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Showing posts from December, 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 …

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

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 L…

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 …

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

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 eac…

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 coming…

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 ge…

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

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

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…

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…

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 s…

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

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 rea…

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 i…

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.

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