Showing posts from June, 2015

Daily Thought For July 1, 2015

We Can't Abandon Ship When The Storms Come “You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds…. What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.”    St. Thomas More

Daily Thought For July 2, 2015

How Does The Church Survive? Question:  In the course of two thousand years of Christian history, the Church has divided time and again. In the meantime, there are around three hundred distinguishable Protestant, Orthodox, or other churches. There are way over a thousand Baptist groups in the United States. Over against these there is still the Roman Catholic Church with the pope at her head, which claims to be the only true Church. She remains at any rate, and despite every crisis, indeed the most universal, historically significant, and successful Church in the world, with more members today than at any time in her history. Answer from Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)  I think that in the spirit of Vatican II we ought not to see that as a triumph for our prowess as Catholics and ought not to make much of the institutional and numerical strength we continue to enjoy. If we were to reckon that as our achievement and as our right, then we would step outside the role of a pe

Daily Thought For June 30, 2015

Seeking Jesus 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, when it wa

Daily Thought For June 29, 2015

Powerful Reflection On Marriage & Family In contemporary culture, we often see an excessive exaltation of the freedom of the individual as an autonomous subject, as if we were self-created and self-sufficient, apart from our relationship with others and our responsibilities in their regard. Attempts are being made to organize the life of society on the basis of subjective and ephemeral desires alone, with no reference to objective, prior truths such as the dignity of each human being and his inalienable rights and duties, which every social group is called to serve. The Church does not cease to remind us that true human freedom derives from our having been created in God’s image and likeness. Christian education is consequently an education in freedom and for freedom. “We do not do good as slaves, who are not free to act otherwise, bur we do it because we are personally responsible for the world; because we love truth and goodness, because we love God himself and therefore hi

Daily Thought For June 28, 2015

What Makes a False Prophet? A false prophet is not one who predicts false things, but one whose guiding principle is not the true, one who has an ear more to the world than to God, who fondles the spirit of the age whether it is embodied in the "princes", the "influential" or the "mass". He takes up the cause of generous ideas just when these are beginning to rot; he enters the field of action just at the moment when such engagement promises more advantages than dangers. He does not always do what is evil, but his activity is, at the very least, full of vanity. This often discourages the person who can glimpse the impending disaster from agreeing with him. And he always conspires against the true prophets.  from Paradoxes of Faith by Henri de Lubac p. 168

Daily Thought For June 26, 2015

Jesus Our Divine Physician  Lectio Matthew 8:1–4 Meditatio “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” I open the sacred text today and step into it, knowing that this story of salvation is also my story. It’s easy to immediately get caught up in today’s reading. I begin by watching Jesus as he comes down the mountain. I join the ranks of the great crowds following him, and keep my eyes and heart open. An outcast approaches Jesus—a leper. The crowd draws back in fear of the disease. I hear the man with leprosy simply say “if you wish, you can.…” It would be such an ordinary request if it weren’t a healing that he wanted! For Jesus though, it is a simple matter. “I will do it,” and it’s done, just like that. The leper is cured immediately, so great is Jesus’ power to heal. I dwell on the leper’s words, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” This phrase is so powerful, packed with so much confidence. “If you wish” presupposes that the one making the request believes

Daily Thought For June 24, 2015

Preaching & Opposition  One who preaches to the people the word of faith is not saying things that are likely to please them, but must expect to meet with opposition. Jesus did not promise upholstered chairs or Cabinet posts, but only his Baptism and his chalice. In saying that, we have identified the two fundamental sacraments, Baptism and Holy Eucharist, as the essence of his gift to humanity. But we have also made clear what it means to receive Baptism and Holy Eucharist: being ready to suffer for the truth and for love. The Pope knows this. That is why, in an address to the American bishops, he alluded to the words of Saint Paul: “Brothers in Christ, when we preach the truth in love, we must expect to be criticized, for we cannot please everyone. But we do, nevertheless, have a genuine contribution to make to the salvation of everyone. For that reason, we are humbly convinced that God is with us in our service to the truth and that he ‘does not give us the spirit of cowar

