Friday, October 21, 2016

Daily Thought For October 21, 2016

Christians & Politics
    Christian cooperation in building a just and peaceful society does not stop at paying taxes; it must also extend itself to the promotion of common values such as the family, the defense of life, solidarity with the poor, peace. There is also another sphere in which Christians must make a contribution to politics. It does not have to do with the content of politics so much as its methods, its style.
     Christians must help to remove the poison from the climate of contentiousness in politics, bring back greater respect, composure and dignity to relationships between parties. Respect for one’s neighbor, clemency, capacity for self-criticism: These are the traits that a disciple of Christ must have in all things, even in politics.
     It is undignified for a Christian to give himself over to insults, sarcasm, brawling with his adversaries. If, as Jesus says, those who call their brother “stupid” are in danger of Gehenna, what then must we say about a lot of politicians?
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily Thought For October 20, 2016

The Effects of Charity In Daily Life
1. My CHILD, when true charity fills your soul, it brings many wonderful effects into your daily life. These effects are due to the fact that charity looks for Me in all things. In his desire for a more perfect union with Me, the charitable man seeks to be more like Me in his daily life. 
2. Since love always seeks to express itself in some form of self-sacrifice, the charitable man seeks to offer his attention and help to his fellowmen for My sake. Following My words, "You did it to Me," he seeks to serve Me in the people who need his help. 
3. The man of charity is patient in many circumstances which arouse others to anger or disgust. He refuses to become impatient because he is keenly aware of My great patience with him and with all sinners. In his love for Me he prefers to reflect My patience and meekness, rather than anger or revenge. When compelled to defend his rights, he does so without harshness or meanness. 
4. His kindness brings confidence and encouragement to those who are afraid or downhearted. Others never hesitate to ask for his assistance because they know that he will not willingly refuse. 
5. The charitable man never envies those who have more earthly goods, greater talents, or better success. He is content to possess My love and to accept My Will in all things. 
6. In his dealings with others he is considerate and fair, because he is not over-eager for his own gain. His love for Me has freed him from all unreasonable ambition and from the vain desire to appear better than others. 
7. One whose heart is filled with true charity refuses to judge others rashly. He prefers to believe good of others rather than evil. When people do him wrong, the charitable man is more pained at the offense to Me than at the harm done to himself. 
8. The holy virtue of charity makes one so honest that he can admit the truth, even when it points out his limitations and defects. True charity makes one humble enough to face all facts, even disagreeable ones. 
9. These are some of the effects flowing from genuine charity. When this divine virtue is earnestly developed, it fosters many other virtues needed in daily life. The way of charity is the shortest to God because it is the fastest way to Christian perfection. If you strive to develop this glorious virtue in your daily life, you may rest assured that you are walking toward eternal life each moment of the day. 

The charitable man is the most perfect reflection of God on earth. When he is near, those around him feel a certain awareness of God's presence. His love for God overflows in his soul and touches the hearts of those around him. Being charitable means being a saint. This is the answer to my dreams of success. I can become an eternal success. By my unselfish charity I can draw closer to God in my earthly life, and I can also bring others closer to Him. I can earn the eternal glory of helping others gain Heaven. Through charity I can do most for God, most for my fellowmen, and most for myself. 

Dear Lord of love, You are continually giving Your assistance to me and to all things created. Every moment of existence is a gift from You. I can rise to my highest glory by imitating You. The more I give of myself for Your sake, the more will I resemble You. My greatest proof of love for You will be this effort to become more God-like, since this is Your greatest desire for me. Grant me the grace to favor You in the future as consistently as I have favored myself in the past. Take the place of self in my thoughts, desires, and actions. I ask only that I may never become so rash as to follow my own will, not even in this holy desire to prove my love for You. The higher I aim, the more obedient must I be to my spiritual director. Otherwise the devil will succeed in drawing me away from You through some foolish extreme. Lord, make me generous enough to try, and humble enough to follow direction in an honest daily effort to give myself entirely to You. Amen.  
from My Daily Bread pp. 284-287

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Daily Thought For October 18, 2016

How To See The World

There are ten thousand ways of looking at this world, but only one right way. The man of pleasure has his way, the man of gain his, and the man of intellect his. Poor men and rich men, governors and governed, prosperous and discontented, learned and unlearned, each has his own way of looking at the things which come before him, and each has a wrong way. There is but one right way; it is the way in which God looks at the world. Aim at looking at it in God’s way. Aim at seeing things as God sees them. Aim at forming judgments about persons, events, ranks, fortunes, changes, objects, such as God forms. Aim at looking at this life as God looks at it. Aim at looking at the life to come, and the world unseen, as God does. Aim at “seeing the King in his beauty.” All things that we see are but shadows to us and delusions, unless we enter into what they really mean.

It is not an easy thing to learn that new language which Christ has brought us. He has interpreted all things for us in a new way; He has brought us a religion which sheds a new light on all that happens. Try to learn this language. Do not get it by rote, or speak it as a thing of course. Try to understand what you say. Time is short, eternity is long; God is great, man is weak; he stands between heaven and hell; Christ is his Savior; Christ has suffered for him. The Holy Ghost sanctifies him; repentance purifies him, faith justifies, works save. These are solemn truths, which need not be actually spoken, except in the way of creed or of teaching; but which must be laid up in the heart. That a thing is true, is no reason that it should be said, but that it should be done; that it should be acted upon; that it should be made our own inwardly.

Let us avoid talking, of whatever kind; whether mere empty talking, or censorious talking, or idle profession, or descanting upon Gospel doctrines, or the affectation of philosophy, or the pretence of eloquence. Let us guard against frivolity, love of display, love of being talked about, love of singularity, love of seeming original. Let us aim at meaning what we say, and saying what we mean; let us aim at knowing when we understand a truth, and when we do not. When we do not, let us take it on faith, and let us profess to do so. Let us receive the truth in reverence, and pray God to give us a good will, and divine light, and spiritual strength, that it may bear fruit within us.

