Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Daily Thought For December 31, 2019

Redemptive Suffering And A Miracle

Some people call her the Mother Teresa of Mexico. Madre Ines Valdivia Gonzalez is in her late eighties but still runs an orphanage for children with mental and physical disabilities, Casa Hogar La Divina Providencia, near Mexico City. Despite the poverty and suffering within its walls, the Casa is a place of joy, laughter and peace. Among the many miracles that have taken place there is the following, which Madre Ines recounted to a missionary friend of mine who often visits the orphanage. 
     A man visited the Casa who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He shared with Madre that since he did not have much time left on earth, he realized he had better get, right with God. He decided to visit the orphanage as a way of doing a good deed. She gave him a tour of the facility, including the upper floor where the most severely handicapped children live. Madre Ines considers these her most precious charges, believing that their souls are already in some way in God's presence. Most of them simply lie on cots, drooling, incapable of movement or speech. 

     As the visitor walked through the room, the limp hand of one boy brushed against him, so he sat down and held the boy's hand for a few minutes as the child gazed intently into his eyes. He felt good reaching out to this profoundly disadvantaged person. After a few minutes he smiled and walked on. 
     The next day he woke up feeling better than he had in some time. The next day he felt even better, and the next day better still. He went back to his doctor, and after some tests was informed that his body was completely cancer-free. When he called Madre Ines to share the good news, she told him that shortly after his visit, the boy whose hand he had held had passed away. 

from Healing − Bringing the Gift of God's Mercy to the World by Mary Healy pp.125-126




Sunday, December 29, 2019

Daily Thought For December 29, 2019

 A Prayer For Families

Lord God, from You every family in Heaven and on earth takes its name.

Father, You are love and life. Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world.

Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.

Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.


We ask this of You, Who is life, truth and love with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

St. John Paul II

Friday, December 27, 2019

Daily Thought For December 27, 2019

Emmanuel - Bring Your Light!

May Emmanuel bring light to all the suffering members of our human family. May he soften our often stony and self-centred hearts, and make them channels of his love. May he bring his smile, through our poor faces, to all the children of the world: to those who are abandoned and those who suffer violence. Through our frail hands, may he clothe those who have nothing to wear, give bread to the hungry and heal the sick. Through our friendship, such as it is, may he draw close to the elderly and the lonely, to migrants and the marginalized. On this joyful Christmas Day, may he bring his tenderness to all and brighten the darkness of this world.

excerpt from 2019 Urbi et Orbi Message - Pope Francis

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Daily Thought For December 24, 2019

The Dawn From On High Has Broken Upon Us!


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.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Daily Thought For December 23, 2019

What Will This Child Be?


Lectio

Luke 1:57–66

Meditatio

“What, then, will this child be?”

As each of my nieces and nephews was born (and especially when I had a chance to see them soon after birth), a feeling of awe and wonder struck me. What a little bundle of potential a newborn baby is! Each child is a mystery. What will he become? What will she be like?

We can spot some clues—long feet and toes indicating future height, for example. We can surmise some likely possibilities—the prospect of inheriting gifts and inclinations from artistic, athletic, or musically gifted parents, for instance. But no one except God can know for sure anything about the future deeds, accomplishments, influence, or lifespan of the child. And only a foolish person would claim to know the future.

A child like John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, is the focus of wonder because each child is a gift from God to the world—a sign that God has not finished with us yet.

The extraordinary circumstances around John’s birth make people take notice. Obviously, God is involved because this baby would not even have been conceived in the normal way of things. But God is involved in each child’s life, and indeed each person’s, no matter at what stage of life, no matter what a person may have done or not done previously. Every human being has marvelous potential and is a mystery known only to God.

Sometimes we sell each other and ourselves short. We might look at a person or at ourselves and feel that our future paths are already laid out. That is not true. God always provides the grace needed to change. We can always change direction or focus, or deepen our commitment, or repent of our selfishness, and allow God to transform us. The Baby born in Bethlehem reminds us of this.

Oratio

God, my Father, thank you for the gift that every single child is to the world. Thank you for the renewal of wonder, awe, and hope that every baby brings. Is that why your Son came as a baby—to awaken in people a new hope in your grace at work in the world?
I am a mystery of your grace. Thank you for the gift of being able to begin again. Help me never to despair of the possibility of change, either in myself or those around me.

Contemplatio

What will you do in me today, Lord?


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2009). Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 76–77). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Daily Thought For December 21, 2019

A Great Prayer In Preparation For Christmas

May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.

Saint John Henry Newman

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Daily Thought For December 19, 2019

Not To Us Lord Give The Glory

Sometimes we look to others, hoping for their esteem, or respect, or honor; at other times, we might look to God, expecting his favor or consolation in prayer.  In more or less hidden ways, we can come to expect such spiritual recompense.

Christ teaches us the principle that helps us to purify our intentions: without cost you are to give because without cost you have received.  And what have we received?  Grace, God’s own life within us, animating and elevating us to be his instruments, to serve as conduits, as it were, of that very same grace.  Of his own initiative and without cost, God offers us this greatest of gifts.  

When we do the Lord’s work as laborers for his harvest, it really is his harvest, because the fruit of our work results principally from his work in us, from his original gift (cf. Phil 2:13).  Without cost, the Master works in us and through us, enabling and ennobling us in this work; so let us imitate the Master and give to others also without cost.


Generous Father, you give yourself to me without reserve, without limit, and all of this without cost.  Help me to imitate your generosity, working for no reward apart from the joy of knowing and loving you. 

(Scott G. Hefelfinger, The Magnificat Advent Companion, Advent 2019, p. 25.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Daily Thought For December 18, 2019

Let It Be Done Unto Me!

