Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Daily Thought For December 31, 2014

Giving Thanks For The Gift of Faith

Another year is drawing to a close, as we await the start of a new one: with some trepidation, with our perennial desires and expectations. Reflecting on our life experience, we are continually astonished by how ultimately short and ephemeral life is. So we often find ourselves asking: what meaning can we give to our days? What meaning, in particular, can we give to the days of toil and grief? This is a question that permeates history, indeed it runs through the heart of every generation and every individual. But there is an answer: it is written on the face of a Child who was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, and is today the Living One, risen for ever from the dead. From within the fabric of humanity, rent asunder by so much injustice, wickedness and violence, there bursts forth in an unforeseen way the joyful and liberating novelty of Christ our Saviour, who leads us to contemplate the goodness and tenderness of God through the mystery of his Incarnation and Birth. The everlasting God has entered our history and he remains present in a unique way in the person of Jesus, his incarnate Son, our Saviour, who came down to earth to renew humanity radically and to free us from sin and death, to raise us to the dignity of God’s children. Christmas not only recalls the historical fulfilment of this truth that concerns us directly, but in a mysterious and real way, gives it to us afresh.


How evocative it is, at this close of a year, to listen again to the joyful message addressed by Saint Paul to the Christians of Galatia: “when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5). These words penetrate the heart of the history of us all and illumine it, or rather, they save it, because since the Day of the Lord’s Nativity, the fullness of time has reached us. So there is no more room for anxiety in the face of time that passes, never to return; now there is room for unlimited trust in God, by whom we know we are loved, for whom we live and to whom our life is directed as we await his definitive return. Since the Savior came down from heaven, man has ceased to be the slave of time that passes to no avail, marked by toil, sadness and pain. Man is son of a God who has entered time so as to redeem it from meaninglessness and negativity, a God who has redeemed all humanity, giving it everlasting love as a new perspective of life.

Pope Benedict XVI Vespers December 31, 2011

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Daily Thought For December 30, 2014

Jesus Never Fails His Friends

How little too is our faith when we doubt whether the storm will abate! Too often we allow ourselves to be discouraged by circumstances: sickness, work, reverses of fortune, opposition to us in our surroundings. Fear is a phenomenon which covers almost every aspect of life. It is often the result of ignorance or of selfishness stemming from an excessive concern for oneself or anxiety over things that perhaps will never happen. But, above all else, fear often stems from the awareness that the security of our life is based on very weak foundations. Here we are forgetting an essential truth: Jesus Christ is our constant security. This does not mean to say that we are insensitive to events, but that we should have more confidence in using the human means at our disposal. We must never forget that to be close to Jesus, even when he appears to be asleep, is to be safe. When we are confused and going through unpleasant times, Jesus does not forget us. As St Teresa said: he never fails his friends.



from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 1 p. 270

Monday, December 29, 2014

Daily Thought For December 29, 2014

The Struggle For Justice

In the final analysis, the establishment of justice and peace in the world finds its solution in the human heart. And, when the heart is not centered on God, man reverts to his original state of slavery and is subject to every kind of oppression from his fellow creatures. 

Thus, we can never forget that when, through our personal apostolate, we try to make the world around us more Christian, we are also making it more human. And, to the extent that we succeed in this, by creating a more just and more human environment in social, family and working conditions, we are at the same time creating a climate in which Christ can be more easily known and loved. 

A decision to put into practice the virtue of justice, without reservations, will lead us to pray daily for the leaders of government, business enterprises, welfare services etc. For the solution to the major social and human problems of today depends to a great extent on such people. And in doing so we must endeavor to live up to this standard, without inhibitions and without leaving to others the practice of justice which the Church urges upon us. This means full payment for services rendered. It entails a serious effort to improve the living conditions of people in need. It presupposes exemplary behavior in carrying out our work competently and well, showing responsibility and initiative in the exercise of our rights and duties as citizens. Finally, the practice of justice will lead us to join movements in which, together with other people of good-will, we can foster more human and more Christian ideals. And all this, though it may seem to take up more time than is normally at our disposal, is not impossible; for if we really make an effort, God will enlarge our day. 

