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Showing posts from June, 2016

Daily Thought For June 30, 2016

One Does Not Live On Bread Alone
Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. 


Dorothy Day

Daily Thought For June 29, 2016

Is The Glass Half Full Or Half Empty? 

A cheery fellow who lives next door to me will often remark on how lovely the weather is, and when someone replies, “I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow,” he shoots back, “True, but after the rain comes the sun!” When a curbstone philosopher tells him that health is the most important thing in life, his answer never varies: “Thank God for our health, but even more for the faith that sustains us through thick and thin and makes us happy in the hospital, as well as on the beach,” or words to that effect.

This neighbor of mine sees a silver lining in every cloud, and perhaps he is overly optimistic. Some might call him a Pollyanna. One thing, though, is certain: He doesn’t suffer, as naysayers do, from tunnel vision. A story is told of an old farmer whose only horse ran away. In sympathy, his fellow villagers said, “What misfortune you have!” In reply, the farmer said, “There is no misfortune, only blessings in disguise!” A few days later, his horse re…

Daily Thought For June 28, 2016

Lord, Save Us!

Lectio

Matthew 8:23–27

Meditatio

“Lord, save us!”

Today’s Gospel paints a dramatic picture for us. Jesus and his disciples are sailing on the sea when suddenly a violent storm breaks out. The rough sea tosses the boat as waves crash over it and fill it with water. We can imagine the power of this storm. The disciples are terrified, afraid for their lives. When they turn to Jesus, however, he is sound asleep! How can he sleep at a time like this? Perhaps he is very tired. But perhaps it is because Jesus is not afraid. His dialogue with the frightened disciples indicates this may be the case, for he asks: “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” The disciples are afraid because they don’t have much faith. Jesus, instead, is not afraid because he trusts his Father.

We too want to trust God in a similar way as we encounter storms in life. We know that faith is not a feeling, but a deep belief in all that God has revealed. Our deep beliefs give us the courage to be faithful…

Daily Thought For June 26, 2016

The Great Freedom To Be Yourself
COME TO ME WHEN YOU ARE HURTING, AND I WILL SHARE YOUR PAIN. Come to Me when you are joyful, and I will share your Joy-multiplying it many times over. 

I invite you to come to Me just as you are—no matter what condition you're in. You don't have to clean up your act first, since I already know the worst about you. When you're hurting, you want to be with someone who understands you without condemning you. When you're happy, you delight in being with someone who loves you enough to celebrate with you. I understand you compassionately and love you exuberantly, so bring more and more of yourself to Me. 

Most people are selective about which parts of themselves they share with Me. Some hesitate to bring Me the traits they consider shameful. Others are so used to living with painful feelings—loneliness, fear, guilt—that it never occurs to them to ask for help in dealing with these things. Still others get so preoccupied with their struggles tha…

Daily Thought For June 25, 2016

An Insight On Love
To love someone means to see him as God intended him. 

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Daily Thought For June 24, 2016

The Amazing Work of the Holy Spirit
Moreover, the Greek work parakletos can be translated in yet another way: it also means “advocate”. A verse from the Book of Revelation might help us to understand it better: “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God’ ” (Rev 12:10). Someone who does not love God with all his heart does not love man, either. Those who deny God quickly become persons who destroy nature and accuse men, because accusing other men and nature enables them to justify their opposition to God: a God who has made this cannot be good! That is their logic. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, is not an accuser; he is an advocate and defender of mankind and creation. God himself takes the side of men and creatures. Within creation, God affirms and defends himself by coming to ou…

Daily Thought For June 22, 2016

God Is Very Close To Us
Yes, we can rejoice that God exists, that he has revealed himself to mankind, and that he does not leave us alone. How consoling it is to know the telephone number of a friend, to know good people who love us, who are always available and never aloof: at any time we can call them and they can call us. This is precisely what the Incarnation of God in Christ says to us: God has written our names and phone numbers in his address book! He is always listening; we do not need money or technology to call him. Thanks to baptism and confirmation, we are privileged to belong to his family. He is always ready to welcome us: “Behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20).

But the Gospel reading for today adds a particularly important statement: Jesus promises the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13), whom he calls, several times, the “Paraclete”. What does that mean? In Latin, the word is translated as Consolator, the Comforter. Etymologically, the Latin word means: th…

Daily Thought For June 21, 2016

Advice on Speech
Let your speech be meek, frank, open, and sincere, without the least mixture of equivocation, artifice, or dissimulation; for, although it may not be advisable to tell all that is true, yet it is never allowable to speak against the truth. Accustom yourself, therefore, never to tell a deliberate lie, either by way of excuse or otherwise; remembering always that God is the God of truth. Should you tell a lie unawares, fail not to correct it on the spot by some explanation or reparation: an honest excuse has always more grace and force to bear one harmless than a lie.


