Sunday, October 14, 2018

Daily Thought For October 14, 2018

Two New Saints!

Today in Rome, Pope Francis will canonize Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, in addition to Pope Paul VI, who is featured on pages 52–57 of this magazine.

Selected as archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, Romero served during a time of intense political turbulence and religious persecution. Through his homilies, radio sermons, and newspaper articles, Romero became the voice of his country’s conscience. Constantly referring to the message of the gospel, he condemned the violence and corruption that plagued his country.

Countless threats against his life didn’t deter Romero. In one homily, he said, “You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the Church of God, which is the people, will never perish.” On March 24, 1980, as he was saying Mass, a lone gunman stood at the door of the chapel and fired. Romero, who was standing at the altar, was shot in the heart and died on the spot.

In his letter announcing Romero’s canonization, Pope Francis wrote, “In the beautiful land of Central America, bathed by the Pacific Ocean, the Lord granted his Church a zealous bishop who, loving God and serving brothers and sisters, became the image of Christ the Good Shepherd. In times of difficult coexistence, Archbishop Romero knew how to lead, defend and protect his flock. . . . And at the moment of his death, while he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of love and reconciliation, he received the grace to identify himself fully with the One who gave his life for his sheep.”

Oscar Romero lived out today’s readings. He chose God’s wisdom over the wealth and comfort of the world. He proclaimed the word of God in a way that cut people to the heart. And he gave everything to the poor of El Salvador. May his witness move all of us to answer the cry of the poor and downtrodden.


“St. Oscar Romero, pray for us.”

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

Daily Thought for October 12, 2018

This Is My Prayer For All Of You Today!

May today there be peace within. 

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. 

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. 

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. 

May you be content knowing you are a child of God. 

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. 


It is there for each and every one of us.

St. Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Daily Thought For October 10, 2018

Letting God Be The Master Artist & Penance

Penance means being very charitable at all times towards those around you, starting with the members of your own family. It is to be full of tenderness and kindness towards the suffering, the sick and the infirm. It is to give patient answers to people who are boring and annoying. It means interrupting our work or changing our plans, when circumstances make this necessary, above all when the just and rightful needs of others are involved. 

Penance consists in putting up good-humoredly with the thousand and one little pinpricks of each day; in not abandoning your job, although you have momentarily lost the enthusiasm with which you started it; in eating gladly whatever is served, without being fussy. 

For parents and, in general, for those whose work involves supervision or teaching, penance is to correct whenever it is necessary. This should be done bearing in mind the type of fault committed and the situation of the person who needs to be so helped, not letting oneself be swayed by subjective viewpoints, which are often cowardly and sentimental. 

A spirit of penance keeps us from becoming too attached to the vast imaginative blueprints we have made for our future projects, where we have already foreseen our master strokes and brilliant successes. What joy we give to God when we are happy to lay aside our third-rate painting efforts and let him put in the features and colors of his choice!


from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 2 p.89

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Daily Thought For October 4, 2018

A Good Reminder From St. Francis of Assisi

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received - only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.

St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Daily Thought For October 3, 2018

The Radical Call of Discipleship

As Jesus begins his final journey to Jerusalem, he is approached by three different would-be followers. Each of them wants to follow him, but their responsibilities and concerns seem to give them pause. In answer to their requests, Jesus makes it clear that following him isn’t always easy. He offered them a reality check so that they could clarify their motivations and decide whether they really wanted to be his disciples. And so he cut below the surface of their words to address their real questions.

Notice how each of these people responds to Jesus’ invitation by talking about their life circumstances—a funeral, a family farewell, a concern about housing. Jesus responds not only to what they say on the surface, but also to their deepest motivations, fears, and intentions. One of Jesus’ answers reveals that the person approaching him probably has false expectations of comfort and ease. By another response, he helps a disciple face his unwillingness to make sacrifices.

Jesus is never unkind, but he is honest. He answered each person who came to him in a way that showed them the next down-to-earth step they had to take in answering Jesus’ radical call.

Jesus can help you to see yourself more clearly as well. He knows how faithfully you are following him. He knows how much you love him. He wants to show you not only how your walk with him is strong, but also where you need more of his grace. His goal is always to help you be realistic about his call to discipleship. But as costly as the journey may be, he also wants to assure you that he is walking with you every step of the way.

So talk with Jesus today. Tell him that you want to follow him. But also tell him about what’s going on in your life right now and any hesitation you might have. Let him answer you as he answered the people in today’s Gospel so that you can understand your motivations a little better. Then you’ll be ready for the next step along the journey with Jesus.


“Jesus, I want to walk with you as the disciples did. Help me see the next realistic step I need to take today.”

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Daily Thought For October 2, 2018

The Work Of Angels

In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels. 

In her liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God. She invokes their assistance (in the funeral liturgy’s In Paradisum deducant te angeli … [“May the angels lead you into Paradise …”]). Moreover, in the “Cherubic Hymn” of the Byzantine Liturgy, she celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels). 

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God. 


Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed., p. 87). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference. #334-336

Monday, October 1, 2018

Daily Thought For October 1, 2018

We Are Citizens of Heaven!

