Sunday, August 31, 2014

Daily Thought For August 31, 2014

The Power of Forgiveness

In today’s Gospel, Peter asks the Lord: “If my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” To which the Lord replies: “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy times seven” (Mt 18:21-22). These words go to the very heart of Jesus’ message of reconciliation and peace. In obedience to his command, we ask our heavenly Father daily to forgive us our sins, “as we forgive those who sin against us”. Unless we are prepared to do this, how can we honestly pray for peace and reconciliation?

Jesus asks us to believe that forgiveness is the door which leads to reconciliation. In telling us to forgive our brothers unreservedly, he is asking us to do something utterly radical, but he also gives us the grace to do it. What appears, from a human perspective, to be impossible, impractical and even at times repugnant, he makes possible and fruitful through the infinite power of his cross. The cross of Christ reveals the power of God to bridge every division, to heal every wound, and to reestablish the original bonds of brotherly love.

This, then, is the message which I leave you as I conclude my visit to Korea. Trust in the power of Christ’s cross! Welcome its reconciling grace into your own hearts and share that grace with others! I ask you to bear convincing witness to Christ’s message of reconciliation in your homes, in your communities and at every level of national life. I am confident that, in a spirit of friendship and cooperation with other Christians, with the followers of other religions, and with all men and women of good will concerned for the future of Korean society, you will be a leaven of the Kingdom of God in this land. Thus our prayers for peace and reconciliation will rise to God from ever more pure hearts and, by his gracious gift, obtain that precious good for which we all long.

Excerpt from Homily - Holy Mass for Peace & Reconciliation (Apostolic Journey to Korea)- Pope Francis August 18, 2014


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Daily Thought For August 30, 2014

Confidence In Troubled Times


IN QUIETNESS AND CONFIDENCE SHALL BE YOUR strength. When you're in a tough situation, your mind tends to go into overdrive. You mentally rehearse possible solutions at breakneck speed. Your brain becomes a flurry of activity! You scrutinize your own abilities and those of people you might call upon for help. If you find no immediate solution to your problem, you start to feel anxious. When you find this happening, return to Me and rest in quietness. Take time to seek My Face and My will rather than rushing ahead without clear direction. 

I want you to have confidence in Me and My ways-patiently trusting in Me even when you can't see the way forward. Whereas anxious striving drains you of energy, quiet confidence will give you strength. You can trust that I will not forsake you in your time of need. Keep communicating with Me about your situation, and be willing to wait-without pushing for immediate resolution. Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. 

Thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength." -Isaiah 30:15

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. -Deuteronomy 31:6 


Those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. -Isaiah 40:31 

from Jesus Today by Sarah Young pp.132-133

Friday, August 29, 2014

Daily Thought For August 29, 2014

Striving For Spiritual Excellence

We must be patient and little by little root out our bad inclinations, overcome our aversions and control our emotions. This life is truly a continual warfare, and there is no one who can say, "I am never tempted." Peace is reserved for Heaven, where the palm of victory awaits us; on earth there is a continual struggle between hope and fear. However, our hope must be strong, relying on the omnipotence of God, Who is always ready to help us. So never tire of fighting for your growth and perfection.

St. Francis de Sales

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Daily Thought For August 24, 2014

Praying Constantly

Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others, and talk to God.

St. Francis de Sales

**The next Daily Thought will be on August 29th**

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Daily Thought For August 23, 2014

One Step At A Time


FOLLOW ME ONE STEP AT A TIME. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you're going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you're not looking where you're going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead. But you don't know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways. 
Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. 
Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you. 

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. — PSALM 18:29 

For He will give His angels charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. — PSALM 91:11-12 


For we walk by faith, not by sight. — 2 Corinthians 5:7


From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young p.34

Friday, August 22, 2014

Daily Thought For August 22, 2014

Trust

As to the past, let us entrust it to God’s mercy, the future to Divine Providence. Our task is to live holy the present moment.


Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Daily Thought For August 21, 2014

Happiness In Any Circumstance

It does happen, even under these circumstances, that every now and then my whole being is flooded with pulsating life and my heart can scarcely contain the delirious joy there is in it. Suddenly, without any cause that I can perceive, without knowing why or by what right, my spirits soar again and there is not a doubt in my mind that all the promises hold good.... Outwardly nothing is changed. The hopelessness of the situation remains only too obvious; yet one can face it undismayed. One is content to leave everything in God's hands. And that is the whole point. Happiness in this life is inextricably mixed with God. Fellow creatures can be the means of giving us much pleasure and of creating conditions which are comfortable and delightful, but the success of this depends upon the extent to which the recipient is capable of recognizing the good and accepting it. And even this capacity is dependent on our relationship with God.

