Thursday, September 29, 2016

Daily Thought For September 29, 2016

Respect

Recently, on the subway, I got up and gave my seat to a lady who was holding on to a strap. She was rather surprised and said to me, “Why did you do that?” Seeing that she was incapable of understanding a spiritual reason, I said to her, “Madame, I tell you, ever since I was a little boy, I have had an infinite respect for a woman with a strap in her hand.”

from The Wit & Wisdom of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen p. 158

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Daily Thought For September 28, 2016

A Prayer For Renewal
 
Father, I simply come to you
I come the way I am in all my poverty
I know I can come to you no matter what
I come to seek your mercy and grace anew
 
Forgive me for my mistakes and failures
The times when I have lost my way
When my priorities have not been in a proper order
 
I accept anew the free gift of your love that you offer me
The free gift of life eternal through your son Jesus Christ
I acknowledge anew Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life
 
Father, I want to start anew today
Send your Holy Spirit to fill my heart afresh
Let the fire of your spirit purify my heart
Seize my heart in the fire of your Love
Come Holy Spirit as in the Upper Room
Come in your power and empower my life
Set free in me the gifts that you have for my life.
 
Stir a fervent desire to commune with you daily
Release the gift of true and persevering prayer
Transform me into a Burning Bush
Use me as an instrument for the building of Your Kingdom
In Jesus’ Name, for this I pray.
 
Amen.
 
 From The Burning Bush by Kim Catherine-Marie Kollins with Alessandra Nucci p.104

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Daily Thought For September 27, 2016

Divine Mercy Exceeds Our Imagination
    
     Jesus was always with people, even after day was done. There were many times when they would not let him rest. His life was totally given over to his brothers and sisters. He loved them with the greatest love that the world has ever seen. He was raised for our justification and ascended into Heaven to prepare a place for us. He sent us the Holy Spirit to forestall our becoming orphans. The more we have needed him, the more He has been among us. This divine mercy exceeds anything the human mind can imagine. This superabundant mercy is proper to God and is the greatest manifestation of his omnipotence. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez p. 398

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Thought For September 25, 2016

An Invitation
 
Dear brothers and sisters, dear young friends, Christ is always with us and always walks with his Church, accompanies her and guards her, as he has told us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Never doubt his presence! Always seek the Lord Jesus, grow in friendship with him, receive him in communion. Learn to listen to his word and also to recognize him in the poor. Live your lives with joy and enthusiasm, sure of his presence and of his unconditional, generous friendship, faithful even to death on the cross. Bear witness to all of the joy that his strong yet gentle presence evokes, starting with your contemporaries. Tell them that it is beautiful to be a friend of Jesus and that it is well worth following him. With your enthusiasm, demonstrate that, among all the different ways of life that the world today seems to offer us – apparently all on the same level – the only way in which we find the true meaning of life and hence true and lasting joy, is by following Jesus.
 
excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily at Terreiro do Paço of Lisbon, Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Daily Thought For September 24, 2016

 Waiting In The Upper Room
 
If you wish to rise above a life of imperfection, you must, like the apostles, prepare yourself for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Remain watchful and persevere in humble and continual prayers.

When you are ready, my Spirit will come to you as he did to the apostles waiting in expectant faith in the upper room.

You will be given the courage to leave your safe house of prayer and fearlessly announce to the world what you have come to know of my truth and my love, not fearing pain and rejection, but seeing the glory of whatever comes to you.

I will give you a fire of charity strong enough to overcome your fears, your love of comfort, and all the temptations of the Devil.

Having the taste of my charity in your soul you can arise and give birth to it in your neighbors. For you cannot love me without loving your neighbor, nor can you love your neighbor and not love me.
St. Catherine of Sienna
 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Daily Thought For September 23, 2016

The Intensity of Love
 
        There are poor people everywhere, but the deepest poverty is not being loved. The poor whom we must seek may live near us or far away. They can be materially or spiritually poor. They may be hungry for bread or hungry for friendship. They may need clothing, or they may need the sense of wealth that God’s love for them represents. They may need the shelter of a house made of bricks and cement or the shelter of having a place in our hearts. 
     We do not need to carry out grand things in order to show a great love for God and for our neighbor. It is the intensity of love we put into our gestures that makes them into something beautiful for God. 

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Daily Thought For September 22, 2016

The Christian Life
 
  The Christian life is a journey, not a retirement center. 
 