The world's thy ship and not thy home.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Friday, September 28, 2018

Daily Thought For September 28, 2018

Never Miss An Opportunity

Lord, help me to make time today to serve you in those who are most in need of encouragement or assistance.

St. Vincent de Paul

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Daily Thought For September 27, 2018

The Light of the Cross
 
Understanding is like a light turned on in a darkened room, or like the dawn that enables one to see things as they really are. We speak of being enlightened when confusion yields to clarity or ignorance yields knowledge. I am coming to see, as never before, that the true light, the uncreated light, the light that gives life, comes from the cross. The elements of the natural world must receive light in order to shine forth and dazzle us with their beauty. But the cross-the cross emanates light and enlightens everything that its shadow touches. Light comes from the cross: a simple realization, to be sure. Simple, as all the deep things of life are simple. The cross, icon of all that is hateful and diabolical, is transformed by him who willingly, lovingly, passionately, ascends it. On the cross, love is revealed as sacrifice. When I gaze on the cross, when I ponder Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection, when I fix my inward eye upon him, I am drawn out of myself. My vision becomes clearer and my hope grows stronger. 
 
 
A Grief Unveiled - A Father’s Journey Through the Death of a Child p. 155

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Daily Thought For September 26, 2018

The Goal of Our Spiritual Life
 
   We Christians know that spirituality is not a method but a person. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
   We believe that God personally created each one of us to be part of humanity, but also unique selves. We join with other believers to follow God’s way, but simultaneously make our own individual journey. We hope that, in spite of all our many faults and sins, we will let God demonstrate His creative and redemptive power as He forms us. We want to become persons with nothing but love in our hearts.
 
Ronda Chervin Called By Name: Following A Personal Spirituality p.6

Monday, September 24, 2018

Daily Thought For September 24, 2018

A Good Perspective

My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, to Your love; my future to Your providence.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Daily Thought For September 20, 2018

Comfort In Affliction

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement,  who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.  For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.


New American Bible. (2011). (Revised Edition, 2 Co 1:3–5). Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Daily Thought For September 18, 2018

Love Always Strives For The Good of Others
    
     
God did not withdraw into his heaven but lowered himself to man’s experience: a great mystery that succeeds in surpassing every possible expectation. God entered human time in the most unthinkable way: by making himself a child and going through the stages of human life, so that our whole existence, spirit, soul and body — as St Paul has reminded us — might be kept blameless and be raised to God’s heights. And he did all this out of his faithful love for humanity. When love is true, by its nature it strives for the good of others, for their greatest possible good. It is not limited merely to respecting the commitments of friendship that have been taken on, but goes further, without calculation or measure. This is precisely what the living, true God did, whose profound mystery is revealed to us in St John’s words: “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8, 16). In Jesus of Nazareth this God takes upon himself the whole of humanity, the whole history of man, and he gives it a decisive reorientation toward a new manner of human existence, characterized by having been generated by God and by aspiring to him (cf. Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 3, The Infancy Narratives).
 
Address To Rome's Universities (1st Sunday of Advent Vespers) Pope Benedict XVI December 1, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2018

Daily Thought For September 17, 2018

Jesus Never Fails His Friends

How little too is our faith when we doubt whether the storm will abate! Too often we allow ourselves to be discouraged by circumstances: sickness, work, reverses of fortune, opposition to us in our surroundings. Fear is a phenomenon which covers almost every aspect of life. It is often the result of ignorance or of selfishness stemming from an excessive concern for oneself or anxiety over things that perhaps will never happen. But, above all else, fear often stems from the awareness that the security of our life is based on very weak foundations. Here we are forgetting an essential truth: Jesus Christ is our constant security. This does not mean to say that we are insensitive to events, but that we should have more confidence in using the human means at our disposal. We must never forget that to be close to Jesus, even when he appears to be asleep, is to be safe. When we are confused and going through unpleasant times, Jesus does not forget us. As St Teresa said: he never fails his friends.

 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 1 p. 270

 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Daily Thought For September 14, 2018

Be The Expression of God's Kindness

 
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
 
 
St. Teresa of Calcutta
  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Daily Thought For September 13, 2018

A Reflection On Being Merciful


Lectio

Luke 6:27–38

Meditatio

“Do good … pray for … give … love … forgive.…”

When I read this section of Jesus’ teachings, I always seem to snag on the part where Jesus says, “the measure with which you measure will … be measured out to you.” It makes me shiver when I imagine the half plateful that would be placed in front of me! Jesus’ words make me reflect on how generous I am to others. He is giving us a way of life based on honesty, lending, gentility, loving concern, and selfless giving. Am I up to the challenge?

I imagine that Jesus is speaking to a large group of people who want to hear what he is teaching, people who are more interested in the trials and challenges of everyday life than in the intricacies of the Law. Jesus is sharing his view of a life lived as God’s child, and it is a picture of light, goodness, reaching out, mercy—all done with the great courage that comes from believing the best about one another. Jesus is asking me to live that life. This is his recipe for a life of love. The ingredients are truly demanding! Still, I cannot turn my back on his words if I want to be among the “children of the Most High.”

