Posts

Showing posts from February, 2019

Daily Thought For February 27, 2019

Do Not Prevent Him

Lectio

Mark 9:38–40

Meditatio

“Do not prevent him.”

Can we picture John being brought up short by this response from Jesus? In John’s mind, undoubtedly, he and his companions are Jesus’ chosen ones—the Master’s special inner circle. How can this other fellow, who has no connection with them, presume to cast out demons in Jesus’ name? It just isn’t right.…

But here is Jesus calmly saying, “Whoever is not against us is for us.” Does John swallow an unspoken “But …”?

Haven’t we all been in similar situations? We were the insiders, the rising stars, the generous staff members who worked day and night for the success of our organization. Whenever an “upstart” appeared, he or she was cordially resented.

Think back to some such situation in your life.… How did it work out? Did you learn anything from the way things developed? Would you have handled matters differently if you could live through that experience again?

I think each of us can admit that what we just recalled was a mome…

Daily Thought For February 26, 2019

Encouragement For Our Prayer Life
I do not want you to be too worried about your prayer made without words, as you put it to me, because it is good if at the end it leaves you with noble affections in your heart. Therefore, follow the path along which the Holy Spirit is calling you, without neglecting to prepare yourself for meditation. It is necessary to give yourself a sufficient preparation which mirrors your attitude; when God lifts us up to lofty heights, to Him alone be the glory! 
St. Francis de Sales (Letters 49; O. XIII, p. 334) 

Daily Thought For February 24, 2019

A Pope's Humor
When Timothy Cardinal Dolan was Archbishop of Milwaukee, he told Pope John Paul II in a papal audience, “Holy Father, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is growing and expanding!” To which JPII responded, “And so is its new archbishop!”

Daily Thought For February 23, 2019

Growing In "Loving Our Neighbor"
Love of neighbor is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus. It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. His friend is my friend. Going beyond exterior appearances, I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern. This I can offer them not only through the organizations intended for such purposes, accepting it perhaps as a political necessity. Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave. Here we see the necessary interplay between love of God and love o…

Daily Thought For February 22, 2019

God's Amazing Agape Love
We have seen that God’s eros for man is also totally agape. This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit, but also because it is love which forgives. Hosea above all shows us that this agape dimension of God’s love for man goes far beyond the aspect of gratuity. Israel has committed “adultery” and has broken the covenant; God should judge and repudiate her. It is precisely at this point that God is revealed to be God and not man: “How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel!… My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst” (Hos 11:8–9). God’s passionate love for his people—for humanity—is at the same time a forgiving love. It is so great that it turns God against himself, his love against his justice. Here Christians can see a dim prefigur…

Daily Thought For February 21, 2019

Charity Is The Remedy Against Rash Judgments
     “Judge not, and you shall not be judged,” says the Saviour of our souls; “condemn not, and you shall not be condemned” (Luke, 6:37). “No,” says the holy apostle, “judge not before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart” (2 Cor. 4:5). Oh, how displeasing are rash judgments to God! The judgments of the children of men are rash, because they are not the judges of one another, and therefore usurp to themselves the office of our Lord. They are rash, because the principal malice of sin depends on the intention of the heart, which is an impenetrable secret to us. They are not only rash, but also impertinent, because everyone has enough to do to judge himself, without taking upon him to judge his neighbour. In order that we may not be hereafter judged, it is equally necessary to refrain from judging others; and to be careful to judge ourselves. …

Daily Thought For February 19, 2019

Compassion 
Unless you have suffered and wept, you really don't understand what compassion is, nor can you give comfort to someone who is suffering. If you haven't cried, you can't dry another's eyes. Unless you've walked in darkness, you can't help wanderers find the way. Unless you've looked into the eyes of menacing death and felt its hot breath, you can't help another rise from the dead and taste anew the joy of being alive.
Takashi Nagai 

Daily Thought For February 18, 2019

The Desert
Throughout history there have been many men and women who have chosen to imitate Jesus as he withdraws into the desert... To pass time in the desert means to create a little emptiness and silence around us, to rediscover the road to our heart, to remove ourselves from the noise and external distractions, to enter into contact with the deepest source of our being and our faith.
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

Daily Thought For February 17, 2019

The Failure of Fear & Pride
     Roots provide strength for a tree-to help the tree stand firm against the fierce attack of stormy weather. Likewise, people live in fear and respond with pride in an attempt to withstand the weak soil of insecurity. However, these roots support a false sense of security. The storms of life expose the weakness of our faulty system. When one root fails to strengthen us, we turn to the other and redouble our efforts, entering into further bondage. 
     Fear is a universal human experience. Fear arrived hot on the heels of Adam and Eve's first sin of pride and rebellion and fear is a result of our pride as well as our independence. Now it is a good thing for a person to overcome their fears and not be subject to them. Often, someone who has a fear of flying will deliberately fly in an airplane to overcome that fear. Or one who is terrified of public speaking may take a course in speech or join Toastmasters. If someone comes to us for prayer, however…

Daily Thought For February 16, 2019

A Beautiful Reminder In Hardship
“Saint Catherine of Siena once received a visit from her heavenly spouse at a time when she was being assailed by a tide of temptations of the flesh.  ‘My Lord,’ she called out to him, ‘where were you when my heart was being tormented by so many temptations?’  And the Lord replied, ‘I was in your heart.’  And she said, ‘Saving always the truth of what you say, my Lord, and with all due respect for your majesty, how can I believe that you were living in my heart, when it was full of unclean and devilish thoughts?’  And the Lord answered: ‘Those thoughts and temptations: did they gladden your heart, or sadden it?  Did they bring you pleasure, or displeasure?’  And she replied: ‘Great pain, and great displeasure.’  And the Lord answered: ‘Who was it who made you feel displeasure, if not I who was hiding in the center of your heart?’  
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., February Magnificat, p. 144