Daily Thought For June 23, 2015

Freeing Ourselves From Worry Worry is a weakness from which very few of us are entirely free. We must be on guard against this most insidious enemy of our peace of soul. Instead, let us foster confidence in God, and thank him ahead of time for whatever he chooses to send us. Venerable Servant of God Solanus Casey

Daily Thought For June 22, 2015

On Supporting Injuries as a Sign of True Patience Christ What are you saying, my child? Instead of complaining, consider my passion and the sufferings of the saints. “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Heb 12:4). What you suffer is little in comparison to those who suffered so much, who were strongly tempted, grievously afflicted, tried and tested in many ways. Therefore, you must recall the gravity of the tribulations that others have suffered, so that you may more easily bear your own small miseries. And if they do not seem small to you, make sure that your judgment does not stem from your impatience. But whether they are small or great, try to bear them with patience. The better you dispose yourself to suffer, the more wisely you will act, and you will have greater merit. If your mind has been prepared for it and has become accustomed to it, you will find it easier to suffer. Do not say: “I cannot tolerate these th

Daily Thought For June 21, 2015

Resisting Temptation SO LONG as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written in Job: “The life of man upon earth is a warfare.” Everyone, therefore, must guard against temptation and must watch in prayer lest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour, find occasion to deceive him. No one is so perfect or so holy but he is sometimes tempted; man cannot be altogether free from temptation. Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away. There is no state so holy, no place so secret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them as long as he lives, for they come from within us—in sin we were born. When one temptation or trial passes, another comes; we shall always have some

Daily Thought For June 20, 2015

The Quest For Truth Lectio Matthew 5:33–37 Meditatio “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ ” Jesus is asking his disciples, and he asks us, too, to live in the truth, so we will have no need for oaths. As a part of the Sermon on the Mount, this injunction of Jesus takes on added solemnity. If I were in the crowd on that day, I would probably notice the silence that seems to settle over the people as Jesus speaks these words. Who has not told a lie, little or big, seriously or jokingly? I look at our society today and see what it means to manipulate truth to one’s own advantage. Advertisements, contracts, tax laws, and even marriage oaths are sometimes written with loopholes one can use to wriggle loose from a commitment. One can slip through a loophole instead of upholding one’s word when that would mean sacrifice, inconvenience, or loss of money. So often the sad injustices of our world take off from the launch pad of untruth. Then I look within my heart

Daily Thought For June 19, 2015

Cultivating Peace And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. James 3:18

Daily Thought For June 18, 2015

What Happens When Faith Is Truly Lived? When faith is truly lived, when God, who is now and forever the Lord of the world, is glorified, something happens that touches and changes the world to its most profound depths. We cannot probe more deeply into the roots of the world in order to change it than by resting on the Heart of God, thus making it possible to call upon the living Ground and Power that supports everything and is alone capable of restoring all things. If we speak to God, if we open ourselves to God, we are ourselves renewed, and vice versa: if the world closes itself to God, if it turns away from him, it becomes like a planet that has broken loose from its magnetic field and is roaming aimlessly through nothingness. It becomes like an earth that is no longer lit by any sun and on which life has been extinguished. If we lose God, we can no longer be what we were supposed to be because we have lost our fundamental standard, and if we break away from our proper standard,

Daily Thought For June 17, 2015

Friends The happy man in this life needs friends. St. Thomas Aquinas

Daily Thought For June 16, 2015

The Reason Many Don't Feel Valued We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness. Thomas Merton

