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Showing posts from July, 2016

Daily Thought For July 29, 2016

The Unity of Prayer & Action
In commenting on the episode of Martha and Mary St Ambrose urges his faithful and us too: “Let us too seek to have what cannot be taken from us, dedicating diligent, not distracted attention to the Lord’s word. The seeds of the heavenly word are blown away, if they are sown along the roadside. May the wish to know be an incentive to you too, as it was to Mary, this is the greatest and most perfect act”. And he added that “attention to the ministry must not distract from knowledge of the heavenly word” through prayer (Expositio Evangelii secundunm Lucam, VII, 85 PL 15, 1720).

Saints have therefore experienced a profound unity of life between prayer and action, between total love for God and love for their brethren. St Bernard, who is a model of harmony between contemplation and hard work, in his book De consideratione, addressed to Pope Innocent II to offer him some reflections on his ministry, insists precisely on the importance of inner recollection, of…

Daily Thought For July 28, 2016

Beautiful Prayer To Practice Works of Mercy
Help me, O Lord, 
…that my eyes may be merciful, so that I will never be suspicious or judge by appearances, but always look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and be of help to them;
… that my ears may be merciful, so that I will be attentive to my neighbors’ needs, and not indifferent to their pains and complaints;
… that my tongue may be merciful, so that I will never speak badly of others, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all;
… that my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds;
… that my feet may be merciful, so that I will hasten to help my neighbor, despite my own fatigue and weariness;

… that my heart may be merciful, so that I myself will share in all the sufferings of my neighbor”

St. Faustina Kowalksa (Diary 163)

Daily Thought For July 27, 2016

Walking In Freedom
WALK WITH ME in the freedom of forgiveness. The path we follow together is sometimes steep and slippery. If you carry a burden of guilt on your back, you are more likely to stumble and fall. At your request, I will remove the heavy load from you and bury it at the foot of the cross. When I unburden you, you are undeniably free! Stand up straight and tall in My Presence, so that no one can place more burdens on your back. Look into My Face and feel the warmth of My Love- Light shining upon you. It is this unconditional Love that frees you from both fears and sins. Spend time basking in the Light of My Presence. As you come to know Me more and more intimately, you grow increasingly free. 

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. — PSALM 68:19 

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves a…

Daily Thought For July 26, 2016

The The Righteous Will Shine Like The Sun

Lectio

Matthew 13:36–43

Meditatio

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun …”

During World War II, Hungary had largely avoided Nazi pressure to persecute the Jews until the spring of 1944, when Adolf Eichmann arrived on the scene. During six weeks of terror, from mid-May to the end of June 1944, Eichmann sent almost 450,000 Hungarian Jews to their deaths. Yet a Swedish diplomat named Raoul Wallenberg managed to get many Jews out of Hungary on Swedish passports. His tireless efforts saved around 30,000 people. His reward? When the Soviets rolled into Hungary, they took Wallenberg prisoner and he disappeared into a Soviet gulag. No one knows exactly what befell him. Despite efforts to get him released, he was never freed and he died, deserted and alone, in a Soviet prison or labor camp.

A cynic would say that no good deed goes unpunished. But today’s Gospel offers comfort to all the Raoul Wallenbergs of the world, and to all those who were herded i…

Daily Thought For July 25, 2016

St. James 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are continuing the series of portraits of the Apostles chosen directly by Jesus during his earthly life. We have spoken of St Peter and of his brother, Andrew. Today we meet the figure of James. The biblical lists of the Twelve mention two people with this name: James, son of Zebedee, and James, son of Alphaeus (cf. Mk 3:17, 18; Mt 10:2–3), who are commonly distinguished with the nicknames “James the Greater” and “James the Lesser”.

These titles are certainly not intended to measure their holiness, but simply to state the different importance they receive in the writings of the New Testament and, in particular, in the setting of Jesus’ earthly life. Today we will focus our attention on the first of these two figures with the same name.

The name “James” is the translation of Iakobos, the Graecised form of the name of the famous Patriarch, Jacob. The Apostle of this name was the brother of John and in the above-mentioned lists, comes second, immediat…

Daily Thought for July 22, 2016

The Importance of Silence
Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Daily Thought For July 21, 2016

Insight On Saints
The Saints were not superhuman.  They were people who loved God in their hearts, and who shared this joy with others.
Pope Francis

Daily Thought For July 20, 2016

Anyone Who Has Ears Ought To Hear
Lectio

Matthew 13:1–9

Meditatio

“And [Jesus] spoke to them at length in parables …”

I picture the day in my mind’s eye: the blue sky, the rocky shore, the waves bobbing the boat that holds Jesus, the crowd of people hanging on his words. Jesus speaks, and his words float out over the crowd like a soft breeze of the Spirit.

