Thursday, October 30, 2014

Daily Thought For October 31, 2014

Practicing Freedom As Children of God

In answer to your seventh point, about the spirit of liberty, I shall tell you what I think it is. Every good person is free of committing mortal sins and has no willing attachment to them. Such freedom is necessary for salvation, but that's not what I'm talking about here. The freedom I'm referring to is the "freedom of the children of God" who know they are loved. And what is that? It's the detachment of a Christian heart from all things so that it is free to follow the known will of God. You will readily understand what I'm trying to say if God gives me the grace to explain to you the characteristics and effects of this freedom, and the occasions when it is practiced. 

We pray to God above all, that His name may be hallowed, that His kingdom come, that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. All this is nothing other than the spirit of freedom; for, provided that the name of God is hallowed, that His kingdom is coming in us, that His will is being done, a free spirit has no other concern. 

First characteristic: The heart that enjoys this freedom is not attached to consolations, but accepts affliction with as much docility as nature can manage. I'm not saying that the person doesn't like or long for these consolations, but just that her heart isn't bound to them. Second characteristic: A person who has this spirit is not emotionally bound to her spiritual exercises; so, if she can't do them because of illness or some emergency, she doesn't get upset. Again I'm not saying that she doesn't like them, but that she is not attached to them. Third, she hardly ever loses her joy, for no deprivation can sadden a person whose heart is attached to nothing. This isn't to say that she can't lose her joy, but if she does, it's never for very long. 

The effects of this freedom are a great inner serenity, a great gentleness and willingness to yield in everything that isn't sin or an occasion of sin; it's a flexible disposition, able gracefully to do the virtuous or charitable thing. For example: try interrupting the meditations of someone who is very attached to her spiritual exercises and you will see her upset, flustered, taken aback. A person who has this true freedom will leave her prayer, unruffled, gracious toward the person who has unexpectedly disturbed her, for to her it's all the same—serving God by meditating or serving Him by responding to her neighbor. Both are the will of God, but helping the neighbor is necessary at that particular moment. We have occasion to practice this freedom whenever things don't go the way we'd like them to; for anyone who is not attached to her own ways will not get impatient when things go otherwise.

from Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal Letters of Spiritual Direction pp. 138-139

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daly Thought For October 29, 2014

Suffering In The Light of Eternity

YOUR LIGHT AND MOMENTARY TROUBLES ARE achieving for you an eternal Glory that far outweighs them all. The Greek word the apostle Paul used for light means "a weightless trifle." Yet he had endured tremendous affliction: He had been imprisoned, beaten, and stoned—received thirty-nine lashes five times, was beaten with rods three times. He had been shipwrecked three times and spent a day and a night adrift at sea. He had often been hungry, thirsty, and cold. Yet Paul considered his massive troubles a weightless trifle because he was comparing them with eternal Glory. I am training you to view your problems this way toofrom an eternal perspective. 

I don't waste anything in your life, including your suffering. I use it to teach you important lessons here and now. But there is more. Your troubles are also accomplishing something in heavenly realms. They are achieving eternal Glorycontributing to the reward you will receive in heaven. However, for that to happen, you need to handle well the adversity in your life, trusting Me no matter what. When troubles are weighing you down, try to view them as momentary, weightless trifles that are producing endless Glory! 

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. -2 Corinthians 4:17 

From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. —2 Corinthians 11:24-27

from Jesus Today by Sarah Young pp.314-315

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daily Thought For October 28, 2014

Doing God's Will—Today!

Needing to feel secure, we would like always to be sure of doing God's will. This desire to know God's will, so that we can conform ourselves to it, is normal. And usually, if we seek God's will with a sincere heart, we will receive the light to understand it. But not always. Even if we do all we can to find out God's will in this or that situation by prayer, reflection, and spiritual guidance, we will not always get a very clear answer, at least not right away. 

There are two reasons for this: first, God treats us as adults, and in many situations he wants us to decide for ourselves. The second reason is purification. If we were always sure we were doing God's will and walking in the truth, we would soon become dangerously presumptuous and at risk of spiritual pride. Not always being absolutely sure we are doing God's will is humbling and painful, but it protects us. It preserves us in an attitude of constant seeking and prevents the sort of false security that would dispense us from abandoning ourselves to God. 

