Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Daily Thought For April 30, 2019

Living Life More Abundantly

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.

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

Monday, April 29, 2019

Daily Thought For April 29, 2019

Simple But Powerful

Love God, serve God; everything is in that.

St. Clare of Assisi

Friday, April 26, 2019

Daily Thought For April 26, 2019

The Joy of Mercy & Finding Dignity Again

Going on, one can therefore say that the love for the son the love that springs from the very essence of fatherhood, in a way obliges the father to be concerned about his son’s dignity. This concern is the measure of his love, the love of which Saint Paul was to write: “Love is patient and kind … love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful … but rejoices in the right … hopes all things, endures all things” and “love never ends.” Mercy—as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son—has the interior form of the love that in the New Testament is called agape. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and “restored to value.” The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy that he has been “found again” and that he has “returned to life. This joy indicates a good that has remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his father’s son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself.

What took place in the relationship between the father and the son in Christ’s parable is not to be evaluated “from the outside.” Our prejudices about mercy are mostly the result of appraising them only from the outside. At times it happens that by following this method of evaluation we see in mercy above all a relationship of inequality between the one offering it and the one receiving it. And, in consequence, we are quick to deduce that mercy belittles the receiver, that it offends the dignity of man. The parable of the prodigal son shows that the reality is different: the relationship of mercy is based on the common experience of that good which is man, on the common experience of the dignity that is proper to him. This common experience makes the prodigal son begin to see himself and his actions in their full truth (this vision in truth is a genuine form of humility); on the other hand, for this very reason he becomes a particular good for his father: the father sees so clearly the good which has been achieved thanks to a mysterious radiation of truth and love, that he seems to forget all the evil which the son had committed.

The parable of the prodigal son expresses in a simple but profound way the reality of conversion. Conversion is the most concrete expression of the working of love and of the presence of mercy in the human world. The true and proper meaning of mercy does not consist only in looking, however penetratingly and compassionately, at moral, physical or material evil: mercy is manifested in its true and proper aspect when it restores to value, promotes and draws good from all the forms of evil existing in the world and in man. Understood in this way, mercy constitutes the fundamental content of the messianic message of Christ and the constitutive power of His mission. His disciples and followers understood and practiced mercy in the same way. Mercy never ceased to reveal itself, in their hearts and in their actions, as an especially creative proof of the love which does not allow itself to be “conquered by evil,” but overcomes “evil with good.” The genuine face of mercy has to be ever revealed anew. In spite of many prejudices, mercy seems particularly necessary for our times.

John Paul II. (1980). Dives in Misericordia #6. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Daily Thought For April 25, 2019

Incredulous Joy

Lectio

Luke 24:35–48

Meditatio

“… still incredulous for joy.”

Have you ever been “incredulous for joy”? Perhaps you received some good news—an invitation to a wonderful event, or a gift, or an award that you never imagined receiving. At first it seems too amazing, and you search for other possibilities. Is it a joke or a dream? What conditions are attached?

The disciples in the upper room are incredulous for joy (after getting over their terror at seeing what they think is a ghost). They look more closely at Jesus, touch him, and realize that he is not a spirit. But they still can’t get over it. They still don’t believe that they’re seeing Jesus raised from the dead. There has to be another explanation. It is just too amazing.

But Jesus has important things to say to them. He doesn’t want them to be distracted, still puzzling over how it could be true. So he asks them a simple, down-to-earth question, something so matter-of-fact that it brings them out of their daze.

“Have you anything here to eat?” They find some leftover fish from dinner and give it to him. They watch as he eats it. They have eaten with him many times over the past few years. The simple act of eating brings them to accept the truth, and Jesus goes on to speak with them about the Scriptures and how they must be the witnesses for him.

Jesus is alive. It’s true! He has conquered death. We are invited to live his life, to be made utterly new. We can’t waste time being incredulous. Haven’t we been touched by his love in so many ways? Haven’t we eaten with him? He has something to say to us. When we stop questioning, we will be able to hear what it is.

Oratio

Jesus, sometimes the new life you offer me seems too good to be true. But I believe in you. I believe that you died and rose again. I believe that you speak to me through your word. Are you asking me to offer the hope of new beginnings to someone who thinks it’s too late to start again? Am I being called to witness in some other way? I want to listen carefully, to be open to what you want to say to me, to all the ways you are calling me to witness to you.

