Friday, March 31, 2017

Daily Thought For March 31, 2017

Keeping Our Cool
  
      If you should temporarily lose your sense of well-being, don't be too quick to despair. With humility and patience, wait for God, who is able to give you back even more profound comfort. 
     There is nothing novel about this to those who are familiar with God's ways. The great saints and ancient prophets frequently experienced the alternation of up and down, joy and sorrow. One of them, while he was enjoying a mountain-top experience said: When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken." O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. 
     And yet, even while he was going through this, he did not feel crushed. With renewed passion he prayed: Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help. 
     In time, his prayer was answered. This is his report: You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. 
     If the great saints are exposed to such variations, we who are poor and weak should not be discouraged if our spiritual life fails to be uniformly ecstatic. The Holy Spirit gives and takes according to his own divine purpose. I have never met anyone so religious and devout that he has not felt occasionally some withdrawing of grace. 

Thomas à Kempis: The Imitation of Christ 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Daily Thought For March 30, 2017

Probing The Scriptures

Lectio

John 5:31–47

Meditatio

“… I say this so that you may be saved.”

Jesus is on trial. He has cured a sick man on the Sabbath, and has been accused of breaking the Sabbath rest. Appealing to his Father’s activity on the Sabbath (such as giving new life) and saying that he simply does the same, Jesus has aroused his accusers to further wrath: he calls God his Father. In addition, they seem to think that Jesus’ hint of equality with the Father means that he is setting himself up as God’s rival.

In yesterday’s Gospel passage, Jesus explains that he is God’s obedient Son, who does only what the Father wishes. (Therefore, he is not the Father’s rival.) In today’s passage, since the Law requires that someone being tried have witnesses, Jesus accepts that condition. He wants to give his accusers every opportunity to believe in him and be saved. As witnesses, he appeals not only to the invisible Father but also to John the Baptist and to the life-giving miracles he himself has worked. Jesus also appeals to the Scriptures, declaring: “even they testify on my behalf.” But, Jesus continues, his accusers resist the Scriptures and thereby refuse to come to him to have life.

Having made his defense, Jesus takes the offensive and declares that one day his accusers will be on trial. Moses will accuse them before the Father, “because he wrote about me,” and “if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
In reading this line, I think of that passage in Deuteronomy (18:15ff.) where Moses told the people that someday God would send them another prophet like himself, who would tell people everything that God wanted to make known. Christians have understood this to refer to Jesus.

We who have the grace of believing in Jesus accept God’s Word. But do we treasure and cherish it? Do we try to plumb its depths? Lent can be a time to grow in our love for the Word, which brings us still closer to the Lord.

Oratio

Lord Jesus, divine Master, your Word contains abiding truths to guide us on the way to salvation. Many passages of the Old Testament, while complete in themselves, contain a further dimension that refers to you. And the New Testament revolves around your life, teachings, death, and resurrection. May I read and listen to your Word attentively, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May I try to penetrate it always more profoundly, that it may bring me ever closer to you, the source of eternal life.

Contemplatio

“… come to me to have life.”


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 80–81). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Daily Thought For March 29, 2017

Beauty For Ashes
Sing out. . . . For the Lord comforts his people. (Isaiah 49:13)
Have you ever noticed how much sadness and self-pity there is in blues music? The singer has unjustly lost his lover, his dreams have led to disappointment, his life is a shambles, or he has nothing to look forward to. The music is in a minor key, and the rhythms are mournful, all to reinforce the mood.
Well, the Israelites had reason to sing the blues. Their enemies had destroyed their city and their Temple. Those who weren’t killed were taken into exile far from home. When their captors asked them to sing one of their traditional songs, they protested, “How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4).
In the midst of this depressing situation, God’s prophet begins to proclaim a message of hope: God is on the move! He is going to liberate the prisoners and make a way for the exiles to return to their land.
The prophet reminds the people who God is. He is the One who “leads them and guides them beside springs of water” (Isaiah 49:10). Even though they feel as if God has abandoned and forgotten them, he tells them this cannot be. Even if a mother could forget her baby, God has not, cannot, and will not his people—ever!
So the people have a choice. They can continue to sing the blues, remembering their shame and how hard their lot is. Or they can place their trust in the God who loves them.
We all face demanding times in life because we live in a sinful world. But God is with us, just as he was with the exiled Israelites. He will never forget us. He is ready to comfort us no matter how dark things look.
King David trusted in the Lord even though there was a bounty on his head. Jeremiah trusted in the Lord even though the people turned on him and put him in a cistern. Paul trusted in the Lord even after he was beaten and imprisoned. Jesus trusted in his Father even as he hung on the cross. Of course God will not abandon us in our times of trial and darkness!
“Holy Spirit, teach me to sing your song of joy. Even in my darkest times, revive me with your presence.”
Daily Thought from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Daily Thought For March 28, 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
 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Daily Thought For March 27, 2017

