Saturday, April 29, 2017

Daily Thought For April 29, 2017


Truth
 
   
     The Logos, the truth in person, is also the atonement, the transforming forgiveness that is above and beyond our capability and incapability. Therein lies the real novelty on which the larger Christian memory is founded, and which indeed, at the same time, constitutes the deeper answer to what the anamnesis of the Creator expects of us. 
     Where this center of the Christian message is not sufficiently expressed and appreciated, truth becomes a yoke that is too heavy for our shoulders, from which we must seek to free ourselves. But the freedom gained thereby is empty. It leads into the desolate land of nothingness and disintegrates of itself. Yet the yoke of truth in fact became “easy” (Matthew 11:30) when the Truth came, loved us, and consumed our guilt in the fire of his love. Only when we know and experience this from within will we be free to hear the message of conscience with joy and without fear. 
 
On Conscience from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger pp.40-41

Friday, April 28, 2017

Daily Thought For April 28, 2017

Great Insight Into Love of God & Love of Neighbor
    
Often, we fail to accept others because deep down, we do not accept ourselves. If we are not at peace with ourselves we will necessarily find ourselves at war with other people. Non-acceptance of self creates an inner tension, a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration that is then taken out on others, who become scapegoats for our inner conflict. So, for instance, when we are in a bad mood with people around us, very often it is because we are discontented with ourselves! Etty Hillesum wrote: “I have gradually come to realize that on those days when you are at odds with your neighbors you are really at odds with yourself. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’
     Conversely, if we close our hearts against other people, make no effort to love them as they are, never learn to be reconciled with them, we will never have the grace to practice the deep reconciliation with ourselves that we all need. Instead we will be perpetual victims of our own narrow-heartedness and harsh judgments toward our neighbor. This is an important point, to be developed later.
 
from Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe pp. 43-44

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily Thought For April 27, 2017

Something That Never Fails
      
     We are invited to do as he did: to see our life, exactly as it presents itself, to bring to the surface the fears that nest in us, the sadness, the threats, the complexes, the physical or moral defects, the painful memory that humiliates us, and to expose everything to the light of the thought that God loves me. He invites me to ask myself; what in my life attempts to depress me?
 
From his personal life, the Apostle broadens his gaze to the world around him. "For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37-39). Hence, he observes "his" world, with the powers that rendered it menacing: death with its mystery, the present life with its allurements, the astral powers or the infernal ones which struck so much terror in ancient man.
 
We can do the same thing: we can look at the world that surrounds us, which makes us afraid. What Paul calls the "height" and the "depth" are for us now infinitely great on high and infinitely small below, the universe and the atom. Everything is ready to crush us; man is weak and alone, in a universe so much greater than him and become, in addition, even more threatening, following the scientific discoveries that he has made and that he does not succeed in controlling, as is being dramatically demonstrated by the atomic reactors in Fukushima.
 
Everything can be questioned, all of our safety measures can fail, but never this: that God loves us and is stronger than everything. "Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth."
 
 Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa from The Second Lenten Sermon “God Is Love” 2011

Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Thought For April 23, 2017

Why Charity Is So Important
 
Lack of charity dulls the intelligence so that it cannot know God and fails to understand the dignity of man. Love sharpens and focuses all our powers. Only charity - love of God and of our neighbor for God's sake - prepares and disposes us to understand God and all that refers to him, so far as is possible for a finite creature. He who does not love does not know God, Saint John teaches, for God is love. The virtue of hope also becomes sterile without charity, for it is impossible to attain what one does not love? All our works are in vain without charity, even the most skillfully or energetically executed ones and those that demand sacrifice. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. There is no substitute for charity. 
 
Today, in our prayer, we could ask ourselves how we live this virtue each day. Do we perform little acts of service for the people around us? Do we try to be pleasant? Do we say we are sorry when we hurt people? Do we spread peace and joy around us? Do we help others on their way towards God, or are we, on the contrary, indifferent to them? Do we practice the works of mercy by visiting the poor and the sick, so as to live Christian solidarity with those who suffer? Do we care for the needs of the elderly and are we concerned about people who find themselves on the margin of society? In a word is our normal relationship with God shown in deeds of understanding and in service to the people who are in daily contact with us? 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 3 p.6

Friday, April 21, 2017

Daily Thought For April 21, 2017

Avoiding Anger
 
     This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart's door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation," ... a man's anger does not fulfill God's justice.

St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Daily Thought For April 20, 2017

                       OPPORTUNITIES 

     When I was newly baptized in the Holy Spirit I eagerly welcomed every opportunity to give witness to what God had done in my life. The simplest question from an unsuspecting stranger would prompt a detailed version of my personal testimony. Even though my zeal wasn't always enlightened, God blessed my efforts to evangelize. 
     During that zealous period I carried my huge, hardbound Jerusalem Bible under my arm while traveling, much to my father's chagrin. When he asked why I didn't put it in a paper bag, I simply explained that it was a wonderful way to start a conversation about Jesus. People couldn't help but notice it! 
     As time went by I lost some of my eagerness to share the good news. Many an opportunity on a plane, in a rest room, on a beach, in a grocery store or doctor's office, passed me by because I was too tired, busy, or preoccupied. "Make the most of the present opportunity," Scripture exhorts us (Eph 5: 16). Each day we are surrounded by people who are longing for the loving touch of Jesus that comes through us if only we take the time to reach out.  
     Recently I met two people who reminded me of this truth. 
My husband and I were waiting for our plane after a conference, when I happened into a casual conversation with a young woman seated nearby. In the midst of our small talk I had a sense from the Lord that she was suffering in her family life. Before I knew it, this woman began pouring her heart out to me. She had just suffered a miscarriage and had been told she had little chance of ever bearing a child. Then her twin brother died suddenly. As she spoke it was natural to put my arm around her in  comfort and offer to pray with her. She knew the Lord, but at that moment she needed the reassurance of His love for her. Her gratitude for the prayer was genuine, and we parted with an embrace. She has written to me since to thank me. 
     Once on board the plane my husband and I began to talk together about the good things the Lord had done for us during the conference. An older man seated next to my husband Al looked unfriendly, and I concluded that our conversation was annoying him. 
     We didn't exchange a word with the man until the plane landed. Then he leaned over and said, "Pardon me. I hope you don't mind, but I overheard your conversation about Christ. Will you please pray for me? My son is ill, and I'm terribly worried about him." 
Immediately we joined hands and prayed for the boy. 
      This gentleman whom I thought to be unfriendly was in reality worried about his son. He was just waiting for us to share Christ with him. How grateful he was for that brief moment of prayer! 

As we travel this summer let's ask the Holy Spirit to help us "make the most of the present opportunity" to share the good news with those we meet. The Lord will use us if we're willing. 

from More of God  by Patti Gallagher Mansfield pp.115-166

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Daily Thought For April 19, 2017

Encountering Jesus Is Our Hope!

Encountering Christ in faith is always a surprise; it is a grace given to those whose hearts are open. It overturns our comfortable existence and opens us to an unexpected future, sowing life and light in place of death and sorrow. This is the reason for our Easter joy: in the risen Jesus, who dwells in our midst, we encounter the power of God’s love, which triumphs over death and brings ever new life and undying hope.

Pope Francis - Excerpt from General Audience April 19, 2017