Contemplatio

Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 14–15). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Daily Thought For April 24, 2019

Overcoming Sadness

It is impossible to graft an oak limb onto a pear tree. The two trees are much too different. Neither can anger or despair be grafted onto love without extreme difficulty. Can sadness be compatible with holy love? Joy is ranked among the fruits of the Holy Spirit, listed immediately after love itself. And yet Paul writes, "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death" (2 Corinthians 7: 10). There is, then, a sorrow or sadness in harmony with the love of God. It belongs to penitent sinners, and it is a part of our compassion for others. 

There is also a sadness of this world. It is the result of fishing in troubled waters. There is a fish called the sea-devil that hides in the muddy water it stirs up around itself. It waits in ambush for its prey. When it spots a little fish swimming by it darts out and devours it. In the same way the devil makes his ambush in sadness. After troubling the soul with many sad thoughts stirred up here and there in the mind, he makes a charge upon the affections, weighting them down with distrust, jealousy, envy, too much worry about past sins, and a large number of wasteful, sour, and melancholy subtleties of the imagination. The soul abandons reason and rejects consolations. 

Sadness sometimes comes from one's natural disposition. 
There are melancholy souls. This is not vicious in itself, but our enemy makes great use of it to weave and set up a thousand temptations in our souls. As spiders prefer to spin their webs on cloudy days, this malign spirit finds it much more difficult to spread the nets of negative suggestions in sweet, kindly, and bright souls than in the gloomy and sad. These he easily disturbs with irritation, mistrust, hatred, grumbling, scorn, envy, idleness, and spiritual numbness. 

"Worldly sorrow brings death" (2 Corinthians 7: 10). Let's banish it, Theotimus. As much as possible, let's push it away with every contrasting attitude we can get together. Even if we are naturally disposed to be melancholy, we can still be gracious and kind. We can speak civil words gently. We may be excused for not being cheerful all the time. It is not possible to control this with an act of will, but there is no excuse for not being gracious, accommodating, and considerate of others. This is always within your grasp. 

from Living Love —A Modern Edition of Treatise on the Love of God by St. Francis de Sales pp. 116-117

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Daily Thought For April 23, 2019

A Broken Watch, Holy Communion, & Resting On His Heart

This morning I had an adventure. My watch had stopped, and I did not know when to get up, and I thought of what a misfortune it would be to miss Holy Communion. It was still dark, so I had no way of knowing whether it was time to get up. I dressed, made my meditation and went to the chapel, but everything was still locked, and silence reigned everywhere. I steeped myself in prayer, especially for the sick. I now see how much the sick have need of prayer. Finally, the chapel was opened. I found it difficult to pray because I was already feeling very exhausted, and immediately after Holy Communion I returned to my room. Then I saw the Lord, who said to me, Know, My daughter, that the ardor of your heart is pleasing to Me. And just as you desire ardently to become united with Me in Holy Communion, so too do I desire to give Myself wholly to you; and as a reward for your zeal, rest on My Heart. At that moment, my spirit was immersed in His Being, like a drop in a bottomless ocean. I drowned myself in Him as in my sole treasure. Thus I came to recognize that the Lord allows certain difficulties for His greater glory. 

St. Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul #826

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Daily Thought For April 20, 2019

Entrust Everything To Jesus

When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: “You can do all things.” And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him.”

St. Faustina Kowalska Divine Mercy Diary #1033

Friday, April 19, 2019

Daily Thought For April 19, 2019

Overcoming Trivial Things

Let me warn you, Theotimus, of a troublesome temptation that frequently comes to those who have a strong desire to do God's will: They fret over trifles. Should I accept this invitation to dinner? Should I wear gray or black clothes? Should I fast on Friday or Saturday? Should I play a game or not? This takes their time and energy. While trying to determine what is best, they miss opportunities to do something good. 

We don't weigh small change. Commerce would become very inefficient and cumbersome if we did. There is nothing to be gained by weighing every little action to know whether it may be of more value than some other action. Is it better to attend one church than another? Is it better to spin than to sew? It is poor service to a master to spend as much time considering what is to be done as actually doing it. Our attention is to be in proportion to the importance of what we are doing. 

