Sunday, April 30, 2017

Daily Thought For April 30, 2017

The Road To Emmaus
Lectio
Luke 24:13–35
Meditatio
“[Jesus] gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, ‘Stay with us.…’ ”
Sometimes, when we need him most, the Lord appears on the road alongside us. His presence is so unexpected that we don’t even recognize him at first. But little by little he helps us to understand how he has been at work in our lives. A moment of sadness or confusion is suddenly lightened, and hope glimmers again in our hearts.
This is how we find the two disciples traveling to Emmaus. Sad and confused, they are unexpectedly encouraged by a complete stranger. This stranger helps them reflect on their experiences in light of the Scriptures, and their hearts begin to burn with a strange hope. As they reach their destination, however, their companion acts as if he means to travel on.…
This point in the story of Emmaus may very well give us pause. Jesus has walked far along the road with these two disciples. He has explained the Scriptures to them, listened to them in their heartbroken sadness, and given them new hope. After all this, why should he pretend that he wants to continue the journey alone? We, the readers of this story, suspect that Jesus wants nothing more than to break bread with these two disciples. But having once broken in on their conversation as they walked along the road, the Lord now desires to be invited to remain.
How often God works in our lives in just this way: gently guiding, teaching, helping us to see things from a new point of view, but always respecting our freedom. As he waited for the two disciples to invite him to stay for supper, Jesus waits for our invitation, too. Jesus wants to reveal himself to us through his word and through the Eucharist—but he waits for open hearts, he waits for us to welcome him, before overwhelming our lives with his presence.
Oratio
Jesus, let my heart be an open, welcoming space for you. Even when I do not yet recognize you, my friend and Master, come and stay with me and reveal your presence to me, that I may share the joy of your goodness to me with others.
Contemplatio
The Lord has indeed risen!


 Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. TrouvĂ©, Eds.) (pp. 34–35). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Daily Thought For April 29, 2017


Truth
 
   
     The Logos, the truth in person, is also the atonement, the transforming forgiveness that is above and beyond our capability and incapability. Therein lies the real novelty on which the larger Christian memory is founded, and which indeed, at the same time, constitutes the deeper answer to what the anamnesis of the Creator expects of us. 
     Where this center of the Christian message is not sufficiently expressed and appreciated, truth becomes a yoke that is too heavy for our shoulders, from which we must seek to free ourselves. But the freedom gained thereby is empty. It leads into the desolate land of nothingness and disintegrates of itself. Yet the yoke of truth in fact became “easy” (Matthew 11:30) when the Truth came, loved us, and consumed our guilt in the fire of his love. Only when we know and experience this from within will we be free to hear the message of conscience with joy and without fear. 
 
On Conscience from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger pp.40-41

Friday, April 28, 2017

Daily Thought For April 28, 2017

Great Insight Into Love of God & Love of Neighbor
    
Often, we fail to accept others because deep down, we do not accept ourselves. If we are not at peace with ourselves we will necessarily find ourselves at war with other people. Non-acceptance of self creates an inner tension, a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration that is then taken out on others, who become scapegoats for our inner conflict. So, for instance, when we are in a bad mood with people around us, very often it is because we are discontented with ourselves! Etty Hillesum wrote: “I have gradually come to realize that on those days when you are at odds with your neighbors you are really at odds with yourself. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’
     Conversely, if we close our hearts against other people, make no effort to love them as they are, never learn to be reconciled with them, we will never have the grace to practice the deep reconciliation with ourselves that we all need. Instead we will be perpetual victims of our own narrow-heartedness and harsh judgments toward our neighbor. This is an important point, to be developed later.
 
from Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe pp. 43-44

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily Thought For April 27, 2017

Something That Never Fails
      
     We are invited to do as he did: to see our life, exactly as it presents itself, to bring to the surface the fears that nest in us, the sadness, the threats, the complexes, the physical or moral defects, the painful memory that humiliates us, and to expose everything to the light of the thought that God loves me. He invites me to ask myself; what in my life attempts to depress me?
 
From his personal life, the Apostle broadens his gaze to the world around him. "For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37-39). Hence, he observes "his" world, with the powers that rendered it menacing: death with its mystery, the present life with its allurements, the astral powers or the infernal ones which struck so much terror in ancient man.
 
We can do the same thing: we can look at the world that surrounds us, which makes us afraid. What Paul calls the "height" and the "depth" are for us now infinitely great on high and infinitely small below, the universe and the atom. Everything is ready to crush us; man is weak and alone, in a universe so much greater than him and become, in addition, even more threatening, following the scientific discoveries that he has made and that he does not succeed in controlling, as is being dramatically demonstrated by the atomic reactors in Fukushima.
 
Everything can be questioned, all of our safety measures can fail, but never this: that God loves us and is stronger than everything. "Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth."
 
 Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa from The Second Lenten Sermon “God Is Love” 2011

Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Thought For April 23, 2017

Why Charity Is So Important
 
Lack of charity dulls the intelligence so that it cannot know God and fails to understand the dignity of man. Love sharpens and focuses all our powers. Only charity - love of God and of our neighbor for God's sake - prepares and disposes us to understand God and all that refers to him, so far as is possible for a finite creature. He who does not love does not know God, Saint John teaches, for God is love. The virtue of hope also becomes sterile without charity, for it is impossible to attain what one does not love? All our works are in vain without charity, even the most skillfully or energetically executed ones and those that demand sacrifice. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. There is no substitute for charity. 
 
Today, in our prayer, we could ask ourselves how we live this virtue each day. Do we perform little acts of service for the people around us? Do we try to be pleasant? Do we say we are sorry when we hurt people? Do we spread peace and joy around us? Do we help others on their way towards God, or are we, on the contrary, indifferent to them? Do we practice the works of mercy by visiting the poor and the sick, so as to live Christian solidarity with those who suffer? Do we care for the needs of the elderly and are we concerned about people who find themselves on the margin of society? In a word is our normal relationship with God shown in deeds of understanding and in service to the people who are in daily contact with us? 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 3 p.6

Friday, April 21, 2017

Daily Thought For April 21, 2017

Avoiding Anger
 
     This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart's door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation," ... a man's anger does not fulfill God's justice.

St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Daily Thought For April 20, 2017

                       OPPORTUNITIES 

     When I was newly baptized in the Holy Spirit I eagerly welcomed every opportunity to give witness to what God had done in my life. The simplest question from an unsuspecting stranger would prompt a detailed version of my personal testimony. Even though my zeal wasn't always enlightened, God blessed my efforts to evangelize. 
     During that zealous period I carried my huge, hardbound Jerusalem Bible under my arm while traveling, much to my father's chagrin. When he asked why I didn't put it in a paper bag, I simply explained that it was a wonderful way to start a conversation about Jesus. People couldn't help but notice it! 
     As time went by I lost some of my eagerness to share the good news. Many an opportunity on a plane, in a rest room, on a beach, in a grocery store or doctor's office, passed me by because I was too tired, busy, or preoccupied. "Make the most of the present opportunity," Scripture exhorts us (Eph 5: 16). Each day we are surrounded by people who are longing for the loving touch of Jesus that comes through us if only we take the time to reach out.  
     Recently I met two people who reminded me of this truth. 
My husband and I were waiting for our plane after a conference, when I happened into a casual conversation with a young woman seated nearby. In the midst of our small talk I had a sense from the Lord that she was suffering in her family life. Before I knew it, this woman began pouring her heart out to me. She had just suffered a miscarriage and had been told she had little chance of ever bearing a child. Then her twin brother died suddenly. As she spoke it was natural to put my arm around her in  comfort and offer to pray with her. She knew the Lord, but at that moment she needed the reassurance of His love for her. Her gratitude for the prayer was genuine, and we parted with an embrace. She has written to me since to thank me. 
     Once on board the plane my husband and I began to talk together about the good things the Lord had done for us during the conference. An older man seated next to my husband Al looked unfriendly, and I concluded that our conversation was annoying him. 
     We didn't exchange a word with the man until the plane landed. Then he leaned over and said, "Pardon me. I hope you don't mind, but I overheard your conversation about Christ. Will you please pray for me? My son is ill, and I'm terribly worried about him." 
Immediately we joined hands and prayed for the boy. 
      This gentleman whom I thought to be unfriendly was in reality worried about his son. He was just waiting for us to share Christ with him. How grateful he was for that brief moment of prayer! 

