Showing posts from December, 2014

Daily Thought For December 31, 2014

Giving Thanks For The Gift of Faith Another year is drawing to a close, as we await the start of a new one: with some trepidation, with our perennial desires and expectations. Reflecting on our life experience, we are continually astonished by how ultimately short and ephemeral life is. So we often find ourselves asking: what meaning can we give to our days? What meaning, in particular, can we give to the days of toil and grief? This is a question that permeates history, indeed it runs through the heart of every generation and every individual. But there is an answer: it is written on the face of a Child who was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, and is today the Living One, risen for ever from the dead. From within the fabric of humanity, rent asunder by so much injustice, wickedness and violence, there bursts forth in an unforeseen way the joyful and liberating novelty of Christ our Saviour, who leads us to contemplate the goodness and tenderness of God through the mystery

Daily Thought For December 30, 2014

Jesus Never Fails His Friends How little too is our faith when we doubt whether the storm will abate! Too often we allow ourselves to be discouraged by circumstances: sickness, work, reverses of fortune, opposition to us in our surroundings. Fear is a phenomenon which covers almost every aspect of life. It is often the result of ignorance or of selfishness stemming from an excessive concern for oneself or anxiety over things that perhaps will never happen. But, above all else, fear often stems from the awareness that the security of our life is based on very weak foundations. Here we are forgetting an essential truth: Jesus Christ is our constant security. This does not mean to say that we are insensitive to events, but that we should have more confidence in using the human means at our disposal. We must never forget that to be close to Jesus, even when he appears to be asleep, is to be safe. When we are confused and going through unpleasant times, Jesus does not forget us. As St T

Daily Thought For December 29, 2014

The Struggle For Justice In the final analysis, the establishment of justice and peace in the world finds its solution in the human heart. And, when the heart is not centered on God, man reverts to his original state of slavery and is subject to every kind of oppression from his fellow creatures.  Thus, we can never forget that when, through our personal apostolate, we try to make the world around us more Christian, we are also making it more human. And, to the extent that we succeed in this, by creating a more just and more human environment in social, family and working conditions, we are at the same time creating a climate in which Christ can be more easily known and loved.  A decision to put into practice the virtue of justice, without reservations, will lead us to pray daily for the leaders of government, business enterprises, welfare services etc. For the solution to the major social and human problems of today depends to a great extent on such people. And in doing so we

Daily Thought For December 28, 2014

Why The Family Is So Important One of the great challenges of the family today consists in attempts at its privatization, running the risk of forgetting that the family is “the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another” (EG, 66). What needs to be clearly delineated is the idea of the family as a resource in society, that is to say, a source of the essential virtues for a life in community. In a family, a person learns a sense of the common good and experiences the goodness of living together. Without the family, a person is unable to emerge from his individualism, since it is the only place to learn the power of love to sustain life, and “without a love which is trustworthy, nothing could truly keep men and women united. Human unity would be conceivable only on the basis of utility, on a calculus of conflicting interests or on fear, but not on the goodness of living together, not on the joy which the mere p

Daily Thought For December 27, 2104

Do We Allow God To Love Us?  On this holy night, while we contemplate the Infant Jesus just born and placed in the manger, we are invited to reflect. How do we welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close?  “But I am searching for the Lord” – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me? More so, do we have the courage to welcome with tenderness the difficulties and problems of those who are near to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, perhaps effective but devoid of the warmth of the Gospel? How much the world needs tenderness today! The Christian response cannot be different from God’s response to our smallness. Life must be met with goodness, with meekness. When we realize that God is in love with our sma

Daily Thought For Christmas Day, 2014

Christmas—Jesus Is Here For You! Merry Christmas! Today is the day when we celebrate the light of Christ, a light that pierces all our darkness! While some of us find it easy to rejoice today, others may struggle to celebrate. Still, the truth remains: the Word became flesh for all of us. His grace and truth and glory are available for everyone. And so, whatever darkness seems to enfold you, God calls out: “Come into my light! Darkness has not, and cannot, overcome it.” To all of us he says, “I came for you.” “Lord, I’m so worried about my children.” “I came for you—and for them!” “Lord, I’m locked in a prison cell all by myself.” “I came for you; let me join you and keep you company.” “Lord, I can’t find my way out of sin. I feel guilty, ashamed, and too afraid to go to Confession.” “Don’t be afraid. I came to light the way for you.” “Lord, life feels so overwhelming, and I don’t seem to have time for you.” “That’s okay. Come to me whenever you can. I always have t

Daily Thought For December 24, 2014

Prepare For Christmas Christmas is a privileged opportunity to meditate on the meaning and value of our existence. The approach of this Solemnity helps us on the one hand to reflect on the drama of history in which people, injured by sin, are perennially in search of happiness and of a fulfilling sense of life and death; and on the other, it urges us to meditate on the merciful kindness of God who came to man to communicate to him directly the Truth that saves, and to enable him to partake in his friendship and his life. Therefore let us prepare ourselves for Christmas with humility and simplicity, making ourselves ready to receive as a gift the light, joy and peace that shine from this mystery. Pope Benedict XVI General Audience December 17, 2008

