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Showing posts from January, 2019

Daily Thought For January 31, 2019

A Severe Mercy
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I’m writing to share with you a few thoughts as a follow up to Ralph Martin’s excellent and courageous letter Dear Troubled Catholics, regarding the current crisis in the Church.

Ralph wrote that this current crisis, precipitated by the revelation of Cardinal McCarrick’s moral failures and the failure of leadership in the Church to prevent his rise to prominence, could be a “tipping point” for the Church. He sees in it a possibility for genuine repentance and change for the Church.

I perceive in this crisis—both here in the United States and around the world—an opportunity, given us by our Lord. I believe we are experiencing the discipline of the Lord; it is a severe mercy, a judgment upon the Church that is meant to lead to deep, thorough repentance, healing, and reformation. It’s an opportunity that demands a response from all of us, beginning with the leadership of the Church. If we cooperate with Jesus, with obedient and repentant hearts and t…

Daily Thought For January 30, 2019

Let His Light Shine
Give me, I pray you, Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son and my God, that love that does not fail so that my lantern, burning within me and giving light to others, may always be lighted and never extinguished. 

St. Columban

Daily Thought For January 29, 2019

The Spirit is God's Yes....and Joy!
Paul and John agree essentially on yet another point. John calls the Spirit “Paraclete”, that is, advocate, helper, defender, comforter. He is thus the adversary of the diabolos, the “prosecutor”, the slanderer, “who accuses our brethren day and night before our God” (Rev 12:10). The Spirit is the Yes, just as Christ is the Yes. Correspondingly, Paul emphasizes joy very strongly. We may say that the Spirit is the Spirit of joy and of the Gospel. One of the basic rules for the discernment of spirits could be formulated as follows: Where joylessness rules and humor dies, we may be certain that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is not present. Furthermore, joy is a sign of grace. One who is serene from the bottom of his heart, one who has suffered without losing joy, is not far from the God of the Gospel, from the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of eternal joy.


Ratzinger, J. (2008). The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God. …

Daily Thought For January 28, 2019

The Greatest Kindness
The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in leading him from error to truth.
St. Thomas Aquinas

Daily Thought For January 26, 2019

Facing Family Conflicts With God's Help
Lectio

Mark 3:20–21

Meditatio

“When his relatives heard of this.…”

Everyone faces family conflicts. Some erupt quickly and die down just as fast, while others are deep-rooted and longlasting. Today’s Gospel tells us that even Jesus had trouble with his relatives. No wonder he warned us that no prophet is accepted in his hometown, and that one’s enemies are of one’s own household. In this part of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is establishing a new family, a family of disciples. Yesterday we read about his choice of the Twelve as his apostles. They were the first members of his new family. Today we find that his relatives think he’s out of his mind. So they interfere and try to stop him from carrying out his work. Toward the end of this chapter of Mark, Jesus will identify the real members of his family: those who hear the word of God and carry it out. Those who do God’s will are the mothers, sisters, and brothers of Jesus.

Jesus’ radical demand can force us…

Daily Thought For January 25, 2019

A Sobering Encounter With St. Teresa of Calcutta on the Importance of Prayer
I remember the strong, distressing words of Mother Teresa to a young priest, Angelo Comastri, who today is a cardinal archpriest of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In his book Dio scrive dritto, there are magnificent passages. Here is his account of that upsetting encounter with the saint, which I relate here with great emotion: 

I telephoned the general house of the Missionaries of Charity so as to be able to meet Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but their answer was categorical: “It is not possible to meet Mother; her engagements do not allow it.” I went there anyway. The Sister who came to open the door for me very politely asked me, “What do you want?” “I would just like to meet Mother Teresa for a few moments.” Surprised, the Sister replied, “I am sorry! That is not possible!” I did not budge and thus made the Sister understand that I would not leave without having met Mother Teresa. The Sister went away for a f…

Daily Thought For January 24, 2019

Smooth Sailing
Have Jesus always for your patron, His Cross for a mast on which you must spread your resolutions as a sail. Your anchor shall be a profound confidence in Him, and you shall sail prosperously.
St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For January 23, 2019

Conversion Is The Goal
Grieved at their hardness of heart . . . (Mark 3:5)

During Mass one Sunday morning, a teenager chatted with the man seated next to him. The teen had been invited by a friend, and he clearly hadn’t been to church very often. His speech was peppered with bad language. His mannerisms seemed rough. And he kept speaking at the worst possible times. Offended by the boy’s actions, the man thought, “Doesn’t he know this is a church?”

