Friday, May 31, 2019

Daily Thought For May 31, 2019

God's Peace

Peace is the gift that Jesus Christ brought us from heaven, his gift, the gift of God. It is a gift so beautiful, so profound, so all-embracing, and efficacious, that we shall never truly comprehend it.

We might say concerning peace what our Lord said of himself to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well: “If you knew the gift of God …” (Jn 4:10). Truly, if we understood this God-given gift of peace, we could appreciate how it is the synthesis, the very peak, so to speak, of all the graces and heavenly blessings we have received in Christ Jesus.

Peace is the seal of Christ. It is not just one of his many gifts; it is, in a certain way, his own gift. When Jesus appeared in the world on that unforgettable night in Bethlehem, the angels proclaimed peace. On another unforgettable night, the last that he spent on earth, the pivotal night of the Cenacle and the Eucharist, Jesus left peace to his loved ones as a testament of his love: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27).

Our Lord’s customary greeting to his apostles after his resurrection was “Peace be with you!” Furthermore, he recommended that in pursuing their apostolic mission, they should always say these words upon arriving at any house: “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:21, 26), and any person of peace who dwelt there should receive their peace; if not, their good wishes for peace should return to the apostles.…

Our Lord’s peace has distinctive characteristics, which call for at least a brief consideration. First, it is a peace exclusively his own; he has a monopoly on peace. On the eve of his passion, he said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (Jn 14:27).

The world, which counterfeits everything, cannot counterfeit peace, no matter how much it tries. It misrepresents joy; the world’s happiness is always superficial and sometimes even bitter. The world counterfeits wisdom, dazzling the credulous with a showy but empty knowledge. It counterfeits love, giving this sacred name to mere passion or to base egoism. The world, the offspring of Satan, father of lies, is essentially an imposter, falsifying everything. But it is powerless in counterfeiting one thing: peace. The world cannot give peace because peace is a divine thing; it is the seal of Jesus Christ.

A second characteristic of our Lord’s peace is its profundity. It is not superficial, merely exterior, the peace of the tomb or the desert. Such is not really peace, but solitude, emptiness, desolation. The peace of God, on the other hand, reaches even to the depths of our hearts. It pervades our innermost being, penetrating it like an exquisite perfume. Peace is plenitude; it is life.

Thirdly, peace is indestructible. Nothing and no one can force the peace of heaven out of a person who has received this gift of God. Neither the persecutions of tyrants, nor the snares of the devil, nor the vicissitudes of earth can disturb a soul in which God has established his peace.

On the night before his passion, Jesus told his apostles that he gave them his joy and added: “… and no one will take your joy from you” (Jn 16:22). The same may be said of peace: “Nobody can take it away from you.” Everything else may be taken away from us: our homes, property, liberty, and even our lives. In a certain sense, we can be deprived of happiness. It is true that perfect joy can be experienced even when the eyes weep and the heart suffers, but such heights are characteristic of only very elevated, perfect souls. Consequently enemies may take from us, in some measure, even our joy. But they can never deprive us of peace when Jesus has given it to us. Peace can continue its reign in our hearts in spite of the miseries, sadness, and bitterness of life.

Finally, the peace of Christ is a rich peace, full of sweetness and mildness. Saint Paul describes it as “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). This peace is the only form of happiness unparalleled upon earth; it is the substance of heaven. Without the splendors of the beatific vision, without the overflowing happiness of that everlasting state, peace is the substance of what we hope to enjoy in heaven.…

But is it always possible to preserve peace of soul? Should our hearts never be disturbed by anything at all?… I would like to present the means whereby the soul may preserve peace despite all obstacles.

