Showing posts from November, 2015

Daily Thought For December 1, 2015

Living In Intimacy with God Lectio Luke 10:21–24 Meditatio   “At that very moment he rejoiced.…” In the verses that precede this Scripture passage the seventy-two disciples have just returned from their mission. They are rejoicing for all they did in Jesus’ name. At this Jesus tells them they should rejoice because “their names are written in heaven.” Immediately following this we read, “At that very moment he rejoiced [in] the holy Spirit.…” Jesus lives in such continuous intimacy with the Father and the Holy Spirit that he does not hesitate to praise God. This is not one of those moments when Jesus goes off to pray by himself. Instead, in the midst of Jesus’ realization of the Father’s work, the Holy Spirit stirs in him and he praises the Father aloud. The author of the Gospel relates that Jesus praises God with the seventy-two gathered around him. The immediacy of his prayer tells us that Jesus is not ashamed to show his intimate relationship with God to those who ar

Daily Thought For November 30, 2015

Advent — Being Awake For God In the thirteenth chapter of the letter Saint Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome he says: “The hour has come … the night is far spent, day is near. Let us, therefore, cast aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us conduct ourselves honorably as in daylight, not in revelries and drunkenness, without lewdness and debauchery, without quarrels and dissension. No, put on the Lord Jesus Christ.…” Advent, accordingly, means to get up, to be awake, to rise from sleep! What is Saint Paul trying to say? What he means by “night” he expresses clearly through terms such as “revelries, drunkenness, lewdness, and quarrels”. The nighttime orgy with everything it implies is for him a representation of man in darkness, man asleep. It serves him as an image of the pagan world as such, a world drowning in materialism, persisting in the darkness of its blindness to the truth, and fast asleep in spite of all its loud and hectic activity, because i

Daily Thought For November 29, 2015

Love of Neighbor We must consider our neighbor in relationship to God, Who wants us to love him ... and we are to be interested in him even when this is distasteful for us. The resistance of the inferior part of our soul will be overcome by the frequent performance of good acts. To this end, however, we must center our prayers and meditations of the love of our neighbor, having first implored the love of God. We must ask for the grace to love especially those we do not like very much.  St. Francis de Sales (Letters 217; O. XIII, pp. 268-270) 

Daily Thought For November 28, 2015

Victorious Living RECEIVE MY GLORY-STRENGTH. When ongoing problems require you to stick it out over the long haul, your faith sometimes falters. That's when you resort to grimly gritting your teeth—simply passing time in a negative frame of mind. This is not the way I want you to deal with difficulties. I am sovereign over the circumstances of your life, so there are always opportunities to be found in them. Sometimes those opportunities are so obvious you can't miss seeing them. At other times — especially when the journey is hard and seems endless-you have to search for hidden treasure. Do not be like the man who hid his master's talent in the ground because he was disgruntled with his circumstances. He gave up and took the easy way out: blaming his hard situation rather than making the most of his opportunity. The truth is, the more difficult your situation, the more treasure there is for you to discover in it.  I gladly give you Glory-strength; it is limitless an

Daily Thought For November 20, 2015

An Important Point “If God were our one and only desire we would not be so easily upset when our opinions do not find outside acceptance.” The Imitation of Christ  by Thomas Á Kempis **The next Daily Thought will be on Thursday, November 26, 2015**

Daily Thought For November 19, 2015

Total Freedom COME TO ME WHEN YOU ARE HURTING, AND I WILL SHARE YOUR PAIN. Come to Me when you are joyful, and I will share your Joy—multiplying it many times over.  I invite you to come to Me just as you are-no matter what condition you're in. You don't have to clean up your act first, since I already know the worst about you. When you're hurting, you want to be with someone who understands you without condemning you. When you're happy, you delight in being with someone who loves you enough to celebrate with you. I understand you compassionately and love you exuberantly, so bring more and more of yourself to Me.  Most people are selective about which parts of themselves they share with Me. Some hesitate to bring Me the traits they consider shameful. Others are so used to living with painful feelings—loneliness, fear, guilt-that it never occurs to them to ask for help in dealing with these things. Still others get so preoccupied with their struggles that they fo

Daily Thought For November 18, 2015

Important Advice For Today Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear. St. Catherine of Siena

Daily Thought For November 17, 2015

Loving Jesus Above All Things BLESSED is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things. Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant, but the love of Jesus is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty, but he who gives himself to Jesus will ever be strengthened. Love Him, then; keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to the glory of Him who alone can help you when all others fail. Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another—He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell wit

Daily Thought For November 16, 2015

Open Our Eyes Lectio Luke 18:35–43 Meditatio “The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more.…” The Gospels often call our attention to the way that society treats the marginalized, in contrast to the way Jesus chooses to treat them. His genuine love, concern, and gentleness give us an example to embrace if we wish to call ourselves Christians. We know this, but we lose our way at times and seem to forget it, much like the crowd in today’s Gospel. At first, those in the crowd give the blind man the information that he seeks. They tell him that Jesus is the one causing all the uproar. But when the blind man tries to get Jesus’ attention, they try to keep him quiet. In a sense they are turning on him; they want him to become “invisible” again. The Gospel tells us that the blind man is sitting by the side of the road. Those in the crowd want to leave him there—they have their own agenda that day and it doesn’t inclu

Daily Thought For November 15, 2015

Doing Our Best To Lean On God One of the most important lessons for the spiritual life is that we must try to maintain unaltered evenness of spirit. We need to remain constantly fixed in our desire to seek God alone, no matter if everything within us and around us is confused. Our heart must unceasingly lean on the love of God, its Creator, whether our soul is overwhelmed with sorrow or with joy, with peace or anxiety, with temptation or with repose.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For November 14, 2015

In Light of Paris An Important Reminder  Looked at closely, nihilism and the fundamentalism of which we are speaking share an erroneous relationship to truth: the nihilist denies the very existence of truth, while the fundamentalist claims to be able to impose it by force. Despite their different origins and cultural backgrounds, both show a dangerous contempt for human beings and human life, and ultimately for God himself. Indeed, this shared tragic outcome results from a distortion of the full truth about God: nihilism denies God's existence and his provident presence in history, while fanatical fundamentalism disfigures his loving and merciful countenance, replacing him with idols made in its own image. In analyzing the causes of the contemporary phenomenon of terrorism, consideration should be given, not only to its political and social causes, but also to its deeper cultural, religious and ideological motivations.  In view of the risks which humanity is facing in our tim

Daily Thought For November 13, 2015

Unmasking The Source of Unhappiness The "spirit of the world" offers many false illusions and parodies of happiness. There is perhaps no darkness deeper than the darkness that enters young people's souls when false prophets extinguish in them the light of faith and hope and love. The greatest deception, and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility.  St. John Paul II

Daily Thought For November 12, 2015

Claim Your Unique Presence In Your Community Your unique presence in your community is the way God wants you to be present to others. Different people have different ways to be present. You have to know and claim your way. That is why discernment is so important. Once you have an inner knowledge of your true vocation, you have a point of orientation. That will help you decide what to do and what to let go of, what to say and what to remain silent about, when to go out and when to stay home, who to be with and who to avoid.  When you get exhausted, frustrate, overwhelmed, or run down, your body is saying that you are doing things that are none of your business. God does not require of you what is beyond your ability, what leads you away from God, or what makes you depressed and sad. God wants you to live for others and to live that presence well. Doing so might include suffering, fatigue, and even moments of great physical or emotional pain, but none of this must ever pull

Daily Thought For November 11, 2015

A Prayer For Veterans Day God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and have laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day. We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm's way. Shield them from danger and bring them home. Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace. Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor! May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us. Christ Jesus, hear us! Lord Jesus, hear our prayer! Amen.

Daily Thought For November 10, 2015

BEARING WITH THE FAULTS OF OTHERS UNTIL God ordains otherwise, a man ought to bear patiently whatever he cannot correct in himself and in others. Consider it better thus—perhaps to try your patience and to test you, for without such patience and trial your merits are of little account. Nevertheless, under such difficulties you should pray that God will consent to help you bear them calmly. If, after being admonished once or twice, a person does not amend, do not argue with him but commit the whole matter to God that His will and honor may be furthered in all His servants, for God knows well how to turn evil to good. Try to bear patiently with the defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may be, because you also have many a fault which others must endure. If you cannot make yourself what you would wish to be, how can you bend others to your will? We want them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we will not correc