As we travel this summer let's ask the Holy Spirit to help us "make the most of the present opportunity" to share the good news with those we meet. The Lord will use us if we're willing. 

from More of God  by Patti Gallagher Mansfield pp.115-166

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Daily Thought For April 19, 2017

Encountering Jesus Is Our Hope!

Encountering Christ in faith is always a surprise; it is a grace given to those whose hearts are open. It overturns our comfortable existence and opens us to an unexpected future, sowing life and light in place of death and sorrow. This is the reason for our Easter joy: in the risen Jesus, who dwells in our midst, we encounter the power of God’s love, which triumphs over death and brings ever new life and undying hope.

Pope Francis - Excerpt from General Audience April 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Daily Thought For April 18, 2017

Go Out And Tell The Good News!
Lectio
John 20:11–18
Meditatio
“Why are you weeping?”
What a strange question to ask a grieving woman, and from an angel at that! “Why are you weeping?” We find Mary Magdalene at the tomb of her Lord, her Jesus, and we hear God’s messenger ask her the reason for her tears and, more possibly, her sobs.
“Where is my Lord?” she pleads. “If you have taken his body, let me know where it is and I will take him away.” She is so distressed that she doesn’t seem to notice to whom she is speaking. Then the gardener asks her the same question, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Mary is becoming upset, worn out by the frenzy and grief. Again she blurts out that she can’t find the Lord. “Where have you put him?” The gardener is looking at her. Is it quizzically or compassionately? “Mary,” he says, not only to identify himself, but also to help her to identify herself. He could have said, “Why are you crying, Mary? Is it only from grief, or also for joy; joy that the promise has really come true? You have heard me promise many times that I am the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25). You and the other women have often professed your belief in the resurrection. And now, here I am before you. Do not weep. Do not cling to me. Go quickly to my brothers and assure them of what you have seen.” Jesus wants Mary to recognize her own faith, to hold fast to his teaching and, as the first apostle of the resurrection, to proclaim his triumph. Let us all become Easter Marys.
Oratio
Jesus, Lord of life, wrap all our tears and fears in your great promise. We believe you rose from the grave, that you overcame all the suffering laid on you as God and man. Your body was crushed, and your spirit was stifled by the sins and sorrows of humanity. But the response you want from us, as from Mary, is not weeping, but great joy. With her make us witnesses, not of a far-off tomorrow, but of the today of salvation. We adore you, O Christ, and we proclaim you because you are the Savior of the world!
Contemplatio
“I have seen the Lord!”


 Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. TrouvĂ©, Eds.) (pp. 10–11). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Daily Thought For April 15, 2017

God Is Close Even When He Seems Silent

In reading the Gospels we realize that in other important passages on his earthly existence Jesus had also seen the explanatory voice of God associated with the signs of the Father’s presence and approval of his journey of love.

Thus in the event that follows the Baptism in the Jordan, at the opening of the heavens, the words of the Father had been heard: “Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased” (Mk 1:11). Then in the Transfiguration, the sign of the cloud was accompanied with these words: “this is my beloved Son; listen to him” (Mk 9:7). Instead, at the approach of the death of the Crucified One, silence falls, no voice is heard but the Father’s loving gaze is fixed on his Son’s gift of love.

However, what is the meaning of Jesus’ prayer, of the cry he addresses to the Father: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”: doubt about his mission, about the Father’s presence? Might there not be in this prayer the knowledge that he had been forsaken? The words that Jesus addresses to the Father are the beginning of Psalm 22[21], in which the Psalmist expresses to God his being torn between feeling forsaken and the certain knowledge of God’s presence in his People’s midst. He, the Psalmist, prays: “O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (vv. 3–4). The Psalmist speaks of this “cry” in order to express the full suffering of his prayer to God, seemingly absent: in the moment of anguish his prayer becomes a cry.

This also happens in our relationship with the Lord: when we face the most difficult and painful situations, when it seems that God does not hear, we must not be afraid to entrust the whole weight of our overburdened hearts to him, we must not fear to cry out to him in our suffering, we must be convinced that God is close, even if he seems silent.