Christian Joy
 
     The Lord wants us to make the effort to overcome our tendency to react badly to things or to hold back an intemperate word. Yet joy is not something we can order up. Joy is the fruit of love. There is no human love that can sustain a lasting joy. It often seems that human love is the source of more sorrow than joy. . . This is not the case in the Christian religion. A Christian who does not love God is a contradiction in terms. A Christian who does not radiate joy because of his love for God needs to take a closer look at his spiritual life. For the Christian, joy is something natural since it springs from the most important Christian virtue —love. Christian life and joy are essentially bound up together. There is also a relationship between sadness and lukewarmness, between sadness and egoism, between sadness and loneliness. 
     Joy can be increased or even recovered, if it is temporarily lost, with true prayer face to face with Jesus. This prayer ought to be personal and selfless. Frequent confession is the privileged source of holiness and peace. Authentic joy is based on this foundation: that we want to live for God and want to serve others because of God. Let us tell the Lord that we want nothing more than to serve him with joy. If we believe in this way we shall find that our inner peace, our joy, our good humor will attract many souls to God. Give witness to Christian joy. Show to those around you that this is our great secret. We are happy because we are children of God, because we deal with him, because we struggle to become better for him. And when we fail, we go right away to the Sacrament of joy where we recover our sense of fraternity with all men and women. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez p.154-155. Volume 5

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Daily Thought For March 26, 2017

Never Give Up!

I plead with you--never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.

St. John Paul II

Friday, March 24, 2017

Daily Thought For March 24, 2017

How Big Is My Emotional Footprint?
    
  I am surprised there are any functioning pedestrian street-crossing buttons in Seattle, considering the way we mistreat 
them. Since I walk to the office most days, I cross a number of streets, often amid heavy traffic, and I make frequent use of those sturdy-looking metal buttons. 
One day, it dawned on me that I often pressed the button twice — for emphasis, I suppose, or in the vain hope that doing so would speed things up. Then I began to notice that other people did the same, and that often they hammer the button with their fists so ferociously that it's a wonder it even works (I read that in some cities the buttons are purposely deactivated) . 
When I realized that my habit of pushing the button twice was irrational, I stopped doing so. I figured a little less violence toward an inanimate object, and a little less insistence on my presence, would do Seattle and its traffic technology some good. 
Years ago I decided that when flying I would always request an aisle seat. I've flown so much that looking out the window no longer holds fascination for me, and I am always uncomfortable asking others to leave their seats if I am sitting by the window and need a break. 
If an aisle seat is not available, a window seat will do, but a middle seat is another matter. I am not typically claustrophobic, but finding myself crammed between two other passengers is an 
experience I never enjoy. Which arm rest should I use? Am I allowed to use either? Neither? Both? Thus a personal rule: Avoid middle seats at all cost. 
How often do I make the world around me revolve around me? 
The way one uses the space around his or her seat on an airplane varies greatly from person to person. One's size is not the determining factor in how much space he or she occupies. Small people using both armrests, leaning erratically from side to side, stretching their legs into their neighbor's legroom, listening to music audible despite earphones, and speaking loudly on cellphones, take up a lot of space. I may be sitting on the aisle, but if seated next to such people, I feel cramped. Do they realize someone is sitting next to them? 
     Much is made these days of one's "carbon footprint" — a calculation of how much carbon dioxide one adds to the atmosphere through the consumption of fossil fuels (driving a certain car, using a certain amount of electricity, flying a certain number of miles, adjusting the thermostat to a certain temperature, and so forth). I wonder what would happen if we also took stock of our "emotional footprint" - the effect we have on others by the bluster of our moods, the amount of space we occupy when oblivious to those around us, the volume and pitch of our opinions and complaints, the weight we give to our very presence? 
I have a feeling that if we took stock of that "emotional footprint;' we might back off just a bit. In fact, taking such an inventory could be a good Lenten exercise. 
How often do I make the world around me revolve around me? 
Would those with whom I live and work, if I gave them the opportunity to speak, say that I am a force to contend with, a physical and emotional presence not easily accommodated? 
Do I say loudly things that would be better said softly? 
Do I speak when silence would be more appropriate and more welcome? 
Do I take up so much emotional space that my family, friends, and co-workers are overwhelmed and intimidated? 
Do I sap the energy and mood from a room by my bad-tempered attitude? 
Do I hang up the phone harshly, slam the door excessively, push the traffic signal button too fiercely? 
I have a hunch that if each of us would ask such simple questions, the mood around us would lighten, and a smile would return to our faces. 
Why is such a simple inventory appropriate to Lent? The Letter of James offers some hints: 
"If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot's inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze" (Jas 3:2-5). 
"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of 
mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace" (3:l3-18). 

