pastoral letter

Our Joyful encounter with the Lord

Something has to change. Everyday, our news is full of stories of hatred, violence and a clearly divided nation. It's easy to look around at everything that's wrong in the world and not know where to begin. Let me suggest that we begin with the one thing most in our control: us.

Even in the midst of the obvious hurt, confusion and even despair among our brothers and sisters, we can be a people of hope — a hope that's rooted in our redeemer and the gift of life that He offers us.

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Editorial | Here's the score: heaven 1, hell 0

It's right there on the page-one masthead of this newspaper: "The Archdiocese of St. Louis -- Helping you get to heaven."

Proof of that help is Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's new pastoral letter on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, "Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician." A perfect fit for Lenten reflection, the pastoral letter points out that sin means something is deeply wounded in us and we have weakened or ruptured our relationship with God. In the Sacrament of Penance, God's desire to heal us meets our desire to be healed.

Archbishop Carlson's pastoral letter 'Jesus Christ the Divine Physician' focuses on confession

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's new pastoral letter on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, "Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician" is available just in time for Lent.Archbishop Carlson points out that sin means something is deeply wounded in us and we have weakened or ruptured our relationship with God. The Sacrament of Penance is where God's desire to heal us meets our desire to be healed, he adds.

Elements of spiritual formation

Prayer

Archbishop Carlson says that one of the essential elements of a serious spiritual formation process is prayer.

To achieve a deep level of prayer, the archbishop recommends praying consistently through a solid routine. For those new or seeking to renew their prayer lives, a recommended start is praying five minutes in the morning or at the end of the day. Build slowly upon that routine over time.

"Don't start with an hour, because you'll never achieve it," he said.

'Partakers of the Divine Nature'

The cover of Archbishop Carlson's new pastoral letter, entitled "Partakers of the Divine Nature."

When Archbishop Robert Carlson came to his new assignment in the Diocese of Saginaw, Mich., in 2005, he admitted to feeling a little sorry for himself.

He had loved the 11 years he'd spent in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D. "In the midst of feeling sorry for myself, the Lord placed on my heart this -- He said, 'Every good thing that happened to you in Sioux Falls, I did for you,'" said the archbishop. "'And if you hadn't been generous and left, you might have thought you did it yourself.'"

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