Friday, February 27, 2015

Daily Thought For February 27, 2015

Raising The Standard

Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

In 1912, George Horine leaped two meters skyward during an Olympic trial. Usually, “two” isn’t very spectacular. But in the high jump, elevating yourself two meters is something special—and George set the world record. Over the years, that record would change hands many times, until 1993, when the bar was raised to its current height, a staggering 2.45 meters. If George were around, he might have marveled, “That’s impossible!”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus dramatically elevated the standards for his disciples to live by. He proclaimed that unless they were more righteous than their religious leaders, they would not enter heaven. He then went on to expand the commandment against murder to include speaking and even thinking violence against others. You can just hear the disciples’ exasperated response, “This will be impossible!”

Why such a high standard? Because it’s a truer reflection of the Father’s heart. If we see God’s Law as a gift given first to Moses, then developed by the prophets, and completed in Jesus, we can see God raising his people up, step-by-step, to a greater conformity to his own character. What’s more, as the stakes are raised, we become more alert to our need for his grace to reach the standard: it’s impossible by ourselves!

Take a few moments to answer these questions: Is Jesus inviting you to “elevate” your journey this Lent beyond last year’s mark? Is he asking you to run farther, leap higher, or dive deeper in your friendship with him? This invitation means something unique and specific to each one of us. See it as an opportunity to step up and get the closest that you’ve ever been to your Savior.


What Jesus is asking you to do may feel impossible. On your own, it will be. But you’re not on your own! The Holy Spirit is with you. He can lift you up to heights that you’ve never reached before. And to get there, you’re going to need to rely on him to a greater degree than ever before. Who knows? During your Lenten journey, you just may find yourself doing the impossible!

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daily Thought For February 26, 2015

If More People Did This The World Would Be Better

In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present, and future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relations of all those things. And then we shall be very cautious.


Blaise Paschal

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Daily Thought For February 25, 2015

A Plea For Reconciliation

Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord never tires of having mercy on us, and wants to offer us His forgiveness once again — we all need it — , inviting us to return to Him with a new heart, purified of evil, purified by tears, to take part in His joy. How should we accept this invitation? St Paul advises us: “We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). This power of conversion is not only the work of mankind, it is letting oneself be reconciled. Reconciliation between us and God is possible thanks to the mercy of the Father who, out of love for us, did not hesitate to sacrifice His only begotten Son. Indeed Christ, who was just and without sin, was made to be sin (cf. v. 21) when, on the Cross, He took on the burden of our sins, and in this way He redeemed and justified us before God. “In Him” we can become just, in Him we can change, if we accept the grace of God and do not allow this “acceptable time” to pass in vain (6:2). Please, let us stop, let us stop a while and let ourselves be reconciled to God.

Pope Francis Homily For Ash Wednesday 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Daily Thought For February 24, 2015

The Zeal On One Particular Saint

 Making people happy. Another force that drives me to preach and hear confessions is my desire to make my neighbor happy. If there is so much joy in healing the sick, freeing the prisoner, consoling the afflicted, and cheering the sad, then there is far greater joy in bringing one's neighbor to the glory of heaven. It means saving him from every evil and bringing him to the enjoyment of every good -- and for all eternity. Mortals cannot understand this just now, but when they are in glory they will know the great good that was offered them and that they will have, happily, attained. Then they will sing the everlasting mercies of the Lord and bless those who have been merciful to them.

St. Anthony Mary Claret (Founder of the Claretians)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daily Thought For February 23, 2015

The Nature of Love

True love is delicate and kind, full of gentle perception and understanding, full of beauty and grace… . There should be some flavor of this in all our love for others. We are all one. We are one flesh, in the Mystical Body, as man and woman are said to be one flesh in marriage. With such a love one would see all things new; we would begin to see people as they really are, as God sees them.

Dorothy Day

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Daily Thought For February 22, 2015

The Sad Result of Shutting God Out

Poor human reason, when it trusts in itself, substitutes the strangest absurdities for the highest divine concepts.

St. John Chrysostom

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Daily Thought For February 21, 2015

Perseverance in Prayer

If at times it seems that the Lord is not listening to us, we must be careful not to lose heart. It may be that He wants us to shout a little louder into the ears of His goodness, to prove as a result the greatness of His mercy ... When the Lord withdraws His consolations in prayer, He does not do this to discourage us or create a gulf between us, but to force us to come closer to His goodness, to practice perseverance and to give some proof of our patience. 