This Lent, may we resolve to leave a smaller emotional footprint and cultivate peace: peace in our homes, peace at work, peace on the streets, peace in our hearts. But not our peace — God's peace. 

from A Lenten Pilgrimage — Journeying with Jesus by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain pp.26-29

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Daily Thought for March 23, 2017

Overcoming The "Strong Man"


Meditatio

“… if it is by the finger of God that [I] drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Luke’s Gospel recounts the delightful scene of the Visitation, when the Spirit enabled Elizabeth to recognize the coming of the Lord among his people. Here in the doorway of a simple Jewish home, the Good News is first proclaimed between two women! This moment of great joy stands in stark contrast to the response of the crowds in today’s reading. Rather than recognizing that God is in their midst, some accuse Jesus of colluding with the devil, while others seek to test him as Satan once did in the desert. They have not recognized the moment of their visitation—the moment when God has come to dwell with them.

During this Lenten season, I think the Lord desires to remind us that “the Kingdom of God has come upon [us]”—it is not a distant reality, but is present here and now, even as we await the final fulfillment of this promise. Do we recognize the moments of our visitation, rejoicing in the presence of our Lord at work within us and around us throughout our day? Yet for us Christians, recognition is only the beginning! We are called to be people of the Kingdom, making the Kingdom present in our world today as we offer others Christ’s healing presence and love.

In today’s reading, Jesus makes it clear that we each must make a choice in this regard: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Faced with these two conflicting sides, we must choose whom we will follow. We cannot stay on the fence, for if we do not choose Christ, we will be counted against him. Still, it is consoling to realize that for those of us who do choose Christ, the victory is already at hand! If we give our lives to Jesus, he will overcome the “strong man,” casting out the darkness in our hearts and setting us free to love and serve him.

Oratio

Dear Jesus, I choose you! I want to be all yours, and to spend my life gathering others to you through the witness of my life and love. Like the crowd in today’s Gospel, I know that I have often failed to recognize your presence within me and around me. Help me to become always more aware of the many ways you are at work in each moment of my day so that I can better come to know your great love for me. As this understanding grows, allow my heart to resound with gratitude and love. Help me to bring this love to all those I meet.

Contemplatio

I choose Christ.



Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 62–63). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Daily Thought For March 21, 2017

Troubleshooting Prayer
 
       In the battle of prayer, we must face in ourselves and around us erroneous notions of prayer. Some people view prayer as a simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words and postures.     Many Christians unconsciously regard prayer as an occupation that is incompatible with all the other things they have to do: they "don't have the time." Those who seek God by prayer are quickly discouraged because they do not know that prayer comes also from the Holy Spirit and not from themselves alone.
     We must also face the fact that certain attitudes deriving from the mentality of "this present world" can penetrate our lives if we are not vigilant. For example, some would have it that only that is true which can be verified by reason and science; yet prayer is a mystery that overflows both our conscious and unconscious lives. Others overly prize production and profit; thus prayer, being unproductive, is useless. Still others exalt sensuality and comfort as the criteria of the true, the good, and the beautiful; whereas prayer, the "love of beauty" (philokalia), is caught up in the glory of the living and true God. Finally, some see prayer as a flight from the world in reaction against activism; but in fact, Christian prayer is neither an escape from reality nor a divorce from life.
     Finally, our battle has to confront what we experience as failure in prayer: discouragement during periods of dryness; sadness that, because we have "great possessions," we have not given all to the Lord; disappointment over not being heard according to our own will; wounded pride, stiffened by the indignity that is ours as sinners; our resistance to the idea that prayer is a free and unmerited gift; and so forth. The conclusion is always the same: what good does it do to pray? To overcome these obstacles, we must battle to gain humility, trust, and perseverance.
     