We must, however, remember that Mary pronounced her fiat willingly and joyfully. How often do we repeat the word with poorly hidden resignation and, tight lipped, murmur, “If it can­not be avoided, well then, let your will be done!” Mary teaches us to say it in a different way. Knowing that God’s will is infinitely more beautiful and richer in promises than any of our own plans, and knowing that God is infinite love and nourishes “plans for welfare and not for evil for us” (see Jer 29:11), let us say, full of desire and almost impatiently, as Mary did: Let your will of love and peace be fulfilled in me, O God!


In this way the meaning of human life and its greatest dignity is fulfilled. To say yes, amen, to God does not decrease man’s dignity, as modern man often thinks; instead, it exalts it. And what is the alternative to this amen said to God? Modern phi­losophy itself, especially the existential stream, has clearly demon­strated man’s need to say amen, and if it is not said to God, who is love, it must be said to something else that is simply a cold and paralyzing necessity: to destiny or fate.

excerpt from Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Reflection (December 6, 2019) Click here for full text. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Daily Thought For December 17, 2019

God Has Pushed Through

Friends, today we read the opening lines of Matthew’s Gospel—the first words that one reads in the New Testament. They are a listing of the genealogy of Jesus, the forty-two generations that stretch from Abraham to Christ. If the Word truly dwelt among us, then he was part of a family that, like most, was fairly dysfunctional—a mix of the good and bad. And this is such good news for us.

Let me highlight just two figures from Jesus’ family. First, Ruth, who was not an Israelite but rather a Moabite, a foreigner. Some of you reading this feel like outsiders, not part of the “in” crowd, looked at askance by others. Well, the Messiah came forth from Ruth the foreigner and was pleased to be her relative.

Then there is Rahab, a prostitute living and working in Jericho. Are there people reading these words who feel like Rahab? Who think that their whole lives have been sunk in sin? Well, the Messiah came forth from Rahab the prostitute, and he was pleased to be her relative. 

The good news of Christmas is that God himself pushed into the dysfunctional and ambiguous family of man.


Reflect: How can you better reach out and embrace the Ruths and Rahabs in your own family?

Bishop Robert Baron Advent Reflections December 17, 2019

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Daily Thought For December 14, 2019

St. John of The Cross

Friends, today we celebrate the memorial of the great Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross.

We find ourselves, St. John of the Cross taught, in the midst of a good and beautiful world, but we are meant finally for union with God. Therefore, the soul has to become free from its attachments to finite things so as to be free for communion with God.

This purification first involves what John called “the night of the senses” (the letting go of physical and sensual pleasures), and it continues with “the night of the soul” (a detachment from the mental images that one can use as a substitute for God).

Like all purifications, this one is painful, especially if one’s attachment to these finite things is intense. It will often manifest itself, John of the Cross said, as dryness in prayer and a keen sense of the absence and even abandonment of God.

In this process, God is not toying with the soul; rather, he is performing a kind of surgery upon it, cutting certain things away so that its life might intensify.


Reflect: Have you ever experienced dryness in prayer or the sense of being abandoned by God? How does your faith carry you through these times?

Bishop Robert Baron Advent Reflections

Friday, December 13, 2019

Daily Thought For December 13, 2019

Jesus Is Mary's Joy!

And from this derives the third thing that Mary Immaculate tells us. She speaks of joy, that authentic joy which spreads in hearts freed from sin. Sin brings with it a negative sadness that leads to withdrawal into self. Grace brings true joy that does not depend on possessions but is rooted in the innermost self, in the depths of the person, and nothing and no one can remove it. Christianity is essentially an “evangelo”, “Good News”, whereas some think of it as an obstacle to joy because they see it as a collection of prohibitions and rules.

Christianity is actually the proclamation of the victory of Grace over sin, of life over death. And if it entails self-denial and discipline of the mind, of the heart and of behavior, it is precisely because in the human being there is a poisonous root of selfishness which does evil to oneself and to others. It is thus necessary to learn to say “no” to the voice of selfishness and “yes” to that of genuine love. Mary’s joy is complete, for in her heart there is not a shadow of sin. This joy coincides with the presence of Jesus in her life: Jesus conceived and carried in her womb, then as a child entrusted to her motherly care, as an adolescent, a young man and an adult; Jesus seen leaving home, followed at a distance with faith even to the Cross and to the Resurrection; Jesus is Mary’s joy and is the joy of the Church, of us all.

In this Season of Advent Mary Immaculate teaches us to listen to the voice of God who speaks in silence; to welcome his Grace that sets us free from sin and from all selfishness in order thereby to taste true joy. Mary, full of grace, pray for us!

excerpt from the Speech of Pope Benedict XVI December 8, 2012 (Address at the Spanish Steps in Veneration of The Blessed Virgin Mary click here for full message.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Daily Thought For December 11, 2019

Focus

The soul that unites itself to God has one aspiration: LOVE

Blessed James Alberione

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Daily Thought For December 10, 2019

Remaining Hidden

“It's through the cross that we reach the resurrection. We should be absolutely sure of this truth, and we should keep this cross hidden and not place it on the shoulders of others. It is our cross we have to carry. It is the one God has given us to go through into His resurrection. This is the one we should keep hidden.

But there are crosses and crosses, some of our own making. These we should immediately discard. Some permitted by God for our sanctification. These we can share for they are also for the sanctification of others. True, we can help to carry other people's crosses and they can help to carry our crosses, but the operative word is "hidden."

The Lord said, "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men," and "When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Mt 6:16-18)


Our very hiddenness becomes a light if we do not complain, if we carry our cross manfully, ready to help in the carrying of other people's crosses. Then we become a light to our neighbor's feet because we become an icon of Christ—shining!” 

Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Sobornost: Experiencing Unity of Mind, Heart and Soul

Friday, December 6, 2019

Daily Thought For December 6, 2019

Does This Shock You?

