Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daily Thought For February 28, 2017

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Daily Thought For February 27, 2017


Fight The Good Fight
Do not fear struggle; courage itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us. Always fight with the deep conviction that I am with you. Do not be guided by feeling, because it is not always under your control; but all merit lies in the will. Always depend upon your superiors, even in the smallest things. I will not delude you with prospects of peace and consolations, on the contrary prepare for great battles. Know that you are now on a great stage where all heaven and earth are watching you. Fight like a knight, so that I can reward you. Do not be unduly fearful, because you are not alone. 

St. Faustina Kowalska

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Daily Thought For February 26, 2017

A Concern of St. Teresa of Calcutta

I worry some of you still have not really met Jesus one-to-one,
you and Jesus alone.
We may spend time in chapel,
but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love?
Do you really know the living Jesus,
not from books but from being with Him in your heart?
Have you heard the loving words He speaks to you?
As for the grace: he is longing to give it.
Until you can hear Jesus in the silence of your own heart,
you will not be able to hear Him saying "I thirst" in the hearts of the poor.
Never give up this daily intimate contact with Jesus as the real living person,
not just the idea.
How can we last even one day without hearing Jesus say "I love you"? Impossible.
Our soul needs that as much as the body needs to breathe the air.
If not, prayer is dead, meditation, only thinking.
Jesus wants you each to hear Him speaking in the silence of your heart.
Be careful of all that can block that
personal contact with he living Jesus.
The devil may try to use the hurts of life,
and sometimes our own mistakes,
to make you feel it is impossible that Jesus really loves you,
is really cleaving to you.
This is a danger for all of us.
And so sad,
because it is completely the opposite of what Jesus is really wanting,
waiting to tell you.
Not only that He loves you, but even more, He longs for you.
He misses you when you don't come close. He thirsts for you.
He loves you always, even when you don't feel worthy.
When not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes,
He is the one who always accepts you.
Only believe, you are precious to him.
Bring all you are suffering to His feet,
only open your heart to be loved by Him as you are.
He will do the rest.

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 1910-1997

Daily Thought For February 25, 2017

The Journey To True Freedom Is Found In God’s Infinite Mercy
 
     The Gospel helps us understand who God truly is. He is the Merciful Father who in Jesus loves us beyond all measure.
     The errors we commit, even if they are serious, do not corrode the fidelity of his love. In the Sacrament of Confession we can always start out afresh in life. He welcomes us, he restores to us our dignity as his children.
     Let us therefore rediscover this sacrament of forgiveness that makes joy well up in a heart reborn to true life.
     Furthermore, this parable [The Parable of the Prodigal Son] helps us to understand who the human being is: he is not a "monad", an isolated being who lives only for himself and must have life for himself alone.
     On the contrary, we live with others, we were created together with others and only in being with others, in giving ourselves to others, do we find life.
     The human being is a creature in whom God has impressed his own image, a creature who is attracted to the horizon of his Grace, but he is also a frail creature exposed to evil but also capable of good. And lastly, the human being is a free person.
     We must understand what freedom is and what is only the appearance of freedom.
     Freedom, we can say, is a springboard from which to dive into the infinite sea of divine goodness, but it can also become a tilted plane on which to slide towards the abyss of sin and evil and thus also to lose freedom and our dignity......
     Every time, such as today, that we participate in the Eucharist, the source and school of love, we become capable of living this love, of proclaiming it and witnessing to it with our life.
     Nevertheless, we need to decide to walk towards Jesus as the Prodigal Son did, returning inwardly and outwardly to his father.
     At the same time, we must abandon the selfish attitude of the older son who was sure of himself, quick to condemn others and closed in his heart to understanding, acceptance and forgiveness of his brother, and who forgot that he too was in need of forgiveness.
 
Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, February 24, 2017

Daily Thought For February 24, 2017

Praying For An Anointing

The best thing we can do on an occasion like this is to ask God for a new anointing of his Spirit so that leaving this meeting each one can confidently say, with Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted” (Lk 4, 18).

What we need to do is simply ask for an anointing before we set out to do any evangelistic work. Many times my prayers have remained unanswered, but very rarely when I asked for the anointing, especially in some circumstances when I felt weak, tired and completely unable to say anything. I simply say: “Father in Heaven, in the name and for the glory of your Son Jesus, give me the anointing of your Spirit so that I may proclaim the Gospel with power and gentleness”. Why don’t we make this prayer together, right now? We all need to be anointed...

There were times when I almost in a physical way felt the anointing coming upon me. Feelings were deeply moved, the soul enjoyed clarity and assurance; all trace of nervousness, all fear and timidity disappeared. Certain songs or hymns are particularly helpful in disposing us to receive the power from on high. One of them is the well known song:


“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me”.