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2726-2728

Monday, March 20, 2017

Daily Thought For March 20, 2017

In Search of the Lost Sheep 

Another picture that our Lord loves to use is that of the shepherd who goes out to look for the sheep that is lost (Mt 18: 12ft). So long as we imagine that it is we who have to look for God, then we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about: he is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him. And he knows that and has taken it into account. He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape him, we run straight into his arms. 
So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us hope of salvation. Our hope is in his determination to save us. And he will not give in! 
This should free us from that crippling anxiety which prevents any real growth, giving us room to do whatever we can do, to accept the small but genuine responsibilities that we do have. Our part is not to shoulder the whole burden of our salvation, the initiative and the program are not in our hands: our part is to consent, to learn how to love him in return whose love came to us so freely while we were quite uninterested in him. 
SIMON TUGWELL, O.P. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daily Thought For March 19, 2017


The Mind of Christ 
 
   
The essence of Christianity consists not in obeying a set of commands, nor in submitting to certain laws, nor in reading Scripture, nor in following the example of Christ. Before all else, it consists of being re-created, re-made, and incorporated into the Risen Christ, so that we live his life, think his thoughts, and will his love. 
 
SIMPLE TRUTHS
 
“For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 
1 CORINTHIANS 2:16
 
LENTEN MEDITATIONS WITH FULTON J. SHEEN

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Daily Thought For March 18, 2017

Focus On Rising & Getting Back on Course
 
 Never let us be discouraged with ourselves; it is not when we are conscious of our faults that we are the most wicked; on the contrary we are then less so. We see by a brighter light; and let us remember for our consolation that we never perceive our sins till we begin to cure them. We must neither flatter nor be impatient with ourselves in the correction of our faults. Despondency is not a state of humility; on the contrary, it is the vexation of despair of a cowardly pride ― nothing worse; whether we stumble or whether we fall, we must think only of rising again and going on our course. Our faults may be useful to us, if they cure us of vain confidence in ourselves, and do not deprive us of a humble and salutary confidence in God. Let us bless God with as true thankfulness if He have enabled us to make any progress in virtue as if we had made it through our own strength, and let us not be troubled with the weak agitations of self-love; let them pass; do no think of them. God never makes us to feel our weakness but that we may be led to seek strength from Him. What is involuntary should not trouble us; but the great thing is never to act against the light within us, and to desire to follow where God would lead us. 

Fenelon

Friday, March 17, 2017

Daily Thought For March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Confession of Faith

I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to God. God showed me how to have faith in him for ever, as one who is never to be doubted. He answered my prayer in such a way that in the last days, ignorant though I am, I might be bold enough to take up so holy and so wonderful a task, and imitate in some degree those whom the Lord had so long ago foretold as heralds of his Gospel, bearing witness to all nations.
  How did I get this wisdom, that was not mine before? I did not know the number of my days, or have knowledge of God. How did so great and salutary a gift come to me, the gift of knowing and loving God, though at the cost of homeland and family? I came to the Irish peoples to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.
  If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for his name. I want to spend myself in that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor. I am deeply in his debt, for he gave me the great grace that through me many peoples should be reborn in God, and then made perfect by confirmation and everywhere among them clergy ordained for a people so recently coming to believe, one people gathered by the Lord from the ends of the earth. As God had prophesied of old through the prophets: The nations shall come to you from the ends of the earth, and say: “How false are the idols made by our fathers: they are useless.” In another prophecy he said: I have set you as a light among the nations, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
  It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: They shall come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world.


From The Confession of St. Patrick (Office of Readings)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Daily Thought For March 16, 2017

Those Who Seek With A Sincere Desire Will Always Be Assisted

     This is the gift of my providence, which has seen to your need for salvation in so many different ways from the beginning of the world until today, and will continue to do so right up to the end. I, the true and just doctor, give you whatever I see your weakness needs to make you perfectly healthy and to keep you healthy. My providence will never fail those who want to receive it. Whoever wants to experience my goodness in my providence has only to look at those who hope in me, who knock and call out not just with words but with love enlightened by most holy faith. I do not mean those who knock and shout only with empty words, calling out to me, “Lord! Lord!” I tell you, unless they make their requests of me with some other virtue, I will acknowledge them not with mercy but with justice. So I tell you, my providence will not fail those who truly hope in me, but it will fail those who hope not in me but in themselves. 

