Saturday, July 28, 2018

Daily Thought For July 28, 2018

Pray Without Ceasing    
     The children of God express their love in their trusting and persevering prayer. If God seems at times to be slow in responding, it is because He is preparing a better gift. He will not deny us. We well know that the long-awaited gift is all the more precious for the delay in its being granted. . . Ask, seek, insist. Through this asking and seeking you will be better prepared to receive God’s gift when it comes. God withholds what you are not yet ready for. He wants you to have a lively desire for his greatest gifts. All of which is to say, pray always and do not lose heart. We must never become discouraged in our petitions to God. My God, teach me how to love. My God, teach me how to pray. Love and prayer are inseparably connected.
 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez p. 464

Friday, July 27, 2018

Daily Thought For July 27, 2018

The Parable of the Sower


Lectio

Matthew 13:18–23

Meditatio

“… the seed sown …”

In today’s reading Jesus explains the parable of the sower, found in all three Synoptic Gospels. Speaking to people who till the soil, Jesus uses images familiar to his hearers. A sower goes out to plant seeds and some of them yield a good crop, but others do not. It all depends on the type of soil where the seeds fall.

Biblical scholars explain that in this parable the sower represents Christ, and the seed is the word of God, or the preaching of the kingdom. The evil one is Satan. The soil symbolizes the heart of each person with its receptivity to the word. Some hearts will accept it, while others will suffocate or even reject the word.
Which kind of soil am I?

Some people do not respond to the preaching of the word. They make no effort to understand and practice what they hear. The seed is plucked away and does not yield any fruit. Am I this shallow soil?

Other individuals are easily won over when they hear the word. But when problems come, or when they are persecuted because of their beliefs, they close their hearts and the seed dies. Am I this hardened, rocky soil?

Still others let themselves become so entwined with wealth, worldly distractions, and the desire to make a name for themselves, that the seed is suffocated. Am I this matted, entangled field?
But others hear the word and respond to it with all their hearts. They joyfully accept the word and the challenges of God’s kingdom. The seed produces an abundant harvest in their lives. Am I this moist, rich, productive soil?

Oratio

Lord Jesus, may the ground of my life be well tilled and prepared to receive your word. I want to welcome you into a heart that is open, receptive, loving. In this way, my life will bear a plentiful, bounteous harvest, with your help, and for your glory.

Contemplatio

I welcome your word in my heart.


Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 1–17: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 284–285). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Daily Thought For July 26, 2018

Open Wide The Window of Your Soul!

 Keep your soul in peace. Let God work in you. Welcome thoughts that raise your heart to God. Open wide the window of your soul.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Daily Thought For July 25, 2018



Welcoming Others To God’s Mercy
 
 
“He became angry.” (Luke 15:28)
 
     The prodigal has returned to a red-carpet welcome, and the older son is fuming. But what would he rather have happened to his younger brother?
     Did he want to see the scoundrel suffer? To have the door slammed shut in his face? Maybe he hoped to see him humiliated in front of the whole village. Or might he have preferred to hear that his brother had starved to death in a foreign land?
     Such mean-spiritedness seems pretty extreme, doesn’t it? But haven’t we all felt twinges of pleasure over someone else’s misfortune? When a celebrity gains fifty pounds or is caught doing something disgraceful, don’t we sometimes enjoy the news? When friends with the “perfect” family have trouble with their kids, don’t we feel even a little satisfaction?
     Something in the human heart inclines to this perverse, gleeful gloating. The Germans call it schadenfreude—a composite of the words for “misfortune” and “joy.” Schadenfreude means “to rejoice over someone else’s misfortune.” And its flip side was demonstrated by the older son. He would not rejoice at the prodigal’s good fortune. “Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies,” said the writer Gore Vidal. The admission is shocking, but unfortunately many of us have been there.
     Jesus’ parable challenges us to examine how well our desires for other people line up with God’s desires. Do we want what’s good for them? Are we grieved when they experience setbacks? Are we happy when they attain success, honor, and wisdom?
     It isn’t easy to change what makes us happy. In fact, it’s impossible without God’s help because it requires nothing less than a new heart. How incredibly blessed we are, then, that our heavenly Father longs to give us a share in his own heart of mercy. He wants to give us more of his Holy Spirit so that we can generously and wholeheartedly “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Let’s seek that priceless gift!
 
