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Showing posts from April, 2014

Daily Thought For April 30, 2014

Prayer
Prayer is helplessness casting itself on Power, infirmity leaning on Strength, misery reaching to Mercy, and a prisoner clamoring for Relief.
Fulton J. Sheen

Daily Thought For April 27, 2014

Pure Love
Pure love is capable of great deeds, and it is not broken by difficulty or adversity. As it remains strong in the midst of great difficulties, so too it perseveres in the toilsome and drab life of each day. It knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love — love, and always love. Pure love never errs. Its light is strangely plentiful. It will not do anything that might displease God. It is ingenious at doing what is more pleasing to God, and no one will equal it. It is happy when it can empty itself and burn like a pure offering. The more it gives of itself, the happier it is. But also, no one can sense dangers from afar as can love; it knows how to unmask and also knows with whom it has to deal.
St. Faustina Kowalska (Diary 140)

Daily Thought For April 26, 2014

St. Benedict On Humility
To recognize one's nothingness as a creature is to grow in holiness with God. To arrive at the awareness that one cannot take credit for anything without fully crediting God, is to recognize one's true state ― a creature dependent on the Creator for every aspect of one's life. This humility is the path to "right living" with God, living in a relationship without illusion, without pride. It is a relationship of faith and trust, awe and love. 
from 14 Days of Prayer with Saint Benedict by André Gozier p.77

Daily Thought For April 25, 2014

Begging Before Jesus
Set aside for a minute Peter and John’s arrest and their night in custody. Ignore the leaders’ and elders’ indignation and the bystanders’ wonder and amazement. Consider instead the beggar who was healed. Everyone recognized this man. He routinely begged for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. For his whole life, he was utterly dependent on other people to get around, to be fed, to be clothed and cared for. All he hoped for from Peter and John was a few coins, a little food, or a cast-off piece of clothing. What this fellow received was not just a physical healing but a whole new life. No longer bound by his disability, he could move on his own. He was no longer powerless or weak, no longer unable to make his way in life. Delivered from hopelessness, he could now rise out of his poverty. Freedom, choices, relief from want and pain—he received so much more than he had asked for or, most likely, so much more than he had imagined he would ever experience. The same…

Daily Thought For April 24, 2014

Being Teachable



YOUR PRAYERS ARE NOT CRIES IN THE DARK. On the contrary, they rise to My kingdom of eternal Light. Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things. Mankind has long been plagued with eyes that do not see what is most important. Many people fail to see the most obvious things: I can perform miracles before their very eyes, yet they see only mundane occurrences or―at best―coincidences. Only the eyes of your heart can see spiritual realities. 
One of the things I search for among My children is a teachable attitude. When you come to Me desirous of learning wondrous things which you do not know, I rejoice. A good teacher takes pleasure in a student who really wants to learn, who puts forth extra effort to discover as much as possible. I am the Teacher of teachers, and I delight in your desire to learn amazing, unsearchable things from Me. Your openness to My teaching has a wonderful result: I help you understand at heart level the hope to which I have…

Daily Thought For April 23, 2014

Hope Stays Alive
Hope is the virtue of us wayfarers who have not yet reached the goal but who know that we will always have the means to be faithful to Our Lord and to persevere in our vocation, each of us in the fulfillment of his or her duties. For this we need to be attentive to Christ, who draws near to us in the course of our occupations, and to grasp hold of the strong hand which God never ceases to reach out to us, to keep us from losing our supernatural point of view. Let us persevere even when our passions rear up and attack us, attempting to imprison us within the narrow confines of our selfishness; or when puerile vanity makes us think we are the centre of the universe. I am convinced that unless I look upward, unless I have Jesus, I will never accomplish anything. And I know that the strength to conquer myself and to win comes from repeating that cry, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13), words which reflect God's firm promise not to aba…

Daily Thought For April 22, 2014

Urbi et Orbi Message from Pope Francis
Dear Brothers and Sisters, a Happy and Holy Easter!

The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “Do not be afraid!  I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” (Mt 28:5-6).

This is the culmination of the Gospel, it is the Good News par excellence: Jesus, who was crucified, is risen!  This event is the basis of our faith and our hope.  If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew.  The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death.  In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life o…

Daily Thought For April 21, 2014

Endurance

I AM FAITHFUL: I WILL NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN BEAR. Find comfort and hope in this powerful promise. I know you sometimes feel as if you're at the outer limits of your endurance. Nonetheless, I am present in the midst of your struggles―available to help you. 

