Saturday, January 31, 2015

Daily Thought For January 31, 2015

Anger Does Not Fulfill God's Justice

This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart's door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation," ... a man's anger does not fulfill God's justice." 

St. Francis de Sales

Friday, January 30, 2015

Daily Thought For January 30, 2015

Love Doesn't Brood Over Injury

God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.

Pope Francis—Message For Lent 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Daily Thought For January 29, 2015

Bringing Souls To Christ

Strong love makes strong actions, and the measure of our zeal in bringing souls to the feet of Christ is the measure of our love of him. 

Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Daily Thought For January 28, 2015

Overcoming Long-Term Unforgiveness


Luskin proposes a system for those who have struggled for a long time with unforgiveness. 

1. The preliminary step is to take responsibility for how you feel. You cannot let the world dictate to you how you should feel. True, your feelings are often influenced by what takes place around you, but you need not be dominated by those feelings. You can choose to reject harmful feelings and pursue healthy ones. 

2. Having done that, refocus your thoughts away from the things that have made you angry to some very positive thoughts. For example, thank God for the beautiful weather or for the ability to read or to buy things you need. Thank him for your spouse or your children or for a wonderful day or a magnificent sunset. You might think of people you have forgiven or speak to others about their forgiveness experiences. Or read about those who have forgiven great injustices. Or think about times you were loved or when you loved someone well.  These are some things Christians should do often, whether they struggle with unforgiveness or not. 




3. Luskin encourages people to refocus their attention from the injustice they endured to a "positive intention." What is it that you really want? Is it the return of a lost love, or is it to have a good, strong relationship with someone? If it is the latter, then it's time to forget the lover who jilted you. You can move on and pursue your real goal. 

The point is that unforgiveness makes you focus on the wrong thing —your grievances. Enlist your family and friends to help you overcome this. Ask them to tell you when you overdo your "grievance story." Until you can let go of your grievances completely, set a limit on the time you spend on thinking about them; you might, for instance, give yourself just a few moments each day to reflect on an injustice you endured.  By focusing instead on what you really want in life, beyond the unfortunate things that happened in the past, you begin to emerge free from a debilitating negativity and hopelessness. You can get beyond what is holding you back from growing, from finding joy in life again. 

from Overcoming Sinful Anger—How to Master Your Emotions & Bring Peace to Your Life by Reverend T.G. Morrow p.30-32


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Daily Thought For January 27, 2015

Christians Are Not Doormats!

St. Francis de Sales pursued the idea of not letting events of the world bother him when he was the bishop of Geneva. Once one of his priests became angry when he was turned down for a position that was beyond his capabilities. In response, the priest published a pamphlet ridiculing Francis and had the nerve to hand him a copy while Francis was leading a religious event at his cathedral. The bishop read it and did nothing about it. Later, instead of penalizing the priest, as his friends suggested, he treated him kindly and even granted him favors. 

If we think of ourselves as a nothing, as a servant of all those we meet (as did St. Francis of Assisi and St. Therese of Lisieux), we will embrace the hurts and humiliations we endure as splinters of the cross we must bear for Christ. These are sacrifices that we can joyfully accept as offerings to save souls, including our own. 

This is not the same as being a doormat. A doormat is someone who has no self-esteem and thus allows the whole world to take advantage of him in every situation. A Christian is one whose self-esteem comes from sacrificing his life for Christ and his people, one who is moving in a planned direction to become a new creation in Christ. The doormat puts up with all kinds of injustices because he thinks he has no choice. A Christian endures injustices patiently because it's a spiritual work of mercy and he chooses to be an image of the One who endured the greatest injustice ever borne: death on a Cross for a world of sinners. 

St. John wrote, "Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:5). Clearly there is a sense in which we have not overcome the world. The world is a mess. 

In another sense, however, we have overcome the world if we are so focused on Christ that the world can't get to us any longer. When Peter kept his eyes on Christ, he could walk on water, but when he began to listen to the "winds of the world," he sank (see Matt. 14:28-30). If we are truly living for Christ and we have become a 
new creation in his image, the world cannot get to us; it cannot ruin our peace. We shouldn't get upset while listening to the news. It's not that we don't notice the evil being done in the world, or to us in particular, or that we don't care about it. It's that we realize that in the large scheme of things, in light of the Kingdom, what is happening around us is not so important. We keep our eyes fixed on our eternal destination, where there will be no evil. I often say to those who lament the terrible state of world affairs, "Just remember, God is still in charge." And He is! 