Repeating from the Cross the first words of Psalm 22[21] “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”—“My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46); uttering the words of the Psalm, Jesus prays at the moment of his ultimate rejection by men, at the moment of abandonment; yet he prays, with the Psalm, in the awareness of God’s presence, even in that hour when he is feeling the human drama of death.

However a question arises within us: how is it possible that such a powerful God does not intervene to save his Son from this terrible trial? It is important to understand that Jesus’ prayer is not the cry of one who meets death with despair, nor is it the cry of one who knows he has been forsaken. At this moment Jesus makes his own the whole of Psalm 22[21], the Psalm of the suffering People of Israel. In this way he takes upon himself not only the sin of his people, but also that of all men and women who are suffering from the oppression of evil and, at the same time, he places all this before God’s own heart, in the certainty that his cry will be heard in the Resurrection: “The cry of extreme anguish is at the same time the certainty of an answer from God, the certainty of salvation—not only for Jesus himself, but for ‘many’ ” (Jesus of Nazareth, II, pp. 213–214 Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2011).

In this prayer of Jesus are contained his extreme trust and his abandonment into God’s hands, even when God seems absent, even when he seems to be silent, complying with a plan incomprehensible to us. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: “in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ ” (n. 603). His is a suffering in communion with us and for us, which derives from love and already bears within it redemption, the victory of love.

The bystanders at the foot of the Cross of Jesus fail to understand, thinking that his cry is a supplication addressed to Elijah. In the scene they seek to assuage his thirst in order to prolong his life and to find out whether Elijah will truly come to his aid, but with a loud cry Jesus’ earthly life comes to an end, as well as their wish.

At the supreme moment, Jesus gives vent to his heart’s grief, but at the same time makes clear the meaning of the Father’s presence and his consent to the Father’s plan of salvation of humanity.

We too have to face ever anew the “today” of suffering of God’s silence—we express it so often in our prayers—but we also find ourselves facing the “today” of the Resurrection, of the response of God who took upon himself our sufferings, to carry them together with us and to give us the firm hope that they will be overcome (cf. Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, nn. 35–40).

Dear friends, let us lay our daily crosses before God in our prayers, in the certainty that he is present and hears us. Jesus’ cry reminds us that in prayer we must surmount the barriers of our “ego” and our problems and open ourselves to the needs and suffering of others.

May the prayer of Jesus dying on the Cross teach us to pray lovingly for our many brothers and sisters who are oppressed by the weight of daily life, who are living through difficult moments, who are in pain, who have no word of comfort; let us place all this before God’s heart, so that they too may feel the love of God who never abandons us. Many thanks.

Benedict XVI. (2013). General Audiences of Benedict XVI (English). Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. (2/8/12)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Daily Thought For April 14, 2017

Sacred Story Affirmations 

My Sacred Story takes a lifetime to write. Be Not Afraid: Fear comes from the enemy of my human nature. The pathway to God's peace and healing runs through my heart's brokenness, sin, fear, anger, and grief. God resolves all my problems with time and patience. 

Fr. Bill Watson, S.J.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Daily Thought For April 13, 2017 (Holy Thursday)

Stay Close To The Lord
    
     My Jesus, true center of my life, let my attention be so fixed on You that I may be aware of You in everything I do. I will never separate myself from You by undue anxiety or overeagerness for success. In the good works which I perform, I want You to take charge. I desire to surrender myself entirely to You in all my occupations. No longer shall my will lead me on, but Yours. I shall always strive to make my best efforts. The results are yours to decide. My greatest joy from now on will be to work for love of You. Amen.  
 
from My Daily Bread p.381

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Daily Thought For April 11, 2017

Cultivating Patience
    
     Patience as a virtue should not be understood to mean passivity in the face of suffering. It is not a matter of stoically accepting the blows of outrageous fortune and accepting our fate. Patience belongs to the virtue of fortitude. When we practice patience, we strive to accept pain and trial as something coming from the hand of God. We therefore seek to identify our will with the Will of God. The virtue of patience enables us to endure persecution of every kind. Patience should be the foundation of our hope and joy. 
     There are a great many ways in which a Christian can live this virtue. The first battleground should be in the area of one’s own behavior. It is so easy to become disheartened by our defects. We need to exercise patience in our interior struggle based on our unshakeable confidence in God’s love for us. If we are to overcome a character defect, it will not happen overnight. Our victory will ultimately be won by the cultivation of humility, of trusting confidence in God, of greater docility. St. Francis de Sales would remind people that we need to have patience with everyone, but first and foremost with ourselves. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 5 p. 545

