Monday, February 20, 2017

Daily Thought For February 20, 2017

A Calm Mind Is A Great Asset

A calm mind is a great asset in this life without it your devotional life will not bear much fruit If your heart is troubled, you are vulnerable to the enemy of the soul. When you are agitated, you are no able to make good decisions. You will stumble into snares. 
The enemy detests this peace in you. He knows that is the place where the Spirit of God dwells. That's why he devises such devilish ways to destroy this peace. 
Avoid rash acts. Even if you are sure the Holy Spirit wants you to do something, wait. Put off doing it until your eagerness has declined. Introduced with that kind of self-control, a good work is more pleasing to God than if it were done too hastily. 
It is also necessary to overcome a certain inner regret. Sometimes we think our bad conscience is being generated by God, when in fact it is the work of the devil. Here is the way to tell: If your regret results in greater humility and increases your desire to serve God, receive it with gratitude as a gift from heaven. If it creates anxiety, makes you sad, depressed, fearful, and slow to do your duty, then we can be sure it has been suggested by the enemy. Disregard it. 
Lawrence Scupoli: The Spiritual Combat 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daily Thought For February 19, 2017

Lectio
Matthew 5:38–48
Meditatio
“… love your enemies …”
Three words—three words that intimately affect every one of us. It took me more than fifteen years of struggle to forgive someone who had had a major negative impact on my teenage years. Often I thought I had forgiven and found closure, but then the pain would reappear unexpectedly. Whether individually or as a family, or church, or country, we often face the monumental task of integrating an experience of evil into our lives in a precisely Christian manner. We can’t escape this difficult experience. Sometimes it seems impossible. It often takes a long time.
The three words, “love your enemies” are the key to facing evil and injustice. Jesus is not speaking of a sentimental kind of love. He is not asking us to condone injustice or victimization. He is not asking us to let others off the hook. He is not suggesting we tolerate them or, heaven forbid, allow them to continue to harm us or another. Instead, this call to love our enemies is a call to want the best for the other person. Jesus explains it by commanding us to “do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Lk 6:27–28).
Such love is a choice, an act of the will, which we can make despite the natural repugnance we may feel for what the other has done. It is a choice to be positive to that person. To practice this love, which Jesus showed us on the cross, is difficult. The first step is to pray for the healing of painful memories, to invite Jesus directly into the experience of evil. If the hurt is severe, we may need to pray for the miracle of forgiveness. We may need counseling to free us from acting out of past negative experiences. Jesus asks us to break the spiral of violence and hatred by not passing it on, by wishing well instead of ill, by being willing to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Oratio
Jesus, you show me that love is the only way to achieve anything. Every page of the Gospel shows me that this is true. Even though you were God, you didn’t act as if you were entitled to special treatment or put yourself above the sufferings and injustices that we experience at the hands of others. What made you different is that you didn’t strike back. Jesus, give me a big heart; help me to really care about others, even if I suffer at their hands. And when I need a miracle to help me forgive, please grant me this grace. Amen.
Contemplatio
Thank you, my Jesus, for forgiving me.


 Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. TrouvĂ©, Eds.) (pp. 108–109). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Daily Thought for February 17, 2017

Reaching Out
Lectio
Mark 8:34–9:1
Meditatio
“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
It’s said that Francis Xavier, a student who expected to pursue a brilliant secular career, was thoroughly annoyed whenever an older colleague, Ignatius of Loyola, asked the question above. We know that eventually Ignatius won the battle of wills. Francis gave up his promising career to become a priest and one of the most-traveled missionary saints.
The word rendered as “life” in today’s Gospel passage can mean both “life” and “soul.” Ignatius had warned the younger man that he was planning to embark on a dangerous course. It was difficult to remain a man of principle while pursuing fame and fortune. Francis’ soul might have been at risk.
The thrust of today’s Gospel passage is self-denial and carrying the cross. Self-denial and sacrifice, Jesus tells his disciples, are the means for keeping one’s life/soul safe. Exegetes tell us that “denying” means disowning. One who practices self-denial ceases to regard self as the center of the universe. Instead, this person becomes focused on God and others.
Surely Xavier became other-centered as he traveled through India, the Molucca Islands, and other lands of the Far East, proclaiming the Good News, receiving thousands into the Church and catechizing his new Christians by means of stories and songs.
Probably none of us will ever become another Xavier, but if we look around we may find ways we can bring people closer to God. And if we don’t see how, we can ask the Lord for guidance, because he knows what he’d like us to do. This, then, is a way we can deny ourselves.
But where does the cross come in?
We don’t have to look for the cross. It will find us.
Oratio
Jesus, Divine Master, help me to recognize that my life shouldn’t revolve around me. Although I do have to take care of my health, livelihood, and appearance, you created me to also reach out to help others. I may not be another Xavier, but under your guidance I want to share the Christian message with my family, friends, and colleagues. Inspire me to use for others the talents you have given me. Let me step back and take the third place, preceded by you and the people you want me to help.
Contemplatio
I want the third place.


 Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. TrouvĂ©, Eds.) (pp. 104–105). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Daily Thought for February 16, 2017


Patience

It’s easy to identify people who can’t count to ten. They’re in front of you in the supermarket express lane. 
...be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV)
from God’s Little Instruction Book II 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Daily Thought For February 14, 2017

Avoiding Worry
 
 Be careful and attentive to all the matters God has committed to your care, but if possible do not be solicitous or worried; that is, do not burden yourself over them with uneasiness or anxiety. This worry only disturbs reason and good judgment and prevents you from doing well the very things you are worried about...A job done anxiously and hurriedly is never done well; we must do things with coolness and calm.
 
St. Francis de Sales

Monday, February 13, 2017

Daily Thought For February 13, 2017

The Encounter That Changes Our Lives
 

 
When a person truly knows Jesus Christ and believes in him that person experiences his presence in life as well as the power of his Resurrection and cannot but communicate this experience. And if this person meets with misunderstanding or adversity, he behaves like Jesus in his Passion: he answers with love and with the power of the truth.
 
Pope Francis 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daily Thought For February 7, 2017

Serving God Brings Real Joy
 
It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.
 
St. Francis of Assisi