When uncertain about God's will, it is very important that we tell ourselves: "Even if there are aspects of God's will that escape me, there are always others that I know for sure and can invest in without any risk, knowing that this investment always pays dividends." These certainties include fulfilling the duties of our state in life and practicing the essential points of every Christian vocation. There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God's will on an important question-a large-scale vocational choice or some other serious decision-we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God's will for us every day, like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full. 

From Interior Freedom  by Jacques Philippe pp. 54-55

Monday, October 27, 2014

Daily Thought For October 27, 2014

Learning To Be Joyful In All Circumstances

BEWARE OF FEELING ENTITLED TO My GOOD gifts. Receive blessings from Me thankfully, yet be willing to release them back to Me—without growing resentful. 

When you have lost something precious (your job, your house, your health, a loved one), you may think it is irrational to be joyful. But this is a worldly way of thinking. Major losses are very painful, and they do need to be grieved. Nonetheless, with time and effort you can learn to focus on the good things that remain  and find Joy in the One who will never leave you. 

Remember that it is possible to be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. The apostle Paul learned the secret of being joyful in all situations through his experiences of multiple hardships. The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to find Joy in the midst of adversity, and He can do the same for you. You must be willing, though, to let go of anything I take from youno matter how painful the loss. Then direct your attention fully to Me, trusting that I will never let go of you. 

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 

In all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God ... as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Corinthians 6:4, 10 

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. Psalm 73:23-24 

from Jesus Today by Sarah Young pp. 100-101

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Daily Thought For October 26, 2014

The Challenge of Staying On Track

At a time when we most need a missionary dynamism which will bring salt and light to the world, many lay people fear that they may be asked to undertake some apostolic work and they seek to avoid any responsibility that may take away from their free time. For example, it has become very difficult today to find trained parish catechists willing to persevere in this work for some years. Something similar is also happening with priests who are obsessed with protecting their free time. This is frequently due to the fact that people feel an overbearing need to guard their personal freedom, as though the task of evangelization was a dangerous poison rather than a joyful response to God’s love which summons us to mission and makes us fulfilled and productive. Some resist giving themselves over completely to mission and thus end up in a state of paralysis and acedia.

The problem is not always an excess of activity, but rather activity undertaken badly, without adequate motivation, without a spirituality which would permeate it and make it pleasurable. As a result, work becomes more tiring than necessary, even leading at times to illness. Far from a content and happy tiredness, this is a tense, burdensome, dissatisfying and, in the end, unbearable fatigue. This pastoral acedia can be caused by a number of things. Some fall into it because they throw themselves into unrealistic projects and are not satisfied simply to do what they reasonably can. Others, because they lack the patience to allow processes to mature; they want everything to fall from heaven. Others, because they are attached to a few projects or vain dreams of success. Others, because they have lost real contract with people and so depersonalize their work that they are more concerned with the road map than with the journey itself. Others fall into acedia because they are unable to wait; they want to dominate the rhythm of life. Today’s obsession with immediate results makes it hard for pastoral workers to tolerate anything that smacks of disagreement, possible failure, criticism, the cross.

And so the biggest threat of all gradually takes shape: “the gray pragmatism of the daily life of the Church, in which all appears to proceed normally, while in reality faith is wearing down and degenerating into small-mindedness”.[63] A tomb psychology thus develops and slowly transforms Christians into mummies in a museum. Disillusioned with reality, with the Church and with themselves, they experience a constant temptation to cling to a faint melancholy, lacking in hope, which seizes the heart like “the most precious of the devil’s potions”.[64] Called to radiate light and communicate life, in the end they are caught up in things that generate only darkness and inner weariness, and slowly consume all zeal for the apostolate. For all this, I repeat: Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of evangelization!

Pope Francis The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) #81-83

Friday, October 24, 2014

Daily Thought For October 24, 2014

Walk With A "Faith"Perspective

The Lord continues to pass by in our life. He tells us of his presence by a variety of signs, but we often do not recognize him. Christ is present in sickness and tribulation which, if we accept God's Will, can serve to purify us. He exists in the people we work with, in those who need our help, in the members of our family, in the acquaintances of everyday life ... Jesus is behind that piece of good news. He is waiting for us to give him due thanks. He is ready to provide us with more blessings. Unfortunately, there are many occasions when we fail to thank him. What a shame that we should slight God because we are inordinately preoccupied with our own affairs! 