Fr. George Montague  Holy Spirit Make Your Home in Me - Biblical Meditations On Receiving The Gift of the Spirit p.25

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Daily Thought For September 21, 2106

Life In Hell
 
In hell everything is computerized and the computers are always down. 
 
Peter Kreeft - A Turn of the Clock - A Book of Modern Proverbs p.70

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Daily Thought For September 20, 2016

Friendship With The Lord
 
One thing is needful: an ever-increasing friendship with the Lord. This should be the constant object of our heart ... Everything that separates us from this goal, no matter how important it may appear, has to take second place to that which is our ultimate end. Distractions from this goal may even be seen as doing us positive harm. The greatest good we can offer to our family, our colleagues, our friends, — to society itself — is our union with the Lord. The means to this union include keeping presence of God during the day, a serious effort at daily prayer, frequent Confession . .. The greatest harm would come if we were to neglect precisely these means that lead us to Jesus. This neglect might come about through disorder, lukewarmness, and yielding to the temptation to spend our energies on other, more attractive activities. St Ignatius of Antioch wrote to St Polycarp that we have to desire friendship with God: As a pilot calls on winds and a storm-tossed mariner looks haven ward, so the times call on you to win your way to God.
 
Real friendship with the Lord will unfailingly enrich all our actions. The absence of that friendship will devalue and impoverish whatever we do. Whenever we notice that life's concerns seem to be crowding out the time we have reserved for the Lord, then we need to hear again the Lord's words to Martha: One thing is needful. Our pursuit of holiness should be the highest priority in our life. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
 
Thank the Lord for the enormous gift He has granted you by making you understand that 'only one thing is necessary. ' And along with that thanksgiving may no day go past without your offering a prayer of petition for those who as yet have no idea of this duty or do not understand it. What a joy it is to know that the purpose of our existence is to grow in love for Jesus Christ! What a joy to share this Good News with others! Let us ask Our Lady to help us never to lose sight of the Lord while we struggle to perform our daily work to perfection for his glory. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 5 pp.182-183

Monday, September 19, 2016

Daily Thought For September 19, 2016

A Love That Does Not Walk Away
 
   We can always count on Christ's love. Even during the worst moments of our life He does not stop loving us. We can always count on his help to return to the right path if we have lost it, to begin and begin again. He keeps us fighting, and a leader on the battlefield values more the soldier who, having fallen back in flight at first, returns to the fray and attacks the enemy with valor, than he does the soldier who never ran but never showed outstanding courage. He who never sins is not sanctified, but he is who always repents, trusting in the love God has for him, getting up and getting on with the fight. To have defects is not in itself bad. The only evil lies in making a truce with them, not struggling against them, thinking that they are part and parcel of our character or our nature. Making such a truce would lead to spiritual mediocrity. Our Lord does not want this to happen to those who follow him. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez p.358

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Daily Thought For September 18, 2016

Wisdom From St. Thérèse
  
We have our natural likes and dislikes. We feel drawn to one person and may be tempted to go out of our way to avoid another. Well, our Lord tells me that this last is the person I must love and pray for. "If you love only those that love you, what thanks are to you? For sinners also love those that love them." 
 
Nor is it enough to love; we must prove our love. We take a natural delight in pleasing our friends, but this is not charity. Even sinners do the same. 

We cannot always, indeed, carry out to the letter the words of the gospel, for occasions arise when we are compelled to refuse a request. 
 
Yet when charity has taken deep root in our soul, it shows itself outwardly. There is always a way of refusing so graciously that the refusal affords as much pleasure as the gift itself. 
 
We must not avoid the importunate. Nor should we be kind for the sake of being considered so, nor in the hope that our kindness will be returned. "Do good hoping for nothing thereby, and your reward shall be great." 

The divine precepts do assuredly run counter to our natural inclinations, and without the help of grace it would be impossible to understand them, much less put them into practice.  
 
from 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher - Simply Surrender - Based on the Little Way of Thérèse of Lisieux pp.105-107

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Daily Thought For September 17, 2016

Judging Others Or Constructive Criticism?
 
What's the difference between judging others and constructive criticism? 
 
GOD'S RESPONSE 
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? 
Matthew 7:1-3 (NLT-2) 
 
Don't speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God's law.James 4:11 
 
† One coach berates a player publicly for making a mistake in a game. Another coach waits until the game is over and tells the player privately how to avoid making the same mistake again. Though no one likes criticism----even when it is constructive-we sometimes need it. But it is much easier to receive criticism when it is offered gently and in love, rather than in a harsh or humiliating way. A judge criticizes with no effort to see the person succeed or improve. One who offers constructive criticism invests in building a relationship and helping the other person become who God created him or her to be. 
 