The first path to peace is faith. In fact, if we lived by faith, we would live in peace.…

Faith teaches that God loves us, and that he loves us not as a group, but personally, individually. “He loved me!” (cf. Gal 2:20). Each one of us can make these words of Saint Paul our own without fear of error. God knows my name; he has engraved my image in his heart. Still more, I can be assured that his heart is all mine because our Lord cannot love as we do, by halves. When he loves, he loves with his whole heart, infinitely.…

We may go a step farther. God’s love for us is not a sterile love, confined to heaven. It is an active love, provident, watchful, solicitous. It is a love that does not forget us for one moment, but protects us unceasingly, and keeps arranging minutely all the events of our life from the most far-reaching to the most insignificant.

I am not exaggerating. Jesus himself affirmed it: “But not a hair of your head will perish” (Lk 21:18). Some persons may consider this hyperbole. Perhaps, but at any rate it is a hyperbole that expresses the solicitude, constancy, and minute care of God’s love for us.…

Through what strange phenomenon, through what inexplicable illusion do we Christians disquiet ourselves, knowing with the certainty of faith that a loving God bears us in his arms and surrounds us with his divine tenderness?


Martinez, L. (2011). Secrets of the Spirit: Wisdom from Luis Martinez. (G. Santos, Ed.) (pp. 1–5). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Daily Thought For May 30, 2019

The Amazing Grace of Pentecost 

We have reflected on the Holy Spirit as love in the Trinity and in the Church, and now it is time to be thinking of the Holy Spirit of Love in each believer, that is, in each one of us. For this purpose, we need to go back to the Pentecost event. 

If the Holy Spirit is indeed nothing other than the love of God, love in Person, the statement in Acts that "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" can mean nothing other than that "they were all full of the love of God!" In this light, the Holy Spirit can truly be seen as the "seal" that is stamped upon all God's creative and redemptive work (see Eph 1: 13) and Pentecost as the culmination of all the works of God. Why did God create the world? Why did he send his Son to redeem the world from sin? Why would God have given us the Scriptures? For no other reason than that he wanted to fill his creatures with his love. 

Pentecost, therefore, was not only an event in the objective order, bringing a profound but unnoticed change beyond any awareness; it was also an event in the subjective order, an experience. The shift, from the slave-heart full of fear to the filial heart brimming with love, is not something that can happen without the one to whom it happens being aware of it; it is not the kind of heart transplant that is done under general anesthetic! On the contrary, the experience of the love of God was one of overwhelming intensity for the apostles: to be loved by God, and to love God in return! They were literally inundated, "baptized," in love. 

That was what moved them so much that they were beside themselves, to such an extent that people thought them drunk (see Acts 2:13). The sudden change in the apostles cannot be explained in any other way; it was the fire of divine love itself that flared up in them. What they did on that occasion are the sort of things that only love moves one to do. The apostles, as the martyrs would be later on, were in effect "drunk," but "drunk on love that came to them through the finger of God which is the Holy Spirit,'?' Drunk because "drenched in the torrent of divine delights; drunk with that sober inebriation that does sins to death and gives life to the heart." 

The fact that the sign of the coming of the Holy Spirit, on the subjective level, is an experience of love is confirmed every time there is question of a "new Pentecost." The people who took part in the retreat that proved to be the beginning of the charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church confessed later that there was a moment when they feared being loved too much and not being able to stand such love. In the words of one of them, "It was as if the God of Sinai had come into the place where we were gathered, and completely filled it and us too." Every time someone has a genuine, strong experience of the Spirit, the most vivid memory of the moment that the person retains is of an intense perception of the Father's love. Witnessing to this, someone said: "All my life long, I had felt unloved. The next day, that feeling vanished entirely. I felt myself immersed in a new experience of the love of God, and from that day it has never left me." 


This is the most beautiful moment of any creature's life: to know that one is loved, personally, by God, to feel oneself lifted to the bosom of the Trinity and to find oneself in the flood of love that flows between Father and Son, enfolded in their love, sharing their passionate love for the world. And all of this in one instant, without any need to think about it or for words to say it. 