What would our life be like if we really lived the presence of God? Wouldn't we find that much of our ill-humor and many of our personal problems would vanish into thin air? If only we could live with more trust in divine Providence, strong in faith, in the certainty of God's daily protection, which never fails, how many worries and anxieties we would be spared! Then that fretfulness which, as Jesus said, is typical of pagans, of the 'heathen world' (Luke 12:30), that is, of people who lack a supernatural outlook on life, would disappear This is the perspective of those who live as if the Master never came among us. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 5 p. 304

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Thought For October 22, 2014

Mary & The Gift of Grace

There is something else, something even more important which Mary Immaculate tells us when we come here, and it is that the world’s salvation is not the work of human beings — of science, of technology, of an ideology — but it comes from Grace. What does this word mean? Grace means Love in its purity and beauty, it is God himself as he revealed himself in salvation history, recounted in the Bible and in its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Mary is called “full of grace” (Lk 1:28) and with her specific identity she reminds us of God’s primacy in our life and in the history of the world, she reminds us that the power of God’s love is stronger than evil, that it can fill the void that selfishness creates in the history of individuals, families, nations and the world.

These forms of emptiness can become hells where human life is drawn downwards and towards nothingness, losing its meaning and its light. The world suggests filling this emptiness with false remedies — drugs are emblematic — that in reality only broaden the abyss. Only love can prevent this fall, but not just any kind of love: a love that contains the purity of Grace — of God who transforms and renews — and can thus fill the intoxicated lungs with fresh oxygen, clean air, new energy for life. Mary tells us that however low man may fall it is never too low for God, who descended even into hell; however far astray our heart may have gone, God is always “greater than our hearts” (1 Jn 3:20). The gentle breath of Grace can dispel the darkest cloud and can make life beautiful and rich in meaning even in the most inhuman situations.

And from this derives the third thing that Mary Immaculate tells us. She speaks of joy, that authentic joy which spreads in hearts freed from sin. Sin brings with it a negative sadness that leads to withdrawal into self. Grace brings true joy that does not depend on possessions but is rooted in the innermost self, in the depths of the person, and nothing and no one can remove it. Christianity is essentially an “evangelo”, “Good News”, whereas some think of it as an obstacle to joy because they see it as a collection of prohibitions and rules.

Christianity is actually the proclamation of the victory of Grace over sin, of life over death. And if it entails self-denial and discipline of the mind, of the heart and of behavior, it is precisely because in the human being there is a poisonous root of selfishness which does evil to oneself and to others. It is thus necessary to learn to say “no” to the voice of selfishness and “yes” to that of genuine love. Mary’s joy is complete, for in her heart there is not a shadow of sin. This joy coincides with the presence of Jesus in her life: Jesus conceived and carried in her womb, then as a child entrusted to her motherly care, as an adolescent, a young man and an adult; Jesus seen leaving home, followed at a distance with faith even to the Cross and to the Resurrection; Jesus is Mary’s joy and is the joy of the Church, of us all.

Pope Benedict XVI (December 8, 2012)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Daily Thought For October 21, 2014

Don't Be Discouraged 

DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know that your heart's desire is to be aware of My Presence continually. This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life. Don't let feelings of failure weigh you down. Instead, try to see yourself as I see you. First of all, I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life. I am pleased each time you initiate communication with Me. In addition, I notice the progress you have made since you first resolved to live in My Presence. 

When you realize that your mind has wandered away from Me, don't be alarmed or surprised. You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you. Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with Me, you achieve a victory. Rejoice in these tiny triumphs, and they will increasingly light up your days. 

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to lifeis at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. —ROMANS 8 :33-34 

