Showing posts from April, 2017

Daily Thought For April 30, 2017

The Road To Emmaus Lectio Luke 24:13–35 Meditatio “[Jesus] gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, ‘Stay with us.…’ ” Sometimes, when we need him most, the Lord appears on the road alongside us. His presence is so unexpected that we don’t even recognize him at first. But little by little he helps us to understand how he has been at work in our lives. A moment of sadness or confusion is suddenly lightened, and hope glimmers again in our hearts. This is how we find the two disciples traveling to Emmaus. Sad and confused, they are unexpectedly encouraged by a complete stranger. This stranger helps them reflect on their experiences in light of the Scriptures, and their hearts begin to burn with a strange hope. As they reach their destination, however, their companion acts as if he means to travel on.… This point in the story of Emmaus may very well give us pause. Jesus has walked far along the road with these two disciples. He has explained the

Daily Thought For April 29, 2017

Truth            The Logos, the truth in person, is also the atonement, the transforming forgiveness that is above and beyond our capability and incapability. Therein lies the real novelty on which the larger Christian memory is founded, and which indeed, at the same time, constitutes the deeper answer to what the anamnesis of the Creator expects of us.       Where this center of the Christian message is not sufficiently expressed and appreciated, truth becomes a yoke that is too heavy for our shoulders, from which we must seek to free ourselves. But the freedom gained thereby is empty. It leads into the desolate land of nothingness and disintegrates of itself. Yet the yoke of truth in fact became “easy” (Matthew 11:30) when the Truth came, loved us, and consumed our guilt in the fire of his love. Only when we know and experience this from within will we be free to hear the message of conscience with joy and without f

Daily Thought For April 28, 2017

Great Insight Into Love of God & Love of Neighbor      Often, we fail to accept others because deep down, we do not accept ourselves. If we are not at peace with ourselves we will necessarily find ourselves at war with other people. Non-acceptance of self creates an inner tension, a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration that is then taken out on others, who become scapegoats for our inner conflict. So, for instance, when we are in a bad mood with people around us, very often it is because we are discontented with ourselves! Etty Hillesum wrote: “I have gradually come to realize that on those days when you are at odds with your neighbors you are really at odds with yourself. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’      Conversely, if we close our hearts against other people, make no effort to love them as they are, never learn to be reconciled with them, we will never have the grace to practice the deep reconciliation with ourselves that we all need. Instead we will be

Daily Thought For April 27, 2017

Something That Never Fails             We are invited to do as he did: to see our life, exactly as it presents itself, to bring to the surface the fears that nest in us, the sadness, the threats, the complexes, the physical or moral defects, the painful memory that humiliates us, and to expose everything to the light of the thought that God loves me. He invites me to ask myself; what in my life attempts to depress me?   From his personal life, the Apostle broadens his gaze to the world around him. "For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37-39). Hence, he observes "his" world, with the powers that rendered it menacing: death with its mystery, the present life with its allurements, the astral powers or the infernal ones which struc

Daily Thought For April 23, 2017

Why Charity Is So Important   Lack of charity dulls the intelligence so that it cannot know God and fails to understand the dignity of man. Love sharpens and focuses all our powers. Only charity - love of God and of our neighbor for God's sake - prepares and disposes us to understand God and all that refers to him, so far as is possible for a finite creature. He who does not love does not know God, Saint John teaches, for God is love. The virtue of hope also becomes sterile without charity, for it is impossible to attain what one does not love? All our works are in vain without charity, even the most skillfully or energetically executed ones and those that demand sacrifice. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. There is no substitute for charity.    Today, in our prayer, we could ask ourselves how we live this virtue each day. Do we perform little acts of service for the people

Daily Thought For April 21, 2017

Avoiding Anger        This poor life is only a journey to the happy life to come. We must not be angry with one another on the way, but rather we must march on as a band of brothers and sisters united in meekness, peace and love. I state absolutely and make no exception: do not be angry at all if that is possible. Do no accept any pretext whatever for opening your heart's door to anger. Saint James tells us positively and without reservation," ... a man's anger does not fulfill God's justice. St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For April 20, 2017

                       OPPORTUNITIES       When I was newly baptized in the Holy Spirit I eagerly welcomed every opportunity to give witness to what God had done in my life. The simplest question from an unsuspecting stranger would prompt a detailed version of my personal testimony. Even though my zeal wasn't always enlightened, God blessed my efforts to evangelize.       During that zealous period I carried my huge, hardbound Jerusalem Bible under my arm while traveling, much to my father's chagrin. When he asked why I didn't put it in a paper bag, I simply explained that it was a wonderful way to start a conversation about Jesus. People couldn't help but notice it!       As time went by I lost some of my eagerness to share the good news. Many an opportunity on a plane, in a rest room, on a beach, in a grocery store or doctor's office, passed me by because I was too tired, busy, or preoccupied. "Make the most of the present opportunity," Scriptur

Daily Thought For April 19, 2017

Encountering Jesus Is Our Hope! Encountering Christ in faith is always a surprise; it is a grace given to those whose hearts are open. It overturns our comfortable existence and opens us to an unexpected future, sowing life and light in place of death and sorrow. This is the reason for our Easter joy: in the risen Jesus, who dwells in our midst, we encounter the power of God’s love, which triumphs over death and brings ever new life and undying hope. Pope Francis - Excerpt from General Audience April 19, 2017

Daily Thought For April 18, 2017

Go Out And Tell The Good News! Lectio John 20:11–18 Meditatio “Why are you weeping?” What a strange question to ask a grieving woman, and from an angel at that! “Why are you weeping?” We find Mary Magdalene at the tomb of her Lord, her Jesus, and we hear God’s messenger ask her the reason for her tears and, more possibly, her sobs. “Where is my Lord?” she pleads. “If you have taken his body, let me know where it is and I will take him away.” She is so distressed that she doesn’t seem to notice to whom she is speaking. Then the gardener asks her the same question, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Mary is becoming upset, worn out by the frenzy and grief. Again she blurts out that she can’t find the Lord. “Where have you put him?” The gardener is looking at her. Is it quizzically or compassionately? “Mary,” he says, not only to identify himself, but also to help her to identify herself. He could have said, “Why are you crying, Mary? Is it only from grief, or al

Daily Thought For April 15, 2017

God Is Close Even When He Seems Silent In reading the Gospels we realize that in other important passages on his earthly existence Jesus had also seen the explanatory voice of God associated with the signs of the Father’s presence and approval of his journey of love. Thus in the event that follows the Baptism in the Jordan, at the opening of the heavens, the words of the Father had been heard: “Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased” (Mk 1:11). Then in the Transfiguration, the sign of the cloud was accompanied with these words: “this is my beloved Son; listen to him” (Mk 9:7). Instead, at the approach of the death of the Crucified One, silence falls, no voice is heard but the Father’s loving gaze is fixed on his Son’s gift of love. However, what is the meaning of Jesus’ prayer, of the cry he addresses to the Father: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”: doubt about his mission, about the Father’s presence? Might there not be in this prayer the knowledge that

Daily Thought For April 14, 2017

Sacred Story Affirmations  My Sacred Story takes a lifetime to write. 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.  Fr. Bill Watson, S.J.

Daily Thought For April 13, 2017 (Holy Thursday)

Stay Close To The Lord             My Jesus, true center of my life, let my attention be so fixed on You that I may be aware of You in everything I do. I will never separate myself from You by undue anxiety or overeagerness for success. In the good works which I perform, I want You to take charge. I desire to surrender myself entirely to You in all my occupations. No longer shall my will lead me on, but Yours. I shall always strive to make my best efforts. The results are yours to decide. My greatest joy from now on will be to work for love of You. Amen.     from  My Daily Bread  p.381

Daily Thought For April 11, 2017

Cultivating Patience            Patience as a virtue should not be understood to mean passivity in the face of suffering. It is not a matter of stoically accepting the blows of outrageous fortune and accepting our fate. Patience belongs to the virtue of fortitude. When we practice patience, we strive to accept pain and trial as something coming from the hand of God. We therefore seek to identify our will with the Will of God. The virtue of patience enables us to endure persecution of every kind. Patience should be the foundation of our hope and joy.       There are a great many ways in which a Christian can live this virtue. The first battleground should be in the area of one’s own behavior. It is so easy to become disheartened by our defects. We need to exercise patience in our interior struggle based on our unshakeable confidence in God’s love for us. If we are to overcome a character defect, it will not happen overnight. Our victory will ultimately be won by the cultivation o