from The Dialogue by St. Catherine of Siena p. 280 (The Classics of Western Spirituality Series)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Daily Thought For March 15, 2017

Be Witnesses Of God's Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, today we consider the joy that hope brings to our daily exercise of charity. We know how difficult it is to love as our Lord commands us, and how often our love can be tainted by self-interest. It is important to remember that love – charity – is a grace, the fruit of our saving encounter with God’s own love. Saint Paul reminds us that the Lord’s grace forgives our sins, heals our hearts and enables us to become channels of his own unconditional love. Our efforts to love our brothers and sisters with a pure and disinterested love are really our response to the love we have been shown in Christ. Conscious of our human weakness, let us ask our Lord daily to renew the gift of his love within us and to enable us to be witnesses of that love to others, especially those in greatest need. In this way, we will fulfill the Apostle’s command to “rejoice in hope” (Rom 12:12), as we strive to grow in the life of charity and to draw others to the merciful love of the Father.

Pope Francis - Wednesday General Audience - March 15, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Daily Thought For March 14, 2017

Insights On The Pharisees
Lectio
Matthew 23:1–12

Meditatio
“They preach but they do not practice.”

It’s comfortable to say, “Oh, those Pharisees!” and move on, thinking that this passage isn’t relevant today. But is that really true? Let’s look at the Pharisees.

They were lay religious leaders who wanted to observe God’s law so perfectly they had built up another body of laws to help them do so. They also wanted other people to follow the same rules. These rules were difficult, so some of the Pharisees prided themselves on their strict obedience. They acted superior to people who failed. Some seem to have become so bogged down in laws of human making that they placed these above the commandments of God.
Jesus was open to the Pharisees. He accepted their hospitality. He welcomed Nicodemus, who came to him as a sincere seeker of truth. But Jesus had a problem with the way some Pharisees lived. And Matthew reported this for the benefit of his Christian community.

In religious movements there’s a danger that laws will multiply and people will become so bogged down in seeking perfection that they stifle the breath of inspiration. This may be why Matthew quoted Jesus’ recommendation to give God’s commandments more importance than an abundance of human precepts. He also quoted Jesus’ directives to avoid titles and honors and to live in humble service.

It’s an important reminder for anyone in leadership. As we’re told elsewhere in the Gospel, much is expected of anyone to whom much has been given.

But this teaching doesn’t stop with leaders. We’re all called to live what we believe. Each of us can ask himself or herself: How many times in the past twenty-four hours have I given a bad example? How can I become a better follower of Jesus?

Oratio

Lord, forgive me. Often I think I’m quite good, and I can’t understand why others don’t do such good deeds as I do, or why they don’t shun the vices I avoid. When I’m thinking this, you sometimes—mercifully—let me fall flat on my face. And then I see how imperfect I am. Thank you for such moments! Please continue to enlighten me each time I begin to stray. Help me to really live what I believe. Let me recognize everyone as a brother or sister to be respected, loved, and humbly served after your example.
Contemplatio
“The greatest among you must be your servant.”


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 40–41). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Daily Thought For March 13, 2017

A Real Life Example of Meekness

Real-life stories are often the best means of illustrating a virtue. On a June morning in 1993, David Gelernter, a Yale University computer scientist, opened what he thought was an unsolicited doctoral dissertation. The package exploded in his hands, nearly blowing off his right hand and severely damaging his eyesight, hearing, and chest. Gelernter had joined the list of casualties of the “Unabomber,” Theodore Kaczynski.
If anyone had a right to see himself as a victim, one might say, it is David Gelernter. But he will not wear that badge, and he will not invite the outpouring of public sympathy that goes with it. Nor does he want to be seen as a survivor. He does not want to be relegated to categories that are suspiciously “politically correct.” He wants to be known as a human being, a husband, and a father. We know a great deal about David Gelernter and his struggles with adversity, assault, and affliction, because he has written eloquently and insightfully about it in his book, Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber.
There were times when he could be discouraged, but at no point was he depressed. Depression, he writes, “is a pathological state.” On the other hand, “discouragement is a moral state, a failure of the heart; you treat it by taking courage, not Prozac.”


 DeMarco, D. (2000). The Many Faces of Virtue (p. 25). Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Daily Thought For March 12, 2017

The Quality of Meekness

The irony is that meekness, indeed a virtue, is the one virtue above all that allows us to remain ourselves in the midst of adversity. It allows us to maintain self-possession when adversity strikes, rather than be possessed by the adversity itself.