We don't disengage ourselves from the world. Not at all. We are concerned about making the world a better place and are active in doing so as Christians, but if the world—or our world—is not as we would like it to be, we shouldn't get angry. We should work at making it better but not lose our peace over it. Francis de Sales wrote, "If the whole universe should be convulsed, we ought not to be troubled, for the whole world is worth less than peace of soul." 


from Overcoming Sinful Anger—How to Master Your Emotions & Bring Peace to Your Life by Reverend T.G. Morrow p.33-35


Monday, January 26, 2015

Daily Thought For January 26, 2015

4 Stages of Forgiveness


1. Recognize the problem and be angry. (Easy enough! ) 

2. Do something to diminish your hurt. It may involve trying to see things from the other's perspective or just to assert that the matter was not a big deal. 

3. Recall how good it felt to forgive in the past. 

4. Make a serious effort not to let yourself be offended by things.  

from Overcoming Sinful Anger—How to Master Your Emotions & Bring Peace to Your Life by Reverend T.G. Morrow p.32

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Daily Thought For January 23, 2015

Omnia Fert Tempus ("Time will tell") TRADITIONAL

The infant sees nothing beyond her own small fist. The child's vision expands slightly to take in the faces around him and the hills visible beyond his own backyard. 

But even the adult can't see the whole picture at any given moment. How many times have we lived in anxiety and urgency for an event to occur, only to look back and wonder what the fuss could have been all about? How many times have we experienced pain that seemed to lead us to the edge of despair, then looked back and seen that same pain as a door to greater wisdom? 

Here's a call to caution, then. Don't act too soon; don't judge too quickly, either yourself or others. Life is so rich and complex that it requires time to be understood. 

But as far as time can take us, it can never take us to a complete understanding of all that is. God made that very clear to Job. 

from Latin Sayings For Spiritual Growth by Archabbot Lambert Reilly, O.S.B.

Daily Thought For January 22, 2015

Simple Prayer From A Powerful Saint

Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what You want me to be – and becoming that person.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Daily Thought For January 20, 2015

Building A Culture of Life

The Gospel of life is for the whole of human society. To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.

St. Pope John Paul II Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) #101

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Daily Thought For January 19, 2015

Finding Our True Self

"So if I have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you" (John 13:13-15). 

     In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities, and there is no joy in things that do not exist. As soon as you begin to take yourself seriously and imagine that your virtues are important because they are yours, you become the prisoner of your own vanity, and even your best works will blind and deceive you. Then, in order to defend yourself, you will begin to see sins and faults everywhere in the actions of others. And the more unreasonable importance you attach to yourself and to your works, the more you will tend to build up your own idea of yourself by condemning other people. 


Thomas Merton

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Daily Thought For January 17, 2015

Avoiding a False Peace

Yes, the Prince of Peace brings war-war against a false peace, war against tranquillity without order. If there is anything in life of which we must beware it is the danger of a false peace. Our Lord could have made a false peace with the world. 

Did not the very ones who put him to death ask him to make terms with them? Did they not shout up to the throne: "Come down from the cross and we will believe"; in other words, "Come down and make a false peace. You are too insistent in the rights of your heavenly Father. You are too uncompromising about sin. You are too intolerant about your divinity. Can you not see that your claim to be the Son of God and Redeemer of the world is upsetting the world? Did you not hear one of the judges say to you last night 'One man must die for the nation to keep peace'? Come down and we will have peace." 

Yes, if he had come down, there would have been peace; but a false peace! Our Lord stayed on the Cross until it was finished. He would not compromise his divinity. He would not compromise obedience to his Father's will. He would not minimize the horror of sin. 

And so he stayed on the cross making war against evil until the battle was over, like a dying soldier who feebly fights with ebbing strength until his cause is victorious. That is why he could cry at the end: "It is consummated." 

So, too, we must beware of a false peace-the kind that promises a better opportunity, but which ends in the destruction of peace. Such is peace as the world gives it. 

Because we refuse to accept that false peace, because we refuse to come down from our cross and join in their false peace based on injustice, we bring down upon our heads their violence and their hate. But we cannot expect the world to treat us differently than it treated Our Lord. 

