Spirit Alive: Resources

SPIRIT ALIVE ONLINE RESOURCES
About Spirit Alive: The CSJ Institute for Faith Inquiry and Education

Spirit Alive: The CSJ Institute for Faith Inquiry and Education, inaugurated in 2021, is a new educational initiative supported by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Brentwood NY. The institute represents a broadening and extension of our commitment to education, beyond the traditional K-12 classroom, to engage all people seeking a deeper understanding of their faith, themselves, and their world.

Spirituality and Prayer

3-Minute Retreats 
3-Minute Retreats invite you to take a short prayer break right at your computer or on your mobile device.  Spend some quiet time reflecting on a Scripture passage.

Center for Action and Contemplation – Richard Rohr
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations are free email reflections sent every day of the year. Each meditation features Richard Rohr and guest authors reflecting on a yearly theme, with each week building on previous topics—but you can join at any time.

The Contemplative Monk
Contemplative Monk seeks to be a place of rest and refuge for battered souls as they journey along the sacred path together, seeking the God who is always faithful.

Contemplative Outreach
Contemplative Outreach, founded by Trappist Father Thomas Keating, is a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel. The common desire for Divine transformation, primarily expressed through a commitment to a daily Centering Prayer practice, unites their international, interdenominational community.

The Contemplative Society
The Contemplative Society encourages a deepening of contemplative prayer based in the Christian Wisdom tradition while also welcoming and being supportive of other meditation traditions.  They offer a consistent and balanced path for spiritual growth and transformation rooted in prayer, silence, mindful work, and in the 1500-year-old wisdom of our Benedictine contemplative heritage. The Society draws upon and promotes the work of Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, and Episcopal priest, and sponsors retreats  and workshops led by Cynthia and other distinguished teachers of the Christian contemplative path.  Instructional and inspirational materials in text and audio formats are available for sale.

Creighton University Online Ministries
Creighton’s Online Ministries offers daily reflections, online and audio retreats, Stations of the Cross, a weekly guide for daily prayer, and more.

Daily live Morning Prayer and Compline on Zoom from Incarnation Cathedral
The Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City NY, the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island which includes Brooklyn and Queens, prays Morning Prayer at 8:45 am and Compline at 8:45 pm Monday-Friday live on Zoom.  Click on the links on their Worship page.

Daily Mass Readings from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Follow the Scripture readings for the Mass each day.

Daily Reflection – Sisters of St. Joseph
The website of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, New York, offers daily reflections, with a prayer and suggestions for action and further reading.

Divine Reading (Lectio Divina) with the American Bible Society
Prepare for Sunday’s Scripture readings using the ancient method of Lectio Divina, a process of reading, meditating, praying and contemplating to enter into the Scripture stories and let them transform our lives.

Give Us This Day   App available for Android or iOS 
Give Us This Day is an invitation to pray daily, whether with a printed booklet or an app.  Whether you have five minutes or a half hour, Give Us This Day supports your desire to pray with daily inspiration from the lives of saintly witnesses, insightful, relevant reflections on Scripture, and simplified daily prayer for morning and evening.  Subscription required.

Ignatian Spirituality
Sponsored by Loyola Press, this site provides a variety of resources, including a daily reflection, daily Examen, and articles on Ignatian/Jesuit spirituality.

Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue
A variety of resources and workshop opportunities to explore contemplative practice, the evolving consciousness, spiral dynamics, etc. 

Learn Religions
Learn Religions helps explore the practices of your own faith, understand your neighbor’s beliefs, and familiarize yourself with the world’s major religions — regardless of your own spiritual background.  It’s library of study guides, prayers, devotionals, and reference documents offer credible and balanced coverage of the world’s most prominent faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Taoism.

Magnificat
Magnificat is a spiritual guide to help you develop your prayer life, grow in your spiritual life, find a way to a more profound love for Christ, and participate in the  Mass with greater fervor.  It is a monthly print or online publication designed for daily use, to encourage both liturgical and personal prayer. It can be used to follow daily Mass and can also be read at home or wherever you find yourself for personal or family prayer.  Subscription required.

The Monastic Way
Online monthly publication with daily reflections from Sister Joan Chittister, OSB. For $12.95/year you get access to The Monastic Way website and a pdf version emailed to you each month—and periodic mini-webinars with Sister Joan during which you can offer your own personal insights, ask questions and discuss ideas together. Your subscription also enables you to participate in an ongoing online forum with other members, reflecting together on important spiritual matters in ways that can stretch your thinking and nourish your spirit.  Create an account and subscribe, and you will receive daily wisdom and additional short reflection guides.

Practices for the Pandemic:  Guided Meditation on the Sign of the Cross  
Father Michael Sparough, SJ, offers a series of meditations to bring some peace and calm to our spirits during these anxious times.

Pray as You Go Website/App    App available for Android or iOS 
Daily audio meditation on a Scripture of the Day, with reflection music and questions.  Approx. 12-15 min. per day.  Also has audio imaginative contemplation exercises, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and the Examen, a nightly review of your day and thanksgiving to God.

Sacred Space Daily Prayer Online   App available for Android or iOS
Sacred Space is a daily prayer resource from the Irish Jesuits, providing brief daily Scripture reflections. At this time the website includes prayers and reflections for this time of COVID-19, including a 14-day “Isolation Retreat.”

Saint of the Day from Franciscan Media
Go online to get a short article on a different saint each day, or subscribe and you’ll get the saint delivered to your inbox each day.

The Wednesday Word   
Choose the parish version of this weekly Wednesday resource from across the pond in England to read, reflect on and respond to the Scriptures for the upcoming Sundays.  Designed especially for families, doing this on Wednesdays can keep the family closely connected to Jesus, to the Church, and to one another.