     "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day; For my flesh is true food, 
and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father 
sent me and 1 have life because of the Father, so also the one, who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 
     Then many of his disciples who were listening said; "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you?" 

- John 6:53-61, NAB 

     Jesus is obedience incarnate. He is nothing other and nothing less than everything the Father gives to him. To consume his 
words, his works, his example, and, in the end, to consume his very life - his body and blood - is to receive his uninterrupted obedience to the Father. Those who eat his flesh and drink his blood receive this direct gift through him, "that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you" (In 17:21, NAB). 
    Does it shock you that this gift would be so simple? Does it shock you that he gives what he receives and holds nothing back? Does it shock you that we who receive him receive everything? Does it shock you that his gift calms our jittery hearts and tames our wandering desires? Does it shock you that his life becomes our life, a life we are to share in common and give freely to others? 
     To receive Jesus can never be reduced to an intellectual exercise or an affair of the affections. He who receives everything from the Father and offers everything 'back to the Father gives everything of himself to us. To live means to receive from him and be transformed through his gift to give of our very selves in his company. 
     This saying is hard, indeed; who could accept it? Who could accept such a gift from anyone else, let alone from the one who is the Father's own love? Who could give themselves so completely in response to such a complete gift? I understand the disciples' murmurings. 
     Murmuring is what we do when we are dissatisfied, afraid, skeptical, or even outright cynical. Maybe it is right to assume that the disciples were scared by the apparent physicality of what 
Jesus says. But what is even scarier is standing before a gift so absolute, so full, that no partial reception will suffice. They are being drawn into total intimacy. 
     We shudder at all kinds of intimacy, when someone bares their soul to us and asks us to receive them, wholly and completely as they are. This happens rarely, but it is shocking every time. It is an invitation to receive this person. We are often inclined to hesitate, to stammer, to murmur. What a shocking gift. We fear intimacy; intimacy demands that we strip ourselves of our defenses, our guile, our lingering distrust. 
     The two in the garden of Eden were naked without shame, but the serpent was full of guile, the shrewdest of all creatures (cf. Gn 2:25-3:1). We have become accustomed to that guile, and we have forgotten how to stand before each other transparently; we prefer to hide ourselves from each other and from God. But in God there is no guile, only intimacy. Jesus gives himself in this kind of intimacy, in response to the intimacy of the Father's gift to him (and this intimacy is the Holy Spirit). And so Jesus speaks of baring himself to those who will receive him. To receive him will be to receive the one who sent him' (cf In 13:20). It means being drawn into that sacred intimacy. 
     The intimacy of Christ's gift strips us of our defenses, if only we will receive him, open to that intimacy. He will be our food, our drink, our communion within the eternal communion. 


Prayer 

Lord help me to receive what I lack. 

from A God Who Questions by Leonard J. DeLorenzo pp. 79-81


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Daily Thought For December 5, 2019

Transformation Into Christ

O, my Jesus, 
May our feet journey together. May our hands gather in unity. 
May our hearts beat to the same rhythm. May our soul be in harmony. 
May our thoughts be in unison. 
May our ears listen to the silence together. May our glances melt in one another. 
May our lips beg the heavenly Father together to obtain mercy on souls. 

So that it is no longer I who live, but You Christ, who lives in me. Amen. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Daily Thought For December 3, 2019

Tears of Joy!

I am in a country where all the niceties of life are lacking.
But I am filled with many inner consolations. Indeed, I run the risk of crying my eyes out because of my tears of joy!

St. Francis Xavier

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Daily Thought For December 1, 2019

Advent ⏤ The Celebration of an "Overwhelming Reality"

 As we all know, “advent” means “coming”, “presence”, and in ancient times it meant, precisely, the arrival of the king or emperor in a specific province. For Christians the word means a marvelous and overwhelming reality: God himself has crossed the threshold of his heaven and has lowered himself to man; he has made a covenant with him, entering the history of a people; he is a king who came down to this poor province which is the earth, and made a gift to us of his visit, taking our flesh and becoming a man like us. Advent invites us to retrace the journey of this presence and reminds us over and over again that God did not take himself away from the world, he is not absent, he has not left us to ourselves, but comes to meet our needs in various ways that we must learn to discern. And we too, with our faith, our hope and our charity, are called every day to perceive this presence and to witness to it in the world that is often superficial and distracted, and to make the light that illuminated the Grotto of Bethlehem shine out.


Excerpt from The General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI December 12, 2012

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Daily Thought For November 28, 2019

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,

Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Daily Thought For November 27, 2019

Our Life Is A Book Written By The Holy Spirit

The books the Holy Spirit is writing are living, and every soul a volume in which the divine author makes a true revelation of his word, explaining it to every heart, unfolding it in every moment.

Jean Pierre de Caussade

Monday, November 25, 2019

Daily Thought For November 25, 2019

Consolation

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

St. John XXIII

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Daily Thought For November 23, 2019

We Can Be Set Free

The story of Joseph and his brothers highlights so many of the sins that end up wounding our relationships: pride, envy, resentment, and deception, to name a few. His story also tells us that no matter how deeply we have been hurt, our heavenly Father wants to help us. He wants to heal our broken hearts and free us from attitudes of resentment, cynicism, or mistrust.

No matter who we are, we have all been wounded through relationships. We have all been hurt or treated unjustly. Some of these wounds may be quite deep, while others may be more superficial. But whatever our situations, we can learn from Joseph. He kept his eyes fixed on God, and God helped him forgive his brothers and bring reconciliation to his family.


