Showing posts from September, 2014

Daily Thought For September 30, 2014

A Spiritual Vintage  Just as wine is made by pressing the grapes, so we make a spiritual vintage by pressing upon God's grace and his promises. To press upon God's grace, we must multiply our prayers by brief but lively movements of our hearts. To press upon his promises, we must multiply our works of charity, for it is to these that God has joined his promises. "I was sick and you visited me," he said (Matt. 25:36).  Each thing has its season: in one we press the grapes, and in another we bring the vintage forth from the cellar, but we must press, and do so carefully and without anxiety. On the Cross, there is but one grape, although it is worth more than thousands. How much nourishment have holy souls found there, by thinking upon the graces and virtues that our Savior showed forth to the world. Make a good harvest of your earthly labors, and they will serve you as a ladder to climb to spiritual ones.  St. Francis loved the lambs and the sheep because the

Daily Thought For September 29, 2014

Let Go Of The Past Roll up your sleeves and begin to work! This means we must be aware of our responsibility toward our brothers and sisters, accept our mission, and be determined to overcome evil. We must take up this task again and again.  However modestly, the sinful woman, Nicodemus, and Peter began again with courage, hope, and determination, making the second half of their lives more beautiful than the first.  Reconstruct and reinforce! This is a law of historical reality and apostolic action—even when everything crumbled, even after 300 years of Christian persecution under the Roman Empire! Linus, Cletus, Clement, and Sixtus succeeded Peter after his death. After Paul's death came Cyprian, Cornelius, and Chrysogonus. The generations followed one after another.  In my country of Vietnam, the same thing happened.  The Trinh, the Tay Son, the Nguyen dynasties passed away, but the Church remained and our ancestors continued the work. When difficulties seemed to bring e

Daily Thought For September 28, 2014

An Illusion  A whole stream of public opinion tells the Church to moderate its requirement of sacrifice and renunciation, to lower its expectations of priests, religious, and lay people. Some people believe that a more lenient attitude, a less demanding way of life, would attract more vocations and believers to the Church. But experience has shown that this is an illusion.  Young people want to give themselves completely, and to become authentic disciples of Christ. They want an unequivocally evangelical life and detest partial commitments and "accommodating virtue." They are not afraid of self-denial; their only fear is to undervalue the evangelical call, to live a mediocre Christian life or a stunted priestly or religious life.  Lord,  we, the youth of the whole world turn our eyes toward you, our ideal. Draw us to yourself  We offer boundless thanks to you for what you demand of us.  Thank you for giving us the freedom to choose and for respecting our hu

Daily Thought For September 27, 2014

Great Advice from "The Saint Maker" We must always desire to carry out our spiritual exercises well and with precision, both prayer and the exercise of the virtues, and we must never be troubled, anxious, or surprised if we fail to do so. Our desires depend upon our fidelity, which should always be total and yet should grow from day to day; our failures are caused by our infirmity, which we will never be able to leave behind during this mortal life. When we have committed some fault, we should immediately examine our heart and ask ourselves whether we retain a lively and thorough resolution to serve God.  One hopes for a heart that would rather suffer a thousand deaths than fail to keep this resolution. We reprove our heart: "Why, then, are you hesitating now? Why are you so cowardly?" And we make our excuse: "I was taken by surprise, and I hardly know how it happened, but now I am again thinking of my resolution." The heart must be pardoned. It i

Daily Thought For September 26, 2014

Jesus Is A True Friend If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. St. Teresa of Avila

Daily Thought For September 25, 2014

Meeting God in God's Word In God's presence, during a recollected reading of the Bible, it is good to ask, for example: "Lord, what does this text say to me? What is it about my life that you want to change by this text? What troubles me about this text? Why am I not interested in this? Or perhaps: What do I find pleasant in this text? What is is about this word that moves me? What attracts me? Why does it attract me?"  But even when we make an effort to listen to the Lord, some common temptations can arise. One of them is simply to feel troubled or burdened, and to turn away. Another is to think about what the text means for other people, and so avoid applying it to our own life. Or we might look for excuses to water down the clear meaning of the text. Or we can wonder if God is demanding too much of us, asking for a decision that we are not yet prepared to make.  This leads many people to stop taking pleasure in the encounter with God's word. But G