Daily Thought For April 9, 2017

The Cross & God's Love Lectio Matthew 21:1–11; 26:14–27:66 Meditatio “Hosanna to the Son of David!” What a heady beginning to the Passover festivities this day seemed to be for the apostles. It started out with this unexpected triumphant moment, when all their secret ambitions of glory and fame seemed to be coming true. Jesus rode into Jerusalem amidst the acclamation and praise of the people, the crowds going wild. Though the apostles had listened to the teaching of the Master about humility and the last place, the roots of ambitious excitement die hard. In fact, just listening to Jesus’ teaching wasn’t enough. Their ambitions would only die with his own death, when they would be hiding together in a dark closet somewhere, hoping to escape with their lives. These two readings show us the span of a disciple’s life. The exciting moments of conversion or successful ministry or busy activity must lead us into at some point to a transformation that involves death. Jesu

Daily Thought For April 8, 2017

Retracing Our Steps        O Lord our God, fill us with hope in the shadow of your wings; protect and sustain us. You will uphold us, right from our childhood until our old age, because our present strength, if it comes from you, is strength indeed, but if it is merely our own strength then it is weakness. When we are close to you we find living goodness, but at the very moment we turn aside from you we become corrupt. So, Lord, make us retrace our steps, so that we are not defeated.    St. Augustine

Daily Thought For April 7, 2017

Draw Upon God’s Grace Today        Beware of letting your care degenerate into anxiety and unrest; tossed as you are amid the winds and waves of sundry troubles, keep your eyes fixed on the Lord, and say, “Oh, my God, I look to Thee alone; be Thou my guide, my pilot”; and then be comforted. When the shore is gained, who will heed the toil and the storm? And we shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention is fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God. If at time we are somewhat stunned by the tempest, never fear; let us take breath, and go on afresh. Do not be disconcerted by the fits of vexation and uneasiness which are sometimes produced by the multiplicity of your domestic worries. No indeed, dearest child, all these are but opportunities of strengthening yourself in the loving, forbearing graces which our dear Lord set before us.    St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For April 6, 2017

The Oil Of Gladness          In the early Church, the consecrated oil was considered a special sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who communicates himself to us as a gift from Christ. He is the oil of gladness. This gladness is different from entertainment and from the outward happiness that modern society seeks for itself. Entertainment, in its proper place, is certainly good and enjoyable. It is good to be able to laugh. But entertainment is not everything. It is only a small part of our lives, and when it tries to be the whole, it becomes a mask behind which despair lurks, or at least doubt over whether life is really good, or whether non-existence might perhaps be better than existence. The gladness that comes to us from Christ is different. It does indeed make us happy, but it can also perfectly well coexist with suffering. It gives us the capacity to suffer and, in suffering, to remain nevertheless profoundly glad. It gives us the capacity to share the suffering of o

Daily Thought For April 5, 2017

Be Encouraged!  Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. (John 8:34) What should we do with such a black-and-white statement? Does it mean that we are all slaves of sin? Let’s look at this. First, we should understand that we are all called to holiness. But God doesn’t call us to something he won’t equip us to fulfill. So we shouldn’t feel helpless or powerless in the face of our sin. Second, we should understand that God wants us to learn to rely on Jesus, the source of all holiness. St. Alphonsus Liguori once said, “Habitual sin and prayer cannot coexist. Either we will stop sinning or stop praying.” We need to get in the habit of drawing strength from Jesus in all the ways that he comes to us: prayer, Scripture, the sacraments, spiritual direction, the beauty of nature, and Christian fellowship. To strive for holiness apart from Jesus will only leave us frustrated. Third, we need to learn how to overcome our attractions to sin. St. Francis de Sales compares the per

Daily Thought For April 3, 2017

Peace, the Road to Perfection   Experience shows us that peace, which sows charity, the love of God and love of neighbor in your soul, is the road that leads straight to eternal life.  Take care to never let your heart be troubled, saddened, agitated or involved in that which can cause it to lose its peace. Rather work always to remain tranquil because the Lord says: "Happy are those who are at peace." Do this and the Lord will build in your soul the City of Peace and He will make of you a House of Delight. That which He wants of you is that, whenever you are troubled, you would recover your calm, your peace, on your own - in your work, in your thoughts and in all your activities without exception.  Just as a city is not built in a day, do not think that you can achieve, in a day, this peace, this interior calm, because it is within you that a home must be built for God, while you yourself, become His temple. And it is the Lord Himself Who must  handle the constr

Daily Thought For April 1, 2017

Surrender & Happiness      The day you learn to surrender yourself totally to God, you will discover a new world, just as I am experiencing. You will enjoy a peace and a calm unknown, surpassing even the happiest days of your life. Saint Jaime Hilario