At the start of his ministry, Jesus told the people that God had sent him “to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (Luke 4:18). Surely we can apply these promises to our relationships. Surely we can take some steps toward healing our memories, to seek reconciliation, and to find freedom. It may take time. In some instances, it may take a lifetime. But God will be with us through it all, helping us to forgive and not lose hope. As God blessed Joseph, he will surely bless us.

from The Word Among Us "Healing Our Relationships
Insights from the Story of Joseph and His Brothers" July/August 2011 edition

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Daily Thought For November 21, 2019

Gratitude

It is the spirit of gratitude which draws down upon us the overflow of God's grace, for no sooner have we thanked Him for one blessing than He hastens to send us ten additional favors in return.  Then, when we show our gratitude for these new gifts, He multiplies His benedictions to such a degree that there seems to be a constant stream of divine grace ever coming our way.

This has been my own personal experience; try it out for yourself and see.  For all that Our Lord is constantly giving me, my gratitude is boundless, and I try to prove it to Him in a thousand different ways.

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Daily Thought For November 20, 2019

Simple But Powerful

For those who love, nothing is too difficult, especially when it is done for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Monday, November 18, 2019

Daily Thought For November 18, 2019

Do You Want To Be Healed? 

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethzatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed. One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" 
                                                 John 5:2-6 

This seems like an absurd question. The guy has been lying there for thirty-eight years. What kind of person wouldn't want to be healed? Maybe one who has become attached to his sickness, who prefers his own way to a better way, or who refuses help because he wants to do things himself, on his own terms. 

Jesus' question is not "Are you sick?" or "Are you suffering?” but "Do you want to be healed?" Jesus isn't asking for help with the diagnosis; he already knows. What matters to Jesus is whether or not the man wants to be healed. In his response to Jesus, the man says that he has been waiting for someone to lift him up and place him in the healing waters, but no one has done so. He has been lying there alone in his misery, for so very long. 

I find myself marveling at this man. After all this time, he still waits in hope. Indeed, he wants to be healed; but even more, he is still waiting for and wanting someone to do for him what he cannot do for himself. 

How many temptations to despair arose during all those years, how many reasons to become angry or jaded? Who would blame this man if he had simply given up? As I write this, I am a few months shy of my thirty-eighth birthday − every breathing moment since my birth still totals less than the duration of this man's suffering. Maybe he was not always ready and always willing to be helped; but here and now, at this critical moment, he is ready and willing. And so Jesus heals him, with the man's full consent. 

Those thirty-eight years recall.the span of time that the Israelites journeyed from Kadesh, where they rebelled against the Lord, to the promised land of Canaan. They wanted to pick and choose their path at the beginning, refusing to be carried by the Lord their God who had already delivered them from slavery in Egypt. They were addicted to their own way. But over the course of thirty-eight grueling years of suffering and hardship, they were ready to accept the Lord's gift. The Lord waited for Israel to want to be healed so he could lead them through the waters of the Jordan. 

I say I want to be healed, to be well, to live in the love of Christ. But do I really? His ways are not my ways, and to be healed requires allowing myself to be lifted up into his ways, where I will be made well. As Saint John Henry Newman preached, "We must become what we are not; we must learn to love what we do not love, and practice ourselves in what is difficult." Sometimes what is most difficult is truly desiring what is good for us and agreeing to let someone do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. 

Waiting in hope during times of suffering gives us a share in Israel's desert journey, softening our hearts and weakening our defenses so that we each may say to our Savior when the time comes, "Yes, Lord, I want to be healed." 

Prayer 

Lord Jesus, give me the courage to be vulnerable before you. 

from A God Who Questions by Leonard J. DeLorenzo pp.39-41

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Daily Thought For November 16, 2019

Do You Know What I Have Done To You? 

When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." 


John 13:12-17 


One night, a companion of Saint Francis of Assisi was struggling mightily to keep to his fast. His body was weak. He just couldn't persevere. Francis, recognizing his weakness, offered him some bread. But then Francis did something really surprising: He ate a piece of the bread first. He didn't need to, but he did. 

The next morning, when the rest of his companions assembled, Francis said, "Brothers, in this incident let the charity and not the food be an example to you." 

What did Francis know? He knew that giving bread alone was an occasion for pride. He could exalt himself at the expense of his brother if he tended to his brother's weakness from a position of strength. So while the brother consumed the bread his body needed, Francis ate the humility he himself needed. Bread alone was not charity, but only that bread given as a true gift, in humility. That is what bonded Francis and his brother together in a single loaf. 

Francis of Assisi was healed of the weakness of pride over a long life of penance. His Lord and Teacher, Jesus Christ, never was. There never was any pride to heal: He is humility, through and through.

If from the table at which they have eaten Jesus' companions only see bread, then they do not see Jesus. As soon as they see charity, though, there he is. He is the true bread come down from heaven.

When Jesus kneels before his brothers to wash their feet, he shows them who he is: power made perfect in weakness (cf. 2 Cor 12:9). He is the charity of the Father come to meet them. He gives them what the Father gives him, so that they may become for others what he is for them. 

The Father gives everything to the Son. The Son claims nothing as his own, but gives everything back to the Father by doing the Father's will - that is, his food (cf. Jn 4:34). But that means that Jesus does something very dangerous to those whom he serves, to whom he gives himself as charity. Jesus gives them his food. They become marked by the Father's will, and the only way to receive that food is to do the Father's will. 

What Jesus commands, he first does. What Jesus intends his companions to become, he first is. He does not feed them as one who claims a position of strength, to lord his superiority over them. Rather, he feeds them from a position of weakness - he takes the form of a servant, a slave. His brothers must be healed of their pride and so become capable of the great gift intended for them - the gift of being able to love one another (cf. Jn 13:34; 15:12). It is from Jesus that Francis himself eventually learned to "let the charity and not the food be an example to you." 

In one sense, this is all just so inconvenient. Charity is one of those things that is only really seen when it is done. "Do you realize what I have done to you?" For Jesus' brothers, the answer right then is no, they do not realize. Because in order to really see this charity, they have to do this charity. It is in giving that they receive. 