Alfred Delp, S.J. (was a German Jesuit who was sent to a concentration camp and executed in 1945)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Daily Thought For August 20, 2014

Time To Think Outside The Box

Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.


Pope Francis

Daily Thought For August 19, 2014

Faith & The Need For Joy

Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don't have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.

I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better - and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength.


In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.

Pope Benedict XVI

Daily Thought For August 18, 2014

A Plea For Healing In The Body of Christ

How many wars take place within the people of God and in our different communities! In our neighborhoods and in the workplace, how many wars are caused by envy and jealousy, even among Christians! Spiritual worldliness leads some Christians to war with other Christians who stand in the way of their quest for power, prestige, pleasure and economic security. Some are even no longer content to live as part of the greater Church community but stoke a spirit of exclusivity, creating an “inner circle”. Instead of belonging to the whole Church in all its rich variety, they belong to this or that group which thinks itself different or special.


Our world is being torn apart by wars and violence, and wounded by a widespread individualism which divides human beings, setting them against one another as they pursue their own well-being. In various countries, conflicts and old divisions from the past are re-emerging. I especially ask Christians in communities throughout the world to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion. Let everyone admire how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). This was Jesus’ heartfelt prayer to the Father: “That they may all be one... in us... so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). Beware of the temptation of jealousy! We are all in the same boat and headed to the same port! Let us ask for the grace to rejoice in the gifts of each, which belong to all.

Pope Francis - The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) #'s 98-99

Daily Thought For August 17, 2014

The Prayer of Petition

The prayer of petition plays an important role in the life of men and women. Although the Lord provides countless blessings without our ever asking for them, He has set aside many graces the granting of which will depend upon our personal prayer, or upon the prayers of others who are close to him. Saint Thomas teaches that our petitions do not change the Divine Will, but instead win for us what has already been set aside for us if we should ask. As a result, we should petition the Lord without ceasing. Who knows how many blessings are waiting for us if only we ask for them. We should ask others to pray for the fervent intentions we have in our hearts, to pray for all the blessings we need and can receive from the Lord. Saint Thomas says that this is one of the reasons why Jesus did not reply immediately to the Canaanite woman. He wanted the disciples to intercede for her. In this way He shows us the importance of the intercession of the saints. The Gentile woman wanted an extraordinary miracle. That required an extraordinary kind of prayer, accompanied by enormous faith and deep humility. 


from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume Four p.391

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Daily Thought For August 16, 2014

God Never Tires In Offering Us Mercy!

How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

Pope Francis — The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) #3

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daily Thought For August 14, 2014

Faith & The Importance of Family

In the family, faith accompanies every age of life, beginning with childhood: children learn to trust in the love of their parents. This is why it is so important that within their families parents encourage shared expressions of faith which can help children gradually to mature in their own faith. Young people in particular, who are going through a period in their lives which is so complex, rich and important for their faith, ought to feel the constant closeness and support of their families and the Church in their journey of faith. We have all seen, during World Youth Days, the joy that young people show in their faith and their desire for an ever more solid and generous life of faith. Young people want to live life to the fullest. Encountering Christ, letting themselves be caught up in and guided by his love, enlarges the horizons of existence, gives it a firm hope which will not disappoint. Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives. It makes us aware of a magnificent calling, the vocation of love. It assures us that this love is trustworthy and worth embracing, for it is based on God’s faithfulness which is stronger than our every weakness.

from Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei) by Pope Francis #53

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Daily Thought For August 12, 2014

God's Amazing Love

Jesus loved me and gave himself up for me. This is the great truth that consoles us. Jesus shows his love by giving his life. He loves each of us as if each one were the sole object of his affections. We should meditate often on this truth: God loves me. This surpasses the most improbable expectations of the human heart. No one — without divine Revelation — would dare to guess at or acknowledge this sublime vocation to which each and every person is called: to be God's son or daughter, called to live a close relationship as a friend, to participate in the very Life of the three divine Persons. Considered with earthbound eyes, it seems a dream, or scarcely credible, but it is the truth, the great truth that should move us to correspond. 

