Monday, December 31, 2018

Daily Thought For December 31, 2018

From His Fullness We Have Received Grace in Place of Grace
Lectio

John 1:1–18

Meditatio

“No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God,
who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.”

Have you ever had the chance to see a famous person whom you really wanted to meet? Perhaps a sports star, an actor, a civil leader, or someone else you almost idolized? What was it like for you? How did you feel when you saw your hero in person?

I still recall vividly how thrilled I was to see the Pope in person for the first time, when John Paul II celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium in 1979. After the Mass, he rode around the stadium in the Popemobile, smiling and waving, and I got to see him up close. I felt ecstatic, swept up in the moment and the cheering crowd. It buoyed my spirit for quite a while.

Such things, though, can’t even begin to compare with what it is like to see God. That’s what John is telling us in the prologue to his Gospel. God gave us the greatest gift possible when he sent his Son to earth to suffer and die for us.

Perhaps because it is so familiar to us. We can easily take for granted the incredible gift of the Incarnation. We can hardly begin to grasp the reality of this mystery. But ponder it for a moment. Even though we cannot fully understand it, we can thank God the Father for sending us his Son. He came to this earth to become one of us, to save us from our sins, and to lead us to eternal life with him.

One simple way to acknowledge the mystery it so pray the Angelus.* This simple prayer reminds us of what the Incarnation means. “… the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.…” Hail Mary.…

Oratio

Lord Jesus, I thank you for the amazing gift you gave us by becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Help me to understand this mystery, even if only a little. Pour out your Holy Spirit on me so that I might grasp with my heart what I cannot grasp with my mind. I thank you for being the light of life. Enlighten us all with your truth. You came to earth as our Way, our Truth, and our Life. I believe in you and I love you. Amen.

Contemplatio

“From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace.…”


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 94–95). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Daily Thought For December 30, 2018

An Amazing Exchange!

The humble, simple souls, who are little enough to see the bigness of God in the littleness of a Babe, are therefore the only ones who will ever understand the reason of His visitation. He came to this poor earth of ours to carry on an exchange; to say to us, as only the Good God could say: 'you give me your humanity, and I will give you my Divinity; you give me your time, and I will give you My eternity; you give me your broken heart, and I will give you Love; you give me your nothingness, and I will give you My all.

Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Daily Thought For December 29, 2018

He Has Pitched His Tent In Our Midst

The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; he has shared our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom, he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst.

The shepherds were the first to see this “tent”, to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. The pilrim is bound by duty to keep watch and the shepherds did just that. Together with them, let us pause before the Child, let us pause in silence. Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of his fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.


On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). As the angels said to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid!”. And I also repeat to all of you: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is mercy: our Father always forgives us. He is our peace. Amen.

excerpt from the homily of Pope Francis — December 24, 2013

Friday, December 28, 2018

Daily Thought For December 28, 2018

A Plea for Love & Peace!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel according to Luke recounts that when the shepherds of Bethlehem had received the Angel’s announcement of the Messiah’s birth “they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger” (2:16). The first eyewitnesses of Jesus’ birth therefore beheld a family scene: a mother, a father and a newborn son. For this reason the Liturgy has us celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family on the First Sunday after Christmas. This year it occurred the very day after Christmas, and, taking precedence over the Feast of St Stephen, invites us to contemplate this “icon” in which the little Jesus appears at the centre of his parents’ affection and care.

In the poor grotto of Bethlehem — the Fathers of the Church wrote — shines a very bright light, a reflection of the profound mystery which envelopes that Child, which Mary and Joseph cherish in their hearts and which can be seen in their expression, in their actions, and especially in their silence. Indeed, they preserve in their inmost depths the words of the Angel’s Annunciation to Mary: “the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Lk 1:35).

Yet every child’s birth brings something of this mystery with it! Parents who receive a child as a gift know this well and often speak of it in this way. We have all heard people say to a father and a mother: “this child is a gift, a miracle!”. Indeed, human beings do not experience procreation merely as a reproductive act but perceive its richness and intuit that every human creature who is born on earth is the “sign” par excellence of the Creator and Father who is in Heaven.

How important it is, therefore, that every child coming into the world be welcomed by the warmth of a family! External comforts do not matter: Jesus was born in a stable and had a manger as his first cradle, but the love of Mary and of Joseph made him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved. Children need this: the love of their father and mother. It is this that gives them security and, as they grow, enables them to discover the meaning of life. The Holy Family of Nazareth went through many trials, such as the “massacre of the innocents” — as recounted in the Gospel according to Matthew — which obliged Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt (cf. 2:13-23). Yet, trusting in divine Providence, they found their stability and guaranteed Jesus a serene childhood and a sound upbringing.