St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For June 20, 2016

Enlightened by Faith
The soul enlightened by faith judges things in a very different way than those who, having only the standard of the senses by which to measure them, ignore the inestimable treasure they contain. The one who knows that a certain person in disguise is the king, behaves toward him very differently than another who, only perceiving him to be an ordinary man, treats him accordingly. In the same way, the soul that recognizes the will of God in the smallest event as well as in those that are the most distressing, receives all things with an equal joy, pleasure, and respect. Such a soul throws open its doors to receive with honor what others fear and flee from with horror. The outward appearance may be mean and contemptible, but beneath this abject garb the heart discovers and honors the majesty of the King. The deeper the abasement of his entry in such a guise and the more secret, the greater does the heart become filled with love. I cannot describe what the heart feels w…

Daily Thought For June 19, 2016

Who Do You Say That I Am? 

Lectio

Luke 9:18–24

Meditatio

“… who do you say that I am?”

In the previous passage, Jesus has fed the multitudes with the five loaves and two fish (see Lk 9:10–17). It is easy to imagine the excitement of the event, as well as the exhaustion Jesus and the disciples probably felt afterward. In contrast, Luke tells us in today’s passage: “… Jesus was praying in solitude, and [only] the disciples were with him.…” I am struck by the intimacy of this passage. Luke sets the stage for something important to be communicated.

In this context of solitude and prayer, Jesus wants to bring the disciples into deeper awareness of who he truly is for them. Curiously, Jesus first asks them what others think about him: “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Only after they have elaborated on the opinions circulating among the people does Jesus ask, “But who do you say that I am?”

On my nightstand I have a framed picture of Jesus who looks directly at me, with bright eyes smiling. A lin…

Daily Thought For June 18, 2016

Great Advice On Complaining
Complain as little as possible about the wrongs you suffer; the one who complains usually commits a sin. Self-love feels that injuries are worse than they really are. Above all, do not complain to irascible or fault-finding people. If you feel it necessary to complain to someone, do so to those who are even-tempered and who really love God. Otherwise you will find that those to whom you complain upset you still more, instead of calming you.
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For June 16, 2016

Words of Comfort
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After the testimonies we have heard, and in the light of the word of the Lord that gives meaning to our suffering, let us first ask Holy Spirit to come among us. May he enlighten our minds to find the right words capable of bringing comfort. May he open our hearts to the certainty that God is always present and never abandons us in times of trouble. The Lord Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them alone, but at all times in life he would remain close to them by sending his Spirit, the Comforter (cf. Jn 14:26) to help, sustain and console them.

At times of sadness, suffering and sickness, amid the anguish of persecution and grief, everyone looks for a word of consolation. We sense a powerful need for someone to be close and feel compassion for us. We experience what it means to be disoriented, confused, more heartsick than we ever thought possible. We look around us with uncertainty, trying to see if we can find someone who rea…

Daily Thought For June 15, 2016

Awakening A Desire For True Joy
 Not all satisfactions have the same effect on us: some leave a positive after-taste, able to calm the soul and make us more active and generous. Others, however, after the initial delight, seem to disappoint the expectations that they had awakened and sometimes leave behind them a sense of bitterness, dissatisfaction or emptiness. Instilling in someone from a young age the taste for true joy, in every area of life—family, friendship, solidarity with those who suffer, self-renunciation for the sake of the other, love of knowledge, art, the beauty of nature—all this means exercising the inner taste and producing antibodies that can fight the trivialization and the dulling widespread today. Adults too need to rediscover this joy, to desire authenticity, to purify themselves of the mediocrity that might infest them. It will then become easier to drop or reject everything that although attractive proves to be, in fact, insipid, a source of indifference and n…

Daily Thought For June 14, 2016

Our Homeland
The present life is given to us only to earn eternal life. If we forget this, we tend to concentrate all our affections on the things of this world, where we are but birds of passage. So it happens that when we have to leave this world we become frightened and upset. Believe me, if we want to live as happy pilgrims, we must always have in our hearts the hope of finally reaching that country where we will settle down forever. But at the same time we must believe, and believe with all our hearts (this is a most sacred truth!), that God keeps a loving eye on us as we walk toward Him, and never lets anything happen to us that is not for our greater good. 
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For June 13, 2016

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.
St. Anthony of Padua

Daily Thought For June 11, 2016

Living By Truth

Lectio

Matthew 5:33–37

Meditatio

“Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ ”

Jesus is asking his disciples, and he asks us, too, to live in the truth, so we will have no need for oaths. As a part of the Sermon on the Mount, this injunction of Jesus takes on added solemnity. If I were in the crowd on that day, I would probably notice the silence that seems to settle over the people as Jesus speaks these words. Who has not told a lie, little or big, seriously or jokingly?