Jesus never stops loving us, helping us, protecting us, talking to us, not even in our moments of sheer ingratitude, or after we have committed the greatest disloyalty. Perhaps it was during such sad circumstances that our Lord has been most attentive to us, as today's parable suggests. Among the hundred sheep in the flock, only the one that was lost had the honour of resting on the good shepherd's shoulders. I will be with you always, in each situation, at every moment, our Lord tells us. And especially when we begin that final journey towards him. 

Certain that our Lord is close to us, we should be moved to begin and begin again in the interior struggle, without being disheartened by the negative experience of our defects and sins. Every moment we live is unique, and therefore provides a good opportunity to begin again, because - as we read in the book of Deuteronomy - the Lord will go before you. He will be with you: He will not leave you or abandon you. Do not fear or be cowardly. 

For many centuries the Church had placed on the lips of priests and faithful, at the beginning of the Mass, the words of the Psalm 42:4: "I will go to the altar of God, of God who gives joy to my youth."  These words were repeated when the priests and people were young, and when they had long since passed the years of their maturity. They are the cry of the soul going straight to Christ, who knows he is loved and desires love. 

God loves me. And John the apostle writes, 'Let us love God, then, since God loved us first'. As if this were not enough, Jesus comes to each one of us, in spite of our patent wretchedness, to ask us, as He asked Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others?' 

This is the moment to reply: 'Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you!' adding, with humility, 'Help me to love you more. Increase my love!' These are aspirations that can serve us today. They will bring us closer to Christ. He awaits our correspondence with him. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez pp. 361-362

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Daily Thought For August 10, 2014

Called by Name

     The common denominator of every call of God to us from birth to death is the call to come to him. "In the hour of my death, call me." For what reason? That I may come to you. Bid me come to you .... That is the whole point. All of these calls through life on to death must be answered on a very deep, personal level. The call of those of us baptized in infancy was answered in our name by others; but it became a real, living, driving force in our lives, a practical vital force, as we grew to maturity and actuated that decision in ourselves .... 
     Knowing that we are called to the God who loves us is what sweetens every sacrifice, gives meaning to all suffering, infuses pain with splendor. It is the being called that gives significance to human love as well and offers impetus to the mortifications life continually puts before us. 
     If we could only remember that God is calling us by name in the unfolding circumstances of each day, we would assuredly reply: "Yes I Bid me come to you." It is not a case of, "Yes, I will make this sacrifice." Or, "Yes, I will be patient; yes, I will suffer this." There can be more than a bit of vainglory in that. There can be any amount of pride in that. But we come to understand that the call does not end any more than it began in the pain, the suffering, the sacrifice, the mortification, the situation, or the hour of death. 
     It is God who is our Alpha and Omega; he is the common denominator of every call. It is God who is the Caller and the Meaning and the End. If we use our God-given energies to remember this as we respond to the daily calls of our life, then in hora mortis nostrae we shall be able to reply to that call, too, making in that tremendous, dramatic final hour of our life on earth a deeply personal decision.


MOTHER MARY FRANCIS, P.C.C 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Daily Thought For August 9, 2014



Let God Help You


LET ME HELP YOU get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings. 

And do not grumble, as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel. —1 CORINTHIANS 10:10 

"To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." — LUKE 1:79 


from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young p.171



Daily Thought For August 8, 2014

Care of the Soul

The self can be a jealous gatekeeper that clamors for all the attention and does not want us to go deeper. Moreover, the Evil One likes to discourage us and arrogantly charges us with the sole responsibility of fixing ourselves a dead end! Jean-Pierre de Caussade knew well that when healing is needed for the damaged, dysfunctional self, God seeks to heal the soul, from where the most salutary healing will spring forth and endure. When the soul is tended with care, the self thrives. 

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Daily Thought For August 7, 2014

The Importance of Being Not Just Doing

The nation doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are. 



St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Daily Thought For August 6, 2014

Helping One Another

Our Lord wants us to provide the shelter and protection of our fraternal concern to the people we are close to through ties of blood or friendship, and indeed to all mankind: helping them daily with our prayer, alerting them opportunely and gently through fraternal correction whenever we see them falling into customs or habits that are not in keeping with their Christian state, giving them some helpful advice to improve their family life or their work, being quick with a word of encouragement when they are feeling down, being understanding with their shortcomings and defects and helping them to overcome them. We can even help people a lot by the way we greet them, because, as Saint Thomas says, our greeting is a sort of prayer in it we wish people peace of soul, that God would bless them, and so forth. 


