Friday, August 26, 2016

Daily Thought For August 26, 2016

An Attitude Of Gratitude   

   For most of us, life is busy and complicated. We have countless responsibilities, some of which begin before sunrise and many of which end long after sunset. Amidst the rush and crush of the daily grind it is easy to lose sight of God and His blessings. But, when we forget to slow down and say “Thank You” to our Maker, we rob ourselves of His presence, His peace, and His joy.
    Our task, as believing Christians, is to praise God many times each day. Then, with gratitude in our hearts, we can face our daily duties with the perspective and power that only He can provide.
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It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
     Lord, make me a person with a grateful heart. You have given me much; when I think of Your grace and goodness, I am humbled and thankful. Today, I will praise You with my words and my deeds . . . and may all the glory be Yours. Amen

from Man of Prayer - 365 Daily Devotions

**Please note the next Daily Thought will be August 31, 2016**

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daily Thought For August 24, 2016

Christ's Love And Punctuation
    
 The continuing love of Christ does not allow our present way of life to come to a full stop. He always is changing punctuation marks: He changes periods into commas. "Bartimaeus was blind." "Lazarus was a beggar." "Magdalene was a sinner." "Naaman was a leper." What seemed so final and conclusive that a period should be placed at the end of each life, by His Mercy is now changed into comma. Bartimaeus was blind, but he saw, Naaman was a leper, but he was cured.
     Our present state is not so definitive that it cannot be changed. And when the period is changed into a comma by giving ourselves completely to Christ, then our lives end with an exclamation point! What? Jacob a saint"! What? Me a saint!!!

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Those Mysterious Priests p. 216

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Daily Thought For August 23, 2016

A Haven Of Rest
       A friend once sent me a snapshot that had been taken four decades ago, when we were in the novitiate together. The photo shows me as a seventeen-year old sitting on a park  bench talking with my father. . . . I was struck by how peaceful and contented I looked in the photo. I remember asking myself, “How in the world did this boy ever survive all these years? He looks so terribly vulnerable.”
     Survival at best―that has literally been my experience. But I have survived the swirling tides of life because I discovered a little harbor inside my soul―a haven that I didn’t build, a refuge that I didn’t set apart from the winds of life. Sometimes, in the midst of storms, I  couldn’t find this sanctuary, but I knew it was there anyway.
     Because he is the God of peace, the Father provides this inner haven for each of us, a shelter that allows us to survive during difficult times, a place where we can receive the light of grace. If we are trying desperately to hold onto him, God will allow us to find this precious place of peace. He will hold out his hand. 

from Quiet Moments with Benedict Groeschel #80

Monday, August 22, 2016

Daily Thought For August 22, 2016

Trusting Our Divine Guide When We Can’t See The Path Ahead
 
     If we are truly docile, we shall ask no questions about the road along which God is taking us. 
     When God becomes our guide he insists that we trust him without reservations and put aside all nervousness about his guidance. We are sent along the path he has chosen for us, but we cannot see it and nothing we have read is any help to us. Were we acting on our own we should have to rely on our experience. It would be too risky to do anything else. But it is very different when God acts with us. Divine action is always new and fresh, it never retraces its steps, but always finds new routes. When we are led by this action, we have no idea where we are going, for the paths we tread cannot be discovered from books or by any of our thoughts. But these paths are always opened in front of us and we are impelled along them. Imagine we are in a strange district at night and are crossing fields unmarked by any path, but we have a guide. He asks no advice nor tells us of his plans. So what can we do except trust him? It is no use trying to see where we are, look at maps, or question passers-by. That would not be tolerated by a guide who wants us to rely on him. He will get satisfaction from overcoming our fears and doubts, and will insist that we have complete trust in him. 
 