Daily Thought For November 9, 2015

God Loves A Cheerful Giver Lectio Mark 12:38–44 Meditatio “… all she had.…” In the Gospel readings these past few Sundays, scribes have not fared well. Today Jesus castigates those who, in avarice and lust for prestige, twist the Law to line their own pockets, even at the expense of society’s most vulnerable members—widows. In a different twist, one of those widows unwittingly bests both that crowd and the rich, whose offerings clatter in the treasury boxes that line the Temple walls. As if to sketch the face of true worship, Jesus observes that she “contributed all she had,” not to extol giving that harms the giver, but to laud the offering of the heart. Chances are, we’ve all been muscled into a donation of some kind. We may have wished that a lighter heart could have accompanied the lighter wallet. Our reluctance may stem less from selfishness than from caution. We want to give to a “worthy cause.” We might even want to control how our contribution—money, time, energy,

Daily Thought For November 8, 2015

Striving TO RECEIVE MY PEACE, YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR GRASPING, CONTROLLING STANCE TO ONE OF OPENNESS AND TRUST. Grasping and controlling are your means of trying to feel safe. However, such an approach actually hurts you and works against you: The more you manipulate and maneuver for control, the more anxious you become.  Rather than striving for peace of mind through these means, abandon yourself to Me. My hand is the only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul. Let Me help you open your hands and receive all that I have for you.  What you do with your body can help or hinder what goes on in your soul. When you realize you are grasping for control, become aware of your body language. Intentionally open your hands, releasing your concerns to Me and inviting Me to take charge. Open your heart and mind as well, as you lift your hands to Me. You are now in a good position to receive My many blessings, not the least of which is awareness of My Presence.  Enjoy the Peace th

Daily Thought For November 7, 2015

Trust HAVE NO FEAR OF BAD NEWS. I want your heart to be steadfast, trusting in Me-in My unfailing Love. Remember that My Love for you is independent of your performance. So, when you become anxious or fearful, I do not love you less. Having a steadfast heart is an excellent goal, and you are making some progress in this quest. I am like a proud parent watching his baby learn to walk, eager to see you take each step of trust-however small. No matter how unsteadily you walk, I applaud each trust-step as if it were an Olympic feat. When you stumble or fall, I give you time to pull yourself back up. However, if you lift your arms to Me, seeking My help, I cannot resist com ing to your aid.  Looking to Me for help demonstrates genuine trust in Me. It is easy to  turn against yourself when you have failed, but this is not pleasing to Me. Some of My children blame others-or Me-for their failures. All of these responses are hurtful and counterproductive. The sooner you turn toward Me, the

Daily Thought For November 6, 2015

No More "Eye for an Eye" You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also …” (Mt 5:38–39). To understand this text correctly, we must keep in mind that the Old Testament principle “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Ex 21:24; Lev 24:20; Dt 19:21) is far from being a canonization of vengeance; on the contrary, its purpose is to substitute the principle of justice for the principle of vengeance.… Justice must be safeguarded; but its safeguarding must not degenerate into vengeance.… Jesus does not reject the principle of equality as a legal norm, but his purpose here is to open to men a new dimension of his own character. An absolute and rigid justice becomes a circulus vitiosus, a cycle of retaliations from which there is no escape. In his dealings with us, God has broken through this circle. We are unjust before God; we have turn

Daily Thought For November 5, 2015

The Joy of Being Found There will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10) When we hear about the trial of someone accused of a sensational crime, we often feel torn. On the one hand, we want justice and a fair resolution for the families of the victims. But on the other hand, something inside tells us that we should let mercy triumph over judgment. Today, Jesus tells the parable of a shepherd diligently searching for one lost sheep. He invites us to join him in the search, not in order to punish the stray for wandering from the fold, but in order to bring it back to safety. We understand that we need to be merciful, but we tend to miss the way our acts of mercy can set us free as well as the person we are forgiving. In her book Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean recounts the story of a father whose child was brutally murdered. The father began with a strong desire to punish the perpetrators. However, he eventually realized that his t

Daily Thought November 1, 2015

The Saints! (Staying Close to Christ) Dear Brothers and Sisters, Our Eucharistic celebration began with the exhortation: "Let us all rejoice in the Lord". The liturgy invites us to share in the heavenly jubilation of the Saints, to taste their joy. The Saints are not a small caste of chosen souls but an innumerable crowd to which the liturgy urges us to raise our eyes. This multitude not only includes the officially recognized Saints, but the baptized of every epoch and nation who sought to carry out the divine will faithfully and lovingly. We are unacquainted with the faces and even the names of many of them, but with the eyes of faith we see them shine in God's firmament like glorious stars. Today, the Church is celebrating her dignity as "Mother of the Saints, an image of the Eternal City" (A. Manzoni), and displays her beauty as the immaculate Bride of Christ, source and model of all holiness. She certainly does not lack contentious or even rebelliou