Friday, May 30, 2014

Daily Thought For May 31, 2014

Important Message From Vatican II

Sacred Scripture teaches the human family what the experience of the ages confirms: that while human progress is a great advantage to man, it brings with it a strong temptation. For when the order of values is jumbled and bad is mixed with the good, individuals and groups pay heed solely to their own interests, and not to those of others. Thus it happens that the world ceases to be a place of true brotherhood. In our own day, the magnified power of humanity threatens to destroy the race itself.

For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world and will continue until the last day, as the Lord has attested.(8) Caught in this conflict, man is obliged to wrestle constantly if he is to cling to what is good, nor can he achieve his own integrity without great efforts and the help of God's grace.

That is why Christ's Church, trusting in the design of the Creator, acknowledges that human progress can serve man's true happiness, yet she cannot help echoing the Apostle's warning: "Be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2). Here by the world is meant that spirit of vanity and malice which transforms into an instrument of sin those human energies intended for the service of God and man.

Hence if anyone wants to know how this unhappy situation can be overcome, Christians will tell him that all human activity, constantly imperiled by man's pride and deranged self-love, must be purified and perfected by the power of Christ's cross and resurrection. For redeemed by Christ and made a new creature in the Holy Spirit, man is able to love the things themselves created by God, and ought to do so. He can receive them from God and respect and reverence them as flowing constantly from the hand of God. Grateful to his Benefactor for these creatures, using and enjoying them in detachment and liberty of spirit, man is led forward into a true possession of them, as having nothing, yet possessing all things.(9) "All are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:22-23).

38. For God's Word, through Whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh and dwelt on the earth of men.(10) Thus He entered the world's history as a perfect man, taking that history up into Himself and summarizing it.(11) He Himself revealed to us that "God is love" (1 John 4:8) and at the same time taught us that the new command of love was the basic law of human perfection and hence of the worlds transformation.

To those, therefore, who believe in divine love, He gives assurance that the way of love lies open to men and that the effort to establish a universal brotherhood is not a hopeless one. He cautions them at the same time that this charity is not something to be reserved for important matters, but must be pursued chiefly in the ordinary circumstances of life. Undergoing death itself for all of us sinners,(12) He taught us by example that we too must shoulder that cross which the world and the flesh inflict upon those who search after peace and justice. Appointed Lord by His resurrection and given plenary power in heaven and on earth,(13) Christ is now at work in the hearts of men through the energy of His Holy Spirit, arousing not only a desire for the age to come, but by that very fact animating, purifying and strengthening those noble longings too by which the human family makes its life more human and strives to render the whole earth submissive to this goal.

Now, the gifts of the Spirit are diverse: while He calls some to give clear witness to the desire for a heavenly home and to keep that desire green among the human family, He summons others to dedicate themselves to the earthly service of men and to make ready the material of the celestial realm by this ministry of theirs. Yet He frees all of them so that by putting aside love of self and bringing all earthly resources into the service of human life they can devote themselves to that future when humanity itself will become an offering accepted by God.(14)


The Lord left behind a pledge of this hope and strength for life's journey in that sacrament of faith where natural elements refined by man are gloriously changed into His Body and Blood, providing a meal of brotherly solidarity and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.

from Gaudium et Spes from the Second Vatican Council #'s 37-38

Daily Thought For May 30, 2014

Self-Control


BE ANGRY, AND YET DO NOT SIN; DO NOT LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON YOUR ANGER. Although this is a biblical command, anger is treated as taboo in many Christian circles. Repression of this normal, human emotion is neither righteous nor healthy; in fact, it can lead to serious problems. If you fail to recognize your anger, you are likely to let the sun go down on it and take it to bed. This gives the devil an opportunity―a place of entrance into your life. It can also result in various health problems. Therefore, early recognition of these powerful feelings is vital. The command Be angry gives you permission to have such feelings, so you are free to face them openly. You do, however, need to be careful how you express them. 

The first step is to bring your anger to Me. I will help you discern whether or not it is legitimate. If it is, then I will help you figure out what to do about it. Anger can be a signal that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Sometimes, though, your wrathful feelings are based on distortions: misunderstandings or misinterpretations. Recognizing such distortions can be very freeing. If you have not acted on these feelings in hurtful ways, you can simply release them. However, if you have dealt with your anger in sinful ways, you will need to ask forgiveness of Me and anyone else you have hurt. 

Remember that I came to make you free. Dealing with anger in a responsible way frees you to live abundantly, enjoying My Presence more fully. 

Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. ―EPHESIANS 4:26-27 

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. ―PSALM 51:4 

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 

JOHN 8:32

from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young pp. 320-321

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Daily Thought For May 29, 2014

Don't Let People Rob You of God's Joy

     Sometimes we are particularly worried about things that are not going well around us, in our community, our family, or our church circle. We are tempted to get discouraged and give up. That is when we have to tell ourselves: whatever happens, whatever mistakes and faults are committed by this person or that, it robs us of exactly nothing. Even though we lived among people who were committing mortal sins from morning till night, that could not prevent us from loving God and serving our neighbor, or deprive us of any spiritual gift, or stop us from tending toward the fullness of love. The world could collapse around us, but it wouldn’t rob us of the possibility of praying, placing all our trust in God, and loving.
     That doesn’t mean shutting ourselves in an ivory tower and being indifferent to what is going on around us, or remain passive. When there are problems, we should want them solved, and try to see what God is asking of us. Should we intervene? Can we do something positive? If the answer is yes, it would be a sin of omission to do nothing.
     But if everything seems to be going wrong around us, it is all the more necessary to preserve our freedom to hope in God and serve him joyfully and enthusiastically. The devil often tries to discourage us and make us lose our joy in serving God. One means he uses particularly is to make us worry about everything that is not going well around us. Suppose, for example, we are living in community. To make us lose dynamism and spiritual energy, the devil will lead us to notice a host of negative things—the unfair attitudes of the people in charge, our brothers’ and sisters’ mistakes and lack of fervor, their faults (sometimes even serious ones), and so on. The weight of worry, insecurity, sadness, and discouragement will weaken our spiritual verve. What use it is to make such an effort to pray and be generous, when there are all these problems? It is a short step to lukewarmness. We must unmask this temptation and say: “No matter what happens, I’ve got nothing to lose. I need to maintain my fervor, continue to love God and pray with all my heart, and love the people I’m living with, even if I don’t know how things will turn out. I won’t be wasting my time, and it’s not wrong to try to love. Love will never be in vain.” St. John of the Cross said, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will harvest love.”
     If problems cause us to become sad and lose our fervor, we’ve solved nothing, but only added another problem to the rest. If the sins of those around us leads us to become upset and discouraged, we are helping to spread the evil more rapidly. Evil is only overcome by good, and we can only put a stop to the spread of sin by fervor, joy, and hope, doing all the good we can today without worrying about tomorrow.
     At times of struggle we need also to recall the conversion we should be concerned about is not our neighbor’s but our own. Only if we take our own conversion seriously do we stand any chance of seeing our neighbor converted too. This point of view is realistic and encouraging. We have little real influence on other people, and our attempts to change them have only a very slight chance of success, since most of the time we want them to change in line with our criteria and aims more than God’s. If we are concerned first with our own conversion, however, we have more hope of making a difference. It does more good to seek to reform our hearts than to reform the world or the Church. Everyone will benefit.
     Let us ask ourselves this question: “To what degree can the evil in my surroundings affect me?” With apologies to those I am going to scandalize, I say that the evil around us—the sins of others, of people in the Church, or society—does not become an evil for us unless we let it penetrate our hearts.
     The point isn’t that we should become indifferent. Just the opposite. The holier we are, the more we will suffer due to the evil and sin in the world. But external evil only harms us to the degree that we react badly to it, by fear, worry, discouragement, sadness, giving up, rushing to apply hasty solutions that don’t solve anything, judging, fostering bitterness and resentment, refusing to forgive, and so on.


From  Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe pp. 72-75

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Daily Though For May 28, 2014

The Gift of Faith

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daily Thought For May 27, 2014

The Future


FORGET THE FORMER THINGS; DO NOT DWELL ON THE PAST. See, I am doing a new thing! I am a God of surprises―infinitely more creative than you can imagine. The universe displays some of My creativity, but there is more-much more. I am making a new heaven and a new earth. Moreover, I am preparing My people―all around the world-to live there with Me in endless ecstasy. Let this eternal perspective strengthen and encourage you. 

As you journey along your life-path with Me, refuse to let the past define you or your expectations of what lies ahead. You may feel as if the road you are on is tiresome or even a dead end. That is because you're projecting the past into the future. The roadblock you are straining to see up ahead is really just an illusion. The future is in My hands, and I can do surprising things with it! 

Your gravest danger is giving up: ceasing to believe I can still do wondrous new things in you and your world. Your assignment is to keep moving forward in trusting dependence on Me. Stop focusing on obstacles you might encounter, and concentrate on staying in touch with Me. As you continue taking steps of trust,  expect the path before you to open up in refreshing newness. I am making a way in the desert and streams  in the wasteland. 

