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Showing posts from April, 2015

Daily Thought For April 30, 2015

What Does God Have For Us Today?

Meditatio

“… whoever receives the one I send receives me …”

I wonder how easy it was to receive the apostles or disciples, grimy with road dust, hot, tired, and hungry, bearing a message that sounded unbelievable. Was it easy to welcome them? Was it easy to accept their message? I find it amazing that people did come to believe—and in such numbers. In those first years following the resurrection, Christianity spread swiftly throughout the Roman Empire. Only one explanation seems possible: it was a miracle of grace.

If we reflect, we see that our own lives are also marked by grace. We may have received the faith as children from parents and teachers. We may have received it as adults—through books, friends, a counselor or spouse—perhaps after much seeking and soul searching. In any case, how could the faith have come to us except by means of grace?

So, what does the Scripture citation mean for me? I have faith already: who will Jesus send me today? Do I stil…

Daily Thought For April 29, 2015

The World Needs Credible Witnesses
Our greatest need in the present historical moment is people who make God credible in this world by means of the enlightened faith they live. The negative testimony of Christians who spoke of God but lived in a manner contrary to him has obscured the image of God and has opened the doors to disbelief.

We need men who keep their eyes fixed on God, learning from him what true humanity means.

We need men whose intellect is enlightened by the light of God, men whose hearts are opened by God, so that their intellect can speak to the intellect of others and their hearts can open the hearts of others. It is only by means of men who have been touched by God that God can return to be with mankind.

We need men like Benedict of Nursia, who, in an age of dissipation and decadence, immersed himself in the uttermost solitude. Then, after all the purifications he had to undergo, he succeeded in rising again to the light. He returned and made his foundation at Monte Cas…

Daily Thought For April 28, 2015

Letting God Help Us
So long as we tackle all our troubles ourselves, we shall be always worried and tired, and Our Lord will leave us to our own devices; but when we leave everything to Him, He will look after all our troubles Himself. The interest that God will have for us will be in proportion to the degree that we abandon ourselves to Him. I am not just speaking of temporal things, but also of spiritual ones. The Lord Himself taught this same truth to His beloved Saint Catherine of Siena: "Always think about me, my daughter, and I will think about you." Oh, how happy are those loving souls who know how to observe this rule, thinking only about the Lord, faithfully keeping themselves in His presence, listening to what He has to say to their hearts, obeying His divine inspiration and attractions, and not living or aspiring for anything but to please Him. 
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For April 27, 2015

Live In The Spirit
Since my return from the visit, I felt some symptoms of fever. Our physician would not order me any remedy except rest and I obeyed him. You know also that the remedy I willingly order is tranquillity and that I always forbid excitement. This is why, in this bodily repose, I have thought of the spiritual repose which our hearts ought to feel in the will of God, whatever portion it assigns to us. Let us live as long as it pleases God in this vale of miseries, with an entire submission to his holy and sovereign will. I thought the other day of what writers say concerning the halcyons, little birds which float on the waves of the sea. It is that they make nests so round and compact that the water of the sea cannot penetrate them. At the top of the nest there is a small hole. It is only through this hole that they can breathe. In these nests they lodge their young, so that if the sea surprises them, they may swim safely, the nests floating on the waves without filling or…

Daily Thought For April 26, 2015

Joy Is Infectious
Let anyone who comes to you go away feeling better and happier. Everyone should see goodness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile. Joy shows from the eyes. It appears when we speak and walk. It cannot be kept closed inside us. It reacts outside. Joy is very infectious.” 
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Daily Thought For April 25, 2015

Growth In Discernment

Peace and tranquility of mind alone give great strength to the soul, to enable it to do all that God wishes, while, on the other hand, anxiety and uneasiness make the soul feeble and languid as though sick. Then one feels neither taste for, nor attraction to, virtue; but, on the contrary, disgust and discouragement, of which the devil does not fail to take advantage. For this reason he uses all his pretexts, at one time about self-examination or sorrow for sin, at another about the way we continually neglect grace, or that by our own fault we make no progress; that God will, at last, forsake us and a hundred other devices from which very few people can defend themselves. This is why masters of the spiritual life lay down this great principle to distinguish the true inspirations of God from those that emanate from the devil: the former are always sweet and peaceful inducing the soul to confidence and humility, while the latter are intense, restless, and violent, le…

Daily Thought For April 24, 2015

The Holy Spirit — The Divine Artist
How wonderful is the work of the artist! By efforts both ardent and gentle he can infuse hard and shapeless materials with the light of his soul. The instruments he uses, though often crude, can impart to these materials exquisite proportions and shapes.

