Showing posts from October, 2014

Daily Thought For October 31, 2014

Practicing Freedom As Children of God In answer to your seventh point, about the spirit of liberty, I shall tell you what I think it is. Every good person is free of committing mortal sins and has no willing attachment to them. Such freedom is necessary for salvation, but that's not what I'm talking about here. The freedom I'm referring to is the "freedom of the children of God" who know they are loved. And what is that? It's the detachment of a Christian heart from all things so that it is free to follow the known will of God. You will readily understand what I'm trying to say if God gives me the grace to explain to you the characteristics and effects of this freedom, and the occasions when it is practiced.  We pray to God above all, that His name may be hallowed, that His kingdom come, that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. All this is nothing other than the spirit of freedom; for, provided that the name of God is hallowed, that His kin

Daly Thought For October 29, 2014

Suffering In The Light of Eternity YOUR LIGHT AND MOMENTARY TROUBLES ARE achieving for you an eternal Glory that far outweighs them all. The Greek word the apostle Paul used for light means "a weightless trifle." Yet he had endured tremendous affliction: He had been imprisoned, beaten, and stoned—received thirty-nine lashes five times, was beaten with rods three times. He had been shipwrecked three times and spent a day and a night adrift at sea. He had often been hungry, thirsty, and cold. Yet Paul considered his massive troubles a weightless trifle because he was comparing them with eternal Glory. I am training you to view your problems this way too — from an eternal perspective.  I don't waste anything in your life, including your suffering. I use it to teach you important lessons here and now. But there is more. Your troubles are also accomplishing something in heavenly realms. They are achieving eternal Glory — contributing to the reward you will receive in heav

Daily Thought For October 28, 2014

Doing God's Will—Today! Needing to feel secure, we would like always to be sure of doing God's will. This desire to know God's will, so that we can conform ourselves to it, is normal. And usually, if we seek God's will with a sincere heart, we will receive the light to understand it. But not always. Even if we do all we can to find out God's will in this or that situation by prayer, reflection, and spiritual guidance, we will not always get a very clear answer, at least not right away.  There are two reasons for this: first, God treats us as adults, and in many situations he wants us to decide for ourselves. The second reason is purification. If we were always sure we were doing God's will and walking in the truth, we would soon become dangerously presumptuous and at risk of spiritual pride. Not always being absolutely sure we are doing God's will is humbling and painful, but it protects us. It preserves us in an attitude of constant  seeking and preven

Daily Thought For October 27, 2014

Learning To Be Joyful In All Circumstances BEWARE OF FEELING ENTITLED TO My GOOD gifts. Receive blessings from Me thankfully, yet be willing to release them back to Me—without growing resentful.  When you have lost something precious (your job, your house, your health, a loved one), you may think it is irrational to be joyful. But this is a worldly way of thinking. Major losses are very painful, and they do need to be grieved. Nonetheless, with time and effort you can learn to focus on the good things that remain  —  and find Joy in the One who will never leave you.  Remember that it is possible to be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. The apostle Paul learned the secret of being joyful in all situations through his experiences of multiple hardships. The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to find Joy in the midst of adversity, and He can do the same for you. You must be willing, though, to let go of anything I take from you — no matter how painful the loss. Then direct your attention fu

Daily Thought For October 26, 2014

The Challenge of Staying On Track At a time when we most need a missionary dynamism which will bring salt and light to the world, many lay people fear that they may be asked to undertake some apostolic work and they seek to avoid any responsibility that may take away from their free time. For example, it has become very difficult today to find trained parish catechists willing to persevere in this work for some years. Something similar is also happening with priests who are obsessed with protecting their free time. This is frequently due to the fact that people feel an overbearing need to guard their personal freedom, as though the task of evangelization was a dangerous poison rather than a joyful response to God’s love which summons us to mission and makes us fulfilled and productive. Some resist giving themselves over completely to mission and thus end up in a state of paralysis and acedia. The problem is not always an excess of activity, but rather activity undertaken badly, w

Daily Thought For October 24, 2014

Walk With A "Faith"Perspective The Lord continues to pass by in our life. He tells us of his presence by a variety of signs, but we often do not recognize him. Christ is present in sickness and tribulation which, if we accept God's Will, can serve to purify us. He exists in the people we work with, in those who need our help, in the members of our family, in the acquaintances of everyday life ... Jesus is behind that piece of good news. He is waiting for us to give him due thanks. He is ready to provide us with more blessings. Unfortunately, there are many occasions when we fail to thank him. What a shame that we should slight God because we are inordinately preoccupied with our own affairs!  What would our life be like if we really lived the presence of God? Wouldn't we find that much of our ill-humor and many of our personal problems would vanish into thin air? If only we could live with more trust in divine Providence, strong in faith, in the certainty of God