Daily Thought For December 23, 2014

Ordering Things Towards God Speaking to men and women striving to reach sanctity in the midst of the world - businessmen, academics, agricultural laborers, office-workers, mothers and fathers - Monsignor Escriva said: The ordinary Christian has to reconcile two aspects of his life that can at first sight seem contradictory. There is on the one hand 'true poverty' which is obvious and tangible and made up of definite things. This poverty should be an expression of faith in God and a sign that the heart is not satisfied with created things and aspires to the Creator; that it wants to be filled with love of God so as to be able to give this same love to everyone. On the other hand, the ordinary Christian 'is and wants to be one more among his fellow men', sharing their way of life, their joys and their sorrows, working with them, loving the world and  all the good things that exist in it, using all created things in order to solve the problems of human life and to est

Daily Thought For December 21, 2014

The Annunciation—Opening To God I would like to emphasize another important point: the opening of the soul to God and to his action in faith also includes an element of obscurity. The relationship of human beings with God does not delete the distance between Creator and creature, it does not eliminate what the Apostle Paul said before the depth of God’s wisdom: “How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!” (Rom 11:33). Yet those who — like Mary — open themselves totally to God, come to accept the divine will, even though it is mysterious, although it often does not correspond with their own wishes, and is a sword that pierces their soul, as the elderly Simeon would say prophetically to Mary when Jesus was presented in the Temple (cf. Lk 2:35). Abraham’s journey of faith included the moment of joy in the gift of his son Isaac, but also the period of darkness, when he had to climb Mount Moriah to execute a paradoxical order: God was asking him to sacrifice the

Daily Thought For December 20, 2014

Is This True? In youth the days are short and the years are long. In old age the years are short and day's long. Venerable Servant of God Pope Paul VI

Daily Thought For December 19, 2014

In God Is The Joy Of My Soul My hope is that the Good News of Christ will enter every home and help families to rediscover that only in Christ can man find salvation. In him it is possible to find the interior peace, hope and strength necessary to face life's various situations each day, even those most onerous and difficult. In the letter accompanying the Gospel, I recalled that Jesus is not a figure of the past. He is the Word of God who even today continues to shed light on man's path; his actions are the expression of the Father's love for every human being. St. Pope John Paul II

Daily Thought For December 17, 2014

Make A Difference By Following This! Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” St. Thérèse de Lisieux

Daily Thought For December 16, 2014

Surrender To The Ocean of God's Goodness Obedience is not an act of coercion, it is letting go, surrendering to the ocean of God's goodness All this leads to a fundamental change in the way we deal with the whole of reality, everything appears in a new light, it is therefore a true "conversion," faith is a "change of mentality" because the God who has revealed Himself in Christ, and has made known His plan, seizes us, draws us to Himself, becomes the meaning that supports life, the rock on which it can find stability. In the Old Testament we find an intense expression on faith, which God entrusts the prophet Isaiah to communicate to the king of Judah, Ahaz. God says: "Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm" (Is 7.9 b). There is therefore a link between being and understanding that expresses how faith is a welcoming into our lives God's vision of reality, letting God guide us through His Word and Sacraments to understand what we m

Daily Thought For December 15, 2014

 The Call To Rediscover The Joy Of The Lord Dear brother and sisters, dear children and young people, good day. For the last two weeks, the season of Advent has invited us to spiritual vigilance so as to prepare the way of the Lord, the Lord who comes. On this third Sunday, the liturgy proposes to us another interior attitude for living this awaiting of the Lord, that is, joy. As this sign says [indicating a sign in the crowd: "Con Gesù la gioia è di casa"]: With Jesus, joy is part of the home. That proposes to us the joy of Jesus. The heart of man desires joy. All of us aspire to joy. Every family, every people aspires to happiness. But what is the joy to which the Christian is called to live and to give witness? It is that that comes from the closeness of God, of his presence in our lives. Since Jesus entered history, with his birth in Bethlehem, humanity has received the seed of the Kingdom of God, as the earth receives a seed, the promise of a future harvest

Daily Thought For December 13, 2014

Our Weakness Shows God's Strength There is no need to doubt that we possess faith in God, simply because we find it difficult to keep clear of sin, or find ourselves diffident or even fearing that we will not be able to resist occasions of temptation. No! Diffidence in our strength of will is not due to lack of resolve but is a true acknowledgement of our misery. The fear of being able to resist temptations is better than considering ourselves strong and secure, because all that we do not expect from our own strength we hope to receive by means of God's grace...We must simply be on our guard and be humble so as not to fall victim to temptation. St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For December 12, 2014