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa Come Creator Spirit — Meditations on the Veni Creator pp.144-145

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Daily Thought For May 29, 2019

Perspective 

Oftentimes abundance is more about our perspective than the number of things we own. 

Whose life is richer? The poor man who appreciates his warm but tattered coat —or the wealthy man who is angry and resentful that his neighbor's car is newer than his own? 

Gratitude begets a wealth of heart that can never be taken away. 

Fields of Abundance —Simple Words of Wisdom to Receive God's Blessings for Your Every Need p.44

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Daily Thought For May 28, 2019

A Great Prayer For The Holy Spirit To "Scatter" Cheerful Beams

O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.


St. Augustine

Monday, May 27, 2019

Daily Thought For May 27, 2019

Cardinal Sarah Weighs In On Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Article — And Hits The Nail On The Head!

“The theme of God seems so unreal, so far removed from the things that concern us.” With these words Benedict XVI is describing a style of priestly life that is secularized and profane, a life in which God passes into the background. Pope Benedict gives several examples. The first concern of bishops became no longer God himself but a “radically open relationship with the world” (II, 1). Seminaries were transformed into secularized places in which, Pope Benedict says, the climate “could not provide support for preparation to the priestly vocation.” The life of prayer and adoration was neglected, and the understanding of priestly life as consecration to God was all but forgotten. The Pope Emeritus points out several symptoms of this forgetfulness: an unhealthy mixing with the lay world, which introduced noise and denied the fact that every priest is by his priesthood a man separate from the world, set aside for God (II, 1). He also points out that homosexual cliques became established in seminaries. This is not so much a cause as a sign of the forgetfulness of God that was already reigning. Seminarians who live in open contradiction of natural and revealed morality show that they were not living for God, that they do not belong to God, that they are not seeking God. Perhaps they have found a career, perhaps they like the social aspects of the ministry. But they have forgotten the essential: a priest is a man of God, a man for God.

What is most grave in this situation is that their formators said nothing or voluntarily promoted this horizontal and mundane conception of the priesthood. It was as if the bishops and formators in seminaries had themselves renounced God’s centrality. It was as if they too had made the faith a matter of secondary concern, making it ineffective; as if they too had replaced the primacy of life for God and after God by the dogma of openness to the world, of relativism and subjectivism. It is shocking to see how the objective reality of God has been eclipsed by a form of religion worshipping human subjectivity. Pope Francis has aptly spoken of it as auto-referentiality. I think that the worst form of auto-referentiality is one that denies our relation to God and his objectivity and retains only the relation of man to himself in his subjectivity.

In the current climate, how is one to live an authentic priestly life? How are we to limit the temptation to regard ourselves as omnipotent? A person who has only himself as a reference point, who does not live for God but for himself, not according to God but according to his own desires, will end up falling into the logic of the abuse of power and that of sexual abuse. Who will rein in his desires, even the most perverse of them, if his subjectivity is all that matters? Forgetting God opens the door to every form of abuse. We can already observe this in our society. But this forgetfulness of God has entered even into the Church, into her priests and bishops. Inevitably, abuses of power and sexual abuse have spread among priests. Sadly, there are priests who practically do not believe any more, who no longer pray or only very little, who no longer live the sacraments as a vital dimension of their priesthood. They have become lukewarm and practical atheists.


Practical atheism facilitates an abusive psychology. The Church has allowed herself for a long time now to be invaded by this all-pervasive atheism. It should not surprise us to discover perverts and abusers in her ranks. If God does not exist, then all things are permitted! If God does not exist concretely, then all is possible!

Address given in Rome on May 14, 2019 by Cardinal Robert Sarah, at the presentation of the French edition of his book The Day Is Now Far Spent. Full Text Can Be Read HERE.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Daily Thought For May 26, 2019

The Holy Spirit & The Word of God

It happens that over a period of time you may read a particular passage of Scripture, and perhaps even preach on it, without experiencing any special feelings about it. Then, one day, you may read that same text in an atmosphere of prayer and faith, and quite unexpectedly it is lit up, it speaks, it makes you see some circumstance of your life in a whole new light, and it shows you clearly what is God's will in the situation. And not only that once, but every time, even after a long time, when you read that passage again, you are touched in the same powerful, enlightening way. What causes this change, if not the enlightening touch of the Holy Spirit? The words of Scripture, by the action of the Holy Spirit, are transformed: they glow, they bathe you and your situation in light. 

Of all the experiences to which the coming of the Holy Spirit into a soul gives rise, this in fact is one of the most common, most powerful. The Scripture comes alive. Every sentence seems to be written especially for you, to the point of sometimes leaving you breathless, as though God were there speaking to you with tremendous authority but at the same time very, very gently. The words of the psalms keep surprising you: how new and fresh they seem, and what views they open up of unending horizons, and what deep echoes they awaken in your soul. At times like this, you can feel how true it is that "the Word of God is living and active" (Heb 4: 12). 

This is an experience that comes to everyone, even the most simple. People who have no schooling in the Scriptures whatever often go right to the heart of a text, but the learned may ponder it for years, to much less effect, though they have all the research and commentaries and dictionaries to help them. This again is the Holy Spirit revealing the secrets of God to the little ones (see Matt 11 :25). 

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa Come, Creator Spirit —Meditations on the Veni Creator pp. 247-248.

Daily Thought For May 25, 2019

Be A Blessing For Others

On another occasion the instruction I received was this: "Act in such a way that all those who come in contact with you will go away joyful. Sow happiness about you because you have received much from God; give, then, generously to others. They should take leave of you with their hearts filled with joy, even if they have no more than touched the hem of your garment. Keep well in mind the words I am telling you right now."


Still another time he gave me the following recommendation: "Let God push your boat out into the deep waters, toward the unfathomable depths of the interior life."

St. Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul #56

Friday, May 24, 2019

Daily Thought For May 24, 2019

We Love Because He First Loved Us

After a mother has smiled at her child for many days and weeks, she finally receives her child’s smile in response. She has awakened love in the heart of her child, and as the child awakens to love, it also awakens to knowledge: the initially empty-sense impressions gather meaningfully around the core of the Thou. Knowledge (with its whole complex of intuition and concept) comes into play, because the play of love has already begun beforehand, initiated by the mother, the transcendent. God interprets himself to man as love in the same way: he radiates love, which kindles the light of love in the heart of man, and it is precisely this light that allows man to perceive this, the absolute Love: “For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). In this face, the primal foundation of being smiles at us as a mother and as a father. Insofar as we are his creatures, the seed of love lies dormant within us as the image of God (imago). But just as no child can be awakened to love without being loved, so too no human heart can come to an understanding of God without the free gift of his grace—in the image of his Son.


Von Balthasar, H. U. (2004). Love Alone Is Credible. (D. C. Schindler, Trans.) (p. 76). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Daily Thought For May 23, 2019

Controlling One's Own Opinion


VOICE OF CHRIST:
     My CHILD, everybody likes to follow his own way of thinking. Every man prefers to associate with those who agree with his ideas. Yet, it is so foolish for you to think too highly of your own opinion.  
2. Nobody knows all the answers. The man who is always talking does not advance much in knowledge. A good listener will always learn more than the one who talks too much. 
3. It is not always necessary to point out the mistakes of others. Even when you know better, you need not always express your opinion. In fact, many discussions are unnecessary and unimportant. So often, too, opinions depend on people's likes and dislikes. Why argue when it is not an important matter? 
4. To those who know how to control their tongues for My sake, I grant the grace of interior peace. 
5. Do not love your own opinions too much. 
Be humble enough to seek advice when you need it. Do not try to be independent of all other opinions. Different opinions may bring you a broader' understanding of yourself as well as of others. 
THINK: 
     At times I must hold my tongue for the sake of peace. Many unimportant things are said and done in daily life. It is my pride that makes me want to correct people at the slightest opportunity. Corrections are· unnecessary in many things. I should not place too much confidence in my own sentiments and opinions. In small, unimportant matters I do no harm by keeping silent and listening to opinions which do not agree with mine. It takes a deep humility and a delicate charity to act in this way. 
PRAY: 
     O Jesus, King of truth, help me to preserve peace and harmony among those around me. Teach me to work and labor for what is right. Let me never listen in silence to what is contrary to Your teachings, or hurtful to my neighbor or my own soul. Yet, show me how to be considerate of other people's feelings and opinions as far as it can be done without compromising Your truth. Grant me the humility to follow advice when necessary. Let me love Your truth more than my own opinions. Amen. 


from My Daily Bread pp.215-216



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Daily Thought For May 22, 2019

A Very Important Reminder

If a soul loves God sincerely and is intimately united with Him, then, even though such a soul may be living in the midst of difficult external circumstances, nothing can disturb its interior life. In the midst of corruption, it can remain pure and unsullied because the great love of God gives it strength for battle, and God also protects it in a special way” 

St. Faustina Divine Mercy In My Soul # 1094

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Daily Thought For May 21, 2019

The Journey of Conversion

The Bible constantly warns against a merely mercenary relationship with God - a friendship of convenience or self-interest. We should not love God simply because doing so will produce many consolations in our life. We must enter a true relationship, were we fall in love not with His benefits, but with Him.


Bishop Robert Barron

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Daily Thought For May 19, 2019

God's Love Sets Us Free


Lectio

John 13:31–33a, 34–35

Meditatio

“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Imagine yourself as the leader of an association, business, or social group. If you wanted to brand your followers with a sign that would make them easy to recognize, what would you choose? Would they all wear the same clothes? Would they speak a particular language? Would they would be experts at a particular trade or manufacture a unique product?

Jesus did something completely revolutionary. He “branded” his disciples with his very self, but left them free to make him visible by loving others. Saint John says that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:16). Love is the imprint of God’s very being upon us, within us. If the world is going to see God, it will only see him to the extent that you and I are willing to make him visible in our relationships with one another. How much do you and I want to make God visible?
True, loving one another is a difficult task. It’s about living as Jesus did, continually giving our lives away. That’s what love does. It goes out of itself in search of the good of the other, so as to give the other life. But it’s also about openness to receiving the love God offers us through the other. And that has its challenges too.

The possibilities for how to spend the years of our lives or even just the present moment are immense. Jesus invites us to a life of loving one another so that the world might believe, so that he might be made more visible, so that we might be identified as his disciples—branded with love. It’s not that we have to tattoo a heart on our arm, but it is as though love is what we wear. Love is what we speak. Love is what we are experts at. Love is what we produce. You can’t touch or feel it, but you know he is there.

Oratio

Jesus, you are my Master. I really do want to be recognized as your disciple. Loving others is the path I must walk. Left on my own, the task would be impossible. But you have given us everything we need to make that mutual loving possible. You have given me your Word and the Eucharist to daily nourish your love within me. Your Holy Spirit continually alerts me to the daily opportunities to show your love to others. Help me to be docile to the Spirit’s lead.

Contemplatio

Jesus, may all whom I meet today recognize a little bit more of you in me.


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 74–75). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Daily Thought For May 16, 2019

A Miracle of Grace


Lectio

John 13:16–20

Meditatio

“… whoever receives the one I send receives me …”

I wonder how easy it was to receive the apostles or disciples, grimy with road dust, hot, tired, and hungry, bearing a message that sounded unbelievable. Was it easy to welcome them? Was it easy to accept their message? I find it amazing that people did come to believe—and in such numbers. In those first years following the resurrection, Christianity spread swiftly throughout the Roman Empire. Only one explanation seems possible: it was a miracle of grace.