That is the way one may conceive the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, Artist of souls. Is not sanctity the supreme art? God has only one ideal, which, in its prodigious unity and because it is divine, encompasses all the highest forms of beauty. This ideal is Jesus. The Holy Spirit loves him more than an artist loves his ideal. That love is his being, because the Holy Spirit is nothing but love, the personal Love of the Father and of the Word. With divine enthusiasm he comes to the soul—the soul, breath of the Most High, spiritual light that can be united with uncreated Light, exquisite essence that can be transformed into Jesus, reproducing the eternal idea.

That which the human artist dreams of w…

Daily Thought For April 23, 2015

God Blesses The Generous
An old man lived a common life with another brother, and he was an old man with a merciful disposition. Once in a time of famine, people began to come to his door to take part in a love-feast, and the old man ministered bread to everyone who came. But when his brother saw this, he said: “Give me my share of the bread, and do what you like with your share.” The old man divided the bread into two, and went on giving away his own share as usual. But a multitude flocked to the old man, hearing that he gave to all comers. And God, seeing his purpose, blessed that bread.
But the brother who had taken his share, gave none away: and he ate up his bread, and said to the old man: “I have only a little of my bread left, Abba: so take me back to a life in common.” And the old man said to him: “I will do whatever you want.” And again they began to live together and have everything in common. Again, they had plenty of food, and again the needy kept coming to receive a love-fe…

Daily Thought For April 22, 2015

Checking In With The Gatekeeper
Meditatio

“I am the gate for the sheep.”

Nowadays no one leaves doors unlocked. That is considered much too dangerous and far too inviting of criminals. We are trained never to speak to strangers, never to go with anyone we don’t know. Our parents impart these first rules of safety to us from an early age. These two preventives, however, are contrary to the spirit of loving trust a Christian feels by nature. Yet the Lord himself cautions us to beware of thieves and robbers.

We are less wary and less guarded when it comes to the danger we invite into our souls. In fact, it is impossible to walk the ways of the world without bringing home to our minds, our wills, and our hearts some of this danger. These modern thieves and robbers appear so attractive and appealing. They reach out even to what is best in our human nature, and may slowly siphon off some of our fervor, love, and zeal. These are the cultural crooks. We become so accustomed to them that we let ou…

Daily Thought For April 21, 2015

Running The Race
Imagine life as a marathon. The man who has despaired would refuse to train because he would think it was hopeless and no amount of training could change the outcome. The man with presumption would also refuse to train because he would think training was not necessary. Both are destined to fail. But, the man with hope would train hard because he believed that, although he may not presently be in shape to finish the race, through rigorous training he could become so. Because of this fundamental difference in approach, based upon the hope of success, he would gain the stamina and strength he needs to run the race. Saint Paul uses this very example to stress the importance of a rigorous spiritual life:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do n…

Daily Thought For April 20, 2015

Having The Right Intention
     The place where we look for holiness is in our work, in our relationships with the people who share the same tasks with us, in our social contacts, and in our families. 
     When we come across obstacles, lack of understanding or unjust criticism, we will ask Our Lord for his grace to keep us calm, and, normally, we will not stop doing apostolate. Our Lord did not always find well-intentioned people when he was spreading the Good News. This never stopped him from talking about the marvels of the kingdom of God. The Apostles, at the beginning of the Church, and the first Christians also, found themselves in situations and environments which, at least at first, completely rejected the doctrine of salvation they had in their hearts, but they still managed to convert the ancient world. Why are you so apathetic? If you come across a group at work who are a bit difficult, you lose interest in them. Perhaps they have become difficult because you have neglected …

Daily Thought For April 19, 2015

Avoiding Indifference
To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection, but to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin.


