It’s a Hard-Knock Life: Finding strength and support
A colleague insists my glass is not half empty—she says it’s below sea level. So when January rolls around, I’m tempted to crawl under the covers and hide until the warm winds lure me into sunlight. During these bitter-cold months my mind fills with thoughts that take rather than give life. There are moments when I’m paralyzed, unsure of what to do next. I’ve learned that this thinking is unhealthy and leads to a loss of perspective.
We occasionally carry this thought process into our faith life and convince ourselves the world is set against us. We think God has somehow ordered the events of the world to make what is a difficult life unsalvageable. That is disordered thinking, and like other areas of life, we can recover by acting ourselves into a new way of thinking.
For centuries, Catholics have sought and found solace in Mary’s presence under her title Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Since the late 1800s, the Redemptorists have worked to make her known, and with this issue of Liguorian, are once again integrating her legacy with the establishment of the Association of Perpetual Help.
This shared devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help will bring together men and women looking to deepen their faith and put their faith into practice. To bring this mission home, we have identified one page of the magazine with the name, “The Redeemer, Mary, and You.” On this page you will find information about the Association: how to join, how to submit prayer petitions, and how to access the website. Finally, you’ll find some thoughts on how Christ continues to work through the Church.
I encourage you to look at your life and reflect on times when the support of others held you up as the burdens of life dragged you down. Christ invites us to become available to others, especially to those who have lost hope. Do not underestimate the strength and support you can give to God’s people.
One thing parish work and publishing have in common is the need to work in the future. While parishioners and readers are celebrating Advent, the Liguori staff is planning Lent and Easter. This January column was written well before Halloween. In 2011 we will be taking a look back—one hundred years back, to be more precise. Liguorian will celebrate its centennial year of publishing in 2012. In preparation for this event, a new column reflecting on one hundred years of publishing one of the most popular Catholic magazines debuts in this issue.
If you’re interested in spiritual growth, changing negatives to positives, and reclaiming your higher purpose, Spiritual Blueprint: How We Live, Work, Love, Play, and Pray by James L. Papandrea is for you. For more information, call 800-325-9521 or visit liguori.org.