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Showing posts from 2016

Daily Thought For December 31, 2016

Kindness & Understanding We will never know all the good a simple smile can do.       We speak about our God who is good, merciful, and compassionate. Are we a living token of that reality? Those who suffer—can they perceive in us that goodness that forgiveness, that living understanding?      May no one ever come to you without going away better and happier. Everyone should see kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile.  Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Daily Thought For December 29, 2016

A Thief of Hearts Stand alongside the sacred grotto, where our Savior teaches us so many virtues by His silence. And what does He say to us? While He immolates Himself for the love of us, His little heart must set ours on fire. See how lovingly He carries your names within that divine heart that beats out of affectionate desire for your growth in virtue and does not send a single sigh toward His Father in which you do no share, nor a single aspiration that is not aimed at your happiness. The magnet attracts iron and straw and hay; as for us, who are iron by our strength and straw by our weakness, we should unite ourselves to this Infant Who is a true thief of hearts. St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For December 28, 2016

Without A Vision The People Perish My dear friends, God’s creation is one and it is good. The concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity. They cannot, however, be understood apart from a profound reflection upon the innate dignity of every human life from conception to natural death: a dignity conferred by God himself and thus inviolable. Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises. Our hearts and minds are yearning for a vision of life where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. This is the work of the Holy Spirit! This is the hope held out by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is to bear witness to this reality that you were created anew at Baptism and strengthened through the gifts…

Daily Thought For December 24, 2016

Don't Try And Get Ahead Of Your Guide One of the principal obstacles one encounters on the way to perfection is the precipitous and impatient desire to progress and to possess those virtues that we feel we don't have. On the contrary, the true means of solidly advancing, and with giant steps, is to be patient and to calm and pacify these anxieties .... Don't get ahead of your guide for fear of getting lost and straying from the path that He indicates, because, if you do, instead of arriving safe and sound, you will fall into a pit. Your guide is the Holy Spirit. By your struggles and worries, by your anxiety and haste, you overtake Him with the pretense of moving more quickly. And then what happens? You stray from the path and find yourself on terrain that is harder and rougher and, far from advancing, you go backwards; at a minimum, you waste your time.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For December 22, 2016

Ask & You Will Receive If we have good ideas or good desires but lack strength to put them into practice, we must present them to God with a firm hope that He will help us. Certainly, if we place all our confidence in Divine Goodness, the Lord will not fail to grant whatever is necessary to persevere in His service.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For December 21, 2016

To Return Good for Evil
"See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all." (1 Thes 5: 15) 
Not long ago my husband asked me for the second time whether I had found a babysitter for a concert he wanted to take me to. I had to admit that I hadn't even begun the search. He responded with anger - why did he have to ask again? Could it be that I didn't want to go? I was immediately hurt and snapped back. Standing before me was someone who needed me to be present to his needs. And all I could do was return anger for anger, hurt for hurt, evil for evil. I couldn't enter for a moment into his need to have an evening out, to be alone together for a short time away from the pressing needs of our six children. How infantile is the human heart! Our broken condition leaves us defensive and alone, accusing and accursed. The marital spat that played out for the first time in the garden of Eden ("She did it, blame her …

Daily Thought For December 19, 2016

The Importance of Forgiveness      Tolerance leads us to live a loving openness towards others, to look on them with constant kindness. It reaches the depths of the heart and knows how to look forward and find out that goodness which is in every person.       Only he who is humble is capable of maintaining an understanding attitude. Otherwise, the tiniest faults of others are magnified, and one tends to justify and minimize one's own greater faults and errors. Pride is like a curved mirror that distorts the reality of things.       He who is humble is objective, and thus can be respectful and tolerant towards others: forgiveness of others' faults comes easily to him. The humble person is not scandalized by these flaws in his neighbor. There is no sin, writes St Augustine, or crime committed by another which I myself am not capable of committing through my weakness; and if I have not committed it, it is because God, in his mercy, has not allowed me to and has preserved me in good.…

