Showing posts from August, 2016

Daily Thought For August 26, 2016

An Attitude Of Gratitude           For most of us, life is busy and complicated. We have countless responsibilities, some of which begin before sunrise and many of which end long after sunset. Amidst the rush and crush of the daily grind it is easy to lose sight of God and His blessings. But, when we forget to slow down and say “Thank You” to our Maker, we rob ourselves of His presence, His peace, and His joy.     Our task, as believing Christians, is to praise God many times each day. Then, with gratitude in our hearts, we can face our daily duties with the perspective and power that only He can provide. +++++++++++++++++ It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich - Dietrich Bonhoeffer        Lord, make me a person with a grateful heart. You have given me much; when I think of Your grace and goodness, I am humbled and thankful. Today, I will praise You with my words and my deeds . . . and may all the glory be Yours. Amen .  from  Man of Prayer - 365 Daily Devotions

Daily Thought For August 24, 2016

Christ's Love And Punctuation        The continuing love of Christ does not allow our present way of life to come to a full stop. He always is changing punctuation marks: He changes periods into commas. "Bartimaeus was blind." "Lazarus was a beggar." "Magdalene was a sinner." "Naaman was a leper." What seemed so final and conclusive that a period should be placed at the end of each life, by His Mercy is now changed into comma. Bartimaeus was blind, but he saw, Naaman was a leper, but he was cured.      Our present state is not so definitive that it cannot be changed. And when the period is changed into a comma by giving ourselves completely to Christ, then our lives end with an exclamation point! What? Jacob a saint"! What? Me a saint!!! Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen  Those Mysterious Priests p. 216

Daily Thought For August 23, 2016

A Haven Of Rest         A friend once sent me a snapshot that had been taken four decades ago, when we were in the novitiate together. The photo shows me as a seventeen-year old sitting on a park  bench talking with my father. . . . I was struck by how peaceful and contented I looked in the photo. I remember asking myself, “How in the world did this boy ever survive all these years? He looks so terribly vulnerable.”      Survival at best―that has literally been my experience. But I have survived the swirling tides of life because I discovered a little harbor inside my soul―a haven that I didn’t build, a refuge that I didn’t set apart from the winds of life. Sometimes, in the midst of storms, I  couldn’t find this sanctuary, but I knew it was there anyway.      Because he is the God of peace, the Father provides this inner haven for each of us, a shelter that allows us to survive during difficult times, a place where we can receive the light of grace. If we are trying desperate

Daily Thought For August 22, 2016

Trusting Our Divine Guide When We Can’t See The Path Ahead        If we are truly docile, we shall ask no questions about the road along which God is taking us.       When God becomes our guide he insists that we trust him without reservations and put aside all nervousness about his guidance. We are sent along the path he has chosen for us, but we cannot see it and nothing we have read is any help to us. Were we acting on our own we should have to rely on our experience. It would be too risky to do anything else. But it is very different when God acts with us. Divine action is always new and fresh, it never retraces its steps, but always finds new routes. When we are led by this action, we have no idea where we are going, for the paths we tread cannot be discovered from books or by any of our thoughts. But these paths are always opened in front of us and we are impelled along them. Imagine we are in a strange district at night and are crossing fields unmarked by any path, but we

Daily Thought For August 20, 2016

The Mind’s Sense of Taste Teaches The Art Of Spiritual Discernment            The light that true knowledge gives out is the ability to distinguish unerringly what is right from what is wrong. This being so, the path of uprightness – which leads the mind towards God, the radiant sun of righteousness – takes that same mind into an unbounded light of knowledge and then leads it on to seek trustingly for love.      Those who are struggling in battle ought always to keep their souls free of the tumultuous waves of distraction. If they do this, the mind will be able to distinguish among the thoughts that come to it. The good thoughts, sent by God, they can store in the treasure-house of their memory. The evil thoughts, sent by the devil, they can throw out. In just the same way, when the sea is calm, the fisherman can see to the bottom of it and practically no fish can escape his gaze; but if it is stirred up by wind and storm, it becomes opaque when in calm times it was transparent 

