Showing posts from May, 2015

Daily Thought For May 31, 2015

The Majesty of the Trinity Dwells In Us As well as asking the Holy Spirit to give us a great desire to purify our hearts, we have to desire with real sincerity this intimate meeting with the Holy Trinity, without being put off because perhaps we see our weaknesses and the deficiencies of our attitude towards God more clearly. Saint Teresa tells us that as she considered the presence of the Three Divine Persons in her soul she was amazed at seeing so much majesty in a thing as lowly as my soul; then Our Lord said to her: I t is not lowly, my daughter, because it is made in my own image . And the saint was filled with consolation. It can do us a great deal of good to consider  these words as being spoken to us, and they will encourage us to continue along this path that ends in God. We must treat every person we come across each day as the possessor of an immortal soul, the image of God, which is or can become the temple of God.  from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez V

Daily Thought For May 30, 2015

Find Rest For Your Soul It is the Presence of Christ which makes us members of Christ: “neither shall they say, Lo here! and Lo there! for the kingdom of God is within us.” Others marvel; others try to analyze what it is which does the work; they imagine all manner of human causes, because they cannot see, and do not feel, and will not believe the inward influence; and they impute to some caprice or waywardness of mind, or to the force of novelty, or to some mysterious insidious persuasive, or to some concealed enemy, or to some dark and subtle plotting, and they view with alarm, and they fain would baffle, what is really the keen, vivid, constraining glance of Christ’s countenance. “The Lord turned and looked upon Peter”; and “as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so also is the Presence of the Son of man.” It is come, it is gone, it has done its work, its abiding work, before men see it. And what took place in the first years of His Kingdom, w

Daily Thought For May 29, 2015

Living Your Vocation In Your "Golden Years" I now address older people, oftentimes unjustly considered as unproductive, if not directly an insupportable burden. I remind older people that the Church calls and expects them to continue to exercise their mission in the apostolic and missionary life. This is not only a possibility for them, but it is their duty even in this time in their life when age itself provides opportunities in some specific and basic way. The Bible delights in presenting the older person as the symbol of someone rich in wisdom and fear of the Lord (cf. Sir 25:4–6). In this sense the “gift” of older people can be specifically that of being the witness to tradition in the faith both in the Church and in society (cf. Ps 44:2; Ex 12:26–27), the teacher of the lessons of life (cf. Sir 6:34; 8:11–12), and the worker of charity. At this moment the growing number of older people in different countries worldwide and the expected retirement of persons from va

Daily Thought For May 28, 2015

Master I Want To See Lectio Mark 10:46–52 Meditatio “Master, I want to see.” Did you ever play childhood games in which you were blindfolded and therefore dependent on sounds and touch to know where you were? Imagine a lifetime of blindness: depending on the help of others, not seeing where you are and the beauty that surrounds you or the nonverbal communication of body language or a glance! Bartimaeus is blind. He longs to be able to see. When he learns that Jesus is passing by, he repeatedly cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” His perseverance and faith are rewarded, for Jesus hears him and tells the bystanders to call Bartimaeus. When Jesus asks what he wants, the blind man replies, “Master, I want to see.” And Jesus heals him. Can we imagine what he first saw? Perhaps he first looked upon the face of Jesus. What was communicated in that gaze? Whatever Bartimaeus learned caused him to follow Jesus on the way. We too might suffer from poor vision and

Daily Thought For May 27, 2015

Why Torment Yourself? Believe me, my dear Sister, and put an end to all your fears and entrust all to Divine Providence who makes use of hidden but infallible means of bringing everything to serve his ends. Whatever others may say or do, they can only act by God’s will or permission, and everything they do he makes serve the accomplishment of his merciful designs. He is able to attain his purposes by means apparently most contrary, as to refresh his servants in the midst of a fiery furnace or to make them walk on the waters. We shall experience more sensibly this fatherly protection of Providence if we abandon ourselves to him with filial confidence. Quite recently I have had experience of this. Therefore, I have prayed to God with greater fervor than ever to grant me the grace never to have my own will, which is always blind and often dangerous, but always that his will, which is just, holy, loving, and beneficent may be accomplished. Ah! If you only knew what a pleasure it is to

