Showing posts from December, 2020

Daily Thought For December 31, 2020

  Refreshing Prayer Prayer can truly change your life. For it turns your attention away from yourself and directs your mind and your heart toward the Lord. If we look only at ourselves, with our own limitations and sins, we quickly give way to sadness and discouragement. But if we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, then our hearts are filled with hope, our minds are washed in the light of truth, and we come to know the fullness of the Gospel with all its promise and life. St. John Paul II

Daily Thought For December 30, 2020

  Christmas - Sharing In The Richness of God's Goodness! But in order that the sweetness of his mercy might be adorned with the beauty of his justice, he determined to save man by way of a rigorous redemption. And as this could not properly be done but by his Son, he settled that he should redeem man not only by one of his amorous actions, which would have been perfectly sufficient to ransom a million million of worlds: but also by all the innumerable amorous actions and dolorous passions which he would perform or suffer till death, and the death of the cross, to which he destined him. He willed that thus he should make himself the companion of our miseries to make us afterwards companions of his glory, showing thereby the riches of his goodness, by this copious, abundant, superabundant, magnificent and excessive redemption, which has gained for us, and as it were reconquered for us, all the means necessary to attain glory, so that no man can ever complain as though the divine merc

Daily Thought For December 28, 2020

  Beautiful Christmas Message From Archbishop Gómez My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas. This has been a long and challenging you for all of us. But in this season of joy and hope we know that our Redeemer lives. Every Christmas is a new beginning for our lives, and for the whole world. When we see the Child in the manger, we know how much God loves us. This Child is born for you and for me and for every person. This is so amazing, isn't it? To think that our God loves us so much that He comes into the world just as we do, as a tiny baby in His mother's arms. God created you out of love. This is why you were born: because God loves you. He wants you to know His love. He wants you to share His love with everyone around you. He wants to spread His love in everything you do in your life. This is a beautiful new beginning that we have at Christmas. Let Christ enter in This holy season, when our God comes to be with u

Daily Thought For December 26, 2020

  Cast Off Gloom The Lord is with us: be not sad. Put on, you chosen ones of God, the garments of gladness and joy; cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light: as in the open day, so let us watch this sacred night. Let us rejoice and exult. Let us sing canticles and hymns. Let us praise the God our Savior. Let us offer Him our vows. Let us present Him the service of our mouth. Thomas À Kempis Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2013). 300 Quotations and Prayers for Christmas. Lexham Press.

Daily Thought For December 24, 2020

  The Dawn From On High Shall Break Upon Us Lectio Luke 1:67–79 Meditatio   “… the daybreak from on high will visit us.…” This promised daybreak is the One whose birth we celebrate tomorrow. More than two thousand years ago he came to shine on those who lived in darkness. He brought hope and healing and forgiveness of sins. He died out of love for us, and he destroyed the finality of death by his resurrection. He sent his followers to continue his mission, and he said he would be with them until the end of the world. So … why do we still dwell “in the shadow of death”? Why are we not on the “way of peace,” but instead are on the way of war, confusion, and hatred? Why have we not yet been set free of all this? Yes, the dawn has broken, but we do not yet enjoy the full light of day. The Incarnation ended the night, but the complete fulfillment of the promise will occur only when Jesus comes again at the end of the world. (The name of the liturgical season that ends today—Advent—means “co

Daily Thought For December 23, 2020

  Advent & Christmas Customs Perhaps the easiest way to understand this is to look at the inner meaning of our Advent customs. Almost all of these are rooted in passages of Scripture that the Church employs in this time as words of her prayer. Here, the faithful people have, as it were, translated Scripture into visible signs. For example, we read in Psalm 96: “Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes.” The liturgy has expanded this, drawing on other texts in the Psalms, to form the following affirmation: “The mountains and hills will sing praise before God, and all the trees of the wood will clap their hands, for the Lord, the ruler, is coming to rule for ever.” The Christmas trees we decorate are simply an attempt to make these words visible. The Lord is here—our ancestors believed this and knew this, and so the trees had to go out to meet him, they had to bow down before him, the trees themselves had to become a song of praise to their Lord

Daily Thought For December 22, 2020

  In Preparation for Christmas The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God , who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world,” and “he was revealed to take away sins”: ( 607; 385 ) Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state? The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love : “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only So

Daily Thought For December 20, 2020

  God's Promises Lectio Luke 1:26–38 Meditatio “… the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,  and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,  and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Sometimes it seems God’s promises lay dormant for a long time! Who has not waited for good things to happen to our loved ones after months or years of prayer? The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary is a much-cherished story of how God fulfills his promises in ways and at times that exceed what we could ever imagine! The Father always manifests himself and acts through his Son and the Holy Spirit. It took almost a thousand years for God’s promises to David to find their fulfillment in Jesus. No one could have predicted the marvelous way God’s providential plan would reveal itself! Instead of an earthly king, the Father sends his Son through the “yes” of a modest virgin living in an insignificant town of a conquered people. God sends a King far beyond anyone’s expectations or dreams, his