St. Francis de Sales

Friday, February 20, 2015

Daily Thought For February 20, 2015

The Importance of Fraternal Correction

Being concerned for each other” also entails being concerned for their spiritual well-being. Here I would like to mention an aspect of the Christian life, which I believe has been quite forgotten: fraternal correction in view of eternal salvation. Today, in general, we are very sensitive to the idea of charity and caring about the physical and material well-being of others, but almost completely silent about our spiritual responsibility towards our brothers and sisters. This was not the case in the early Church or in those communities that are truly mature in faith, those which are concerned not only for the physical health of their brothers and sisters, but also for their spiritual health and ultimate destiny. The Scriptures tell us: “Rebuke the wise and he will love you for it. Be open with the wise, he grows wiser still, teach the upright, he will gain yet more” (Prov 9:8ff). Christ himself commands us to admonish a brother who is committing a sin (cf. Mt 18:15). The verb used to express fraternal correction - elenchein – is the same used to indicate the prophetic mission of Christians to speak out against a generation indulging in evil (cf. Eph 5:11). The Church’s tradition has included “admonishing sinners” among the spiritual works of mercy. It is important to recover this dimension of Christian charity. We must not remain silent before evil. I am thinking of all those Christians who, out of human regard or purely personal convenience, adapt to the prevailing mentality, rather than warning their brothers and sisters against ways of thinking and acting that are contrary to the truth and that do not follow the path of goodness. Christian admonishment, for its part, is never motivated by a spirit of accusation or recrimination. It is always moved by love and mercy, and springs from genuine concern for the good of the other. As the Apostle Paul says: “If one of you is caught doing something wrong, those of you who are spiritual should set that person right in a spirit of gentleness; and watch yourselves that you are not put to the test in the same way” (Gal 6:1). In a world pervaded by individualism, it is essential to rediscover the importance of fraternal correction, so that together we may journey towards holiness. Scripture tells us that even “the upright falls seven times” (Prov 24:16); all of us are weak and imperfect (cf. 1 Jn 1:8). It is a great service, then, to help others and allow them to help us, so that we can be open to the whole truth about ourselves, improve our lives and walk more uprightly in the Lord’s ways. There will always be a need for a gaze which loves and admonishes, which knows and understands, which discerns and forgives (cf. Lk 22:61), as God has done and continues to do with each of us.

Pope Benedict XVI Message For Lent 2012

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Daily Thought For February 19, 2015

The Joy of Forgiveness

The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that He freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life.

Pope Francis

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Daily Thought For February 18, 2015

Lent−Formation of the Heart

As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.

Pope Francis Message for Lent 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Daily Thought For February 17, 2015

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil.

St. Pope John Paul II


Monday, February 16, 2015

Daily Thought For February 16, 2015

The Gospel Is Supposed To Unsettle Us

A church that doesn’t provoke any crises,
a gospel that doesn’t unsettle,
a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin,
a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin
of the society in which it is being proclaimed - what gospel is that?


Archbishop Oscar Romero

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Daily Thought For February 15, 2015

Faith Working Through Love

An interior conversion, a change for the better in one's life, is an indication of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Saint John the Baptist was sanctified in the womb of his mother; likewise, those who receive the Holy Spirit are transformed. So when you want to know if you have received the Spirit, keep a clear watch on your works; they will answer the question accurately. 

St. Francis de Sales

Friday, February 13, 2015

Daily Thought For February 13, 2015

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit

As Christians we also receive an anointing (1 John 2:20-27), where there is question, not of a sacramental rite (Baptism or Confirmation) but of a participation in the prophetic anointing of Jesus, a Spiritual anointing through faith. In other words, our anointing by the Spirit is our own 'consecration' for a prophetic mission of preaching and suffering like Jesus, in favor of the world's poor. None of us may dare sing lightly, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me', for in singing of our Spirit-anointing or 'consecration', we are renewing our consent to be set apart and made holy, to be dedicated and qualified for a sacred role as God's chosen instruments to the poor and as witnesses of a new civilization!

The early Christians understood this, and in cases where they did not, as with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) or some Corinthians (1Cor. 11:26-33), there were sad consequences. Such unworthy disciples became guilty, in practice, of 'desecration'. What the Spirit had anointed and consecrated, the spirit of this world had corrupted and desecrated. What had been qualified for society's revolution of love (by the baptism of the Spirit, a 'baptism of love') had got lured back to the kingdom of the Enemy of love.


In our case too, our consecration by the Spirit for a prophetic mission to the poor can have got 'choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life' (Luke 8:14). Hence we can find ourselves unfruitful, and our prophetic character desecrated. We then need to pray for a new outpouring of the Spirit, a re-consecration, a rekindling of the gift we received when hands were laid upon us, so that it is more clearly seen that "the love of Christ controls us... He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him, who for their sakes died and was raised... If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!" (2Cor. 5:14-17).

Fr. Fio Mascarenhas (to read full article go to my website (www.thegraceofpentecost.com and click on "featured article link")

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Daily Thought For February 12, 2015

Bringing Heaven Wherever We Go

Those who carry God in their hearts bear heaven wherever they go.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Daily Thought For February 11, 2015

Moving Forward

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.


St. Pope John XXIII

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Daily Thought For February 10, 2015

Faith is the Answer to Fear

Faith is the answer to fear. Deep down we are all afraid: of suffering, or of dying, or of God’s judgment, or of the unknown, or of weakness, or of our lives slipping out of our control, or of not being understood and loved. We sin because we fear. We bully because we are cowards. Faith casts out fear as light casts out darkness. God has shone his light into our world, and it is stronger than darkness (Jn 1:5). That light is Jesus Christ.