“Create a new heart in me, Lord, and fill it with mercy. Strengthen me to recognize and resist every form of envy and to rejoice in all your works.”
 
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (March 10, 2012)

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Daily Thought For July 24, 2018

Salvation - God's Relentless Search For Us
 
Psychologists tell us that a true friend is someone who has seen us at our worst and still loves us. If you have encountered me only on my best days, when all is going well and I am in top form, and you like me, I have no guarantee that you are my friend. But when you have dealt with me when I am most obnoxious, most self-absorbed, most afraid and unpleasant, and you still love me, then I am sure that you are my friend. The old Gospel song says, "what a friend we have in Jesus!" This is not pious sentimentalism; it is the heart of the matter. What the first Christians saw in the dying and rising of Jesus is that we killed God, and God returned in forgiving love. We murdered the Lord of Life, and he answered us, not with hatred, but with compassion. He saw us at our very worst, and loved us anyway. Thus they saw confirmed in flesh and blood what Jesus had said the night before he died: "I do not call you servants any longer ... but I have called you friends" (John 14: 15). They realized, in the drama of the Paschal Mystery, that we have not only been shown a new way; we have been drawn into a new life, a life of friendship with God.  The author of Psalm 139 wrote: 
 
Where can I go from your spirit? 
Or where can I flee from your presence? 
If I ascend to heaven, you are there; 
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 
If I take the wings of the morning 
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, 
and your right hand shall hold me fast. (Ps. 139:7-10) 
 
These words take on a new resonance and reveal their deepest significance in light of Easter. No matter where we run from God —no matter how we try to flee - God tracks us down and will not let us go. Paul Tillich read Psalm 139 as the sinner's lament, the cry of the soul who just wants to escape from the press of God: "How can I get away from you?" The answer fully disclosed in the dying and rising of Jesus is: "You can't; so stop trying." Because the Son of God has gone to the very limits of godforsakenness, we find that even as we run away from the Father, we are running directly into the arms of the Son. Unlike most contemporary New Age spiritualities, as we have seen, which emphasize the human quest for God, the biblical spirituality is the story of God's relentless search for us. And this narrative comes to its fulfillment in the recounting of God's journey into the darkest and coldest corner of human sinfulness - even into death itself - in order to find us. This divine finding, this friendship with God despite all of our efforts to avoid it, is salvation. 
 
 
from The Strangest Way - Walking the Christian Path by Robert Barron pp. 97-98

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Daily Thought For July 21, 2018

Being Content

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 that you are a child of God.
 
St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, July 20, 2018

Daily Thought For July 20, 2018

Peace, the Road to Perfection

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

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

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

Remind yourself, moreover, that this edifice has humility for its foundation. 

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Daily Thought For July 19, 2018

Suffering Illumined by the Cross

Christian love gives value and meaning to our existence even when infirmity and illness have compromised the integrity of the body. There is a life in us not conditioned by our physical state, but by the love we give. "You who are sick, you are strong like Jesus on the cross," exclaimed John Paul II one day. Yes, because our strength is in Christ, in Christ crucified and abandoned! It is when we are weak that we are strong. 

I touched this reality in prison. When I lived through times of extreme physical and moral suffering, I thought of Jesus crucified. To the human eye, his life was a defeat, a disappointment, and a failure. Reduced to the most absolute immobility on the cross, he was no longer able to encounter people, to cure the sick, to teach .... However, in the eyes of God, that was the most important moment of his life, because it was then that he poured out his blood for the salvation of humanity. 
 