Our Lord has left us a program of life which, if put into practice, is capable of completely transforming mankind. He has told us that we are all children of God and therefore brothers. This has a profound impact on the relations between, men. God has given the goods of the earth to all to administer them well. To all he has 
promised eternal life. The doctrine of Christ has, over the centuries, led to great achievements: the abolition of slavery, the recognition of the dignity of women, the protection of orphans and widows, the care of the sick and the handicapped. They are a consequence of the sense of the brotherhood of man resulting from the Christian faith. In our own professional and social surroundings, can it really be said that in word and deed we are truly contributing towards making the world more just and more human? 

Let us recall the words of Monsignor Escriva:  Perhaps you bring to mind all the injustices which cry for redress, all the abuses that go uncorrected, the discrimination passed on from one generation to the next with no attempt to find permanent solutions. 


... A man or a society that does not react to suffering and injustice and makes no attempt to alleviate them is still distant from the love of Christ's heart. While Christians enjoy the fullest freedom in finding and applying various solutions to these problems, they should be united in having one and the same desire to serve mankind. Otherwise their Christianity will not be the word and life of Jesus; it will be a fraud, a deception of God and man. God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son...

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 1 pp. 263-265 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Daily Thought For December 28, 2014

Why The Family Is So Important

One of the great challenges of the family today consists in attempts at its privatization, running the risk of forgetting that the family is “the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another” (EG, 66). What needs to be clearly delineated is the idea of the family as a resource in society, that is to say, a source of the essential virtues for a life in community. In a family, a person learns a sense of the common good and experiences the goodness of living together. Without the family, a person is unable to emerge from his individualism, since it is the only place to learn the power of love to sustain life, and “without a love which is trustworthy, nothing could truly keep men and women united. Human unity would be conceivable only on the basis of utility, on a calculus of conflicting interests or on fear, but not on the goodness of living together, not on the joy which the mere presence of others can give” 

The Pastoral Challenges Of The Family In The Context Of Evangelization (INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS) #33


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Daily Thought For December 27, 2104

Do We Allow God To Love Us? 

On this holy night, while we contemplate the Infant Jesus just born and placed in the manger, we are invited to reflect. How do we welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close?  “But I am searching for the Lord” – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me?

More so, do we have the courage to welcome with tenderness the difficulties and problems of those who are near to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, perhaps effective but devoid of the warmth of the Gospel? How much the world needs tenderness today!

The Christian response cannot be different from God’s response to our smallness. Life must be met with goodness, with meekness. When we realize that God is in love with our smallness, that he made himself small in order to better encounter us, we cannot help but open our hearts to him, and beseech him: “Lord, help me to be like you, give me the grace of tenderness in the most difficult circumstances of life, give me the grace of closeness in the face of every need, of meekness in every conflict”.


Dear brothers and sisters, on this holy night we contemplate the Nativity scene: there “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1). People who were unassuming, open to receiving the gift of God, were the ones who saw this light.  This light was not seen, however, by the arrogant, the proud, by those who made laws according to their own personal measures, who were closed off to others.  Let us look to the crib and pray, asking the Blessed Mother: “O Mary, show us Jesus!”.


Pope Francis Christmas Eve Mass 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Daily Thought For Christmas Day, 2014

Christmas—Jesus Is Here For You!

Merry Christmas! Today is the day when we celebrate the light of Christ, a light that pierces all our darkness! While some of us find it easy to rejoice today, others may struggle to celebrate. Still, the truth remains: the Word became flesh for all of us. His grace and truth and glory are available for everyone. And so, whatever darkness seems to enfold you, God calls out: “Come into my light! Darkness has not, and cannot, overcome it.” To all of us he says, “I came for you.”

“Lord, I’m so worried about my children.”

“I came for you—and for them!”

“Lord, I’m locked in a prison cell all by myself.”

“I came for you; let me join you and keep you company.”

“Lord, I can’t find my way out of sin. I feel guilty, ashamed, and too afraid to go to Confession.”