Daily Thought For October 22, 2014

Mary & The Gift of Grace There is something else, something even more important which Mary Immaculate tells us when we come here, and it is that the world’s salvation is not the work of human beings — of science, of technology, of an ideology — but it comes from Grace. What does this word mean? Grace means Love in its purity and beauty, it is God himself as he revealed himself in salvation history, recounted in the Bible and in its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Mary is called “full of grace” (Lk 1:28) and with her specific identity she reminds us of God’s primacy in our life and in the history of the world, she reminds us that the power of God’s love is stronger than evil, that it can fill the void that selfishness creates in the history of individuals, families, nations and the world. These forms of emptiness can become hells where human life is drawn downwards and towards nothingness, losing its meaning and its light. The world suggests filling this emptiness with false reme

Daily Thought For October 21, 2014

Don't Be Discouraged  DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know that your heart's desire is to be aware of My Presence continually. This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life. Don't let feelings of failure weigh you down. Instead, try to see yourself as I see you. First of all, I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life. I am pleased each time you initiate communication with Me. In addition, I notice the progress you have made since you first resolved to live in My Presence.  When you realize that your mind has wandered away from Me, don't be alarmed or surprised. You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you. Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with Me, you achieve a victory. Rejoice in these tiny triumphs, and they will increasingly light up your days.  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has c

Daily Thought For October 20, 2014

The Eucharist & Witness The first and fundamental mission that we receive from the sacred mysteries we celebrate is that of bearing witness by our lives. The wonder we experience at the gift God has made to us in Christ gives new impulse to our lives and commits us to becoming witnesses of his love. We become witnesses when, through our actions, words and way of being, Another makes himself present. Witness could be described as the means by which the truth of God's love comes to men and women in history, inviting them to accept freely this radical newness. Through witness, God lays himself open, one might say, to the risk of human freedom. Jesus himself is the faithful and true witness (cf. Rev 1:5; 3:14), the one who came to testify to the truth (cf. Jn 18:37). Here I would like to reflect on a notion dear to the early Christians, which also speaks eloquently to us today: namely, witness even to the offering of one's own life, to the point of martyrdom. Throughout th

Daily Thought For October 19, 2014

Choosing Virtue   Be very meek. You should live not according to your passions and your inclinations, but according to reason and devotion. Love tenderly those who have been given to you by the hand of our Lord. Be very humble toward all. Direct your mind toward peace and tranquillity, and suffocate your bad inclinations by attending diligently to the practice of the contrary virtues. Mark well these words: you are suffering because you fear vice more than you love virtue. If you were able to stir your heart a little more deeply to the practice of meekness and true humility, you would be courageous. But you must frequently think of it. Prepare yourself to do so first thing each morning, and God will send you a thousand consolations. And do not forget to lift your heart to God and your thoughts to eternity.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For October 18, 2014

The Need & Power of Witness People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experience than in teaching, and in life and action than in theories. The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission: Christ, whose mission we continue, is the "witness" par excellence (Rv 1:5; 3:14) and the model of all Christian witness. The Holy Spirit accompanies the Church along her way and associates her with the witness he gives to Christ (cf. Jn 15:26-27). The first form of witness is the very life of the missionary, of the Christian family, and of the ecclesial community, which reveal a new way of living. The missionary who, despite all his or her human limitations and defects, lives a simple life, taking Christ as the model, is a sign of God and of transcendent realities. But everyone in the Church, striving to imitate the Divine Master, can and must bear this kind of witness; in many cases it is the only possible way of being a mission

Daily Thought For October 17, 2014

Don't Get Stuck In The Past We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son. St. John Paul II (World Youth Day 2002)

Daily Thought For October 16, 2014

The Mystery of God's Ways My ways are very mysterious at times, even to those who know Me intimately. It's tempting for My followers to try to control the circumstances of their lives by being good enough. They may not even realize this is motivating their behavior. But when circumstances come crashing down around them — sometimes in tragic ways — they may feel as if I have let them down.  You must leave room for mystery in your worldview—accepting the limitations of your understanding and knowledge. I will never be predictable or controllable, but I am trustworthy. When adversity strikes you or your loved ones, remember the words of Job: "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."  Though Job faltered at times during his excruciating ordeal, at the end of it he confessed, "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know." Likewise, I urge you to view matters you cannot understand a