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Daily Thought For April 9, 2017

The Cross & God's Love
Lectio
Matthew 21:1–11; 26:14–27:66
Meditatio
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
What a heady beginning to the Passover festivities this day seemed to be for the apostles. It started out with this unexpected triumphant moment, when all their secret ambitions of glory and fame seemed to be coming true. Jesus rode into Jerusalem amidst the acclamation and praise of the people, the crowds going wild. Though the apostles had listened to the teaching of the Master about humility and the last place, the roots of ambitious excitement die hard. In fact, just listening to Jesus’ teaching wasn’t enough. Their ambitions would only die with his own death, when they would be hiding together in a dark closet somewhere, hoping to escape with their lives.
These two readings show us the span of a disciple’s life. The exciting moments of conversion or successful ministry or busy activity must lead us into at some point to a transformation that involves death. Jesus’ death on the cross meant the death of the apostles’ ambitions, as it will mean the death of our own. Something happens that turns the tables. Illness, financial disaster, ministerial failure, disappointment, complaints about our work.… In a moment the popularity of Palm Sunday evaporates, and the frightening darkness of the agony in the garden and the cloudy confusion of Golgotha creep in. In the process we find ourselves playing the parts of each of the main disciples mentioned in the reading: the one who turns traitor, the confident boaster who eventually denies Jesus, the apostles who disengage themselves from reality, the brave young disciple who accompanies Mary to the foot of the cross. One by one, in event after event of our lives, we try these disciples on for size, each time discovering new facets of our own following of the Master.
In the journey we fall and are forgiven, fall again and are forgiven again. In the journey we discover that the cross does not have the last word, and never will. We are not people of the cross, but people of the resurrection!
Oratio
Jesus, in this moment of profound quiet, I ask you to come close to me, to look into my eyes, and to help me understand that no matter what has happened in my life, no matter who I’ve been in my life, I can keep on journeying with you as disciple and friend. Can you accept me in my lowest moments, when your cross weighs too heavy upon me? As ambition dies in my heart, let me learn I am loved. That’s all I need.
Contemplatio
Let me learn I am loved. That’s all I need.


 Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 104–106). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Thought For April 8, 2017

Retracing Our Steps
 
     O Lord our God, fill us with hope in the shadow of your wings; protect and sustain us. You will uphold us, right from our childhood until our old age, because our present strength, if it comes from you, is strength indeed, but if it is merely our own strength then it is weakness. When we are close to you we find living goodness, but at the very moment we turn aside from you we become corrupt. So, Lord, make us retrace our steps, so that we are not defeated. 
 
St. Augustine

Friday, April 7, 2017

Daily Thought For April 7, 2017

Draw Upon God’s Grace Today
 
     Beware of letting your care degenerate into anxiety and unrest; tossed as you are amid the winds and waves of sundry troubles, keep your eyes fixed on the Lord, and say, “Oh, my God, I look to Thee alone; be Thou my guide, my pilot”; and then be comforted. When the shore is gained, who will heed the toil and the storm? And we shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention is fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God. If at time we are somewhat stunned by the tempest, never fear; let us take breath, and go on afresh. Do not be disconcerted by the fits of vexation and uneasiness which are sometimes produced by the multiplicity of your domestic worries. No indeed, dearest child, all these are but opportunities of strengthening yourself in the loving, forbearing graces which our dear Lord set before us. 
 