A Family Prayer Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of our family. Enlighten our hearts and minds that we may live more fully this vocation to love. In our daily life and work, may we reflect the self-giving love which you, O Father, eternally show with your Son and the Holy Spirit. Let your love be evident in the peace that reigns in our home and in the faith we profess and live. May our family always be a place of generosity, understanding, forgiveness and joy. Kindly give us the wisdom and courage to be witnesses to your eternal design for the family; and grant that the Holy Family of Nazareth may always guide our path to holiness as a family. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen. Knights of Columbus

Daily Thought For December 11, 2014

Great Reflection On Grace Mary, on the day she received the announcement of the Angel, was in deep recollection and at the same time open to listening to God. In her there was no obstacle, no screen, nothing that separated her from God. This is the meaning of her being without original sin: her relation with God was free from even the slightest flaw; there is no separation, there is not a shadow of selfishness, but perfect harmony; her small human heart is perfectly “centered” in the great heart of God. So it is, dear brothers and sisters, that coming here to this monument to Mary in the heart of Rome reminds us primarily that God’s voice is not recognized in noise and bustle; his plan for our personal and social life is not perceived by remaining on the surface but rather by descending to a deeper level, where the active power is not economic or political but moral and spiritual. There Mary invites us to come down and to put ourselves in tune with God’s action. There is somethin

Daily Thought For December 10, 2014

Hidden Strength       An uncle of mine, who married into the family, likes to recall the first time he knew there was more to my grandfather than meets the eye.       One day he was helping his future brothers-in-law put up a basketball hoop, and it took all three of them to lift the hoop’s large metal pole. All of a sudden, the pole slipped from the grasp of the other men and brought the full weight of the solid iron pole upon his shoulder. He could hardly breathe due to the weight. However, a moment later the weight of the pole was taken from him, for my grandfather had single-handedly lifted it and thrown it away. After having recovered, my uncle realized that his future father-in-law was not a man to be taken lightly: hidden behind his kind demeanor slept a tremendous strength.       We can have a similar experience with our Lord. Sometimes we may find ourselves in impossible situations where a tremendous weight is placed upon our shoulders that we cannot carry alone. Rather

Daily Thought For December 9, 2014

One Reason We Need To Pray For Our Youth Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire. St. Pope John Paul II

Daily Thought For December 4, 2014

Fill In The Valleys of Fear & Discouragement St. John gives some particulars in today's Gospel. Make straight the way of the Lord, fill up the valleys, lower the mountains and hills. They, as well as the ditches and valleys, trouble travelers. Make straight the paths. Those that twist and turn and fatigue the pilgrim greatly. Our life too contains many hills, valleys and tortuous ways which can be put right only by penitence. Penitence fills up the valleys, lays low the mountains, makes straight and smoothes the ways. Do penance, says St. John; lower those mountains of pride, fill up those valleys, those ditches of lukewarmness and tepidity.  The valleys which the glorious St. John wants us to fill up are none other than fear which, when it is excessive, leads to discouragement at the sight of our sins. Fill up the valleys; that is, fill your heart with confidence and hope because  salvation is near at hand. [Lk. 21:28; Rom. 13:11]. The sight of our great faults brings wi

Daily Thought For December 3, 2014

Great Thought From Our Saint of the Day We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God. St. Francis Xavier

Daily Thought For December 2, 2014

God Loves The Simple & Humble It is indeed true that our dear Savior and Master came to teach both the little and the great, the learned and the simple. Yet we almost always find Him among the poor and simple. How different is God's Spirit from that of the world, which esteems only appearance and pomp. Ancient philosophers received into their schools only those who had a good mind and sound judgment. Of those who did not possess these qualities they said openly, "Such a canvas is not suited to our brush." Today we see many simple folk despised by some people who become irritated and wearied by their conversation and who take pleasure only in being among lofty minds. No matter how haughty, proud and arrogant these people may be, the world still tolerates them. But God's Spirit does quite the contrary; It rejects the proud and converses with the humble. Our Lord even numbers this among His miracles: "Relate to John that the poor have the Gospel preached to

Daily Thought For December 1, 2014

Prisons      The world is now fully aware of the unspeakable horrors of concentration camps such as Dachau and Auschwitz, which are situated in historic reality, in specific geographic locations, and as a shadow in the human memory.       Today there are new Dachaus and Auschwitzes. In new camps, whether known or unknown, visible or hidden, victims of injustice and oppression are confined. Only attentive observers are aware of their existence. Yes, concentration camps still exist, enclosed behind the barbed wire of injustice and raised by those who oppress and despoil. But my indifference also helps to build these enclosures!      Each day so many of my brothers and sisters of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Vietnam, China, Cuba, and Iran walk the way of their passion and climb their Calvary. They are Jesus, abandoned, forgotten, and rejected by cruelty and injustice.       Because I am afraid of soiling my hands, of compromising myself, because I do not want to give up my comforts