Showing posts from July, 2014

Daily Thought For July 21, 2014

The Gift of Hope Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace. It is an optimism that leads us to make demands on ourselves, to struggle to respond at every moment to God's call. St. Josemaría Escrivá **The next Daily Thought will be on August 2, 2014**

Daily Thought For July 20, 2014

Thanksgiving In The Midst of Tribulations Paul, by God’s will an apostle of Jesus Christ, and Timothy his brother, to the church of God that is at Corinth and to all the holy ones of the church who live in Achaia. Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation! He comforts us in all our afflictions and thus enables us to comfort those who are in trouble, with the same consolation we have received from him. As we have shared much in the suffering of Christ, so through Christ do we share abundantly in his consolation. If we are afflicted it is for your encouragement and salvation, and when we are consoled it is for your consolation, so that you may endure patiently the same sufferings we endure. Our hope for you is firm because we know that just as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the consolation. Brothers, we do not wish to leave you in the

Daily Thought For July 19, 2014

In His Name Is Hope      Others may look for happiness from their riches or their talents; they may rely upon the innocence of their lives, the rigor of their penance, the number of their good works, or the fervor of their prayers; but for me, O Lord, my confidence shall be my confidence itself. For you have wonderfully established me in hope.       This confidence has never deceived anyone. No one has hoped in the Lord and been put to shame. I am sure that I shall be eternally happy, because I hope firmly to be so, and it is from you, O Lord, that I hope it. In you, O Lord, have I hoped; I shall not be confounded for ever.       I know that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the most firmly based virtues: I have seen the stars of heaven and the pillars of the firmament fall; but not even this can make me fear. As long as I hope, I am safe from every evil, and I am sure of always hoping because I hope for this unchanging hope. For you, O Lord, have

Daily Thought For July 18, 2014

Jesus & The Gift of Friendship Supernatural charity strengthens and enriches friendship. The love of Christ makes us more humane; it gives us a greater capacity to understand and it makes us more open to everybody. In Christ, the best of all friends, we learn to strengthen a relationship that perhaps was beginning to weaken, to remove some obstacle, to overcome the tendency to slide into a state of cosy isolation. When we are close to Jesus we learn to be better, to bring the people around us to holiness, because we can offer them our faith in him. Just think how many people down the centuries have journeyed along the path of friendship in Our Lord's company!  Look upon Christ. You know well that He counts you among his close friends. We are the friends of the bridegroom, and he calls us to share his favor and his possessions. The words of the Book of Sirach about friendship — there is nothing so precious as a faithful friend — acquire their full meaning when applied to

Daily Thought For July 17, 2014

The Pure of Heart & The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit begins his work in each of us by working on our fears. He does this because fear is so common that everyone experiences it. Aquinas says there are four types of fear. The first type is worldly fear. This fear results when we drift away from God to focus more readily on things of the world. This fear can concern even incidental things, such as fear of public speaking, fear of loss, fear of not knowing the answer, or even fear of being picked last for a team. Worldly fears from phobias to anxieties to worries can keep us in a state of unhealthy tension that makes us try to conform.  Worldly fear is born of inordinate self-love and arises ultimately from sin. This fear is like a net. The more we struggle when caught within it, the tighter it becomes. We can allow it to become a way of life so it affects our education, politics, work, and recreation. It is the law of the jungle. Our efforts are laden with "jockeying for pos

Daily Thought For July 15, 2014

Pushing Back The Darkness IN CLOSENESS TO ME, you are safe. In the intimacy of My Presence, you are energized. No matter where you are in the world, you know you belong when you sense My nearness. Ever since the Fall, man has experienced a gaping emptiness that only My Presence can fill. I designed you for close communication with your Creator. How I enjoyed walking in the garden with Adam and Eve, before the evil one deceived them!  When you commune with Me in the garden of your heart, both you  and I are blessed. This is My way of living in the world—through you! Together we will push back the darkness, for I am the Light of the world.  You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. —PSALM 32:7  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are

Daily Thought For July 14, 2014

God Always Offers A Helping Hand Peter stayed on his feet - even when facing the  greatest difficulties - as long as he acted with supernatural outlook, with faith, with confidence in the Lord. Later, in order to stay afloat, to receive God's help, he had to cooperate, because when our cooperation is lacking divine help also ceases. It was our Lord who helped him to go on.  Peter recovered his faith and confidence in Jesus. He climbed aboard the boat with him, and at that moment the wind ceased and calm was restored to the seas and to the hearts of the disciples. They recognized Jesus as their Lord and God. Those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, Truly, you are the Son of God.  The experience of our personal weakness will serve for us to find Jesus who puts out his hand and enters our heart, giving us great peace in the midst of any trial. We should learn never to be afraid of God, who presents himself in ordinary things, as well as in the physical or moral suffe

Daily Thought For July 12, 2014

The Importance of Christian Conduct In a world where so many people habitually think  little of a lie and indulge in pretenses, we, as Christians must be men and women of truth who always flee from even the smallest falsehood. This is how people should know us - as men and women who never tell lies even in matters of little importance, as men and women who shut out of their lives anything that smacks of dissimulation, hypocrisy and duplicity, and who know how to put matters right if they make a mistake. Then our lives will be filled with a great apostolic fruitfulness, for people always trust an upright person, one who knows how to speak the truth with charity and understanding towards all and without hurting people.  from In Conversation with God  by Francis Fernandez Volume 4 p. 115