Some things need serious consideration: the choice of a vocation, a significant business deal, a lengthy labor, a huge expense, moving to a new location, the choice of friends, and similar issues. But there is no reason to scrutinize every little thing we face on a daily basis. Even a mistake in these will not lead to any disastrous consequences. It wastes two people's time to ask advice regarding such things. Why should I torture myself wondering whether God would rather I say the Rosary or Our Lady's Office? What difference does it make? Should I visit the sick in the hospital or attend vespers? Should I attend one church or another? Ordinarily one such alternative is no better than the other. There is no need to deliberate at great length. 

We will not discover God's will through the power of examination and the subtlety of dialogue. Once we have prayed for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and listened to the counsel of our spiritual director and two or three others, we need to make a decision. Once it is made, don't look back. Devoutly, peacefully, and confidently get it done. You may be hindered by unexpected problems as you work at it. Don't let that stop you. Keep at it. Realize that if you had made another choice it could possibly be a hundred times more difficult. We don't know whether God's will is to be accomplished in comfort or in anguish, in peace or in war. Once we make a holy resolution, never doubt the holiness of it. Unless we fail, it cannot fail. To behave in any other way indicates selfishness, childishness, weakness, and silliness of spirit. 

from Living Love — A Modern Edition of Treatise On The Love of God by St. Francis de Sales pp. 81-22

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Daily Thought For April 18, 2019

Washing Feet & Overcoming The Poison of Resentment

When the Lord tells Peter that without the washing of the feet he would not be able to have any part in him, Peter immediately asks impetuously that his head and hands be washed. This is followed by Jesus' mysterious saying: "He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet" (Jn 13: 10). Jesus was alluding to a cleansing with which the disciples had already complied; for their participation in the banquet, only the washing of their feet was now required. But of course this conceals a more profound meaning. What was Jesus alluding to? We do not know for certain. In any case, let us bear in mind that the washing of the feet, in accordance with the meaning of the whole chapter, does not point to any single specific sacrament but the sacramentum Christi in its entirety - his service of salvation, his descent even to the Cross, his love to the end that purifies us and makes us capable of God. Yet here, with the distinction between bathing and the washing of the feet, an allusion to life in the community of the disciples also becomes perceptible, an allusion to the life of the Church. It then seems clear that the bathing that purifies us once and for all and must not be repeated is Baptism - being immersed in the death and Resurrection of Christ, a fact that profoundly changes our life, giving us as it were a new identity that lasts, if we do not reject it as Judas did. However, even in the permanence of this new identity, given by Baptism, for convivial communion with Jesus we need the "washing of the feet". What does this involve? It seems to me that the First Letter of St John gives us the key to understanding it. In it we read: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1: 8ff.). We are in need of the "washing of the feet", the cleansing of our daily sins, and for this reason we need to confess our sins as St John spoke of in this Letter. We have to recognize that we sin, even in our new identity as baptized persons. We need confession in the form it has taken in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In it the Lord washes our dirty feet ever anew and we can be seated at table with him.

But in this way the word with which the Lord extends the sacramentum, making it the exemplum, a gift, a service for one's brother, also acquires new meaning: "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (Jn 13: 14). We must wash one another's feet in the mutual daily service of love. But we must also wash one another's feet in the sense that we must forgive one another ever anew. The debt for which the Lord has pardoned us is always infinitely greater than all the debts that others can owe us (cf. Mt 18: 21-35). Holy Thursday exhorts us to this: not to allow resentment toward others to become a poison in the depths of the soul. It urges us to purify our memory constantly, forgiving one another whole-heartedly, washing one another's feet, to be able to go to God's banquet together.


Holy Thursday is a day of gratitude and joy for the great gift of love to the end that the Lord has made to us. Let us pray to the Lord at this hour, so that gratitude and joy may become in us the power to love together with his love. Amen.

Pope Benedict XVI —excerpt from Holy Thursday Homily, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Daily Thought For April 17, 2019

Living Fountain of All Graces

Hail, most merciful Heart of Jesus, 
Living Fountain of all graces, 
Our sole shelter, our only refuge; 
In You I have the light of hope. 
Hail, most compassionate Heart of my God, 

Unfathomable living Fount of Love 
From which gushes life for sinful man 
And the Spring of all sweetness. 

Hail, open Wound of the Most Sacred Heart, 
From which the rays of mercy issued forth 
And from which it was given us to draw life 
With the vessel of trust alone. 