This is what Jesus does to them. He inaugurates a way. He imprints the truth on them. In the end, there is no other way to live (cf. Jn 14:6) than the way of charity that is true life given from the Father in the Son. To accept this life, those who receive Jesus must give this life. That is what it means to receive what Jesus gives. He does not give something; he gives everything. He gives himself as the gift of charity, as the Father loves him (cf. Jn 15:9). And by his word, anyone who receives one whom the Son sends receives the Son; and he who receives the Son receives the Father (cf. In 13:20). 

In this way, the gift of the Father becomes complete: when those to whom the Son gives himself enter into the life of the Father in the Son. It is all very confusing from the outside, because it is one of those things that is only really seen when it is done. "I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me" (Jn 17:23, NAB).

After Jesus had washed their feet, he completed the work of love (cf. Jn 13:12a). He then took up his garment, the glory of his Father's love (cf. In 13:l2b).48 And he resumed his place at the Father's right hand (cf. Jn 13:12c). Where he is, those he loves may also be, for they know the way there (cf. Jn 14:3-4). 

Francis's brother glimpsed this mystery when Francis made himself one with him in his weakness. But that brother only really knew that life when he also did to another what was done to him. 

Prayer 
Lord, give me this bread always. 

from A God Who Questions by Leonard J. DeLorenzo pp. 83-866

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Daily Thought For November 8, 2019

Experiencing The Peace That Surpasses Understanding

“Although temptations are strong, a whole wave of doubts beats against my soul, and discouragement stands by, ready to act. The Lord, however, strengthens my will, against which all attempts of the enemy are shattered as if against a rock. I see how many actual graces God grants me; these support me ceaselessly. I am very weak, and I attribute everything to the grace of God.” 

St. Faustina Divine Mercy Diary #1086

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Daily Thought For November 7, 2019

Patience

“Resist your impatience faithfully, practicing, not only with reason, but even against reason, holy courtesy and sweetness to all, but especially to those who weary you most.”

St. Francis de Sales
(Here is a great article on The Saints And Patience where I found the quote for today.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Daily Thought For November 6, 2019

Climbing The Mountain

Live each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. So climb slowly, enjoying each passing moment; and then the view from the summit will serve a more rewarding climax for your journey.

Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Daily Thought For November 5, 2019

Trust In God's Help
To be conscious of one's weakness and to trust in God's help is the way to authentic strength and victory.
Alice Von Hildebrand



Friday, November 1, 2019

Daily Thought For November 1, 2019

Why The Saints Are Important

In today’s feast, we have a foretaste of the beauty of this life fully open to the gaze of love of God and neighbor, in which we are sure to reach God in each other and each other in God. With this faith-filled hope we honor all the Saints, and we prepare to commemorate the faithful departed tomorrow. In the Saints we see the victory of love over selfishness and death: we see that following Christ leads to life, eternal life, and gives meaning to the present, every moment that passes, because it is filled with love and hope. Only faith in eternal life makes us truly love history and the present, but without attachment, with the freedom of the pilgrim, who loves the earth because his heart is set on Heaven.

Pope Benedict XVI - Angelus November 1, 2012

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Daily Thought For October 30, 2019

Life Is Short ⏤ Live It Well

Oh, how precious time is! Blessed are those who know how to make good use of it. Oh, if only all could understand how precious time is, undoubtedly everyone would do his best to spend it in a praiseworthy manner!

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Monday, October 28, 2019

Daily Thought For October 28, 2019

Never Alone

"Do not be discouraged when you go through suffering, especially when you go through persecution for the sake of Christ, as the Beatitudes tell us. We were persecuted for giving food to the hungry. At times, I felt like God was far away, but my experience shows that God is never far from us. My faith is strengthened. I have found freedom in Christ. God is never far from us. He is ready to free us in every situation.”

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, CMF 
(excerpt from testimony from Renewal Ministries November Newsletter. Fr. Langeh was kidnapped and tortured in Cameroon. He went through Unbound prayer ministry.)

FR. JUDE THADDEUS LANGEH, CMF

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Daily Thought For October 26, 2019

Amazing Love!

Consider God's charity. Where else have we ever seen someone who has been offended voluntarily paying out his life for those who have offended him?

St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, October 25, 2019

Daily Thought For October 25, 2019

Simplify My Life

"Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.” 

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Daily Thought For October 16, 2019

The Holy Spirit Brings Confidence

A noble and delicate soul, even the most simple, but one of delicate sensibilities, sees God in everything, finds Him everywhere, and knows how to find Him in even the most hidden things. It finds all things important, it highly appreciates all things, it thanks God for all things, it draws profit for the soul from all things, and it gives all glory to God. It places its trust in God and is not confused when the time of ordeals comes. It knows that God is always the best of Fathers and makes little of human opinion. It follows faithfully the faintest breath of the Holy Spirit; it rejoices in this Spiritual Guest and holds onto Him like a child to its mother. Where other souls come to a standstill and fear, this soul passes on without fear or difficulty.  

St. Faustina Kowalska Diary of St. Faustina, 148

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Daily Thought For October 12, 2019

The Nature of Christian Worship

Accordingly, the nature of Christian worship does not consist in the surrender of things or in any kind of destruction, an idea that has continually recurred since the sixteenth century in theories about the sacrifice of the Mass. According to these theories God’s sovereignty over all had to be recognized in this fashion. All these laborious efforts of thought are simply overtaken by the event of Christ and its biblical explanation. Christian worship consists in the absoluteness of love, as it could only be poured out by the one in whom God’s own love had become human love; and it consists in the new form of representation included in this love, namely, that he stood for us and that we let ourselves be taken over by him. So it means that we can put aside our own attempts at justification, which at bottom are only excuses and range us against each other—-just as Adam’s attempt at justification was an excuse, a pushing of the guilt onto the other, indeed, in the last analysis, an attempt to accuse God himself: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree” (Gen 3:12). It demands that, instead of indulging in the destructive rivalry of self-justification, we accept the gift of the love of Jesus Christ, who “stands in” for us, allow ourselves to be united in it, and thus become worshippers with him and in him. 