"Everyone is invited to cross this threshold," John Paul II said at the Jubilee of the Sick, to cross the threshold of the Door of life, the Door of salvation that is Jesus. John Paul II recalled how pain and sickness are a part of the mystery of humanity on earth. "The 'key' to this reading [of the design of God] is found in the Cross of Christ .... One who knows how to accept it in his own life, experiences how pain, illumined by faith, becomes a source of hope and of salvation."

from Testimony of Hope by Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận pp. 205-206

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Daily Thought For July 18, 2018

A Little Mercy Goes A Long Way

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
 
 
Pope Francis

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Daily Thought For July 17, 2018

Confronting Fear
 
No one can take them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
 
When do you feel vulnerable? Maybe flying in an airplane, or being in a boat surrounded by large waves? Or is your fear most exposed in relationships, where you worry about being hurt or let down? Whatever triggers it for you, everyone has times of wondering if catastrophe is just around the corner.
 
Here’s another question: do you ever feel vulnerable in your relationship with God? It’s easy to worry that if we do or say the wrong thing, we may get ourselves into too much trouble. Perhaps you feel you have already alienated God so much that he has given up on you, and you wonder if you will ever make it to heaven.
 
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus confronts these fears head-on. Speaking about those who believe, he says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand” (John 10:28). What comforting words that remind us of God’s love for us! It is very easy to think that we are the primary actors in our spiritual lives. But here Jesus is reminding us that he is the one pursuing us, and he will not allow anyone or anything to snatch us out of his hand. He even goes so far as to say, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all” (10:29).
 
God doesn’t want you to live in fear of rejection from him. He wants you to be more sure of his love for you than you are of anything else in life. That’s because his love is the most sure thing in all the world! You can live in joy and security, safe in the knowledge that God is on your side, and that nothing can separate you from him.
 
Today, try taking a look at some of your fears. What makes you feel most deeply vulnerable? Give these areas over to God, and ask him to replace them with the joy and freedom that he has won for you. Let his greatness and his mercy put all your fears into perspective so that you can live as the son or daughter you are, perfectly safe in your Father’s hand!
 
“Dear Jesus, I am in awe of the way you pursue me. I give my fears over to you today; drive them out with your perfect love.”
 
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us - April 23, 2013 (www.wau.org)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Daily Thought For July 14, 2018

The Lilly of the Mohawks


Bl. Kateri, the daughter of a Christian Algonquin mother, who had been taken captive by the Mohawk Indians, and of a pagan Mohawk father, was born at Ossernenon (today’s Auriesville, New York) in April 1656. Because she was born at sunrise, she was given the name Ioragade (“Sunshine”). As a result of a smallpox epidemic (1659), she lost her parents, and she was subsequently brought up by an aunt. Because Kateri’s vision had been weakened by the disease, and because she walked with her hands extended in front of her, her uncle gave her the name Tekakwitha (“who stretches out her hands”). Kateri remembered the rudiments of the Catholic faith that her mother had instilled in her, and when Jesuit missionaries visited the camp in 1667, she hesitated, in her shyness, to ask about the God whom her mother had worshiped. It was only in 1675 that she asked the missionary, who then resided at the camp, about becoming a Christian. She was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1676, and was given the name Kateri (Catherine). Because she had been harshly treated by her aunt and uncle since her conversion, the missionary suggested that she secretly go to the Indian settlement at Caughnawaga, near Montreal, where other Catholic Mohawks were then living. She arrived there in October 1677 and made her First Communion that Christmas. Her three years there were years of peace; she prayed and cared for the sick and elderly. Due to excessive acts of penance, her health failed, and she died at Caughnawaga on April 17, 1680. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980. The monument, which marks the site of her original tomb, bears the inscription: “the most beautiful flower that blossomed.”