Daily Thought For October 15, 2014

Important Words For Our Future It is right to submit to a higher authority whenever a command of God would be violated. St. Basil the Great

Daily Thought For October 14, 2014

Christian Maturity Ask our Lord that it should please him to console you with his blessing, to make your soul overflow with his holy love and with the sacred humility and meekness of his heart, which are never apart from his love, just as his love is never apart from them. Do not allow yourself to become angry or let yourself be surprised to see that your soul still has all the imperfections that you habitually confess. Even though you must reject and even detest them in order to amend your life, you must not oppose them with anger, but instead with courage and tranquillity, so that you will be able to make a solid and secure resolution to correct them. This resolution, made while you are at rest and with mature consideration, will help you to choose the true means of carrying it out, among which will be the moderation of your human affections. I do not counsel their abandonment, but only their moderation. Thus will you be able  to find times in which you will be ready for prayer,

Daily Thought For October 13, 2014

To Begin Again  Subjecting my brothers and sisters to criticism for shortcomings while failing to raise a finger to help them shows how afraid I am of compromising myself and soiling my hands.  If I truly loved my brothers and sisters, and truly sought only God's glory,  I would recognize my responsibility toward them, I would collaborate with them and offer  to help them.  I would roll up my sleeves and begin to work and to fight-  and not just once!  To vanquish the enemy,  one must begin again often.  Begin again with perseverance  to do better than the time before, to rebuild and reorganize.  This is a principle of historical  and apostolic reality.  God created human beings in a marvelous way, but when humanity fell, despite our sin,  God restored us in an even more marvelous way.  Peter, Paul, and the Christians of the early Church never stopped pursuing the goal. When necessary they began again, trusting in God's power and in the good wil

Daily Thought For October 12, 2014

Judge Your Feelings Feelings, even pleasant ones, can be from our enemy or from our friend, that is, from the evil one or from the one who is all goodness. Now, we can discern whence they come by certain signs, of which here are a few that will suffice to guide you.  When we do not rest in them, but when we make use of them only for recreation in order afterward to fulfill with a greater constancy the duties and work that God has confided to us, that is a good sign. God sometimes gives us consolations for this reason. He condescends to our infirmity. He sees that our taste for spiritual things has dulled, and he gives us a little gravy, but only to prompt us to desire the nourishing meat. It is therefore a good indication when we do not tarry in the enjoyment of our feelings, for when the evil one gives us certain feelings, he wants us to rest in them; when we do, when we eat  only gravy, our spiritual stomachs become weakened and spoiled.  Secondly, the right sort of feelings

Daily Thought For October 11, 2014

Perseverance in Prayer You should not reproach yourself if you are not finding consolation in meditation, but proceed gently and with humility and patience, not in any way injuring your spirit. Make use of a book when you find your mind to be weary, that is to say, read a bit and then meditate, and then read again for a bit and then meditate, until you reach the end of your half hour. Teresa of Avila made this her practice in the beginning, and she tells us that it did her great good. Keep as your rule the truth that the grace of meditation cannot be won by any efforts of our minds; what is required is a gentle and very affectionate perseverance, full of humility.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For October 10, 2014

How The Saints Use Time The saints lived on earth as much as I do.  The saints were swept along  by the same current of time.  Their days were twenty-four hours long and not one minute more!  All their lives were not longer in years:  Francis Xavier died at the age of forty-six, Therese of the ChildJesus at twenty-four, and Rose of Lima at thirty-one.  But the years they lived  were incomparably intense and concentrated, because they recognized that time  had the value of eternity.  God works through the saints who collaborate with God.  How much we must esteem a single moment of the Lord's work!  We build holiness in the present moment not by turning to the past or anticipating the future. That is why the saints treasured the present moment; without neglecting a single instant, they made each moment a response of their whole being to God's love.  The saints lived in the present as in an immense ocean of peace because they already lived in that unending present

Daily Thought For October 9, 2014

HOPE Does Not Disappoint  PUT YOUR HOPE IN ME, AND MY UNFAILING Love will rest upon you. Some of My children have forgotten how to hope. They have been disappointed so many times that they don't want to risk being let down again. So they forge ahead stoically — living mechanically. Other people put their hope in problem solving, medical treatments, the stock market, the lottery, and so on. But I challenge you to place your hope fully in Me.  No matter what is happening in your life now, your story has an amazingly happy ending. Though the way ahead may look dark to you, there is brilliant, everlasting Light at the end of your earth-journey. My finished work on the cross secured this heavenly hope for you, and it is absolutely assured. Moreover, knowing that your story finishes well can fill your present journey with Joy. The more you put your hope in Me, the more My Love—Light shines upon you brightening your day. Remember that I am with you continually, and I Myself am your