“Don’t be afraid. I came to light the way for you.”

“Lord, life feels so overwhelming, and I don’t seem to have time for you.”

“That’s okay. Come to me whenever you can. I always have time for you.”

“Lord, I’m struggling to believe that you love me.”

“Don’t worry. I have enough love for both of us. Come rest your head on my shoulder.”

“Lord, I don’t love the people who will be at my dinner table today.”

“Let me help you love the unlovable.”

“Lord, I’m all alone today. I have no one to celebrate with.”

“I’m here with you. Let’s celebrate together, just you and I.”

On this great day, listen as Jesus cries out, “I came for you. Now come to me! Let me walk with you so that you can know my peace.”


“Thank you, Jesus, for shining your light in my life! Thank you for lighting my way when darkness makes it hard. Lord, I rejoice in you!”


Daily Meditation from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)

Daily Thought For December 24, 2014

Prepare For Christmas

Christmas is a privileged opportunity to meditate on the meaning and value of our existence. The approach of this Solemnity helps us on the one hand to reflect on the drama of history in which people, injured by sin, are perennially in search of happiness and of a fulfilling sense of life and death; and on the other, it urges us to meditate on the merciful kindness of God who came to man to communicate to him directly the Truth that saves, and to enable him to partake in his friendship and his life. Therefore let us prepare ourselves for Christmas with humility and simplicity, making ourselves ready to receive as a gift the light, joy and peace that shine from this mystery.

Pope Benedict XVI General Audience December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Daily Thought For December 23, 2014

Ordering Things Towards God

Speaking to men and women striving to reach sanctity in the midst of the world - businessmen, academics, agricultural laborers, office-workers, mothers and fathers - Monsignor Escriva said: The ordinary Christian has to reconcile two aspects of his life that can at first sight seem contradictory. There is on the one hand 'true poverty' which is obvious and tangible and made up of definite things. This poverty should be an expression of faith in God and a sign that the heart is not satisfied with created things and aspires to the Creator; that it wants to be filled with love of God so as to be able to give this same love to everyone. On the other hand, the ordinary Christian 'is and wants to be one more among his fellow men', sharing their way of life, their joys and their sorrows, working with them, loving the world and all the good things that exist in it, using all created things in order to solve the problems of human life and to establish the kind of spiritual and material environment that will foster personal and social development. 
Achieving a synthesis between these two aspects is to a great extent a personal matter. It requires interior life, which will help us assess in every circumstance what God is asking of us.

If we struggle effectively to live detached from the things we have and use, Our Lord will find our hearts clean and wide open to him when he comes to us again on Christmas Night. What happened in the inn at that time will not happen in our hearts: it was full, and they had no room for him there at all. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 1 pp. 210-211

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Daily Thought For December 21, 2014

The Annunciation—Opening To God

I would like to emphasize another important point: the opening of the soul to God and to his action in faith also includes an element of obscurity. The relationship of human beings with God does not delete the distance between Creator and creature, it does not eliminate what the Apostle Paul said before the depth of God’s wisdom: “How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom 11:33).

Yet those who — like Mary — open themselves totally to God, come to accept the divine will, even though it is mysterious, although it often does not correspond with their own wishes, and is a sword that pierces their soul, as the elderly Simeon would say prophetically to Mary when Jesus was presented in the Temple (cf. Lk 2:35). Abraham’s journey of faith included the moment of joy in the gift of his son Isaac, but also the period of darkness, when he had to climb Mount Moriah to execute a paradoxical order: God was asking him to sacrifice the son he had just given him. On the mountain, the Angel told him: “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Gen 22:12). Abraham's full trust in the God who is faithful to his promises did not fail, even when his word was mysterious and difficult, almost impossible to accept. So it is with Mary. Her faith experienced the joy of the Annunciation, but also passed through the gloom of the crucifixion of the Son to be able to reach the light of the Resurrection.

