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Showing posts from December, 2019

Daily Thought For December 31, 2019

Redemptive Suffering And A Miracle
Some people call her the Mother Teresa of Mexico. Madre Ines Valdivia Gonzalez is in her late eighties but still runs an orphanage for children with mental and physical disabilities, Casa Hogar La Divina Providencia, near Mexico City. Despite the poverty and suffering within its walls, the Casa is a place of joy, laughter and peace. Among the many miracles that have taken place there is the following, which Madre Ines recounted to a missionary friend of mine who often visits the orphanage. 
     A man visited the Casa who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He shared with Madre that since he did not have much time left on earth, he realized he had better get, right with God. He decided to visit the orphanage as a way of doing a good deed. She gave him a tour of the facility, including the upper floor where the most severely handicapped children live. Madre Ines considers these her most precious charges, believing that their souls are already in so…

Daily Thought For December 29, 2019

 A Prayer For Families
Lord God, from You every family in Heaven and on earth takes its name.

Father, You are love and life. Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world.

Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.

Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.


We ask this of You, Who is life, truth and love with the Son a…

Daily Thought For December 27, 2019

Emmanuel - Bring Your Light!
May Emmanuel bring light to all the suffering members of our human family. May he soften our often stony and self-centred hearts, and make them channels of his love. May he bring his smile, through our poor faces, to all the children of the world: to those who are abandoned and those who suffer violence. Through our frail hands, may he clothe those who have nothing to wear, give bread to the hungry and heal the sick. Through our friendship, such as it is, may he draw close to the elderly and the lonely, to migrants and the marginalized. On this joyful Christmas Day, may he bring his tenderness to all and brighten the darkness of this world.

excerpt from 2019 Urbi et Orbi Message - Pope Francis

Daily Thought For December 24, 2019

The Dawn From On High Has Broken Upon Us!

Lectio

Luke 1:67–79

Meditatio

  “… the daybreak from on high will visit us.…”

This promised daybreak is the One whose birth we celebrate tomorrow. More than two thousand years ago he came to shine on those who lived in darkness. He brought hope and healing and forgiveness of sins. He died out of love for us, and he destroyed the finality of death by his resurrection. He sent his followers to continue his mission, and he said he would be with them until the end of the world.

So … why do we still dwell “in the shadow of death”? Why are we not on the “way of peace,” but instead are on the way of war, confusion, and hatred? Why have we not yet been set free of all this?

Yes, the dawn has broken, but we do not yet enjoy the full light of day. The Incarnation ended the night, but the complete fulfillment of the promise will occur only when Jesus comes again at the end of the world. (The name of the liturgical season that ends today—Advent—means “coming.” I…

Daily Thought For December 23, 2019

What Will This Child Be?

Lectio

Luke 1:57–66

Meditatio

“What, then, will this child be?”

As each of my nieces and nephews was born (and especially when I had a chance to see them soon after birth), a feeling of awe and wonder struck me. What a little bundle of potential a newborn baby is! Each child is a mystery. What will he become? What will she be like?

We can spot some clues—long feet and toes indicating future height, for example. We can surmise some likely possibilities—the prospect of inheriting gifts and inclinations from artistic, athletic, or musically gifted parents, for instance. But no one except God can know for sure anything about the future deeds, accomplishments, influence, or lifespan of the child. And only a foolish person would claim to know the future.

A child like John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, is the focus of wonder because each child is a gift from God to the world—a sign that God has not finished with us yet.

The extraordinary circumstances around John’s bi…

Daily Thought For December 21, 2019

A Great Prayer In Preparation For Christmas
May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him, who at this time became a little child for our sake, more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.
Saint John Henry Newman

Daily Thought For December 19, 2019

Not To Us Lord Give The Glory
Sometimes we look to others, hoping for their esteem, or respect, or honor; at other times, we might look to God, expecting his favor or consolation in prayer.  In more or less hidden ways, we can come to expect such spiritual recompense.

Christ teaches us the principle that helps us to purify our intentions: without cost you are to give because without cost you have received.  And what have we received?  Grace, God’s own life within us, animating and elevating us to be his instruments, to serve as conduits, as it were, of that very same grace.  Of his own initiative and without cost, God offers us this greatest of gifts.  

When we do the Lord’s work as laborers for his harvest, it really is his harvest, because the fruit of our work results principally from his work in us, from his original gift (cf. Phil 2:13).  Without cost, the Master works in us and through us, enabling and ennobling us in this work; so let us imitate the Master and give to others also …

Daily Thought For December 18, 2019

Let It Be Done Unto Me!
We must, however, remember that Mary pronounced her fiat willingly and joyfully. How often do we repeat the word with poorly hidden resignation and, tight lipped, murmur, “If it can­not be avoided, well then, let your will be done!” Mary teaches us to say it in a different way. Knowing that God’s will is infinitely more beautiful and richer in promises than any of our own plans, and knowing that God is infinite love and nourishes “plans for welfare and not for evil for us” (see Jer 29:11), let us say, full of desire and almost impatiently, as Mary did: Let your will of love and peace be fulfilled in me, O God!


