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Showing posts from March, 2014

Daily Thought For March 31, 2014 (We Have To Be Converted Anew)

We Have to Be Converted Anew 
"Every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17). We for our part cannot weaken this faith and confidence with our human doubting and our timidity. In consequence, we must all be converted anew every day. This is a fundamental exigency of the gospel, addressed to everyone. If we have the duty of helping others to be converted, we have to do the same continuously in our own lives. Being converted means returning to the very grace of our vocation; it means meditating upon the infinite goodness and love of Christ, who has addressed each of us and, calling us by name, has said:       "Follow me." Being converted means continually "giving an account" before the Lord of our hearts about our service, our zeal, and our fidelity, for we are "Christ's servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God." Being converted also means "giving an account" of our negligences and …

Daily Thought For March 30, 2014

The Gift of Friendship
 After purchasing a house at a sheriff's auction, a Toledo, Ohio, man was understandably excited to move into his new home. When he finally did, however, he was horrified to discover the remains of the previous inhabitant, who had been dead for some time. Apparently, no one had noticed that he was missing or had gone looking for him.      This tragic incident is sadly reflective of our increasingly impersonal society, in which genuine human contact is harder and harder to come by. Such isolation takes its toll. Studies have shown that the fewer human connections we have at home, at work, in the community, and in religious institutions, the more likely we are to get sick, be filled with anxiety, and die prematurely. Conversely, these same studies indicate that the more human connections we have, the more likely we are to enjoy a long and healthy life.       We weren't made to live alone. "No man is an island," as the poet John Donne reminds us.We a…

Daily Thought For March 29, 2014

Love      Today, on this day, Jesus invites us to see the fragility of the men and women of our town. Each one has his or her own frailties, and we, who come to God's resting place, are invited to look at the frailties produced by sad, painful stories that rend the heart. He says to us: "Come closer. Take upon yourself the weakness of your brother and sister." And when we want to give someone a tongue lashing, or when we have bad thoughts, we need to remember that the other person is fragile and wounded, and that we could be in his or her place. For that reason treat others as you would want to be treated. 
     The closeness of the risen Lord, who walks unrecognized―with the least of the brethren, who awakens the compassion of the Good Samaritan in so many hearts, is the only thing that enflames in so many hearts the fire of the first charity, to return to society with the lasting enthusiasm that the Emmaus disciples had, and to go out and proclaim the Good News of the Go…

Daily Thought For March 28, 2014

God's Amazing Love
 We can never imagine how much God loves us. In order to save us, when we were lost, he sent his only begotten Son so that, in giving up his life, he would redeem us from the state we had fallen into. God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that those who believe in him may not perish, but have eternal life. This very love moves him to give himself to us in a habitual way, dwelling in our soul in grace: If a man has any love for me, he will be true to my word; and then he will win my Father's love, and we will then both come to him, and make our continual abode with him. And he communicates with us in the intimacy of our hearts, both during these periods of prayer and throughout the day. 
     I will serve you, because I came to serve and not to be served. I am a friend; an associate and head, and a brother and sister, and a mother; I am everything, and all I want is an intimate friendship with you. I have become poor for you, a beggar fo…

Daily Thought For March 27, 2014

Mission
     We need to come out of ourselves, from a tired and apathetic way of living faith, from the temptation of closing ourselves in our own schemes that ultimately close the horizon of God's creative action. God came out of himself to come among us. He pitched his tent among us through his mercy that saves us and gives us hope. If we wish to follow him and remain with him, we too should not be content with remaining in the pen with the ninety-nine sheep. We ought "to go out," to search with him for the lost sheep, the one who is most distant. Remember well: come out of yourselves, like Jesus, like God came out of himself in Jesus, and Jesus came out of himself for us all. 
     How I wish that the Lord would make us understand and feel that evangelization "is not an optional contribution for the Church. It is the duty incumbent on her by the command of the Lord Jesus, so that people can believe and be saved. This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It ca…

Daily Thought For March 26, 2014

Thanks For Sharing
     An acquaintance of mine works in a very tense office environment. Yet in spite of the stress she faces, she's always been able to maintain her composure and a sense of peace on the job. During one especially hard day, a colleague came to her in tears and asked how she was able to handle all the negativity in their workplace. My acquaintance explained that she could do so only on account of her Catholic faith. As it was, she was on her way to the lunchtime Mass at the nearby cathedral, and she invited her coworker to come along. One year later, that coworker was baptized at Easter, and my acquaintance was her sponsor.       "Faith," Saint Paul explains, "comes from what is heard" (Rm 10:17). This means that for us to have a measure of faith, we must have heard something, somewhere, and from someone about God and his love for us. Perhaps what we heard came through family, friends, a teacher, clergy, an author, the pages of Scripture, the tea…

Daily Thought For March 25, 2014

Facing Fear
Often, new things make us fearful, including the new things that God brings us, that God asks of us. We are like the apostles in the Gospels: many times we prefer to keep our own certainties, to stand in front of a tomb, thinking of a deceased person, who in the end only lives in historical memory, like the famous people of the past. We are afraid of God's surprises; we are afraid of God's surprises. He always surprises us. 
     We are, perhaps, often tired, disillusioned, sad; we feel the weight of our sins, and we think we cannot achieve things. Let us not withdraw into ourselves; let us not lose confidence; let us not resign ourselves. There is no situation that God cannot change; there is no sin that he cannot forgive if we open ourselves to him. 