I wonder how this lesson would sound if it were put on prime-time TV as an advertisement. How very not Wall Street these words of Jesus would sound. But their force and value for today’s world and my life cannot be ignored. In the last decade we have seen how misplaced confidence in money, careless monitoring, and unchecked greed have carried us to the brink and damaged the trust upon which relationships in every society are built. But I know that Jesus has redeemed the world, through a relationship full of eternal, infinite love. We can always trust and learn from this infinite love.

Oratio

Jesus, I ask you to give me the courage I need to look at everyone with the eyes of love, not suspicion. If I want to follow you, I need to begin with myself and help to transform our world. I want to place my footsteps firmly in those you traced out for us all, you who are the only true Way. Trust is the big stumbling block for me, Jesus. Teach me to trust you and others. Give me some of the infinite goodness of your heart, a heart that knows the secrets and yearnings of every heart, and loves us all into gratitude and hope.

Contemplatio

Jesus, make my heart like yours.


Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 108–109). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Daily Thought For September 11, 2018

Life In The Spirit

Living in the risen Christ, we baptized Christians have new powers. We have become adopted children of God (Galatians 4:5; 3:26) and are aware through the Holy Spirit that we live in a relationship similar to that which exists between God the Father and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, because we now have same life within us. In Baptism we become like Christ. 


Fr. George Maloney, "The Mystery of Christ in You" p. 27  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Daily Thought For September 10, 2018

Generosity    
          A characteristic of generosity is knowing how to forget quickly those little irritations that can crop up in daily life. It is knowing how to smile and make life more agreeable for those around us, even though they may be suffering setbacks; to give others the benefit of the doubt; to do the least pleasant tasks first in our work or in family life; to accept people as they are, without attaching too much importance to their defects; to be ready with a pat on the back for a job well done; to give a positive tone to our conversation and, if the occasion arises, to a possible correction that we ought to make; to avoid negative criticism, which is often useless and unfair; to open up wider horizons, both human and supernatural, for our friends. All these betoken generosity of spirit, but above all, if we are to be really generous in loving our neighbor, we must do our best to make it easier for those around us to come closer to Christ. That is the best thing we can do. 
     Every day we have a treasure to distribute. If we don't give it, we lose it. If we share it, Our Lord multiplies it. If we are attentive, if we contemplate his life, He will find for us opportunities of serving voluntarily where, perhaps, few people would wish to do so. Like Jesus who, at the Last Supper, washed the feet of his disciples, 11 we will not be deterred by the lowliest chores, which are often the most necessary and will involve us in the most thankless of tasks. We will learn that the occasions of serving are turned to reality through sacrifice, as the fruit of an interior attitude of abnegation and renunciation. We will realize that to find these opportunities of service it is necessary to look for them, thinking of the personalities of the people with whom we live or work, of what they need, of how we can be helpful or useful to them. The selfish person who lives far away from God is aware only of his own needs and whims. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez pp. 194-195

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Daily Thought For September 9, 2018

Do What You Can
 
We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self.
 
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Friday, September 7, 2018

Daily Thought For September 7, 2018

Patching a Coat
 There is a holiness and a power in the things that belong to holy people. If your making is worship, if you make because you love what you set out to make and because you love men, but most of all because you love God, then you will be trebly a maker, and your work will serve humanity because it will help to lead humanity back to God.
Think of some very humble and ordinary form of making, like the sewing of a patch on a coat. You can regard it as drudgery, and do it with careless or perhaps with savage impatience; and then you turn it into a job….
 You can regard the patch very differently. You can do it with pride in your workmanship, so that it becomes a thing of beauty; then you are already an artist. You can do it with love, and so turn it into love-making; and then you are twice an artist. You can do it as an act of worship of God—“I patch this coat for this poor child for whom I am for ever responsible, as a part of our life together that you have given us and that we turn into worship of you”—and then you are three times an artist; you are completely alive. And why should not every action that you do be like this? But we are enslaved by a system that despises art and has no room for love and reverence; and so we can be excused if we think sometimes that the end draws near; the soil is stale.
  Unless there can be a rebirth our world is doomed; and it must be a rebirth of reverence.
Father Gerald Vann, o.p.
Father Vann († 1963) was an English Dominican and a popular preacher, lecturer, and author. [From The Heart of Man. © 1945, Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd., an imprint of Pearson Education.]

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Daily Thought For September 6, 2018

Holiness

Holiness does not consist in putting on long faces or being sad and miserable. Holiness is continuously joyful because it is the possession of God. 

Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Daily Thought For September 5, 2018

Simplicity of Heart
 
 
In our ascetical struggle, we have to acknowledge what we are really like and accept our limitations, knowing that God sees them and takes them into account. Far from worrying us, this should lead us to trust in Him more, asking his help to overcome our defects and to achieve the aims which we see are currently necessary in our interior life - those points we are following up more closely in our particular and general examinations of conscience. 
 