What refreshment the teaching of Jesus gives these people, whose lives are burdened with cares, sickness, financial worries, even the tragedies that can stop a person cold with heartbreak.… They feel as if Jesus is addressing them individually, and really, he is. Jesus’ Good News is miraculous in many ways. But the way it has penetrated to the hearts of people all over the world through the ages is a miracle that goes on continually.

I think of the way my life was changed as I heard or read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or his seven last words from the cross. For a moment, I feel a sense of connection with Jesus’ audience on that shore in Pal…

Daily Thought For July 18, 2016

Living By The Spirit
You LIVE BY THE SPIRIT: HE IS THE VERY SOURCE OF YOUR ETERNAL LIFE. When you were dead in trespasses and sins, it was impossible for you to receive Me as Savior. The Holy Spirit had to make you alive before you could respond to Me. So you do quite literally live by the Spirit. 


I want you to go forward along your life-path in step with the Spirit. He will not help you go backward, so beware of seeking refuge in the past. You need to keep moving forward and also to walk in the direction I choose. Moreover, it's vital to pace yourself according to My timing: neither dashing ahead nor lagging behind. The Spirit will help you in all these matters, as you live in reliance on Him. You can engage His help any time, any place-simply by asking. If you find yourself anxiously rushing, pray, "Slow me down, Holy Spirit." If you're uncertain about your direction, ask Him to show you the way. When you don't know how to pray as you should, cry out, "Help…

Daily Thought For July 17, 2016

Martha & Mary
Lectio

Luke 10:38–42

Meditatio

“… you are anxious and worried about many things.”

Let’s imagine the scene: in one room Jesus is speaking to his disciples. One of his dearest friends, Mary, the sister of Martha, sits at his feet listening attentively. Martha, who had welcomed Jesus to her home, is working in the next room that serves as a kitchen, busily preparing the meal. As she works, she keeps looking over at the circle of disciples, and becomes more and more agitated. She’s alone doing all the serving. Martha goes from one pot to another, fussing and growing more angry and resentful. Mary is just sitting there, unconcerned about all the work that needs to be done. Martha’s resentment fuels her frantic work. Finally, she bursts into the room to speak her mind to Jesus and ask him to do something. Instead of telling Mary to get up and help, Jesus points out to Martha that she is “anxious and worried about many things.” He knows she loves him too, but in her service for …

Daily Thought For July 16, 2016

Staying Positive When Things Get Tough

Lectio

Matthew 12:14–21

Meditatio

“He will not contend or cry out …”

Jesus has just healed a man with a shriveled hand. In the process he has a dispute with the Pharisees. At the beginning of today’s Gospel passage, these men who seriously lived according to the laws of their religion “went out” and began to plot the death of Jesus, who to them is obviously not concerned with keeping the Law.

What amazement! Jesus doesn’t descend into arguing with them. He doesn’t withdraw to protect himself or to hide. He doesn’t try to reframe his message so it will be more palatable to those plotting his death. Instead he withdraws and quietly carries on with healing, not just one person as in the last healing story, but healing “them all.”

Have you lived in a situation in which you or your plans and beliefs were being attacked? It takes enormous strength of character not to descend into arguing, rationalizing, pleading, capitulating, or just plain being nasty temper…

Daily Thought For July 15, 2016

The Value of Adversity
NO MATTER WHAT HARDSHIPS THE WORLD MAY THROW AT YOU, YOU HAVE—IN ME—EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PERSEVERE. Despair is a deep pit, and sometimes you totter around its edges, precariously close to falling in. Your only hope at such times is to fix your eyes on Me. The more perplexed you are—bewildered by complex circumstances—the easier it to lose your balance. To keep from falling, you must change your focus from your circumstances to My Presence. This requires strenuous effort on your part because you have not fully accepted the limitations of your mind. Your natural tendency is to keep thinking about a difficult situation ad nauseam—trying to figure it out. However, I am always nearby, eager to help you change your focus time after time. 

Though you may be hard pressed on every side, you need not be crushed by your difficulties. You are not alone in your battles because I will never ever abandon you. Even if you are struck down by a fatal blow, you will not be destroy…

Daily Thought For July 14, 2016

Great Insights Into Being "Yoked"

Lectio

Matthew 11:28–30

Meditatio

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Probably few people reading this book have ever plowed a field with a yoke of oxen, churning the soil to prepare it for planting. But everyone has sat in a classroom, writing in notebooks, taking tests, or watching the hands of the clock sweep off the minutes until the bell would ring. In fact, the classroom image is closer to what Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel passage. Consider this other Scripture text, “… gain, at no cost, wisdom for yourselves. Submit your neck to her yoke, that your mind may accept her teaching. For she is close to those who seek her, and the one who is in earnest finds her” (Sir 51:25–26). This text aligns acquiring wisdom with being under a yoke. That image is in the background of Jesus’ saying that his burden is light.

