As we seek to imitate the Lord we Christians should be ready to give cheerful service to God and other people without expecting anything in return. We should serve even those who do not appreciate our help. Many will not understand our cheerful attitude of self-denial. We should be content in the knowledge that Christ knows full well the efforts we are making on his behalf. The pride of a Christian is precisely in this dimension: to serve as the Master served. Yet we learn how to serve only when we are close to Jesus.
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 5 p.271
Prayer For Renewed Faith In Jesus Christ
Lord Jesus come into my heart. I desire that You be the Lord of my life so that I may be a Child of the light to know you as my personal Savior – for I know and believe that You died on the cross for my sins. You rose again from the dead on the third day and You are coming again glory.
I believe in your forgiveness and I desire that You help me to refrain from any temptations that would keep me separated from Your everlasting love.
Set aside for a minute Peter and John’s arrest and their night in custody. Ignore the leaders’ and elders’ indignation and the bystanders’ wonder and amazement. Consider instead the beggar who was healed. Everyone recognized this man. He routinely begged for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. For his whole life, he was utterly dependent on other people to get around, to be fed, to be clothed and cared for. All he hoped for from Peter and John was a few coins, a little food, or a cast-off piece of clothing. What this fellow received was not just a physical healing but a whole new life. No longer bound by his disability, he could move on his own. He was no longer powerless or weak, no longer unable to make his way in life. Delivered from hopelessness, he could now rise out of his poverty. Freedom, choices, relief from want and pain—he received so much more than he had asked for or, most likely, so much more than he had imagined he would ever experience. The same is true for you! Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a whole new life is now open to you. You can be set free from handicaps of bitterness and resentment. The fears and anxieties and misgivings that preoccupy you don’t have to bind you or paralyze you anymore. You no longer have to feel powerless in the face of anger or addictions or lust. In the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, whom God raised from the dead, you can be healed! Christ lives in you. His grace can empower you to resist temptation and be set free from anything that hampers you from feeling his Spirit. Call out to him, just as the beggar called out to Peter and John for alms. Believe that Jesus is standing right in front of you, offering you not silver and gold but the riches of love and joy, patience and self-control. Tell yourself that you belong to Christ and that he wants to set you free. Confess your insufficiency to him, and watch closely to see how he answers you. And then, just as the beggar did, praise him for his goodness to you! “Jesus, in you alone am I saved. Help me to live a new life, unbound by my sins and weaknesses.”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) April 24, 2014
Be as delicate as you can with our Lord. Watch your conduct most carefully to avoid all venial sins. But, for the love of God, do this without losing confidence and peace.
I recommend this counsel to such a degree that, if it were necessary to lose these two goods, confidence and peace, in order to arrive at this exquisite delicacy, I maintain that it would be preferable to restrain one’s efforts for a while. For peace of soul and confidence in God are more necessary goods, so they should be preferred.… No doubt someone will say: How is it possible to feel that keen grief for one’s offense against God, yet have the confidence necessary to cast oneself into the arms of our Lord, without any misgivings or reserve? I will try to explain.
The foundation of our confidence does not rest in us, but in God. Hence we trust in our Lord and we draw near to him, tranquil and sure, not because of what we are, but because of what he is. We can be miserable sinners, wayward and headstrong. But our ingratitude, our sins, and our wrongdoing should not diminish at all the trust that we should have in our Lord, for the simple reason that our trust is not based in ourselves but in him. Jesus is the same forever, ever good, ever loving, ever merciful. I was the one who changed, but these changes in no way affect my confidence, since my confidence is based on God, not on myself.…
We have confidence in God because of his goodness, mercy, and love. And does God cease to be good and merciful because I am weak, inconstant, and miserable? Impossible!… We are trying to judge God in a human manner. We would measure his divine heart with the yardstick of our petty heart, and it is not God’s yardstick. We, of course, conduct ourselves with everyone according to his merits. We are good toward those who treat us well, and we are indifferent toward strangers. Only virtue can keep us from being hostile toward our enemies. In order that our hearts may love, they must always take into account those which reside in others. For our love has its basis in the things that we love—in the goodness that they possess, or seem to possess. But that is not the basis of God’s love. The measure and the reason of his love does not reside in things or in us; they are in him and in him alone.…
I maintain that if an angel should come from God to tell any of us, “God no longer loves you; hence do not confide in him,” we must not believe him. For above this feigned revelation stands the words of Jesus, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mk 13:31). Jesus is the one who brought us a message from heaven. He came to tell us that God loves us with an infinite love, with an eternal love. He loves us to the extent of giving us his own Son, and delivering him to death for love of us. —Excerpts from Secrets of the Interior Life, pp. 34–39, 41
Martinez, L. (2011). Secrets of the Spirit: Wisdom from Luis Martinez. (G. Santos, Ed.) (pp. 11–13). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it. Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.” Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy,