Showing posts from February, 2016

Daily Thought For February 29 2016

God Working In Ordinary Ways Lectio Luke 4:24–30 Meditatio “[T]here were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elijah the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” In today’s Gospel we see Jesus rejected by the people of Nazareth, his hometown. Jesus comments, “no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” In the section of the Gospel preceding this passage, Luke tells us that Jesus had begun his ministry in Galilee, and word about him spread rapidly. He returned to Nazareth and spoke in the synagogue, amazing his neighbors by his words. They found him too much for them, and sarcastically said, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” They could have added, “We saw him grow up. We know his family and where he comes from. Where does he come off preaching to us?” They expected that if God were to speak to them, it would be in some extraordinary way. Jesus was just too ordinary. Jesus reminded them about the story of Naaman the Syrian, who was cured

Daily Thought For February 26, 2016

Expanding Our Understanding of How God Works He sent a man before them, Joseph, sold as a slave. (Psalm 105:17) It’s not hard to see that God’s viewpoint doesn’t always match our own. The sons of Israel saw their brother Joseph, their father’s favorite, as a threat to their status. So rather than try to work out their differences, they tried to get rid of him. But God had a different perspective: he saw Joseph as one sent ahead of his brothers to save them from famine. Now God had even more in mind than the survival of these twelve brothers and their families. He used Joseph to save the whole region from destruction. Along the way, he also put an end to his siblings’ competitiveness, to bring them to repentance for their murderous jealousy, and to bring about a true reconciliation. The story of Joseph and his brothers aptly illustrates how narrow our vision of God can be. We petition him and thank him for supplying for our material needs, but we don’t ask him to help us grow

Daily Thought For February 25, 2016

Who Are The Lazuruses In Our Lives? Lectio Luke 16:19–31 Meditatio “ ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets …’ ” Jesus, I have heard this parable so many times that it may have lost its effect. Lazarus has become an icon of the plight of the poor. I see so many Lazaruses on television and on the streets. But deep down inside I too have become like the rich man, unmoved by their unspoken cry. Why? Today, I heard your story proclaimed again. I was struck not by the rich man or Lazarus, but by the rich man’s brothers. “I beg you, father,” pleads the rich man, “send [Lazarus] to my … five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.” Abraham responds that they have received the message of Moses and the prophets and should listen to it. Knowing that they have not listened, the rich man reasons with Abraham that they would listen to someone who came back from the dead. Wisely, Abraham answers, “If they will not listen to Moses and

Daily Thought For February 24, 2016

On A Lighter Note A priest told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to  read Mark 17.” The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, Father asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. Father smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”

Daily Thought For February 23, 2016

Detachment To allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God, we need great compliance and adaptability, and we can acquire these little by little by practicing detachment. We should make an effort not to “hang on to” anything, either materially, or affectively, or even spiritually. The detachment we should aim for is not that of saying “to hell with all of it,” or of becoming indifferent to everything, or of practicing a sort of forced asceticism and stripping ourselves of everything that makes up our lives; that kind of detachment is not what our Lord normally asks for. But we need to keep our hearts in an attitude of detachment, maintaining a sort of freedom, a distance, an inner reserve, that will mean that if some particular thing, or habit, or relationship, or personal plan is taken from us, we don’t make a drama out of being deprived of it. Such detachment should be exercised in all aspects of our lives. From In the School of the Holy Spirit by Fr. Jacques Philippe   p.3

Daily Thought For February 22, 2016

We've Been Chosen For Great Things Upon this rock I will build my Church. (Matthew 16:18) God seems to enjoy choosing the most improbable people to move his purposes forward. The great King David committed adultery and conspired in a murder (2 Samuel 11:2-27). A cowardly Jonah fled from God’s commission to preach to the Ninevites (Jonah 1:1-3). A childless Sarah became the mother of all Israel (Genesis 18:1-14). Again and again, God has manifested his power by turning weakness into strength and sinners into saints. And so in keeping with this tradition, he chose a brash fisherman to be the rock upon whom he would build his Church. Peter was the first to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, and for this insight, Jesus entrusted him with the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:13-19). Peter was a man of great love and loyalty, but he also had his flaws and failings. He frequently acted impetuously—he once boasted that he was ready to die with Jesus, only to reverse hi

Daily Thought For February 21, 2016

Letting Go & Letting God To LIVE IN My Presence consistently, you must expose and expel your rebellious tendencies. When something interferes with your plans or desires, you tend to resent the interference. Try to become aware of each resentment, however petty it may seem. Don't push those unpleasant feelings down; instead, let them come to the surface where you can deal with them. Ask My Spirit to increase your awareness of resentful feelings. Bring them boldly into the Light of My Presence, so that I can free you from them.  The ultimate solution to rebellious tendencies is submission to My authority over you. Intellectually you rejoice in My sovereignty, without which the world would be a terrifying place. But when My sovereign will encroaches on your little domain of control, you often react with telltale resentment.  The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember that all go

Daily Thought For February 20, 2016

Take Time To Rest For the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B), the lectionary of the Catholic liturgy has selected a Gospel that shows us how even the disciples of Jesus had to face the problem of stress and recuperation (Mk 6:30–34). The apostles return from their first mission, full of what they have experienced and achieved. They are totally preoccupied with recounting their successes; in fact, it has become a whole business operation, and things have gone so far that, with all the coming and going, they no longer have time to eat. Perhaps they are expecting to be congratulated on their zeal; but instead, Jesus summons them to go with him to a solitary place where they can be alone and rest. I believe it is good that we should discern the humanity of Jesus in an event like this; he is not always uttering sublime words only, nor is he constantly wearing himself out in order to deal with everything that forces itself upon him. I can just imagine his face as he says thes

Daily Thought For February 19, 2016

Joyful Living REMEMBER THAT JOY is not dependent on your circumstances. Some of the world's most miserable people are those whose circumstances seem the most enviable. People who reach the top of the ladder career-wise are often surprised to find emptiness awaiting them. True Joy is a by-product of living in My Presence. Therefore you can experience it in palaces, in prisons ... anywhere.  Do not judge a day as devoid of Joy just because it contains difficulties. Instead, concentrate on staying in communication with Me. Many of the problems that clamor for your attention will resolve themselves. Other matters you must deal with, but I will help you with them. If you make problem-solving secondary to the goal of living close to Me, you can find Joy even in your most difficult days.  Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls

Daily Thought For February 18, 2016

Jesus Never Lets Us Down I want to tell you about a personal experience. Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the day when I heard the calling from Jesus within my heart.  But I say it not to have you bring me a cake here, no it's not that. But that memory, 60 years from that day, I will never forget, the Lord made me feel strongly that I had to go forward on that path.  I was 17 years old, several years had passed before making this decision, this invitation, became real, definitive. Then several years of joy and success went by. But also of failures, of sin. Sixty years on the path of our Lord, within him, beside him, always with him, and I want to say this: I do not regret it! Why not? Because I feel like Tarzan, and that I'm strong enough to keep going forward? No. I do not regret it because always, even in moments of darkness, moments of sin, in moments of weakness, in moments of failures, I have looked to Jesus and I have trusted Him, and He has never left me alone

Daily Thought For February 17, 2016

Real Hope Is Built On Love & Responsibility In our time, the word “hope” has become a kind of magnet that attracts to itself all manner of intellectual movements. This is a clear indication of man’s profound dissatisfaction with his life and with the world as he experiences it. He is searching for a new, different, better world. Since the revolution of 1789 and even more through the teachings of Hegel and Marx, the dominant theme of world history has become the building of a new world. But the more man attempts to do this, the more he discovers that the world cannot be made new while its inhabitants cling to their old ways. If the world is to become different, the first requirement is that man become different. Sociology, psychology, the whole gamut of the social sciences, are now trying to discover how this new man is to be created. In the drama of liberation, our contemporaries have been vigorously beating on the bars that allegedly limit their freedom; but it is apparent now

Daily Thought For February 16, 2016

Like A Hushed Child DEMONSTRATE YOUR TRUST IN ME by sitting quietly in My Presence. Put aside all that is waiting to be done, and refuse to worry about anything. This sacred time together strengthens you and prepares you to face whatever the day will bring. By waiting with Me before you begin the day's activities, you proclaim the reality of My living Presence. This act of faith-waiting before working-is noted in the spirit world, where your demonstration of trust weakens principalities and powers of darkness.  The most effective way to resist evil is to draw near Me. When you  need to take action, I will guide you clearly through My Spirit and My Word. The world is so complex and overstimulating that you can easily lose your sense of direction. Doing countless unnecessary activities will dissipate your energy. When you spend time with Me, I restore your sense of direction. As you look to Me for guidance, I enable you to do less but accomplish more.  Then Jesus said to his

Daily Thought For February 15, 2016

Looking For Opportunities For Growth THANK ME IN THE MIDST of the crucible. When things seem all wrong, look for growth opportunities. Especially, look for areas where you need to let go, leaving your cares in My able hands. Do you trust Me to orchestrate your life events as I choose, or are you still trying to make things go according to your will? If you keep trying to carry Out your intentions while I am leading you in another direction, you deify your desires.  Be on the lookout for what I am doing in your life. Worship Me by living close to Me, thanking Me in all circumstances.  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 PETER 5:6-7 Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 THESSALONIANS 5:18  from Jesus Calling Sarah Young p.140

Daily Thought For February 14, 2016

Moving On Consider all the past as nothing, and say, like David: Now I begin to love my God. Saint Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For February 12, 2016

Transformation Through The Doors of Repentance The Holy Door of Jubilee is one of the symbols most deeply imprinted in our minds. All of us are searching, so to speak, for the road that leads to freedom, for the door through which we finally emerge into freedom. But we are, at the same time, searching for the door that leads to security. We are searching for the place where freedom and security coexist. In our innermost being we are looking for the paradise that was lost to us, that is, as it were, inscribed as a primeval memory in every human heart. The Holy Door of Jubilee does not, it is true, immediately symbolize the Gate of Paradise, but it is a reminder of the door that was opened to us in the morning of our life, the door of holy Baptism. In our lives, the door of Baptism is above all the Door of Repentance. If we are to be truly numbered among the baptized, we must, as it were, bow our heads again and again in order to enter by this Door of Repentance. How consoling it is

Daily Thought For February 11, 2016

Taking Up Our Cross Lectio Luke 9:22–25 Meditatio “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must … take up his cross daily and follow me.” Today’s Gospel challenges us to true discipleship, to follow a Messiah who defies all our human expectations. In the verses immediately preceding today’s Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples, “… who do you say that I am?” Peter replies, “The Messiah of God” (v. 20). In this context of Peter’s confession of faith, Jesus defines the kind of Messiah he is, challenging Peter (and each of us) to a deeper faith. Jesus reminds us that he did not choose to come into our world in glory and triumph. Instead, he chose to come into the world as a suffering Messiah who would be rejected, killed, and raised on the third day. Jesus calls his disciples to follow in his footsteps and to take up our cross daily.… That word “daily” stands out for me. Jesus is asking us for commitment—a resolute decision to carry our cross—not just through this season of Lent,

Daily Thought For February 10, 2016

Christ Became Poor So We Could Become Rich By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says "that by his poverty you might become rich". This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different! When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to  be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet Saint Paul is well aware of the &quo

Daily Thought For February 9, 2016

Why St. Francis of Assisi is So Loved During the lifetime of Saint Francis of Assisi people experienced a deep yearning for a Church of the Spirit; they longed for a better, purer, more meaningful Christianity and anticipated that this new Church would bring about a change in the course of history as well. To many of those who suffered from the inadequacies of institutional Christianity, Saint Francis seemed to be a God-sent answer to their expectations, and, in fact, Christianity of the Spirit has seldom been so genuinely exemplified as it was in him. But there was something unusual about him, too. His Christianity of the Spirit was based on an entirely literal obedience to the word of the Bible. The new principle that he opposed to the lukewarm Christianity of casuistry was sine glossa (without gloss): he heard the word of God without the barrier of explanations that might serve to moderate it, to make it safe and harmless. He heard it without the academic sophistries that made i

Daily Thought For February 8, 2016

Temples of the Holy Spirit The Lord’s glory had filled the temple. (1 Kings 8:11) If you were to walk into an old church on a weekday, you might see something unusual and beautiful: a few men and women silently, gently dusting down pews and setting hymnals aright. Some may even be on their hands and knees, carefully cleaning the floor! All of this work happens week after week, out of reverence for the place where Mass is celebrated and God’s people gather. It’s quite an act of love! In today’s first reading, we see another scene of reverence and love: Temple worship. “All the people of Israel” have gathered, as well as King Solomon (1 Kings 8:2). The sacrifices before the ark of the Lord are rich and full—“sheep and oxen too many to number”—all out of love and gratitude for the God who had saved them and protected them (8:5). Now consider yet a third sacred space: you! You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Unlike the scene in today’s reading, you don’t need to offer great sacr

Daily Thought For February 7, 2016

Trust  Trust in the LORD and do good   that you may dwell in the land and live secure.  Psalm 37:3

Daily Thought For February 6, 2016

The Works of Mercy For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favorable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practicing the works of mercy. In the corporal works of mercy we touch the flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, visited; in the spiritual works of mercy – counsel, instruction, forgiveness, admonishment and prayer – we touch more directly our own sinfulness. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy must never be separated. By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realizing that they too are poor and in need. By taking this path, the “proud”, the “powerful” and the “wealthy” spoken of in the Magnificat can also be embraced and undeservedly loved by the crucified Lord who died and rose for them. This love alone is the answer to that yearning for infinite happiness and love that we think we can satisfy with the id

Daily Thought For February 5, 2016

The Grace That Changes Hearts If we—all of us—accept the grace of Jesus Christ, he changes our heart and from sinners makes us saints. To become holy we do not need to turn our eyes away and look somewhere else, or have as it were the face on a holy card! No, no, that is not necessary. To become saints only one thing is necessary: to accept the grace that the Father gives us in Jesus Christ. There, this grace changes our heart. We continue to be sinners for we are weak, but with this grace which makes us feel that the Lord is good, that the Lord is merciful, that the Lord waits for us, that the Lord pardons us—this immense grace that changes our heart. Pope Francis Address to Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome June 17, 2013

Daily Thought For February 4, 2016

Important Truth To Remember For Year Of Mercy To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.  Catechism of the Catholic, #2476-2478

Daily Thought For February 3, 2016

Three "Consequences" of Praying In The Holy Spirit And now I would like to underline three consequences in Christian life when we let work within us not the spirit of the world but the Spirit of Christ as the interior principle of our entire action. First, with prayer animated by the Spirit we are enabled to abandon and overcome every form of fear and slavery, living the authentic freedom of the children of God. Without prayer which every day nourishes our being in Christ, in an intimacy which progressively grows, we find ourselves in the state described by St Paul in his Letter to the Romans: we do not do the good we want, but the evil we do not want (cf. Rom 7:19). And this is the expression of the alienation of human beings, of the destruction of our freedom, the circumstances of our being because of original sin: we want the good that we do not do and we do what we do not want to do: evil. The Apostle wants to make us understand that it is not primarily our will th

Daily Thought for February 2, 2016

Bearers of Good News! When we receive good news, or when we live a beautiful experience, it is natural to feel the need to share it with others. We feel within us that we cannot keep the joy that was given to us: we want to extend it. The joy aroused is such, that it pushes us to communicate it. And it should be the same when we encounter the Lord: to communicate the joy of this encounter, of His mercy, of the Lord’s mercy. In fact, the concrete sign that we have truly encountered Jesus is the joy we experience in communicating it also to others. And this is not “engaging in proselytism,” this is to make a gift: I give you what gives me joy. Reading the Gospel, we see that this was the experience of the first disciples: after the first encounter with Jesus, Andrew went immediately to tell his brother Peter (Cf. John 1:40-42), and Philip did the same with Nathaniel (Cf. John 1:45-46). To encounter Jesus is the same as encountering His love. This love transforms us and enables us t

Daily Thought For February 1, 2016

Refuge And in every disappointment, great or small, let your heart fly directly to your dear Savior, throwing yourself in those arms for refuge against every pain and sorrow. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton