, and then I offer them up for one soul on earth. To whom God chooses to be gracious as a result, I have left completely up to him and I do not want to know. I also offer up my time of Eucharistic adoration every evening from 8 to 9 for this intention."
"Where did you get the idea to offer up all your merits for someone totally unknown to you?"
"I learned it while I was still out in the world," she replied. "At school our teacher, the parish priest, taught us how we can pray and offer our merits for our relatives. Besides that, he said that we should pray much for those who are in danger of being lost. Since only God knows who really needs prayer, it is best to put your merits at the disposition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus trusting in his wisdom and omnipotence. That is what I have done," she concluded, "and I always believed that God would find the right soul."

Day of birth and day of conversion

"How old are you?" Ketteler asked.
"Thirty-three, Your Excellency," she answered.
The Bishop paused a moment. Then he asked her, "When were you born?" The sister stated her day of birth. The Bishop gasped; her birthday was the day of his conversion! Back then he saw her exactly as she was before him now. "And have you any idea whether your prayers and sacrifices have been successful?" he asked her further.
"No, Your Excellency."
"Don't you want to know?"
"Our dear God knows when something good happens, and that is enough," was the simple answer.
The Bishop was shaken. "So continue this work in the name of the Lord," he said. The sister knelt down immediately at his feet and asked for his blessing. The Bishop solemnly raised his hands and said with great emotion, "With the power entrusted to me as a bishop, I bless your soul, I bless your hands and their work, I bless your prayers and sacrifices, your self-renunciation and your obedience. I bless especially your final hour and ask God to assist you with all his consolation."
"Amen," the sister answered calmly, then stood up and left.
A teaching for life
The Bishop, profoundly moved, stepped over to the window in order to compose himself. Some time later, he said good-bye to the Mother Superior and returned to the apartment of his bishop friend. He confided to him, "Now I found the one I have to thank for my vocation. It is the lowest and poorest lay sister of that convent. I cannot thank God enough for his mercy because this sister has prayed for me for almost 20 years. On the day she first saw the light of the world, God worked my conversion accepting in advance her future prayers and works.
"What a lesson and a reminder for me! Should I become tempted to vanity by a certain amount of success or by my good works, then I can affirm in truth: You have the prayer and sacrifice of a poor maid in a convent stall to thank. And when a small and lowly task appears of little value to me, then I will also remember the fact: what this maid does in humble obedience to God, making a sacrifice by overcoming herself, is so valuable before the Lord Our God that her merits have given rise to a bishop for the Church."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


About every month I'm a guest spiritual director on a call-in radio show called "The Inner Life." It's part of Relevant Radio's programming (www.relevantradio.com) and runs on weekdays from 1 to 3 P.M. Central Time. On yesterday's show we talked a bit about evangelization. The question was: How did the disciples go from being cowards who abandoned Jesus in His hour of need to proclaiming His resurrection and being willing to die for their belief in it? What is the lesson in this for us?

I made three points.

First, the disciples had a personal encounter with the Risen Jesus. This is what they proclaimed: a person more than a set of beliefs. Because this person was risen from the dead and could now transcend space and time, a living relationship with Him is possible for everyone.

Second, the disciples, following Jesus' instructions, remained in Jerusalem praying for the Holy Spirit who came upon them at Pentecost. It was the Holy Spirit who transformed them from cowards to evangelizers. It was the Holy Spirit who empowered them to face suffering and death as they preached the good news of the resurrection.

Third, the disciples were filled with good news that they could not keep to themselves. For them it wasn't a matter of knowing that they should tell others about Jesus but not knowing how to do it. They just did it! They did it because they couldn't keep the good news (great news, really) to themselves.

And what are the lessons for us? So often when people talk about Catholic evangelization they feel inadequate, not up to the task, and guilty. Evangelization is not supposed to be one more burden or obligation. It will flow naturally from believers when three things are present.

First, a deep, personal, and ever-growing relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus who comes to us in His Word and in the Holy Eucharist.

Second, the realization that the Holy Spirit has been given to us in Baptism and Confirmation. The power is there; we just need to "tap" or "plug" into it. We just need to "access" that power by praying for the Holy Spirit to show us how to witness to our faith in word and in deed, and to give us the courage and power to do so.

Third, knowledge of our faith. The disciples were filled with the knowledge of Jesus' resurrection and its implications. This was great news that they could not keep to themselves; they wanted everyone to know it as well. In the world there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about the Catholic faith. Every Catholic needs to be informed and to know the faith. We don't need to be theologians but people who have a basic knowledge of the faith and the teachings of the Church. There are lots of practical, easy-to-understand books and periodicals out there, as well as good Catholic media. Time and again I've seen people who learn a little and then thirst for more and get so excited that they can't keep the good news of what they've learned to themselves.