It is exactly the same on the journey of faith of each one of us: we encounter patches of light, but we also encounter stretches in which God seems absent, when his silence weighs on our hearts and his will does not correspond with ours, with our inclination to do as we like. However, the more we open ourselves to God, welcome the gift of faith and put our whole trust in him — like Abraham, like Mary — the more capable he will make us, with his presence, of living every situation of life in peace and assured of his faithfulness and his love. However, this means coming out of ourselves and our own projects so that the word of God may be the lamp that guides our thoughts and actions.

Pope Benedict XVI - General Audience, December 19, 2012

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Daily Thought For December 20, 2014

Is This True?

In youth the days are short and the years are long. In old age the years are short and day's long.

Venerable Servant of God Pope Paul VI

Friday, December 19, 2014

Daily Thought For December 19, 2014

In God Is The Joy Of My Soul

My hope is that the Good News of Christ will enter every home and help families to rediscover that only in Christ can man find salvation. In him it is possible to find the interior peace, hope and strength necessary to face life's various situations each day, even those most onerous and difficult. In the letter accompanying the Gospel, I recalled that Jesus is not a figure of the past. He is the Word of God who even today continues to shed light on man's path; his actions are the expression of the Father's love for every human being.

St. Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daily Thought For December 17, 2014

Make A Difference By Following This!

Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”

St. Thérèse de Lisieux

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Daily Thought For December 16, 2014

Surrender To The Ocean of God's Goodness

Obedience is not an act of coercion, it is letting go, surrendering to the ocean of God's goodness All this leads to a fundamental change in the way we deal with the whole of reality, everything appears in a new light, it is therefore a true "conversion," faith is a "change of mentality" because the God who has revealed Himself in Christ, and has made known His plan, seizes us, draws us to Himself, becomes the meaning that supports life, the rock on which it can find stability. In the Old Testament we find an intense expression on faith, which God entrusts the prophet Isaiah to communicate to the king of Judah, Ahaz.

God says: "Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm" (Is 7.9 b). There is therefore a link between being and understanding that expresses how faith is a welcoming into our lives God's vision of reality, letting God guide us through His Word and Sacraments to understand what we must do, the path we must take, how to live. At the same time, however, it is precisely understanding according to God, seeing with His eyes that makes our lives more solid, which allows us to "stand", not to fall.


Dear friends, Advent, the liturgical season that we have just begun and that prepares us for Christmas, places us before a the luminous mystery of the coming of the Son of God, the great "Benevolent Plan" with which he wants to draw us to Himself, to help us live in full communion of joy and peace with Him Advent invites us once again, in the midst of many difficulties, to renew our awareness that God is present: He came into the world, becoming a man like us, to bring His plan of love to fullness. And God demands that we become a sign of his action in the world. Through our faith, our hope, our love, He wants to enter the world again and again He wants to shine His light in our night. Thank you.

excerpt from The Wednesday Catechesis of Pope Benedict XVI (December 5, 2012)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Daily Thought For December 15, 2014

 The Call To Rediscover The Joy Of The Lord

Dear brother and sisters, dear children and young people, good day.

For the last two weeks, the season of Advent has invited us to spiritual vigilance so as to prepare the way of the Lord, the Lord who comes. On this third Sunday, the liturgy proposes to us another interior attitude for living this awaiting of the Lord, that is, joy. As this sign says [indicating a sign in the crowd: "Con Gesù la gioia è di casa"]: With Jesus, joy is part of the home. That proposes to us the joy of Jesus.

The heart of man desires joy. All of us aspire to joy. Every family, every people aspires to happiness. But what is the joy to which the Christian is called to live and to give witness? It is that that comes from the closeness of God, of his presence in our lives. Since Jesus entered history, with his birth in Bethlehem, humanity has received the seed of the Kingdom of God, as the earth receives a seed, the promise of a future harvest. We don't need to look elsewhere. Jesus came to bring joy to everyone and for ever.

It is not a joy that is merely anticipated or set in paradise -- "here on earth we are sad but in paradise, we'll be happy." No. It's not that. Rather, [it is] a joy that is already real and that can be felt now, because Jesus himself is our joy, is our home.