Dear friends, the Holy Family is of course unique and unrepeatable, but at the same time it is a “model of life” for every family because Jesus, true man, chose to be born into a human family and thereby blessed and consecrated it. Let us therefore entrust all families to Our Lady and to St Joseph, so that they do not lose heart in the face of trials and difficulties but always cultivate conjugal love and devote themselves with trust to the service of life and education.

Appeal for peace

The desire for and invocation of the gift of peace have become even more intense in this Season of Holy Christmas. However, our world continues to be marked by violence, especially against disciples of Christ. I learned with great sorrow of the attack on a Catholic Church in the Philippines during the celebration of the Christmas Day rites and also of the attacks on Christian churches in Nigeria. The earth has once again been stained by blood in other parts of the world, as in Pakistan.

I would like to express my heartfelt condolences for the victims of this senseless violence and I repeat once again the appeal to desist from the path of hatred in order to find peaceful solutions to conflicts and to give security and serenity to the beloved populations.


On this day on which we are celebrating the Holy Family that had experienced the drama of having to flee to Egypt because of the homicidal fury of Herod, let us also remember all those — particularly families — who are forced to leave their homes because of war, violence and intolerance. I invite you to join me in prayer to beseech the Lord to move human hearts and to bring hope, reconciliation and peace.

Pope Benedict XVI Sunday Angelus December 26th, 2010

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Daily Thought For December 27, 2018

Don't Play It Safe!

It is not those who commit the least faults who are the most holy, but those who have the greatest courage, the greatest generosity, the greatest love, who make the boldest efforts to overcome themselves, and are not immediately apprehensive about tripping.

St. Francis de Sales

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Daily Thought For December 26, 2018

Send Us Your Spirit!


Lectio

Matthew 10:17–22

Meditatio

“For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

We might suppose that the day after Christmas would bring us another cozy Gospel story of angels and shepherds, or Magi traveling across countries, following the light of a star. But today, instead, we recall one of the first martyrs of the early Church—Saint Stephen.

Stephen’s story seems to break rather abruptly into the Christmas season. The rage of the crowd and Stephen’s violent martyrdom startle us. It seems so much at odds with the utter wonder and simplicity of God coming among us as a newborn baby. New hope was born among us, cause for great joy. The story of Stephen is given to us today as a challenge to bring this joy out into a world that often resists it.

As too soon the lights and decorations begin to come down around us and life quickly returns to more “ordinary” time, it can be difficult to live out the joy and hope that we celebrate each Christmas. When we experience moments of suffering or fear, the peacefulness of the crèche scene may seem very far away. But Jesus promises us that he will always be with us.

Just as Mary and Joseph lived each moment leading up to the birth of Jesus—and after—with trust in God’s faithfulness, Jesus calls us to put our trust in him.

Oratio

Jesus, our world profoundly needs the peace and hope that we celebrate each year at Christmas. Send me your Spirit, that I might speak your words of peace in moments of pain and difficulty. Help me to trust in your promise to always be with me.

Contemplatio

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31)=

Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 84–85). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Daily Thought For December 24, 2018

Peace Is On The Way!

Lectio

Luke 1:67–79

Meditatio

  “… the daybreak from on high will visit us.…”

This promised daybreak is the One whose birth we celebrate tomorrow. More than two thousand years ago he came to shine on those who lived in darkness. He brought hope and healing and forgiveness of sins. He died out of love for us, and he destroyed the finality of death by his resurrection. He sent his followers to continue his mission, and he said he would be with them until the end of the world.

So … why do we still dwell “in the shadow of death”? Why are we not on the “way of peace,” but instead are on the way of war, confusion, and hatred? Why have we not yet been set free of all this?

Yes, the dawn has broken, but we do not yet enjoy the full light of day. The Incarnation ended the night, but the complete fulfillment of the promise will occur only when Jesus comes again at the end of the world. (The name of the liturgical season that ends today—Advent—means “coming.” It refers to both comings of Jesus—his first coming as a baby, and his final coming at the world’s end.)
In apostolic times, believers ardently looked forward to Jesus’ coming again. From them we have the acclamation, “Maranatha!,” which means, “Come, Lord!” They seem to have thought that the parousia, the second coming, would happen very soon, most likely within their lifetimes.

Over the centuries, as the parousia has not occurred, we have lost much of the expectation and longing the first Christians had. We certainly look askance at those who say they expect the coming of Jesus in their lifetime. But why? Maybe we need some reminders that this world is not all there is. Jesus will come again, and then he will establish endless day!

Oratio

Jesus, I wasn’t there for your first coming, and I have no idea when your final coming will be. But every day you come to me in so many ways. You speak to me in the Scriptures, in prayer, through the kindness of others, and in the opportunities for doing good that are your gift to me. You come to me in the sacrament of Reconciliation and in Holy Communion. Help me renew my expectation for these comings, so that I am always on the watch for you everywhere.

Contemplatio

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 78–79). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Daily Thought For December 23, 2018

Cause For Our Joy!


Lectio

Luke 1:39–45

Meditatio

“For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.”

One of the time-honored titles for Mary is Cause of Our Joy. Do you know anyone who has been a cause of joy to you? Someone who lights up your day just by being present? Someone who always seems to have a kind word and who leaves your heart feeling lighter? Mary is like that. When we let her into our life as disciples of her Son, she brings joy and peace to our hearts. And she never comes alone. She always brings Jesus.

The Gospel tells us that Mary went “in haste” to visit Elizabeth. She knew that the older woman was approaching the last part of her pregnancy and would need help. So without thinking about her own needs, Mary hurries to help Elizabeth. Could we possibly think Mary is any different now? No! In heaven she intercedes for us, and she still hurries to help us in all of our needs.

In these final days before Christmas, it’s easy to get swept into hectic last-minute shopping, parties, and errands. These can take our focus away from Jesus. In the midst of all the chaos, take just a few minutes and spend them quietly with Mary. Close your eyes, breathe quietly, focusing on your heart, and imagine that Mary is there with you. Just feel grateful for her presence, for coming to you, for bringing us Jesus. Ask her to show you how you can bring joy to others, just as she did throughout her life on earth. Then listen. Mary will whisper the answer in your heart. Like Elizabeth, we might ask, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” It happens because Mary cares about us.

Oratio

Mary, my Mother, I turn to you with great trust, and I ask you for the help I need right now. You who are the Cause of Our Joy, come and bring joy and peace into my life and the lives of all my loved ones. Teach me to act as you did, to be attentive to the needs of others, and to be willing to give of myself. In everything I do, may I be a mirror that reflects the image of your Son, Jesus.

Contemplatio

“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 62–63). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Daily Thought For December 22, 2018

The Devil Is On A Chain

The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone. And you: keep at a distance. If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught. Remember that the devil has only one door by which to enter the soul: the will.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Friday, December 21, 2018

Daily Thought For December 21, 2018

Rejoice in the Divine Assistance

You must not be discouraged or let yourself become dejected if your actions have not succeeded as perfectly as you intended. What do you expect? We are made of clay and not every soil
yields the fruits expected by the one who tills it. But let us always humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are nothing if we lack the Divine assistance.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Daily Thought For December 20, 2018

One Step At A Time

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34)

Imagine you are a child, and it’s Christmas morning. You are opening presents in front of the tree, and you spot a large package with your name on it. You open the package, and it’s a model airplane—but the instructions for assembling it are missing. You’re perplexed, and you ask your parents, “How am I supposed to put this together?” But then your parents offer to help you, and with their help, the model gets built.

In some ways, Mary’s initial response to the angel is like this child’s first reaction to his gift. Even as the sinless Mother of God, she still reacts in a human way. She doesn’t deny that her calling is real, but she wonders just how it’s supposed to come about. And so she asks a question—as any of us would. Then, after she hears the angel’s explanation, Mary is ready to take the first step of obedience—even if she doesn’t completely understand God’s plan.

Certainly, Mary’s calling was unique, and we can’t equate our walk with hers. But we can still draw an important lesson here: God’s biggest plans for us don’t always come with detailed instructions. In fact, sometimes they might seem more like problems than blessings! But as he did for Mary, God will unveil his plan for you a little at a time, as you take the next step of faith, and the next one, and the next one. Mary learned more about her calling when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, who greeted her as “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43).

According to Pope Francis, “The Holy Spirit doesn’t come with a full package of certainty.” But if we ask the Spirit, he will guide us one step at a time, and give us “the certainty for that moment, the answer for that moment” (Homily, April 30, 2018).

So don’t be afraid to ask the Holy Spirit about your life or your future. He may not give you a complete blueprint. But he will give you the wisdom to know what to do today, the strength to carry it out, and the trust that tomorrow will work out. Your biggest Christmas presents will get unwrapped—but often that process happens one day at a time!

“Lord, I am trusting you to work things out today. I believe that you hold tomorrow in your hands.”

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


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Daily Thought For December 18, 2018

St. Joseph & How God Works In Marvelous Ways


Lectio

Matthew 1:18–25

Meditatio

  “[Y]ou are to name him Jesus.…”

In his first chapter Matthew goes to great lengths to relate the human ancestry of … Jesus? No, of Joseph, the husband of Mary, to whom was born Jesus the Christ. Through the angel, Joseph is asked to become Jesus’ legal father. And by naming the child, Joseph complies with God’s request. Jesus becomes “Son of David.”

This is another of God’s marvelous interventions in human history. Sarah, Hannah (the wife of Manoah), and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth all conceived sons when conception seemed impossible. Gideon routed the Midianites with only a few hundred men. Samson performed feats of extraordinary strength. The Maccabees fought against overwhelming odds to overthrow the Seleucids. And now, here again, God is entering perceptibly into human events. He is becoming present in an entirely new way.