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  ―ISAIAH 43:18-19 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine . . . ― EPHESIANS 3:20 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 
―REVELATION 21:1 

Show me Your ways, 0 LORD; teach me Your paths. ―PSALM 25:4 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Daily Thought For May 26, 2014

God's Faithfulness 

I had many friends to help me to fall; but as to rising again, I was so much left to myself, that I wonder now I was not always on the ground. I praise God for His mercy; for it was He only Who stretched out His hand to me. May He be blessed for ever! Amen.


St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daily Thought For May 25, 2014

Powerful Message From Pope Francis

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus promise the disciples: “I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete, to be with you forever” (Jn 14:16). The first Paraclete is Jesus himself; the other is the Holy Spirit.

We are not far from where the Holy Spirit descended with power on Jesus of Nazareth after his baptism by John in the River Jordan (cf. Mt 3:16) and today I will go there. Today’s Gospel, and this place to which, by God’s grace, I have come as a pilgrim, invite us to meditate on the Holy Spirit and on all that he has brought about in Christ and in us. In a word, we can say that the Holy Spirit carries out three actions – he prepares, he anoints and he sends.

At the baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus to prepare him for his mission of salvation, the mission of one who is a Servant, humble and meek, ready to share and give himself completely. Yet the Holy Spirit, present from the beginning of salvation history, had already been at work in Jesus from the moment of his conception in the virginal womb of Mary of Nazareth, by bringing about the wondrous event of the Incarnation: “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, will overshadow you – the Angel said to Mary – and you will give birth to a son who will be named Jesus” (cf. Lk 1:35). The Holy Spirit had then acted in Simeon and Anna on the day of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple (cf. Lk 2:22). Both were awaiting the Messiah, and both were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Simeon and Anna, upon seeing the child, knew immediately that he was the one long awaited by the people. They gave prophetic expression to the joy of encountering the Redeemer and, in a certain sense, served as a preparation for the encounter between the Messiah and the people.

These various works of the Holy Spirit are part of a harmonious action, a sole divine plan of love. The mission of the Holy Spirit, in fact, is to beget harmony – he is himself harmony – and to create peace in different situations and between different people. Diversity of ideas and persons should not trigger rejection or prove an obstacle, for variety always enriches. So today, with fervent hearts, we invoke the Holy Spirit and ask him to prepare the path to peace and unity.

The Holy Spirit also anoints. He anointed Jesus inwardly and he anoints his disciples, so that they can have the mind of Christ and thus be disposed to live lives of peace and communion. Through the anointing of the Spirit, our human nature is sealed with the holiness of Jesus Christ and we are enabled to love our brothers and sisters with the same love which God has for us. We ought, therefore, to show concrete signs of humility, fraternity, forgiveness and reconciliation. These signs are the prerequisite of a true, stable and lasting peace. Let us ask the Father to anoint us so that we may fully become his children, ever more conformed to Christ, and may learn to see one another as brothers and sisters. Thus, by putting aside our grievances and divisions, we can show fraternal love for one another. This is what Jesus asks of us in the Gospel: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete, to be with you for ever” (Jn 14:15-16).

Lastly, the Holy Spirit sends. Jesus is the one who is sent forth, filled with the Spirit of the Father. Anointed by the same Spirit, we also are sent as messengers and witnesses of peace. The world has much need of us as messengers of peace, witnesses of peace! The world needs this. The world asks us to bring peace and to be a sign of peace!

Peace is not something which can be bought or sold; peace is a gift to be sought patiently and to be “crafted” through the actions, great and small, of our everyday lives. The way of peace is strengthened if we realize that we are all of the same stock and members of the one human family; if we never forget that we have the same Father in heaven and that we are all his children, made in his image and likeness.

It is in this spirit that I embrace all of you: the Patriarch, my brother bishops and priests, the consecrated men and women, the lay faithful, and the many children who today make their First Holy Communion, together with their families. I also embrace with affection the many Christian refugees; let us all earnestly turn our attention to them, to the many Christian refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq: please bring my greeting to your families and communities, and assure them of my closeness.

Dear friends! Dear brothers and sisters! The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the Jordan and thus inaugurated his work of redemption to free the world from sin and death. Let us ask the Spirit to prepare our hearts to encounter our brothers and sisters, so that we may overcome our differences rooted in political thinking, language, culture and religion. Let us ask him to anoint our whole being with the oil of his mercy, which heals the injuries caused by mistakes, misunderstandings and disputes. And let us ask him for the grace to send us forth, in humility and meekness, along the demanding but enriching path of seeking peace.

Homily of Pope Francis, Amman International Stadium - Holy Land Pigrimage May 24, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Daily Thought For May 24, 2014

The Gift of Friendship

Down through the centuries, friendship has been (and still is) a pathway along which many men and women have come close to God and gone to heaven. It is a natural and simple path which eliminates many obstacles and difficulties. Our Lord frequently bears it in mind as a means of letting himself be known. The first few who met him went to tell the good news to the ones they loved. Andrew brought Peter, his brother; Philip, his friend Nathanael; and John probably brought his brother James.