Ratzinger, J. (2004). Introduction to Christianity (Revised Edition). (J. R. Foster, Trans.) (pp. 287–288). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Daily Thought For October 11, 2019

Reliance On Mercy

I live by the mercy of Jesus, to whom I owe everything and from whom I expect everything.


St. John XXIII

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Daily Thought For October 9, 2019

All Things Work For Good

If the work of our sanctification presents us with difficulties that appear insurmountable, it is because we do not look at it in the right way. In reality, holiness consists in one thing alone, namely, fidelity to God's plan. And this fidelity is equally within everyone's capacity in both its active and passive exercise.

Jean-Pierre de Cassaude

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Daily Thought For October 8, 2019

Seeing Through The Eyes Of Faith

The present moment is always full of infinite treasure. It contains far more than you can possibly grasp. Faith is the measure of its riches: what you find in the present moment is according to the measure of your faith. Love also is the measure: the more the heart loves, the more it rejoices in what God provides. The will of God presents itself at each moment like an immense ocean that the desire of your heart cannot empty; yet you will drink from that ocean according to your faith and love.

Jean-Pierre de Cassuade

Friday, October 4, 2019

Daily Thought For October 4, 2019

Rediscover The "Joy" of Mission!

In the parable we have heard, the Lord appears as a man who, before leaving on a journey, calls his servants and entrusts his property to them (cf. Mt 25:14). God has entrusted us with his greatest treasures: our own lives and the lives of others. He has entrusted any number of different gifts to each of us. These gifts, these talents, are not something to be stored in a safe; they are a true vocation: the Lord calls us to make our talents bear fruit, with boldness and creativity. God will ask us if we stepped forward and took risks, even losing face. This extraordinary Missionary Month should jolt us and motivate us to be active in doing good. Not notaries of faith and guardians of grace, but missionaries.

We become missionaries by living as witnesses: bearing witness by our lives that we have come to know Jesus. It is our lives that speak. Witness is the key word: a word with the same root as the word “martyr”. The martyrs are the primary witnesses of faith: not by their words but by their lives. They know that faith is not propaganda or proselytism: it is a respectful gift of one’s life. They live by spreading peace and joy, by loving everyone, even their enemies, out of love for Jesus. Can we, who have discovered that we are children of the heavenly Father, keep silent about the joy of being loved, the certainty of being ever precious in God’s eyes? That is a message that so many people are waiting to hear. And it is our responsibility. Let us ask ourselves this month: how good a witness am I?

At the end of the parable, the Lord describes the enterprising servant as “good and trustworthy”, and the fearful servant as “wicked and lazy” (cf. vv. 21.23.26). Why is God so harsh with the servant who was afraid? What evil did he do? His evil was not having done good; he sinned by omission. Saint Albert Hurtado once said: “It is good not to do evil, but it is evil not to do good”. This is the sin of omission. This could be the sin of an entire life, for we have been given life not to bury it, but to make something of it; not to keep it for ourselves, but to give it away. Whoever stands with Jesus knows that we keep what we give away; we possess what we give to others. The secret for possessing life is to give it away. To live by omission is to deny our vocation: omission is the opposite of mission.

We sin by omission, that is, against mission, whenever, rather than spreading joy, we think of ourselves as victims, or think that no one loves us or understands us. We sin against mission when we yield to resignation: “I can’t do this: I’m not up to it”. How can that be? God has given you talents, yet you think yourself so poor that you cannot enrich a single person? We sin against mission when we complain and keep saying that everything is going from bad to worse, in the world and in the Church. We sin against mission when we become slaves to the fears that immobilize us, when we let ourselves be paralyzed by thinking that “things will never change”. We sin against mission when we live life as a burden and not as a gift, when we put ourselves and our concerns at the centre, and not our brothers and sisters who are waiting to be loved.

“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). He loves the Church on the go. But let us be attentive: if it is not on the go, it is not Church. The Church is meant for the road, meant to be on the move. A Church on the go, a missionary Church is a Church that does not waste time lamenting things that go wrong, the loss of faithful, the values of the time now in the past. A Church that does not seek safe oases to dwell in peace, but longs to be salt of the earth and a leaven in the world. For such a Church knows that this is her strength, that of Jesus himself: not social or institutional relevance, but humble and gratuitous love.

Today we begin the Missionary Month of October in the company of three “servants” who bore much fruit. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus shows us the way: she made prayer the fuel for missionary activity in the world. This is also the Month of the Rosary: how much are we praying for the spread of the Gospel and our conversion from omission to mission? Then there is Saint Francis Xavier, one of the great missionaries of the Church. He too gives us a jolt: can we emerge from our shell and renounce our comforts for the sake of the Gospel? Finally is the Venerable Pauline Jaricot, a labourer who supported the missions by her daily work: with the offerings that she made from her wages, she helped lay the foundations of the Pontifical Missionary Societies. Do we make a daily gift in order to overcome the separation between the Gospel and life? Please, let us not live a “sacristy” faith.