 Why Bother with the Bible? 
 Why Bother with Bible is a series of 10 short articles and reflection questions that can be used as an independent study and reflection on your own time, individually or as a group.   Article topics include:  God Wants to Speak to Us, We Learn to Recognize God’s Voice, Scripture Teaches Us the Value of Forgiveness, and seven more topics.  
Tambien disponible en Español.

The Word Among Us  App available for Android or iOS
Daily Mass prayers and Scripture texts with reflections on the readings.  Print version, online or app available.  Subscription required.

Theology

Bible Translations

This site gives the user any Bible verse, passage or book in several versions.  It is useful in comparing translations.  (Note it does not give access to the New Revised Standard Version, the New American Bible or the Jerusalem Bible translations.)

Catholic Resources

The website of Father Felix Just, S.J., a Catholic priest, scholar and professor, contains many useful articles on the Bible, Liturgy, Art and Theology.

Christian Resource Institute – The Voice
THE VOICE is the Internet web site of CRI/Voice, a global and ecumenical ministry dedicated to providing biblical and theological resources, as well as worship and prayer resources, for growing Christians. 

Resources for Christian Theology
This website offers essays on systematic theology, Scripture, Christian doctrine, biblical hermeneutics and contemporary theologians.

Sacred Text Archive

A comprehensive collection of over 1700 books on religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric, including sacred texts.

Theology Library at Spring Hill College

This site, maintained by Spring Hill College, a Jesuit College in Mobile, Alabama, contains over 8000 links to church documents and theological articles in all of the theological/church disciplines. 

Why Study Religion?
Thought-provoking short articles such as Misconceptions about Religion, What is Religion?, Pressing Issues in Religion.

Courses / Workshops

FORMED – The Catholic Faith.  On Demand.  
Subscribe for $10/month and get thousands of movies, programs, audio, and books on topics of Catholic faith instantly.  FORMED provides thousands of movies, children’s programs, ebooks, audio, parish programs and studies direct to your browser, mobile or connected device.

Institute for Communal Contemplation and Dialogue
A variety of resources and workshop opportunities to explore contemplative practice, the evolving consciousness, spiral dynamics, etc. 

STM Online: Crossroads 
The Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (STM) offers short courses in Spirituality, Scripture, the Sacraments, the Moral Life and more.  Most courses are 3-5 weeks and costs range from free (for self-directed courses) to $50.

Virtual Learning Community – University of Dayton
The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is an Internet distance-learning program to support catechist and adult faith formation in the Church.  They offer a wide variety of theology and Pastoral Ministry courses and seminars, ranging in cost from $80-$110.  (There are discounts for residents of VLC-partner dioceses.)

Why Bother with the Bible? 
 Why Bother with Bible is a series of 10 short articles and reflection questions that can be used as an independent study and reflection at your own pace, individually or as a group.   Article topics include:  God Wants to Speak to Us, We Learn to Recognize God’s Voice, Scripture Teaches Us the Value of Forgiveness, and seven more topics.  
Tambien disponible en Español.

Retreats

Our Lady of Grace Spiritual Center Daytime Retreats
Our Lady of Grace Spiritual Center in Manhasset NY offers daytime retreat days and series.  They have limited in-person opportunities; others are conducted over Zoom.

Pray as You Stay – a 7-week Podcast Retreat
(https://pray-as-you-go.org/retreat/pray-as-you-stay)
The English Jesuits bring you 7 podcast meditations, designed to be prayed over 7 weeks, for those who are suffering, for prudence, for confidence, for encouragement, for self-care, and more.

Catholic Publications and News Sources

America Magazine Online
Perspectives on faith and culture from the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in the U.S.   Contributors are the principal figures in the American church; the decision-makers and opinion leaders who lead the ecclesial and civic debate about religion, society, politics and the arts. Sign up for daily newsletter.

Catholic News Agency (CNA)
CNA is a Catholic news site from EWTN.  Sign up for daily newsletter.

Church Life Journal
Church Life Journal is published by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.  It opens up readers to first-rate Catholic scholarship—past and present. It is a publication that both deepens the faith of all members of the Church, while also serving as a place where Catholic leaders can think through intellectual and pastoral problems of our day.

CRUX – Taking the Catholic Pulse
CRUX is a news site dedicated to offering the very best in smart, wired and independent coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church.  Sign up for daily newsletter.

National Catholic Reporter Online
An independent reform-minded Catholic news resource. Print and online subscriptions available.  Sign up for daily newsletter.

Zenit
Zenit is a non-profit International News Agency, made up of a team of professionals and volunteers, which transmits the message of the Pope and of the Church.  Sign up for newsletter.

Encyclicals and Exhortations from Pope Francis

On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Sí)
In Laudato Sí (“Praise be to you”) Pope Francis exhorts the world to combat environmental degradation and its impact on the poor. It is aimed not only at Catholics, but rather at a worldwide audience of people of good will. Approaching the topic from the perspectives of both science and faith, the encyclical is an urgent call to action intended to persuade people around the world to change their behavior, in hopes of protecting a fragile planet.

On Fraternity and Social Friendship (Fratelli Tutti)
In Fratelli Tutti (“All brothers and sisters”), Pope Francis calls for more human brotherhood/sisterhood and solidarity, and makes a  plea to reject war as a solution to human conflicts. It focuses on contemporary social and economic problems, and proposes an ideal world of brotherhood/sisterhood in which all countries can be part of a larger human family.

 
On Love in the Family  (Amoris Laetitia)
In Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis asks the church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. The apostolic exhortation is mainly a document that reflects on family life and encourages families. But it is also the pope’s reminder that the church should avoid simply judging people and imposing rules on them without considering their struggles.