But something happened that morning at Mass that led this teenager to have a dramatic encounter with the Lord. He began reading the Scriptures and attending Mass regularly. He met with the pastor and joined the parish. Soon he became an altar server and began singing in the youth choir. When the man saw all of this, he felt ashamed for judging this misfit teen harshly.

There’s a similar story in today’s Gospel from Mark. During a synagogue liturgy, Jesus healed a man with a withered hand. But instead of rejoicing at the man’s restoration, some …

Daily Thought For January 22, 2019

Finding Favor With God
The main reason why Mary need not be afraid is that she has found favour with God.  The word “grace” speaks of love freely given, not owed.  How much we are encouraged to know that we do not have to earn the closeness and help of God, by presenting a “Curriculum Vitae of excellence”, full of merits and successes!  The angel says to Mary that she has already found favour with God, not that she will obtain it in the future.  And the same formulation of the angel’s words helps us understand that divine grace is continuous, not something passing or fleeting; for this reason, it will never fail.  Even in the future, the grace of God will always be there to sustain us, especially in moments of trial and darkness.

The continuous presence of divine grace encourages us to embrace our vocation with confidence; our vocation demands a commitment of faithfulness that needs to be renewed each day.  Our vocational path is not without its crosses: not only our initial doubts, but…

Daily Thought For January 21, 2019

Desiring A "Deep" Will

We might imagine that life becomes extremely tedious when we are always bound to God's will, particularly when that will extends to all the details of life. Never again to be able to do what we want! But listening to God and obeying him is precisely what we want. This becomes clearer if we distinguish between a superficial and a deep will in the human person. We often identify a person's will with what is merely his superficial will. The superficial will is usually at the service of egoism. It listens to all its conflicting impulses and lets itself be led by the notorious couple: 
"I like—I don't like." It also obeys reason, to the extent that it egotistically seeks profit and gain. The deep will, on the other hand, is at the service of love; it coincides with our innate desire for God. The deep will "wants" God, moves toward him, and finds its satisfaction in him. 

from "Into Your Hands, Father — Abandoning Ourselves …

Daily Thought For January 20, 2019

Transformation Through the Holy Spirit

I WILL FILL YOU WITH JOY AND PEACE AS YOU wait in My Presence. Spending time with Me demonstrates that you really do trust Me. People who trust mainly in themselves and their own abilities often crowd Me out of their lives. As you learn to trust Me more, you increasingly delight in time spent with Me. And the more you wait in My Presence, the deeper your faith grows—increasing your Joy and Peace. 

Because you belong to Me, My Spirit lives in you. You may sometimes be unaware of His Presence, but He is always aware of you. Moreover, He is continually at work within you —transforming you into My likeness with ever-increasing Glory. You cooperate in this process by focusing on Me. As you become more and more like Me, hope grows within you. With the Spirit's help, this hope can well up inside you till it overflows—spilling out and splashing into the lives of other people! 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so t…

Daily Thought For January 19, 2019

The Eucharist As A Way Of Life
Significantly, the Synod Fathers stated that “the Christian faithful need a fuller understanding of the relationship between the Eucharist and their daily lives. Eucharistic spirituality is not just participation in Mass and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. It embraces the whole of life.” (216) This observation is particularly insightful, given our situation today. It must be acknowledged that one of the most serious effects of the secularization just mentioned is that it has relegated the Christian faith to the margins of life as if it were irrelevant to everyday affairs. The futility of this way of living—“as if God did not exist”—is now evident to everyone. Today there is a need to rediscover that Jesus Christ is not just a private conviction or an abstract idea, but a real person, whose becoming part of human history is capable of renewing the life of every man and woman. Hence the Eucharist, as the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission…

Daily Thought For January 18, 2019

Total Surrender
Many turn to God only when they must make an important or definitive choice in life. They approach God as a computer, so to speak, who gives answers to certain questions. "We cannot put our lives into God's hands," writes Martin Lonnebo, "demanding that his will be done in just one choice. That is wrong. Often we do not get a clear answer when we ask God questions in prayer. We can stand there just as perplexed after prayer as before. The secret of evangelical freedom from care is not that we surrender our life to God only at certain times. The secret is rather that we never leave God! Let your whole life rest in his powerful yet tender hand."
"Into Your Hands, Father — Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us" by Wilfried Stinissen p.55

