Showing posts from May, 2016

Daily Thought For May 31, 2016

The Journey of Faith — Step by Step POUR ALL OF YOUR ENERGY into trusting Me. It is through trust that you stay connected to Me, aware of My Presence. Every step on your life-journey can be a step of faith. Baby steps of trust are simple for you; you can take them with almost unconscious ease. Giant steps are another matter altogether: leaping across chasms in semidarkness, scaling cliffs of uncertainty, trudging through the valley of the shadow of death . These feats require sheer concentration, as well as utter commitment to Me.       Each of My children is a unique blend of temperament, giftedness, and life experiences. Something that is a baby step for you may be a giant step for another person, and vice versa. Only I know the difficulty or ease of each segment of your journey. Beware of trying to impress others by acting as if your giant steps are only baby ones. Do not judge others who hesitate, in trembling fear, before an act that would be easy for you. If each of My child

Daily Thought For May 30, 2016

The Importance of Self-Examination My brethren, let us consider how it can happen so often that someone hears something unpleasant and goes away untroubled, as if he had not heard it; and yet sometimes he is disturbed and troubled as soon as he hears such words. What is the cause of this inconsistency? Is there one reason for it or many? I recognise several, but one in particular is the source of all the others. As someone has put it: it all comes from the person’s state of mind at the time. If someone is engaged in prayer or contemplation, he can easily take a rebuke from his brother and be unmoved by it. Or again, his affection toward a brother may be a strong reason; love bears all things with the utmost patience. Yet another reason may be contempt: if a person despises the one who is trying to trouble him, and acts as if he is the vilest of all creatures and considers it beneath his dignity even to look at him, or to answer him, or to mention the affront and insults to anyone

Daily Thought For May 28, 2016

Courage & Conviction They feared the crowd. (Mark 11:32) One day in 1844, former slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth happened to be the only black woman at a tent revival. When a mob of young troublemakers disrupted the meeting and appeared to be turning violent, Sojourner joined everyone else in hiding in fear for her safety. But then she had a moment of conviction: “Shall I run away and hide from the devil? Me, a servant of the living God? Have I not faith enough to go out and quell that mob?” Compelled by faith and her identity in Christ, she left her hiding place and walked toward the crowd of young men, singing a hymn about Jesus’ resurrection. Club-wielding rioters surrounded her, but instead of attacking her, they asked her to sing some more, to talk with them, and to pray with them. Faith won out over fear! As Sojourner did that day, Jesus encountered angry crowds and intimidating opponents throughout his ministry. The exchange he has with the chief priests and

Daily Thought For May 27, 2016

Love, Forgiveness, & The Family Jesus taught us how to forgive out of love, how to forget out of humility. So let us examine our hearts and see if there is any unforgiven hurt - any unforgotten bitterness! It is easy to love those who are far away. It isn't always easy to love those who are right next to us. It is easier to offer food to the hungry than to answer the lonely suffering of someone who lacks love right in one's own family. The world today is upside down because there is so very little love in the home, and in family life. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Daily Thought For May 26, 2016

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 w

Daily Thought For May 25, 2016

Walk In Him "As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him, and established in the faith."  (Col 2: 6-7)  "Walk in Him," we are told. What does that mean? "Walking" is about lifestyle. I think it means that our style of life is to reflect his. It means we are to be at home in him and that, being so at home, we are to behave as if conforming our ways to his were the most natural thing in the world.  We are to be "rooted in him:' Roots are living things.  So to be rooted in him is to draw our principle of life from him. It is to wither from lack of conscious contact with him.  On the other hand, to be "built upon" him suggests that growth in him is not something that happens automatically. A house does not build itself but only happens as a result of human choice and execution. Holiness is not an accident but happens because human beings decide that their free choices, organically related, a

Daily Thought For May 24, 2016

Power In Weakness GROW STRONG in the Light of My Presence. Your weakness does not repel Me. On the contrary; it attracts My Power, which is always available to flow into a yielded heart. Do not condemn yourself for your constant need of help. Instead, come to Me with your gaping neediness; let the Light of My Love fill you.  A yielded heart does not whine or rebel when the going gets rough.  It musters the courage to thank Me even during hard times. Yielding yourself to My will is ultimately an act of trust. In quietness and trust is your strength.  The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.  — PSALM 116:5-7  Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  — EPHESIANS 5:20  This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and res

Daily Thought For May 23, 2016

What Constitutes True Knowledge What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone. Thomas à Kempis. (1996). The Imitation of Christ (pp. 1–2). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Daily Thought For May 22, 2016

A Simple But Powerful Prayer Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what You want me to be – and becoming that person. St Thérèse of Lisieux

Daily Thought For May 21, 2016

Perspective Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another. (James 5:9) Sometimes perspective can make all the difference. Looking down from the air, you see only the green foliage of a tree merging into all the trees around it. However, the same tree, viewed from below, manifests a delicate, tapering spread of branches. The tree may be developing flowers or fruit that can only be seen from the ground. In a similar way, when we look down on our brothers and sisters, our vision may also be very limited. Everyone melds together into an indistinguishable group of “others” whose faults and shortcomings make us want to distance ourselves from them. But if we join them “on the ground” and look at them as our equals in God’s eyes, we would see details that we may have missed before. We would see strengths as well as weaknesses. We would see acts of love as well as actions that disturb us. And most important, we would see how similar to us they really are. This lower place

Daily Thought For May 19, 2016

Our Hope & Our Refuge WHAT, Lord, is the trust which I have in this life, or what is my greatest comfort among all the things that appear under heaven? Is it not You, O Lord, my God, Whose mercies are without number? Where have I ever fared well but for You? Or how could things go badly when You were present? I had rather be poor for Your sake than rich without You. I prefer rather to wander on the earth with You than to possess heaven without You. Where You are there is heaven, and where You are not are death and hell. You are my desire and therefore I must cry after You and sigh and pray. In none can I fully trust to help me in my necessities, but in You alone, my God. You are my hope. You are my confidence. You are my consoler, most faithful in every need. All seek their own interests. You, however, place my salvation and my profit first, and turn all things to my good. Even though exposing me to various temptations and hardships, You Who are accustomed to prove Your loved

Daily Thought For May 18, 2016

Streams of Living Water LEARN TO LISTEN TO ME even while you are listening to other people. As they open their souls to your scrutiny, you are on holy ground. You need the help of My Spirit to respond appropriately. Ask Him to think through you, live through you, love through you. My own Being is alive within you in the Person of the Holy Spirit. If you respond to others' needs through your unaided thought processes, you offer them dry crumbs. When the Spirit empowers your listening and speaking, My streams of living water flow through you to other people. Be a channel of My Love, Joy, and Peace by listening to Me as you listen to others.  "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."  —  EXODUS 3:5  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own.  — 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19  Whoever believes in me, as th

Daily Thought For May 17, 2016

One of My Favorite Scripture Passages Trust in the LORD with all your heart,  on your own intelligence do not rely;  In all your ways be mindful of him,  and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Daily Thought For May 15, 2016

The Joy of Pentecost! Lectio John 20:19–23 Meditatio “When the doors were locked.…” Today we celebrate Pentecost, and the Church asks us this great question: Is your heart open to the Holy Spirit? He has been sent to us through the door of salvation opened by the death and resurrection of Christ. Yet, like the apostles and disciples who had witnessed the marvels of the life, teaching, suffering, and death of the Lord, and then the glorious, astounding events of his life resurrected, we may have closed and locked our door. Why? It isn’t that we don’t believe all that Christ taught, or what we have experienced of the power of his grace in the sacraments and in our daily lives. It is perhaps that our faith has been stunned by the realization of what has taken place. Salvation is more than we hoped for, we who live our days in this world. We often plod along from day to day hoping for the best. We may only have a vague idea of what that best might be. Our daily concerns and

Daily Thought For May 14, 2016

God Has A Name The Revelation of John speaks of the adversary of God, the “beast”. This beast, the power opposed to God, has no name, but a number. The seer tells us: “Its number is six hundred and sixty-six” (13:18). It is a number, and it makes men numbers. We who lived through the world of the concentration camps know what that means. The terror of that world is rooted in the fact that it obliterates men’s faces. It obliterates their history. It makes man a number, an exchangeable cog in one big machine. He is his function—nothing more. Today, we must fear that the concentration camp was only a prelude and that the universal law of the machine may impose the structure of the concentration camp on the world as a whole. For when functions are all that exist, man, too, is nothing more than a function. The machines that he himself has constructed now impose their own law on him: he must be made readable for the computer, and this can be achieved only when he is translated into numbe

Daily Thought For May 13, 2016

From The Pentecost Novena Day Eight Receiving the Spirit “Submission” Hebrews 12:9: If we  respected our earthly fathers who corrected us, should we not all the  more submit to the Father of spirits and live? Romans 5:3-5: More than  that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces  endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces  hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been  poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Meditation: I believe that complete surrender of my life to God is the  foundation to serenity. God has prepared for us many mansions. I do  not look upon that promise as referring only to the after-life. I do not  look upon this life as something to be struggled through in order to get  the rewards of the next life. I believe that the kingdom of God has  begun within us and we can enjoy eternal life here and now. Prayer for  the Day: I come before you on my knees Lord, fo

Daily Thought For May 12, 2016

With God Setbacks Become Opportunities EVERY TIME something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with Me. This practice has several benefits. The first is obvious: Talking with Me blesses you and strengthens our relationship. Another benefit is that disappointments, instead of dragging you down, are transformed into opportunities for good. This transformation removes the sting from difficult circumstances, making it possible to be joyful in the midst of adversity.  Begin by practicing this discipline in all the little disappointments of daily life. It is often these minor setbacks that draw you away from My Presence. When you reframe setbacks as opportunities, you find that you gain much more than you have lost. It is only after much training that you can accept major losses in this positive way. But it is possible to attain the perspective of the apostle Paul, who wrote:  Compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, I consider eve

Daily Thought For May 11, 2016

The Mission Of The Holy Spirit In The Church When the Son completed the work with which the Father had entrusted him on earth, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost to sanctify the Church unceasingly, and thus enable believers to have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit. He is the Spirit of life, the fountain of water welling up to give eternal life. Through him the Father gives life to men, dead because of sin, until he raises up their mortal bodies in Christ. The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful as in a temple. He prays in them and bears witness in them to their adoption as sons. He leads the Church into all truth and gives it unity in communion and in service. He endows it with different hierarchical and charismatic gifts, directs it by their means, and enriches it with his fruits. By the power of the Gospel he enables the Church to grow young, perpetually renews it, and leads it to complete union with its Bridegroom.

Daily Thought For May 9, 2016

The Holy Spirit Opens Us To Great Things The world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit.  Closing oneself off from the Holy Spirit means not only a lack of freedom; it is a sin.  There are many ways one can close oneself off to the Holy Spirit: by selfishness for one’s own gain; by rigid legalism – seen in the attitude of the doctors of the law to whom Jesus referred as “hypocrites”; by neglect of what Jesus taught; by living the Christian life not as service to others but in the pursuit of personal interests; and in so many other ways.  The world needs the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers.  The world needs the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22).  The gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed upon the Church and upon each one of us, so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity, that we may sow t

Daily Thought For May 8, 2016

The Gospel Must Be Our Guiding Light - Not Society Because we lack a divine Center our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. 'We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like'. Where planned obsolescence leaves off, psychological obsolescence takes over. We are made to feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they are worn out. The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality. It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick. Until we see how unbalanced our culture has become at this point, we will not be able to deal with the mammon spirit within ourselves nor will we desire Christian simplicity.”  Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipl

Daily Thought For May 7, 2016

Resting In God's Heart The holy Gospel relates that after the apostles first went out on their apostolic mission, Jesus said to them: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (Mk 6:31). The Gospel tells us nothing of how they took that rest, but we can easily conjecture what peace, love, and happiness that secret, intimate retreat with Jesus must have held for them. On some occasions in life, God approaches the soul and speaks similar words, inviting it with immense tenderness to rest sweetly within his divine heart and—dare I say it?—asking it to allow him to rest in it. Heaven is complete rest in God, because earth is always a place of labor, vicissitudes, and sorrow. The soul sighs to be freed from the anxieties of this life, as Saint Paul desired: “… [M]y desire is to depart and be with Christ” (Phil 1:23). But God, the divine friend, is pleased to grant to souls that love him an experience of beatitude on this earth, in the heaven of his hear