Yet the Lord is always present! He cares about his sons and daughters! His interventions in our lives are usually cloaked in ordinary events, but they are real nonetheless. Have we ever marveled when a difficult situation was unexpectedly resolved? Have we ever felt gently chided: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (cf. Mt 14:31). As Saint Paul says, when we’re in difficulty and temptation, God will give us a way out (cf. 1 Cor 10:13). Each of us may remember some examples of this in our own lives. “If God is for us,” asks Paul, “who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).
Now, one week before Christmas, we might continue reflecting with Paul on what our Father has done for us: “God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4); “He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not give us everything else along with him?” (Rom 8:32).

Yes! Emmanuel is coming—God with us! Let us prepare our hearts to welcome him.

Oratio

Father in heaven, you sent your Son into the world to be our brother, companion, and Savior. In him your ever-present love for us became visible, and we recognize your care and concern for each of us. Help us to be grateful always that Jesus came into the world as one of us. May we trust firmly in your providence, especially when life becomes difficult and seems to lose meaning, joy, or peace. May we place our hopes in your Son and trust that he is with us, sharing our burdens, our sorrows, our joys.

Contemplatio

“They shall name him Emmanuel.”


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 66–67). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Daily Thought For December 17, 2018

Experiencing Gaudete Joy

True joy is linked to something deeper. Of course, in the all too often frenetic pace of daily life it is important to find time for rest and relaxation, but true joy is linked to our relationship with God. Those who have encountered Christ in their own lives feel a serenity and joy in their hearts that no one and no situation can take from them. St Augustine understood this very well; in his quest for truth, peace and joy, after seeking them in vain in many things he concluded with his famous words: “and our heart is restless until it rests in God” (cf. Confessions, I, 1, 1).


True joy is not merely a passing state of mind or something that can be achieved with the person’s own effort; rather it is a gift, born from the encounter with the living Person of Jesus and, making room within ourselves, from welcoming the Holy Spirit who guides our lives. It is the invitation of the Apostle Paul who says: “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:23).


excerpt from Angelus (December 11, 2011) Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, December 14, 2018

Daily Thought For December 14, 2018

Inner Healing

In the inner stillness where meditation leads, the Spirit secretly anoints the soul and heals our deepest wounds.

St. John of the Cross

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Daily Thought For December 13, 2018

Speak To God Without Fear

Dear brothers and sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the “Our Father”, we now consider the attitude required by Christ of his disciples as they pray. Jesus invites us to invoke God as “Father” thus encouraging us to beseech him in a way that breaks down barriers of subjection and fear. The prayer’s seven questions are also rooted in our daily experience of life and its basic needs. We are taught, for instance, to ask for our daily bread – a simple yet vital request. Our first prayer, in a sense, was the cry that accompanied our original breath as a new-born child, for it announced our life’s destiny: our continual hunger and thirst and search for happiness. With this prayer, then, Jesus desires that every suffering and anxiety should rise up to heaven and become a dialogue. Indeed, to have faith is to be able to cry out in this way. God is truly a Father who has an immense compassion for us and wants his children to address him without fear. For this reason, we can speak to him about anything, even those aspects of our lives that are flawed or confused. And he has promised, moreover, to remain with us until the end of time.

Pope Francis —General Audience of December 12, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Daily Thought For December 10, 2018

Bringing People To The Lord


Lectio

Luke 5:17–26

Meditatio

“When he saw their faith, he said,
‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.’ ”

As I read this Gospel, I am struck by the simple love and determination of these unnamed men for their paralyzed friend. They are not idly interested in the possibility of witnessing a miracle. They are men with a purpose, whose love will take them to great lengths to see their friend well again. They are also men who have great faith in the power of God at work through Jesus.

In one translation, the word for “faith” in this Gospel is translated as “trust.” I like this way of thinking about faith. We hear the word “faith” so often, that at times it might bounce off our minds and hearts without hitting the mark. We assume we have faith—after all, we go to Mass on Sundays and say our prayers, right? But in a world where true relationships can be hard to find, the word “trust” can hit our ears and minds in a different way. We know the risks and rewards contained in that simple word.

Perhaps what strikes me most in this Gospel is Jesus’ response to the great trust these men have in him. Seeing their perseverance and hope as a sign of great faith, he is moved to action, healing the paralyzed man in spirit and in body.

What might this mean for us? Perhaps it means that we, too, have this gift and this responsibility to bring one another before the Lord in faith. At times, each of us walks through the dark valley, feeling that God is far away and prayer is next to impossible. In these moments of spiritual and emotional paralysis, what would it be like to remember and to believe that my family and friends can bring me before Jesus in faith when I can no longer bring myself?
It remains a message of great hope to realize that I, too, can do this for those whom I love.

Oratio

Lord Jesus, this Advent you are calling me to a deeper trust in you—to a trust that believes in the power of prayer. It can be so painful to watch loved ones wander farther and farther away from you, or fall deeper and deeper into emotional darkness and pain. Today, I am bringing before you those in my life who seem to be wandering in darkness. You are the light that dawns in all hearts. Thank you for your healing light and for the power of your Spirit at work in our lives.

Contemplatio

Jesus, I trust in you.


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 30–31). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Daily Thought For December 7, 2018

A Beautiful Invitation

“So many souls make little or no progress in the holiness that I desire for them because they do not trust in My grace.  They attempt to change themselves by making use of purely human means, and forget that I am all-powerful, all-merciful, and ready at every moment to heal and sanctify those who entrust themselves, with their weaknesses and sins, to My most loving Heart.  I do not ask for perfection from those whom I have chosen to be My friends; I ask only that they give Me their imperfection and the burden of their sins, and allow Me to do for them what, of themselves, they are incapable of doing.” 

from In Sine Jesu p. 163.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Daily Thought For December 5, 2018

Prayer For Advent

Dear Jesus, you are the hope in our messy world. This Advent, help us slow down, listen to your voice, and focus on what’s really important. We place our hope in you as we prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth on Christmas. Amen.

from Dynamic Catholic.Com

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Daily Thought For November 29, 2018

Life With God

Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.

C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Daily Thought For November 27, 2018

No Fear ⎯ Called By Name

“I have called you by name” (Is 43:1).  The first reason not to fear is the fact that God has called us by name.  The angel, God’s messenger, called Mary by name.  To God belongs the power to give names.  In the work of creation, he calls into existence every creature by name. There is an identity behind a name, that which is unique in every single thing, in every single person; that intimate essence that only God truly knows.  This divine prerogative was shared with man when God invited him to name the animals, the birds and also his own offspring (Gen 2:19-21; 4:1).  Many cultures share this profound biblical vision; they recognize in a name the revelation of the profound mystery of life and the meaning of existence.

When God calls someone by name, he also reveals to the person his vocation, his plan of holiness and fulfilment, through which the person becomes a gift to others and is made unique.  And when God wants to expand the horizons of life, he gives a new name to the person he is calling, as he did with Simon, whom he called “Peter”.  From here comes the custom of taking a new name when entering a religious congregation, to indicate a new identity and mission.  Since the divine call is unique and personal, we need the courage to disentangle ourselves from the pressure of being shaped by conforming patterns, so that our life can truly become an authentic and irreplaceable gift to God, to the Church and to all.


Dear young people, to be called by name is therefore a sign of our great dignity in the eyes of God and a sign of his love for us.  God calls each one of you by name.  All of you are the “you” of God, precious in his eyes, worthy of respect and loved (cf. Is 43:4).  Welcome with joy this dialogue that God offers you, this appeal he makes to you, calling you by name.

excerpt from Message For 33rd World Youth Day by Pope Francis

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Daily Thought For November 25, 2018

The Importance Of Family


The following is taken from The 7th Annual Meeting with Families with Pope Benedict XVI (June 2, 2012) in Milan. The following is a question asked by a 7-year-old Vietnamese girl about the Pope's experience with his family. I share this with you and ask for your prayers for the healing and support of families. 

1 CAT TIEN (Vietnamese girl): Hello Papa. I am Cat Tien and I come from Vietnam.

I am seven years old and I wish to present my family to you. This is my Dad, Dan, and my mother is called Tao, and this is my little brother Binh.

I would very much like to know something about your own family and when you were very young like me.

HOLY FATHER: Thank you, my dear, and warm thanks also to your parents. You have asked me about my family memories. They are so many, and I can only speak of a few. The most important moment for our family was always Sunday, but Sunday really began on Saturday afternoon. My father would read out the Sunday readings from a book that was very popular in Germany at that time, which also included explanations of the texts. That is how we began our Sunday, entering into the Liturgy in an atmosphere of joy. The next day we would go to Mass. My home is very close to Salzburg and so we had plenty of music – Mozart, Schubert, Haydn – and when the Kyrie began it was as if Heaven was opening up. Then once we were back home, naturally our Sunday meal together was important. We sang a lot together. My brother is a fine musician; he was already composing pieces for all of us as a boy, and the whole family would sing them. My father would play the zither and sing. These were unforgettable moments. Naturally we would go on journeys and walks together. We lived near a forest and it was so enjoyable to walk and have adventures and play there. In a word, we were one in heart and soul, enjoying so many experiences together, even though times were hard, as this was during the war: first we had the dictatorship and then poverty. But the mutual love that we shared, our joy, even in simple things, was so strong that it enabled us to endure and overcome these things. I think it is very important to understand that even little things were a source of joy because they were an expression of warm-heartedness. And so we grew up convinced that it was good to be human, because we saw God’s goodness reflected in our parents and our brothers and sisters. And indeed when I try to imagine what Heaven will be like, I think it must be like the time when I was a small boy. In this environment of trust, joy and love, we were happy, and I think that Heaven must be rather like those early years. So in a way, I am hoping to return “home” when I leave for “the other part of the world”.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Daily Thought For November 24, 2018

Beautiful Words of Encouragement

Dear friends, open your eyes and look around you. So many young people no longer see any meaning in their lives. Go forth! Christ needs you too. Let yourselves be caught up and drawn along by his love. Be at the service of this immense love, so it can reach out to everyone, especially to those “far away”. Some people are far away geographically, but others are far away because their way of life has no place for God. Some people have not yet personally received the Gospel, while others have been given it, but live as if God did not exist. Let us open our hearts to everyone. Let us enter into conversation in simplicity and respect. If this conversation is held in true friendship, it will bear fruit. The “nations” that we are invited to reach out to are not only other countries in the world. They are also the different areas of our lives, such as our families, communities, places of study and work, groups of friends and places where we spend our free time. The joyful proclamation of the Gospel is meant for all the areas of our lives, without exception.

I would like to emphasize two areas where your missionary commitment is all the more necessary. Dear young people, the first is the field of social communications, particularly the world of the internet. As I mentioned to you on another occasion: “I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. [...] It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this ‘digital continent’” (Message for the 43rd World Communications Day, 24 May 2009). Learn how to use these media wisely. Be aware of the hidden dangers they contain, especially the risk of addiction, of confusing the real world with the virtual, and of replacing direct and personal encounters and dialogue with internet contacts.


The second area is that of travel and migration. Nowadays more and more young people travel, sometimes for their studies or work, and at other times for pleasure. I am also thinking of the movements of migration which involve millions of people, very often young, who go to other regions or countries for financial or social reasons. Here too we can find providential opportunities for sharing the Gospel. Dear young people, do not be afraid to witness to your faith in these settings. It is a precious gift for those you meet when you communicate the joy of an encounter with Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI Message for 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Daily Thought For November 23, 2018

Being Content With Little Things

I think the difference between me and some people is that I'm content to do my little bit. Sometimes people think they have to do big things in order to make change. But if each one would light a candle we'd have a tremendous light.

Servant of God Thea Bowman

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Daily Thought For November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 

Lord, we thank you
for the goodness of our people
and for the spirit of justice
that fills this nation.
We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the
land and the challenge of the cities.

We thank you for our work and our rest,
for one another, and for our homes.
We thank you, Lord:
accept our thanksgiving on this day.
We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.


R: Amen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Daily Thought For November 21, 2018

All Things Work For Good

Darkness transfigures into light, bad transfigures into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. God wastes nothing – ‘makes everything work out according to his plan.’ (Ephesians 1:11).

Ann Voskamp

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Daily Thought For November 20, 2018

Consistency

A truly loving heart loves God's good pleasure, not only in consolations but also in afflictions, trials and crosses. In fact, in such cases it even loves more. Love does just this; it makes the lover ready to suffer for the beloved.


St. Frances de Sales

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Daily Thought For November 17, 2018

If You Are Busy — Consider This

Half an hour's meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.

St. Francis de Sales

Friday, November 16, 2018

Daily Thought For November 16, 2018

Evangelization Person To Person

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.

St. Teresa of Calcutta

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Daily Thought for November 15, 2018

Stand Firm & Persevere
 
MY CHILD, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.
 
But now, after the tempest, take courage, grow strong once more in the light of My mercies; for I am near, says the Lord, to restore all things not only to the full but with abundance and above measure. Is anything difficult for Me? Or shall I be as one who promises and does not act? Where is your faith? Stand firm and persevere. Be a man of endurance and courage, and consolation will come to you in due time. Wait for Me; wait -- and I will come to heal you.
 
from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis Book III Chapter 30

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Daily Thought For November 14, 2018

No Fear

The one thing we owe absolutely to God is never to be afraid of anything.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Daily Thought For November 13, 2018

Strength For The Journey

God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to your honor and glory.

St. Augustine

Monday, November 12, 2018

Daily Thought For November 12, 2018

The Eloquent Lesson of Our Example

Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.

St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Daily Thought For November 11, 2018

Broken & Fruitful

The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. The pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.

Henri Nouwen

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Daily Thought For November 10, 2018

Giving Thanks And Seeing Clearly

The practice of giving thanks...eucharisteo...this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present to His presence, and it is always a practice of the eyes. We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see.

Ann Voskamp

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Daily Thought For November 8, 2018

Quenching Our Thirst For God

There is a moment when the interior light of the "eyes of faith" becomes one with the exterior light that shines from Christ, and this occurs because man's thirst, as he strives and seeks after God, is quenched as he finds repose in the revealed form of the Son.

Hans Urs Van Balthasar

Monday, November 5, 2018

Daily Thought For November 5, 2018

Open Your Door

Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind, and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting light.

