Lectio Divina · Mass

“Bring Him All the Praise You Know” by Callie Nowlin

Editor’s Note: In our overly busy lives it’s often difficult to find quiet time to break open the Word of God and sit at the feet of the Master (as Mary did with Jesus). Oftentimes, we are so occupied we become like Martha, “worried and upset about many things,” while in reality there is need of “only one thing,” — that which Mary chose: the “better part,” the gift of faith. (Luke 10:39-42)

As such, we introduce Callie Nowlin, MTS, a convert turned Latin teacher, catechist, and blogger with a passion for Scripture and helping others on their journey toward Christ. She will help us walk with Scripture throughout the year. Every month she will help us break down a different Scripture passage.

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

 

Steps to Lectio Divina

Start by using these steps to reflect on the Scripture verse. Then read my meditation slowly.

Lectio: Having asked for the grace to hear God’s word, read the passage twice.
Meditatio: During the second reading, pause whenever so moved and reflect on a word, a sentence, or an image that strikes you.
Oratio: Speak directly to God, and open your reflection to Him.
Contemplatio: Listen contemplatively for any response God might choose to make. Remember that God responds to us at times with loving silence.

The Scripture

From the Gospel for June 18, 2017, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. (John 6:51-58)

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:59e96ae384cd3075bca958361216195e.jpg
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Reflection

In the Gospel, Jesus declares himself the living bread. And from this statement of fact, we are invited to respond in three distinct ways: to believe something that on the surface is illogical, to enter more deeply into mystery, and to actually worship God as fully present in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is a central mystery of our faith, in fact it is the source and the summit.  And yet on the surface, the mystery of transubstantiation challenges reason. Belief in the real presence is first and foremost an act of faith. And today we are reminded not to take this act of faith lightly, or without thought.

Entering anew into mystery means considering the Real Presence not so much as a doctrine to be taught, but more as an invitation to fall down i

n worship before a loving and ever-present God.

As such, I urge you today to join me in worshiping our true God and King. Hear His word. Hear His call upon your heart. Let it bear fruit. Let us now worship the living God, present in the Eucharist, with our voices, our hearts, and especially our lives.

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:
Bring Him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow
Never can you reach his due.
(Sequence – Lauda Sion, Lectionary 167)

Sacred Heart of Jesus Blog Title.png

Originally Published at the NTC here.

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intentional living · Laudato Si

“How Pope Francis Changed my Fashion” by Callie Nowlin

It wasn’t the fancy red Italian leather shoes that traditionally are worn by the Pope. (I am not kidding these are gorgeous!) Nor is it the yards of white linen that he wears. No, rather it is who he is and what he teaches.

pope red shoes.jpg

I would not normally call myself trendy or even fashionable, and while there is nothing particularly wrong with either in themselves. I just don’t historically give a whole lot of thought in what I wear every day. And for me “not thinking about it” means that I had a closet busting full of clothes that I never wore, didn’t fit, and didn’t work together.

Fast forwarding to this past year, I participated in a book study on Laudato Si with some colleagues and at the end of each session someone would inevitably ask how they could possibly apply what we read to our lives. These are lofty concepts for wide reaching problems, so far beyond our individual reach.  That being said something unexpected happened. The words of the Pope stuck with me, as did it’s principles.  The results of that study kept popping up in surprising areas of my life. And for example, I would find myself staring at my closet as lines of the encyclical would echo in my head.

Follow your dreams (1)

Did I mention my closet was bursting at the seams? Clearly, something wasn’t right. That combined with a growing slight jealousy of my students who got to wear a uniform every day and I eventually knew things needed to change.

So, I started reading articles about the capsule wardrobe trend. It’s based on a concept that people should be intentional with one’s wardrobes to maximize the number of outfits with less items. Some quite extreme. But often these capsule wardrobe posts I would find were just another excuse to buy more and expensive things (every few months!) because they would also incorporate each seasons ridiculous tends. Clearly the poster had priorities that were different than mine.

This STILL didn’t address the issue I was having in trying to simplify life, living less “self-centered and self-enclosed” and still being accessible in my everyday life. While I admire Steve Jobs every day wearing the same shirt and pair of pants, that just didn’t seem like a good fit for me. Let’s be honest, if I literally wore the same thing every day, I would get more than the isolated odd glance.

Capsule wardrobes at this point seemed either confining or excessive. Once again Laudato Si echoed … “Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of obsession with consumption.” (222) Deep enjoyment free of obsession with consumption was what I wanted. It was clear that I needed to pray.

And pray I did. Not about clothing, or closets, or shoes.  I prayed as I gathered all my clothes and asked a few hard questions, which I hope to discuss later. What resulted, however, in addition to donating three fourths of my wardrobe, was a dramatic change in how I approach this room of my house as something more than just a holder of my things.

“Nevertheless, self-improvement on the part of individuals will not by itself remedy the extremely complex situation facing our world today.” (219)  The point here isn’t self-improvement in isolation, but to approach one’s individual circumstances with the wider community in mind. Sure, I could save money if I didn’t waste it. And sure, I can share more of my creative energy if I do not expel it on my choice in clothing each day. But even more than this, to live life prayerfully and with intentionality, this is the better thing.

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Welcome to Catechist Callie!

I always hate these intro posts… and even more so that I have to write one. They remind me the first day of class when you have to do an almost choreographed song and dance so everyone knows who you are, what we will be doing, and what will be expected of them (i.e. walk through the syllabus), etc. before we can move on with life. The fun part doesn’t actually start until day two, when we can get to the meat of the matter.

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I am an intentionally single Catholic convert, writer, catechist and educator with a love for people, scripture, and the Diocese of Fort Worth. I lived most of my life as a Baptist, even graduating from Baylor University in Waco with a Religion degree, before finding my way to the Catholic Church. My goal is to work (volunteer or not) in service of the Catholic Church seeking to bring others to Christ in all I do.

I write about faith, living intentionally, education, and other miscellaneous nerdy stuff, like organization, liturgy, and even a tad on fashion. Follow me on my journey through the life of being intentionally single and catholic in the Diocese of Forth Worth, living liturgically, sprinkled with the occasional story of my two cats. In short, this is where I will be writing about attempts to grow closer to Christ… not alone in isolation, but together in community.

Now that this is out of the way, we can all can move on with life and get to the good stuff. My first ACTUAL post will be in the next week. Get excited!