Peace for us means a right conscience, not a dictatorship of the powerful; it means the tranquillity of order, not the overthrow of a just society; it means loving our enemies, not despising them; it means something in the inside of a person's soul, not something external. 

We must beware, then, of concluding a false peace, of selling the Savior for thirty pieces of silver because he does not make us rich; of denying him before others because of the ridicule of maidservants; of sleeping during hours of great need; and above all else, of stepping down from the Cross, even after two hours and fifty-nine minutes of the world's crucifixion. 

We must be prepared to suffer scorn, if for no other reason than because we are peacemakers; we must ever be ready to be hated by the world, for Our Lord told us we would be hated because of him. We must stay until "it is finished," even though that staying makes our fellowmen hate us. 


This life is not a victory; this life is a war, and God hates peace in those who are destined for war! 

from the Cross and the Beatitudes —Lessons on Love and Forgiveness by Fulton J. Sheen pp.78-79

Friday, January 16, 2015

Daily Thought For January 16, 2015

The Holy Spirit Gives Us Joy!

     The Holy Spirit gives us joy. And he is joy. Joy is the gift in which all the other gifts are included. It is the expression of happiness, of being in harmony with ourselves, that which can only come from being in harmony with God and with his creation. It belongs to the nature of joy to be radiant; it must communicate itself. The missionary spirit of the Church is none other than the impulse to communicate the joy which has been given. 

Pope Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia, 2008

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Daily Thought For January 14, 2015

The Challenge of Seeking God

"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). 

This then is what it means to seek God perfectly: to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display; to keep my mind free from confusion in order that my liberty may be always at the disposal of his will; to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God; to cultivate an intellectual freedom from the images of created things in order to receive the secret contact of God in obscure love; to love all persons as myself.


It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting an immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition. 

Thomas Merton

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Daily Thought For January 13, 2015

Be Like Children

Little children follow and obey their father. They love their mother. They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying. This state of mind opens the road to heaven. To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones. 

St. Hillary of Poirtiers

Monday, January 12, 2015

Daily Thought For January 12, 2015

Blessed Are The Socially Poor

Blessed also are the poor in spirit socially. Blessed are they who know of only one aristocracy—the blue bloods born at the baptismal font and the royalty of the King of Kings. 


There is going to be a tremendous transformation of social position at the last day, for God is no respecter of persons. Our social position in the Kingdom of God will depend not upon our human popularity or the popularity of propagandists, but only upon those things we carry with us in the shipwreck of the world—a clear conscience and the love of God. 

from The Cross & The Beatitudes —Lessons on Love and Forgiveness by Fulton J. Sheen pp.54-55

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Daily Thought For January 11, 2015

Hunger
“Lord, give bread to the hungry, and hunger for you to those who have bread.”

Venerable Servant of God Catherine Doherty

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Daily Thought For January 10, 2015

Peace & Cathedrals

“Peace is not just the absence of war. Like a cathedral, peace must be constructed patiently and with unshakable faith.”

St. Pope John Paul II

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Daily Thought For January 8, 2015

The Path of Humility


True humility is the path to true love. Just as Christ humbled himself, taking the form of a slave, living his life in humble obedience to the Father, we are called to place the lives of others and the will of God above our own desire and will. We must inspect our lives in every detail, rooting out those elements that are prideful and afraid, those darker corners, and offering them up to God for purification. We seek to love and not to count the cost. For if it costs us our selfishness, what have we really lost? 


from 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Benedict by André Gozier p. 66

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Daily Thought For January 7, 2015

No True Rest While On Earth

On our journey through life we do not wish to meet any difficulties or contradictions. We want constant consolations, no periods of dryness, no unpleasant times; health without sickness, repose without work, and peace without disturbance! But can't you see our folly when we want to have something we cannot have? Unallayed good is found only in paradise, as in hell is found nothing but evil. The great Chrysostom says: "O man, you who get all upset when things do not always go your way, are you not ashamed when you ponder that what you want was not to be found even in the family of Our Lord? ... Consider, I beg you, the events, the contradictions, and all the things that happened. The angel of the Lord said in a dream to Saint Joseph, 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you otherwise. Herod is searching for the child to destroy him.' [Mt. 2:13] This, indeed, was a moment of great sorrow for the Virgin Mary and for good Saint Joseph.

