Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Daily Thought For February 1, 2017

Only The Truth Can Set Us Free
  What is remarkable to me is the aggressiveness, always on the verge of pouncing, which we experience openly in our society — the lurking readiness to demean the other person, to hold him guilty whenever some misfortune occurs to him, to accuse society, and to want to change the world by violence. It seems to me that all of this can only be understood as an expression of the suppressed reality of guilt, which people do not want to admit. But since it is still there, they have to attack it and destroy it. As long as the situation remains thus — that is, as long as people suppress the truth but do not succeed in doing away with it, and as long as they are suffering from this suppressed truth — it will be one of the tasks of the Holy Spirit to “convince the world of sin” (John 16:8). It is not a question here of making people’s lives unpleasant and of fettering them with restrictions and negations but rather simply of leading them to the truth and thus healing them. Human beings can only only stay healthy when they are true and when they stop suppressing and destroying the truth. The third chapter of the Book of Genesis, on which this meditation is based, is of a piece with this task of the Holy Spirit, which he pursues throughout history. He convinces the world and us of sin — not to humiliate us but to make us true and healthy, to “save” us. 

from In The Beginning - A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger pp.80-81

Daily Thought For January 31, 2017

Shout To The Lord!
If at times it seems that the Lord is not listening to us, we must be careful not to lose heart. It may be that He wants us to shout a little louder into the ears of His goodness, to prove as a result the greatness of His mercy ... When the Lord withdraws His consolations in prayer, He does not do this to discourage us or create a gulf between us, but to force us to come closer to His goodness, to practice perseverance and to give some proof of our patience.
St. Frances de Sales

Monday, January 30, 2017

Daily Thought For January 30, 2017

Strength For Today
     O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace.
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Daily Thought For January 29, 2017

Little By Little

  It is not possible to gain control over your soul all at once and have it immediately in your power. Be satisfied, therefore, with gaining control of it little by little, and so learn how to conquer your dominant passion. If you have to put up with others, begin by putting up with yourself. Be patient at finding that you are not perfect. Do you want to enjoy interior peace without having to suffer the day-to-day contradictions and setbacks? Every morning prepare your soul to face the day without getting upset, and throughout the day be careful to return to this resolution.

from St. Frances de Sales

Friday, January 27, 2017

Daily Thought For January 27, 2017

(A Lot Of Spiritual Growth Is Invisible)

Of its own accord the land yields fruit. (Mark 4:28)

Are you familiar with the Chinese bamboo tree? This fascinating plant grows to a height of ninety feet and can be used for everything from home construction to furniture, from paper to pipes. It also has a very unusual growth pattern. It takes five years for a bamboo seed to sprout, but once it does, that tiny sprout reaches its full height in only six weeks—almost overnight! During those first five years, the farmer must water the seed every single day, all the while never seeing any growth. You can imagine an inexperienced farmer wondering if anything will ever happen. He might even give up.

Just as with the bamboo tree, the same is true both in the kingdom of God and in our own spiritual life: the most important growth is invisible. In today’s Gospel parable, the farmer plants a seed. But that seed doesn’t become a plant overnight. It takes the right combination of soil, water, and, the most important ingredient, God’s grace, to turn that seed into the “largest of plants” (Mark 4:32). In the end, it looks awfully impressive, but most of the work has already happened underground!

This is the encouraging message in the Gospel: God is always working beneath the surface. He is always providing the nourishment of his grace so that we can grow and blossom. Yes, we need to cooperate with that grace, but like the bamboo tree, the growth that we experience will far outstrip the effort we put into it.

Because most of God’s important work happens unnoticed, we should be careful to water that seed of faith even when we don’t see impressive results right away. We can trust that God will bring the growth in his time and in his fashion.

So imagine yourself as that bamboo farmer. Every time you pray, you’re going to the well to get water. Every time you repent, you’re improving the soil. You may not be seeing or feeling much growth right now. But every day that you come to Jesus, growth is occurring. God is making you holy. One day you, too, will stand tall with the saints.

“Lord, I trust you to bring about my growth. Help me cooperate with your work of grace.”

Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Daily Thought For January 26, 2017

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Daily Thought For January 25, 2017

Let's Communicate "Good" News!

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin to “read” reality through the right lens?

For us Christians, that lens can only be the good news, beginning with the Good News par excellence: “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God” (Mk 1:1). With these words, Saint Mark opens his Gospel not by relating “good news” about Jesus, but rather the good news that is Jesus himself. Indeed, reading the pages of his Gospel, we learn that its title corresponds to its content and, above all else, this content is the very person of Jesus.

This good news – Jesus himself – is not good because it has nothing to do with suffering, but rather because suffering itself becomes part of a bigger picture. It is seen as an integral part of Jesus’ love for the Father and for all mankind. In Christ, God has shown his solidarity with every human situation. He has told us that we are not alone, for we have a Father who is constantly mindful of his children. “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5): these are the comforting words of a God who is immersed in the history of his people. In his beloved Son, this divine promise – “I am with you” – embraces all our weakness, even to dying our death. In Christ, even darkness and death become a point of encounter with Light and Life. Hope is born, a hope accessible to everyone, at the very crossroads where life meets the bitterness of failure. That hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5) and makes new life blossom, like a shoot that springs up from the fallen seed. Seen in this light, every new tragedy that occurs in the world’s history can also become a setting for good news, inasmuch as love can find a way to draw near and to raise up sympathetic hearts, resolute faces and hands ready to build anew.

excerpt from Message For The World Communications Day 2017 by Pope Francis

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Daily Thought For January 24, 2017

God Is Watching Over Us

Many aim at perfection, but few reach that goal, because they do not proceed as they should, with perfect confidence in God and total abandonment to His Providence. They are too self-confident and rely too much on their good works. These people get all upset when difficulties arise. Instead, they should remain clam, using all the means that their vocation puts at their disposal. God, under whose direction we have embarked, will see to it that we never lack necessities. Be convinced of this: no matter how much we are in need, we will want for nothing because God is watching over us. He must be our all. 