Daily Thought For June 15, 2015

Praying & Interceding For Difficult People Is Jesus serious? What about terrorists? What about the guy next door who is always insulting me and seems to have it out for me? Even if Jesus is talking only about not trying to get even with people who have hurt us, these words can be hard to swallow. Does he really expect me to turn the other cheek to insults and injuries? We might as well admit it up front: this is a difficult teaching. But it’s not one that we can ignore. After all, Jesus didn’t avoid it. Without ever looking like a weakling, he showed that radical forgiveness is possible. In fact, his steadiness in the face of misunderstanding, gossip, and persecution was probably a major reason why he made such an impression on his followers—and on us. “How can I be like that?” we wonder. The answer is simple, but challenging: by loving. Love kept Jesus going through all the hardships involved in announcing the kingdom. Love made it possible for him to forgive, even as he

Daily Thought For January 14, 2015

The Parish—All Things Mission The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration.  In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach. We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented. Pope Francis The Joy of the Gospel (Evangeli Gaudium) #28

Daily Thought For June 13, 2015

An Atmosphere of Truth Lectio Matthew 5:33–37 Meditatio “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ ” Jesus is asking his disciples, and he asks us, too, to live in the truth, so we will have no need for oaths. As a part of the Sermon on the Mount, this injunction of Jesus takes on added solemnity. If I were in the crowd on that day, I would probably notice the silence that seems to settle over the people as Jesus speaks these words. Who has not told a lie, little or big, seriously or jokingly? I look at our society today and see what it means to manipulate truth to one’s own advantage. Advertisements, contracts, tax laws, and even marriage oaths are sometimes written with loopholes one can use to wriggle loose from a commitment. One can slip through a loophole instead of upholding one’s word when that would mean sacrifice, inconvenience, or loss of money. So often the sad injustices of our world take off from the launch pad of untruth. Then I look within my he

Daily Thought For June 12, 2015

Fear Drives Away Compassion Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out of our hearts. St. Thomas Aquinas

Daily Thought For June 10, 2015

Calling Upon God and Blessing Him in Time of Trouble May your name be blessed forever, Lord, for you have been willing to allow that I should have this trial and suffering. I cannot escape it, so of necessity I come to you, so that you may help me and turn it to my good. Lord, I am presently in tribulation and my heart is troubled; I am greatly afflicted by my present suffering. “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’?” (Jn 12:27). No, this is the reason I am here, that you might be glorified when, in my humiliation, I am delivered by you. “Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me” (Ps 40:13), for poor unfortunate one that I am, what can I do and where shall I go without you? Give me patience, Lord, even for this time. Help me, my God, and I will not fear, no matter how distressed I am. And now, in the middle of all this, what shall I say? Lord, your will be done: perhaps I have deserved this affliction and this oppression. In any case, I must

Daily Thought For June 9, 2015

Life is A Pilgrimage — Keep Moving! A pilgrimage is a symbol of life; it makes us think that life is to walk, it is a path. If a person does not walk and stays still, it’s no good, he does nothing. Think of water, when water is not in the river, it doesn’t go forward but stops and is corrupted. A soul that does not walk in life doing good, doing the many things that must be done for society, to help others and who also does not walk through life seeking God moved by the Holy Spirit from within, is a soul that ends in mediocrity and spiritual misery. Please: do not stop in life! Pope Francis Address to the Macerata-Loreto Pilgrims June 8, 2015

Daily Thought For June 8, 2015

The Challenge of the Beatitudes Lectio Matthew 5:1–12 Meditatio “He began to teach them.” How do you feel when you look over the edge of a cliff or the ledge of a tall building? Do you feel dizzy? Do you feel thrilled to look out over a beautiful vista or at the tiny cars and people below? Or do you feel fear at such a great height and back away to safety? Reading the Beatitudes can make us feel much the same as being on a height with an amazing view. They are a bold challenge to our instinct for self-preservation! Living the Beatitudes means to forget myself and live for others. This is harder than it sounds, but more rewarding than I could ever imagine. When Jesus tells his disciples, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 10:39), he is summarizing the Beatitudes. Each Beatitude calls me to lose my life in some way. To obtain the blessedness that Jesus describes I need to let go of grudges, of desiring revenge, of