Tylenda, J. N. (2003). Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year (pp. 129–130). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Daily Thought For July 13, 2018

Everyone Is Called By Name and Empowered By The Holy Spirit
 
     In fact, from eternity God has thought of us and has loved us as unique individuals. Every one of us he called by name, as the Good Shepherd "calls his sheep by name" (Jn 10:3). However, only in the unfolding of the history of our lives and its events is the eternal plan of God revealed to each of us. Therefore, it is a gradual process; in a certain sense, one that happens day by day.
    To be able to discover the actual will of the Lord in our lives always involves the following: a receptive listening to the Word of God and the Church, fervent and constant prayer, recourse to a wise and loving spiritual guide, and a faithful discernment of the gifts and talents given by God, as well as the diverse social and historic situations in which one lives.
     Therefore, in the life of each member of the lay faithful there are particularly significant and decisive moments for discerning God's call and embracing the mission entrusted by Him. Among these are the periods of adolescence and young adulthood. No one must forget that the Lord, as the master of the laborers in the vineyard, calls at every hour of life so as to make his holy will more precisely and explicitly known. Therefore, the fundamental and continuous attitude of the disciple should be one of vigilance and a conscious attentiveness to the voice of God.
     It is not a question of simply knowing what God wants from each of us in the various situations of life. The individual must do what God wants, as we are reminded in the words that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, addressed to the servants at Cana: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). However, to act in fidelity to God's will requires a capability for acting and the developing of that capability. We can rest assured that this is possible through the free and responsible collaboration of each of us with the grace of the Lord which is never lacking. Saint Leo the Great says: "The one who confers the dignity will give the strength!".
 
Pope John Paul II - The Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful People #58 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Daily Thought For July 12, 2018

I Attended World Youth Day in Rome In 2000 And This Is Totally True!

Finally, I would like to speak of one last feature, not to be overlooked, of the spirituality of World Youth Days, namely joy. Where does it come from? How is it to be explained? Certainly, there are many factors at work here. But in my view, the crucial one is this certainty, based on faith: I am wanted; I have a task in history; I am accepted, I am loved. Josef Pieper, in his book on love, has shown that man can only accept himself if he is accepted by another. He needs the other’s presence, saying to him, with more than words: it is good that you exist. Only from the You can the I come into itself. Only if it is accepted, can it accept itself. Those who are unloved cannot even love themselves. This sense of being accepted comes in the first instance from other human beings. But all human acceptance is fragile. Ultimately we need a sense of being accepted unconditionally. Only if God accepts me, and I become convinced of this, do I know definitively: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being. If ever man’s sense of being accepted and loved by God is lost, then there is no longer any answer to the question whether to be a human being is good at all. Doubt concerning human existence becomes more and more insurmountable. Where doubt over God becomes prevalent, then doubt over humanity follows inevitably. We see today how widely this doubt is spreading. We see it in the joylessness, in the inner sadness, that can be read on so many human faces today. Only faith gives me the conviction: it is good that I exist. It is good to be a human being, even in hard times. Faith makes one happy from deep within. That is one of the wonderful experiences of World Youth Days.

Pope Benedict XVI Address to the Roman Curia, December 22, 2011


From Fr. Jim.....On a personal note the knowledge that I am loved and that God has a marvelous plan for my life began very early in my own life. I am so grateful for my parents bringing me forward for Baptism and taking me faithfully to Mass each and every Sunday. But it wasn't just my parents but a great number of the "cloud of witnesses" who encouraged and cheered me along the way. My Aunt Lynn will always remain a cherished and beautiful person in my life. She was my Godparent. And I will never forget her taking me to Mass on Sunday while she was battling her cancer that eventually took her life. I watched her kneel down after Communion with her eyes closed and thinking to myself, "What can she possibly be thinking? She is terribly ill with cancer yet her face looks so peaceful." Even then the Lord was showing me that His grace prevails. I didn't quite understand all that back then as a 15 year old, but I understand now the joy being with Jesus brings. 

Let's face it, we aren't spared from suffering while on this earth. Some people get tremendous sufferings while others don't seem to suffer as much. The bottom line is that faith in the Lord transforms the sufferings and solidifies the truth that God's love is stronger than anything we can encounter on this earth. The very event I thought would put a wedge between me and the Lord, He used to literally bring me to my knees in my own poverty to surrender my heart to Him and ask Him for His help. That decision has forever changed my life. 