Daily Thought For December 13, 2016

Don’t Dwell On The Past      Inner turmoil over past mistakes or sins indicates lack of trust in Jesus. He knows the weakness of our fallen nature. He wants to transform the energy and time you put into self-flagellation into resolute desire to call on his grace so that you can be better, precisely in the area of the shameful sin that haunts you.      Refusal to accept forgiveness from God can have other bad consequences. After all, if you believe you can’t be forgiven, how well do you forgive others? There were saints who were murders but who lived to repent and became holy: St. Paul was the first.       A prayer you might say when bad memories of the past assail you is this:      “Here I am, Jesus, Savior. You know everything I have ever done wrong. I give you my painful memories. I accept that pain as part of my punishment.       “I place in your heart anyone who was victimized by my sins. We are yours. Let me not omit the loving deeds you want of me today through preoccupation with bad…

Daily Thought For December 9, 2016

Advent & Saying "Yes" To God's Plan
Dear Brothers and Sisters, happy feast day! The Readings, of today’s Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, present two crucial passages in the history of relations between man and God: we could say that they lead us to the origin of good and evil. These two passages lead us to the origin of good and evil.

The Book of Genesis shows us the first No, the No of the origins, the human No, when man preferred to look at himself rather than at his Creator; he wanted to be his own head, he chose to suffice unto himself. However, in so doing, removing himself from communion with God, he in fact lost himself and began to have fear, hiding himself and accusing the one close to him (cf. Genesis 3:10.12). These are the symptoms: fear is always a symptom of a No to God; it indicates that I am saying No to God. To accuse others and not look at oneself indicates that I am distancing myself from God. This constitutes sin. …

Daily Thought For December 9, 2016

Don't Be Afraid of "Stumps"
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. (Isaiah 11:1)

Picture a tree stump. It’s graying, dry, maybe even crumbling away. It seems impossible that a shoot—or any sign of life—could sprout from something so barren. But if you think about it, this kind of image lies at the heart of many of our favorite biblical stories.

For instance, you might think of the act of creation as the original sprouting stump. Out of a formless, shapeless chasm sprang an entire universe! Though they were elderly, Abraham and Sarah produced a bud that would eventually bloom into a whole nation. Mary wasn’t exactly lifeless, but new life came from her in an unexpected way. And then there’s Jesus. Think of how his life and ministry were cut down on the cross, only to shoot up from the grave three days later!

This image of life miraculously springing up from old stumps is deeply embedded in our faith. It has also taken root in you…

Daily Thought For November 15, 2016

Short But Great Advice The fool immediately shows his anger, but the shrewd man passes over an insult. Proverbs 12:16

Daily Thought For November 12, 2016

The Grace of Surrender
WHEN THINGS ARE NOT GOING YOUR WAY, refuse to get flustered. Stop what you're doing and take some deep breaths. Seek My Face-spend a few moments enjoying My Presence. Tell Me about the matters that are frustrating you. I will help you see things from My perspective and sort out what is really important. Moreover, I will open up the way before you as you press on in trusting dependence, remaining in communication with Me. 

Your desire to feel in control is often the culprit behind your frustration. You plan your day and expect others to behave in ways that expedite your plans. When that doesn't happen, you face a choice: to resent the situation or to trust Me. Remember that I am in control and My ways are higher than yours-as the heavens are higher than the earth. Instead of getting agitated about setbacks to your schedule, use them as reminders: I am your Savior-God, and you are My beloved follower. Relax in My sovereign control, trusting in My unfailing L…

Daily Thought For November 8, 2016

God’s Providence 
I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details . . . has a completely coherent meaning in God’s all-seeing eyes. And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me.

St. Teresa Benedicta Of The Cross (Edith Stein)

Daily Thought For November 7, 2016

An Examination of Conscience Based on The Beatitudes      The best way to take the Gospel beatitudes seriously is to use them as a mirror for an examination of conscience that is truly "evangelical." All of Scripture, says Saint James, is like a mirror into which the believer should gaze calmly and without haste in order to know what he or she is truly like (see James 1:23-25), but the beatitudes provide a unique mirror.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Am I poor in spirit, poor within, having abandoned everything to God? Am I free and detached from earthly goods? What does money mean to me? Do I seek to lead a sober and simple lifestyle that is fitting for someone who wants to bear witness to the gospel? Do I take to heart the problem of the terrible poverty that is not chosen but imposed on so many millions of my brothers and sisters?  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Do I consider affliction a misfortune and a pun…