If we are simple before God we will know how to be simple with those whom we meet every day - our relations, friends and colleagues. The simple person is one who acts and speaks in complete harmony with what he thinks and desires. He is a person who shows himself as he is, without trying to appear to be what he is not, or to have what he does not have. It always gives one great joy to meet a straightforward soul, without nooks and crannies, someone we can trust, like Nathanael who earned Our Lord's praise: "Here comes one who belongs to the true Israel; there is no falsehood in him." On the other hand, elsewhere Our Lord puts us on guard against false prophets, men who come to you in sheep's clothing,  against those who think one thing and do another. 
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez pp. 315-316

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Daily Thought For September 4, 2018

Overcoming Insecurities
 
How can I overcome the insecurities that get in the way of allowing God to use me? 
 
GOD'S RESPONSE 
 
We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10 
 
You should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family---calling him "Father, dear Father." For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. Romans 8: 15-16 
 
I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. Philippians 4: 13 
 
 God made you in his own image, so he must value you highly! He doesn't make mistakes; he created you with unique gifts so that you can do the specific tasks he has for you to do. He does not expect more from you than what he knows you can give, but he does expect you to use what he has given you. That is why it is so important to discover your own special gifts. When you match your unique God-given gifts with the right area of service, you have a match made in heaven. Your insecurities will melt away and you will become bold in serving God. Then service will no longer be a chore, but a joy and passion. 
 
GOD'S PROMISE 
 
It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:11 
 
from The One Year Mini Devotional For Men 
 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Daily Thought For September 3, 2018

Treat Everyone Well

Our Lord's repeated calls for us to be charitable at all times, and especially in his New Commandment must stimulate us to follow His lead by finding concrete ways of being of help to others, such as by making those at our side happy, realizing that we can never be too extravagant in the practice of this virtue. Most of the time the practice of charity will consist in little details, something as simple as a smile, a word of encouragement, a kind gesture ... In the eyes of God all of this is very pleasing and draws us closer to Him. In our prayer today we should also consider areas where we can easily lack charity if we are not careful: rash judgements, negative criticism, neglect of others due to self-centeredness, forgetfulness ... The Christian way of conduct is not the way of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but to do good always, even though occasionally such an attitude will not result in any human gain in this world - but at least we will have enriched our hearts. 


from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume Three p.341

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Daily Thought For September 2, 2018

From Mess To "Message"

David Patterson shared a hopeful story of the Lord’s healing strength and the power of prayer, at the 2017 Lift Jesus Higher Rally in Toronto, Ontario.

Although David’s mother was Catholic, after his parents divorced, David found himself bitter toward his father, and wanting his dad “to feel his hurt.” He also began to wonder “if people really believed in Jesus.”

In ninth grade, he spent time at his dad’s cottage one summer, and ended up heavily involved in marijuana, alcohol, and partying. When he returned to school in the fall, he fell in with the “wrong crowd,” and continued living a reckless lifestyle through high school and college.

In fact, at one point, David asked a friend why he had headaches when he didn’t drink, and the friend replied, “You’ve got the fangs of the wolf. You’re an alcoholic; welcome to the club.”

Fortunately, David’s mother never stopped praying for his conversion.

When she asked him to attend a Catholic retreat, he reluctantly agreed—simply to get her to leave him alone.

“On the way to the retreat, I was angry,” David explained. “I was yelling at my mom in the parking lot, when I felt a tap on my shoulder, and there was a priest in a cowboy hat. He was loving and patient, and said, ‘Son, I think you should stay. Then, one of the speakers, who was funny, cool, and loved God, said ‘God doesn’t care about your mess. A simple ‘yes’ to God will change your life forever. It’s August 15—you can change your life today.”

David answered “yes” to God that day. He went to confession, where he said, “As I kept unloading, I got a little lighter and a little lighter, and as He gave me absolution, I felt free.”

It was difficult to go back to school, he explained: “My buddies asked what had happened. They said I was joyful. I had to tell my bros I had encountered the living God, and do you think that went well?”

David continued struggling with temptation, particularly to drink and to swear. He persevered by going to confession regularly; after six months, he said, “God set me free,” and he no longer struggled with those temptations.

He later attended another retreat his mom suggested—Lift Jesus Higher—where, during the Eucharistic procession, the Lord put an image on his heart that led David to become a youth minister.

And then, exactly four years after David said “yes” to God, his future wife said “yes” to him, when they became engaged. The couple is now married and expecting their second child.


“The reality is, I was a mess,” said David. “But He took the mess and He turned it into a message.”

from the Renewal Ministries website

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Daily Thought For September 1, 2018

Caravaggio's "The Incredulity of St. Thomas"

I just completed a retreat for priests called "Healing The Whole Person" with Dr. Bob Schuchts from the John Paul II Healing Center. I can't even put into words how powerful the teachings and prayer experiences were. It was incredible! 

We began the retreat by meditating upon the painting below, Caravaggio's "The Incredulity of St. Thomas". What I enjoyed most about the image was Jesus pulling Thomas' hand towards Him. I saw this as His desire to do anything to help Thomas overcome doubt. God doesn't want us condemning ourselves when we have doubts but to simply ask for more faith. I did that a lot during the retreat!

What stands out for you as you reflect on the painting?


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Daily Thought For August 30, 2018

How The Holy Spirit Helps With Discernment

The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man, and temptation, which leads to sin and death. We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a “delight to the eyes” and desirable, when in reality its fruit is death.


Catechism of the Catholic Church #2847

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Daily Thought For August 29, 2018

Moving With God


A good interior relationship with God is an indispensable ingredient for a happy life. For only when this basic relationship is in order can all other relationships prosper. That is why it is important to learn and practice all one’s life long, from childhood on, to think with God, to feel with God, to will with God, so that love will follow and will become the keynote of my life. When that occurs, love of neighbor will follow as a matter of course. For if the keynote of my life is love, then I, in my turn, will react to those whom God places on my path only with a Yes of acceptance, with trust, with approval, and with love. To characterize love of neighbor, Holy Scripture employs a very wise and very profound expression: “to love one’s neighbor as oneself”. It requires no quixotic or spurious heroism. It does not say: “You should deny yourself and exist only for the other; you must be less concerned about yourself and more about the other.” No!—“as you love yourself”. Not more, not less. If we are not at peace with ourselves, we cannot really love anyone else. If we cannot accept ourselves, we will also reject the other. True love is righteous: to love myself as a member of Christ’s body—that is where it leads. Oneself as others—to be freed from that false perspective with which all of us are born, that the world revolves around me alone.
From: Auf Christus schauen, pp. 110–11

Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (I. Grassl, Ed., M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans.) (p. 276). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Daily Thought For August 28, 2018

I Thank You For I am Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Men go forth to wonder at the height of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the ocean, the course of the stars-and forget to wonder at themselves. 

St. Augustine

Monday, August 27, 2018

Daily Thought For August 27, 2018

Taking Care of Ourselves

Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever; and take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow.

St. Augustine

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Daily Thought For August 25, 2018

Enrich Your Soul!

Enrich your soul in the great goodness of God: The Father is your table, the Son is your food, and the Holy Spirit waits on you and then makes His dwelling in you.


St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, August 24, 2018

Daily Thought For August 24, 2018

God Sows - We Wait With Patience
The apostolic mission is sometimes to sow without being able to see any fruits. At other times it is reaping what others have sown with their words, or with their pain offered up from a hospital bed, or with their hidden and monotonous work which has remained unnoticed by human eyes. Whichever is the case, God wants sower and reaper to rejoice together? The apostolate is a task which both gives joy and demands sacrifice as we go about our sowing and reaping.

The apostolic task is also work that is patient and constant. Just as the farm-laborer knows how to wait and wait until the first shoots appear above the ground, and wait still longer till harvest time, so must we know how to persevere in bringing souls to God. The Gospel and our own experience teach us that grace usually takes time to bear fruit in souls. We know too about the resistance many hearts put up against grace, as our own heart may have done at some time. We will then help others by having more patience (which is closely related to the virtue of fortitude) and a constancy that will not readily turn into discouragement. We should not try to gather the crop before it is ripe. It is this very patience that moves us to be understanding with others, for we are convinced that souls, like good wine, improve with time.

Waiting patiently should not be confused with negligence or with plain abandonment. It is quite the opposite. It moves us to employ the most appropriate means for the particular situation that the person we want to help is in at a given moment - an abundance of the light of doctrine, more prayer and cheerfulness, a spirit of sacrifice, a deepening of our friendship.

It may sometimes seem that the seed has fallen on rocky ground or among thorns, and that the fruit we are hoping for is taking a long time to make its appearance. At these moments, when we see that the green blade does not come up when we want it to, we have to reject any trace of pessimism. You are often mistaken when you say, 'I brought my children up wrongly: or 'I did not know how to do good to those around me.' What happens is that you have not achieved the result you were hoping for, that you do not yet see the fruit you would have wished for, because the harvest is not yet ripe. What does matter is that you have sown the seed, that you have given God to souls. When God wants, those souls will return to him. You may not be there to see it, but there will be others who will gather in what you have sown. What matters is that Christ, on whose behalf we have made so much effort, will be beside us. 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 3 pp. 133-134

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Daily Thought For August 23, 2018

Nothing Is Beyond Remedy For Those Who Hope In The Lord 
Souls have to be encouraged to aim very high; they have to be impelled towards Christ's ideal. Lead them to the highest goals, which should not be scaled down or made less lofty in any way. But remember that sanctity is not primarily worked out with one's own hands. Grace normally takes its time, and is not normally inclined to act with violence or irresistible force. 
 
Encourage your holy impatience, but do not lose your patience ...  Just as the farmer, with the wisdom of centuries, does not lose his patience, we must learn to aim very high in sanctity and apostolate, waiting for the right moment, without ever losing heart. We will frequently have to start again with our unmodified ambitious resolution. 
 
We need to be able to wait and to struggle with patient perseverance, with the conviction that overcoming a defect or acquiring a virtue does not normally depend on sporadic and violent effort, but on humble constancy in the struggle, the constancy of trying time and time again, counting on God's mercy. We cannot, because of impatience, cease to be faithful to the grace we receive. That impatience, generally, has its roots in pride. We have to be patient with everyone, says Saint Francis, but first of all with ourselves.  
 
Nothing is beyond remedy for the person who hopes in the Lord; nothing is totally lost. We always have the possibility of being forgiven, and of beginning again; humility, sincerity, repentance ... Then we begin again. We have to correspond with God, who is determined that we shall overcome all obstacles. We experience deep joy each time we begin again, and during our time on earth we will have to do that many times, because we will always have faults, deficiencies, weaknesses, sins. We must be humble and patient. God allows for our failures, but He also expects many little victories from us throughout our lives, victories that we carry off each time we are faithful to an inspiration, to a motion of the Holy Spirit.  
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 3 pp.149-150

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Daily Thought For August 22, 2018

The Importance of Prayer

Prayer, without a doubt, is the most powerful weapon the
Lord gives us to conquer evil. But we must put ourselves into
the prayer. It is not enough just to say the words; it must come from
the heart. And prayer needs to be continuous. We must pray no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in. The warfare in which we are engaged is ongoing, so our prayer must be ongoing as well.


St. Alphonsus Liguori

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Daily Thought For August 21, 2018

With God All Things Are Possible!

Lectio

Matthew 19:23–30

Meditatio

“… for God all things are possible.…”

The disciples are clearly startled when Jesus tells them that the rich have such a difficult time entering the kingdom of God. It was commonly believed that riches were a sign of God’s blessing or favor on the person—“Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in God’s commands … Wealth and riches shall be in their homes; their prosperity shall endure forever” (Ps 112:1, 3). Jesus’ saying contradicts a culturally accepted belief. When the disciples hear it, they are probably thinking, “If it’s that difficult for someone whom we believe enjoys God’s blessing to enter God’s kingdom, then we don’t have a prayer.”

It is more difficult for those who are wealthy to trust in God. Their money, or the possessions that their wealth can afford, can become their idol. This idol can easily become the source of their ethics; they are driven to hoard instead of to give, to treat people as a means to increase their wealth, and so forth. Jesus, however, states that the economy of the kingdom of heaven is different. Those who are able to give up material possessions, land, or loved ones for the sake of the kingdom of God will inherit eternal life. They are the ones who populate the kingdom of God. The economy of the kingdom is inverted—those who give away will receive what cannot be purchased: salvation. Therefore, a person’s net worth is valued not by what is earned, but by what is given away. This is the economy of the kingdom of God because this is how God acts. The kingdom itself is a gift—given by God. It cannot be purchased; it has no price tag attached. It is impossible for anyone to attain it on one’s own because the kingdom of God is unattainable. It is a pure gift that, in order to be possessed, must be given and received.

Oratio

Jesus, I am so used to getting what I need by hard work, by setting goals and pursuing them. It is difficult for me to understand any other way of achieving what I desire. Help me to understand, by the gift of your Spirit, that you invite me to accept your kingdom as a gift, not to achieve it as a prize or possession. Enlighten me to know what you are inviting me to give up for the sake of the kingdom. For that act of giving up may open to me the possibility of understanding the economy of your kingdom. Amen.

Contemplatio

Jesus, what is impossible for me is possible for you.


Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 50–51). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Daily Thought For August 20, 2018

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire... Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed (James 1:14). But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Daily Thought For August 19, 2018

Daily Need of Patience 

CHRIST:
My CHILD, though you may plan all things and arrange everything with the greatest care, you will still have many opportunities to exercise the virtue of patience. You cannot eliminate the unexpected, the unforeseen, and the unavoidable. In many cases your best remedy and weapon will be an intelligent patience with yourself as well as with others. 
2. Every man has his daily share of troubles and trials. Sometimes it may be bodily pain and discomfort.  At other times it may be mental or spiritual suffering, some annoyance, disappointment, or anxiety. Sometimes you may feel that I have deserted you. Then again, you may have to bear misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or even bad will from your neighbor. In fact, there are times when you are a burden and a bother to yourself. 
3. Everybody would like to be free of these trials, but it cannot be. They are a part of your earthly life. Wherever you turn, you will always find My cross in one form or another. Patience will help you to bear it more easily. This virtue will help you keep your soul at peace, so that you may continue to walk toward Heaven in time of trials. 

THINK:

l see only too clearly how wonderful a virtue patience is. It is the key to peace, and even joy, in time of trouble and suffering. I need never be surprised, resentful, disappointed, or sad when things go badly for me. Wherever I go, I bring with me one of my greatest troubles and burdens-myself, with all my unreasoning desires and endless wants. Through the virtue of patience I can gain greater possession of myself. I shall more easily see how to deal with the trials facing Me. 

PRAY!

My Jesus, King of true glory, You embraced a life of suffering and trials for love of me. You mounted a throne of shame and agony for my sins. Can I expect, or even desire, a life of ease, with everything going as I wish? When I consider what You chose to suffer for my sake, the disappointments, hatred, ingratitude, humiliation, injustice, and more, can I want a life of planned successes and pleasant friendships? No, Lord. If I really love You, I shall desire a share of Your cross in my daily life. Teach me patience to accept the heartaches, aggravations, and disappointments which come my way. Make me more like You in a life like Yours. No greater glory is possible to any man. Amen. 

from My Daily Bread pp. 340-341

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Daily Thought For August 18, 2018

Who Are The Saints?

The saints are those who struggle right up to the end of their lives, who always get up each time they stumble, each time they fall, and courageously embark on their way once more with humility, love, and hope. 
 
St. Josemaría Escrivá, The Forge

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Daily Thought For August 16, 2018

A Father Speaks To His Son

   My dearest son, if you desire to honour the royal crown, I advise, I counsel, I urge you above all things to maintain the Catholic and apostolic faith with such diligence and care that you may be an example for all those placed under you by God and that all the clergy may rightly call you a man of true Christian profession. Failing to do this, you may be sure that you will not be called a Christian or a son of the Church. Indeed, in the royal palace – after the faith itself – the Church holds second place, first propagated as she was by our head, Christ; then transplanted, firmly constituted and spread through the whole world by his members, the apostles and holy fathers. And though she always produced fresh offspring, nevertheless in certain places she is regarded as ancient.
  However, dearest son, even now in our kingdom the Church is proclaimed as young and newly planted; and for that reason she needs more prudent and trustworthy guardians lest a benefit which the divine mercy bestowed on us undeservedly should be destroyed and annihilated through your idleness, indolence or neglect.
  My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favour not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbours or fellow-countrymen, but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness. Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful, but also with the weak.
  Finally be strong lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down. Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next. Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately. Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice. Be honourable so that you may never voluntarily bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust like the pangs of death.

  All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.

Saint Stephen of Hungary (Instructions To His Son from the Office of Readings)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Daily Thought For August 15, 2018

Yes, It Is Really Bad. But Don't Lose Hope.

When we find ourselves in some danger, we must not lose courage, but confide much in the Lord; for where danger is great, great also is the assistance of Him Who is called our Helper in tribulation.”


Saint Ambrose

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Daily Thought For August 14, 2018

Fighting The Good Fight

No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs [e.g. the sacrifice of many victims] of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?

St. Maximilian Kolbe

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Daily Thought For August 12, 2018


 The Beautiful Gift of the Eucharist

     Today our Lord forcefully reminds us that we need to receive him in Holy Communion in order to participate in the divine life, to overcome temptations, to foster and nourish the life of grace born in us through Baptism. Whoever receives Communion in a state of grace participates in the fruits of the Holy Mass and obtains benefits that are proper and specific to the reception of the Sacrament. He receives Christ himself, the source of all grace, really and spiritually. Thus, the Holy Eucharist is the greatest sacrament, the centre and summit of all the rest. The true presence of Christ in this sacrament gives it an infinite supernatural effectiveness. 
     There is no greater joy in this life than to receive our Lord. When we wish to give ourselves to others we often give them something that belongs to us, or something we know to symbolize a deeper attitude of affection, of love. But we always encounter some limitation to our self-giving. In Holy Communion, divine power surpasses all human limitations: under the Eucharistic species, Christ gives himself to us completely. Love achieves her ideal in this sacrament —compete identification with the person loved and longed for. When two pieces of wax are put into the fire, they melt and become as a single thing. Something similar occurs when we participate in the Body of Christ and in his Precious Blood. Truly there is no greater joy or greater good than to receive Christ himself in Holy Communion with dignity. 

From In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 4 P.341-342.



Saturday, August 11, 2018

Daily Thought For August 11, 2018

Experience Transformation

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! Place your heart in the figure of divine substance! And transform your whole being into the image of the Godhead itself through contemplation.


St. Clare of Assisi

Friday, August 10, 2018

Daily Thought For August 10, 2018

Indescribable Joy

Every time I hear anyone speak of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or of the Blessed Sacrament I feel an indescribable joy. It is as if a wave of precious memories, sweet affections and joyful hopes swept over my poor person, making me tremble with happiness and filling my soul with tenderness.

St. Pope John XIII

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Daily Thought For August 8, 2018

Care of the Soul
 
The self can be a jealous gatekeeper that clamors for all the attention and does not want us to go deeper. Moreover, the Evil One likes to discourage us and arrogantly charges us with the sole responsibility of fixing ourselves – a dead end! Jean-Pierre de Caussade knew well that when healing is needed for the damaged, dysfunctional self, God seeks to heal the soul, from where the most salutary healing will spring forth and endure. When the soul is tended with care, the self thrives. 

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Daily Thought For August 7, 2018

Trust In God, Use What You Have, Find True & Lasting Joy

Sickness and trouble are not a sign that we are far from God or that he has rejected us. Look at the lives of great saints of our day―for instance, Thérèse of Lisieux and Bernadette of Lourdes. No, we don’t believe in a God of small deeds who lets his favorites win lotteries and capriciously ignores the others. He is too great to act like that. . . He will always respond to real prayer, though! You’ll often see sick people, who know how to pray, getting better. That’s not necessarily miraculous. It is often the natural result of living in the milieu of his peace and grace. I could be cured miraculously of leukemia, and that would be good. If I’m not cured, that’s good too, and it won’t bother me a scrap. All that I am concerned about is what his plans are for me; the only life that interests me is one lived for him. . . one day at a time, supported by prayer. 

Takashi Nagai - A Song For Nagasaki - The Story of Takashi Nagai, Scientist, Convert, and Survivor of the Atomic Bomb by Paul Glynn, S.M. pp.237-238

Monday, August 6, 2018

Daily Thought For August 6, 2018

Words of Encouragement On The Transfiguration

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
Good morning!

This Sunday, the liturgy celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Today’s Gospel passage recounts that the Apostles Peter, James and John were witnesses to this extraordinary event. Jesus took them with him “and led them up a high mountain apart” (Mt 17:1) and, while he prayed, his face changed in appearance, “shone like the sun”, and “his garments became white as light”. Then Moses and Elijah appeared, and began a dialogue with Him. At this point, Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” (v. 4). He had not yet finished speaking when a bright cloud enveloped them.

The event of the Lord’s Transfiguration offers us a message of hope — thus shall we be, with Him —: it invites us to encounter Jesus, to be at the service of our brothers and sisters.

The disciples’ ascent up Mount Tabor leads us to reflect on the importance of disengaging from worldly matters, in order to make a journey toward heaven and to contemplate Jesus. It is a matter of being attentive to the careful and prayerful listening of Christ, the beloved Son of the Father, seeking intimate moments of prayer that allow for the docile and joyful welcoming of the Word of God. In this spiritual ascent, in this disengagement from worldly matters, we are called to rediscover the peaceful and regenerative silence of meditating on the Gospel, on the reading of the Bible, which leads to a destination rich in beauty, splendour and joy. When we meditate in this way, with the Bible in hand, in silence, we begin to feel this interior beauty, this joy that the Word of God engenders in us. In this perspective, the summer season is a providential time to cultivate our task of seeking and encountering the Lord. In this period, students are free of scholastic commitments and many families take their holidays; it is important that in the period of rest and disengagement from daily activities, we can reinforce our strengths of body and soul, by deepening our spiritual journey.

At the end of the stunning experience of the Transfiguration, the disciples came down the mountain (cf. v. 9) with eyes and hearts transfigured by their encounter with the Lord. It is the journey that we too can make. The ever more vibrant rediscovery of Jesus is not the aim in itself, but spurs us to “come down the mountain”, energized by the power of the divine Spirit, so as to decide on new paths of conversion and to constantly witness to charity, as the law of daily life. Transformed by Christ’s presence and by the ardour of his Word, we will be a concrete sign of the invigorating love of God for all our brothers and sisters, especially for those who are suffering, for those who are lonely and neglected, for the sick and for the multitude of men and women who, in different parts of the world, are humiliated by injustice, abuse and violence.

In the Transfiguration, the voice of the heavenly Father is heard saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him!” (v. 5). Let us look to Mary, the Virgin of listening, ever ready to welcome and keep in her heart every word of the Divine Son (cf. Lk 2:51).


May our Mother and the Mother of God help us to be in harmony with the Word of God, so that Christ may become light and lodestar throughout our life. Let us entrust to her the holidays of all, so that they may be peaceful and fruitful, but above all the summer of those who cannot go on holiday due to impediments of age, to reasons of health or of work, to economic restrictions or other problems, so that it may be a time of eased tension, gladdened by the presence of friends and of happy moments.

Pope Francis Angelus Address August 6, 2017

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Daily Thought For August 5, 2018

Food That Endures For Eternal Life

When I see that everything around me is collapsing, increasing evil and darkness that may engulf me, I need to remember the words of Saint Paul: where sin increased, grace abounded all the more (Rom 5:20). If I see my personal selfishness or egoism in those around me, I can see it as an opportunity to look for the solution in the one place I can find it. I need to turn to the one who loves me and unceasingly transmits his redeeming graces on the altar. In my difficulties, he is here and now closer to me than ever.

The chosen people’s forty years of wandering in the desert mirrors humankind’s journey towards God. It is an image of my history too. I can detect in it some of my own temptations to doubt in the face of what seems to be overpowering. For Moses, who led the wandering during this time, it sometimes seemed that everything was falling apart. He felt as though his life was one big failure. Perseverance seemed to bring him to the breaking point. The Bible sums up his extraordinary perseverance: He endured as seeing him who is invisible (Heb 11:27).

I need to be reminded that everything is taking place according to God’s will or at least with his consent. After all, he foresees it all from the beginning and decides how opposition to his will can best be utilized. “Wicked men,” writes Saint Augustine, “do many things contrary to God’s will; but so great is his wisdom and power, that all things which seem adverse to his purpose do still tend towards those just and good ends and issues which he himself has foreknown.” And somewhere else: “For almighty God…because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.”


Father Tadeusz Dajczer