Hail, God’s goodness, incomprehensible, 
Never to be measured or fathomed, 
Full of love and mercy, though always holy, 
Yet, like a good mother, ever bent o’er us. 

Hail, Throne of Mercy, Lamb of God, 
Who gave Your life in sacrifice for me, 
Before whom my soul humbles itself daily, 

Living in faith profound. 

St. Faustina Kowalska Diary—Divine Mercy in My Soul #1321

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Daily Thought For April 16, 2019

Extraordinary Inspirations
     
     Other inspirations are extraordinary, not only because they take the soul beyond the limits of ordinary activity, but also because they go against traditional laws, rules, and customs of the Church. These are easier to admire than to imitate. 
     One of the best indicators of all inspirations in general, and extraordinary ones in particular, is the peace and tranquility that comes with them. While the Holy Spirit is powerful, his power is gentle. He arrives at the Upper Room "like the blowing of a violent wind" (Acts 2:2). But he does not knock the Apostles down. Their natural response of fear is quickly replaced with calm confidence. 
     God's servants who had the highest and most awe-inspiring inspirations were also the mildest and most peaceful people. The evil spirit is unstable, rough, and upsetting. Those who get taken in by infernal suggestions, mistaking them for heavenly inspirations, are easy to spot. They are loud, obstinate, arrogant, and ready to meddle with everything, using the cloak of religious fervor to turn everything upside down. They are critical of others and find fault with everything. They will not listen to guidance or yield to any other point of view. They gratify the passions of self-love while claiming they are doing so out of jealousy for God's honor. 

from Living Love —A Modern Edition of Treatise On The Love of God by Francis de Sales p.79

Monday, April 15, 2019

Daily Thought For Apri 15, 2019

What Regular Confession Taught a Wayward Son About His Father

I never used to rate confession highly on the to-do list. I was always too busy to go, always had a reason to do something else and that reason always made sense. I never really considered whether I liked confession or not. I wasn’t burdened with the prospect of reliving my own guilt and never had a problem with the teachings of the church on whether the sacrament was even all that necessary. I just didn’t go.

That began to change during my marriage preparation. My wife put me back on the road to the Church when we were dating and I reluctantly agreed. I knew it was important to her (at the time, I didn’t give thought to whether God cared or not) and so I went. It was my first time in the confessional in years and it was different. The priest was there face to face. It was bright. He smiled. He listened. He consoled. He sent me to Scripture in front of the Blessed Sacrament after it was over. God forgave me. It was…tolerable and quite nice.  A relief in many ways. No fire and brimstone and I let out some significant transgressions from parts of my life that I am glad are in my past. I emerged from the church that day refreshed and energized feeling much closer to the Lord.

I sporadically went to confession in the following years but have only truly come to appreciate and love it in the past 5. I’ve had some very powerful moments during the sacrament. I have experienced such a relief of my burdens that I carry around. At times, I have physically felt my shoulders get lighter upon uttering my worst sins aloud. In my mind, I’ve seen the Lord standing beside me with his arm around me.

As I continue to seek God and learn more about my faith and hone my desire to be close to the Lord, I learn more about what I should be doing, but I don’t always meet those standards. When I fall, I fall hard and the memory of those sins lingers. It is tempting to get spiritually “down.”  Falling asleep at night is the worst. I experience an examination of conscience even without purposefully or willfully doing so. I beat myself up. I’ve told myself I’m worthless. I’ve told myself I should do better. I’ve told God that’d be easier if he spent his time on someone with a chance of reaching his standards of holiness. I’ve told him he should just give up on me. He doesn’t and I always end up hearing that voice during my self-torture telling me that I’m going to be ok. Sometimes it’s not right in that moment lying in bed, but having been to the sacrament of reconciliation enough now, I truly know that forgiveness will always come. What I am telling myself in these moments is not the same as what God is telling me.

Frequency matters. Reconciliation once a year at Christmas or Easter (for those of us who even go that often) is like getting your teeth cleaned randomly. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, you never really own up to all of the sugar you consume, the dentist knows you’re keeping information back but does what he can and sends you on your way. You think you’ve gotten away with it and that your teeth are doing just fine, but the dentist knows better, and the problem never goes away and true reconciliation never really happens and you can’t be fully healed. Unlike a dentist who can’t put your teeth back to perfectly white, gleaming and fully restored to their original state, God does when you make a true confession. Hold nothing back. Let it go. Let the grace of God wash over you.