Daily Thought For November 4, 2016

True Security Rests In God Alone       If you choose me as your companion you will not be alone; my love will always be with you.      You will never fear anyone or anything, for you will find your security in me.  With me as your companion you will live in the light of faith with hope and fortitude, with true patience and perseverance, all the days of your life.       I loved you before you existed, and knowing this you can place your trust in my love and set aside every fear.  Enjoy my love, live in me and take from me the light of my wisdom.  Confront the princes and tyrants of this world with my strength.  Take from me the fire of my Spirit and share with all my mercy and my burning love.  You are not alone.     You have me.  St. Catherine of Siena - Set Aside Every Fear

Daily Thought For November 3, 2016

Our Cloud of Witnesses Cheers Us On
Today, with the entire Church, we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. In doing so, we remember not only those who have been proclaimed saints through the ages, but also our many brothers and sisters who, in a quiet and unassuming way, lived their Christian life in the fullness of faith and love. Surely among them are many of our relatives, friends and acquaintances.

Ours, then, is a celebration of holiness. A holiness that is seen not so much in great deeds and extraordinary events, but rather in daily fidelity to the demands of our baptism. A holiness that consists in the love of God and the love of our brothers and sisters. A love that remains faithful to the point of self-renunciation and complete devotion to others. We think of the lives of all those mothers and fathers who sacrifice for their families and are prepared to forego – though it is not always easy – so many things, so many personal plans and projects.

Yet if there is one thing typica…

Daily Thought For November 1, 2016

All Saints! — Surprises in Heaven!
All Saints (Solemnity)

. . . a great multitude, which no one could count. (Revelation 7:9)

Imagine you’ve been invited to a dinner party. You’re a close friend of the host, so you think you know who will be there. But when you arrive, you’re surprised that along with the people you were expecting, you see many whom you’ve never seen before.

This is probably how we’ll feel when we get to heaven. We may expect to see our grandmother or childhood pastor. But seeing a convicted criminal we recognize from the news or the kid who bullied us in middle school may catch us off guard.

That’s why today’s feast is so valuable. Today we celebrate, not the saints whose names we know, the saints who appear on our Catholic calendars, but all those unrecognized, hidden saints who have blessed the Church in every age. We celebrate each person in the “great multitude” described in our first reading (Revelation 7:9).

This multitude of saints includes parents who persevered in…

Daily Thought For October 29, 2016

Asking For Grace We must consider our neighbor in relationship to God, Who wants us to love him ... and we are to be interested in him even when this is distasteful for us. The resistance of the inferior part of our soul will be overcome by the frequent performance of good acts. To this end, however, we must center our prayers and meditations of the love of our neighbor, having first implored the love of God. We must ask for the grace to love especially those we do not like very much. St. Fancis de Sales

Daily Thought For October 28, 2016

Fight The Good Fight      Every Christian must be thoroughly convinced that his spiritual life can in no way be viewed as the quiet unfolding of an inconsequential life without any problems; rather it must be viewed as the scene of a constant and sometimes painful battle, which will not end until death ―a struggle against evil, temptation and the sin that is in him. This combat is inevitable, but is to be understood as an extremely positive reality, because, as Saint Catherine of Siena says, “without war there is no peace”; without combat there is not victory. And this combat is, correctly viewed, the place of our purification, of our spiritual growth, where we learn to know ourselves in our weakness and to know God in His infinite mercy. This combat is the definitive place of our transfiguration and glorification. Searching For & Maintaining Peace ― A Small Treatise On Peace Of Heart p.9 by Fr. Jacques Philippe

Daily Thought For October 27, 2016

What Faith Is Really All About
For what faith basically means is just that this shortfall we all have in our love is made up by the surplus of Jesus Christ’s love, acting on our behalf. He simply tells us that God himself has poured out among us a superabundance of his love and has thus made good in advance all our deficiency. Ultimately, faith means nothing other than admitting that we have this kind of shortfall; it means opening our hand and accepting a gift. In its simplest and innermost form, faith is nothing but reaching that point in love at which we recognize that we, too, need to be given something. Faith is thus that stage in love which really distinguishes it as love; it consists in overcoming the complacency and self-satisfaction of the person who says, “I have done everything, I don’t need any further help.” It is only in “faith” like this that selfishness, the real opposite of love, comes to an end. To that extent, faith is already present in and with true loving; it simp…