This was the way that faith in Christ spread in the early days of Christianity: from brother to brother, from father to son, from slave to master and vice versa, from friend to friend. Friendship is a unique basis for letting Christ be known, because it is the natural medium for communicating feelings, for sharing the joys and sorrows of those who are near us by reason of family, our work or mutual interests.

It is characteristic of friendship to give our friend the best we have. Our greatest treasure, beyond all compare, is having found Christ. We would not have true friendship if we were not to communicate the immense gift of our Christian faith. Our friends have to find in us ― Christians who want to follow Jesus closely  support, strength and a supernatural meaning for their lives. The certainty of finding understanding, interest, and attention will lead them to open their heart trustingly, knowing that we love them and are prepared to help them. All this we will do in the performance of our normal daily activities, trying to be exemplary in our profession or studies, fostering friend­ ship at all times, dealing warmly and openly with people, and urged on by charity.

Friendship leads us to start our friends off on a true Christian life if they are far from the Church, or to get them back onto the path they left one bad day, if they have stopped practicing the faith they had received. With patience and constancy, without hurry, without pause on our part, they will gradually get closer to Our Lord, who is waiting for them. Sometimes we can do a period of prayer with them, perform an act of mercy by visiting a sick or needy person, or invite them to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament with us. Then when the time is ripe, we will talk to them about the sacrament of divine mercy, Confession and we will help them to prepare for receiving it. Those trusting relationships, under the shelter of friend­ ship, become open channels for apostolate, through the Holy Spirit. Those well-timed words, whispered into the ear of your wavering friend; the helpful conversation that you managed to start at the right time; the ready professional advice that improves his university work; the discreet indiscretion by which you open up unexpected horizons for his zeal. This all forms part of the 'apostolate of friendship'

Friendship can do everything with the help of grace; it helps move us to beseech Our Lord with prayer and mortification. As we have never hidden our faith in Christ from them, they will find it natural that we often talk to them about the most important thing in our life, in just the same way that they talk to us about the things they consider the most important.

Our Lord wants us to have many friends because his love for mankind is infinite, and our friendship is an instrument for getting through to them. Among the people we deal with every day, what a great number are waiting  even without their knowing it - for the light of Christ to get to them! And how happy we are every time a friend of ours becomes a friend of The Friend!

Jesus, who went about doing good, and who won the hearts of such a great number of people, is our model. Likewise we have to go about among our relations, col­ leagues, neighbors and friends. Today is a good day for us to ask ourselves: Do the people who usually come in contact with us feel the need to come closer to Our Lord as a result of our example and words? Are we concerned about their soul? Can it really be said of us that we, like Jesus, are passing through their life doing good?

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume II pp. 498-500

Daily Thought For May 23, 2014

Always With Us

No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 
PSALM 84:11 

Many times, we make the mistake of thinking that Christ's help is needed only for sickrooms or in times of overwhelming sorrow and suffering. This is not true. Certainly, God is with us in times of distress, and that is a comforting truth. But listen: Jesus wants to be part of every experience and every moment of our lives. 

He went to the wedding at Cana as well as to the home of Mary and Martha when Lazarus died. He wept with those who wept, and rejoiced with those who rejoiced. Someone has said, "There are just as many stars in the sky at noon as at midnight, although we cannot see them in the sun's glare." 

I seriously doubt if we will ever understand our trials and adversities until we are safely in Heaven. Then when we look back, we are going to be absolutely amazed at how God took care of us and blessed us even in the storms of life. But God is with us in the good times also, and we should thank Him for them and commit them to Him just as surely as we do the hard times. 

from Hope For Each Day by Billy Graham p.70

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Thought For May 22, 2014

Growing Old

The passing of the years brings its frailties. You may be forced to give up activities that you once enjoyed. Your limbs may not seem as pliable as they used to be. Your memory and your eyesight may refuse to give service. And so the world may cease to be familiar―the world of your family, the world around you, the world you once knew. Even the Church, which you have loved for so long, may seem strange to many of you as she goes forward in this period of renewal. Yet, despite changes and any weaknesses you may feel, you are of great value to all. Society needs you and so does the Church. You may not be able to do as much as before, but what counts above all is what you are. Old age is the crowning point of earthly life, a time to gather in the harvest you have sown. It is a time to give of yourselves to others as never before. Yes, you are needed, and never let anyone tell you that you are not. The Masses you have attended throughout your life, the devout Communions you have made, the prayers you have offered enable you to bestow rich gifts upon us. We need your experience and your insights. We need the faith that has sustained you and continues to be your light. We need your example of patient waiting and trust. We need to see in you the mature love that is yours, earned by the effort of your lives lived in both joy and sorrow. And yes, we need your wisdom, for you can offer assurance in times of uncertainty. You can be an incentive to live according to the higher values of the spirit. These values link us with people of all time, and they never grow old. 