As that sign of yours says, "With Jesus, joy part of the home," let us repeat this again, "With Jesus, joy is part of the home." And without Jesus, is their joy? No. Jesus is alive. He is the risen one and he works in us, especially with his word and the sacraments.

All of us who are baptized, the children of the Church, are called to welcome ever again the presence of God in our midst and to help others to discover it, or to rediscover it if we've forgotten it. It is a beautiful mission, similar to that of John the Baptist: to point people toward Christ -- not to ourselves -- because He is the final goal toward which the human heart reaches when it seeks joy and happiness.

Again St. Paul in today's liturgy indicates for us the conditions for being a "missionary of joy": to pray with perseverance, to always give thanks to God, to follow his Spirit, to seek the good and avoid evil. If this would be our style of life, then the Good News could enter into so many houses and help people and families to discover that salvation is in Jesus. In Him, it is possible to find interior peace and the strength to face daily the various situations of life, even the most difficult and costly.

A sad saint or a saint with a face of mourning was never heard of. It's never been heard of. It would be a contradiction.

The Christian is a person who has his heart full of peace, because he knows how to place his joy in the Lord, even when the difficult moments of life arise.

To have faith does not mean to not have difficult moments, but to have the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone. And this is the Peace that God gives to his children.

With eyes set on Christmas, which is approaching, the Church invites us to give witness that Jesus is not a figure from the past. He is the word of God who today continues illuminating the path of man. His actions, the sacraments, are the manifestations of the tenderness, of the consolation, of the love of the Father for each human being. The Virgin Mary, "cause of our joy" always brings us back to joy in the Lord, who comes to free us from so many interior and exterior slaveries.

Sunday Angelus of Pope Francis (December 14, 2014)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Daily Thought For December 13, 2014

Our Weakness Shows God's Strength

There is no need to doubt that we possess faith in God, simply because we find it difficult to keep clear of sin, or find ourselves diffident or even fearing that we will not be able to resist occasions of temptation. No! Diffidence in our strength of will is not due to lack of resolve but is a true acknowledgement of our misery. The fear of being able to resist temptations is better than considering ourselves strong and secure, because all that we do not expect from our own strength we hope to receive by means of God's grace...We must simply be on our guard and be humble so as not to fall victim to temptation.

St. Francis de Sales

Friday, December 12, 2014

Daily Thought For December 12, 2014

A Family Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of our family. Enlighten our hearts and minds that we may live more fully this vocation to love.

In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father, eternally show with your Son and the Holy Spirit.

Let your love be evident in the peace that reigns in our home and in the faith we profess and live. May our family always be a place of generosity, understanding, forgiveness and joy.

Kindly give us the wisdom and courage to be witnesses to your eternal design for the family; and grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth may always guide our path to holiness as a family.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Knights of Columbus


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Daily Thought For December 11, 2014

Great Reflection On Grace

Mary, on the day she received the announcement of the Angel, was in deep recollection and at the same time open to listening to God. In her there was no obstacle, no screen, nothing that separated her from God. This is the meaning of her being without original sin: her relation with God was free from even the slightest flaw; there is no separation, there is not a shadow of selfishness, but perfect harmony; her small human heart is perfectly “centered” in the great heart of God. So it is, dear brothers and sisters, that coming here to this monument to Mary in the heart of Rome reminds us primarily that God’s voice is not recognized in noise and bustle; his plan for our personal and social life is not perceived by remaining on the surface but rather by descending to a deeper level, where the active power is not economic or political but moral and spiritual. There Mary invites us to come down and to put ourselves in tune with God’s action.

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.