That's a simple recipe for Catholic evangelization and it begins with reading and prayer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Homily

Because I am often on the road, I don't have responsibilities at a local parish. However, when I am free, I try to help out. On Easter Sunday I celebrated Mass at Clare Hall, a retirement community for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. They own the building, a former high school for girls, in which the national office of the Apostleship of Prayer is located. Here are some of the thoughts I shared with them on Easter Sunday:

For years I wondered about the "three days" that Jesus' body lay in a tomb before His resurrection. If you count from just before sunset on Good Friday until just before dawn on Sunday you certainly don't get three days, three twenty-four hour periods of time. What are we to make of this? We have to remember that in liturgical time, the day begins with vespers, evening prayer. Thus you can count the time from Jesus' burial, before sunset on Friday, as one day; the time from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday as a second day; and the time from sunset on Saturday to whenever Jesus rose as the third day. What it means is this: Jesus was so eager to rise from the dead that He used the shortest possible amount of time to cover the three days that had been prophesied. He was very eager to show us that He had conquered death and that we too are made, not for death, but for eternal life.

When Peter and John went to the tomb on Easter Sunday they saw the cloths that had covered the body of Jesus there in the tomb. The gospel says that the beloved disciple, whom we identify with John, "saw and believed." He didn't see Jesus yet. He saw the burial cloths, vague signs of the resurrection. If Jesus' body had been stolen from the grave, the cloths would have been carried away as well. And the way they were positioned in the tomb indicated that the body wasn't stolen, but had been raised up. As Jesus would later appear suddenly in a room behind locked doors without going through the door, so, it appears, He mysteriously passed through the cloth that covered His body and He neatly "rolled up" the cloth that covered His head and placed it "in a separate place." These were vague signs of the resurrection.

Hope is a necessary virtue for life. We all need hope to get through life. Pope Benedict recognizes this and wrote about it in his second encyclical "Spe Salvi":
"Let us say once again: we need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day" (#31). Then the Holy Father went on to write that these earthly hopes are not enough: "But these are not enough without the great hope, which must surpass everything else. This great hope can only be God.... His love alone gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day, without ceasing to be spurred on by hope, in a world which by its very nature is imperfect."

In other words, we need a hope that transcends this imperfect world. We need a hope that goes beyond this life. And so Pope Benedict concluded this thought with: "His love is at the same time our guarantee of the existence of what we only vaguely sense and which nevertheless, in our deepest self, we await: a life that is 'truly' life." This earthly life of ours is temporary, as it was for Jesus. We are made for eternal life--body and soul united--the risen life that Jesus won and prepared for us. This is "a life that is truly life" and as we journey through our earthly life we "vaguely sense" that it exists.

Just as John saw vague signs of the resurrection in the burial cloths left behind by Jesus, so do we see vague signs of the resurrection. These signs are seen in water and in bread and wine. The blessed water which we use as a remembrance of our Baptism is a "vague sign" of risen life. We believe that in Baptism we died with Christ and rose with Christ to a new life. This means that death is a doorway for us, not an end. The bread and wine which we use as a remembrance of the Last Supper and Jesus' words--"This is My Body. This is My Blood."--are also "vague signs" of risen life. We believe that in the Eucharist we eat the Bread of Life and share in the life of the Risen Body of Christ.

Vague signs that point to "a life that is truly life." We renew our faith in the resurrection and the hope it gives. Like the beloved disciple, we see and believe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Long Haul

The men eat in silence. They are on retreat and having, in some cases, made an annual retreat for over 60 years, they know the routine. Retreat is a time to listen to God who comes so often, as He did to Elijah (see 1 Kings 19), in “a tiny whispering sound.” He speaks in the silence of our hearts so it’s important to keep quiet.

I’m in the middle of an eight day retreat for the elder Jesuits of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, WI. Someone back in the office asked: Are they any different after all those years of retreats? Is their holiness more tangible?

I’m sure they are different and that they are growing in holiness, but that may not be visible. I see their holiness in terms of perseverance over long years of ups and downs and struggles. Are the struggles over? Not necessarily. For some the struggles they experienced from youth remain. For others there are new struggles, especially letting go of the active work which gave such meaning to their lives, and surrendering health and vitality. In these struggles to surrender there are new opportunities to grow in holiness.

But if the struggles haven’t changed over the years, isn’t that a sign that one isn’t growing? Not necessarily. Holiness isn’t a feeling, nor does it mean total peace with no struggles, no temptations.

Blessed Mother Teresa is a good example of this. For decades she experienced darkness in her spiritual life and the absence of God. She showed us that holiness, like love, isn’t a feeling. Holiness doesn’t mean that you feel close to God. It can mean, as it did in her case, just the opposite. It's easy to love God and neighbor when you’re full of consolation and peace; it's another thing altogether to love God and neighbor when you’re "white-knuckling it." That minute of "pure" love without feelings is worth more in God's eyes than hours of prayer in the midst of consolation. I suspect holiness has more to do with action than interior feelings. And it may not be very apparent to others.

Our good friend St. Therese, who joined the Apostleship of Prayer when she was twelve years old—her Sisters in community wondered what they would say about her in the obituary that would be sent around to other Carmelite convents after her death because there was nothing that was remarkable about her and so little that was visible.

Last summer a Dominican Sister told me a story about an elderly Sister in her community. Every day as she went into chapel to pray with the other Sisters she would first go up to the statue of St. Therese in the chapel where it appeared that she was scolding her. The Sister telling me the story said she and another Sister went closer to eavesdrop. Here’s what they heard the elderly Sister say: "You! You wouldn'thave been so sweet and gentle if you had lived to be 92!”

I think a lot of holiness is simple perseverance, holding steady amidst the ups and downs and struggles of life, holding fast to the faith over the long haul.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spiritual Exercises for Older Jesuits

On Saturday I began an eight day preached retreat for about 30 elderly Jesuits, members of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, WI. Our retreat ends on Holy Saturday and during the course of the week I'm giving two brief presentations on themes of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Since every Jesuit makes the full thirty Exercises twice in his life and an annual eight day retreat, some of these men have been making the Spiritual Exercises longer than I've been alive. What could they possibly learn?

Actually, making the Exercises, like reading the Sacred Scriptures, is not so much a matter of acquiring information as being formed. With the help of the Holy Spirit at work through the Exercises and the Scriptures, we come to a greater self-knowledge and knowledge of God. We may think we know ourselves or God pretty well, but there's always more to learn. That's the nature of love, the nature of a relationship. On this side of eternity we can never say that we've arrived and are no longer growing. Just as physical and mental exercises are important for us no matter how old we are, so too are spiritual exercises.

I think the bottom line of the Spiritual Exercises, as well as the entire spiritual life, can be summed up in a quote from an early Church Father named Diadochus of Photice. This quote appears in both the Roman Breviary and the Philokalia, an essential spiritual book of Eastern Christians. Here's the quote:

"The measure of our love for God depends upon how deeply aware we are of God's love for us."

This is what our lives are all about: growing in our relationship and union with God. From this loving union our love for ourselves and for our neighbor flows. We cannot give what we do not have. This truth is why St. John wrote in his First Letter:

"In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another" (4: 10-11).

Holy Week is a perfect time to be making the Spiritual Exercises. During this week the Church calls us to focus on the fullest revelation of God's love. God so loved the world (and each one of us) that he gave his only Son who suffered and died on a cross and rose from the dead. The Spiritual Exercises lead us to reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Appreciating that love more and more, we want to return love for love. That is the ultimate purpose and meaning of human life.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Apostleship of Prayer for Grade School

I'm still in Des Moines giving a parish mission and today I had a chance to meet with Bishop Richard Pates who is very supportive of the Apostleship. Before he left St. Paul, MN where he was an auxiliary bishop, he gave me some advice about asking bishops to name diocesan directors for the Apostleship. From the hierarchy to the youngest members of the Church, we are working to introduce the simple and profound Eucharistic spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer to people.

Before having lunch with Bishop Pates I met with grade school students at Christ the King Parish. I was here last year and intoduced them to the meaning of the imagery of Sacred Heart paintings and statues. This year I went around and talked about praying for the Holy Father's monthly intentions.

I begin my brief presentation by asking the children if they ever pray for others. Then I ask who they pray for. Usually they say they pray for a relative who is sick or a friend or their parents or a grandparent who died recently. In some cases students will say they pray for our troops serving overseas. Then I ask if they ever pray for their pastor, in this case Msgr. Frank Bognanno. The children usually look at me with blank faces; this is not an intention that's part of their daily prayers. Then I ask who the local bishop is and the Pope and I point out that every time we go to Mass we pray for these two people. And then I ask the children the following question: "If Pope Benedict asked you to pray for something, would you?" Usually there's a pretty immediate response with nods. At this point in my presentations I tell the class that every month the Holy Father asks us to pray for two very specific intentions of his.

Christ the King School in Des Moines has the Internet connected to a projector and so I was then able to go to the Apostleship of Prayer web site and show the students how they can find out about the Holy Father's monthly intentions. With the older students I go to the regular monthly reflection and with the younger ones I go to the Children's Reflection. After going through the two intentions I show them that we also have a calendar with a daily, two minute YouTube video on it, and I watch a sample with them.

Recently a Religious Sister in the Philippines wrote us to tell us how much she appreciates these brief videos and how she uses them in her classes.

After a time for questions I go on to the next class. It all takes 10 to 15 minutes and I'm hoping the seeds that are planted will sprout into new generations of "prayer warriors" for the Pope.