There is no counting the number of people who have experienced the anointing of the Spirit coming upon them while the strains of this hymn and its simple melody rose all around. Why then don’t we now sing all together, at the top of our voice and with an expectant faith, this ecumenical tune?

from Faith Which Overcomes The World (excerpt from a talk given to the World-Wide Representatives of the Alpha Course) by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daily Thought For February 23, 2016

Never Alone
 
 Whoever is true to life, however hard and barren it may be will discover in himself fountains of very real refreshment. The world will give him more than he ever imagined possible. The silver threads of God’s mystery will begin to sparkle visibly in everything around him and there will be a song in his heart. His burdens will turn to blessings because he recognizes them as coming from God and welcomes them as such … Let us trust in life because we do not have to live through it alone. God is with us.
 
Alfred Delp, SJ

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Daily Thought For February 22, 2017

The Deepest Poverty
 
    To evangelize means: to reveal the path to true happiness―to teach the art of complete living. At the beginning of his public life Jesus says: I have come to evangelize the poor (Luke 4:18) This means, “I have come to respond to the fundamental question of your existence. I am here to show you the path of life, the path to happiness. I am, in fact, that path.”
     The deepest poverty is not material poverty but spiritual poverty: the inability to be joyful, the conviction that life is absurd and contradictory. In different forms the poverty is widespread today, both in the materially rich and in the impoverished nations. 
 
Pope Benedict XVI 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Daily Thought For February 21, 2017

Turtle Talk
 
On my door is a cartoon of two turtles. One says, 'Sometimes I would like to ask why he allows poverty, famine and injustice when he could do something about it.' The other turtle says 'I am afraid that God might ask me the same question.'
 
Peter Kreeft

Monday, February 20, 2017

Daily Thought For February 20, 2017

A Calm Mind Is A Great Asset

A calm mind is a great asset in this life without it your devotional life will not bear much fruit If your heart is troubled, you are vulnerable to the enemy of the soul. When you are agitated, you are no able to make good decisions. You will stumble into snares. 
The enemy detests this peace in you. He knows that is the place where the Spirit of God dwells. That's why he devises such devilish ways to destroy this peace. 
Avoid rash acts. Even if you are sure the Holy Spirit wants you to do something, wait. Put off doing it until your eagerness has declined. Introduced with that kind of self-control, a good work is more pleasing to God than if it were done too hastily. 
It is also necessary to overcome a certain inner regret. Sometimes we think our bad conscience is being generated by God, when in fact it is the work of the devil. Here is the way to tell: If your regret results in greater humility and increases your desire to serve God, receive it with gratitude as a gift from heaven. If it creates anxiety, makes you sad, depressed, fearful, and slow to do your duty, then we can be sure it has been suggested by the enemy. Disregard it. 
Lawrence Scupoli: The Spiritual Combat 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daily Thought For February 19, 2017

Lectio
Matthew 5:38–48
Meditatio
“… love your enemies …”
Three words—three words that intimately affect every one of us. It took me more than fifteen years of struggle to forgive someone who had had a major negative impact on my teenage years. Often I thought I had forgiven and found closure, but then the pain would reappear unexpectedly. Whether individually or as a family, or church, or country, we often face the monumental task of integrating an experience of evil into our lives in a precisely Christian manner. We can’t escape this difficult experience. Sometimes it seems impossible. It often takes a long time.
The three words, “love your enemies” are the key to facing evil and injustice. Jesus is not speaking of a sentimental kind of love. He is not asking us to condone injustice or victimization. He is not asking us to let others off the hook. He is not suggesting we tolerate them or, heaven forbid, allow them to continue to harm us or another. Instead, this call to love our enemies is a call to want the best for the other person. Jesus explains it by commanding us to “do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Lk 6:27–28).
Such love is a choice, an act of the will, which we can make despite the natural repugnance we may feel for what the other has done. It is a choice to be positive to that person. To practice this love, which Jesus showed us on the cross, is difficult. The first step is to pray for the healing of painful memories, to invite Jesus directly into the experience of evil. If the hurt is severe, we may need to pray for the miracle of forgiveness. We may need counseling to free us from acting out of past negative experiences. Jesus asks us to break the spiral of violence and hatred by not passing it on, by wishing well instead of ill, by being willing to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Oratio
Jesus, you show me that love is the only way to achieve anything. Every page of the Gospel shows me that this is true. Even though you were God, you didn’t act as if you were entitled to special treatment or put yourself above the sufferings and injustices that we experience at the hands of others. What made you different is that you didn’t strike back. Jesus, give me a big heart; help me to really care about others, even if I suffer at their hands. And when I need a miracle to help me forgive, please grant me this grace. Amen.
Contemplatio
Thank you, my Jesus, for forgiving me.


 Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 108–109). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Daily Thought for February 17, 2017

Reaching Out
Lectio
Mark 8:34–9:1
Meditatio
“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
It’s said that Francis Xavier, a student who expected to pursue a brilliant secular career, was thoroughly annoyed whenever an older colleague, Ignatius of Loyola, asked the question above. We know that eventually Ignatius won the battle of wills. Francis gave up his promising career to become a priest and one of the most-traveled missionary saints.
The word rendered as “life” in today’s Gospel passage can mean both “life” and “soul.” Ignatius had warned the younger man that he was planning to embark on a dangerous course. It was difficult to remain a man of principle while pursuing fame and fortune. Francis’ soul might have been at risk.
The thrust of today’s Gospel passage is self-denial and carrying the cross. Self-denial and sacrifice, Jesus tells his disciples, are the means for keeping one’s life/soul safe. Exegetes tell us that “denying” means disowning. One who practices self-denial ceases to regard self as the center of the universe. Instead, this person becomes focused on God and others.
Surely Xavier became other-centered as he traveled through India, the Molucca Islands, and other lands of the Far East, proclaiming the Good News, receiving thousands into the Church and catechizing his new Christians by means of stories and songs.
Probably none of us will ever become another Xavier, but if we look around we may find ways we can bring people closer to God. And if we don’t see how, we can ask the Lord for guidance, because he knows what he’d like us to do. This, then, is a way we can deny ourselves.
But where does the cross come in?
We don’t have to look for the cross. It will find us.
Oratio
Jesus, Divine Master, help me to recognize that my life shouldn’t revolve around me. Although I do have to take care of my health, livelihood, and appearance, you created me to also reach out to help others. I may not be another Xavier, but under your guidance I want to share the Christian message with my family, friends, and colleagues. Inspire me to use for others the talents you have given me. Let me step back and take the third place, preceded by you and the people you want me to help.
Contemplatio
I want the third place.


 Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 104–105). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Daily Thought for February 16, 2017


Patience

It’s easy to identify people who can’t count to ten. They’re in front of you in the supermarket express lane. 
...be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV)
from God’s Little Instruction Book II 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Daily Thought For February 14, 2017

Avoiding Worry
 
 Be careful and attentive to all the matters God has committed to your care, but if possible do not be solicitous or worried; that is, do not burden yourself over them with uneasiness or anxiety. This worry only disturbs reason and good judgment and prevents you from doing well the very things you are worried about...A job done anxiously and hurriedly is never done well; we must do things with coolness and calm.
 
St. Francis de Sales

Monday, February 13, 2017

Daily Thought For February 13, 2017

The Encounter That Changes Our Lives
 

 
When a person truly knows Jesus Christ and believes in him that person experiences his presence in life as well as the power of his Resurrection and cannot but communicate this experience. And if this person meets with misunderstanding or adversity, he behaves like Jesus in his Passion: he answers with love and with the power of the truth.
 
Pope Francis 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daily Thought For February 7, 2017

Serving God Brings Real Joy
 
It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.
 
St. Francis of Assisi


Monday, February 6, 2017

Daily Thought For February 6, 2017

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, February 3, 2017

Daily Thought For February 3, 2017

A Prayer To Do God’s Will   
   Dear Holy Spirit, my God, teach me to talk well and wisely. Let me avoid useless conversations. Help me to speak often of You. Grant that my words may never hurt people of good will. May my words always bring consolation to those in sorrow, guidance to those who are confused, light to the ignorant, hope to those who despair, comfort to those who are troubled, and good advice to those in need. Take my lips and make them Yours. Take possession of my mind and make it an instrument of Your goodness and a channel of Your truth. I hope to become a person of silence, that is, one who prefers to talk to God rather than to people. In my human conversations, may I always bring You closer to them and them closer to You. Amen. 
from My Daily Bread p.220

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Daily Thought For February 2, 2017

Praying For An Anointing

The best thing we can do on an occasion like this is to ask God for a new anointing of his Spirit so that leaving this meeting each one can confidently say, with Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted” (Lk 4, 18).

What we need to do is simply ask for an anointing before we set out to do any evangelistic work. Many times my prayers have remained unanswered, but very rarely when I asked for the anointing, especially in some circumstances when I felt weak, tired and completely unable to say anything. I simply say: “Father in Heaven, in the name and for the glory of your Son Jesus, give me the anointing of your Spirit so that I may proclaim the Gospel with power and gentleness”. Why don’t we make this prayer together, right now? We all need to be anointed...

There were times when I almost in a physical way felt the anointing coming upon me. Feelings were deeply moved, the soul enjoyed clarity and assurance; all trace of nervousness, all fear and timidity disappeared. Certain songs or hymns are particularly helpful in disposing us to receive the power from on high. One of them is the well known song:

“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
melt me, mould me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me”.

There is no counting the number of people who have experienced the anointing of the Spirit coming upon them while the strains of this hymn and its simple melody rose all around. Why then don’t we now sing all together, at the top of our voice and with an expectant faith, this ecumenical tune?


from Faith Which Overcomes The World (excerpt from a talk given to the World-Wide Representatives of the Alpha Course) by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa