Thursday, November 28, 2019

Daily Thought For November 28, 2019

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

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

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

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

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,

Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Daily Thought For November 27, 2019

Our Life Is A Book Written By The Holy Spirit

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

Jean Pierre de Caussade

Monday, November 25, 2019

Daily Thought For November 25, 2019

Consolation

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

St. John XXIII

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Daily Thought For November 23, 2019

We Can Be Set Free

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

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


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

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

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Daily Thought For November 21, 2019

Gratitude

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

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

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Daily Thought For November 20, 2019

Simple But Powerful

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

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Monday, November 18, 2019

Daily Thought For November 18, 2019

Do You Want To Be Healed? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer 

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

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

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Daily Thought For November 16, 2019

Do You Know What I Have Done To You? 

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


John 13:12-17 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer 
Lord, give me this bread always. 

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Daily Thought For November 8, 2019

Experiencing The Peace That Surpasses Understanding

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

St. Faustina Divine Mercy Diary #1086

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Daily Thought For November 7, 2019

Patience

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

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Daily Thought For November 6, 2019

Climbing The Mountain

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

Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Daily Thought For November 5, 2019

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



Friday, November 1, 2019

Daily Thought For November 1, 2019

Why The Saints Are Important

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

Pope Benedict XVI - Angelus November 1, 2012