Daily Thought For January 17, 2019

The Pace of the Spiritual Life
The fruits of the earth are not brought to perfection immediately, but by time, rain and care; similarly, the fruits of men ripen through ascetic practice, study, time, perseverance, self-control and patience.
St. Anthony the Great

Daily Thought For January 16, 2019

Baloney or Blarney?
Baloney is flattery laid on so thick it cannot be true, and blarney is flattery so thin we love it.
Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

Daily Thought For January 15, 2019

Astonishing Teaching

Lectio

Mark 1:21–28

Meditatio

“The people were astonished at his teaching.…”

Interesting words: the people were astonished. They don’t clap. They aren’t taken aback. They don’t have an animated discussion after his proclamation. Rather they are stunned into silence. The people are excited that they have finally found a teaching that answers the deepest questions and hungers of their heart.

We want to be taught. We look for a master at living. No matter how smart we may feel ourselves to be, we still are gratefully amazed when we encounter preaching that reveals a dimension of life or truth beyond the commonplace. We long to know there is something more to our lives, a deeper, ultimate meaning to the daily grind, something that makes it all worthwhile.

The astonishment of the crowds listening to Jesus is all the more intriguing when we recall that Jesus preaches values that turn the conventional wisdom of the world upside down, often uncomfortably so. The world’s values d…

Daily Thought For January 14, 2019

The Grace of Today
The past is no longer yours; the future is not yet in your power. You have only the present wherein to do good.
St. Alphonsus Liguori

Daily Thought For January 13, 2019

The Battle Has Been Won
“This night a battle has been waged and won for you…The Love that has been coming for you since the beginning—he slays dragons for you.  This is the truest love story of history, and it’s his-story, and it’s for you…
He lays himself down in your mire.
He unfolds himself in the stench you want to hide, in that mess that is your impossible, in the mucked straw you don’t want anyone to know.
Rejected at the inn, holy God comes in small to where you feel rejected and small.  God is with you now.  Wherever you are—in soundless cry or hidden brokenness or in your ache—God always wants to be with you.  You are not ever left alone in this…

This is Love you can’t comprehend.  You can only feel and touch this kind.  There, in the place where you feel rejected, you can be touched by God.  There, in the places you feel small, you can touch God.”  


(Ann Voskamp, December 2018 Magnificat, p. 180.)

Daily Thought For January 12, 2019

The Constant Call
For in truth we are not called once only, but many times; all through our life Christ is calling us. He called us first in Baptism; but afterward also; whether we obey His voice or not, He graciously calls us still. If we fall from our Baptism, He calls us to repent; if we are striving to fulfill our calling, He calls us on from grace to grace, and from holiness to holiness, while life is given us. Abraham was called from his home, Peter from his nets, Matthew from his office, Elisha from his farm, Nathanael from his retreat; we are all in course of calling, on and on, from one thing to another, having no resting-place, but mounting toward our eternal rest, and obeying one command only to have another put upon us. He calls us again and again, in order to justify us again and again—and again and again, and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us.
It were well if we understood this; but we are slow to master the great truth, that Christ is, as it were, walking among us…

Daily Thought For January 11, 2019

We Need A Messiah
The message of Christmas is not that we can make peace. Or that we can make love, make light, make gifts, or make this world save itself. The message of Christmas is that this world’s a mess and we can never save ourselves from ourselves and we need a Messiah.

Ann Voskamp

Daily Thought For January 9, 2019

God Is Here
God is here. This truth should fill our lives, and every Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with God, when we allow his light and grace to enter deep into our soul.
St. Josemaría Escrivá

Daily Thought For January 8, 2019

We Love Because He First Loved Us
There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.
Pope Leo XIII

Daily Thought For January 7, 2019

True Friends
True friends challenge us and help us to be faithful on our journey.


Pope Benedict XVI

Daily Thought For January 5, 2019

A Great Intention To Start The Day
I will be kind to everybody, particularly to those whom I find troublesome.
St. Anthony Marie Claret

Daily Thought For January 4, 2019

Cheerfulness
Cheerfulness prepares a glorious mind for all the noblest acts.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Daily Thought For January 2, 2019

A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit
A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.


Saint Basil The Great