Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Daily Thought For September 18, 2019

The Centrality of Worship

Dear Brothers, as you yourselves said in your Pastoral Letter of 21 September 2004, on the occasion of the Jubilee of St Boniface: "We have become a mission land". This is true for large parts of Germany.

I therefore believe that throughout Europe, and likewise in France, Spain and elsewhere, we should give serious thought as to how to achieve a true evangelization in this day and age, not only a new evangelization, but often a true and proper first evangelization.

People do not know God, they do not know Christ. There is a new form of paganism and it is not enough for us to strive to preserve the existing flock, although this is very important: we must ask the important question: what really is life?

I believe we must all try together to find new ways of bringing the Gospel to the contemporary world, of proclaiming Christ anew and of implanting the faith.

This scene, that the World Youth Day is unfolding before us and that I have described with only a few brief comments, invites us to turn our gaze to the future. For the Church and especially for us Pastors, for parents and for educators, young people constitute a living appeal to faith.

I would like to say once again that in my opinion Pope John Paul II was tremendously inspired in choosing for this World Youth Day the motto: "We have come to worship him" (Mt 2: 2). We are often so oppressed, understandably oppressed, by the immense social needs of the world and by all the organizational and structural problems that exist that we set aside worship as something for later. Fr Delp once said that nothing is more important than worship. He said so in the context of his time, when it was evident that to destroy worship, destroyed man.

Nonetheless, in our new context in which worship, and thus also the face of human dignity, has been lost, it is once again up to us to understand the priority of worship. We must make youth, ourselves and our communities, aware of the fact that it is not a luxury of our confused epoch that we cannot permit ourselves but a priority. Wherever worship is no longer, wherever it is not a priority to pay honour to God, human realities can make no headway.

We must therefore endeavour to make the face of Christ visible, the face of the living God, so that like the Magi we may spontaneously fall to our knees and adore him. Two things certainly happened in the Magi: first they sought; then they found and worshipped him.


Today, many people are searching. We too are searching. Basically, in a different dialectic, both these things must always exist within us. We must respect each one's own search. We must sustain it and make them feel that faith is not merely a dogmatism complete in itself that puts an end to seeking, that extinguishes man's great thirst, but that it directs the great pilgrimage towards the infinite; we, as believers, are always simultaneously seekers and finders.

excerpt from the Address To The German Bishops at Cologne by Pope Benedict XVI (August 21, 2005)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Daily Thought For September 17, 2019

The Christian Vocation Is About Life In Abundance

Every authentic vocation is a calling to live ever more fully. We should be wary of callings that may mask refusal to engage life, fear of love, flight from the body or feelings, or a lack of acceptance of human existence as it is. Accepting one’s calling should mean choosing a more intense, abundant way of life, not fear-driving flight, or a disguised choice of death, as can happen with some poorly discerned religious commitments.

from Called To Life by Fr. Jacques Philippe pp. 24-25

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Daily Thought For September 14, 2019

Overwhelmed By God's Generosity

In this way he proclaims one of the most important laws of life. Someone filled with resentment and unhappiness, bitter that life is not as it should be, will be deeply disillusioned. On the other hand, people who are glad for what they have received, and thank God for what befalls them will receive still more, until finally being overwhelmed by God’s generosity.

from Called To Life by Fr. Jacques Philippe p. 85

Friday, September 13, 2019

Daily Thought For September 13, 2019

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.

St. John Chrysostom

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daily Thought For September 12, 2019

St. Francis de Sales On Civility

In the fourth of his "Spiritual Exercises," Francis highlights the basic principles of religious civility that can be adopted in all 
affairs.  
I will never disdain meeting any person, no matter who they may be, nor will I show any sign of Wishing to avoid them, for this earns one the reputation of. being proud, haughty, unfeeling, arrogant, snobbish, ambitious, and manipulative .... Above all, I will be careful neither to criticise, nor to mock, nor to be sarcastic to, anyone. It is a sign of stupidity to make fun of those who have no reason to put up with such treatment. I will show great respect for all, and I will not be pretentious. I will speak little but well, so rather than boring my friends I will whet their appetite for further conversation at a later time. 

With either friends or acquaintances, I will be especially careful to observe this rule: Be friendly with all but familiar with few .... Therefore in my relationships I will be courteous and not overbearing, friendly and outgoing and not cool and reserved, gentle but not affected, compliant and not contradictory (unless reason requires it), sincere and not deceitful, because people want to have a true knowledge of those with whom they are dealing. (Spiritual Exercises, pp. 36-37) 

Speaking to the sisters of the Visitation, Francis explains the fundamental rationale for this approach to dealing with others, be they social acquaintances or personal friend~: 
It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially, for in such cases we give a better proof that we love through charity than in loving those who give us more consolation, than trouble. 

. . . It is not in our power to have as tender and sweet an affection for those whose tempers and dispositions are not in accordance with our own, as for others with whom we are in sympathy. But that is nothing; it remains that the love of charity must be universal, and the signs and manifestations of our friendship must be impartial, if we wish to be true servants of God. (Spiritual Conferences, pp. 62, 69)

from Praying with Francis de Sales by Thomas F. Dailey pp. 55-56

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Daily Thought For September 10, 2019

What Mission Is Really All About

Often we can yield to the temptation of wasting our time talking about “successes” and “failures”, the “usefulness” of what we are doing or the “influence” we may have in society or elsewhere. These discussions end up taking over and, not infrequently, make us, like defeated generals, dream up vast, meticulously planned apostolic projects. We end up denying our own history – and the history of your people – which is glorious because it is a history of sacrifices, hope, daily struggle, a life consumed in fidelity to work, tiring as it may be (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 96).

In praising, we learn not to become “inebriated”, turning means into ends or the superfluous into the important. We gain the freedom to initiate processes rather than seeking to occupy spaces (cf. ibid., 233), the freedom to foster whatever brings growth, development and fruitfulness to God’s people, instead of priding ourselves on pastoral “gains” that are easy and quick, but short-lived. Much of our life, our joy and our missionary fruitfulness have to do with Jesus’ invitation to praise. As that wise and holy man, Romano Guardini, often said: “The one who worships God in the depths of his heart and, when possible, by his concrete actions, lives in the truth. He might be mistaken about many things; he can be overwhelmed and dismayed by all his cares, but when all is said and done, his life rests on a sure foundation” (R. GUARDINI, Glaubenserkenntnis, Mainz, 3rd ed., 1997, p. 17), in praise, in adoration.


The seventy-two realized that the success of their mission depended on its being carried out “in the name of the Lord Jesus”. That was what amazed them. It had nothing to do with their own virtues, names or titles… There was no need to pass out their own propaganda; it was not their fame or their vision that stirred and saved other people. The joy of the disciples was born of their certainty that they were acting in the name of the Lord, sharing in his plan and participating in his life, which they loved so much that they wanted to share it with others.

Pope Francis Apostolic Journey to Madagascar: Meeting with Priests, Men and Women Religious, Consecrated Persons and Seminarians (September 8, 2019)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Daily Thought For September 7, 2019

All Things Work According To The Good

There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade Abandonment to Divine Providence