Daily Thought For September 24, 2014

FAITH THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE I HAVE COME SO THAT YOU MAY HAVE LIFE and have it more abundantly. The chief purpose of My incarnation was to secure eternal Life for you. However, I also want you to live abundantly today―and all your days. To do this, you need to remember Whose you are and who you are. You belong to Me, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. And you are My beloved child, adopted into My royal family. Adoption is a forever-transaction: I have not hired you as My employee. I have made you a permanent member of My family.  Don't let the familiarity of these truths lull you into sleepwalking through your days. I, your faithful Guide, am more vibrantly alive than you can fathom! As you stay close to Me, some of My Life "rubs off' on you-awakening your heart so you can live more fully. This helps you see that you are on an adventurous journey with Me where you make a difference, where your choices Significantly impact the world. And I, your God, will be

Daily Thought For September 23, 2014

Sharing The Gift We Have Received Christians must not sit idly by as the tide of materialism sweeps over our entire culture. Nor should we become entrapped by a purely economic vision of the world. Solidarity is a direct requirement of human and supernatural brotherhood.  This attitude will lead us to live that personal poverty which Jesus called blessed. This poverty consists of detachment, of confidence in God, of temperance and generosity, of a longing for justice, of hunger for the kingdom of heaven, of docility to the word of God and perseverance in the truth. This is quite different from the poverty that oppresses most of our brothers and sisters in this world, impeding their integral development as persons. Before this type of poverty and privation, the Church lifts up her voice to promote the solidarity which is so urgently required.  We have got to see the people around us as our brothers and sisters. They are brothers and sisters in need of the great treasure of the Fai

Daily Thought For September 22, 2014

Peace, the Road to Perfection Experience shows us that peace, which sows charity, the love of God and love of neighbor in your soul, is the road that leads straight to eternal life.  Take care to never let your heart be troubled, saddened, agitated or involved in that which can cause it to lose its peace. Rather work always to remain tranquil because the Lord says: "Happy are those who are at peace." Do this and the Lord will build in your soul the City of Peace and He will make of you a House of Delight. That which He wants of you is that, whenever you are troubled, you would recover your calm, your peace, on your own - in your work, in your thoughts and in all your activities without exception.  Just as a city is not built in a day, do not think that you can achieve, in a day, this peace, this interior calm, because it is within you that a home must be built for God, while you yourself, become His temple. And it is the Lord Himself Who must  handle the construc

Daily Thought For September 21, 2014

Avoiding Lukewarmness  Now, my dear friends, examine yourselves, and find out upon which side you stand: On the side of the sinner who has given up everything; who thinks no more about the salvation of his soul; who plunges into sin without any remorse of conscience? On the side of those just souls who behold God alone, and seek after him? Or do you belong to those poor souls, to those lukewarm, indifferent Christians, that I have just described to you? On which path are you walking? Who can say that he is not a sinner, nor lukewarm, but one of the elect! Alas, my friends, there are many who, in the eyes of the world, appear to be good Christians, but in the sight of God, who knows our intentions, are but lukewarm.  But you will say to me, what means shall we employ that we may get out of this miserable state? Let me first tell you that those who live in lukewarmness are, in a certain sense, in greater danger than those who live in mortal sin. A sinner laments his condition when

Daily Thought For September 20, 2014

The Privilege of Working in the Lord's Vineyard The Lord is not interested in useless complaining which shows a lack of faith. Nor does he want us to have a negative or pessimistic outlook on the people and circumstances around us. This is the vineyard; this is the field where the Lord wants us to work, inserted into the middle of the world. It is in our very own family and no other that we have to become saints. Likewise, it is in our job that we meet God and introduce others to him. This is the vineyard. We must not wait for imaginary 'better opportunities.' We have the graces necessary to do an effective apostolate wherever we are. This fact should be the basis for our optimism. God calls me and sends me forth as a laborer in his vineyard. He calls me and sends me forth to work for the coming of his Kingdom in history. This  personal vocation and mission defines the dignity and the responsibility of each member of the lay faithful and makes up the focal point of the