Every trial that comes into your life can either strengthen you (if you keep on trusting in My care) or become a temptation to sin (if you choose instead to doubt Me and go your own way). Thus, any difficulty you face becomes a test of your faith. This faith of yours is much more precious than gold, and it grows deeper through the testing process. So your trials contain meaning and purpose. 

When you feel as if your faith is being stretched to the breaking point, it's helpful to remember that what you're experiencing is common to man. You have not been uniquely singled out to endure adversity; suffering is inevitable in a fallen world. The most important thing to remember is that I am faithful…

Daily Thought For April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!
I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish all of the subscribers to the Daily Thought a most blessed and joyful Easter.
Isn't God amazing? The promise our Lord made has been fulfilled and we now through the goodness of God, have the power to live our lives in an upright and meaningful way. 
May the Holy Spirit help us to truly be a people of the Resurrection and may the joy of the Lord always be our strength.
in Christ, Fr. Jim Northrop

Daily Thought For April 19, 2014

The 11th Station of the Cross
And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read: “The King of the Jews”. And with him they crucified two thieves, one on his right and one on his left. And the Scripture was fulfilled that says: “And he was counted among the lawless” (Mk 15:24-28).

And they crucified him! The punishment reserved for the despicable, for traitors and rebellious slaves. This is the punishment meted out to our Lord Jesus: coarse nails, spasms of pain, the anguish of his mother, the shame of being associated with two thieves, his garments divided like spoils among the soldiers, the cruel jeers of passers-by: “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him!” (Mt 27:42).

And they crucified him! Jesus does not come down, he does not leave the cross. He stays ther…

Daily Thought For April 17, 2014

Faith & The Word of God


A strong faith in the Word of God is indispensable not only for a Christian’s spiritual life but also for every form of evangelization. There are two ways to prepare a sermon or any proclamation of faith, whether it is oral or written. I can first sit at my desk and choose, on my own, the word to proclaim and the theme to develop based on my understanding, my preferences, etc. Then once the sermon is ready, I can kneel down and hastily ask God to bless what I have written and to make my words effective. This is acceptable, but it is not the prophetic way. It is necessary to reverse the order for that: first on my knees and then to my desk.

In every circumstance one needs to begin with the certainty of faith that the risen Lord has a word in his heart that he wants his people to hear. He does not fail to reveal it to his minister who humbly and insistently asks him for it. At the beginning there is a nearly imperceptible movement in your heart. A small light g…

Daily Thought For April 16, 2014

How Do You Define Forgiveness?
     One of the reasons many people find it difficult to forgive is that they have a false understanding or a fuzzy concept of forgiveness. Let me be very clear about what I mean, and don't mean, when I use the word forgiveness. 
     Forgiveness is not based on finding some redeeming quality that makes a person worth forgiving. We can never base genuine forgiveness upon an individual's "good behavior" compensating for his previously hurtful behavior. Forgiveness is something that happens on the inside of you-it comes solely from your desire to forgive for the sake of forgiving. 
     Nobody who intentionally harms another person truly deserves forgiveness from the person he has hurt. Even so, it's far better to forgive and to live in the resulting emotional freedom and health than to suffer the consequences of failing to forgive. 
     Forgiveness does not require that a person minimize the validity of his pain, the amount of pain he s…

Daily Thought For April 15, 2014 (The Importance of Prayer)

The Importance of Prayer
Jesus gave me to understand how a soul should be faithful to prayer despite torments, dryness and temptations; because oftentimes the realization of God's great plans depends mainly on such prayer. If we do not persevere in such prayer, we frustrate what the Lord wanted to do through us or within us. Let every soul remember these words: "And being in anguish, He prayed longer." I always prolong such prayer as much as is in my power and in conformity with my duty 
from the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalksa(872). 