The greatest sorrow I have experienced over the past 21 years in my service as a priest, is the crisis of faith we are in as a Church and as a world. The sentence I just shared with you in this Daily Thought, "If ever man’s sense of being accepted and loved by God is lost, then there is no longer any answer to the question whether to be a human being is good at all." This is the greatest crisis and threat to humanity in every generation. Everyone is loved and willed by God. We must affirm this. But only a person who has experienced this TRUTH can do so. 

No one is ever too far gone to awaken and come to the Lord, and our little efforts (anointed by the Holy Spirit) will bring great fruits for the Kingdom of God. You may never see the results of your efforts but don't despair when you make an effort to win someone for Christ. Little things mean a lot. Someone just recently shared with me when they were at the end of their rope and thinking that God had abandoned them, while at a drive-through at Starbucks, the worker informed the person that someone had just paid for their order. That gesture of love served as a powerful reminder the Lord was still with them. Little things really do mean a lot!

Join me in prayer today and everyday that we will not miss the opportunities God is giving us to win people back and be a sign of God's immense love for the poor and lonely souls who are in despair. Little things always mean a lot. And there will be a lot of beautiful surprises in heaven when we went out of our way to love people in Christ but didn't see the effect it had in their lives. 

I pray all of you who subscribe to the Daily Thought will be encouraged this day and not lose hope. We are blessed, we are loved, and we have a glorious future to look forward to. 

in Christ,
Fr. Jim Northrop

Daily Thought For July 11, 2018

Chant His Praises!

         My heart is steadfast, God, 
         my heart is steadfast. 
         I will sing and chant praise
        Awake, my soul; 
         awake, lyre and harp! 
         I will wake the dawn. 
         I will praise you among the peoples, Lord; 
         I will chant your praise among the nations. 
         For your mercy towers to the heavens; 
         your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 
         Exalt yourself over the heavens, God; 
         may your glory appear above all the earth.

Psalm 57:8–12

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Daily Thought For July 10, 2018

Judging Others Or Constructive Criticism
 
What's the difference between judging others and constructive criticism? 
 
GOD'S RESPONSE 
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? 
Matthew 7:1-3 (NLT-2) 
 
Don't speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God's law. James 4:11 
 
† One coach berates a player publicly for making a mistake in a game. Another coach waits until the game is over and tells the player privately how to avoid making the same mistake again. Though no one likes criticism----even when it is constructive-we sometimes need it. But it is much easier to receive criticism when it is offered gently and in love, rather than in a harsh or humiliating way. A judge criticizes with no effort to see the person succeed or improve. One who offers constructive criticism invests in building a relationship and helping the other person become who God created him or her to be. 
 
GOD'S CHALLENGE 
You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. COLOSSIANS 3:13 
 
The One Year Men's Mini-Devotional

Monday, July 9, 2018

Daily Thought For July 9, 2018

We Are All Links In A Great Chain
 
I encourage you to think of the gifts you have received from God so that you can pass them on to others in turn. Learn to reread your personal history. Be conscious of the wonderful legacy passed down to you from previous generations. So many faith-filled people have been courageous in handing down the faith in the face of trials and incomprehension. Let us never forget that we are links in a great chain of men and women who have transmitted the truth of the faith and who depend on us to pass it on to others. Being a missionary presupposes knowledge of this legacy, which is the faith of the Church. It is necessary to know what you believe in, so that you can proclaim it. As I wrote in the introduction to the YouCat, the catechism for young people that I gave you at World Youth Day in Madrid, “you need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination” 
 
Pope Benedict XVI excerpt from Message For World Youth Day 2013

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Daily Thought For July 8, 2018

Learning To Be Joyful In All Circumstances
 
 
BEWARE OF FEELING ENTITLED TO My GOOD gifts. Receive blessings from Me thankfully, yet be willing to release them back to Me—without growing resentful. 
 