We are accompanied by a religious woman, a priest and a lay woman. They remind us that no one is excluded from the Church’s mission. Yes, in this month the Lord is also calling you, because you, fathers and mothers of families; you, young people who dream great things; you, who work in a factory, a store, a bank or a restaurant; you who are unemployed; you are in a hospital bed… The Lord is asking you to be a gift wherever you are, and just as you are, with everyone around you. He is asking you not simply to go through life, but to give life; not to complain about life, but to share in the tears of all who suffer. Courage! The Lord expects great things from you. He is also expecting some of you to have the courage to set out and to go wherever dignity and hope are most lacking, where all too many people still live without the joy of the Gospel. “But must I go alone?” No, that is wrong. If we think about doing missionary work like business organizations, with a business plan, that is wrong. The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of our mission. Go with the Holy Spirit. The Lord will not leave you alone in bearing witness; you will discover that the Holy Spirit has gone before you and prepared the way for you. Courage, brothers and sisters! Courage, Mother Church! Rediscover your fruitfulness in the joy of mission!

Pope Francis - Homily for the Vespers For The Missionary Month of October - October 1, 2019 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Daily Thought For October 2, 2019

The Secret To Happiness

The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Monday, September 30, 2019

Daily Thought For September 30, 2019

Holy Patience

God reveals himself to those who wait for that revelation, and who don't try to tear at the hem of a mystery, forcing disclosure.

Catherine Doherty

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Daily Thought For September 29, 2019

Listening To God's Voice

When you reflect upon what I tell you in the depths of your heart, you profit more than if you had read many books. Oh, if souls would only want to listen to My voice when I am speaking in the depths of their hearts, they would reach the peak of holiness in a short time.

St. Faustina Kowalska

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Daily Thought For September 28, 2019

We All Can Make A Difference

Every human being is an incalculable force, bearing within him something of the future. To the end of time, our daily words and actions will bear fruit, either good or bad; nothing that we have once given of ourselves will perish, but our words and works, handed on from one to another, will continue to do good or harm to remote generations. This is why life is a sacred thing, and we ought not to pass through it thoughtlessly, but to appreciate its value and use it so that, when we are gone, the sum total of good in the world may be greater.

Elisabeth Leseur, Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur

Friday, September 27, 2019

Daily Thought For September 27, 2019

Overcoming Fear Through A Horrible Tragedy

When violence causes a tragedy such as in Newtown and Parkland, it’s natural for parents, children and communities to live in fear. Can you offer guidance on how to overcome the fear?

One of the first choices we had to make was to decide whether to put our son on the bus and send him back to school, or keep him home. We chose to put him on the bus and send him back to school. The moment we live in fear is the moment that we lost. So we put him on the bus. We did not say, “You’re going to be fine. Have a great day in school.” That would have been a lie. It was awful to put him on the bus. I know I had a crummy day. But we had to do it. The alternative was even more horrific life changes.

From the time and place of Catherine’s death, I began to understand we were placed on earth for a purpose, a reason. By keeping my son in a cocoon and our family in a cocoon because I was afraid of what the world might deal us, we would be doing God’s job.

One of the things we’re trying to instill in Freddy is that everybody has bad experiences, has a loss or trauma in their life. It doesn’t entitle you to crawl into a hole. There’s the work to be done and a community to belong to.

The last thing I want is to stand before God and have him show me all the missed opportunities because I was too afraid and too scared how I was going to deal with something if it came my way.


I think it’s very natural and very common for parents to want to pull their kids in tighter and tighter. Parents need to realize that on some level their children’s future is not theirs. God’s got it mapped out. If we want to see their very best, then we have to entrust them to God. I can’t be with my son every day. I want him to rely on God, and the only way he’s going to know that is to see me live that.

Excerpt from an interview with Jennifer Hubbard from The National Catholic Register (February 21, 2018) 

Jennifer Hubbard writes reflections for the Magnificat devotional magazine. Jennifer Hubbard’s life took a drastic turn the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. That Dec. 14, 2012, she and her husband, Matthew, had two children in the school — 6-year-old Catherine and 8-year-old Frederick. Catherine was one of 20 first-graders and six adults who lost their lives that tragic day. You can read the full interview by clicking here. 


Friday, September 20, 2019

Daily Thought For September 20, 2019

The Power of Faith

Faith brings into our lives such freedom, such love, such peace, and such joy that there are no words in any language that can explain it. You have to have it in order to know it. You have to experience it in order to understand it. Faith liberates. It liberates love and hope. If I am free to love and free to hope, what more do I want of life?

Catherine Doherty

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Daily Thought For September 18, 2019

The Centrality of Worship

Dear Brothers, as you yourselves said in your Pastoral Letter of 21 September 2004, on the occasion of the Jubilee of St Boniface: "We have become a mission land". This is true for large parts of Germany.

I therefore believe that throughout Europe, and likewise in France, Spain and elsewhere, we should give serious thought as to how to achieve a true evangelization in this day and age, not only a new evangelization, but often a true and proper first evangelization.

People do not know God, they do not know Christ. There is a new form of paganism and it is not enough for us to strive to preserve the existing flock, although this is very important: we must ask the important question: what really is life?

I believe we must all try together to find new ways of bringing the Gospel to the contemporary world, of proclaiming Christ anew and of implanting the faith.

This scene, that the World Youth Day is unfolding before us and that I have described with only a few brief comments, invites us to turn our gaze to the future. For the Church and especially for us Pastors, for parents and for educators, young people constitute a living appeal to faith.

I would like to say once again that in my opinion Pope John Paul II was tremendously inspired in choosing for this World Youth Day the motto: "We have come to worship him" (Mt 2: 2). We are often so oppressed, understandably oppressed, by the immense social needs of the world and by all the organizational and structural problems that exist that we set aside worship as something for later. Fr Delp once said that nothing is more important than worship. He said so in the context of his time, when it was evident that to destroy worship, destroyed man.

Nonetheless, in our new context in which worship, and thus also the face of human dignity, has been lost, it is once again up to us to understand the priority of worship. We must make youth, ourselves and our communities, aware of the fact that it is not a luxury of our confused epoch that we cannot permit ourselves but a priority. Wherever worship is no longer, wherever it is not a priority to pay honour to God, human realities can make no headway.