Jean-Pierre De Caussade

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Daily Thought For August 20, 2016

The Mind’s Sense of Taste Teaches The Art Of Spiritual Discernment
     
     The light that true knowledge gives out is the ability to distinguish unerringly what is right from what is wrong. This being so, the path of uprightness – which leads the mind towards God, the radiant sun of righteousness – takes that same mind into an unbounded light of knowledge and then leads it on to seek trustingly for love.
     Those who are struggling in battle ought always to keep their souls free of the tumultuous waves of distraction. If they do this, the mind will be able to distinguish among the thoughts that come to it. The good thoughts, sent by God, they can store in the treasure-house of their memory. The evil thoughts, sent by the devil, they can throw out. In just the same way, when the sea is calm, the fisherman can see to the bottom of it and practically no fish can escape his gaze; but if it is stirred up by wind and storm, it becomes opaque when in calm times it was transparent – and when that happens, even the wiliest fisherman is wasting his time.
     Clearing and purifying the mind is the task of the Holy Spirit alone – just as when a house is being burgled, the spoils can only be recovered if a strong man bursts in and despoils the burglar. Therefore we ought to keep our souls at peace so that the Holy Spirit is welcome there, so that the lamp of knowledge will always be lit – for when it is, the dark and bitter impulses of the devil will be easy to see and they will be reduced to creeping helplessness as they are caught in that holy and glorious light.
     This is why St Paul says ‘Do not extinguish the Spirit’ – that is, do not sadden the Holy Spirit with evil acts and thoughts, or his light may cease to protect you. Of course the eternal and life-giving Spirit is not actually extinguished: rather, it is the sad turning away of the Spirit that leaves the mind wrapped in gloom and without the light of knowledge.
     The mind has a perfect sense of taste that is able to discern and distinguish. When we are healthy, our body’s sense of taste can unerringly distinguish good from bad, so that we desire only what is good for us. The same applies to our mind, as long as it is in perfect health and not disturbed by too many cares: it can very well perceive and desire the consolations that God offers. Through the action of love, it has an unfading memory of their taste, and so it can always seek what is best. As St Paul says: My prayer is that your love may increase and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception, so that you can always recognize what is best.

Diadochus of Photica, "On Spiritual Perfection" from The Office of Readings

Friday, August 19, 2016

Daily Thought For August 19, 2016

Be Renewed In The Gift Of Hope

Hope is the opposite of fear. It is serious to feel separated from God; we grow timid and weak. As a ship is tossed about in a tempest, without sailor or pilot, heading for shipwreck wherever the wind carries it, so it is with our little boat that lacks hope. I would never want us to be without hope, but I would want us to weep when we lose sight of God. May Jesus come to bring help when we are overwhelmed with fear. 

I hope that God will strengthen you more and more; and when you become afraid that your present attention and fervor may not last, respond once and for all to that thought, or rather to that temptation to sadness, that those who trust in God will never be confounded, and that in spiritual as well as physical and temporal matters, you have "cast your care upon the Lord and he will support you." 

Let us serve God well today; he will provide for tomorrow. Each day has its own burden to bear; do not worry about tomorrow, for the same God who reigns today will reign tomorrow. And if in his goodness he had thought, or even known, that you needed more assistance than was readily available, he would have given it to you. 


from The Golden Counsels of Saint Franics de Sales

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Daily Thought For August 18, 2016

Important Message As Summer Draws To An End

It is important to take a break now and then. Recreation relaxes both mind and body. Cassian tells us that a hunter found St. John cradling a living bird in his hand and gently petting its neck. The hunter asked him why he was wasting his time like that. John asked him why he didn’t keep his bow always taut.  “It would lose its spring if I did,” the Hunter answered. The apostle replied, “Then don’t be surprised if I relax sometimes. After a little recreation I can concentrate better.”
     It is a mistake to be so strict, driven, and austere that you can neither play a little yourself nor allow others a little diversion. Get out into the open air. Have some fun! Play the lute, sing, go hunting. Enjoy some innocent recreation. The only requirement is enough prudence to give it a proper time, place, and quantity.

Francis de Sales: Introduction To The Devout Life p.190