Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures and moments, and acknowledging everything you receive as a gift from God. With an attitude of gratitude, everyday moments can be seen as the miracle they truly are when we see life through the lens of gratitude.
The below series is a slightly modified version of the series I have created for my church facebook page for our Easter Gratitude Challenge. I thought the series turned out so well, that perhaps others would like to use them as well. They are not limited to use as just Facebook Covers. I will use them on Twitter and other places - so use your imagination. Enjoy and please share with me how you use the covers, I love seeing them in action.
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I'm clinging. Since love is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?
The hymns we sing at church are more than just a time to spotlight the talents and gifts of the cantor or the musicians at our parishes. The music is a way to express our experiences of God through a sung prayer. They help us to put into words our intimate feelings about our faith. The text becomes special and different from our everyday speech. We can verbalize our experiences of praise, hope, mercy, sorrow, redemption, forgiveness and love together as one body of faith.
I take the lyrics in hymns and the notes of the music with me wherever I go. Music makes the words of prayer easy to remember. The melody also helps me to express feelings and emotions in much deeper ways than words alone. Music truly does soothe the soul. A regular church hymn will often be the first thing that pops into my head when I am needing comfort, or when I am just “feeling happy” and want to get some praise on!
We have all heard that “He who sings, prays twice!” (attributed to St. Augustine, but that is a story for another day) For this set of social media covers I invite you to get your two-fold prayer going with some chosen lines from the first few songs that popped in my head today!
Are you looking for a simple way to evangelize and share your faith? Are you on Facebook? If you answered yes to both of these, then how about uploading a faith-based photo quote as your facebook cover.
Here are some to get your started.
As indicated by each image, most are based on Sunday Readings, however they are not limited to use on only those dates. They could very easily be used any season or time that you wish.
Just right-click on an image and chose "save as" which will allow you to download that image. By clicking on the headers above each image you will be taken to the full text of the readings for that date. Feel free to share on any social media platforms (twitter, google+, etc), that you wish.
I hope you enjoy.
P.S. There are many, many more Facebook Covers now available on this site. Just visit the menu bar and click on Facebook Covers or click facebook covers in the categories. I hope you enjoy!
by Cyndi Marlow
General Facebook Cover
Images used were from Microsoft Images and Pixabay.com.
It is amazing the way that God uses the ordinary things and people in our lives to reach out to us.
I grew up in an unchurched home. My mother was raised Catholic but did not attend Church due to a prior marriage and not being able to partake of the Eucharist. My father had no religious affiliation. .
I am the oldest of four children. Our only exposure to church was through our grandmother who was a devout and practicing Catholic. She made sure that all of us siblings were at least baptized Catholic. And she would on the rare occasion take us to Mass.
When I was 9 or 10 years old, I have a very distinct memory of attending Mass one time with my grandmother and my cousin. My cousin was a practicing Catholic. I watched as she knelt and prayed. Like most kids. I wanted to fit in, so I did what she did (at least what she was doing physically). It was while we were both kneeling that someone came up and asked us to bring forward the gifts at the preparation of gifts.
Being just a kid, I wanted to do it because my cousin was doing it. So, I said yes. My grandmother was so surprised when she witnessed the event. Afterward, it was all she could talk about, she was so proud. What I remember most about the experience was being petrified that I was going to be “exposed” as a fake.
I grew into adulthood mostly an unchurched soul. I fell in love and I married. My (late) husband was Baptist by upbringing, but he did not attend church or practice his faith as an adult. No religious affiliation and no regular church attendance were solidified as the status quo for my life. Over the years, I would attend a church service on occasion when my well-meaning friends, worried about my soul, would invite me to their church. One time I even made a truly heartfelt altar call. But the moment was short-lived
During most of my young adult life I considered myself a spiritual person, but not a religiously affiliated person. I had a deep fascination with reincarnation and the entire New Age Movement. I even attended a few workshops and retreats on metaphysics. I took classes when I could find something relevant. It was during an adult education class on “Meditation” offered by our local school district that I took the first steps on my journey toward conversion.