If we reflect, we see that our own lives are also marked by grace. We may have received the faith as children from parents and teachers. We may have received it as adults—through books, friends, a counselor or spouse—perhaps after much seeking and soul searching. In any case, how could the faith have come to us except by means of grace?
So, what does the Scripture citation mean for me? I have faith already: who will Jesus send me today? Do I still need an apostle or disciple to show me the way?

Well, I really may. I might want to give this some thought. It’s also possible, however, that Jesus will send someone for me to help—a needy person like those he searched out during his earthly life and ministry. He may want to continue that ministry through me today.
He may want me to greet a lonely neighbor at my door, an annoying relative on the phone, a physically or mentally challenged stranger in the supermarket, a co-worker in the lunch room whose lifestyle I don’t agree with, an acquaintance on the bus whose accent I can hardly understand. He may want me to engage this person in conversation in order to communicate his mercy and unconditional love through me. He probably also wants to communicate to me through this other, even though the other might not measure up to my concept of a devout and knowledgeable Christian—or might not be a believer at all!
So, am I ready?

Oratio

Lord Jesus, our Teacher and Shepherd, you once said that whatever we do to the least ones we do to you (see Mt 25:40). Help me to remember this when I encounter someone in need. Help me not to be so wrapped up in my own needs, wants, and plans that I can’t greet, listen, converse, aid, and learn. Moment by moment, give me the light to see what I am called to say and do. Give me the courage to follow your inspirations. Help me to forget myself more often and focus on you and others instead. Amen.

Contemplatio

Whom might Jesus send me today?


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 64–65). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Daily Thought For May 15, 2019

Open Up

It is only when we stand up, with all our failings and sufferings, and try to support others rather than withdraw into ourselves, that we can fully live the life of community.

Jean Varnier Community and Growth

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Daily Thought For May 14, 2019

Attentive To The Present Moment

It is no longer in my power,
To change, correct or add to the past;
For neither sages nor prophets could do that.
And so, what the past has embraced I must entrust to God.
O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire,
I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence.
And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child,
Offering You each day this heart

Burning with love for Your greater glory.

St. Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul Notebook 1 #1

Monday, May 13, 2019

Daily Thought For March 13, 2019

No Need For Fear

 “Jesus shows us his wounds so that we will not be afraid to show him ours.” 

Narrative for Divine Mercy Sunday Mass, April 2019 Magnificat, p. 323.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Daily Thought For May 12, 2019

A Blessing For Mother's Day

Bless every mother and every grandmother with the finest of your spiritual blessings today. Confirm in her heart and spirit the work of her hands and the love that she has so freely given to those children under Your care. Validate her worth daily so she has no reason to doubt whether she is loved, valued, and cherished in the eyes of her Heavenly Father.

Create in her a deep sense of your protection and trust, so that worry and fear will disappear as she places her loved ones into Your care. Let her know that every prayer she has prayed and every encouraging word she has spoken on behalf of her children/grandchildren has been transformed into sweet, fragrant offerings before Your throne.

Whisper deep within her spirit the sweet words she longs to hear from You—that nothing can ever separate her from Your love. Help her to nestle daily into the promises of Your Word, standing with faith on the things You declare are true. Let her know that You reward faithfulness, but that true success doesn’t lie in her accomplishments or accolades. Let her rest in the knowledge that she has done all she can—and that she and those she loves—truly belong to you. Bless her with a servant spirit so she can teach her own the joy of hearing one day, “Well done!”


Remove any guilt, false or real, and replace them with Your amazing grace and forgiveness. Help her see her children or grandchildren through Your eyes, knowing that in Your hands is the safest place they can ever be. Calm every doubt, and strengthen her confidence in the Only One who can bring good out of any situation.

Teach her that she cannot meet every need of her child’s life, but that You can. Give her wisdom and guidance to train those precious children in Your path, and then to leave the results to You, Lord. Help her to love without limitations, to pray without ceasing, and to live without regrets. Bless her with such a sweet dependency on You that she will acknowledge her inadequacies, yet recognize and accept Your reward of praise—and Your sense of pleasure in having her as Your own beloved child.

Where prayers may still seem unanswered, and dreams are not yet realized, open her eyes to see beyond this world to a Hope that never disappoints, and to a Father who will never leave or abandon her. Give her courage to persevere even in the most difficult moments of her life. Bless her with honesty, integrity, and a playfulness that shows her children she is human, yet unswerving in her desire know You.

Let her joy be contagious; let her passion be pure; and let her life overflow with all the blessings she deserves—on special days, and on every day of her life.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen

From The Crosswalk Website

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Daily Thought For May 11, 2019

Renewing the Church

Certainly, every convert is a gift to the Church and represents a serious responsibility for her, not only because converts have to be prepared for Baptism through the catechumenate and then be guided by religious instruction, but also because—especially in the case of adults—such converts bring with them a kind of new energy, an enthusiasm for the faith, and a desire to see the Gospel lived out in the Church. They would be greatly disappointed if, having entered the ecclesial community, they were to find a life lacking fervor and without signs of renewal! We cannot preach conversion unless we ourselves are converted anew every day.


John Paul II. (1990). Redemptoris Missio. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. #47

Friday, May 10, 2019

Daily Thought For May 10, 2019

Prayer of a Faithful Servant

“I have consecrated my life to God; I have given myself to him with my whole heart; I have prayed fervently for those whom I love, for [my husband] whom I love more than all the others. Now I want to be no longer useless; I have seen my greatest obligations clearly, and I want to fulfill them.  To do each day all the good that can be done humbly, so that only God may see it; always to seek out all the misery and grief surrounding me in order to relieve it, to cultivate a lively affection for everyone; and to do all this for God alone—that is the goal of all human life.  My own life, which until now has often been so empty, will be transformed, I hope, by the strength of close union with God.


There are around me many that I love deeply, and I have a task to fulfill in relationship to them.  Many of them do not know God or know him only imperfectly.  It is not in arguing or lecturing that I can make them know who God is for us.  But in struggling with myself, in becoming with his help more Christian and more courageous, I will witness to him whose disciple I am.  By the serenity and strength that I intend to acquire I will show that Christian life is great and beautiful and full of joy.  By cultivating the best qualities of my mind I will proclaim that God is the highest intelligence, and that those who serve him can draw without end from that blessed source of intellectual and moral light.  In order to give, one must receive; to serve my brothers and sisters before God for one day, or for even a small part of one, I must first purify and strengthen myself for many days.  

(Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur, May 2019 Magnificat, p. 89-90.)


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Daily Thought For May 9, 2019

Eternal Life

Lectio

John 6:44–51

Meditatio

“I am the bread of life.”

Do you want to live forever? How much would you pay for eternal life? I did an Internet search for the words “how to live forever” and got almost 52 million hits! Some people are going to great lengths to try and live forever, from having their dead bodies frozen in liquid nitrogen in hopes of future revival, to developing gene therapy that short-circuits the aging process. Perhaps a better question is: where do you want to live forever? Do you want to live forever on an earth filled with suffering and sadness, or do you want eternal life with God in the perfect happiness of heaven?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us: “This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.… Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus is telling us the secret of eternal life, the secret that so many desperate people are paying huge amounts of money to discover. It’s ironic and a little sad to see them go to such extraordinary lengths to get something that Jesus offers us freely. It would be like excavating a field to dig up a treasure that was sitting in plain sight. As Jesus tells us in this Gospel, faith is the key that unlocks the door to this treasure: “Whoever believes has eternal life.” It takes faith to believe that the bread Jesus gives us is actually his body, his “Flesh for the life of the world.” But when we receive the Eucharist with faith, Jesus gives us a pledge of eternal life. If we want to live forever, we don’t need to have our body frozen after death or to undergo gene therapy. We only need to turn to Jesus with faith, eat his Body and drink his Blood, and after death he will meet us with open arms.

Oratio

Thank you, Lord, for giving us yourself in the Eucharist, our pledge of eternal life. I often get caught up in the mundane details of each day and don’t think much about eternal life. But as I live in this passing world, help me to keep my final destination in mind: eternal life with you forever in heaven. I believe in your promise. Lord, increase my faith.

Contemplatio

Lord, you have the words of eternal life.


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 46–47). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Daily Thought For May 3, 2019

Providence

God loves with intensely tender love those of us who are happy enough to abandon tomorrow, ourselves entirely to his fatherly care, letting ourselves be governed by his divine providence without wasting time by considering if the effects of this providence will be useful, profitable, or harmful for us. We can be assured that from all that has been sent to us from his fatherly and lovable heart, God will draw goodness and value, provided that we have placed all our confidence in him and that we say willingly: "I place my spirit," — my soul, my body, and all that I am  "into your blessed hands" to do with as you wish. 

I recommend to you holy simplicity. Look straight in front of you and not at those dangers you see in the distance. As you say, to you they look like armies, but they are only willow branches; and while you are looking at them you may take a false step. Let us be firmly resolved to serve God with our whole heart and life. Beyond that, let us have no care about tomorrow. Let us think only of living today well, and when tomorrow comes, it also will be today and we can think about it then. In all this we must trust and be resigned to God's providence. We must make provision for enough manna for the day, and no more. Let us not doubt that God will provide more for us tomorrow, and the day after and all the days of our pilgrimage. 


Let's not waste time in willing and wishing for things, but let God arrange them. We should "cast all our care upon him, since he cares for us," as the apostle Peter says. And note that he says: "all our care," that is, all our concern about what comes to us from the events of life as well as what comes to us from what we want or don't want. "He will take care" of the success of these things and he wishes for us whatever is best. 

St. Francis de Sales Golden Counsels pp.20-22

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Daily Thought For May 1, 2019

Living In The Light

Lectio

John 3:16–21

Meditatio

“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son …”

A true gift is given out of love with no strings attached. The receiver may either accept it with joy, hugging or kissing the giver, or disregard its value and reject it, perhaps ignoring the giver. Jesus compares himself to a gift given to humanity by his Father, who gives us his only-begotten Son so that we may have eternal life through him. The Father offers us his unconditional love. As a loving Father, he only wants the best for us, and he offers this great gift to all. Will we accept this offer and open our hearts to his love? Or will we refuse to accept him and turn away from his love? Will we live in the light or walk in darkness?

Jesus is the light of the world. It is easier and safer to travel during the day than at night, because street signs and landmarks are visible. But at night, even where there are streetlights, it’s easier to make a wrong turn or miss an exit on the highway. Dangers may lurk on lonely roads. In a similar way, we can live in spiritual light or spiritual darkness. If we choose darkness, we will see neither our slavery to sin nor our need for God’s merciful love. Or we can choose to travel on the path illumined by Christ, the Light of Life. We can choose light over darkness, life over death. We believe in Jesus because we see him as the Truth. We can accept his love and live in the truth, the truth that makes us free. By loving Jesus in return we live the truth. The more we live in Christ, the Light, the more our works “may be clearly seen as done in God.”

Oratio

Jesus, my risen Savior, I thank you for proving your love by giving your life for me through your passion and death. I praise you for raising me up to new life, and giving me the promise of living eternally with you, through your resurrection. In the sacraments you continually give of yourself so that I may have the wisdom, strength, and desire to love you in return by offering my life for others. May I never reject your gift of love but always keep my heart open, so that your light may shine through me and my “works may be clearly seen as done in God.”

Contemplatio

“Whoever lives the truth comes to the light …”


Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 26–27). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.