St. Thomas Aquinas

Daily Thought For April 18, 2015

Prayer Opens New Horizons
God is good; he is there for all that is small and also for all who are small. That is why we can talk to him without embarrassment about the very personal matters that are in themselves so small yet for us so large. At the same time, however, prayer must become a path for ourselves on which we gradually learn to see more. It must not end in our shutting ourselves off in our egoism. Through prayer we must become more free, we must set less value on ourselves and more on him and thus discover the real purpose of prayer: to ask God for the salvation of the world—even today. Even today we must have confidence that he—and he alone—is able to save the world at this hour. If we, as Christians, lose this conviction and come to believe that the salvation of the world depends on us, if we have no further confidence in God and are willing, at most, to let him enter just our private world, then the door is shut against him and the world becomes ungovernable and beyond sa…

Daily Thought For April 17, 2015

Suffering In the Light of the Cross Brings Hope
It is a thoroughly Christian impulse to combat suffering and injustice in the world. But to imagine that men can construct a world without them by means of social reform, and the desire to do so here and now, is an error, a deep misunderstanding of human nature. For suffering does not come into the world solely because of the inequality of possessions and power. Nor is it just a burden from which men should free themselves. Anyone who wishes to do that must escape into the distorted world of narcotics in order thus to destroy himself and to find himself in conflict with reality. It is only by enduring himself, by freeing himself through suffering from the tyranny of egoism, that man finds himself, that he finds his truth, his joy, his happiness. He will be all the happier the more ready he is to take upon himself the abysses of existence with all their misery. The measure of one’s capacity for happiness depends on the measure of the premi…

Daily Thought For April 16, 2015

The Transforming Power of Discipleship
To be a disciple of Jesus means that we can and must follow a way that is directly opposed to our own natural gravity, to the gravity of egoism, to the search for what is merely material and for the maximum pleasure that we confuse with happiness. Discipleship is a way through agitated, stormy waters that we can follow only if we are in the gravitational field of the love of Jesus Christ, if our gaze is fixed on him and therefore supported by the new gravity of grace that makes possible for us the way to truth and to God that we would have been unable to follow by our own efforts. That is why being a disciple of Jesus is more than concurrence with a definite program, more than sympathy and solidarity with a person whom we regard as a model. It is not just Jesus, a human being, that we follow; we follow the Son of the living God. We follow a divine way. Where does Jesus’ way lead us? It leads us to the Resurrection, to the right hand of the Father.…

Daily Thought For April 13, 2015

The Importance of Praying For People
What good is confiding one’s pains, miseries and regrets to those to whom one cannot say at the end, “pray for me"?

Venerable Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur

Daily Thought For April 12, 2015

Beautiful Insights Into Mercy & Justice from Pope Francis' Newest Document
Mercy is not opposed to justice but rather expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe. The experience of the prophet Hosea can help us see the way in which mercy surpasses justice. The era in which the prophet lived was one of the most dramatic in the history of the Jewish people. The kingdom was tottering on the edge of destruction; the people had not remained faithful to the covenant; they had wandered from God and lost the faith of their forefathers. According to human logic, it seems reasonable for God to think of rejecting an unfaithful people; they had not observed their pact with God and therefore deserved just punishment: in other words, exile. The prophet’s words attest to this: “They shall not return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me” (Hos 11:5). And yet, aft…

Daily Thought For April 11, 2015

Setbacks In Mission Are Opportunities For Growth

     As soon as the Apostles began with courage and daring to teach the truth about Christ, the obstacles also began to present themselves. And in the course of time persecution and martyrdom followed. But before long belief in Christ had extended beyond Palestine, arriving in Asia Minor, Greece and Italy, and reaching men of every culture, social position and race. 
     We too can expect to meet with misunderstanding, a sure sign of divine predilection, and can be sure that we are following the footsteps of Our Lord, because a disciple is not above his teacher.  We accept our setbacks joyfully as being permitted by God. We welcome them as opportunities to activate our faith and hope and love. They help us to increase our prayer and mortification, confident that prayer and sacrifice always produce fruit, because the Lord's chosen ones will not labour in vain.  And we always treat other people well, with understanding, drowning evil i…