St. Ambrose

Friday, November 2, 2018

Daily Thought For November 2, 2018

Beautiful Message For All Souls

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning,

Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints, and today the liturgy invites us to commemorate the faithful departed. These two recurrences are intimately linked to each other, just as joy and tears find a synthesis in Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of our faith and our hope. On the one hand, in fact, the Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices through the intercession of the Saints and the Blessed who support her in the mission of proclaiming the Gospel; on the other, she, like Jesus, shares the tears of those who suffer separation from loved ones, and like Him and through Him echoes the thanksgiving to the Father who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and death.

Yesterday and today, many have been visiting cemeteries, which, as the word itself implies, is the “place of rest”, as we wait for the final awakening. It is lovely to think that it will be Jesus himself to awaken us. Jesus himself revealed that the death of the body is like a sleep from which He awakens us. With this faith we pause — even spiritually — at the graves of our loved ones, of those who loved us and did us good. But today we are called to remember everyone, even those who no one remembers. We remember the victims of war and violence; the many “little ones” of the world, crushed by hunger and poverty; we remember the anonymous who rest in the communal ossuary. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they were Christian; and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord, those who have left us during the past year.

Church Tradition has always urged prayer for the deceased, in particular by offering the Eucharistic Celebration for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to those who are the most forsaken. The foundation of prayer in suffrage lies in the communion of the Mystical Body.

As the Second Vatican Council repeats, “fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead” (Lumen Gentium, n. 50).

Remembering the dead, caring for their graves and prayers of suffrage, are the testimony of confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death does not have the last word on human existence, for man is destined to a life without limits, which has its roots and its fulfillment in God. Let us raise this prayer to God: “God of infinite mercy, we entrust to your immense goodness all those who have left this world for eternity, where you wait for all humanity, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ your Son, who died as a ransom for our sins. Look not, O Lord, on our poverty, our suffering, our human weakness, when we appear before you to be judged for joy or for condemnation. Look upon us with mercy, born of the tenderness of your heart, and help us to walk in the ways of complete purification. Let none of your children be lost in the eternal fire, where there can be no repentance. We entrust to you, O Lord, the souls of our beloved dead, of those who have died without the comfort of the sacraments, or who have not had an opportunity to repent, even at the end of their lives. May none of them be afraid to meet You, after their earthly pilgrimage, but may they always hope to be welcomed in the embrace of your infinite mercy. May our Sister, corporal death find us always vigilant in prayer and filled with the goodness done in the course of our short or long lives. Lord, may no earthly thing ever separate us from You, but may everyone and everything support us with a burning desire to rest peacefully and eternally in You. Amen” (Fr Antonio Rungi, Passionist, Prayer for the Dead).


With this faith in man’s supreme destiny, we now turn to Our Lady, who suffered the tragedy of Christ’s death beneath the Cross and took part in the joy of his Resurrection. May She, the Gate of Heaven, help us to understand more and more the value of prayer in suffrage for the souls of the dead. They are close to us! May She support us on our daily pilgrimage on earth and help us to never lose sight of life’s ultimate goal which is Heaven. And may we go forth with this hope that never disappoints!


Angelus Message of November 2, 2014 by Pope Francis

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Daily Thought For November 1, 2018

Find Us Faithful 
(words and music by Jon Mohr)

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary

Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace.

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us

The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

CHORUS:
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

Watch the lyric video here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Daily Thought For October 31, 2018

Be Patient When Helping Others

You can often help others more by correcting your own faults than theirs. Remember, and you should, because of your own experience, that allowing God to correct your faults is not easy. Be patient with people, wait for God to work with them as He wills.

Francis Fenelon

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Daily Thought For October 30, 2018

Gratitude

Gratitude is not only a response to God in good times - it's ultimately the very will of God in hard times. Gratitude isn't only a celebration when good things happen. It's a declaration that God is good no matter what happens.

Ann Voskamp

Monday, October 29, 2018

Daily Thought For October 29, 2018

Go Light Your World!

You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat.


St. Josemaria Escriva

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Daily Thought For October 28, 2018

A Reminder

Once again, through myself, the Church, in the words of the well-known declaration Nostra Aetate, 'deplores the hatred, persecutions and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews at any time and by anyone.' I repeat, 'By anyone.'

St. John Paul II

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Daily Thought For October 27, 2018

Divine Mercy

Lectio

Luke 13:1–9

Meditatio

“… leave it for this year also.…”

On April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938). Saint Faustina lived an obscure life in her Polish convent, hidden from the eyes of the world. Yet through this humble sister, God gave the world a message of divine mercy—a message that the world needs now more than ever.