In the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis tells us it is us who grow tired of asking for forgiveness, it is never the Lord who grows tired of forgiving us. That statement has stuck with me. I know it, having experienced it. I’m a father, and no matter how bad my kids behave I have yet to reject their apology or withhold my love. As their father, I find it difficult to imagine ever being so cruel and harsh. My children know something I struggle to remember. When they do wrong, they own up. They say sorry and they receive my love and my forgiveness. Sometimes they make up for their wrongdoing by an act of service or repair. Sometimes they learn from me in that moment. Sometimes they don’t even need me to teach them anything, they just already know the lesson, move on and try harder next time, which is all that is being asked of us.

To me, there is a very important aspect of saying my sins aloud. I own them. I am the one who committed them after all. They’re mine. I keep them inside and they weigh me down. Then I got to the sacrament of reconciliation and I open my lips and I let them go. They go far away from me and they don’t hurt me again. Their absence allows my Father to fill me with his love, his mercy and his peace. I leave the confession with a mission to never sin again. I haven’t fulfilled that mission yet, but I do my best every day and when I fall again, I know that my Father is waiting for me silently in the confessional. Ready to do the entire thing over again. When the prodigal son returns to his father hoping for some mercy, it is his father who runs to him and celebrates. He runs to him because he loves his son and rejoices that he has returned once more.

“So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him” Luke 15:20

Don’t let the sins you withhold convince you that you shouldn’t go. Don’t let traffic, a head cold, football game or grocery list stop you. Lent is here. This is a great time to return and reconcile with the Lord in preparation for Easter. Find out when the sacrament of reconciliation is scheduled in your parish and go. You’ve got sins to lose and His grace to gain.

by Damien Murtagh from Those Catholic Men website (https://thosecatholicmen.com)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Daily Thought For April 14, 2019

Following in Our Master's Footsteps

In the footsteps of Mary, countless holy men and women have followed Jesus on the path of humility and obedience.  Today, World Youth Day, I would like to mention all those young saints, especially the saints “next door” to us, known only to God; sometimes he likes to surprise us with them.  Dear young people, do not be ashamed to show your enthusiasm for Jesus, to shout out that he is alive and that he is your life.  Yet at the same time, do not be afraid to follow him on the way of the cross.  When you hear that he is asking you to renounce yourselves, to let yourselves be stripped of every security, and to entrust yourselves completely to our Father in heaven, then rejoice and exult!  You are on the path of the kingdom of God.

Festive acclamations and brutal torture; the silence of Jesus throughout his Passion is profoundly impressive.  He also overcomes the temptation to answer back, to act like a “superstar”.  In moments of darkness and great tribulation, we need to keep silent, to find the courage not to speak, as long as our silence is meek and not full of anger.  The meekness of silence will make us appear even weaker, more humble.  Then the devil will take courage and come out into the open.  We need to resist him in silence, “holding our position”, but with the same attitude as Jesus.  He knows that the battle is between God and the prince of this world, and that what is important is not putting our hand to the sword but remaining firm in faith.  It is God’s hour.  At the hour that God comes forth to fight, we have to let him take over.  Our place of safety will be beneath the mantle of the holy Mother of God.  As we wait for the Lord to come and calm the storm (cf. Mt 4:37-41), by our silent witness in prayer we give ourselves and others “an accounting for the hope that is within [us]” (1 Pet 3:15).  This will help us to live in the sacred tension between the memory of the promises made, the suffering present in the cross, and the hope of the resurrection.

Pope Francis — excerpt Homily for Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Daily Thought For April 13, 2019

A Wonderful Prayer For Mercy

God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman.

Bend down to us sinners,
heal our weakness,
conquer all evil,
and grant that all the peoples of the earth
may experience your mercy.
In You, the Triune God,
may they ever find the source of hope.

Eternal Father,
by the Passion and Resurrection of your Son,
have mercy on us and upon the whole world!


Amen.

St. John Paul II - excerpt from Homily for the Dedication of the Shrine of Divine Mercy Kraków-Łagiewniki, 17 August 2002 (We spent three nights here at the end of our pilgrimage to Poland. A grace-filled place!) The full homily can be viewed by clicking here. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Daily Thought For April 12, 2019

Many Came To Believe In Him

Lectio

John 10:31–42

Meditatio

“[M]any there began to believe in him.”