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. HEBREWS 4:14-16 

from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young p. 320

Monday, October 20, 2014

Daily Thought For October 20, 2014

The Eucharist & Witness

The first and fundamental mission that we receive from the sacred mysteries we celebrate is that of bearing witness by our lives. The wonder we experience at the gift God has made to us in Christ gives new impulse to our lives and commits us to becoming witnesses of his love. We become witnesses when, through our actions, words and way of being, Another makes himself present. Witness could be described as the means by which the truth of God's love comes to men and women in history, inviting them to accept freely this radical newness. Through witness, God lays himself open, one might say, to the risk of human freedom. Jesus himself is the faithful and true witness (cf. Rev 1:5; 3:14), the one who came to testify to the truth (cf. Jn 18:37). Here I would like to reflect on a notion dear to the early Christians, which also speaks eloquently to us today: namely, witness even to the offering of one's own life, to the point of martyrdom. Throughout the history of the Church, this has always been seen as the culmination of the new spiritual worship: "Offer your bodies" (Rom 12:1). One thinks, for example, of the account of the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, a disciple of Saint John: the entire drama is described as a liturgy, with the martyr himself becoming Eucharist.  We might also recall the eucharistic imagery with which Saint Ignatius of Antioch describes his own imminent martyrdom: he sees himself as "God's wheat" and desires to become in martyrdom "Christ's pure bread."  The Christian who offers his life in martyrdom enters into full communion with the Pasch of Jesus Christ and thus becomes Eucharist with him. Today too, the Church does not lack martyrs who offer the supreme witness to God's love. Even if the test of martyrdom is not asked of us, we know that worship pleasing to God demands that we should be inwardly prepared for it.  Such worship culminates in the joyful and convincing testimony of a consistent Christian life, wherever the Lord calls us to be his witnesses.

Pope Benedict XVI The Sacrament of Charity (Sacramentum Caritatis) #85

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Daily Thought For October 19, 2014

Choosing Virtue
Be very meek. You should live not according to your passions and your inclinations, but according to reason and devotion. Love tenderly those who have been given to you by the hand of our Lord. Be very humble toward all. Direct your mind toward peace and tranquillity, and suffocate your bad inclinations by attending diligently to the practice of the contrary virtues. Mark well these words: you are suffering because you fear vice more than you love virtue. If you were able to stir your heart a little more deeply to the practice of meekness and true humility, you would be courageous. But you must frequently think of it. Prepare yourself to do so first thing each morning, and God will send you a thousand consolations. And do not forget to lift your heart to God and your thoughts to eternity. 

St. Francis de Sales

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Daily Thought For October 18, 2014

The Need & Power of Witness

People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experience than in teaching, and in life and action than in theories. The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission: Christ, whose mission we continue, is the "witness" par excellence (Rv 1:5; 3:14) and the model of all Christian witness. The Holy Spirit accompanies the Church along her way and associates her with the witness he gives to Christ (cf. Jn 15:26-27).

The first form of witness is the very life of the missionary, of the Christian family, and of the ecclesial community, which reveal a new way of living. The missionary who, despite all his or her human limitations and defects, lives a simple life, taking Christ as the model, is a sign of God and of transcendent realities. But everyone in the Church, striving to imitate the Divine Master, can and must bear this kind of witness; in many cases it is the only possible way of being a missionary.

The evangelical witness which the world finds most appealing is that of concern for people, and of charity toward the poor, the weak and those who suffer. The complete generosity underlying this attitude and these actions stands in marked contrast to human selfishness. It raises precise questions which lead to God and to the Gospel. A commitment to peace, justice, human rights and human promotion is also a witness to the Gospel when it is a sign of concern for persons and is directed toward integral human development.

from Mission of the Redeemer (Remdemptoris Missio) by Pope John Paul II #42

Friday, October 17, 2014

Daily Thought For October 17, 2014

Don't Get Stuck In The Past

We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.

St. John Paul II (World Youth Day 2002)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Daily Thought For October 16, 2014

The Mystery of God's Ways

My ways are very mysterious at times, even to those who know Me intimately. It's tempting for My followers to try to control the circumstances of their lives by being good enough. They may not even realize this is motivating their behavior. But when circumstances come crashing down around themsometimes in tragic waysthey may feel as if I have let them down. 

You must leave room for mystery in your worldview—accepting the limitations of your understanding and knowledge. I will never be predictable or controllable, but I am trustworthy. When adversity strikes you or your loved ones, remember the words of Job: "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." 

Though Job faltered at times during his excruciating ordeal, at the end of it he confessed, "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know." Likewise, I urge you to view matters you cannot understand as divine mysteries: things too wonderful for you to know. 

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16 

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the 
LORD." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 

You asked, "Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?" Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. —Job 42:3 

from Jesus Today by Sarah Young pp. 328-329

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Daily Thought For October 15, 2014

Important Words For Our Future

It is right to submit to a higher authority whenever a command of God would be violated.