Daily Thought For July 11, 2014

One Reason People May Not Go To Confession The vision of the Christian life set forth in these images corresponds better with experience. To present the Christian life primarily as a matter of duty and obligation leaves little room for understanding how the Holy Spirit acts. Ordinarily, Catholics do not stop practicing their faith in a grinding halt. They may still identify with "being Catholic," but their commitment wanes due to a few factors. Frustration is high on the list. The secular culture has conditioned us to look for returns on our investment. The perfect storm, laid out in the first chapter, leads us to count and measure our buying and spending. If we practice faith, we think, then God should deliver. This is often the culprit behind the decline in receiving the sacrament of Penance. People still believe in sin and that God forgives sin. They can see little reason for confessing their sins to receive this forgiveness. Why? Because early on, they discovered that

Daily Thought For July 10, 2014

The Need For Divine Mercy  Once He had risen, Jesus gave His followers a new unity, stronger than the kind they had before, invincible, because it was founded not on human resources, but on The Divine Mercy, which made them feel they were all loved and forgiven by Him. It is therefore the merciful love of God that firmly unites the Church, today as yesterday, and makes humanity a single family; the divine love, which through Jesus crucified and risen, forgives our sins and renews us from within. Pope Benedict XVI, in his reflection before the Regina Caeli on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, 2009

Daily Thought For July 9, 2014

Take A Step of Faith Today MAKE ME THE FOCAL POINT of your search for security. In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe. Not only is this an impossible goal, but it is also counterproductive to spiritual growth. When your private world feels unsteady and you grip My hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me.  Instead of yearning for a problem-free life, rejoice that trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence. In the darkness of adversity, you are able to see more clearly the radiance of My Face. Accept the value of problems in this life, considering them pure joy. Remember that you have an eternity of trouble-free living awaiting you in heaven.  "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." —ISAIAH 41:10 Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand w

Daily Thought For July 8, 2014

Salvation Depends On Christ We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone. St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For July 7, 2014

Trusting That God Is At Work Your faith has saved you. (Matthew 9:22) You’ve probably watched Olympic figure skating before, but you may not know how complicated the judging is. The judges use instant replay to decide on a technical score for each element of a skater’s routine such as jumps or spins. Then they use a component score for factors such as skating skills, choreography, and transitions. For each segment of a routine, the technical score is added to the component score, and a computer selects scores from the judges to get a total score. That’s a lot of scoring and calculating, isn’t it? Some of us may think that Jesus is like one of these judges. We imagine that he was keeping score of the official with the sick daughter and the woman with the hemorrhage. He must have looked at how much faith they had and decided to give them a passing grade—to hear their prayers and intervene in their lives. But look at the way Matthew tells the story. He doesn’t give any indicatio

Daily Thought For July 6, 2014

Grace of The Eucharist More frequent communion since circumstances now make it possible. The Holy Eucharist is indeed food for the soul; to say so is a commonplace, but how true! Apart from the conscious joy it sometimes brings, even without that joy, the inner self becomes stronger and more alive; the Eucharist transforms it, although one may not be aware of this mysterious process. This incorporation into us of the divine substance, this assimilation of [God] into our being, this eternal life penetrating our lives, this close contact with the most holy and loving person of all ... works within us and, if our will belongs to God, deeply renews us.  Anyone who has received communion for many months or years without being changed inwardly and outwardly has not brought to the holy table the openness and childlike simplicity that is blessed by our Savior. This renewal is independent of all conscious consolation and exterior joy; the loving sense of Jesus Christ's Real Presence i

Daily Thought For July 5, 2014

New Wineskins & Grace The Holy Spirit constantly brings to the soul new wine — sanctifying grace — which has to grow more and more. This new wine does not grow old, but the wineskins can grow old. Once they tear they are thrown into the rubbish bin and the wine is lost. This is why it is necessary to constantly restore the soul, to rejuvenate it; there are times when we fail to love, perhaps through venial sins, that render the soul unfit to receive more grace and cause it to grow old. In this life we will always be aware of the scars left by sin  —  character defects that we are unable to overcome, invitations of grace we do not respond to generously, impatience, routine in our life of piety, failure to show understanding for people. . .  It is contrition that disposes us to receive new graces, that increases our hope and enables us to avoid routine. It makes a Christian forget himself and turn to God once again with a still deeper act of love. Contrition brings with it an a

Daily Thought For July 4, 2014

A Prayer For The 4th of July Dear Lord, There is no greater feeling of liberation than to experience this freedom from sin and death that you have provided for me through Jesus Christ. Today my heart and my soul are free to praise you. For this I am very thankful. On this Independence Day I am reminded of all those who have sacrificed for my freedom, following the example of your Son, Jesus Christ. Let me not take my freedom, both physical and spiritual, for granted. May I always remember that my freedom was purchases with a very high price. My freedom cost others their very lives. Lord, today, bless those who have served and continue to give their lives for my freedom. With favor and bounty meet their needs and watch over their families. Help me to live my life in a way that glorifies you, Lord. Give me the strength to be a blessing in someone else's life today, and grant me the opportunity to lead others into the freedom that can be found in knowing Christ. Amen