Jesus is inviting us to go to his school, the school of wisdom. Today’s Gospel needs to be read together with yesterda…

Daily Thought For July 12, 2016

Into Your Hands I Commend My Crazy Day
God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him -- really rest -- and start the next day as a new life.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Daily Thought For July 11, 2016

Benedict of Nursia
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 Cassino, the “city …

Daily Thought For July 10, 2016

Insights On The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Lectio

Luke 10:25–37

Meditatio

“… a Samaritan …”

As followers of Christ we are called to a high standard of love. I was especially impressed by something that happened at the Superdome in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As help was arriving to rescue people, many pushed forward—even violently—to be taken first. A small group of Vietnamese Catholics quietly remained in their places, praying the rosary, asking that the others be taken first. Another moving example occurred in October 2006, when the Amish community in Pennsylvania publicly forgave a gunman who had brutally shot and killed five Amish schoolgirls.

When I witness families, communities, and parish committees who have a communication style marked by passive aggression or angry bitterness, I wonder where our high standard of love has gone. How are we different from those who have no faith? We have no gun (usually) so the violence isn’t reported in the papers, but it is…

Daily Thought For July 8, 2016

Love The Life of The Heart
Love is the life of our heart. Just as weights give movement to the movable parts of a clock, so love gives to the soul whatever movement it has. All our affections follow our love; when divine love reigns in our hearts, it tames sensual love, reduces it to obedience, and puts under its sway all sensual passions. In sum, the love of God is the saving water of which Our Lord has said, "...whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty." 
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For July 7, 2016

God's Pity Is Stirred
My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. . . . For I am God and not man. (Hosea 11:8, 9)

Well, of course he’s God and not man—isn’t that obvious? Still, our vision of God can often be colored by our experience of human relationships. We are parents or children; we are friends or siblings. We have been disappointed or angered or pleased by all of them. We can think God will react to situations the same way any of us would. But God likes to surprise us.

When Hosea prophesied in Israel around 750 BC, many of God’s people were comfortable and prosperous—so much so that they had started drifting toward the idols that their neighbors and trading partners believed in. Humanly speaking, the people’s infidelity could have given God reason to abandon them or revoke their status as his chosen people. Like a mathematical equation or a contractual arrangement, their betrayal could have provoked a harsh response. But God is not man. He offers relationship and redemption, …

Daily Thought For July 6, 2016

Overcoming Worry
THE ULTIMATE PROTECTION AGAINST SINKING DURING LIFE'S STORMS IS DEVELOPING YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH ME. You waste a lot of time, however, worrying about storms you can see forming along the horizon of your life. In the past many of the storms you had anticipated veered off in another direction, never reaching you. Although some of them did actually hit, usually they had lost much of their power by the time they got to you. I urge you to switch your focus from difficulties that may come your way to My Presence, which is always with you. 

You will never find security by trying to anticipate all the storms that may reach you someday. Remember that I control the atmosphere of your life. Trust Me by relaxing and releasing your concerns into My capable care. It saddens Me to see you obsessing about possible problems rather than bringing these matters to Me. When you find yourself anxiously scanning the horizon of your life, use that as a reminder to seek My Face. You will not…

Daily Thought For July 4, 2016

A Prayer For The 4th of July
God our Father, 

Giver of life, 
we entrust the United States of America to Your loving 
care. 

You are the rock on which this nation was founded. 
You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to 
life, 
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your 
people.

Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation´s 
leaders. 
Open their minds to the great worth of human life 
and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.
Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in 
seeking 
and doing Your will. 

Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, 
Patroness of our land,
grant us the courage to reject the "culture of death." 
Lead us into a new millennium of life. 
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

from Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Daily Thought For July 3, 2016

Allowing Ourselves To Be Guided
Blessed the one whom you guide, LORD, whom you teach by your instruction, To give rest from evil days, while a pit is being dug for the wicked. For the LORD will not forsake his people, nor abandon his inheritance.

Psalm 94:12-14

Daily Thought For July 2, 2016

The Gift Of Trust
The Lord tenderly loves those who have the happiness of abandoning themselves totally to the fatherly care of Divine Providence. They do no stop to consider if it is advantageous or not to their own interests. Let us be convinced that the fatherly heart of God will never allow anything that is not for our greater good. 
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For July 1, 2016

The Choice For Mercy
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

How many times, during these first months of the Jubilee, we have heard talk of the works of mercy! Today the Lord invites us to make a serious examination of conscience. In fact, it is good never to forget that mercy is not an abstract word, but a style of life: a person can be merciful or not merciful; it’s a style of life. I choose to be merciful or I choose not to be merciful. It is one thing to speak of mercy and another to live mercy. Paraphrasing the words of Saint James the Apostle, (cf. 2:14-17), we can say: mercy without works is dead in itself. It is in fact like this! What renders mercy alive is its constant dynamism in going to meet the needs and necessities of all those in spiritual and material hardship. Mercy has eyes to see, ears to listen, hands to resolve …

Daily life enables us to touch with our hand so many needs regarding the poorest and most tested persons. Requested of us is that particular attention th…