Daily Thought For August 19, 2016

Be Renewed In The Gift Of Hope Hope is the opposite of fear. It is serious to feel separated from God; we grow timid and weak. As a ship is tossed about in a tempest, without sailor or pilot, heading for shipwreck wherever the wind carries it, so it is with our little boat that lacks hope. I would never want us to be without hope, but I would want us to weep when we lose sight of God. May Jesus come to bring help when we are overwhelmed with fear.  I hope that God will strengthen you more and more; and when you become afraid that your present attention and fervor may not last, respond once and for all to that thought, or rather to that temptation to sadness, that those who trust in God will never be confounded, and that in spiritual as well as physical and temporal matters, you have "cast your care upon the Lord and he will support you."  Let us serve God well today; he will provide for tomorrow. Each day has its own burden to bear; do not worry about tomorrow, for the

Daily Thought For August 18, 2016

Important Message As Summer Draws To An End It is important to take a break now and then. Recreation relaxes both mind and body. Cassian tells us that a hunter found St. John cradling a living bird in his hand and gently petting its neck. The hunter asked him why he was wasting his time like that. John asked him why he didn’t keep his bow always taut.  “It would lose its spring if I did,” the Hunter answered. The apostle replied, “Then don’t be surprised if I relax sometimes. After a little recreation I can concentrate better.”      It is a mistake to be so strict, driven, and austere that you can neither play a little yourself nor allow others a little diversion. Get out into the open air. Have some fun! Play the lute, sing, go hunting. Enjoy some innocent recreation. The only requirement is enough prudence to give it a proper time, place, and quantity. Francis de Sales: Introduction To The Devout Life p.190

Daily Thought For August 16, 2015

Little Things Mean A Lot    Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently  trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.  C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity p. 117

Daily Thought For August 12, 2016

Valuing The Things That Really Matter      “In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results. In the East—especially in India—I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving—it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done. The more we can remove this priority for results the more we can learn about the contemplative element of love. There is the love expressed in the service and the love in the contemplation. It is the balance of both which we should be striving for. Love is the key t

Daily Thought For August 11, 2016

Avoiding Anxiety Do not let anxiety sabotage your search for God. You know well that when you search for something anxiously you can come upon it a hundred times without ever seeing it. Anxiety masquerades as true spiritual energy, even as it wearies our mind, drains our enthusiasm, and deadens our soul. It pretends to stir up our soul, but all it does is dampen our spirit. It pushes us until we stumble over our own feet. We need to be on watch for this impostor that would have us believing that our spiritual life depends completely on our efforts, so that the more panicked we are, the more anxiously we search, the more likely we are to find God. Let God do his part. Be patient. Not even our best efforts can earn the blessings of God. Our role is to be ready, to receive God's gifts with an open heart - carefully, humbly, and serenlely. St. Francis De Sales

Daily Thought For August 10, 2016

Have Confidence In God & Not Your Feelings It is very good to mistrust ourselves, but what good will that do unless we place all our confidence in God and await his mercy? And even if we do not feel such confidence, we must not cease to make acts of confidence and say, "Even though I have no feeling of confidence in you, I know that you are my God, that I am totally yours and have no hope except in your goodness; therefore I abandon myself entirely into your hands." It is always in our power to make these acts, and even if we have difficulty in doing so, still, it is not an impossibility, and it is on these occasions and in these very difficulties that we give witness of our fidelity to God.  A thousand times a day cast your whole heart, your soul, your anxiety on God with great confidence, and say with the psalmist: "I am yours, Lord; save me."  Jesus sent the apostles here and there without money, without staff, without shoes, and clothed in a single g

Daily Thought For August 7, 2016

Following Christ In Prayer If you really wish to follow Christ, if you want your love for Him to grow and last, then you must be faithful to prayer. It is the key to the vitality of your life in Christ. Without prayer, your faith and love will die. If you are constant in daily prayer and in the Sunday celebration of Mass, your love for Jesus will increase. And your heart will know deep joy and peace. Pope John Paul II Speech at New Orleans, September 12, 1987