Daily Thought For June 7, 2015

Prayer for Trust & Confidence In God's Mercy O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence and trust in Your divine mercy, and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church. Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart, and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross, as we climb the mountain of holiness, carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory. May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion, and allow You to act in us as You desire for your greater glory. O Jesus, most adorable Heart and eternal fountain of Divine Love, may our prayer find favor before the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father. St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Daily Thought For June 5, 2015

The Foundation of Confidence—Trust In God The foundation of our confidence does not rest in us, but in God. Hence we trust in our Lord and we draw near to him, tranquil and sure, not because of what we are, but because of what he is. We can be miserable sinners, wayward and headstrong. But our ingratitude, our sins, and our wrongdoing should not diminish at all the trust that we should have in our Lord, for the simple reason that our trust is not based in ourselves but in him. Jesus is the same forever, ever good, ever loving, ever merciful. I was the one who changed, but these changes in no way affect my confidence, since my confidence is based on God, not on myself.… Martinez, L. (2011). Secrets of the Spirit: Wisdom from Luis Martinez. (G. Santos, Ed.) (p. 12). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

Daily Thought For June 4, 2015

Do We Walk By Faith? Do you, then, habitually thus unlock your hearts and subject your thoughts to Almighty God? Are you living in this conviction of His Presence, and have you this special witness that that Presence is really set up within you unto your salvation, viz. that you live in the sense of it? Do you believe, and act on the belief, that His light penetrates and shines through your heart, as the sun’s beams through a room? You know how things look when the sun’s beams are on it—the very air then appears full of impurities, which, before it came out, were not seen. So is it with our souls. We are full of stains and corruptions, we see them not, they are like the air before the sun shines; but though we see them not, God sees them: He pervades us as the sunbeam. Our souls, in His view, are full of things which offend, things which must be repented of, forgiven, and put away. He, in the words of the psalmist, “has set our misdeeds before Him, our secret sins in the light of

Daily Thought For June 3, 2015

The Example of Mary & The Corruption of Youth What a great gift to have Mary Immaculate as mother! A mother resplendent with beauty, the  transparency of God's love. I am thinking of today's young people, who grow up in an environment saturated with messages that propose false models of happiness. These young men and women  risk losing hope because they often seem orphans of true love, which fills life with true meaning and joy. This was a theme dear to my Venerable Predecessor John Paul II, who so often proposed  Mary to the youth of our time as the "Mother of Fair Love". Unfortunately, numerous experiences tell us that adolescents, young people and even children easily fall prey to corrupt love, deceived  by unscrupulous adults who, lying to themselves and to them, lure them into the deadends of consumerism; even the most sacred realities, like the human body, a temple of God's love and of  life, thus become objects of consumption and this is happeni

Daily Thought For June 2, 2015

Don't Worry About Status Lectio Mark 12:13–17 Meditatio “You do not regard a person’s status.…” The Pharisees and Herodians had sized up Jesus accurately—at least in this regard. Cultural anthropologists tell us that in the cosmopolitan Mediterranean world of Jesus’ day, status and honor were extremely important. Yet Jesus showed no interest in them at all. This was one of the aspects of the so-called “divine reversal” that Jesus brought into the world. Disregard for status, however, didn’t catch on quickly in the Christian community. For we find both James and Paul having to admonish their flocks for choosing the first places and failing to share their sumptuous meals (see Jas 2:1–9; 1 Cor 11:17–22). Competition for status seems ingrained in the human psyche. Even centuries after Christ—and in a democratic society—the problem still remains. We followers of Jesus need to be alert to the danger of striving to be successful in the eyes of others. For example, if we a

Daily Thought For June 1, 2015

Be Overwhelmed by God's Blessings! Now, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD, your God, carefully observing all his commandments which I give you today, the LORD, your God, will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  All these blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you when you obey the voice of the LORD, your God:  Deuteronomy 28:1-2