Frater qui adiuvatur a fratre quasi civitas firma, a brother or  helped by a brother is like a walled city. If we let ourselves be helped and we truly give ourselves to the people around us, we can expect that Christ will come and bring us into the wedding feast, to Love without measure and without end. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 4 p. 493

Monday, August 4, 2014

Daily Thought For August 4, 2014

Beautiful Words From A Saint About Our Saint For The Day

The Cure of Ars is a model of priestly zeal for all pastors. The secret of his generosity is to be found without doubt in his love for God, lived without limits, in constant response to the love made manifest in Christ crucified. This is where he bases his desire to do everything to save the souls ransomed by Christ at such a great price, and to bring them back to the love of God. Let us recall one of those pithy sayings which he had the knack of uttering: "The priesthood is the love of the Heart of Jesus." In his sermons and catechesis he continually returned to that love: "O my God, I prefer to die loving you than to live a single instant without loving you... I love you, my divine Savior, because you were crucified for us... because you have me crucified for you." For the sake of Christ, he seeks to conform himself exactly to the radical demands that Jesus in the Gospels puts before the disciples whom he sends out: prayer, poverty, humility, self-denial, voluntary penance. And, like Christ, he has a love for his flock that leads him to extreme pastoral commitment and self-sacrifice. Rarely has a pastor been so acutely aware of his responsibilities, so consumed by a desire to wrest his people from the sins of their luke-warmness. "O my God, grant me the conversion of my parish: I consent to suffer whatever you wish, for as long as I live." Dear brother priests, nourished by the Second Vatican Council which has felicitously placed the priest's consecration within the framework of his pastoral mission, let us join Saint John Mary Vianney and seek the dynamism of our pastoral zeal in the Heart of Jesus, in his love for souls. If we do not draw from the same source, our ministry risks bearing little fruit!

Saint John Paul II (Letter To Priests 1986)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Daily Thought For August 3, 2014

God Is With Us

The Eucharist is the sacrament of the presence of Christ, who gives himself to us because he loves us. He loves each one of us in a unique and personal way in our practical daily lives: in our families, among our friends, at study and work, in rest and relaxation. He loves us when he fills our days with freshness, and also when, in times of suffering, he allows trials to weigh upon us: even in the most severe trials, he lets us hear his voice.

Yes, dear friends, Christ loves us and he loves us for ever! He loves us even when we disappoint him, when we fail to meet his expectations for us. He never fails to embrace us in his mercy. How can we not be grateful to this God who has redeemed us, going so far as to accept the foolishness of the Cross? To God who has come to be at our side and has stayed with us to the end?

To celebrate the Eucharist "to eat his flesh and drink his blood", means to accept the wisdom of the Cross and the path of service. It means that we signal our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, as Christ has done.

Our society desperately needs this sign, and young people need it even more so, tempted as they often are by the illusion of an easy and comfortable life, by drugs and pleasure-seeking, only to find themselves in a spiral of despair, meaninglessness and violence. It is urgent to change direction and to turn to Christ. This is the way of justice, solidarity and commitment to building a society and a future worthy of the human person.


This is our Eucharist, this is the answer that Christ wants from us, from you young people at the closing of your Jubilee. Jesus is no lover of half measures, and he does not hesitate to pursue us with the question: "Will you also go away?" In the presence of Christ, the Bread of Life, we too want to say today with Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:68).

excerpt from the Closing Mass of World Youth Day 2000 — St. Pope John Paul II

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Daily Thought For August 2, 2014

The GIFT of Salvation

God arranged the plan of salvation with a fundamental purpose: that no one would have any grounds for boasting in a self-glorifying way. Self-delusion and self-righteousness are characteristic of us fallen creatures; the very root of sin is pride. The only way to break pride and allow God's grace to triumph is to admit the awesome truth: we're all in desperate need of God, of His forgiveness, of His love, of His Holy Spirit, and all of us need to abandon our pride, admit our need, and come to the foot of the Cross to receive mercy and forgiveness. And we need to stay there.


Ralph Martin The Fulfillment of All Desire:  A Guidebook to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints (p. 229).