I look at our society today and see what it means to manipulate truth to one’s own advantage. Advertisements, contracts, tax laws, and even marriage oaths are sometimes written with loopholes one can use to wriggle loose from a commitment. One can slip through a loophole instead of upholding one’s word when that would mean sacrifice, inconvenience, or loss of money. So often the sad injustices of our world take off from the launch pad of untruth.
Then I look within my heart to see if what I say or p…

Daily Thought For June 10, 2016

The Quiet Whisper
Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord. (1 Kings 19:11)

Elijah’s life was in danger. After defeating the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he fled from Jezebel’s wrath, which thundered on the horizon like a threatening storm. Weary and discouraged, yet poised at a new chapter in his prophetic ministry, Elijah needed to hear God’s voice—and God’s messenger promised that he would. 

But it was only after Elijah had passed through the storm that he was able to hear God’s voice in a “tiny whispering sound” (1 Kings 19:12).

Elijah’s story offers some encouraging insight into how we can hear God speak to us. In our natural desire to avoid stressful or challenging situations, we may think that the only way to hear God’s voice is in picturesque, quiet moments, when we are secluded and free to spend time with him in prayer or meditate on his word. Of course, those times are essential, but they are not the only way God speaks. And neither are they always the most effe…

Daily Thought For June 8, 2016

Be A Light-Bearer
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly. I desire each of My followers to be a Light-bearer. The Holy Spirit who lives in you can shine from your face, making Me visible to people around you. Ask My Spirit to live through you as you wend your way through this day. Hold My hand in joyful trust, for I never leave your side. The Light of My Presence is shining upon you. Brighten up the world by reflecting who I AM. 

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
—JOHN 8:12

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. —MATTHEW 5:14-16; 


All of us, gazing with unveiled…

Daily Thought For June 6, 2016

Confidence In God's Future!

But as for me, I will look to the LORD,  I will wait for God my savior;  my God will hear me!

Micah 7:7

Daily Thought For June 5, 2016

Faith Is A Gift
WHAT FAITH BASICALLY MEANS is just that this shortfall that 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 l…

Daily Thought For June 4, 2016

Prayer From A Prisoner
OH GOD, give me the courage to call you Father. You know that I do not always give you the attention you deserve. You do not forget me, even though I so often live far from the light of your face. 

Come close, despite everything, despite my sin however great or small, secret or public, it may be. Give me inner peace, that which only you know how to give. Give me the strength to be true, sincere; tear away from my face the masks that obscure the awareness that I am worthy only because I am your son. Forgive me my faults and grant me the possibility to do good. 

Shorten my sleepless nights; grant me the grace of a conversion of heart. 

Remember, Father, those who are outside of here and still love me, that thinking of them, I remember that only love gives life, while hate destroys and resentment transforms into hell long and endless days. Remember me, oh God. Amen. 


- A prayer by an inmate named Stefan recited during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Roman District …

Daily Thought For June 3, 2016

The Gift of The Sacred Heart Devotion
 It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues. Therefore, recalling those wise words of the Apostle St. James, "Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights,"(2) We are perfectly justified in seeing in this same devotion, which flourishes with increasing fervor throughout the world, a gift without price which our divine Savior the Incarnate Word, as the one Mediator of grace and truth between the heavenly Father and the human race imparted to the Church, His mystical Spouse, in recent centuries when she had to endure such trials and surmount so many difficulties.
Pope Pius XII -HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion to The Sacred Heart) #2

Daily Thought For June 2, 2016

At The Heart Of Our Faith
Lectio

Mark 12:28–34

Meditatio

“You shall love …”

In speaking English, we commonly use the one word “love” to express many different types of feelings and relationships: I love God, my family, the sisters in my religious community, my friends, and the people I serve through our mission. But I also love vanilla ice cream, walking in the park on a spring day, and watching a sunrise. Clearly, I have different levels of relationship with each of my “loves,” and they differ greatly in their importance to me. In today’s Gospel, Jesus goes to the heart of two of the most significant loves we can experience: love for God and for the people with whom we live.

Jesus presents us with a strong command to love God and our neighbor. He is not just suggesting or recommending this. Instead, Jesus requires his followers to live in love of God and neighbor. Jesus’ command to love and the witness of his own life show us that love is much deeper than warm, fuzzy feelings. Love for God…

Daily Thought For June 1, 2016

The Great Call
He saved us and called us to a holy life. (2 Timothy 1:9) In this one sentence, St. Paul maps out the entire Christian life. Yes, Jesus has redeemed us, but he didn’t save us and then leave us to our own devices. He has also destined us to become holy—to become saints. “Who? Me? I can’t do that! I have a hard enough time just staying out of trouble. I can’t become holy.” Yes, you can. Jesus was so convinced of your potential that he gave himself up for you. He looked into your heart and saw your desires for purity and innocence. He saw your desire to do great things for him and to build his kingdom. He saw the love and humility that lie deep in your heart. He saw it all and decided you were worth saving. He decided that the “holy” version of you was worth dying for. What does this “holy” you look like? In a 2014 audience, Pope Francis described it as “a visible sign of God’s love and his presence.” He went on to describe the way to holiness: “Are you consecrated? Be holy…