In a way, Faustina’s life parallels what Jesus is saying in this parable. He’s telling us to look beneath appearances. To the hasty observer, it might have seemed that the people who were killed by Pilate and by the falling tower in Siloam had been cursed by God. 
And the barren fig tree was obviously a lost cause, just some deadwood cluttering up the ground. Why not get rid of it? But Jesus says no, those unfortunate people were no more guilty than anyone else. And God, the Master Gardener, sees the potential of the seemingly lifeless tree. He wants to pour out more fertilizer on it, to coax it to bear fruit. And just as with the tree, God pours out ever more graces even on the most hopeless soul, the one who seems least likely to profit from it. Has that young man gotten caught up in a world of drugs, violence, and crime? Has that young woman already had an abortion and lost her sense of direction in life? God still pours out graces on them, cultivating the soil of their souls, fertilizing them like gentle rain, calling them back to his loving heart. The message of divine mercy is already in the Gospel. Yet Jesus chose to use Saint Faustina as an instrument to help people hear it in a new way. That is the beauty of the saints in the Church. Each of them lives an aspect of the Gospel in a startlingly new way, one that makes it fresh and alive for each new generation.

Oratio

Jesus, I trust in your merciful love. You know how often I have failed in the past, yet you keep on offering me mercy and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord, for your infinite patience with me. Help me to have complete confidence in your love.

Contemplatio

“Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt” (Ps 51:11).

Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 220–221). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Daily Thought For October 25, 2018

Let The Mass Set Our Hearts On Fire!

In the Holy Mass a surging current of divine love is transmitted from the Son to the Father through the Holy Spirit. The follower of the Lord participates in this love since he or she is incorporated in Christ. The Christian then extends this love to other people and to all earthly realities, which are thereby sanctified and made into a fitting offering to God. Our apostolate should have its roots in the Mass and should from there draw its efficacy. For the Mass is nothing less than the realization of the Redemption in our time by means of apostolic Christians. Jesus came on earth to redeem everyone, because 'He wished all men to be saved' (1 Tim 2:4). There is not a single soul in whom Christ is not interested. Each soul has cost him the price of his Blood (cf 1 Pet 1:18-19).9 If we truly imitate Our Lord's example we can never be indifferent towards any soul. 

from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 5 p.300

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Daily Thought For October 24, 2018

Docility To The Holy Spirit

God is very generous and does not deny His grace to anyone. Indeed he gives more than what we ask of Him. Faithfulness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit-that is the shortest route.

St. Faustina Kowalska

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Daily Thought For October 23, 2018

Avoiding A "Throw Away" Culture

A society which discards those who are weak and non-productive risks exaggerating the development of reason, organization, aggression and the desire to dominate. It becomes a society without a heart, without kindness - a rational and sad society, lacking celebration, divided within itself and given to competition, rivalry and, finally, violence.

Jean Vanier

Monday, October 22, 2018

Daily Thought For October 22, 2018

Give A Little — Receive A Lot!

The slightest cooperation with God's grace can provoke a massive spiritual change.

Bishop Robert Barron

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Daily Thought For October 20, 2018

A Great Thought On A Foggy Fall Day

Let everything in creation draw you to God. Refresh your mind with some innocent recreation and needful rest, if it were only to saunter through the garden or the fields, listening to the sermon preached by the flowers, the trees, the meadows, the sun, the sky, and the whole universe. You will find that they exhort you to love and praise God; that they excite you to extol the greatness of the Sovereign Architect Who has given them their being.

St. Paul of the Cross

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Daily Thought For October 18, 2018

He Sent Them Two By Two

Beloved brothers, our Lord and Savior sometimes gives us instruction by words and sometimes by actions. His very deeds are our commands; and whenever he acts silently he is teaching us what we should do. For example, he sends his disciples out to preach two by two, because the precept of charity is twofold – love of God and of one’s neighbor.
  The Lord sends his disciples out to preach in twos in order to teach us silently that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbor should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.
  Rightly is it said that he sent them ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers, because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way, and then when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us. To those who preach Isaiah says: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. And the psalmist tells them: Make a way for him who rises above the sunset. The Lord rises above the sunset because from that very place where he slept in death, he rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because in his resurrection he trampled underfoot the death which he endured. Therefore, we make a way for him who rises above the sunset when we preach his glory to you, so that when he himself follows after us, he may illumine you with his love.
  Let us listen now to his words as he sends his preachers forth: The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest. That the harvest is good but the laborers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of priests, but yet in God’s harvest a true laborer is rarely to be found; although we have accepted the priestly office we do not fulfill its demands.

  Think over, my beloved brothers, think over his words: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest. Pray for us so that we may be able to labor worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching our silence may not bring us condemnation from the just judge.

From A Homily by Pope St. Gregory The Great (Office of Readings For The Feast of St. Luke)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Daily Thought For October 17, 2018

Make An Impression For Christ

Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas, but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ. So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech, but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ himself.

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Daily Thought For October 16, 2018

Have Confidence Today

Keep your heart in peace and let nothing trouble you, not even your faults. You must humble yourself and amend them peacefully, without being discouraged or cast down, for God's dwelling is in peace.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

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