St. Francis de Sales

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Daily Thought For January 6, 2015

Holiness − Doing Something Great For God

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.

St. Pope John Paul II

Monday, January 5, 2015

Daily Thought For January 5, 2015

Security in Christ - Today's First Reading

Beloved:
We receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit whom he gave us.

Beloved, do not trust every spirit
but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God,
because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you can know the Spirit of God:
every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh
belongs to God,
and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus
does not belong to God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist
who, as you heard, is to come,
but in fact is already in the world.
You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them,
for the one who is in you
is greater than the one who is in the world.
They belong to the world;
accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world,
and the world listens to them.
We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us,
while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us.

This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

1 John 3:22–4:6

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Daily Thought For January 4, 2015

Offering Our Lives To God

Without a doubt, the Magi were big spenders. The gifts they gave to Jesus were about the costliest items you could find in the ancient world. Not only that, they were exactly suited to their recipient: gold, a precious metal that was meant for royalty; frankincense, an oil used for worship; and myrrh, a perfume used in anointing the departed, pointing toward Jesus’ passion and death.

But what about us? Can we even pretend to match these extravagant offerings? Yes, we can! In fact, we can offer Jesus something much more valuable: ourselves! Imagine how valuable we are to the Lord. He became a man for us. He devoted his life to spreading the good news for us. He died on the cross for us. Jesus did everything for us because he sees us as the “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:46).

Unfortunately, many of us have a hard time seeing how valuable we are. Instead of a shiny, gift-wrapped present, we see ourselves as a dull, brown-paper package of weakness and sin. That’s not how the Lord sees you! Yes, he sees the flaws and failings, but he sees so much more. He sees the love in our hearts, even if it’s somewhat buried by selfish thoughts. He sees the noble desires, even if we don’t always follow them. He sees the sacrifices we are making for our loved ones. He sees our longing for peace, even if we are sometimes agitated—or agitators. He sees us and tells us we are “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

So don’t discount the treasure you have in these earthen vessels. Go ahead and offer the Lord the gold of your talents and gifts, the frankincense of your prayer and worship, and the myrrh of your sufferings and heartaches. As you do, your heart will change. You will become a gift to your brothers and sisters, and you’ll change their lives!

“Lord, let this coming year be my gift to you. Take everything I have, and use it to build your kingdom!”

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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Daily Thought For January 3, 2015

Praying For A Well-Trained Tongue

Let there be a door to thy mouth, that it may be shut when need arises, and let it be carefully barred, that none may rouse thy voice to anger, and thou pay back abuse with abuse.

St. Ambrose

Friday, January 2, 2015

Daily Thought For January 2, 2015

On A Lighter Note

My doctor asked if any members of our family suffered from insanity. I replied, "no, we all seem to enjoy it."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Daily Thought For January 1, 2015

May God's Blessing Be With You In This New Year

A young boy returning to school after the holidays was asked if he liked his new class. “No,” he answered. “There must be something you like,” his parents prodded. “Nothing.” “Can’t you think of one good thing?” “Leaving at the end of the day” was all he could muster.

Sometimes we are like that young boy; we’d rather stay in the past than move forward to an unknown future, even if that future is full of potential. The Israelites acted no differently during their journey to the Promised Land. Scripture tells us that they complained often, even wanting to return to slavery in Egypt. So God sought to encourage them, as we see in this beautiful prayer of blessing.

What did this blessing mean for God’s people? Well, it wasn’t a guarantee of automatic victory over all their enemies—but neither did it require them to be perfect. No, it was an indiscriminate blessing, meant to tell the people that God would be with them no matter what they faced.

We too are on a journey, and as this new year unfolds, we will undoubtedly meet with good fortune as well as challenging obstacles. But no matter what comes our way, one thing will be constant: God’s blessing. In victory or defeat, in confidence or instability, we can still know our Father’s presence, his wisdom, and his guidance.

Mary is a perfect example of one who relied on God’s blessing. When a sword pierced her soul at Calvary, when her Son was ridiculed and beaten, and even when he ascended to heaven and left her alone, Mary remained full of grace because she continued to trust in God’s providence. So as this year opens, choose to be like Mary, and surrender yourself to the Lord. If you look closely enough, you will find God’s blessings wherever you go!


“Father, I dedicate this year to you. I trust in all the blessings you have in store for me.”

Daily Thought From The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)