Showing posts from September, 2015

Daily Thought For September 30, 2015

Going Deeper Lectio Luke 9:57–62 Meditatio “But he replied.…” How often do I want to respond to a new or deeper invitation from the Lord to follow him but feel that something holds me back? Maybe he wants me to follow him in greater humility, or through a more constant practice of patience. Maybe he is asking me to let go of the anxiety that can make me try to control everything, or to let go of a bad habit that impedes a more vital relationship with him. I battle with the voices that say: “I want to, but not yet.” “Yes, but I’ve got some things pending.” “Thanks for the invitation, but I need to think about it more.” Luke presents us with Jesus’ personal invitation to follow him today, now! Jesus doesn’t talk around his demands, but clearly tells us what discipleship will entail: living with detachment, insecurity, and the readiness for a total giving of ourselves for the sake of the kingdom. It’s a large task. It’s a call that demands living as Jesus did, in total dep

Daily Thought For September 29, 2015

Pope John Paul I & The Redeeming Quality of Humor Ostensus non datus : he was shown to us, not given. We might well say that of Pope John Paul I, whose winning smile made the world look and listen. The Italians called him, with much love, “Il Papa del sorriso” (the smiling Pope), and the whole world followed suit. We can surmise something of his spiritual way from the letters contained in the delightful book Illustrissimi, which, in its simplicity, its quiet humor, its greatness, we have inherited as a testament. Especially moving is the letter to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, with whom he had so deep an interior affinity. He says to her: “Unfortunately I can live and dispense love only in the small coin of everyday life—but then there is that person whose television is too loud, who makes so much noise, or who is so uncouth; then I have to try to understand him, to keep calm and to smile, and this will be true love without all the rhetoric.” And he tells us a brief parable that re

Daily Thought For September 28,2015

Faith Opens The Window To The Holy Spirit Faith opens a “window” to the presence and working of the Spirit. It shows us that, like happiness, holiness is always tied to little gestures. “Whoever gives you a cup of water in my name will not go unrewarded”, says Jesus (cf. Mk 9:41). These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children. They are little signs of tenderness, affection and compassion. Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes,

Daily Thought For September 24, 2015

 Joy of the Saints & The Sorrow of the Worldly To the worldling the idea of finding joy in frugality is absurd, for to him joy is nothing more nor less than sense pleasures. He knows nothing deeper, nothing more lofty. And sense pleasures can be unceasingly multiplied only with money, abundant money, the more the better. But deep down, though he kicks the heels of his spirit in a refusal to face it, the worldling does know that sense pleasures bring happiness to no one. He knows that something is radically missing in his own life. The cartoons in his slick magazines show that he knows that the wealthy are bored to death in the dullness of their cocktail parties. There is a sprinkle of pleasure here and there, and it is de rigueur to put on a brave front and a superficial smile, even though one feels the gnawing emptiness aching in his heart. The worldling will not face his colossal inner blah. He multiplies experiences in an unending and desperate attempt to numb his spirit.

Daily Thought For September 22, 2015

Growing Closer To The Master Lectio Luke 8:19–21 Meditatio “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” At first glance, we may find these words of Jesus baffling. Does he really mean that those who act on God’s word are closer to him than his own blood relations? Pondering this raises the question: what is the word of God and what does it mean to act on it? Jesus was sent by the Father to redeem humanity from sin and to teach the way of salvation. Jesus redeemed us once and for all, but each of us is free to accept salvation and order our lives according to it. We have a choice. Jesus saved us, but we have to want that salvation and to live as people who are redeemed. We can do that by following Jesus’ teachings. His teachings are not rules imposed upon us to make life difficult, but are invitations to find happiness. The human person’s most basic desire is for happiness, and Jesus’ commandments lead us on the way to find it.

Daily Thought For September 21, 2015

A Cure During Confession One day, the playwright Luigi Antonelli told a journalist of his extraordinary cure through the intervention of Padre Pio. His doctors had found a cancer covering the area between his ear and his shoulder. They had spoken to him about having an operation. He went to a surgeon and asked him, “How much time have I got left?” The surgeon replied, “With the operation six months, and without it, three months.” “All right,” said Antonelli, “I’ll have the operation. I can’t turn down an extra three months of life!” And he would have undergone the operation had not one of his friends advised him to go to San Giovanni Rotondo and see Padre Pio. Perhaps the priest would ask the Lord to cure him without the operation. Antonelli reflected on this, then said, “Why not?” He set out for San Giovanni, and when he arrived went immediately to the little church and attended Padre Pio’s Mass. Afterward, he went to confession. What happened during this confession? Antone