Daily Thought For May 25, 2015

Live Life Well Lectio Mark 10:17–27 Meditatio “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said.…” I don’t think Jesus liked flattery. When the rich man runs up, falls to his knees, and hails Jesus as “Good Teacher,” the Master objects at once. Their dialogue doesn’t have a happy beginning. But Jesus does reply to the man’s question. He summarizes some of the commandments, including deference to parents—which suggests that the man is young. Jesus’ questioner replies eagerly that he has kept all the commandments since early adolescence. Now the dialogue reaches its high point. Jesus looks at the rich young man with love and invites him to take the further step of selling his property and becoming an itinerant disciple. The man’s face falls, and he leaves in sadness. What had he expected? Perhaps he had wanted to be a disciple part time, without having to sell his possessions and give away the proceeds. It seems that the rich young man wanted the best of two worlds. This make

Daily Thought For May 24, 2015

And All Your Household "It's all your fault for sending her to a Catholic  school! "  "Don't tell me she's going to be a nun!"  "Why does Patti's roommate think she's crazy?" These were some of the comments exchanged by members of my family after that famous phone call during which I told them about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In 1967, there were no books Mom and Dad could read, no tapes to listen to, no papal statements to assure them that their daughter was still sane.  I'm afraid I did very little to quell their fears as I described the tingling sensation in my hands, praying in unknown tongues, and being knocked over by the power of God while kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament. No wonder my family was lamenting the fact that this strange thing had to happen to one of their own!  Overnight, it seemed, I had become a different person.  My interests, ambitions, speech, dress and friendships changed. I had undergone

Daily Thought For May 23, 2015

Overcoming Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit According to such an exegesis, “blasphemy” does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the “convincing concerning sin” which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the “coming” of the Counselor-that “coming” which was accomplished in the Paschal Mystery, in union with the redemptive power of Christ’s Blood: the Blood which “purifies the conscience from dead works.” We know that the result of such a purification is the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, whoever rejects the Spirit and the Blood remains in “dead works,” in sin. And the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he

Daily Thought For May 22, 2015

Taking The Leap of Faith Lectio John 21:15–19 Meditatio “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Long before Peter was crucified for his fidelity to the Lord, Jesus asked him three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter’s heartfelt response echoes the response of countless disciples, saints, and martyrs from every culture and epoch of Christianity’s long history. It is love and love alone that gives value to the gift of our life to God and to our acceptance of his will. How many times we must stretch forth our hands in surrender! The martyrs faced fear, misunderstanding, and pain as they handed over their lives as faithful witnesses to Jesus. While we may not be called to that kind of radical witness, many times we need to accept realities, people, and events that we naturally resist and cannot change. Marriage and the birth of a child are strong moments when a young couple take a leap of faith. Ordination and the profession of rel

Daily Thought For May 21, 2015

All For Jesus If we love, let us give our whole heart. Let us not concern ourselves too much about our frailties and our failings. Nobody knows better than Jesus the clay from which we are formed. Nobody knows better than he how to commiserate with our weakness and how to condescend to our frailty. The one thing we should concern ourselves with is our heart. Let it be pure and free of all attachments; let it be solely for Jesus. Let us not hold back the least fragment of our heart. Let us not take the minutest particle for ourselves: all must be for Jesus. Martinez, L. (2011). Secrets of the Spirit: Wisdom from Luis Martinez. (G. Santos, Ed.) (p. 33). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Daily Thought For May 20, 2015