In this way the meaning of human life and its greatest dignity is fulfilled. To say yes, amen, to God does not decrease man’s dignity, as modern man often thinks; instead, it exalts it. And what is the alternative to this amen said to God? Modern phi­losophy itself, especially the existential stream, has clearly demon­strated man’s need to say amen, and if …

Daily Thought For December 17, 2019

God Has Pushed Through
Friends, today we read the opening lines of Matthew’s Gospel—the first words that one reads in the New Testament. They are a listing of the genealogy of Jesus, the forty-two generations that stretch from Abraham to Christ. If the Word truly dwelt among us, then he was part of a family that, like most, was fairly dysfunctional—a mix of the good and bad. And this is such good news for us.

Let me highlight just two figures from Jesus’ family. First, Ruth, who was not an Israelite but rather a Moabite, a foreigner. Some of you reading this feel like outsiders, not part of the “in” crowd, looked at askance by others. Well, the Messiah came forth from Ruth the foreigner and was pleased to be her relative.

Then there is Rahab, a prostitute living and working in Jericho. Are there people reading these words who feel like Rahab? Who think that their whole lives have been sunk in sin? Well, the Messiah came forth from Rahab the prostitute, and he was pleased to be her relati…

Daily Thought For December 14, 2019

St. John of The Cross
Friends, today we celebrate the memorial of the great Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross.

We find ourselves, St. John of the Cross taught, in the midst of a good and beautiful world, but we are meant finally for union with God. Therefore, the soul has to become free from its attachments to finite things so as to be free for communion with God.

This purification first involves what John called “the night of the senses” (the letting go of physical and sensual pleasures), and it continues with “the night of the soul” (a detachment from the mental images that one can use as a substitute for God).

Like all purifications, this one is painful, especially if one’s attachment to these finite things is intense. It will often manifest itself, John of the Cross said, as dryness in prayer and a keen sense of the absence and even abandonment of God.

In this process, God is not toying with the soul; rather, he is performing a kind of surgery upon it, cutting certain things away so…

Daily Thought For December 13, 2019

Jesus Is Mary's Joy!
And from this derives the third thing that Mary Immaculate tells us. She speaks of joy, that authentic joy which spreads in hearts freed from sin. Sin brings with it a negative sadness that leads to withdrawal into self. Grace brings true joy that does not depend on possessions but is rooted in the innermost self, in the depths of the person, and nothing and no one can remove it. Christianity is essentially an “evangelo”, “Good News”, whereas some think of it as an obstacle to joy because they see it as a collection of prohibitions and rules.

Christianity is actually the proclamation of the victory of Grace over sin, of life over death. And if it entails self-denial and discipline of the mind, of the heart and of behavior, it is precisely because in the human being there is a poisonous root of selfishness which does evil to oneself and to others. It is thus necessary to learn to say “no” to the voice of selfishness and “yes” to that of genuine love. Mary’s joy i…

Daily Thought For December 11, 2019

Focus
The soul that unites itself to God has one aspiration: LOVE
Blessed James Alberione

Daily Thought For December 10, 2019

Remaining Hidden
“It's through the cross that we reach the resurrection. We should be absolutely sure of this truth, and we should keep this cross hidden and not place it on the shoulders of others. It is our cross we have to carry. It is the one God has given us to go through into His resurrection. This is the one we should keep hidden.

But there are crosses and crosses, some of our own making. These we should immediately discard. Some permitted by God for our sanctification. These we can share for they are also for the sanctification of others. True, we can help to carry other people's crosses and they can help to carry our crosses, but the operative word is "hidden."

The Lord said, "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men," and "When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but on…

Daily Thought For December 6, 2019

Does This Shock You?
     "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day; For my flesh is true food, 
and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father 
sent me and 1 have life because of the Father, so also the one, who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 
     Then many of his disciples who were listening said; "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you?" 

- John 6:53-61, NAB 
     Jesus is obedience incarnate. H…

Daily Thought For December 5, 2019

Transformation Into Christ
O, my Jesus, 
May our feet journey together. May our hands gather in unity. 
May our hearts beat to the same rhythm. May our soul be in harmony. 
May our thoughts be in unison. 
May our ears listen to the silence together. May our glances melt in one another. 
May our lips beg the heavenly Father together to obtain mercy on souls. 

So that it is no longer I who live, but You Christ, who lives in me. Amen. 

Daily Thought For December 3, 2019

Tears of Joy!
I am in a country where all the niceties of life are lacking.
But I am filled with many inner consolations. Indeed, I run the risk of crying my eyes out because of my tears of joy!

St. Francis Xavier

Daily Thought For December 1, 2019

Advent ⏤ The Celebration of an "Overwhelming Reality"
 As we all know, “advent” means “coming”, “presence”, and in ancient times it meant, precisely, the arrival of the king or emperor in a specific province. For Christians the word means a marvelous and overwhelming reality: God himself has crossed the threshold of his heaven and has lowered himself to man; he has made a covenant with him, entering the history of a people; he is a king who came down to this poor province which is the earth, and made a gift to us of his visit, taking our flesh and becoming a man like us. Advent invites us to retrace the journey of this presence and reminds us over and over again that God did not take himself away from the world, he is not absent, he has not left us to ourselves, but comes to meet our needs in various ways that we must learn to discern. And we too, with our faith, our hope and our charity, are called every day to perceive this presence and to witness to it in the world that is…