We must therefore endeavour to make the face of Christ visible, the face of the living God, so that like the Magi we may spontaneously fall to our knees and adore him. Two things certainly happened in the Magi: first they sought; then they found and worshipped him.


Today, many people are searching. We too are searching. Basically, in a different dialectic, both these things must always exist within us. We must respect each one's own search. We must sustain it and make them feel that faith is not merely a dogmatism complete in itself that puts an end to seeking, that extinguishes man's great thirst, but that it directs the great pilgrimage towards the infinite; we, as believers, are always simultaneously seekers and finders.

excerpt from the Address To The German Bishops at Cologne by Pope Benedict XVI (August 21, 2005)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Daily Thought For September 17, 2019

The Christian Vocation Is About Life In Abundance

Every authentic vocation is a calling to live ever more fully. We should be wary of callings that may mask refusal to engage life, fear of love, flight from the body or feelings, or a lack of acceptance of human existence as it is. Accepting one’s calling should mean choosing a more intense, abundant way of life, not fear-driving flight, or a disguised choice of death, as can happen with some poorly discerned religious commitments.

from Called To Life by Fr. Jacques Philippe pp. 24-25

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Daily Thought For September 14, 2019

Overwhelmed By God's Generosity

In this way he proclaims one of the most important laws of life. Someone filled with resentment and unhappiness, bitter that life is not as it should be, will be deeply disillusioned. On the other hand, people who are glad for what they have received, and thank God for what befalls them will receive still more, until finally being overwhelmed by God’s generosity.

from Called To Life by Fr. Jacques Philippe p. 85

Friday, September 13, 2019

Daily Thought For September 13, 2019

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.

St. John Chrysostom

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daily Thought For September 12, 2019

St. Francis de Sales On Civility

In the fourth of his "Spiritual Exercises," Francis highlights the basic principles of religious civility that can be adopted in all 
affairs.  
I will never disdain meeting any person, no matter who they may be, nor will I show any sign of Wishing to avoid them, for this earns one the reputation of. being proud, haughty, unfeeling, arrogant, snobbish, ambitious, and manipulative .... Above all, I will be careful neither to criticise, nor to mock, nor to be sarcastic to, anyone. It is a sign of stupidity to make fun of those who have no reason to put up with such treatment. I will show great respect for all, and I will not be pretentious. I will speak little but well, so rather than boring my friends I will whet their appetite for further conversation at a later time. 

With either friends or acquaintances, I will be especially careful to observe this rule: Be friendly with all but familiar with few .... Therefore in my relationships I will be courteous and not overbearing, friendly and outgoing and not cool and reserved, gentle but not affected, compliant and not contradictory (unless reason requires it), sincere and not deceitful, because people want to have a true knowledge of those with whom they are dealing. (Spiritual Exercises, pp. 36-37) 

Speaking to the sisters of the Visitation, Francis explains the fundamental rationale for this approach to dealing with others, be they social acquaintances or personal friend~: 
It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially, for in such cases we give a better proof that we love through charity than in loving those who give us more consolation, than trouble. 

. . . It is not in our power to have as tender and sweet an affection for those whose tempers and dispositions are not in accordance with our own, as for others with whom we are in sympathy. But that is nothing; it remains that the love of charity must be universal, and the signs and manifestations of our friendship must be impartial, if we wish to be true servants of God. (Spiritual Conferences, pp. 62, 69)

from Praying with Francis de Sales by Thomas F. Dailey pp. 55-56

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Daily Thought For September 10, 2019

What Mission Is Really All About

Often we can yield to the temptation of wasting our time talking about “successes” and “failures”, the “usefulness” of what we are doing or the “influence” we may have in society or elsewhere. These discussions end up taking over and, not infrequently, make us, like defeated generals, dream up vast, meticulously planned apostolic projects. We end up denying our own history – and the history of your people – which is glorious because it is a history of sacrifices, hope, daily struggle, a life consumed in fidelity to work, tiring as it may be (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 96).

In praising, we learn not to become “inebriated”, turning means into ends or the superfluous into the important. We gain the freedom to initiate processes rather than seeking to occupy spaces (cf. ibid., 233), the freedom to foster whatever brings growth, development and fruitfulness to God’s people, instead of priding ourselves on pastoral “gains” that are easy and quick, but short-lived. Much of our life, our joy and our missionary fruitfulness have to do with Jesus’ invitation to praise. As that wise and holy man, Romano Guardini, often said: “The one who worships God in the depths of his heart and, when possible, by his concrete actions, lives in the truth. He might be mistaken about many things; he can be overwhelmed and dismayed by all his cares, but when all is said and done, his life rests on a sure foundation” (R. GUARDINI, Glaubenserkenntnis, Mainz, 3rd ed., 1997, p. 17), in praise, in adoration.


The seventy-two realized that the success of their mission depended on its being carried out “in the name of the Lord Jesus”. That was what amazed them. It had nothing to do with their own virtues, names or titles… There was no need to pass out their own propaganda; it was not their fame or their vision that stirred and saved other people. The joy of the disciples was born of their certainty that they were acting in the name of the Lord, sharing in his plan and participating in his life, which they loved so much that they wanted to share it with others.

Pope Francis Apostolic Journey to Madagascar: Meeting with Priests, Men and Women Religious, Consecrated Persons and Seminarians (September 8, 2019)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Daily Thought For September 7, 2019

All Things Work According To The Good

There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade Abandonment to Divine Providence 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Daily Thought For September 6, 2019

We Are Of Such Value To God

We are of such value to God that He came to live among us... and to guide us home. He will go to any length to seek us, even to being lifted high upon the cross to draw us back to Himself. We can only respond by loving God for His love.

St. Catherine of Siena