Daily Thought For April 10, 2015

The Joy of Helping Others Find Christ
     Our Lord has also foreseen the time and the manner of each person's sanctification, while fully respecting each one's personal correspondence with his grace. On our part we are called upon to be good channels through which his grace will flow and to facilitate the action of the Holy Spirit in ourselves, in friends, relatives, acquaintances and colleagues. .. If Our Lord never gets tired of giving his help to everybody, how can we who are only instruments ever become discouraged? Once the carpenter's hand is firmly placed on the wood, how can the tool ever have any reservations about doing its work? 
     The path that leads to Heaven is not a short one. And God does not usually grant graces that immediately and definitively bestow holiness. Normally our friends will draw close to Our Lord little by little. We will meet with resistance, often a consequence of original sin leaving its mark on the soul, and also of personal sins. For u…

Daily Thought For April 9, 2015

A Jubilee Year For Celebrating Divine Mercy
Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy; and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!

This Holy Year will commence on the next Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy. I entrust the organization of this Jubilee to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, in order that it may come to life as a new step on the Church’s journey in her mission to b…

Daily Thought For April 7, 2015

Proclaiming The Resurrection
This, then, is the announcement that the Church repeats from the first day: "Christ is risen!" And, in Him, through Baptism, we are also risen, we have passed from death to life, from the slavery of sin to the freedom of love. This is the good news that we are called to bring to others in every environment, animated by the Holy Spirit. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope that He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can offer to the brothers. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is risen! Let us all together repeat it, here today in the square: Christ is Risen! Let us repeat it with words, but above all with the witness of our life. The good news of the Resurrection should shine on our face, in our feelings and behaviors, in the way in which we treat others. We proclaim the resurrection of Christ when His light illuminates the dark moments of our existence, and we are able share it with ot…

Daily Thought For April 5, 2015

Hope & Easter Joy!
Indeed, one of the questions that most preoccupies men and women is this: what is there after death? To this mystery today’s solemnity allows us to respond that death does not have the last word, because Life will be victorious at the end. This certainty of ours is based not on simple human reasoning, but on a historical fact of faith: Jesus Christ, crucified and buried, is risen with his glorified body. Jesus is risen so that we too, believing in him, may have eternal life. This proclamation is at the heart of the Gospel message. As Saint Paul vigorously declares: “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” He goes on to say: “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:14,19). Ever since the dawn of Easter a new Spring of hope has filled the world; from that day forward our resurrection has begun, because Easter does not simply signal a moment in history, but the beginnin…

Daily Thought For April 3, 2015

The Priesthood of the New Evangelization
Try to imagine a man of action, some sort of explorer, about to set forth on a journey. His powers of persuasion have aroused a few enthusiasts who have decided to follow him. The start of the journey is a triumph. A rain of flowers, wild applause, the delight of the crowds. In towns and villages flags are out, there are displays of lights, the bold travelers are feted. The very countryside revels over their passing through it. 

Yet the joy soon dims. The wayfarers enter new lands which know nothing, understand nothing, and care less. Sometimes also our travelers arouse misgivings. Their passionate desire for the Yea or Nay of the Gospels, excluding all other forms of discourse, assuredly does not recommend them. Little by little the food and fine wines are replaced by potato peelings, and the contents of chamber pots succeed the flowers.

The enthusiasm of his companions is already wholly extinguished. Several of them have withdrawn on various pre…

Daily Thought For April 2, 2015

The Importance of Healing
Then there is the oil for anointing the sick. Arrayed before us is a host of suffering people: those who hunger and thirst, victims of violence in every continent, the sick with all their sufferings, their hopes and their moments without hope, the persecuted, the downtrodden, the broken-hearted. Regarding the first mission on which Jesus sent the disciples, Saint Luke tells us: “he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal” (9:2). Healing is one of the fundamental tasks entrusted by Jesus to the Church, following the example that he gave as he travelled throughout the land healing the sick. To be sure, the Church’s principal task is to proclaim the Kingdom of God. But this very proclamation must be a process of healing: “bind up the broken-hearted”, we heard in today’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah (61:1). The proclamation of God’s Kingdom, of God’s unlimited goodness, must first of all bring healing to broken hearts. By nature, man is a b…