     The Spirit of the resurrected Christ drives out fear from the apostles' hearts and impels them to come out of the Cenacle to proclaim the Gospel. Let us also have more courage so as to witness to our faith in t…

Daily Thought For March 24, 2014

We Are Being Prepared For Glory
You are being renewed day by day. So do not be weighed down by yesterday's failures and disappointments. Begin this day anew, seeking to please Me and walk in My ways―focusing on today! As you do, I am able to transform you little by little. This is a lifelong process―a journey fraught with problems and pain. It is also a journey full of Joy and Peace because I am with you each step of the way. 
     Notice that you are being renewed. This is not something you can do by your effort and willpower alone. My Spirit is in charge of your renewal, and He is alive within you―directing your growth in grace. Do not be discouraged when you encounter problems and pain along your way. These are vital parts of the renewal process. Muster the courage to thank Me when you are going through painful experiences. Find hope through trusting that I continually hold you by your right hand―and I am preparing you for Glory! 

We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is was…

Daily Thought For March 23, 2014

Apply The Brakes! The Need For Holy Leisure
     Have you ever found yourself wishing for a big snowstorm that would shut everything down for a few days? Sure, snow can give rise to any number of headaches. But at the same time, snow days can force us into slowing our life's pace a little bit. When work, school, and activities are canceled (and possibly the Internet is down too), we receive a gift of time during which we can play board games, bake treats, reconnect with one another, curl up with a good book, and take a much needed "breather."       Taking breathers is not something we Americans are especially good at doing. Surveys reveal that we spend more time on the job than workers in almost every other nation. Our children's lives are typically overbooked as well, their days being filled with sports practices, music and dance lessons, club activities, and increasing amounts of homework. 
     All sorts of negative consequences can arise from excessive activity. We …

Daily Thought For March 22, 2014

Forgiveness
     Have you thought about God's patience, the patience that he has for each one of us? That is his mercy. He always has patience, patience with us. He understands us, he waits for us, he does not tire of forgiving us if we know how to return to him with a contrite heart. "Great is your mercy, O LORD," says the psalm (119:156).       Let us not forget this: God never tires of forgiving. Never. "And, Father, what is the problem?" The problem is we get tired, we don't want it, we get tired of asking forgiveness. God never tires of forgiving, but sometimes we get tired of asking forgiveness. May we never weary of it, may we never weary of asking forgiveness. God is a loving Father who always forgives, who has a merciful heart for us.       God is patient with us because he loves us, and he who loves understands, hopes, gives confidence, does not abandon, doesn't burn bridges, and knows how to forgive. Let us remember in our Christian life: God al…

Daily Thought For March 21, 2014

The Importance of Gratitude

Perhaps gratitude's greatest benefit is that it opens our eyes to goodness and kindness in our world-things we might otherwise be blind to or take for granted. And, when we recognize that all these blessings, however small, come from the hand of God and are signs of his love and care for us, we come to know how present God is to us, and our faith will grow. That's why, when our faith feels fragile, it's good to make an intentional effort to count our blessings. In other words, cultivating gratitude can cultivate a stronger faith. 
And gratitude does need to be cultivated! Gratitude is not something we're born with but rather something we need to learn. Parents have to teach and remind their children to say the magic words "Please" and "Thank you." However, our apprenticeship in gratitude should continue through adulthood because we inhabit a consumer culture that reminds us, all the time, of everything we don't have. It…

Daily Thought For March 20, 2014

How To Fight The Enemy
Nothing paralyzes the devil more effectively than closing the doors of our souls to the most fertile agents of evil: our imagination and our memory. 
Rather than the peace that Christ brings, the devil carries with him the root sins of pride, greed, anger, envy, and lust―using the faculties of our souls as instruments of evil. 
In a soul kept open to every memory and welcoming to every imagining it becomes difficult to recognize the difference between what our best soul has wrought and what the devil has brought. 
With memory and imagination comes not just evil, but sicknesses of the soul: weariness, sadness, moodiness, and above all, constant distractions from the one thing that matters―our commitment to moving beyond what we can understand to a life with the God who exceeds all our attempts  at understanding. 
Keeping the doors closed to memory and imagination frees up our souls for the ascent we have begun. 
from "30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher―F…

Daily Thought For March 19, 2014

A Pope's Prayer

Lead in truth, O Christ, the fathers and mothers  of families in the Church,  urged on and strengthened by the sacramental grace of marriage,  and aware of being on earth the visible sign of  your unfailing love for the Church.  Lead in truth, O Christ, the young people of the Church.  Let them not be attracted by the new idols,  such as exaggerated consumerism, prosperity at all costs,  moral permissiveness, protest expressed with violence,  but rather let them live with the joy of your message,  which is the message of the Beatitudes.  Lead in truth, O Christ, all the faithful of the Church.  May we become before the world courageous  witnesses to your mission of salvation,  happy to be sons and daughters of God-  with You-and all humanity!  Lead us in truth, O Christ, always! Amen. 