Daily Thought For May 6, 2016

The Gift of Companionship  He sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. (Acts 18:18) Some people thrive on change, but not all of us. We like to have some sense of order and a feeling that we know what is going to happen next. The reality is, however, that life is full of changes: new jobs, new homes, children, grandchildren, and so much more—our lives can be very unpredictable. Yet from Paul’s example, we can see that companionship is an important key to help us embrace all these transitions. Paul spent many years traveling far and wide to preach the gospel. He would stay in one place for a year or so and then move on to a different city. In today’s passage, for example, we are given a glimpse of his time in Corinth, and then we read of his departure for Syria. Yet in all of his journeying, Paul was rarely alone. Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and Priscilla and Aquila—these are just a few of the people who accompanied him. They probably taught and preached togethe

Daily Thought For May 4, 2016

The "Unknown" God In the opening paragraph of his encyclical Faith and Reason, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself.” Today’s first reading depicts the Athenians as a people who earnestly desired to rise to that contemplation of truth, and it tells us how Paul offered them the good news as a way to strengthen their “faith wing.” In the time of Paul, the city of Athens was full of temples and shrines to various deities. Using human reason, the Greeks came to the correct, but incomplete, conclusion that there was a vast spiritual realm that we can’t fully see or comprehend. Their society was built on the idea that a people would thrive so long as they kept the gods happy and be punished if they did not. So a sense of fear became a built-in part of their spirituality. They were so anxious about k

Daily Thought For May 3, 2016

The Holy Spirit & Understanding Lectio John 16:5–11 Meditatio “… it is better for you that I go.” Jesus seems to leave his disciples in the lurch when he tells them, “… it is better for you that I go.” They wonder why after leaving everything to answer his call to “come and follow me,” he is now saying, “you cannot come.” Earlier Peter had asked: “Master, where are you going?” Jesus assured Peter by saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me” (Jn 14:1). Thomas pushed the question a little further. He reminded Jesus that they didn’t know where he was going. How could they know the way? This question prompted Jesus’ wonderful self-definition: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). In chapter 16 of John’s Gospel the disciples are no longer asking Jesus where he is going or why he must go. Grief has filled their hearts. There will be times in our life of faith when Jesus seems to disappear and nothing makes sen

Daily Thought For May 2, 2016

For Those Who Were Confirmed Last Night On his return, the master judges what they have done: he praises the first two while he throws the third one out into the outer darkness because, through fear, he had hidden his talent, withdrawing into himself. A Christian who withdraws into himself, who hides everything that the Lord has given him, is a Christian who... he is not a Christian! He is a Christian who does not thank God for everything God has given him! This tells us that the expectation of the Lord’s return is the time of action — we are in the time of action — the time in which we should bring God’s gifts to fruition, not for ourselves but for him, for the Church, for others. The time to seek to increase goodness in the world always; and in particular, in this period of crisis, today, it is important not to turn in on ourselves, burying our own talent, our spiritual, intellectual, and material riches, everything that the Lord has given us, but, rather to open ourselves, to

Daily Thought For May 1, 2016

When God Is Not Praised - Things Collapse In the beginning of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians we detect the enthusiasm of the new converts, for whom being Christians was an unexpected gift, a blessing, great riches bestowed on them by God. It is good for us to realize this—for us who, as Christians, live for the most part with wrinkled brows and such an anxious awareness of the problems it entails that we feel almost guilty when we are happy about being Christians—that might be a form of triumphalism! Fundamentally, the joy of this epistle derives from the fact that the Apostle has dared to look directly at the heart of Christianity, at the triune God and his eternal love.… We have been eternally present in God’s thought because we belong to his Son. In consequence, we share in his eternity and in his preexistence before all the things of this world. We are, as it were, always already present to him. God sees us in his Son, with the eyes of his Son. We are better able to understand