Daily Thought For October 23, 2016

Our Mission Is Set "My soul aches for the loneliness of this generation. Too many are unloved. Too many do not know the secure love of a holy family. Too many are unaware of the great love their God has for them. This must change. Dear soul of the Kingdom, you are chosen to assist Me in this mission of love. You must bring My words to others. Do you know of someone who is sad and struggling? Do you see pain or bitterness in your friends? Bring My words to them and I promise you that I will minister to their souls. I will surround them with heavenly love and tenderness. Any mistakes they have made will be forgiven. I do not seek to condemn anyone. I came to the world to save souls, to rescue them. I am returning to the world to reclaim it for souls. You are My blessed apostle. You must assist Me. You know that I love you. I will heal you and place you on the path that is marked out for you. And then you must bring Me to others. You must comfort others with the comfort that was give…

Daily Thought For October 22, 2016

Salt For The Earth — Light For The World
"You are the salt of the earth!
You are the light of the world!"
 (Mt 5:13-14) Dear Young People of the Seventeenth World Youth Day,
Chers Frères et Soeurs,

1. On a hillside near the lake of Galilee, Jesus's disciples listened to his gentle and urgent voice; as gentle as the landscape of Galilee itself, as urgent as a call to choose between life and death, between truth and falsehood. The Lord spoke words of life that would echo for ever in the hearts of his followers.

Today he is speaking the same words to you, the young people of Toronto and Ontario, of the whole of Canada, of the United States, of the Caribbean, of Spanish-speaking America and Portuguese-speaking America, of Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Listen to the voice of Jesus in the depths of your hearts! His words tell you who you are as Christians. They tell you what you must do to remain in his love.
2. But Jesus offers one thing, and the "spirit of the world" o…

Daily Thought For October 21, 2016

Christians & Politics     Christian cooperation in building a just and peaceful society does not stop at paying taxes; it must also extend itself to the promotion of common values such as the family, the defense of life, solidarity with the poor, peace. There is also another sphere in which Christians must make a contribution to politics. It does not have to do with the content of politics so much as its methods, its style.      Christians must help to remove the poison from the climate of contentiousness in politics, bring back greater respect, composure and dignity to relationships between parties. Respect for one’s neighbor, clemency, capacity for self-criticism: These are the traits that a disciple of Christ must have in all things, even in politics.      It is undignified for a Christian to give himself over to insults, sarcasm, brawling with his adversaries. If, as Jesus says, those who call their brother “stupid” are in danger of Gehenna, what then must we say about a lot of p…

Daily Thought For October 20, 2016

The Effects of Charity In Daily Life
THE VOICE OF CHRIST:  1. My CHILD, when true charity fills your soul, it brings many wonderful effects into your daily life. These effects are due to the fact that charity looks for Me in all things. In his desire for a more perfect union with Me, the charitable man seeks to be more like Me in his daily life.  2. Since love always seeks to express itself in some form of self-sacrifice, the charitable man seeks to offer his attention and help to his fellowmen for My sake. Following My words, "You did it to Me," he seeks to serve Me in the people who need his help.  3. The man of charity is patient in many circumstances which arouse others to anger or disgust. He refuses to become impatient because he is keenly aware of My great patience with him and with all sinners. In his love for Me he prefers to reflect My patience and meekness, rather than anger or revenge. When compelled to defend his rights, he does so without harshness or meanness.  4. …

Daily Thought For October 18, 2016

How To See The World
There are ten thousand ways of looking at this world, but only one right way. The man of pleasure has his way, the man of gain his, and the man of intellect his. Poor men and rich men, governors and governed, prosperous and discontented, learned and unlearned, each has his own way of looking at the things which come before him, and each has a wrong way. There is but one right way; it is the way in which God looks at the world. Aim at looking at it in God’s way. Aim at seeing things as God sees them. Aim at forming judgments about persons, events, ranks, fortunes, changes, objects, such as God forms. Aim at looking at this life as God looks at it. Aim at looking at the life to come, and the world unseen, as God does. Aim at “seeing the King in his beauty.” All things that we see are but shadows to us and delusions, unless we enter into what they really mean.