I don't remember all of the details about the actual class. I just remember that once a week for four weeks we studied different types of meditation techniques. Our homework was to spend time meditating using one of the techniques. I did my homework just as I was told.
I wasn't prepared for what was going to happen next.
While doing a visualization technique, I entered into a very deep state of relaxation and awareness. In my visualization I was in a dark cave, lying in a pool of water that left my face exposed above the water. Every aspect of my surroundings seemed alive and surreal. Then it happened. A voice spoke. I knew it was God. Some things you just know. I could not see Him, but I felt Him. He spoke loud, very loud. He said, “my child you need to go to church.” I was taken aback but I had enough wits about me to ask “What Church?” He only repeated what he said before. I came out of the experience shaken from the sheer force of His presence.
Needless to say, I dropped all the New Age garbage. I spent quite a bit of time looking for a church home. But none of the ones I found on my own ever felt like they were right. I begged for God to show me. I begged for Him to talk to me again and tell me “Which church?” I looked in the Bible trying to find clues. Every church said they were the right one. Yet, when I would be at one they would bad-mouth the other. Somehow it always felt wrong.
Life continued on as normal. Then one day a co-worker said to me out of the blue, “My church is getting ready to start RCIA, would you like to go and find out about it?” Astonishingly, I heard myself answer “yes.” At RCIA, it finally felt right! That co-worker eventually became my Sponsor and we attended the same Church for a number of years. Some years later we would both reminisce on how astounding it was that the entire conversation actually took place, for it truly was the Holy Spirit at work.
I can't say the rest is history. If you have read any of my other posts you know I am the first one to admit to being a stubborn person. I didn't step into this journey of new found faith without putting up a fight. There is more to my story of conversion. You will have to come back for part two.
For this part of the story, I am thankful that God used my fascination with the metaphysics to reach out to me one night and to connect with the very depths of my soul. I am eternally grateful He used my co-worker to guide me toward the Catholic Church.
God is a serious user of persons and things!
I for one, am glad He is.
by Cyndi Marlow
How has God used others to reach you?
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14
A Christmas and New Year Wish...
Make known the message ~ Christ is Born. This and every Christmas we are called to make known the message. May we find strength and courage from the Holy Spirit to proclaim his birth and the message of salvation to all we meet.
May the blessings of our Lord be with you now and forever!
"The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts." Evangelii Gaudium 264.
I love these beautiful words about the spirit of evangelization from Pope Francis.
Alas, even though we can have the spirit of evangelization, sometimes we lack the catechism to explain what we believe. I have found a really great resource to help. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis recently posted a fantastic document called "10 Things We Want You to Know About the Catholic Faith" which can be found on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis website as part of their "Year of Faith" initiative. The text of that document can also be found below. Much gratitude to Ken Ogorek, from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for permission to share these wonderful explanations about what we believe.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Let me know in your comments.
Knowing about our Catholic faith is one thing, experiencing it is another. To help us to know more about our faith there are many more great resources to be found on the web which will aid us in our quest to be everyday evangelizers. We love our faith. We love Jesus. And as stated on the flyer: "we’re confident that a Catholic life is a beautiful life, and we’d love to have you visit us!"
These 10 simple points and a visit are a great place to start!
My next blog post will be about using a "Lens of Discernment" when navigating the resources and information found on the web.
Evangelizing the digital continent!
We each may be only one person, but together we are
all part of one body.
What is Embedded Faith? Simply put, this is a "gralog" (graphics + blog) providing images and thoughts to evangelize the digital continent.
Click to find out more.
How do I download
To download any image, just right click and choose "file save as".
Can I use your image on my website or publication?
Yes! All images are creative commons and are free to use. Credit or a link to this site is appreciated.
Images may not be sold.