Pope John Paul II Address to the Elderly, Vancouver, British Columbia, September 18, 1984 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Daily Thought For May 21, 2014

Renewing Our Minds

WHATEVER IS TRUE, NOBLE, RIGHT, PURE, LOVELY, ADMIRABLE-THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS. You live in a world where media direct your attention to what is false, degrading, wrong, impure, ugly. Truth has been displaced by "spin" and sensational stories attract advertisers. It is no accident that "true" is the first adjective in this list of excellent qualities. Without truth, there is nothing worth pondering. That is why it's essential to fill your mind with Scripture-developing a biblical worldview. 

Even though there is so much brokenness in the world, you can still find much that is excellent or praiseworthy in it. Search for such things as for buried treasure. When you unearth something lovely, meditate on it and praise Me for it. Tell others about such things; help them find beauty and meaning in their lives. 

True, noble, admirable things can still be found in many places on earth, but they are most abundantly available in Me. So I urge you to fix your thoughts on Me as much as you can. Whisper My Name to remind yourself that I am always within "whispering distance." Look at the world around you through eyes of gratitude; thank Me for the many good things you can see. Bring Me your problems as well as your praises, and watch Me transform trouble into something praiseworthy. 

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. 
PHILIPPIANS 4:8 

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 
HEBREWS 3:1 

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 

PSALM 91:15

from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young pp. 316-317

Daily Thought For May 20, 2014

Sowers of Peace & Joy

For twenty centuries he has been saying to us: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you. He wants each of us to proclaim this to the whole world, by the way we live; to the world in which we live, even if at times it may seem rather small. 

The life of the first Christians helped many to discover the meaning of their existence. They brought peace to their families and to the society in which they lived. In many inscriptions from that period we find greetings with which they desire peace to others. This peace ― which is from God  will be found on earth as long as there are men and women of good will. A significant part of our apostolate will be bringing serenity and joy to the people around us; the more anxiety and sadness we meet, the more urgent this apostolate of ours will be. Every Christian has the duty to bring peace and joy to his own surroundings on earth. This cheerful crusade of manliness will move even shriveled or rotten hearts, and raise them to God. 

Even though in life they suffered trials and tribulations as others do, every Christian should be remembered as a man or woman who gave an example of smiling self-sacrifice, a serene, cheerful person, because he or she lived as a child of God. Our resolution from today's prayer could be the following: May no one read sadness or sorrow in your face, when you spread in the world around you the sweet smell of your sacrifice: the children of God should always be sowers of peace and joy. This is possible only when we remember our divine filiation. 

Remembering that we are children of God will give us that solid peace, which isn't disturbed by the ups and downs of our emotions or the events of the day: it will give us the serenity and steadiness which we need so much. To ensure that we are open and friendly to everyone, we need to stamp out any kind of antipathy or animosity; it would indicate that we were not very supernatural in our dealings with others. We also need to fight against any roughness or sharpness in our character, which could upset others and would indicate that we were not sufficiently mortified. We need to fight against selfishness, against softness and against love of comfort. These are serious obstacles to friendship and to effectiveness in the apostolate. 


The sincere desire for peace which Our Lord has placed in our hearts should urge us to do everything possible to avoid anything that might cause disunity or conflict - for example, being critical of others or having a negative attitude towards them, talking about people behind their backs or complaining about them. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Vollume II pp. 481-442

Monday, May 19, 2014

Daily Thought For May 19, 2014

Power In The Name of Jesus

Don't be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind. When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don't let discouragement set in. You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking. The evil one abhors your closeness to Me, and his demonic underlings are determined to destroy our intimacy. When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: "Jesus, help me!" At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you. 

My Name, properly used, has unlimited Power to bless and protect. 
At the end of time, every knee will bow (in heaven, on earth, and under the earth) when My Name is proclaimed. People who have used "Jesus" as a shoddy swear word will fall down in terror on that awesome day. But all those who have drawn near Me through trustingly uttering My Name will be filled with inexpressible and glorious Joy. This is your great hope, as you await My return. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. -EPHESIANS 6:12 

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. -PHILIPPIANS 2:9-10 

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal 

of your faith, the salvation of your souls. -1 PETER 1: 8-9 

from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young pp. 354-355


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Daily Thought For May 18, 2014

The Burning Love & The Desire To Receive Holy Communion

The greatest devotion and ardent love, with all affection and fervor of heart I wish to receive You, O Lord, as many saints and devout persons, most pleasing to You in their holiness of life and most fervent in devotion, desired You in Holy Communion.

O my God, everlasting love, my final good, my happiness unending, I long to receive You with as strong a desire and as worthy a reverence as any of  the saints ever had or could have felt, and though I am not worthy to have all these sentiments of devotion, still I offer You the full affection of my heart as if I alone had all those most pleasing and ardent desires.

Yet, whatever a God-fearing mind can conceive and desire, I offer in its entirety to You with the greatest reverence and inward affection. I wish to keep nothing for self but to offer to You, willingly and most freely, myself and all that is mine.

O Lord God, my Creator and my Redeemer, I long to receive You this day with such reverence, praise, and honor, with such gratitude, worthiness and love, with such faith, hope, and purity as that with which Your most holy Mother, the glorious Virgin Mary, longed for and received You when she humbly and devoutly answered the angel who announced to her the mystery of the Incarnation: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.”

Likewise as Your blessed precursor, the most excellent of saints, John the Baptist, gladdened by Your presence, exulted in the Holy Ghost while yet enclosed in the womb of his mother, and afterward seeing Jesus walking among men, humbled himself and with devout love declared: “The friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice,” even so I long to be inflamed with great and holy desires and to give myself to You with all my heart.

Therefore I offer and present to You the gladness of all devout hearts, their ardent affection, their mental raptures, their supernatural illuminations and heavenly visions together with all the virtues and praises which have been or shall be celebrated by all creatures in heaven and on earth, for myself and all commended to my prayers, that You may be worthily praised and glorified forever.
Accept, O Lord my God, my promises and desires of giving You infinite praise and boundless benediction, which in the vastness of Your ineffable greatness are justly due You. This I render and desire to render every day and every moment of time, and in my loving prayers I invite and entreat all celestial spirits and all the faithful to join me in giving You praise and thanks.

Let all people, races, and tongues praise You and with the greatest joy and most ardent devotion magnify Your sweet and holy name. And let all who reverently and devoutly celebrate this most great Sacrament and receive it in the fullness of faith, find kindness and mercy in You and humbly pray for me, a sinner. And when they have received the longed-for devotion and blissful union, and, well consoled and wonderfully refreshed, have retired from Your holy, Your celestial table, may they deign to remember my poor soul.

from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis Book 4 Chapter 17

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Daily Thought For May 17, 2014

Focus

God our Lord would have us look to the Giver and love Him more than His gift, keeping Him always before our eyes, in our hearts, and in our thoughts.


St. Ignatius of Loyola

Friday, May 16, 2014

Daily Thought For May 16, 2014

Trusting God With All Our Strength

TRUST IN ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND MIND, AND DO NOT LEAN ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. In all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will make your path straight. Such complete and utter confidence in Me has been your goal for years, but you continue to struggle with this. The main culprit is your mind's ravenous appetite for understanding, fueled by a strong desire to feel in control of your life. You want to trust Me wholeheartedly, but you feel stuck.

Beloved, your desire to rely on Me wholly is a worthy goal. Now also believe that I am providing training through your life experiences, and that many of the difficulties you encounter are designed to help in this endeavor. Allow Me to do this supernatural work in your heart.

The Holy Spirit will help you think trusting thoughts, but He requires your cooperation. Instead of relying on your understanding to help you feel in control, ask My Spirit to control your mind. Then, wait confidently to see results. As you look to Me trusting Me, talking with Me ― I straighten out the path before you.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. ― PROVERBS 3:5-6  

Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  ― PSALM 37:5  

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. ―ROMANS 8:6 

from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young pp. 98-99


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Daily Thought For May 15, 2014

Sound Advice From A Great Saint

Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Daily Thought For May 14, 2014

True Charity & Forgiveness

St. Mark managed to forgive and forget because he had a great soul. That is why later on he was such a marvellous instrument of grace. Those who zealously keep a list of grudges show themselves to be very narrow-minded. Such poor wretches are impossible to live with. 

True charity neither keeps account of the necessary services it renders all the time, nor takes note of the effronteries it has to put up with. 'Omnia suffert' ― it endures all things.

If we lack humility we will tend to draw up our list of small grudges which, despite being small, take away our peace with God, waste a lot of energy and make us incapable of undertaking the great plans Our Lord has in mind each day for those close to him. The heart of the humble person is set on God and is thus filled with joy, becoming, as it were, less vulnerable. It doesn't matter to him what people say or might have said. He forgets immediately, and doesn't give too much consideration to the humiliations which every man or woman experiences in one way or another in the course of their daily life. 

Such simplicity and humility, not getting complicated when pride suggests our reputation is being maligned, leaving aside possible grudges, gives us the ability to begin again when we have been cowardly or have failed. We see Mark take up his work immediately again with Barnabas after the cowardice and fatigue of the first journey - ready this time to be unconditionally faithful. 

The humble person finds it easy to be fraternal with others and so looks for ways to relate to those around him. He restores friendship if it has been for any reason broken or has cooled off, and is always ready to lend a brotherly hand and be helped himself. The relationships necessary for social life are formed in this way. In closeness there is mutual support and on this charity is built ... If I then fail in putting up with your character and you don't want to bear with mine, how can charity grow between us since patience does not unite us in mutual love? As we have said, in a building each stone is both supportive and a support.


from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume II pp.450-451

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daily Thought For May 13, 2014

Wine or Vinegar?

Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.


St. Pope John XXIII

Friday, May 9, 2014

Daily Thought For May 9, 2014

Overcoming The Bondage of Fear

FEARFULNESS IS A FORM OF BONDAGE. I died on the cross for you so that you would not be a slave to fear. When I see My children continuing to live in bondage to fear, I am grieved. My sacrifice was not only to provide forgiveness of sins but also to open the way to My Father's heart. Now that you trust Me as Savior, you are the recipient of perfect Love-My Love, Abba's Love. This perfect Love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment (and there is no punishment for My followers). 

People are born into the world in spiritual bondage, including bondage to fear. Because you inhabit both a fallen world and a fallen body, it isn't easy to break free from fearfulness. However, the Spirit of adoption can help you in this struggle, enabling you to see yourself as you truly are: a much-loved child of God! The Spirit frees you to cry out, "Abba, Father," believing you are His precious, adopted child. In the presence of a loving, strong father even the most frightened child eventually calms down. You have a perfectly loving, infinitely strong Father, so bring your fears freely to Him. Let Him hold you close to His Abba - heart, where you know you are safe. Open your heart to receive vast quantities of His Love. The more of this Love you hold in your heart, the less room there is for fear. Receive Our Love in full measure! 

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." ROMANS 8:15 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 JOHN 4:18 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:17 

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. 
Now remain in my love." JOHN 15:9 


from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young pp.28-29

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Daily Thought For May 8, 2014

Trust In God

Isaiah 30:15: " ... In quietness and in trust shall be your strength."

But how do I know ― if I trust in God  that he won't let me fall? Everyone else I've ever trusted has let me down. 

Padre Pio's assurance: "Fortify yourself with prayer, humility, and unlimited trust in divine help. Abandon yourself as a beloved child of the heavenly Father in his most loving arms, and do not fear the war waged against you by Satan. He is powerless against the soul that places all its trust I in God alone. He [Satan] will wage war, in so far as he is permitted to do so from above, and God will never permit you to be tempted beyond your strength.

"Once again, then, I urge you to have ever-greater confidence in God, for it is written that those who trust in him will never be forsaken." 

"But be quite sure that it is Jesus who loves you. Abandon yourself to his holy actions, and do not fear because Jesus is with you and is pleased with you. Arm yourself with the beautiful trust in the Lord, and take heed of the assurances in which God gives you through me." 

Lord, help me to ignore the enemy when he pounds on the door of my heart. Keep me always trusting in you and believing your promises. Amen. 


from Padre Pio's Words of Hope edited by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti p.171

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Daily Thought For May 7, 2014

We Are Called To Share Christ

In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”. If we are not convinced, let us look at those first disciples, who, immediately after encountering the gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: “We have found the Messiah!” (Jn 1:41). The Samaritan woman became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him “because of the woman’s testimony” (Jn 4:39). So too, Saint Paul, after his encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately proclaimed Jesus” (Acts 9:20; cf. 22:6-21). So what are we waiting for?

Of course, all of us are called to mature in our work as evangelizers. We want to have better training, a deepening love and a clearer witness to the Gospel. In this sense, we ought to let others be constantly evangelizing us. But this does not mean that we should postpone the evangelizing mission; rather, each of us should find ways to communicate Jesus wherever we are. All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord, who despite our imperfections offers us his closeness, his word and his strength, and gives meaning to our lives. In your heart you know that it is not the same to live without him; what you have come to realize, what has helped you to live and given you hope, is what you also need to communicate to others. Our falling short of perfection should be no excuse; on the contrary, mission is a constant stimulus not to remain mired in mediocrity but to continue growing. The witness of faith that each Christian is called to offer leads us to say with Saint Paul: “Not that I have already obtained this, or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Phil 3:12-13).


from The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) by Pope Francis #120-121

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Daily Thought For May 6, 2014

Surrendering Our Loves One To God

     ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. 
     Sometimes you confuse loving others with rescuing them. When a loved one has a problem, you often feel responsible to come up with a solution. Then you plunge headlong into problem-solving mode, as if you're obligated to provide sound advice. I want to help you stop feeling responsible to fix people since that is My rolenot yours. 
     It is My prerogative to bring about change in people's lives as I choose. You can be part of the process, but remember that I am the Author and Director of the drama. You need to follow My script rather than creating your own. Do not usurp My role in people's lives, no matter how much you long to help them. 
     When you feel compelled to rescue a loved one, take a good look at the quality of your love. Learn from Me, because I have all authority in heaven and on earth: 
     I could rescue or control anyone at will. Yet I intentionally created people with the capacity to choose good or evil. I wanted them to be free to love Meor not. Love that has no choice is not real! 
     Prayerfully release your loved ones into My protective care. Restrain your urges to solve their problems. Instead, use your time and energy to listen to them and pray for them. Trust in My Love and My infinite wisdom. I can work changes in your loved ones' lives beyond anything you might ask or imagine. As you release these precious ones to Me, linger awhile in My unfailing Lovefor them and also for you. 

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." ―MATTHEW 28:18 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. ―EPHESIANS 3:20-21 

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ―PSALM 143:8 

from Jesus Lives―A Companion To Jesus Calling by Sarah Young pp. 108-109

Monday, May 5, 2014

Daily Thought For May 5, 2014

Worry

THE ULTIMATE PROTECTION AGAINST SINKING DURING LIFE'S STORMS IS DEVELOPING YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH ME. You waste a lot of time, however, worrying about storms you can see forming along the horizon of your life. In the past many of the storms you had anticipated veered off in another direction, never reaching you. Although some of them did actually hit, usually they had lost much of their power by the time they got to you. I urge you to switch your focus from difficulties that may come your way to My Presence, which is always with you. 

You will never find security by trying to anticipate all the storms that may reach you someday. Remember that I control the atmosphere of your life. Trust Me by relaxing and releasing your concerns into My capable care. It saddens Me to see you obsessing about possible problems rather than bringing these matters to Me. When you find yourself anxiously scanning the horizon of your life, use that as a reminder to seek My Face. You will not find Me off in the distance. I am here beside you, nearer than you dare believe. 

Instead of wasting time worrying, devote that time to building close friendship with Me. Talk with Me about everything that concerns you-your pleasures as well as your problems. I am interested in everything that matters to you because I am your perpetual Lover. Remember that I am holding you by your right hand. I guide you with My own counsel, based on eternal wisdom; so there's no need to worry about the future. When the time comes, I will personally take you into Glory. For now just live near Me. My friendship is your best refuge in the storms of life. 

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. ―1 CHRONICLES 16:11 

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. ― JEREMIAH 31:3 

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory .... But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. ―PSALM 73:23-24, 28 

from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young pp. 272-273

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Daily Thought For May 4, 2014

Resisting The Enemy

1 Peter 5:9: "Resist him [the devil], steadfast in your faith .... " 

But how can I resist evil when it stalks and tempts me? 

Padre Pio's assurance: "Drive away [resist] what the enemy is whispering loudly in your ear when he wants you to believe you are almost on the point of being lost. Despise these evil insinuations and live in peace, for the Lord is with you as never before in your tribulations .... Take heart, then, and don't be afraid, for it is quite certain that the one who fears to be lost will not be lost, and that the one who fights with his eyes fixed on God will cry victory and intone the triumphal hymn. There is nothing to fear, for the heavenly Father has promised us the necessary help to prevent us from being overcome by temptations."

"Always despise him (the enemy] and arm yourself against him with increasing steadfastness of faith, as it is written, 'Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith." Don't let the many snares of this infernal beast frighten you. Jesus, who is always with you and who will fight with and for you, will never permit you to be tricked and overcome." 

Lord, arm me with faith so that, even when the enemy roars and tries to lure me into his evil ways, I will listen to and obey only you. Amen. 

from Padre Pio's Words of Hope edited by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti p.137

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Daily Thought For May 3, 2014

God Is the Potter We Are The Clay


When a sculptor shapes his sculpture, he does so by removing superfluous parts of clay from a previously amorphous lump. The true beauty of the piece is revealed by taking away those areas that hide what is meant to be. In much the same manner, in our spiritual life, we attempt to remove those parts of our person that prevent a full relationship of love with God. We try to strip away the selfishness and the fear that hinder our ability to live and love as God wills. But this hindrance, just as any other in our lives, can be overcome by God's grace. 

from 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Benedict by André Gozier

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Daily Thought For May 1, 2014

History & The Search For God

All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

C.S. Lewis ― Mere Christianity