Resources for Deeper Reflection

As we contemplate the readings from the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Spiritual practices to help us engage with Jesus

Image for Meditating over the Gospel - August 12. “The bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world”  -John 6:51

In his homily on Sunday, August 5, Fr. Hurlbert shared the importance of developing a devotional life, spiritual practices that engage us on an emotional level with the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life, but in order for us to understand our need for Him, we need to develop a living relationship with him. Devotional practices can be communal or they can be done privately. For example, a group of parishioners prays the rosary together each weekday morning before the 8:15 Mass. Some others stay and pray it individually afterwards. Here are just a few ideas for devotional practices that you might consider:

  • 8:15 Daily Mass (just lasts 25 – 30 minutes). It is amazing how adding a shorter Mass into your week can sustain. We have 40 – 60 people here each morning. Some come every day; others once or twice a week. If this time slot doesn’t work for you, check around with other parishes. Those who work downtown often get there early and attend Mass at St Peter’s or the Cathedral before starting work.
  • Commit to 10 minutes a day alone in church or in a quiet room at home praying to God
  • Learn how to pray the Rosary, and pray it every day (takes 10 – 15 minutes). At first you may need to keep an instruction sheet with the Mysteries at your side, but with time it becomes easy and automatic
  • Meditation on Images of Jesus. Maybe you have a statuette, holy card, crucifix, picture or icon at home already. If not, buy one or print off something from online. Here are some examples:
  • Novena prayers. There are lots of novenas out there… Google this and see the variety, and maybe one or more will draw you to want to pray it.
  • The Divine Mercy Chaplet. This makes use of a rosary, but praying it takes less than half of the time. It has it’s own prayers which are short and easy to learn.
  • The devotional reading of Scriptures (especially the Gospels and the letters of Paul and John)
  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament- either while it is reserved in the tabernacle, or exposed in the monstrance. Our church is open most days from about 7:30 – 5pm- just stop in. St. Vincent Ferrer parish in River Forest has an Adoration Chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for private prayer and meditation on Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The chapel is located in Kyte Hall (attached to the church).
  • Creighton University has a web page that lists a bunch of online spirituality resources- you might look through some of these to see if any might help you:


Living The Word 

Journey with fellow parishioners as they share their reflection on the Sunday readings.


The Pastoral Center "Questions for the Week" 

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Life for the World
Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (John 6:51)

  • 1 Kings 19:4-8 - Elijah's flight to Horeb
  • Ephesians 4:30—5:2 - Vices to be avoided
  • John 6:41-51 - Discourse on the bread of life, continued

Adults: When has the bread of life given you the strength you needed to face a difficult situation
in your life?

Kids: What will you ask Jesus to help you with when you receive Holy Communion this week?

Online Resources for Families

Sunday Readings from the Lectionary for Masses with Children  For each Sunday and for other major feasts of the liturgical year, the "Gospel Reflections" section includes a reflection for families, suggestions for bringing the Gospel into your family, and discussion starters. Another section of the site presents a "Question of the Week" for adults and for children - in English and Spanish. Provides a number of online resources to help all family members prepare for Sunday Mass and connect liturgy and life.


Online Resources for Adults

The following are links to some useful web sites to provide daily or weekly reflection from a national author. Check them out!

Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI:  Features weekly columns with easy access to previous columns. 

Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles; former president of Mundelein Seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago:

Joan Chittister, a Benedictine sister and popular spiritual author, offers a free weekly newsletter, Vision & Viewpoint. Weekly columns – A Word from Joan – are featured on her website,  

Sacred Space, daily prayer offered by the Irish

--Offered by our Adult Faith Formation Committee