Daily Thought For February 15, 2019

Weighing All Things In The Balance of God's Will
Do not pay any attention to the kind of work you do, but rather to the honor that it brings to God, even though it may seem quite trivial. Desire only to do the Divine Will, following Divine Providence, which is the disposition of Divine Wisdom. In a word, if your works are pleasing to God and recognized as such, that is all that matters. Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God's will. 
St. Francis de Sales — Letters 280; O. XIII, p. 53

Daily Thought For February 13, 2019

G.K Chesterton On "Success"
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
G.K. Chesterton

Daily Thought For February 12, 2019

A Perpetual Pentecost
     A few months ago I was attending Mass at a college seminary nearby. As I watched the young seminarians receive Communion I began to pray that they might be filled with the Holy Spirit. "Lord," I prayed, "please show me what more I can do to help men like these receive the Baptism of the Spirit. I believe this grace is meant for the whole Church." Immediately after Mass one of the seminarians invited Al and me to come back in a few weeks to speak to them about the Charismatic Renewal. What a quick answer to prayer! I was thrilled. 
    As we considered what to tell these seminarians about the modern day movement of the Spirit, we decided to start with Blessed Sr. Elena Guerra. Have you ever heard of her? Until recently I didn't realize how deeply indebted we all are to this remarkable Italian nun who lived at the turn of the century. This is what we told our young seminary friends. 
     The Lord revealed to Elena Guerra the importance of…

Daily Thought For February 11, 2019

Armando
Armando is an amazing eight-year-old boy. . . .

Armando cannot walk or talk and is very small for his age. He came to us from an orphanage where he had been abandoned. He no longer wanted to eat because he no longer wanted to live cast off from his mother. He was desperately thin and was dying of lack of food. After a while in our community where he found people who held him, loved him, and wanted him to live, he gradually began to eat again and to develop in a remarkable way. He still cannot walk or talk or eat by himself, his body is twisted and broken, and he has a severe mental disability, but when you pick him up, his eyes and his whole body quiver with joy and excitement and say: “I love you.” He has a deep therapeutic influence on people. . . .

What [many people] do not always know is that they have a well deep inside of them. If that well is tapped, springs of life and of tenderness flow forth. It has to be revealed to each person that these waters are there and that they…

Daily Thought For February 9, 2019

The Prayer Room
     About this time every year our prayer group is involved in hosting the Southern Regional Conference for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I have come to love this yearly gathering. It's a privilege to come together with several thousand Catholic charismatics to praise and worship, to be taught, and to see the Lord act with power. 
     No matter how outstanding the message of the conference is, there is always something else that manages to touch me. It is the generosity and commitment of the volunteers who work at the conference. Hundreds of people each year pledge their time and talents to serve. 
     One of my children asked me recently what these workers get paid for their service. He was shocked to find out there is no monetary reward for the countless hours of work they do. Instead they find their joy in being like their Master who said, "I am among you as one who serves" (Mt 20:28). In the words of one of the men who constructs the stage, "…

Daily Thought For February 8, 2019

From Our Saint of the Day
Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage.
St. Josephine Bakhita

Daily Thought For February 7, 2019

TWO—EDGED SWORD Indeed, God's word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. Itpenetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow. Itjudges the reflections and thoughts of the heart. Nothing is concealed from Him. All lies bare and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account (Heb 4:12-13).     God's word is alive! That fact is a source of great joy and consolation, but it is also a source of constant challenge and conviction as we follow Jesus. I was amazed after receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to find out how alive God's word could be. The words of Scripture seemed to leap off the page to speak to my heart. In Psalm 119 we read that a young person can keep his life pure by guarding it according to God's word. God's word needs to be stored up in our hearts that we might not sin against the Lord. As the Holy Spirit teaches us, He often uses the Scripture which we have read and meditated upon to shed light on the circu…

Daily Thought For February 6, 2019

Spiritual Conditioning
Isn’t it awe inspiring to watch Olympic weight lifters heft hundreds of pounds? Of course, you know that none of them began by hoisting barbell-bending weights. They started with the barbell itself and slowly increased the weight as they grew stronger.

So it is in our struggle against sin. None of us start out as Olympic weight lifters. We have to start out gradually and build ourselves up over time. Now, you may already be nearing Olympics caliber when it comes to battling sin, or you may be just starting out. Regardless of where you are, it’s always helpful to review some of the basics.

First, start your training by getting into the practice of examining your conscience each evening. “Where have I fallen short today? In what areas am I committing the same sins over and over? Who may I have hurt today by my words or actions?” Then ask God—and any person you may have offended—for forgiveness. Don’t forget to make sacramental Confession a regular practice. It will g…

Daily Thought For February 5, 2019

A Feast of Grace
Enrich your soul in the great goodness of God: The Father is your table, the Son is your food, and the Holy Spirit waits on you and then makes His dwelling in you.
St. Catherine of Siena

Daily Thought For February 2, 2019

The Presentation —The Dreams of Our Elders And Docility To The Spirit of the Living God
When the parents of Jesus brought the Child in fulfilment of the prescriptions of the law, Simeon, “guided by the Spirit” (Lk 2:27), took the Child in his arms and broke out in a hymn of blessing and praise. “My eyes”, he said, “have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Lk 2:30-32). Simeon not only saw, but was privileged to hold in his arms the long-awaited hope, which filled him with exultation. His heart rejoiced because God had come to dwell among his people; he felt his presence in the flesh.

Today’s liturgy tells us that in that rite, the Lord, forty days after his birth, “outwardly was fulfilling the Law, but in reality he was coming to meet his believing people” (Roman Missal, 2 February, Introduction to the Entrance Procession). This encounter of God with his people brings jo…