St. Basil the Great

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Daily Thought For October 14, 2014

Christian Maturity

Ask our Lord that it should please him to console you with his blessing, to make your soul overflow with his holy love and with the sacred humility and meekness of his heart, which are never apart from his love, just as his love is never apart from them. Do not allow yourself to become angry or let yourself be surprised to see that your soul still has all the imperfections that you habitually confess. Even though you must reject and even detest them in order to amend your life, you must not oppose them with anger, but instead with courage and tranquillity, so that you will be able to make a solid and secure resolution to correct them. This resolution, made while you are at rest and with mature consideration, will help you to choose the true means of carrying it out, among which will be the moderation of your human affections. I do not counsel their abandonment, but only their moderation. Thus will you be able 
to find times in which you will be ready for prayer, for a little spiritual reading, for lifting your heart to God, and for recovering your self-possession and setting your heart at peace and in a posture of meekness and humility. 

Compose your soul and let these resolutions sink deep within you. Above all, you must fight against a spirit of hatred for and discontent with your neighbor and abstain from an imperfection that we might not notice, but which is very damaging and which few people succeed in avoiding. When we censure our neighbor or complain about him—something we should do rarelywe never bring it to an end, but are always beginning again and endlessly repeating our complaints and grievances, which is a sign of a nettlesome heart that has not yet regained its health. Strong, robust hearts are sorrowful only about the most serious matters, and, even with respect to these they do not harbor resentment or let themselves be troubled. 

St. Francis de Sales

Monday, October 13, 2014

Daily Thought For October 13, 2014

To Begin Again 

Subjecting my brothers and sisters to criticism for shortcomings while failing to raise a finger to help them shows how afraid I am of compromising myself and soiling my hands. 
If I truly loved my brothers and sisters, and truly sought only God's glory, 
I would recognize my responsibility toward them, I would collaborate with them and offer 
to help them. 
I would roll up my sleeves and begin to work and to fight- 
and not just once! 
To vanquish the enemy, 
one must begin again often. 
Begin again with perseverance 
to do better than the time before, to rebuild and reorganize. 
This is a principle of historical 
and apostolic reality. 
God created human beings in a marvelous way, but when humanity fell, despite our sin, 
God restored us in an even more marvelous way. 
Peter, Paul, and the Christians of the early Church never stopped pursuing the goal. When necessary they began again, trusting in God's power and in the good will and strength of the human person. 
In the Gospel, we read the many setbacks people experienced in their lives, but Jesus commands them to begin again right away: 
"Go and sin no more. " 
"Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor ... then follow me. " 
After having put my hand to the plow I will not look back, I will look up at the horizon. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Daily Thought For October 12, 2014

Judge Your Feelings

Feelings, even pleasant ones, can be from our enemy or from our friend, that is, from the evil one or from the one who is all goodness. Now, we can discern whence they come by certain signs, of which here are a few that will suffice to guide you. 

When we do not rest in them, but when we make use of them only for recreation in order afterward to fulfill with a greater constancy the duties and work that God has confided to us, that is a good sign. God sometimes gives us consolations for this reason. He condescends to our infirmity. He sees that our taste for spiritual things has dulled, and he gives us a little gravy, but only to prompt us to desire the nourishing meat. It is therefore a good indication when we do not tarry in the enjoyment of our feelings, for when the evil one gives us certain feelings, he wants us to rest in them; when we do, when we eat only gravy, our spiritual stomachs become weakened and spoiled. 

Secondly, the right sort of feelings do not make us at all proud. Our understanding must remain entirely humble and submissive to God, recognizing that Caleb and Joshua would never have brought word to the Israelites of the delights of the Promised Land had they not thought them to be in need of having their courage stirred. If, instead of puffing itself up, our understanding recognizes its own weakness and lovingly humiliates itself before God, then we will realize that these feelings are given to us as a reward and protection. 

These good feelings do not leave us weakened, but strengthened, not afflicted, but consoled. The bad ones, however, bring a certain transport when they come and leave us full of anguish when they depart. Good feelings, when they depart, recommend to us the pursuit of virtue in their absence; indeed it is for our growth in virtue that they are given to us. The bad ones suggest that when they depart, virtue does too, and they leave us dispirited. In brief, good feelings do not call for love, but only for us to love the One who sends them, while the bad ones want us to love them above all things. Good feelings impel us to seek virtue; bad ones to seek feelings themselves. 