Daily Thought For September 19, 2015

Hearing the Voice of the Lord "I WILL hear what the Lord God will speak in me.” Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her, who receives the word of consolation from His lips. Blessed are the ears that catch the accents of divine whispering, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world. Blessed indeed are the ears that listen, not to the voice which sounds without, but to the truth which teaches within. Blessed are the eyes which are closed to exterior things and are fixed upon those which are interior. Blessed are they who penetrate inwardly, who try daily to prepare themselves more and more to understand mysteries. Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world. Consider these things, my soul, and close the door of your senses, so that you can hear what the Lord your God speaks within you. “I am your salvation,” says your Beloved. “I am your peace and your life. Remain with Me and you wi

Daily Thought For September 18, 2015

The Overwhelming Power of God's Love Lectio Luke 8:1–3 Meditatio “accompanying … provided for them.…” This Gospel passage about the Galilean women follows the story of the sinful woman who loves much because much has been forgiven her. We are told that because of her deep love for Jesus she anoints his feet; she has accepted God’s forgiveness and her heart overflows in response. In a way that story of responding to God’s love, forgiveness, and healing continues here. These women accompany and provide for Jesus and the disciples in response to the invitation to love. All these women have a story—we know, for example, that Mary Magdalene was freed from seven demons. They have each experienced firsthand God’s love, forgiveness, and healing in such an overwhelming way that their hearts are flooded with a desire to love in response. In Adeste, a Christmas song written by our sisters, a line says, “what can I give him, the Lord of creation?” The response is, “hearts that

Daily Thought For September 17, 2015

The Joy of Living by Faith The presence of the Holy Spirit in our souls demands that we know, that we have the firm conviction of his indwelling, of our living under his very glance, of his seeking our own glance. How sweet to live in the light of that mutual glance!—a light so penetrating at times that it seems to plunge into the bosom of God, so bright that it resembles the dawn of the eternal day, so gentle that it seems to radiate from heaven. Then life is easy and pleasant in the depths of the soul, in loving intimacy with the divine Guest. At times, however, the soul’s heaven grows dark, and in the great stretches of solitude the person cannot find a single ray of light or a vestige of the former delight. It seems that the heart is empty, that the soul has lost its priceless treasure. How difficult it is to be recollected. At such times the hours pass with tedium, and with what bitterness the soul drags itself along the path that leads to God! But in the midst of these nece

Daily Thought For September 16, 2015

Encouragement from St. Teresa of Avila The grace of the Holy Spirit be with your charities, my daughters and sisters. You should know that I have never loved you as much as I do now, nor have you ever been so obliged to serve the Lord, for He has given you the great favor of being able to taste something of His cross and share in the terrible abandonment that He endured on it. Happy the day you entered that house where such a fortunate event was reserved for you! I envy you very much, and indeed when I learned of all those changes—for everything was carefully communicated to me—and that they wanted to expel you from that house and about other details, I felt the greatest interior joy. I saw that, without your having crossed the sea, our Lord revealed to you mines containing eternal treasures. Through these, I hope in the Lord, you will be left very rich and able to share with those of us who are here. For I believe that He will enable you to bear all without you offending Him in

Daily Thought For September 15, 2015

First Impressions Aren't Always Right - Be Ready to be Surprised by God Especially When You Thought He Abandoned You The presence of God is like His glory as it appeared to Moses; He said, “Thou canst not see My face … and live”; but he passed by, and Moses saw that glory, as it retired, which he might not see in front, or in passing; he saw it, and he acknowledged it, and “made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped” (Ex. 33:20; 34:8). Now consider how parallel this is to what takes place in the providences of daily life. Events happen to us pleasant or painful; we do not know at the time the meaning of them, we do not see God’s hand in them. If indeed we have faith, we confess what we do not see, and take all that happens as His; but whether we will accept it in faith or not, certainly there is no other way of accepting it. We see nothing. We see not why things come, or whither they tend. Jacob cried out on one occasion, “All these things are against me” (