Today’s Gospel begins to prepare us for the momentous events of Good Friday, one week from today. It describes what happened when some people picked up rocks to stone Jesus. He pointed out that he had shown them many good works from his Father and asked, “For which of these are you trying to stone me?” They answered that it was because “you, a man, are making yourself God.” Although they had seen the signs he worked, they did not believe. The people whom John describes at the end of today’s reading, instead, “began to believe in him.” What a contrast: unbelief and belief!

We have received the gift of faith, through which we believe all that God has revealed. How does our faith affect our daily living? For example, we know that Jesus redeemed us. Does our belief lead us to confidently ask for forgiveness whenever we sin? Does our belief that God loves us unconditionally enkindle our trust in his provident care for us and for those we love?

Faith grows with use—and life presents us with many opportunities. When we wrestle with greater or lesser questions, suffering, or darkness, it is time to delve deeply into our faith, sometimes struggling to believe. We may even be tempted to stop praying, but this is precisely when we need to continue.
In our Gospel today, Jesus tries to reason with those who want to stone him, to help them recognize the truth: to have faith. He is willing to do the same for us. Let us go to Jesus, asking him for the answers we need and for his help. He will not disappoint us. Although it may seem that solutions elude us, we will gradually recognize his hand at work. We will receive grace, strength, and eventually understanding. Little by little, our life will become ever more deeply founded on faith. Let us pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

Oratio

As I reflect on today’s Gospel, Lord, I realize how shaky my faith sometimes is, yet I want to believe deeply. Perhaps part of the reason is that I don’t think about the truths that you have revealed until something goes wrong. It is true that I can zip—and sometimes drag—through life without a thought as to why I am living. I don’t even recognize your hand in my day. Lord, I do believe, but please help my unbelief. Increase my faith. Help me to believe more deeply and to live out of my beliefs today. Amen.

Contemplatio

Today I am called to believe.


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 100–101). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Daily Thought For April 3, 2019

A Plea For God's Mercy To Heal & Bring Peace


Sr Faustina Kowalska wrote in her Diary:  "I feel tremendous pain when I see the sufferings of my neighbors. All my neighbors' sufferings reverberate in my own heart; I carry their anguish in my heart in such a way that it even physically destroys me. I would like all their sorrows to fall upon me, in order to relieve my neighbor" (Diary, p. 365). This is the degree of compassion to which love leads, when it takes the love of God as its measure!

It is this love which must inspire humanity today, if it is to face the crisis of the meaning of life, the challenges of the most diverse needs and, especially, the duty to defend the dignity of every human person. Thus the message of divine mercy is also implicitly a message about the value of every human being. Each person is precious in God's eyes; Christ gave his life for each one; to everyone the Father gives his Spirit and offers intimacy.

This consoling message is addressed above all to those who, afflicted by a particularly harsh trial or crushed by the weight of the sins they committed, have lost all confidence in life and are tempted to give in to despair. To them the gentle face of Christ is offered; those rays from his heart touch them and shine upon them, warm them, show them the way and fill them with hope. How many souls have been consoled by the prayer "Jesus, I trust in you", which Providence intimated through Sr Faustina! This simple act of abandonment to Jesus dispels the thickest clouds and lets a ray of light penetrate every life. Jezu, ufam tobie.

Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo (Ps 88 [89]: 2). Let us too, the pilgrim Church, join our voice to the voice of Mary most holy, "Mother of Mercy", to the voice of this new saint who sings of mercy with all God's friends in the heavenly Jerusalem.


And you, Faustina, a gift of God to our time, a gift from the land of Poland to the whole Church, obtain for us an awareness of the depth of divine mercy; help us to have a living experience of it and to bear witness to it among our brothers and sisters. May your message of light and hope spread throughout the world, spurring sinners to conversion, calming rivalries and hatred and opening individuals and nations to the practice of brotherhood. Today, fixing our gaze with you on the face of the risen Christ, let us make our own your prayer of trusting abandonment and say with firm hope:  Christ Jesus, I trust in you! Jezu, ufam tobie!   

St. John Paul II — excerpt from the homily for the Mass of Canonization of Sr. Faustina Kowalska —April 30, 2000

**I am away on a pilgrimage to Poland. There will be no Daily Thoughts until April 12, 2019. You can follow us on our pilgrimage by clicking here.**