Daily Thought For October 8, 2014

Value The Ordinary By your example, Lord Jesus, you have taught me to live close to reality and to value ordinary tasks: gathering leftover loaves and fish, fishing, cooking, buying oil, visiting the abandoned and sick, sharing food and clothes, loving, pardoning those who do me wrong ... many completely ordinary responsibilities!  Each of us carries out ordinary tasks every day, but the range of their influence is immense. Ordinary tasks can bring life and happiness to a person, provoke a family's collapse, or even prepare a new society for the future.  Such tasks bear witness to our love and, if done for the Lord, serve as a key that opens the doors of paradise. Who proclaimed this? Jesus himself when he said: "Whoever is faithful in the small things will also be faithful in the great."  Ordinary things await us at every moment of life. If we all accomplished our humble tasks with the heart of Jesus, his revolution of love would be complete and success would

Daily Thought For October 7, 2014

The Power of Mercy A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just. Pope Francis

Daily Thought For October 5, 2014

Acceptance of God's Will While taking a walk by yourself, or when you are alone at some other time, turn your eye to God's universal will and see how he wills all the works of his mercy and justice, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Then with profound humility, accept, praise, and then bless this sovereign will, which is entirely holy, just, and beautiful.  Turn your eye next to God's particular will, by which he loves his own and accomplishes in them different works of consolation and tribulation. Ponder this a while, as you consider not only the variety of his consolations, but above all the trials suffered by the good. Then, with great humility, accept, praise, and bless the whole of this will.  Finally, consider this will in your own person, in all that befalls you for good or ill, and in all that can happen to you, except sin. Then, accept, praise, and bless all this, and declare your intention always to honor, cherish, and  adore this sovereign will,

Daily Thought For October 4, 2014

God & The Work For God Because of your infinite love for me, Lord, you called me to follow you,  to be your child and your disciple.  Then you entrusted me with a unique mission  that has the same requirements as every mission: that I be your apostle and witness.  Still, my experience has taught me that I confuse these two realities:  God and God's work.  God gave me the responsibility to carry out certain works-  some sublime and others more modest; some noble and others more common.  And so, with a commitment to pastoral work in parishes and with young people in schools, with artists and laborers,  in the world of the press, radio, and television, I gave my entire energy to everything  and poured out all my abilities.  I did not spare anything,  not even my life.  But, while I was so passionately immersed in action,  I met the defeat of ingratitude, the refusal to collaborate,  the incomprehension of friends, the lack of support from leaders, illness and infir

Daily Thought for October 3, 2014

A Great Prayer For This Day In all circumstances, of joy or sorrow, hope or fear, let us aim at having Him in our inmost heart; let us have no secret apart from Him. Let us acknowledge Him as enthroned within us at the very springs of thought and affection. Let us submit ourselves to His guidance and sovereign direction; let us come to Him that He may forgive us, cleanse us, change us, guide us and save us. St. Jerome

Daily Thought For October 2, 2014

Open Our Eyes To The Grace of This Day Dear friends, open your eyes and look around you. So many young people no longer see any meaning in their lives. Go forth! Christ needs you too. Let yourselves be caught up and drawn along by his love. Be at the service of this immense love, so it can reach out to everyone, especially to those “far away”. Some people are far away geographically, but others are far away because their way of life has no place for God. Some people have not yet personally received the Gospel, while others have been given it, but live as if God did not exist. Let us open our hearts to everyone. Let us enter into conversation in simplicity and respect. If this conversation is held in true friendship, it will bear fruit. The “nations” that we are invited to reach out to are not only other countries in the world. They are also the different areas of our lives, such as our families, communities, places of study and work, groups of friends and places where we spend our

Daily Thought For October 1, 2014

A Transparent Vessel  "Woe unto you, lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering you hindered. "  Jesus addresses this warning to me: I must not manipulate God's truth. Some people are self-proclaimed owners of truth. They are the only ones who can understand and comment on God's law and word. They put the truth at the service of their personal interests, and whoever dares to upset their way of living transgresses God's law. Today, as yesterday, this is a danger that threatens the Church.  I must examine myself: am I transparent enough to allow the Lord's message to move through me and to be the faithful transmitter of the truth in every detail? Or do I deform the truth by altering its requirements, rewriting certain aspects, arranging it according to my own needs, warping, disguising, or blurring it- then embroidering an attractive design to cover my manipulation?  Lord,