GOD'S CHALLENGE 
You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. COLOSSIANS 3:13 
 
The One Year Men's Mini-Devotional

Friday, September 16, 2016

Daily Thought For September 16, 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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Daily Thought For September 15, 2016

Perspective

Accept peacefully whatever you have to do and try to get things done in order, one after the other. If you attempt to do everything all at once or without order, your mind will be frustrated and grow weary and you are likely to be overwhelmed by the pressure and accomplish nothing.

Soon we shall be in eternity and then we shall see how insignificant our worldly preoccupations were and how little it mattered whether some things got done or not; however, right now we rush about as if they were all-important. When we were little children, how eagerly we used to gather pieces of broken tile, little sticks, and mud with which to build houses and other tiny buildings; and if someone knocked them over, how heartbroken we were and how we cried! But now we understand that these things really didn't amount to much. One day it will be like this for us in heaven when we shall see that some of the things we clung to here on earth were only childish attachments.

St. Frances de Sales

Monday, September 12, 2016

Daily Thought For September 12, 2016

Generous People Are Happy People
     
   
The Lord asks us to understand others, even though others may not understand or even try to understand us. Perhaps sometimes they are like the guests invited to the banquet who could not bring themselves to respond to the Lord's invitation. We have to care for other people despite the possibility that they may ignore us. We should be performing acts of service for people who very probably will not do the same for us. Let us make life pleasant for those around us, no matter how they or others treat us. Everything we do should spring from a largeness of heart. We cannot keep a running tally of credits and debits. People who complain about the ingratitude of others should take a close look at their own rectitude of intention. Generosity should not lead to recriminations and collapse. Selfless sacrifice should make the heart bigger. It should uplift it with the consoling thought that God is pleased with our efforts. The more generous you are for God, the happier you will be.

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 5 pp.383-384

Friday, September 9, 2016

Daily Thought For September 9, 2016

Growing In Love

     The capacity of any man’s soul is judged by the amount of love he possess; hence he who loves much is great, he who loves little is small, he who has no love is nothing as Paul said: “If I have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor 13:2), But if he begins to acquire some love however, if he tries at least to love those who love him (Lk 6:32), and salutes the brethren and others who salute him (Mt 5:4), I may no longer describe him as nothing because some love must be present in the give and take of social life (Phil 4:15). In the words of the Lord however, what more is he doing than others (Mt 5:47)? When I discover a love as mediocre as this, I cannot call such a man noble or great: he is obviously narrow minded and mean. 
     But if his love expands and continues to advance till it outgrows narrow, servile confines, and finds itself in the open ranges where love is freely given in full liberty of spirit; when from the generous bounty of his goodwill he strives to reach out to all his neighbors, loving each of them as himself (Mt 19:19), surely one may no longer query, “What more are you doing than others?”
     Indeed he has made himself vast. His heart is filled with a love that embraces everybody, even those to whom it is not tied by the inseparable bonds of family relationship; a love that is not allured by any hope of personal gain, that possesses nothing it is obliged to restore, that bears no burden of debt whatever, apart from that one of which it is said: “Owe no one anything, except to love one another” (Rom 13:8). Progressing further still . . . instead of shutting off your affections from your enemies (1 Jn 3:17), you will do good to those who hate you, you will pray for those who persecute and slander you (Mt 5:44), you will strive to be peaceful even with those who hate peace (Ps 119:7). Then the width, height and beauty of our soul will be the width, height and beauty of heaven itself. 

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Daily Thought For September 8, 2016

 A Great Outlook

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

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Daily Thought For September 7, 2016

A Great Idea
 
When we run into difficult situations, we often find that family and friends come to our assistance, and that can be a most consoling thing. The brothers and sisters of my community, together with my own family and friends, have made my own difficult experience much more bearable. I will always be grateful to them. 
 
There are, however, times when people are alone. As I look around the nursing home where I am recovering at the moment, I see so many elderly people and even those with illnesses in their late sixties and early seventies, who appear to be terribly alone. It seems so tragic. 
 
Wouldn't it be wonderful if, in our society, it became a custom among Christians to visit one sick person or lonely person in a nursing home or hospital every week? It would turn Sunday morning after Mass into a time of great blessedness. 
 
In my present situation, I am aware that there are so many good people who for one reason or another have no one to support them. Jesus says in the Gospel according to Matthew:  "I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me" (Matthew 25:36). 
 
Putting this into action would be a good resolution to make. 
 
from There Are No Accidents - In All Things Trust In God by Fr. Benedict Groeschel p.116

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Daily Thought For September 6, 2016


Following Our Compass

We must try to keep our hearts continually, unshakably serene throughout the vicissitudes of life. Even though everything turns and changes around us, we must ever remain steady—always looking, striving, and aspiring toward God. No matter what course the ship takes, no matter, whether it sails to the east, west, north, or south, no matter what winds drive it on, the mariner’s needle never points in any direction except toward the polar star. Everything may be topsy-turvy, not only around us, but within us as well. But whether we are sad or happy, full of sweetness or bitterness, at peace or disturbed, filled with light or darkness, troubled or at rest, delighted or disgusted, experiencing aridity or consolation, scorched by the sun or refreshed by the dew—for all that, the fine point of our heart, our spirit, our higher will, which is our compass, must ever look and tend toward the love of God, its Creator, its Savior, its sole and sovereign good.

St. Francis de Sales

Monday, September 5, 2016

Daily Thought For September 5, 2016



Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is generated by the contemplation of God’s goodness and greatness and faithfulness. 
St. John Cassian

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Daily Thought For September 4, 2016

St. Teresa of Calcutta!

Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”. She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created. For Mother Teresa, mercy was the “salt” which gave flavor to her work, it was the “light” which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.


Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor. Today, I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers: may she be your model of holiness! I think, perhaps, we may have some difficult in calling her “Saint Teresa”: her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continual to spontaneously call her “Mother Teresa”. May this tireless worker of mercy help us increasingly to understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion. Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.

excerpt from the homily of Pope Francis Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, September 4, 2016

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Daily Thought For September 3, 2016

The Freedom of Living By the Law of Love
 
The new law, which is the Holy Spirit, comes into operation through love. Love, then, is not merely the sum of all the law and the prophets, but very much more: love is their complete fulfillment and the achievement of their whole purpose. Only those who love, truly carry out the law, for only in love can the law be fulfilled. Ezekiel ascribes to the gift of the new heart and the Spirit the capacity to put the law of God into practice (see Ezek 36:27). 
 
Love itself is also a "law," that is, a directive principle, that urges us to battle against the flesh and to do or not to do certain things. Love, however does not urge by constraint of threats or sanctions as the old law had done and as every written law and directive imposed from without still does, but rather by attraction. Filial love, and not servile fear, is the mainspring of all Christian living and doing. 
 
If the precepts of law are put into practice because of fear of punishment rather than because of love of justice, those under the law act in a servile way, and not freely, and that is why the precepts are often not put into practice. . . . On the other hand, when faith is at work through love, it begins to make us take pleasure in the law of God in the very depths of our being. 
 
At the deepest level of the human heart a radical change takes place. If before we tended to look at God with a suspicious and unfriendly eye, as a slave would look on his owner, we now look to him as an ally, a friend, our Father, and on our lips is the spontaneous cry of recognition, "Abba! Father!" (Rom 8: 15). The Christian's entire way of acting is changed; it is truly "deified" because it is now moved by the Holy Spirit: "All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God" (Rom 8:14). God intends the Christian life to be lived that way, in the Holy Spirit, directed by the principle of spontaneity and freedom. It is the life of those who are "in love." 
 
from Come Creator Spirit - Meditations on the Veni Creator by Raniero Cantalamessa pp.260-261

Friday, September 2, 2016

Daily Thought For September 2, 2016

Eternal Love
 
    In the evening, Jesus gave me the subject for meditation. At the first moment, my heart was filled with fear and joy. Then I pressed myself close to His Heart, and the fear vanished; only joy remained. I felt entirely like a child of God, and the Lord said ..Fear nothing...Before I made the world, I loved you with the love your heart is experiencing today and, throughout the centuries, My love will never change.
 
St. Faustina Kowalksa

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Daily Thought For September 1, 2016

Fostering Gratitude

      My life changed the day that I realized with brilliant clarity that God is good and kind and truly wants to bless His children.  That awareness  has given me a sense of gratitude that permeates my relationship with God– and with others. I have found appreciation to be so much richer a way to think, feel, and live. I can scarcely believe that I was so easily satisfied my previous thoughts of self sufficiency, avarice, and cynicism.


from Fields of Abundance - Simple Words of Wisdom to Receive God’s Blessings for Your Every Need p.15