St. Francis de Sales (Sermons 61; O. X, p. 202)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Daily Thought For January 21, 2017

Pope Francis On "Gossip" 

I would only like to leave you a message. We all understand this, what I have said: sinful witnesses. But, reading the Gospel, I do not find one [certain type of] sin in the Apostles. There were some brutes, who wanted to burn down a village that had not welcomed them.... They had many sins: traitors, cowards.... But I do not find one [in particular]: they were not gossipmongers; they did not speak ill of others, they did not speak badly of one another. In this they were good. They did not ‘rip off others’. I think of our communities: how many times this sin of ‘flaying one another’, of disparaging, of believing oneself superior to another and secretly speaking ill! In the Gospel, they did not do this. They did terrible things; they betrayed the Lord, but did not do this. Even in one parish, in one community who knows where ... this one cheated, this one did that..., but then they confess, they convert.... We are all sinners. But a community where there are gossipmongers is a community that is incapable of bearing witness.

I will say only this: do you want a perfect parish? No gossiping. None. If you have something against another, go and say it to his face, or tell the parish priest; but not among yourselves. This is a sign that the Holy Spirit is in a parish. Other sins, we all have them. There is a collection of sins: one takes this, one takes that, but we are all sinners. But like a woodworm, what destroys a community is gossip, behind others’ backs.

I would like this community, on this day of my visit, to make the resolution not to gossip. When you have the desire to gossip, bite your tongue: it will swell, but it will do you so much good, because in the Gospel these witnesses to Jesus — sinners: they even betrayed the Lord! — they never gossiped about one another. This is beautiful. A parish where there is no gossip is a perfect parish; it is a parish of sinners, yes, but of witnesses. This is the witness that the first Christians bore: ‘As they love each other, as they love each other!’. Love each other at least in this. May the Lord give you this gift, this grace: never, never speak ill of one another. Thank you.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Daily Thought For January 20, 2017

Hope - The Fruit Of Faith
Hope is the fruit of faith, we have said: in it our life stretches itself out towards the totality of all that is real, towards a boundless future that becomes accessible to us in faith. This fulfilled totality of being to which faith provides the key is a love without reserve—a love that is an immense affirmation of my existence and that discloses the fullness of all being to me in its breadth and depth. In it the creator of all things says to me: “All that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31). God, however, is “all in all,” “everything to everyone” (1 Cor. 15:28): the person to whom he imparts all that is his is someone for whom there are no longer any ends or boundaries. The love that Christian hope approaches in the light of faith is not something purely private and individual: it does not enclose me in a little world of my own. This love opens up to me the whole of everything, which through love becomes “paradise.” The worst anxiety of all, as we have already said, is the fear of not being loved, the loss of love: despair is thus the conviction that one has forfeited all love forever,  the horror of complete isolation. Hope in the proper sense of the word is thus the reverse: the certainty that I shall receive that great love that is indestructible and that I am already loved with this love here and now. 
from The Yes of Jesus Christ by Pope Benedict XVI pp.69-70

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Daily Thought For January 18, 2017

Established In Humility
     Be careful never to become discouraged when you see yourself surrounded by spiritual infirmities.
     If God lets you fall into some weakness, it is not to abandon you, but only to establish in you humility and make you more careful in the future. 

St. Padre Pio 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Daily Thought For January 17, 2016

Great Prayer 
Dear Lord, the Great Healer, I kneel before You.
Since every perfect gift must come from You.
I pray, give skill to my hands, clear vision to my mind,
     kindness and meekness to my heart.
Give me singleness of purpose, strength to lift up a part
     of the burden of my suffering fellow men, and a 
     true realization of the privilege that is mine. 
Take from my heart all guile and worldliness,
That with the simple faith of a child, I may rely on You. 
Daily Prayer of the Missionaries of Charity

Monday, January 16, 2017

Daily Thought For Jnauary 16, 2017

How can I show kindness to others? 
The way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. 
Colossians 1: 1 0 
Do for others what you would like them to do for you. 
Matthew 7:12 
I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God's people. Philemon 1:7
 Kindness is not a single act but a lifestyle. It is the habit of being helpful, encouraging, sympathetic, and giving-what you do for others that says, "I'm thinking of you." Even in confrontation you can be kind. You practice kindness in all you do and say, always treating others as you would want to be treated. When you do that, you bring great refreshment to everyone you meet and you honor and please the Lord. Your kindness today may pass on to many generations and leave a lasting impression on more people than you realize. 
Your own soul is nourished when you are kind. PROVERBS 11:17 
from The One Year Mini Devotional For For Men (September 18)

Daily Thought For April 2, 2020

Be Still THANK ME for the conditions that are requiring you to be still. Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting imp...