Daily Thought For April 13, 2014 (Spreading Out Our Lives in Gratitude & Adoration)

Palm Sunday―Gratitude & Adoration
Dear brothers and sisters, may these days call forth two sentiments in particular: praise, after the example of those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with their “Hosanna!”, and thanksgiving, because in this Holy Week the Lord Jesus will renew the greatest gift we could possibly imagine: he will give us his life, his body and his blood, his love.  But we must respond worthily to so great a gift, that is to say, with the gift of ourselves, our time, our prayer, our entering into a profound communion of love with Christ who suffered, died and rose for us.  The early Church Fathers saw a symbol of all this in the gesture of the people who followed Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem, the gesture of spreading out their coats before the Lord.  Before Christ – the Fathers said – we must spread out our lives, ourselves, in an attitude of gratitude and adoration.  As we conclude, let us listen once again to the words of one of these early Fathers, Saint And…

Daily Thought For April 12, 2014 (Embracing Our Weakness―The Key To Humility)

Eat Some Pie
     One dreaded job interview question is: "What's your greatest weakness?" Because it's so feared it's often not answered entirely truthfully. Either the one answering will offer something bogus, such as "I work too hard," or attempt to present as a weakness something that's really a strength, like "I used to procrastinate, but now I'm more disciplined." At best, one might reveal a minor character flaw just to prove that he or she's not an egomaniac. 
     We typically hesitate to share our weaknesses, be it to a  potential boss or anyone else. Sometimes we don't wish to admit them even to ourselves. We fear being rejected, ridiculed, exploited, put down, or taken advantage of. And so we put on masks to disguise our weaknesses and hide those parts of ourselves from the light of day. 
     Because our culture prizes power and influence, weaknesses are viewed strictly as liabilities. In our hypercompetitive world, it&…

Daily Thought For April 11, 2014 (A Different Form of Poverty)

A Different Kind of Poverty
Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is... One of the deepest forms of poverty a person can experience is isolation... Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God's love, by man's basic and tragic tendency to close in on himself, thinking himself to be self-sufficient or merely an insignificant and ephemeral fact, a "stranger" in a random universe...The human being develops when ... his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator... It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God.
Pope Benedict XVI

Daily Thought For April 10, 2014 (God Is One Your Side)

God Is On Your Side
     I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU; YOU NEED ONLY TO BE still. I know how weary you are, My child. You have been struggling just to keep your head above water, and your strength is running low. Now is the time for you to stop striving and let Me fight for you. I know this is not easy for you to do. You feel as if you must keep struggling in order to survive, but I am calling you to rest in Me. I am working on your behalf; so be still, and know that I am God.       Quieting your body is somewhat challenging for you, but stilling your mind may often seem downright impossible. In your striving to feel secure, you have relied too heavily on your own thinking. This struggle to be in control has elevated your mind to a position of autonomy. So you need the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to control your mind more and more soothing you from the inside out. Take time to rest in the shadow of the Almighty while I fight foryou. 
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be …

Daily Thought For April 9, 2014 (Encouragement)

Encouragement
1 Thessalonians 5:14: "And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them." 
But how can I encourage anyone when I myself need encouragement? 
Padre Pio's assurance: "Do not be discouraged or frightened by your miseries and weaknesses, because God has seen even worse sins in you, and, by his mercy did not reject you. God does not reject poor sinners, and he will not reject you either, but on the contrary, he will grant you his grace, and will erect the throne of his glory on your misery and vileness. Therefore, do not fear and do not be anxious anymore about the doubts of your conscience because fear is in vain and diabolical. Don't worry if your brothers and sisters don't want to listen to you; correct them always and don't worry about anything else." 
"Lift up your heart. Do not become discouraged in the face of the trials to which divine mercy wishes to subject …

Daily Thought For April 8, 2014 (A Thankful Attitude)

A Thankful Attitude

     A THANKFUL ATTITUDE opens windows of heaven. Spiritual blessings fall freely onto you through those openings into eternity. Moreover, as you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of Glory through those windows. You cannot yet live in heaven, but you can experience foretastes of your ultimate home. Such samples of heavenly fare revive your hope. Thankfulness opens you up to these experiences, which then provide further reasons to be grateful. Thus, your path becomes an upward spiral: ever increasing in gladness.       Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble. 
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the v…

Daily Thought For April 6, 2014 (The Breastplate of Righteousness)