St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Daily Thought For April 6, 2017

The Oil Of Gladness
 
 
     In the early Church, the consecrated oil was considered a special sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who communicates himself to us as a gift from Christ. He is the oil of gladness. This gladness is different from entertainment and from the outward happiness that modern society seeks for itself. Entertainment, in its proper place, is certainly good and enjoyable. It is good to be able to laugh. But entertainment is not everything. It is only a small part of our lives, and when it tries to be the whole, it becomes a mask behind which despair lurks, or at least doubt over whether life is really good, or whether non-existence might perhaps be better than existence. The gladness that comes to us from Christ is different. It does indeed make us happy, but it can also perfectly well coexist with suffering. It gives us the capacity to suffer and, in suffering, to remain nevertheless profoundly glad. It gives us the capacity to share the suffering of others and thus by placing ourselves at one another’s disposal, to express tangibly the light and the goodness of God. I am always struck by the passage in the Acts of the Apostles which recounts that after the Apostles had been whipped by order of the Sanhedrin, they “rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41). Anyone who loves is ready to suffer for the beloved and for the sake of his love, and in this way he experiences a deeper joy. The joy of the martyrs was stronger than the torments inflicted on them. This joy was ultimately victorious and opened the gates of history for Christ. As priests, we are – in Saint Paul’s words – “co-workers with you for your joy” (2 Cor 1:24). In the fruit of the olive-tree, in the consecrated oil, we are touched by the goodness of the Creator, the love of the Redeemer. Let us pray that his gladness may pervade us ever more deeply and that we may be capable of bringing it anew to a world in such urgent need of the joy that has its source in truth. Amen.
 
excerpt from the Chrism Mass Homily of Pope Benedict XVI (April 1, 2010)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Daily Thought For April 5, 2017

Be Encouraged! 

Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. (John 8:34)
What should we do with such a black-and-white statement? Does it mean that we are all slaves of sin? Let’s look at this.
First, we should understand that we are all called to holiness. But God doesn’t call us to something he won’t equip us to fulfill. So we shouldn’t feel helpless or powerless in the face of our sin.
Second, we should understand that God wants us to learn to rely on Jesus, the source of all holiness. St. Alphonsus Liguori once said, “Habitual sin and prayer cannot coexist. Either we will stop sinning or stop praying.” We need to get in the habit of drawing strength from Jesus in all the ways that he comes to us: prayer, Scripture, the sacraments, spiritual direction, the beauty of nature, and Christian fellowship. To strive for holiness apart from Jesus will only leave us frustrated.
Third, we need to learn how to overcome our attractions to sin. St. Francis de Sales compares the person who indulges in “affection for sin” to the Israelites who left slavery in Egypt but longed for its comforts while journeying through the desert. The Israelites had to ask the same question we should ask: “Do I really want to return to a life of slavery for just a few moments of pleasure?”
Finally, we need to develop a plan. If you are prone to pride, dedicate yourself to humility. If you are prone to lust, pursue purity. Remember, you cannot think your way into being virtuous; you must act your way there.
At the start of each day, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace you need to make the right choices. Then, every few hours evaluate how you are doing, and ask the Lord again for his help. In the evening, take a few minutes to prayerfully review your day. Thank Jesus for every victory you have experienced, and ask his forgiveness for those times you have failed. Over time, you will find real and measurable progress. You really can become holy!
“Father, I want to hate sin. Give me the grace I need to say no to the temptations I face. I want to be holy, and I know I cannot do it on my own.”
Daily Thought From The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Daily Thought For April 3, 2017

Peace, the Road to Perfection
 
Experience shows us that peace, which sows charity, the love of God and love of neighbor in your soul, is the road that leads straight to eternal life. 

Take care to never let your heart be troubled, saddened, agitated or involved in that which can cause it to lose its peace. Rather work always to remain tranquil because the Lord says: "Happy are those who are at peace." Do this and the Lord will build in your soul the City of Peace and He will make of you a House of Delight. That which He wants of you is that, whenever you are troubled, you would recover your calm, your peace, on your own - in your work, in your thoughts and in all your activities without exception. 

Just as a city is not built in a day, do not think that you can achieve, in a day, this peace, this interior calm, because it is within you that a home must be built for God, while you yourself, become His temple. And it is the Lord Himself Who must handle the construction. Without Him your work would not exist. 
 
Remind yourself, moreover, that this edifice has humility for its foundation. 

Juan De Bonilla (Spanish Franciscan of the 16th Century who wrote a little treatise on peace of soul.)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Daily Thought For April 1, 2017

Surrender & Happiness
    
The day you learn to surrender yourself totally to God, you will discover a new world, just as I am experiencing. You will enjoy a peace and a calm unknown, surpassing even the happiest days of your life.
Saint Jaime Hilario