Don't get upset with your imperfections. It's a great mistake because it leads nowhere - to get angry because you are angry, upset at being upset, depressed at being depressed, disappointed because you are disappointed. So don't fool yourself. Simply surrender to the Power of God's Love, which is always greater than our weakness.
Pride measures prosperity not by her own advantages but by the disadvantages of others. She would not even wish to be a goddess unless there were some wretches left whom she could order about and lord it over, whose misery would make her happiness seem all the more extraordinary, whose poverty can be tormented and exacerbated by a display of her wealth. This infernal serpent, pervading the human heart, keeps men from reforming their lives, holding them back like a suckfish.
He is like a tree planted near running water. (Psalm 1:3) What a glorious promise—especially to the Jewish people who would have prayed this psalm! Remember, the Holy Land is a more arid region than where most of us live. The thought of lush vegetation growing along the banks of a babbling stream would have seemed almost exotic to them. So to say that the one who follows the Lord is like one of those trees is to say something powerful indeed! While it’s true that most of us live in more temperate climates, our spiritual environments can be far more arid. The world around us may not be as hospitable to our spiritual life, which means we should drink as deeply as we can when we are in the presence of Jesus’ living waters. And nowhere do these waters flow more abundantly than at Mass. What is one of the first things you do when you enter a church? You bless yourself with holy water. You recall your baptism, when you were first plunged into the water of life. Then, during the Penitential Rite, you “confess to almighty God” that you need his forgiveness and mercy. You acknowledge that you need him to wash you with the waters of forgiveness. Before the priest begins the Eucharistic Prayer, he adds drops of water to the wine. Why? Because it symbolizes Jesus humbling himself to take on our humanity, and it symbolizes our being joined to Christ. This small action tells us that we can be “mingled,” or mixed, with the Lord so fully that his life becomes our life. Finally, when you receive the Body and Blood of Christ, you are being joined to believers all across the world who are receiving the exact same thing. Together with these millions of brothers and sisters, you are drinking from the stream of eternal life. That stream is flowing in you and through you, and it connects you to the worldwide Church. You don’t need to dig a new well or find a new stream. The water is already there for you. So come and drink! Receive the stream that flows from the altar of the Lord, and let it fill you up.
“Thank you, Jesus, for planting me near running water! Help me to draw near to the life-giving stream of the Mass.”
Daily Thought From The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)
Pray daily as though your future were entirely dependent on God; and then proceed to work for your reasonable needs and intelligent desires as though their fulfillment depended entirely on you in proportion as you see your daily life as a partnership with God, you will find life’s inadequacies, insecurities, and anxieties less confusing to the mind, less oppressive to the body and less frustrating to the spirit. Your inadequacies will be counterbalanced by your supernatural faith in God's divine plan for you. (Matt 25:14-23) Your natural sense of insecurity will find strength in Christ’s sermon on His Father’s divine providence for His children (Matt. 6:25-34). Finally, your spontaneous anxieties will find solace and peace in the good news of your Redemption. (John 1:1-14) This large perspective will make anger and hostility less necessary to you, since your fulfillment will no longer be restricted to the narrow fulfillment of an hour, day or year. Rather, it will be viewed as a noble effort of your grace dignified human nature, for reasonable fulfillment on earth and a glorious fulfillment with God in eternity. from My Daily Life (Confraternity of The Precious Blood) p.89
As your perspective grows in breadth and depth, you will find yourself acquiring a keener awareness of God’s presence in your daily round of occupations. Your religious sense gradually becomes so intertwined with your natural interests and concerns, that nature and grace are seen as two hands of God embracing you and sustaining you. With perspective your passing earthly activities become steps not only toward your natural self-fulfillment in this life, but also toward your unending, all satisfying self-fulfillment with God in heaven. You will see your personal life on earth as your share in the evolution of God’s original act of creation. Whether your personal gifts and opportunities be great or small in the eyes of worldly men, you will see them as part of God’s overall plan to draw all things back to himself in due time. The more your balanced perspective develops, so much the more will you realize why true self-development is the work of a lifetime. It is not a negative self dismembering analysis, but a positive self discovering synthesis. The treasure found in the field of which Jesus spoke, is within you. God speaks to you not only through His supernatural grace, but also through the individual nature which He fashioned into the person you are today. He would have you make an intelligent, reasonable use of the gift that is “you.”
My Daily Life Devotional (Confraternity of the Precious Blood) pp.26-27.
Even in the life of a Christian, faith rises and falls like the tides of an invisible sea. It's there, even when he can't see it or feel it, if he wants it to be there. You realize, I think, that it is more valuable, more mysterious, altogether more immense than anything you can learn or decide upon It will keep you free - not free to do anything you please, but free to be formed by something larger than your own intellect or the intellects around you.
Listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky, and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to glorify the sublimity of that sovereign Artist who has given them being.
No One Has Ever Hoped In The Lord And Been Confounded
Men may deprive me of property and honour; sickness may take away my strength and other means of serving You; I may even lose Your grace by sin; but never, never will I lose my hope in You. I will cherish it unto that dreadful moment when all hell will be unchained to snatch my soul away. "No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded."
If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight. Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example. What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they took no other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.
Whenever we think of Christ we should recall the love that led him to bestow on us so many graces and favours, and also the great love God showed in giving us in Christ a pledge of his love; for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love him. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the grace of impressing his love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.
At the beginning…we are ready to make radical sacrifices. We would like to leave everything, give everything. But, very quickly, we discover that God always asks of us something that we had not thought of, sometimes even apparently insignificant things of which we are incapable of letting go.” We discover “all those secret attachments, those unconfessed refusals, those secret wounds. We would have liked to leave everything, we were aspiring to freedom, and here we discover, with a sort of disillusionment that can sometimes lead to despair or turn into cynicism, that we are caught in our own trap…following Jesus, leaving everything for him, is beyond our capacity. We then realize that, despite all our efforts and our good resolutions, in fact we have not yet really begun!” “But paradoxically, this realization of our resistance, our inability to respond to his call, is perhaps, in reality, the most precious fruit…For when we have consented to our own poverty, then God can finally begin to work within us.” (Dom Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B., September Magnificat, p. 304-305.
There is much suffering in the world - physical, material, mental. The suffering of some can be blamed on the greed of others. The material and physical suffering is suffering from hunger, from homelessness, from all kinds of diseases. But the greatest suffering is being lonely, feeling unloved, having no one. I have come more and more to realize that it is being unwanted that is the worst disease that any human being can ever experience.
I knew that my heart and mind would always be tempted to feel anger--to find blame and hate. But I resolved that when the negative feelings came upon me, I wouldn't wait for them to grow or fester. I would always turn immediately to the Source of all true power: I would turn to God and let His love and forgiveness protect and save me.
Immaculee Ilibagiza (Author of Left To Tell - Discovering God Amidst The Rwandan Holocaust)
Faith brings into our lives such freedom, such love, such peace, and such joy that there are no words in any language that can explain it. You have to have it in order to know it. You have to experience it in order to understand it. Faith liberates. It liberates love and hope. If I am free to love and free to hope, what more do I want of life?
Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.