The Breastplate of Righteousness

     BE SELF-CONTROLLED-PUTTING ON FAITH and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. Self-control definitely involves struggle as you exert your will to abstain from ungodly behavior. Nonetheless, there is abundant help available to you in this battle. My Spirit, who lives within you, is your Helper. And the fruit of the Spirit is love ... self-control. 
     A breastplate is designed to protect your heart and other vital organs when you are in battle. Faith and love combine to make an exceptionally effective breastplate. Your faith in Me, your Savior, enables you to trust in My righteousness, which is yours now and always. Love is the essence of My redeeming relationship with you. The hope of salvation makes a wonderful helmet because it protects your mind and reminds you that you belong to Me forever. 
Faith, hope, and love all work together to shield you as you journey through this world. They also keep you close to Me. 

Since we b…

Daily Thought For April 5, 2014 (The Need For Recollection)

The Need For Recollection
What is done outside is exposed to the almost inevitable danger of hypocrisy. The look of other persons has the power to deflect our intention, like certain magnetic fields deflect the waves. Our action loses its authenticity and its recompense. Appearance prevails over being. Because of this, Jesus invites to fasting and almsgiving in a hidden way and to pray to the Father “in secret” (cf. Matthew 6:1-4).

Inwardness is the way to an authentic life. There is so much talk today of authenticity and it is made the criterion of success or lack thereof in life. However, where is authenticity for a Christian? When is it that a person is truly himself? Only when he has God as his measure. “There is so much talk – writes the philosopher Kierkegaard – of wasted lives. However, wasted only is the life of a man who never realized that a God exists and that he, his very self, stands before this God.”

Persons consecrated to the service of God are the ones who above all are i…

Daily Thought For April 4, 2014 (Jesus & The Happiness Which We Seek)

Jesus & The Happiness Which We Seek     
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
     It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

Blessed John Paul II

Daily Thought For April 3, 2014 (Getting Soaked In Scripture)

Get Soaked in Scripture 
   As a young man sixteen hundred years ago, Saint Augustine sought meaning and purpose in his life. He had been raised by a Christian mother, Saint Monica, and although he had drifted away from the Church, he was still fascinated by Jesus. That's why, in his quest for truth, he early on turned to the Bible. But as he read it, he felt disappointed. In its pages, he didn't find the scholarly philosophy he enjoyed reading. He found instead, especially in the Old Testament, tales of conflict and very imperfect people. It didn't help that he was reading a poor translation. Augustine concluded that the Bible was of no use to him, so he put his copy aside to gather dust.       Years later, in Milan, Italy, he encountered the magnificent preaching of Saint Ambrose, the local bishop. Ambrose's homilies led Augustine to view the Bible in an entirely new way, especially the Old Testament. Augustine came to appreciate that the Old Testament shouldn't be…

Daily Thought For April 2, 2014 (The Need For Unity of Life)

Unity of Life
     God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn it, but so that the world might be saved through him He came into the world so that men might have light and stop thrashing about in the dark. Having received the light, they can turn the world into a place where everything will be able to give glory to God and help man to achieve his ultimate goal. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. These words are relevant for a good part of today's world which is in deep gloom, for without Christ men will never achieve peace, or happiness, or salvation. Outside of Christ only darkness and sin exist. Whoever rejects Christ remains without light and has no idea which way to go. In the innermost depth of his being he is disorientated.       For centuries, many have lived their lives (of work, study, business, research, social relationships, interests etc.) in separation from the faith. And as a consequence of this separation temporal realities hav…

Daily Thought For April 1, 2014 (Growing In Our Love & Understanding of Prayer)

Sweep Up The Crumbs―Growing In Our Prayer Life
While a priest was deep in prayer at his desk, his secretary burst into his office. "Thank goodness," she exclaimed in relief, "I see you're not busy!" This joke suggests how easy it is to view prayer as unimportant, considering everything we have heaped on our plates.       So often our daily responsibilities and hectic routines seem to preclude time for prayer. Just getting through the day can be a major accomplishment! Everyone seems to be running around 24/7, and we wind up anxious, overburdened, and exhausted. When we feel this way, prayer becomes just one more box to check off on a "to do" list that's already way too long.       It doesn't help that our culture is burdened by a "bias toward busyness." Our world values who we know, how much we have, what we do, and what we look like doing it. In this climate, we fear losing our edge or falling behind. And since prayer doesn't seem …