It is not an easy thing to learn that new language which Christ has brought us. He has interpreted all things …

Daily Thought For October 17, 2016

The Glorious Struggle of Prayer
At the start of today’s celebration, we addressed this prayer to the Lord: “Create in us a generous and steadfast heart, so that we may always serve you with fidelity and purity of spirit” (Collect).

By our own efforts, we cannot give ourselves such a heart. Only God can do this, and so in the prayer we ask him to give it to us as his “creation”. In this way, we come to the theme of prayer, which is central to this Sunday’s scriptural readings and challenges all of us who are gathered here for the canonization of new Saints. The Saints attained the goal. Thanks to prayer, they had a generous and steadfast heart. They prayed mightily; they fought and they were victorious.

So pray! Like Moses, who was above all a man of God, a man of prayer. We see him today in the battle against Amalek, standing atop the hill with his arms raised. From time to time, however, his arms would grow weary and fall, and then the tide would turn against the people. So Aaron and Hu…

Daily Thought For October 15, 2016

Staying On The Path God  Has Chosen    If a fowler goes straight to a partridge’s nest, the bird will show herself to him and pretend to be weak and lame. She will rise up as if to make a great flight and then fall down all of a sudden as though unable to go any further. All this is done so that the hunter will keep after her, think he can catch her easily, and thus be distracted from finding her little ones outside the nest. When he has chased her for a while and fancies he has caught her, she takes to the air and escapes.       Thus too, when our enemy sees a man who by God’s inspiration undertakes a profession and way of life suitable to his advancement in heavenly love he persuades him to take some other path, apparently of greater perfection. Having once lured the man from his first path, little by little he makes it impossible for him to follow the second. Next he proposes a third way to the man. All this is so that by busying himself with a continual search for different new ways…

Daily Thought For October 13, 2016

God’s Love Always Sustains Us   Awareness of God's undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God's love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish. God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope. Pope Benedict XVI - Caritas en Veritate #78 

Daily Thought For October 9, 2016

Helpful Words To Guide This Day In The Love of God & Love Of Neighbor
Live totally for God and for the love He has poured out on you. Put up with all your defects. Being a good servant of God does not consist in living in the midst of consolations and delights, without any dislike or repugnance for the good. If that were the case, neither Saint Catherine of Siena nor others would have served the Lord worthily! To be a good servant of God means to have a great love for your neighbor; to have an inviolable resolution to follow the Divine Will; to have a deep humility and simplicity in trusting God and in being able to rise from your falls. It means having patience with yourself in your daily failings and peacefully tolerating your neighbor with all his or her imperfections. 
Saint Francis de Sales (Letters 409; O. XIII, pp. 313-314)

Daily Thought For October 8, 2016

Help Amidst Stormy Seas
The disciples struggled to cross the stormy sea, straining at the oars all night long until Jesus finally came to them in the fourth watch—which would have been between three and six o’clock in the morning! That’s a long time to be fighting such violent seas. You would think that, after having seen Jesus multiply the loaves and fishes, they might have called out to him—or at least to God—for help. But instead, they kept on trying to make the crossing on their own. Then, when Jesus did appear, they were so scared that they didn’t recognize him. Even Peter, the chief apostle, wavered in his faith and sank into the raging waters! What a contrast when Jesus and the disciples landed in Gennesaret! The people recognized him and immediately sent out word so that people far and wide could come and hear him. There was excitement in the air, as many were healed by doing nothing more than touching Jesus’ cloak! Isn’t it funny that the disciples showed this lack of faith? Amon…

Daily Thought For October 7, 2016

Love Is Always Within Reach      Love is within reach of the child, of the invalid who has been confined to a hospital bed for a lengthy period, of the businessman, of the doctor who hardly has a minute to spare ... because sanctity is a matter of love, and of the effort we make to reach the Master with the help of grace. We have to give a new meaning to life, together with all its joys and exhilarations, its pains and woes. Sanctity requires a fight against conformity, against lukewarmness, against an easy-going worldly attitude. It demands heroism - not in extraordinary situations that we are unlikely to encounter, but in continual fidelity to our task in the unremarkable duties of each day.  fromIn Conversation with God