Pope Benedict XVI Address at the Spanish Steps December 8, 2012

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Daily Thought For December 10, 2014

Hidden Strength

      An uncle of mine, who married into the family, likes to recall the first time he knew there was more to my grandfather than meets the eye. 
     One day he was helping his future brothers-in-law put up a basketball hoop, and it took all three of them to lift the hoop’s large metal pole. All of a sudden, the pole slipped from the grasp of the other men and brought the full weight of the solid iron pole upon his shoulder. He could hardly breathe due to the weight. However, a moment later the weight of the pole was taken from him, for my grandfather had single-handedly lifted it and thrown it away. After having recovered, my uncle realized that his future father-in-law was not a man to be taken lightly: hidden behind his kind demeanor slept a tremendous strength. 
     We can have a similar experience with our Lord. Sometimes we may find ourselves in impossible situations where a tremendous weight is placed upon our shoulders that we cannot carry alone. Rather than panic at the lack of help from our peers, it is essential to let the Lord come in and take up our burdens with us. If we allow the Lord to help us in those moments, he may surprise us with his tremendous strength. 

from Fr. Ambrose Little, O.P. Magnificat Advent Companion p. 30

     

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Daily Thought For December 9, 2014

One Reason We Need To Pray For Our Youth

Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.


St. Pope John Paul II

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Daily Thought For December 4, 2014

Fill In The Valleys of Fear & Discouragement

St. John gives some particulars in today's Gospel. Make straight the way of the Lord, fill up the valleys, lower the mountains and hills. They, as well as the ditches and valleys, trouble travelers. Make straight the paths. Those that twist and turn and fatigue the pilgrim greatly. Our life too contains many hills, valleys and tortuous ways which can be put right only by penitence. Penitence fills up the valleys, lays low the mountains, makes straight and smoothes the ways. Do penance, says St. John; lower those mountains of pride, fill up those valleys, those ditches of lukewarmness and tepidity. 

The valleys which the glorious St. John wants us to fill up are none other than fear which, when it is excessive, leads to discouragement at the sight of our sins. Fill up the valleys; that is, fill your heart with confidence and hope because salvation is near at hand. [Lk. 21:28; Rom. 13:11]. The sight of our great faults brings with it a certain horror and shock, a certain fear and terror which unnerves the heart and often leads it to discouragement. These are the ditches and valleys that must be filled up for Our Lord's coming. 

St. Francis De Sales The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales For Advent & Christmas pp.45-46

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Daily Thought For December 3, 2014

Great Thought From Our Saint of the Day

We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.

St. Francis Xavier

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Daily Thought For December 2, 2014

God Loves The Simple & Humble

It is indeed true that our dear Savior and Master came to teach both the little and the great, the learned and the simple. Yet we almost always find Him among the poor and simple. How different is God's Spirit from that of the world, which esteems only appearance and pomp. Ancient philosophers received into their schools only those who had a good mind and sound judgment. Of those who did not possess these qualities they said openly, "Such a canvas is not suited to our brush." Today we see many simple folk despised by some people who become irritated and wearied by their conversation and who take pleasure only in being among lofty minds. No matter how haughty, proud and arrogant these people may be, the world still tolerates them. But God's Spirit does quite the contrary; It rejects the proud and converses with the humble. Our Lord even numbers this among His miracles: "Relate to John that the poor have the Gospel preached to them." 

St. Francis de Sales from The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales For Advent & Christmas p.14

Monday, December 1, 2014

Daily Thought For December 1, 2014

Prisons

     The world is now fully aware of the unspeakable horrors of concentration camps such as Dachau and Auschwitz, which are situated in historic reality, in specific geographic locations, and as a shadow in the human memory. 
     Today there are new Dachaus and Auschwitzes. In new camps, whether known or unknown, visible or hidden, victims of injustice and oppression are confined. Only attentive observers are aware of their existence. Yes, concentration camps still exist, enclosed behind the barbed wire of injustice and raised by those who oppress and despoil. But my indifference also helps to build these enclosures!
     Each day so many of my brothers and sisters of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Vietnam, China, Cuba, and Iran walk the way of their passion and climb their Calvary. They are Jesus, abandoned, forgotten, and rejected by cruelty and injustice. 
     Because I am afraid of soiling my hands, of compromising myself, because I do not want to give up my comforts, well-being, and gratification, I try to forget them, to not think of them any more. . . But their reality is ever present and weighs heavily on my conscience. 
     Lord, give me the courage to break down the enclosures of selfishness , cowardice, discrimination, and greed that encircle the world and hold if prisoner. And forgive me for my contribution in building up prisons of injustice and oppression. 

Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.