Gentleness & The Work of Sanctification Who would find it easy to believe that to become a saint, mildness is just as necessary as strength, perhaps even more so? Mildness is not weakness; rather it indicates strength. Weak souls do their works with noise and show; the strong operate with marvelous gentleness. Life is as strong as it is gentle, while love is as powerful as it is delicate. So the action of God upon nature, in history, and on souls is infinitely mighty and infinitely mild. The action of God upon his saints is most gentle. How he respects our freedom! How he condescends to our weakness! He does not run, jump, or act violently. We rush, being weak creatures, but God works slowly because he deals with eternity. We bewail the passage of minutes, but God serenely watches the flow of years. We wish to achieve the goal of our desires in a hurry, but God prepares his work gently. Our inconstancy does not tire him, nor do our failures startle him, nor do the complicate

Daily Thought For May 18, 2015

The Importance of A Pilgrimage If we make a pilgrimage, we join with other people and journey with them. And it is surely important that we not simply journey side by side, with each person concerned only about himself, but that we are on the way together and, by this fact, recognize the deeper truth about our lives: that we are, in fact, pilgrims in time, but can be so only if we journey together. We join other people and journey with them. But more than that: we want to see heaven, we seek something greater, for the human soul thirsts for God, for the living God. The places of pilgrimage have marked a kind of geography of faith in our country, that is, they make visible, almost tangible, how our forefathers encountered the living God, how HE did not withdraw after creation or after the time of Jesus Christ, but is always present and works in them so that they were able to experience HIM, follow in his footsteps, and see him in the works HE performed. Yes, HE is there, and HE is s

Daily Thought For May 17, 2015

Liberation The trees of the field shall bear their fruits, and the land its crops, and they shall dwell securely on their own soil. They shall know that I am the LORD when I break the bars of their yoke and deliver them from the power of those who enslaved them. Ezekiel 34:27

Daily Thought For May 16, 2015

The Gift of Knowledge Through the gift of knowledge the Christian who is docile to the Holy Spirit will learn to discern perfectly between what leads to God and what separates from him, in the field of arts, of fashion, and in the world of ideas. Truly he will be able to say that wisdom guided him on straight paths; she showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of angels.  The Holy Spirit himself will warn us when what is good and true in itself is in danger of becoming bad by leading us away from our last supernatural end. It could be a disordered desire for material possessions, or an attachment to these goods in a way that does not leave the heart free to serve God.  Christians who must sanctify themselves in the middle of the world have a particular need of this gift so as to direct all temporal activities to God, making them a means of holiness and apostolate. Through it a housewife discovers how her work at home is a way to God if it is done with an upright, hon

Daily Thought For May 15, 2015

Remembering God's Innumerable Blessings Open my heart to your law, Lord, and teach me to walk in your commandments. Give me the grace to know your will and to remember reverently and diligently all your blessings, the general as well as the particular ones, so that I may always thank you adequately. I realize and I confess that I am incapable of properly thanking you. I am not worthy of the blessings you have granted me. While I consider your majesty, my spirit faints before your greatness. All that we have in soul and body, all that we possess exteriorly and interiorly of the natural or supernatural order, are your gifts, which celebrate your generosity, mercy, and goodness. We have received all good things from you. Although some have received more, others less, all these gifts are yours. Without you not even the least of it would be possible. One who has received more cannot claim the glory, nor could such a one raise himself above others, nor insult those blessed with less

Daily Thought For May 14, 2015

The Soul & Union With God Inspired by a great desire for God’s glory and the good of others, having spent some time learning virtue and savoring God’s favor privately through self-knowledge, the soul arises, now full of love and anxious to seek truth and be clothed in it. To receive this enlightenment about God and herself, she realizes her need of humility and constant prayer. In truth, when one prays by following the footsteps of Christ crucified, that soul is united with God and he makes it another self because of its desire, affection, and love. This appears to be what Christ meant by saying: To those who love me and observe my word, I will make myself known and they will be one with me and I will be one with them (see Jn 14:21–23). There are similar words in other places which illustrate that it really is by love that a soul becomes his other self. If I can make this even clearer, I recall being told by a certain servant of God how she had been in prayer, her mind elevated

Daily Thought For May 13, 2015

Overcoming Adversity My child, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in a day of trouble” (Nahum 1:7). Come to me whenever you need help. The greatest hindrance to receiving consolation is your apparent reluctance to pray. Before you ask me for anything earnestly, you try to find other consolations, delighting yourself in so many external things. When it happens that nothing helps you out, you remember that I am the One who saves those who trust in me. Other than me you will find no power, nor profitable advice, nor lasting remedy. Now that you have survived the storm and recovered your spirit, try to grow strong again in the light of my tender mercy. I am here to lend a healing hand, to offer abundant, overflowing help beyond measure. Is anything difficult to me? Shall I be like one who promises and does not perform? Where is your faith? Stand firm and persevere. Be patient and have courage; consolation will come to you in due time. Wait patiently for me and I will come and cure yo

Daily Thought For May 12, 2015

Solitude & Peace The Christian has a deep, silent, hidden peace, which the world sees not—like some well in a retired and shady place, difficult of access. He is the greater part of his time by himself, and when he is in solitude, that is his real state. What he is when left to himself and to his God, that is his true life. He can bear himself; he can (as it were) joy in himself, for it is the grace of God within him, it is the presence of the Eternal Comforter, in which he joys. He can bear, he finds it pleasant, to be with himself at all times—“never less alone than when alone.” He can lay his head on his pillow at night, and own in God’s sight, with overflowing heart, that he wants nothing—that he “is full and abounds”—that God has been all things to him, and that nothing is not his which God could give him. More thankfulness, more holiness, more of heaven he needs indeed, but the thought that he can have more is not a thought of trouble, but of joy. It does not interfere w

Daily Thought For May 11, 2015

The Burning Fire of the Holy Spirit Saint John Chrysostom comments on the passage in the Acts of the Apostles that relates how Paul and Barnabas healed the lame man in Lystra. The excited crowd saw in these strange individuals who could exercise such power a visitation of the gods Zeus and Hermes. They called the priests and wanted to offer a sacrifice of bullocks. But Barnabas and Paul were appalled and called to the crowd: “We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news” (Acts 14:15). Chrysostom remarks here: They were, to be sure, mortals like the others, yet they were also different from the others because tongues of fire had rested upon their human nature. That is what distinguishes the Christian—that he has received a tongue of fire in addition to his human nature. That is how the Church came into being. Each person receives the tongue of fire that is wholly and personally his and, as this person, he is a Christian in a unique and inimitable way. Admittedly, one wh

Daily Thought For May 10, 2015

Let's Hear It For Our Moms! Let us continue with the catecheses on the family, and in the family there is the mother. Every human person owes his or her life to a mother, and almost always owes much of what follows in life, both human and spiritual formation, to her. Yet, despite being highly lauded from a symbolic point of view — many poems, many beautiful things said poetically of her — the mother is rarely listened to or helped in daily life, rarely considered central to society in her role. Rather, often the readiness of mothers to make sacrifices for their children is taken advantage of so as to “save” on social spending. It also happens that in Christian communities the mother is not always held in the right regard, she is barely heard. Yet the centre of the life of the Church is the Mother of Jesus. Perhaps mothers, ready to sacrifice so much for their children and often for others as well, ought to be listened to more. We should understand more about their daily strugg

Daily Thought For May 9, 2015

Never Despair — God Is Merciful In the parable of the Sower … we have set before us four descriptions of men, all of whom receive the word of God. The sower sows first on the hard ground or road, then on the shallow earth or rock, then on a ground where other seeds were sown, and lastly on really good, rich, well-prepared soil. By the sower is meant the preacher; and by the seed the word preached; and by the rock, the road, the preoccupied ground, and the good soil, are meant four different states of mind of those who hear the word. Now here we have a picture laid out before us, which will, through God’s mercy, provide us with a fitting subject of thought this evening … “Today if ye shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness … Exhort one another every day whilst it is called today, lest any be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:7–8, 13). When the heart is hard, the birds take away the divin

Daily Thought For May 8, 2015

He Calls Us Friends Lectio John 15:12–17 Meditatio “I no longer call you slaves … I have called you friends, because I have told you everything.…” We are not slaves of Jesus, but his friends. So why, in the previous line, does he say, “you are my friends if you do what I command you”? That’s a little confusing. Don’t slaves do what they’re commanded to do? But Jesus explains that a slave isn’t “in on” the master’s plans. Slaves do what they’re told without any understanding of the bigger picture, of what part they play, or what the goal is. Friends are different. We can tell things to our friends and share our plans with them. Think back to friends from childhood. Even then, friends were kids we shared things with—secrets, fears, hopes, and dreams. Adult friendships are different in many ways, but it’s still true that our friends are those we can confide in and, of course, who want to listen to what we tell them: “Tell me everything!” For some friends, that’s as far as it

Daily Thought For May 7, 2015

The Joy of the Lord When Jesus draws close, joy takes possession of us. Luke the Evangelist, who composed his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles so meditatively, kept this theme constantly before him. The last sentence of his Gospel tells us, for instance, that when the disciples had seen Jesus ascend into heaven, they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Lk 24:52). The Acts of the Apostles repeats the theme: “… they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). They went their way after they had seen the Lord ascend into heaven—and their hearts were filled with joy. From a purely human point of view, we would expect their hearts to be “filled with confusion”. But no! One who has seen the Lord not just from the outside; whose heart has been moved by him; who has accepted the Crucified One and, precisely because he has done so, knows the grace of the Resurrection—his heart must be full of joy. In the acceptance of the Cross, the Resurrectio

Daily Thought For May 6, 2015

The Call To Be Fruitful Remain in me, as I remain in you. (John 15:4) What do you do when you need to recover from a head cold? You get extra rest, drink more fluids, and take vitamins. But these remedies aren’t directly making you better. They can facilitate the process, but in the end, it’s your own immune system that fights off the sickness, and that process isn’t completely under your control. Spiritual growth is a little like getting over a cold: our efforts are only aids to our growth. The real growth comes from God. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus explains this by saying that he is the vine, and we are the branches. Because we’re just branches, we can’t produce fruit on our own. Only as we are attached to the vine, receiving its vitality, are we fruitful. Sometimes we get these roles confused. We can begin to think that we are the active agent in spiritual growth. “God made the world,” we think, “He sent Jesus to redeem us; now it’s up to me.” While it may sound noble

Daily Thought For May 5, 2015

The Revolution of Conversion Practicing Christian love in the same way as Christ means that we are good to someone who needs our kindness, even if we do not like him. It means committing ourselves to the way of Jesus Christ and thus bringing about something like a Copernican revolution in our own lives. For in a certain sense, we are all still living before Copernicus, so to speak. Not only in that we think, to all appearances, that the sun rises and sets and goes around the earth, but in a far more profound sense. For we all carry within us that inborn illusion by virtue of which each of us takes his own self to be the center of things, around which the world and everyone else have to turn. We all necessarily find ourselves, time and again, construing and seeing other things and people solely in relation to our own selves, regarding them as satellites, as it were, revolving around the hub of our own self. Becoming a Christian, according to what we have just said, is something quit

Daily Thought For May 4, 2015

Our Great Advocate Lectio John 14:21–26 Meditatio “… the Holy Spirit … will … remind you of all that I told you.” Once when I was learning a new job, the sister who was teaching me said about a certain task, “Don’t worry. If you forget how to do this, you can ask so-and-so.” And about something else, “It’s all right if you forget to do that. So-and-so will remind you.” It was a relief to know that others would back me up, that I didn’t have to do it all on my own, and that I wouldn’t ruin everything if I forgot a detail. Before Jesus leaves his disciples to return to the Father, he reassures them in a similar way. He’s taught them many things, and here at this Last Supper especially, he has said a lot. Their hearts and minds can hardly contain it all. But they don’t need to be anxious about it. The Holy Spirit will remind them of whatever they need to remember, and will help them learn and apply whatever Jesus has not explained. This reassures and consoles us, too. We