St. Francis de Sales

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Daily Thought For October 11, 2014

Perseverance in Prayer

You should not reproach yourself if you are not finding consolation in meditation, but proceed gently and with humility and patience, not in any way injuring your spirit. Make use of a book when you find your mind to be weary, that is to say, read a bit and then meditate, and then read again for a bit and then meditate, until you reach the end of your half hour. Teresa of Avila made this her practice in the beginning, and she tells us that it did her great good. Keep as your rule the truth that the grace of meditation cannot be won by any efforts of our minds; what is required is a gentle and very affectionate perseverance, full of humility. 

St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Daily Thought For October 10, 2014

How The Saints Use Time

The saints lived on earth as much as I do. 
The saints were swept along 
by the same current of time. 
Their days were twenty-four hours long and not one minute more! 
All their lives were not longer in years: 
Francis Xavier died at the age of forty-six, Therese of the ChildJesus at twenty-four, and Rose of Lima at thirty-one. 
But the years they lived were incomparably intense and concentrated, because they recognized that time 
had the value of eternity. 

God works through the saints who collaborate with God. 
How much we must esteem a single moment of the Lord's work! 
We build holiness in the present moment not by turning to the past or anticipating the future. That is why the saints treasured the present moment; without neglecting a single instant, they made each moment a response of their whole being to God's love. 

The saints lived in the present as in an immense ocean of peace because they already lived in that unending present of eternity. 

from Prayers of Hope Words of Courage by by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận p. 111

Daily Thought For October 9, 2014

HOPE Does Not Disappoint 

PUT YOUR HOPE IN ME, AND MY UNFAILING Love will rest upon you. Some of My children have forgotten how to hope. They have been disappointed so many times that they don't want to risk being let down again. So they forge ahead stoicallyliving mechanically. Other people put their hope in problem solving, medical treatments, the stock market, the lottery, and so on. But I challenge you to place your hope fully in Me. 

No matter what is happening in your life now, your story has an amazingly happy ending. Though the way ahead may look dark to you, there is brilliant, everlasting Light at the end of your earth-journey. My finished work on the cross secured this heavenly hope for you, and it is absolutely assured. Moreover, knowing that your story finishes well can fill your present journey with Joy. The more you put your hope in Me, the more My Love—Light shines upon you brightening your day. Remember that I am with you continually, and I Myself am your Hope! 

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. — Psalm 33:20-22 

A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. Titus 1:2 

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope. — 1 Timothy 1:1 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Daily Thought For October 8, 2014

Value The Ordinary

By your example, Lord Jesus, you have taught me to live close to reality and to value ordinary tasks: gathering leftover loaves and fish, fishing, cooking, buying oil, visiting the abandoned and sick, sharing food and clothes, loving, pardoning those who do me wrong ... many completely ordinary responsibilities! 

Each of us carries out ordinary tasks every day, but the range of their influence is immense. Ordinary tasks can bring life and happiness to a person, provoke a family's collapse, or even prepare a new society for the future. 

Such tasks bear witness to our love and, if done for the Lord, serve as a key that opens the doors of paradise. Who proclaimed this? Jesus himself when he said: "Whoever is faithful in the small things will also be faithful in the great." 

Ordinary things await us at every moment of life. If we all accomplished our humble tasks with the heart of Jesus, his revolution of love would be complete and success would be in our hands! 

My surprise and joy will be great when I hear Jesus say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful in the little things .... Enter into the joy of your Lord." 

from Prayers of Hope—Words of Courage by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận p. 33

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Daily Thought For October 7, 2014

The Power of Mercy

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.

Pope Francis

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Daily Thought For October 5, 2014

Acceptance of God's Will

While taking a walk by yourself, or when you are alone at some other time, turn your eye to God's universal will and see how he wills all the works of his mercy and justice, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Then with profound humility, accept, praise, and then bless this sovereign will, which is entirely holy, just, and beautiful. 

Turn your eye next to God's particular will, by which he loves his own and accomplishes in them different works of consolation and tribulation. Ponder this a while, as you consider not only the variety of his consolations, but above all the trials suffered by the good. Then, with great humility, accept, praise, and bless the whole of this will. 