Blessed John Paul II

Daily Thought For March 17, 2014

The Gift of Mission
The greatest service man can offer God is to help convert souls.
St. Rose of Lima

Daily Thought For March 16, 2014

An Ardent Desire For God

O MOST kind, most loving Lord, Whom I now desire to receive with devotion, You know the weakness and the necessity which I suffer, in what great evils and vices I am involved, how often I am depressed, tempted, defiled, and troubled.
To You I come for help, to You I pray for comfort and relief. I speak to Him Who knows all things, to Whom my whole inner life is manifest, and Who alone can perfectly comfort and help me.
You know what good things I am most in need of and how poor I am in virtue. Behold I stand before You, poor and naked, asking Your grace and imploring Your mercy.
Feed Your hungry beggar. Inflame my coldness with the fire of Your love. Enlighten my blindness with the brightness of Your presence. Turn all earthly things to bitterness for me, all grievance and adversity to patience, all lowly creation to contempt and oblivion. Raise my heart to You in heaven and suffer me not to wander on earth. From this moment to all eternity do You alone grow sweet…

Daily Thought for March 15, 2014

When You Feel God Isn't Listening To You
If at times it seems that the Lord is not listening to us, we must be careful not to lose heart. It may be that He wants us to shout a little louder into the ears of His goodness, to prove as a result the greatness of His mercy ... When the Lord withdraws His consolations in prayer, He does not do this to discourage us or create a gulf between us, but to force us to come closer to His goodness, to practice perseverance and to give some proof of our patience. (Sermons 58; O. X, p. 229)
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought for March 14, 2014

Remember God's Gifts
OPEN my heart, O Lord, to Your law and teach me to walk in the way of Your commandments. Let me understand Your will. Let me remember Your blessings -- all of them and each single one of them -- with great reverence and care so that henceforth I may return worthy thanks for them. I know that I am unable to give due thanks for even the least of Your gifts. I am unworthy of the benefits You have given me, and when I consider Your generosity my spirit faints away before its greatness. All that we have of soul and body, whatever we possess interiorly or exteriorly, by nature or by grace, are Your gifts and they proclaim Your goodness and mercy from which we have received all good things.If one receives more and another less, yet all are Yours and without You nothing can be received. He who receives greater things cannot glory in his own merit or consider himself above others or behave insolently toward those who receive less. He who attributes less to himself and i…

Daily Thought For March 13, 2014

Seeing Things With A Heavenly Perspective
TRY TO SEE THINGS more and more from My perspective. Let the Light of My Presence so fully fill your mind that you view the world through Me. When little things don't go as you had hoped, look to Me lightheartedly and say, "Oh, well." This simple discipline can protect you from being burdened with an accumulation of petty cares and frustrations. If you practice this diligently, you will make a life-changing discovery: You realize that most of the things that worry you are not important. If you shrug them off immediately and return your focus to Me, you will walk through your days with lighter steps and a joyful heart. When serious problems come your way, you will have more reserves for dealing with them. You will not have squandered your energy on petty problems. You may even reach the point where you can agree with the apostle Paul that all your troubles are light and momentary, compared with the eternal glory being achieved by…

Daily Thought For March 12, 2014

Cast Your Worries Aside & Trust in God
Live humbly, gently and lovingly with your divine Spouse. Do not be worried, but put behind you the memory of your small failings by confessing them. As we fail so often without realizing it, so we also rise again without realizing it. It is said that the just person falls seven times, not that he sees or feels the fall. Even if he falls seven times seven without realizing it, he also rises. Do not be too worried about this, but with frankness and humility say to your confessor what you remember, leaving everything else to the gentle mercy of God. He puts His hand under those who fall without malice, provided they do no harm and do not remain wounded. He raises and heals them so quietly that they do not even realize that they have fallen, because the divine hand has caught them. They fail to realize what has happened because God's help came so quickly that they did not even have time to notice it. 
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For March 11, 2014

Taking The Light Of Christ To The World
In the liturgy you altar servers are far more than mere helpers of the parish priest. Above all, you are servants of Jesus Christ, the eternal High Priest. Thus you especially are called to be young friends of Jesus. Strive to deepen and foster this friendship with him. You will discover that in Jesus you have found a true friend for life. The altar server often holds a candle in his hand. How can we not think of what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5: 14)? Your service cannot be restricted to the inside of a church. It must shine out in your everyday life, at school, in the family, and in the different social contexts, for those who want to serve Jesus Christ in a church must be his witnesses everywhere. Dear young people, your contemporaries are awaiting the true "light of the world" (John 1:9). Do not hold your candlestick only inside the church, but take the light of the gosp…