Daily Thought For September 18, 2014

The Importance of the Family With the Church, I believe that the whole structure of our moral, national and social life is based on the family, and I am convinced that everything done for the family enhances the greatness and strength of peoples and societies; on the other hand, they are irretrievably destroyed as soon as the family, the cornerstone of the structure, is attacked. Thus, you will do all you can to strengthen in every way respect for family life. Later on, when you have your own family, you will make your home a warm and lively center of influence, and you will be a guiding spirit for those who live in the light that you spread. You will be a friend and companion to your husband, and a guide and model of moral strength to your children. You will possess that precious treasure…a serenity and peace of mind that nothing can destroy, neither trials nor losses, since God is their source, and God gives them sometimes in proportion to our own sufferings. This is one of t

Daily Thought For September 17, 2014

Using Our Speech For The Good Of Others Speech is one of the most precious talents ever bestowed on men by God, a most beautiful gift for the expression of deep thoughts of love and friendship towards the Lord and his creatures. We should not use this gift in an inconsiderate or frivolous way. We should always keep in mind the warning of St James that the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity. The damage it does can come  from useless arguments, sarcasm, calumnies, etc. How many friendships have been ruined by tongues out of control!  Jesus took care in what he said to other people. I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter. Idle words spring from an impoverished spirit. An unwillingness to control one's speech is a clear symptom of spiritual lukewarmness. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. Our Lord will judge us on how we have used h

Daily Thought For September 16, 2014

The Dangers of Isolation Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is... One of the deepest forms of poverty a person can experience is isolation... Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God's love, by man's basic and tragic tendency to close in on himself, thinking himself to be self-sufficient or merely an insignificant and ephemeral fact, a "stranger" in a random universe...The human being develops when ... his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator... It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God. Pope Benedict XVI

Daily Thought For September 15, 2014

Be Content With God's Calling I CALL YOU TO LEAD THE LIFE THAT I HAVE assigned to you, and to be content. Beware of comparing your situation with that of someone else — and feeling dissatisfied because of the comparison. It is also harmful to compare your circumstances with what they used to be or with fantasies that bear little resemblance to reality. Instead, make every effort to accept as your calling the life I have assigned to you. This perspective helps take the sting out of even the harshest circumstances. If I have called you to a situation, I will give you everything you need to endure it — and even to find Joy in the midst of it.  Learning to be content is both a discipline and an art: You train your mind to trust My Sovereign ways with you — bowing before My mysterious, infinite intelligence. You search for Me in the details of your day, all the while looking for good to emerge from trouble and confusion. You accept the way things are without losing hope for a bett

Daily Thought For September 14, 2014

The Power of The Cross Take note: the great Agent of mercy converts our miseries into graces, turning the poison of our sins into a healing antidote for our souls. Tell me, then, what grace will do to heal our afflictions, soften our crosses and persecutions that we have to suffer. Therefore, when some misfortune strikes, of whatever nature it may be, be assured that, if we love the Lord with all our hearts, all will be converted into good; and later, though you cannot understand where this good comes from, be sure that it will most certainly happen.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For September 13, 2014

Putting God First IN EVERYTHING YOU DO, PUT ME FIRST, AND I will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Putting Me first sounds so simple and straightforward. But the world, the flesh, and the devil war against your efforts to do this. You can easily justify letting other things creep into the space and time you had set aside for Me. If this happens only occasionally, it is just part of being human. However, if you see it becoming a pattern in your life, watch out! Your priorities may have been gradually shifting— until I am no longer your First Love.  Putting Me first is not an arbitrary rule; it is the way to live vibrantly, joyfully—close to Me. It is also the way to live purposefully, letting Me direct your steps. When I am your top priority, other things fall into their proper place. So delight yourself in Me first and foremost. As you walk in the Light of My Presence, I open up the path before you—crowning your efforts with success.  In everything you do, put God

Daily Thought For September 12, 2014

Try & See The Good In People Today Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God. Pope Francis

Daily Thought For September 11, 2014

Awaken To The Spiritual Life Let us love. Let our lives be a perpetual song of love for God, first of all, and for all human beings who suffer, love, and mourn. Let deep joy live in us. Let us be like the lark, enemy of the night, who always announces the dawn and awakens in each creature the love of light and life. Let us awaken others to the spiritual life.”  Venerable Servant of God Elizabeth LeSeur