Finally, consider this will in your own person, in all that befalls you for good or ill, and in all that can happen to you, except sin. Then, accept, praise, and bless all this, and declare your intention always to honor, cherish, and adore this sovereign will, confiding to his mercy and giving him your own life and those of your loved ones. 

Conclude with an act of great confidence in his will, believing that he will do everything for us and for our happiness. After having made this exercise two or three times, you can shorten or vary it as you find best, but you should frequently recall it by short aspirations. 

St. Francis de Sales

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Daily Thought For October 4, 2014

God & The Work For God

Because of your infinite love for me, Lord, you called me to follow you, to be your child and your disciple. 
Then you entrusted me with a unique mission 
that has the same requirements as every mission: that I be your apostle and witness. 
Still, my experience has taught me that I confuse these two realities: 
God and God's work. 
God gave me the responsibility to carry out certain works- 
some sublime and others more modest; some noble and others more common. 
And so, with a commitment to pastoral work in parishes and with young people in schools, with artists and laborers, 
in the world of the press, radio, and television, I gave my entire energy to everything and poured out all my abilities. 
I did not spare anything, not even my life. 
But, while I was so passionately immersed in action, 
I met the defeat of ingratitude, the refusal to collaborate, 
the incomprehension of friends, the lack of support from leaders, illness and infirmity, insufficient resources ... 
And, then when I happened to enjoy success, when I was the object of everyone's approval, praise, and affection, 
I was suddenly transferred to another position. So there I was, dazed, groping about as if in the dark of night: 
Why, Lord, are you abandoning me? 
I do not want to desert your work I want to complete it. 
I must finish building the Church ... Why do others attack your work? Why do they withdraw their support? 
Kneeling before your altar, close to the Eucharist, 
I heard your answer, Lord: 
"It is me you are supposed to be following, not my work! 
If I will it, you will finish the work entrusted to you. 
It matters little who takes over your work after you; 
that is my business. 
Your business is to choose me!" 

from Prayers of Hope—Words of Courage by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận pp. 116-117

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Daily Thought for October 3, 2014

A Great Prayer For This Day

In all circumstances, of joy or sorrow, hope or fear, let us aim at having Him in our inmost heart; let us have no secret apart from Him. Let us acknowledge Him as enthroned within us at the very springs of thought and affection. Let us submit ourselves to His guidance and sovereign direction; let us come to Him that He may forgive us, cleanse us, change us, guide us and save us.

St. Jerome

Daily Thought For October 2, 2014

Open Our Eyes To The Grace of This Day

Dear friends, open your eyes and look around you. So many young people no longer see any meaning in their lives. Go forth! Christ needs you too. Let yourselves be caught up and drawn along by his love. Be at the service of this immense love, so it can reach out to everyone, especially to those “far away”. Some people are far away geographically, but others are far away because their way of life has no place for God. Some people have not yet personally received the Gospel, while others have been given it, but live as if God did not exist. Let us open our hearts to everyone. Let us enter into conversation in simplicity and respect. If this conversation is held in true friendship, it will bear fruit. The “nations” that we are invited to reach out to are not only other countries in the world. They are also the different areas of our lives, such as our families, communities, places of study and work, groups of friends and places where we spend our free time. The joyful proclamation of the Gospel is meant for all the areas of our lives, without exception.

Pope Benedict XVI - Message for World Youth Day 2013

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Daily Thought For October 1, 2014

A Transparent Vessel 

"Woe unto you, lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering you hindered. " 

Jesus addresses this warning to me: I must not manipulate God's truth. Some people are self-proclaimed owners of truth. They are the only ones who can understand and comment on God's law and word. They put the truth at the service of their personal interests, and whoever dares to upset their way of living transgresses God's law. Today, as yesterday, this is a danger that threatens the Church. 

I must examine myself: am I transparent enough to allow the Lord's message to move through me and to be the faithful transmitter of the truth in every detail? Or do I deform the truth by altering its requirements, rewriting certain aspects, arranging it according to my own needs, warping, disguising, or blurring it- then embroidering an attractive design to cover my manipulation? 

I want to be your faithful messenger with those who have suffered 
for bearing witness to you, 
with those who have been persecuted
for having followed your way, 
the traditional destiny reserved for your prophets. 

from Prayers of Hope—Words of Courage by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận p. 101

Daily Thought For April 2, 2020

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