Meekness is more synonymous with empowerment than it is with weakness because, as Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, meekness makes a man self-possessed. Dionysius said that Moses, surely no Milquetoast, “was deemed worthy of the divine apparition on account of his great meekness.” According to Saint Hilary, “Christ dwells in us by our meekness of soul.” When we are overcome by anger, we lose the sense of ourselves that allows God to dwell within us. Anger excludes God; meekness invites His presence.

Since meekness is self-possession in the face of adversity, it enables a person to do good in response to evil. Meekness is not cowardliness, timidity, or servility; it is the power that restrains the onslaught of anger and subjects it to the order of reason. While it may be more natural to express anger when one is assaulted, meekness is the higher path. It prevents evil from completely overcoming the person who is already suffering enough from evil. Meekness prevents this suffering from advancing to the precincts of the soul—first to depression and then to despair.

DeMarco, D. (2000). The Many Faces of Virtue (pp. 23–24). Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Daily Thought For March 11, 2017

God Will Provide For All Our Needs
 
We must have a vibrant, living faith and a firm confidence that God will not refuse the assistance necessary to serve Him faithfully and work out our salvation. A soul rekindled with this holy confidence is like a sacred vessel, into which Divine Mercy pours the treasures of His grace; and the larger the vessel, the greater the abundance of Heavenly blessings it receives through prayer. For how can God, Whose power is limitless, and Whose goodness is alien to all deception, ever refuse His gifts to those whose petitions He has encouraged, and whose perseverance and faith He has promised to reward with the blessings of the Holy Spirit?
 
Spiritual Combat - Lorenzo Scupoli Chapter 44

Friday, March 10, 2017

Daily Thought For March 10, 2017


Giving God Permission
 
     If you want a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, give God a blank check. Decide in your heart that you want whatever he wants for you, no matter what it is. Don’t put limits on him. Be willing to come out of your comfort zones and the grooves you’ve dug to ensure your safety, comfort, and security. Tell the Lord every morning that your life is his and that you give him permission to do with it whatever he wants. Then walk throughout your day with one ear turned toward the Spirit. Don’t leave the Spirit at home or in church. Be conscious of his presence; attempt to listen even amidst the noise and frantic pace of life. When you hear him, or sense his prompting or gentle nudge, act on it. Don’t hesitate, do what he wants you to do. If you do this consistently, the Spirit will become your intimate friend and he will make something beautiful out of your life. 
     Pope John Paul II told the whole Church as we entered the third millennium, that the Spirit is leading us to, “put out into the deep.” It’s time for the Church to leave the shallow end of the pool; the purposes of Christ and the power of the Spirit are being released in the deep end. It’s time for each one of us to dive into the deep water of the Spirit’s purpose and will for us. 
     
When the Spirit Comes in Power - by Peter Herbeck p.148

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Daily Thought For March 9, 2017

Cast Your Cares Upon Him

Lectio
Matthew 7:7–12
Meditatio
“Ask and it will be given to you …”
We have heard or read these words countless times—at Mass, on a retreat, reading Scripture. Their very familiarity could make them lose their impact unless we really think about them.
I once met a young woman who was not very religious. We were talking about the Bible, and I was amazed when she quoted this passage and told me that she tried to live her life by these words. She confided that she had been searching for meaning in her life and one day read this saying of Jesus. It struck her, and she found in it an answer to her yearning. She realized that God was the one she had been searching for, and that she could trust in God and his promises.
Jesus understands our needs, desires, and wants. How can we not be touched by Jesus’ assurance that he hears us knocking and he sees us searching? This is not the only place in Scripture where Jesus makes this promise. For example, Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “whatever you ask in my name, I will do …” And he immediately repeats himself: “you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it” (Jn 14:13–14). And again, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (Jn 15:7); “whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you” (Jn 15:16). He even says, sounding almost as if he is longing for us to ask for our heart’s desire: “Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete” (Jn 16:24).
These words of Jesus strengthen our faith, making it a vital force in our lives. They are a true source of joy and hope, comfort and courage, inspiration and direction.
Oratio
Lord, help me always to place my faith and trust in you. Help me always to believe in your words and promises, confident that you will grant what I need for my spiritual good. Help me especially to remember your promise when I find myself overly anxious about my needs or the needs of those I love. Instead of fretting, I want to remember to turn to you and remind us both of what you have said: “it will be done for you.”
Contemplatio
“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.”


 Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 26–27). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.