Daily Thought For August 6, 2016

Using Our Influence For Christ Those who have met Christ cannot shut themselves in their own little world: how sad such a limitation would be! They must open out like a fan in order to reach all souls. Each one has to create-and widen-a circle of friends, whom he can influence with his professional prestige, with his behavior, with his friendship, so that Christ may exercise his influence by means of that professional prestige, that behavior, that friendship. St. Jose María Escrivá

Daily Thought For August 5, 2016

The Importance of Prayer      Bring prayer to your family, bring it to your little children. Teach them to pray. For a child that prays is a happy child. A family that prays is a united family. We hear of so many broken families. And then we examine them: Why are they broken? I think because they never pray together. They are never in prayer before the Lord.  Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Daily Thought For August 6, 2016

Using Our Influence For Christ Those who have met Christ cannot shut themselves in their own little world: how sad such a limitation would be! They must open out like a fan in order to reach all souls. Each one has to create-and widen-a circle of friends, whom he can influence with his professional prestige, with his behavior, with his friendship, so that Christ may exercise his influence by means of that professional prestige, that behavior, that friendship. St. Jose María Escrivá

Daily Thought For August 6, 2016

Using Our Influence For Christ Those who have met Christ cannot shut themselves in their own little world: how sad such a limitation would be! They must open out like a fan in order to reach all souls. Each one has to create-and widen-a circle of friends, whom he can influence with his professional prestige, with his behavior, with his friendship, so that Christ may exercise his influence by means of that professional prestige, that behavior, that friendship. St. Jose María Escrivá

Daily Thought For August 4, 2016

St. John Vianney On The Joy Of Prayer Consider, children, a Christian’s treasure is not on earth, it is in heaven. Well then, our thoughts should turn to where our treasure is.   Man has a noble task: that of prayer and love. To pray and to love, that is the happiness of man on earth.   Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When the heart is pure and united with God it is consoled and filled with sweetness; it is dazzled by a marvelous light. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax moulded into one; they cannot any more be separated. It is a very wonderful thing, this union of God with his insignificant creature, a happiness passing all understanding.   We had deserved to be left incapable of praying; but God in his goodness has permitted us to speak to him. Our prayer is an incense that is delightful to God.   My children, your hearts are small, but prayer enlarges them and renders them capable of loving God. Prayer is a foretaste of heaven, an

Daily Thought For August 3, 2016

The Human Heart & The Need For Compassion        The human heart is endowed with an enormous coefficient of expansion. When it loves, it opens out in a crescendo of affection that overcomes all barriers.    If you love Our Lord, there will not be a single creature that does not find a place in your heart.   In our modern world, one cannot help but notice that there are a growing number of people who require the assistance of Christians: the elderly, the sick, the depressed, the homeless. . .There are many people who suffer in their own homes with difficulties of sickness or the disgrace of poverty, though there may be fewer of these people than there once were. Today we have many nursing homes and residences for old people. There are many organizations and programs dedicated to people in need. Yet despite the best of intentions, these institutions  often harbor multitudes of lonely individuals who live in great spiritual want. Deprived of the affecti

Daily Thought For August 2, 2016

Rediscovering the Value of Rest & Reflection 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 these words; whereas the apostles are positively beside themselves and, full of zeal and self-importance, neglect their meals, Jesus brings them down from the clouds: Have a rest for awhile! One can se

Daily Thought For August 1, 2016

Zacchaeus & Three Obstacles That Must Be Overcome Dear young people, you have come to Krakow to meet Jesus. Today’s Gospel speaks to us of just such a meeting between Jesus and a man named Zacchaeus, in Jericho (cf. Lk 19:1-10). There Jesus does not simply preach or greet people; as the Evangelist tells us, he passed through the city (v. 1). In other words, Jesus wants to draw near to us personally, to accompany our journey to its end, so that his life and our life can truly meet. An amazing encounter then takes place, with Zacchaeus, the chief “publican” or tax collector. Zacchaeus was thus a wealthy collaborator of the hated Roman occupiers, someone who exploited his own people, someone who, because of his ill repute, could not even approach the Master. His encounter with Jesus changed his life, just as it has changed, and can daily still change, each of our lives. But Zacchaeus had to face a number of obstacles in order to meet Jesus. At least three of these can also say s