—John Henry Newman Excerpt from: Parochial and Plain Sermons, Book 5. Sermon 3. Unreal Words

Newman, J. H. (2010). Life’s Purpose: Wisdom from John Henry Newman (pp. 23–25). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Daily Thought For October 17, 2016

The Glorious Struggle of Prayer

At the start of today’s celebration, we addressed this prayer to the Lord: “Create in us a generous and steadfast heart, so that we may always serve you with fidelity and purity of spirit” (Collect).

By our own efforts, we cannot give ourselves such a heart. Only God can do this, and so in the prayer we ask him to give it to us as his “creation”. In this way, we come to the theme of prayer, which is central to this Sunday’s scriptural readings and challenges all of us who are gathered here for the canonization of new Saints. The Saints attained the goal. Thanks to prayer, they had a generous and steadfast heart. They prayed mightily; they fought and they were victorious.

So pray! Like Moses, who was above all a man of God, a man of prayer. We see him today in the battle against Amalek, standing atop the hill with his arms raised. From time to time, however, his arms would grow weary and fall, and then the tide would turn against the people. So Aaron and Hur made Moses sit on a stone and they held up his arms, until the final victory was won. This is the kind of spiritual life the Church asks of us: not to win by war, but to win with peace! There is an important message in this story of Moses: commitment to prayer demands that we support one another. Weariness is inevitable. Sometimes we simply cannot go on, yet, with the support of our brothers and sisters, our prayer can persevere until the Lord completes his work.

Saint Paul writes to Timothy, his disciple and co-worker, and urges him to hold fast to what he has learned and believed (cf. 2 Tim 3:14). But Timothy could not do this by his own efforts: the “battle” of perseverance cannot be won without prayer. Not sporadic or hesitant prayer, but prayer offered as Jesus tells us in the Gospel: “Pray always, without ever losing heart” (Lk18:1). This is the Christian way of life: remaining steadfast in prayer, in order to remain steadfast in faith and testimony. Here once again we may hear a voice within us, saying: “But Lord, how can we not grow weary? We are human… even Moses grew weary…!” True, each of us grows weary. Yet we are not alone; we are part of a Body! We are members of the Body of Christ, the Church, whose arms are raised day and night to heaven, thanks to the presence of the Risen Christ and his Holy Spirit. Only in the Church, and thanks to the Church’s prayer, are we able to remain steadfast in faith and witness.

We have heard the promise Jesus makes in the Gospel: “God will grant justice to his chosen ones, who cry to him day and night” (cf. Lk 18:7). This is the mystery of prayer: to keep crying out, not to lose heart, and if we should grow tired, asking help to keep our hands raised. This is the prayer that Jesus has revealed to us and given us in the Holy Spirit. To pray is not to take refuge in an ideal world, nor to escape into a false, selfish sense of calm. On the contrary, to pray is to struggle, but also to let the Holy Spirit pray within us. For the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray. He guides us in prayer and he enables us to pray as sons and daughters.

The saints are men and women who enter fully into the mystery of prayer. Men and women who struggle with prayer, letting the Holy Spirit pray and struggle in them. They struggle to the very end, with all their strength, and they triumph, but not by their own efforts: the Lord triumphs in them and with them. The seven witnesses who were canonized today also fought the good fight of faith and love by their prayers. That is why they remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart. Through their example and their intercession, may God also enable us to be men and women of prayer. May we cry out day and night to God, without losing heart. May we let the Holy Spirit pray in us, and may we support one another in prayer, in order to keep our arms raised, until Divine Mercy wins the victory.

Homily of Pope Francis on the Canonization of 7 Blesseds (October 16, 2016)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Daily Thought For October 15, 2016

Staying On The Path God  Has Chosen
   If a fowler goes straight to a partridge’s nest, the bird will show herself to him and pretend to be weak and lame. She will rise up as if to make a great flight and then fall down all of a sudden as though unable to go any further. All this is done so that the hunter will keep after her, think he can catch her easily, and thus be distracted from finding her little ones outside the nest. When he has chased her for a while and fancies he has caught her, she takes to the air and escapes. 
     Thus too, when our enemy sees a man who by God’s inspiration undertakes a profession and way of life suitable to his advancement in heavenly love he persuades him to take some other path, apparently of greater perfection. Having once lured the man from his first path, little by little he makes it impossible for him to follow the second. Next he proposes a third way to the man. All this is so that by busying himself with a continual search for different new ways to perfect himself, he is kept from using any and consequently from arriving at the end which he seeks them―namely, perfection.
Finding God’s Will For You ― St. Francis de Sales pp.55-56

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Daily Thought For October 13, 2016

God’s Love Always Sustains Us
    Awareness of God's undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God's love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish. God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope.
Pope Benedict XVI - Caritas en Veritate #78 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Daily Thought For October 9, 2016

Helpful Words To Guide This Day In The Love of God & Love Of Neighbor

Live totally for God and for the love He has poured out on you. Put up with all your defects. Being a good servant of God does not consist in living in the midst of consolations and delights, without any dislike or repugnance for the good. If that were the case, neither Saint Catherine of Siena nor others would have served the Lord worthily! To be a good servant of God means to have a great love for your neighbor; to have an inviolable resolution to follow the Divine Will; to have a deep humility and simplicity in trusting God and in being able to rise from your falls. It means having patience with yourself in your daily failings and peacefully tolerating your neighbor with all his or her imperfections. 

Saint Francis de Sales (Letters 409; O. XIII, pp. 313-314)