Peter Kreeft

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Daily Thought For February 8, 2015

Putting Things In Perspective

It is so hard to admit that one is a sinner; it is so hard to climb the hill of Calvary and kneel beneath a cross and ask for pardon, forgiveness. Certainly it is hard.


But it is harder to hang there.

Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Daily Thought For February 7, 2015



Rooted in Christ We Can Do Great Things!



In every period of history, including our own, many young people experience a deep desire for personal relationships marked by truth and solidarity. Many of them yearn to build authentic friendships, to know true love, to start a family that will remain united, to achieve personal fulfilment and real security, all of which are the guarantee of a serene and happy future. In thinking of my own youth, I realize that stability and security are not the questions that most occupy the minds of young people. True enough, it is important to have a job and thus to have firm ground beneath our feet, yet the years of our youth are also a time when we are seeking to get the most out of life. When I think back on that time, I remember above all that we were not willing to settle for a conventional middle-class life. We wanted something great, something new. We wanted to discover life itself, in all its grandeur and beauty. Naturally, part of that was due to the times we lived in. During the Nazi dictatorship and the war, we were, so to speak, “hemmed in” by the dominant power structure. So we wanted to break out into the open, to experience the whole range of human possibilities. I think that, to some extent, this urge to break out of the ordinary is present in every generation. Part of being young is desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater. Is this simply an empty dream that fades away as we become older? No! Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. Nothing else will ever be enough. Saint Augustine was right when he said “our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you”. The desire for a more meaningful life is a sign that God created us and that we bear his “imprint”. God is life, and that is why every creature reaches out towards life. Because human beings are made in the image of God, we do this in a unique and special way. We reach out for love, joy and peace. So we can see how absurd it is to think that we can truly live by removing God from the picture! God is the source of life. To set God aside is to separate ourselves from that source and, inevitably, to deprive ourselves of fulfilment and joy: “without the Creator, the creature fades into nothingness” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 36). In some parts of the world, particularly in the West, today’s culture tends to exclude God, and to consider faith a purely private issue with no relevance for the life of society. Even though the set of values underpinning society comes from the Gospel – values like the sense of the dignity of the person, of solidarity, of work and of the family –, we see a certain “eclipse of God” taking place, a kind of amnesia which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity.

For this reason, dear friends, I encourage you to strengthen your faith in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are the future of society and of the Church! As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians of Colossae, it is vital to have roots, a solid foundation! This is particularly true today. Many people have no stable points of reference on which to build their lives, and so they end up deeply insecure. There is a growing mentality of relativism, which holds that everything is equally valid, that truth and absolute points of reference do not exist. But this way of thinking does not lead to true freedom, but rather to instability, confusion and blind conformity to the fads of the moment. As young people, you are entitled to receive from previous generations solid points of reference to help you to make choices and on which to build your lives: like a young plant which needs solid support until it can sink deep roots and become a sturdy tree capable of bearing fruit.


Pope Benedict XVI - World Youth Day Message 2011

Friday, February 6, 2015

Daily Thought For February 6, 2015

 Recognizing Lazarus in Our Parishes

All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?

Pope Francis—Message For Lent

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Daily Thought For February 4, 2015

The Two Wolves Inside

One thing is certain: losing one's temper in anger tears apart relationships. 

An old man once said to his grandson, who was angry over an injustice received from a friend, "Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." 

He went on, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will fight only when it is right to do so, and in the right way. 

"But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. 
"Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit." 

The boy looked intently into his grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandpa?" 

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

If you choose to go crazy every time someone crosses you, you will be feeding the angry wolf inside, and it will dominate your life. If you choose a different response to your angry feelings, you will begin to live more and more in peace. You will be happier, and so will all your friends and neighbors. 

from Overcoming Sinful Anger—How to Master Your Emotions & Bring Peace to Your Life by Reverend T.G. Morrow p.15-17



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daily Thought For February 3, 2015

When Life Gets Tough—Wait For The Lord

When the grace of God comes to a man he can do all things, but when it leaves him he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction. Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair. On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, the day, and after the storm, a great calm.

from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Á Kempis Book 2 Chapter 8

Monday, February 2, 2015

Daily Thought For February 2, 2015

The Consecrated Life Is Of Great Value

Do not join the ranks of the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or meaninglessness of the consecrated life in the Church in our day; rather, clothe yourselves in Jesus Christ and put on the armor of light — as St Paul urged (cf. Rom 13:11-14) — keeping awake and watchful. St Chromatius of Aquileia wrote: “Distance this peril from us so that we are never overcome by the heavy slumber of infidelity. Rather may he grant us his grace and his mercy, that we may watch, ever faithful to him. In fact our fidelity can watch in Christ (Sermon 32, 4).

Pope Benedict XVI - Homily for the Presentation of the Lord (World Day For Consecrated Life) February 2, 2013

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Daily Thought For February 1, 2015

Never Be Ashamed of The Gospel

Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (Cfr. Rom 1,16 ). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (Cfr. Matt 10,27 ). Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern "metropolis". It is you who must "go out into the byroads" ( Matt 22,9 ) and invite everyone you meet to the banquet which God has prepared for his people. The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father. 

St. Pope John Paul II Mass at Cherry Creek Park, Denver August 15, 1993