Daily Thought For September 9, 2014

Great Advice from My Favorite Saint Live totally for God and for the love He has poured out on you. Put up with all your defects. Being a good servant of God does not consist in living in the midst of consolations and delights, without any dislike or repugnance for the good. If that were the case, neither Saint Catherine of Siena nor others would have served the Lord worthily! To be a good servant of God means to have a great love for your neighbor; to have an inviolable resolution to follow the Divine Will; to have a deep humility and simplicity in trusting God and in being able to rise from your falls. It means having patience with yourself in your daily failings and peacefully tolerating your neighbor with all his or her imperfections.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For September 8, 2014

Steering Clear of Resentment Resentment attacks our vital forces and does us much harm. When someone has made us suffer, our tendency is to keep the memory of the wrong alive in our minds, like a “bill” we will produce in due time to demand settlement. Those accumulated bills end up poisoning our lives. It is wiser to cancel every debt, as the Gospel invites us to. In return, we will be forgiven everything, and our hearts will be set free, whereas nurturing resentment toward others closes us to the positive things they could contribute to us. Jacques Philippe Interior Freedom

Daily Thought For September 7, 2014

Strive For Spiritual Excellence We should never tire of making good resolutions, even when we know that we will not keep them. Even if we should feel absolutely certain that it will be impossible to put them into practice, we should not immediately give up. We should hold on until we have sufficient courage to say to the Lord: It is true, Lord, I haven't the strength to do it or suffer this, but I rejoice in this fact, that Your strength will work in me. With this support I will go ahead to face the battle, and I will win.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For September 5, 2014

Reflecting The Light of Christ A new century, a new millennium are opening in the light of Christ. But not everyone can see this light. Ours is the wonderful and demanding task of becoming its "reflection". This is the mysterium lunae, which was so much a part of the contemplation of the Fathers of the Church, who employed this image to show the Church's dependence on Christ, the Sun whose light she reflects. It was a way of expressing what Christ himself said when he called himself the "light of the world" (Jn 8:12) and asked his disciples to be "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14). This is a daunting task if we consider our human weakness, which so often renders us opaque and full of shadows. But it is a task which we can accomplish if we turn to the light of Christ and open ourselves to the grace which makes us a new creation. St. Pope John Paul II - APOSTOLIC LETTER NOVO MILLENNIO INEUNTE #54

Daily Thought For September 4, 2014

Don't Let Misfortune Upset To You Don't ever allow yourself to become upset by your misfortunes. In face of your misery, should you find yourself in this situation by the will of God, remain humble and lowly before God and be at great peace. Respond to all misfortune, whatever it may be, with gentleness, peace, tenderness and interior moderation before God, abandoning yourself simply into His hands so that He may make of you and in you what He pleases. Wish calmly and peacefully to live only for Him, through Him and in Him.  Francois-Marie-Jacob Libermann (A converted Jew, founder of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit) 

Daily Thought For September 3, 2014

Be Courageous  BE OF GOOD COURAGE, AND I WILL STRENGTHEN your heart. I want you to face adversity with confidence and firm determination. Because I am with you and the Holy Spirit lives in you, you have everything you need to be bold. Cowardliness is not of My kingdom. When you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, remember who you are—a child of the eternal King! Invite Me into the very circumstances that are intimidating you, and let the Light of My powerful Presence strengthen you. When you choose to live courageously, I am pleased. And I respond by strengthening your heart, thus increasing your valor.  Expect to encounter hardships as you journey toward heaven, because you live in a very broken world. This is why bravery is desperately needed among My followers. You also need hope. My promise to strengthen your heart is for those who hope in Me. Courage and hope are closely connected in My kingdom. So I urge you to hold on to your courage and your hope. They are more

Daily Thought For September 1, 2014

Bridging The Chasm It has been said that the greatest chasm in the world is the distance between the mind and the heart. So when St. Paul went to Corinth, he didn’t focus on sublime teaching about God or argue about moral issues. He simply presented Christ crucified, risen, victorious, powerful. He didn’t give the people teachings about Christ as much as he gave them Christ himself. He wanted to bridge that chasm! Paul’s words were so effective because he showed the heart-to-heart, person-to-person relationship that Jesus came to give us. He showed that Jesus is more than a great teacher; he is our salvation. He is not just an idea; he is a person. Jesus himself is the very foundation of our faith. So let’s connect with Jesus on a personal level, a “heart” level, today. Let’s allow the Scriptures to bring us face to face and heart to heart with the Lord. Reread today’s Gospel and place yourself in the scene. As the synagogue members listen to Jesus and note the graciousness of