Daily Thought For September 14, 2015

Striving For Spiritual Excellence Nothing is more certain in matter of fact, than that some men do feel themselves called to high duties and works, to which others are not called. Why this is we do not know; whether it be that those who are not called, forfeit the call from having failed in former trials, or have been called and have not followed; or that though God gives baptismal grace to all, yet He really does call some men by His free grace to higher things than others; but so it is; this man sees sights which that man does not see, has a larger faith, a more ardent love, and a more spiritual understanding. No one has any leave to take another’s lower standard of holiness for his own. It is nothing to us what others are. If God calls us to greater renunciation of the world, and exacts a sacrifice of our hopes and fears, this is our gain, this is a mark of His love for us, this is a thing to be rejoiced in. Such thoughts, when properly entertained, have no tendency to puff us up

Daily Thought For September 13, 2015

New Perspectives Lectio Mark 8:27–35 Meditatio “You are thinking not as God does.…” The disciples have been following Jesus for a good while. They have seen him in action and have heard his words spoken with authority. Most important, they have seen that he lives what he preaches. Now Jesus wants to know what they are thinking in his regard. Do they believe in him? Have they understood who he really is and why he has come into their lives and into the world? At first it seems that Peter “gets it.” He confidently exclaims, “You are the Christ.” But Peter’s vision of the Messiah does not coincide with that of Jesus. Jesus describes what he must undergo, saying that he “must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.” This overwhelms Peter and clashes with his ideas, so he adamantly rejects it. It cannot be this way. While he understands Peter’s human way of thinking, Jesus must be faithful to his m

Daily Thought For September 12, 2015

Brutal Honesty of a Modern Day Saint "I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Daily Thought For September 11, 2015

A Prayer for 9/11 O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions, who gather today at this site, the scene of incredible violence and pain. We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who died here— the heroic first-responders: our fire fighters, police officers, emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, along with all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy simply because their work or service brought them here on September 11, 2001. We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness. Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope. We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Penns

Daily Thought For September 10, 2015

Affirmations from Forty Weeks Be Not Afraid: Fear comes from the enemy of my human nature. The pathway to God's peace and healing runs through my heart's brokenness, sin, fear, anger and grief. God resolves all my problems with time and patience. Forty Weeks   by William M. Watson, SJ p.18

Daily Thought For September 7, 2015

Great Directive From Pope Francis Brothers and sisters, remember: Worship the Lord your God. This is fundamental! Worship God. Seek holiness in the new life of the Holy Spirit. Be dispensers of the grace of God. Avoid the danger of excessive organization. Go out into the streets and evangelize. Proclaim the Gospel. Remember that the Church was born “on the move”, that Pentecost morning. Draw close to the poor and touch in their flesh the wounded flesh of Jesus. Let yourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit, in freedom; and please, don’t put the Holy Spirit in a cage! Be free! Seek unity in the renewal, the unity which comes from the Trinity! And I am waiting for all of you, charismatics the world over, to celebrate with the Pope your great jubilee on the feast of Pentecost 2017 in Saint Peter’s Square! Thank you! ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE 37TH NATIONAL CONVOCATION  OF THE RENEWAL IN THE HOLY SPIRIT Olympic Stadium Sunday, 1 June 2014

Daily Thought For September 6, 2015

Prayer Is Directed To Reality Your prayers have been heard, the Archangel Gabriel said to Zechariah when he foretold to him the birth of his son, John the Baptizer. These words, I think, give us reason to reflect from several perspectives. The birth of this son occurs in answer to an appeal directed to God by man. Prayer does not fall into a void; neither is it just a kind of psychotherapy that helps us to assemble our spiritual forces and bring them once more into balance; nor is it merely a kind of pious fiction to exercise our souls and calm them. Prayer is directed to reality. It is both heard and heeded. God, then, is someone who has the power, the ability, the will, and the patience to listen to us men. He is so great that he can be present even for those who are small. And even though the world has its fixed laws, it is not as though it were thereby withdrawn from the power of love, which is God’s power. God can answer. We might even venture to say that what God does is alw

Daily Thought For September 5, 2015

The Family—A Beautiful Setting For Evangelization Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning! In this last stage on our journey of catecheses on the family, let us broaden our gaze to the way in which it lives out its responsibility to communicate the faith, to transmit the faith, both inside and out. At first, what may come to mind are several Gospel expressions that seem to oppose the bonds of family and the following of Christ. For example, the strong words that we all know and we all have heard: “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37-38). Naturally, by this Jesus doesn’t intend to cancel out the fourth commandment, which importantly is the first commandment directed at others. The first three are in relation to God, this one is directed at people. Nor can we think that, after performing his miracle for the newlyweds in Cana, after consecrating the marriage bond between man