When you have lost something precious (your job, your house, your health, a loved one), you may think it is irrational to be joyful. But this is a worldly way of thinking. Major losses are very painful, and they do need to be grieved. Nonetheless, with time and effort you can learn to focus on the good things that remain—and find Joy in the One who will never leave you. 
 
Remember that it is possible to be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. The apostle Paul learned the secret of being joyful in all situations through his experiences of multiple hardships. The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to find Joy in the midst of adversity, and He can do the same for you. You must be willing, though, to let go of anything I take from you—no matter how painful the loss. Then direct your attention fully to Me, trusting that I will never let go of you. 
 
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. —Deuteronomy 31:6 
 
In all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God ... as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. —2 Corinthians 6:4, 10 
 

I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. —Psalm 73:23-24 
 
from Jesus Today by Sarah Young pp. 100-101

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Daily Thought For July 7, 2018

Turn It Back To God To Regain Your Peace

Several times during the day, but especially in the morning and evening, ask yourself for a moment if you have your soul in your hands or if some passion or fit of anxiety has robbed you of it. Consider whether you have command of your heart or whether it has slipped into some disorderly passion of love, hatred, envy, covetousness, fear, uneasiness or joy. If you have gone astray, quietly bring your soul back to the presence of God, subjecting all your affections and desires to the obedience and direction of His Divine Will. Just as men who are afraid of losing a precious pearl hold it firmly in their hands, so we must keep a close watch on the precious pearl of our soul. 

Saint Francis de Sales

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Daily Thought For July 4, 2018

God & The Work For God
 
Because of your infinite love for me, Lord, you called me to follow you, to be your child and your disciple. 
Then you entrusted me with a unique mission 
that has the same requirements as every mission: that I be your apostle and witness. 
Still, my experience has taught me that I confuse these two realities: 
God and God's work. 
God gave me the responsibility to carry out certain works- 
some sublime and others more modest; some noble and others more common. 
And so, with a commitment to pastoral work in parishes and with young people in schools, with artists and laborers, 
in the world of the press, radio, and television, I gave my entire energy to everything and poured out all my abilities. 
I did not spare anything, not even my life. 
But, while I was so passionately immersed in action, 
I met the defeat of ingratitude, the refusal to collaborate, 
the incomprehension of friends, the lack of support from leaders, illness and infirmity, insufficient resources ... 
And, then when I happened to enjoy success, when I was the object of everyone's approval, praise, and affection, 
I was suddenly transferred to another position. So there I was, dazed, groping about as if in the dark of night: 
Why, Lord, are you abandoning me? 
I do not want to desert your work I want to complete it. 
I must finish building the Church ... Why do others attack your work? Why do they withdraw their support? 
Kneeling before your altar, close to the Eucharist, 
I heard your answer, Lord: 
"It is me you are supposed to be following, not my work! 
If I will it, you will finish the work entrusted to you. 
It matters little who takes over your work after you; 
that is my business. 
Your business is to choose me!" 

from Prayers of Hope—Words of Courage by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận pp. 116-117

Monday, July 2, 2018

Daily Thought July 2, 2018

Christian Joy
 
  Christian joy is interior. It doesn’t come from without but from within – like certain alpine lakes which are fed not from a river that flows from outside, but from a spring of water welling up from their very foundations. It comes from God’s mysterious and present action in the human heart through grace. It can cause us to abound with joy in our sufferings (cf. 2 Cor 7: 4). It is the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5: 22, Rom 14:17) and is expressed in peace of heart, fullness of meaning, the ability to love and to be loved, and above all in hope, without which there can be no joy.
 
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Daily Thought For July 1, 2018

Eternal Love
 
    In the evening, Jesus gave me the subject for meditation. At the first moment, my heart was filled with fear and joy. Then I pressed myself close to His Heart, and the fear vanished; only joy remained. I felt entirely like a child of God, and the Lord said ..Fear nothing...Before I made the world, I loved you with the love your heart is experiencing today and, throughout the centuries, My love will never change.
 
St. Faustina Kowalksa