Daily Thought For December 19 ,2020

  Mary's Humility Humility is ever the close companion of Divine grace, for “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” She answers humbly, therefore, that the throne of grace may be prepared. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” She is the chosen Mother of God, and she calls herself His handmaid. Truly, it is no small sign of humility to preserve even the remembrance of the virtue in presence of so great glory. It is no great perfection to be humble when we are despised; but it is a great and rare virtue to preserve humility in the midst of honours. If, deceived by my apparent virtue, the Church has raised me, an insignificant man, to some small dignity, God permitting it, either because of my own sins, or those of my subjects, do I not immediately, forgetting my past deficiencies, imagine myself to be that which men, who see not the heart, have reputed me to be? I hearken to fame, and attend not to conscience. I forget that honour is rendered to virtue, and take the

Daily Thought For December 17, 2020

  The Jubilee Generation Lectio Matthew 1:1–17 Meditatio   “Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.” At first, these verses may simply seem to be a collection of names and therefore incapable of producing meaning. However, these verses, like Mary, are pregnant with hidden treasure. The list of names produces a pattern that creates an expectation. It becomes predictable. One man fathers another; one generation follows another; after every fourteen generations an event important to the history of the Chosen People takes place. This pattern is randomly broken with the inclusion of several women whose marital status or ethnicity is outside of the norm. They are the key that unlocks the passage’s meaning. The Chosen People’s expectation is shattered. The Messiah, the Son of David, is not fathered. Rather, his sole human origin lies in a woman. Whose son is he? Whose name does he bear? Whose inheritance can he claim? And what about the fourteen generations? Each set of fourteen gene

Daily Thought For December 16, 2020

  Advent & Illness Just like a great joy, so too illness and suffering can be a very personal Advent of one’s own—a visit by the God who enters my life and wants to encounter me personally. Even when it is difficult for us, we should at least try to understand the days of our illness in this way: The Lord has interrupted my activity for a time in order to let me be still. In my daily living, I have little time for him and little time for myself. I am completely involved from morning to evening in all the things I have to do, and I even succeed in eluding my own grasp, because I do not know how to be alone with myself. My job possesses me; the society in which I live possesses me; entertainment of various kinds possesses me; but I do not possess myself. And this means that I gradually go to seed like an overgrown garden, first in my external activities and, then, in my inner life, too. I am propelled along by my activities, for I am merely a cog in their great machinery. But now God

Daily Thought For December 15, 2020

  No Can Change To Yes Ponder SOMEONE ONCE LOOKED ME STRAIGHT in the eye and calmly said, “Do you realize your first response to my every question is no? Even reverse psychology doesn’t work with you!” In the Gospel chosen for today, Jesus poses a question about two sons. One is asked to do something, says he won’t, but he thinks about it and does it. The other son says he will do it, but he doesn’t. Which one did the Father’s will? His listeners give Jesus the right answer. Jesus then shocks us by telling us that those who apparently commit the worst sins are getting into heaven before we do. They ultimately listen to the Gospel challenges and turn themselves around. They know their need. They work with grace. We might be saying, yes, yes, Lord, but in reality do we let God-given opportunities slip away? Mary, the wedding at Cana could so easily have been a place to let things slide. It wasn’t your job; you were a guest. When you told them to do Jesus’ bidding, what if the waiters had

Daily Thought For December 14, 2020

  Faith Is Strengthened Through Adversity We need people who are moved by the horrific calamities and emerge from them with the knowledge that those who look to the Lord will be preserved by him, even if they are hounded from the earth. Alfred Delp, S.J.

Daily Thought For December 12, 2020

  Gaudate Sunday Ponder THREE CANDLES ARE SUPPOSED to be glowing on the wreath, but where I worshipped this year the altar server couldn’t light the third one. She quit trying, and in her rush to get to the procession on time, she tripped. We tried hard to contain our laughter. That’s what this Sunday is all about. Since the Vatican II reforms, the entire season of Advent now focuses on joy in anticipation of Jesus’ coming. Long tradition, however, emphasized this Sunday as a special day of Christian joy. That is why, in some countries, a different-colored candle burns today. Our liturgy’s entrance antiphon (usually omitted because we sing an opening hymn), is the text that gives rise to this Sunday’s name, Gaudete, rejoice. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4). In an Angelus reflection, Pope John Paul II gives the reason for our joy:   To know that God is not distant but close, not indifferent but compassionate, not aloof but a merciful Father who follows

Daily Thought For December 11, 2020

  Wisdom Is Vindicated By Her Works Lectio Matthew 11:16–19 Meditatio   “The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said …” When my siblings and I were little we would sometimes get in a contrary mood that my mom called “try-an’-please-me.” No matter what my mother suggested or offered us—things to play with, snacks, or drinks—we were never satisfied. Usually Jesus speaks of children as models of what Christians should be like (because of their simplicity and trust), but this passage evokes the idea of the contrariness of children. The crowd who were listening to Jesus had not been fully converted by the preaching of John—they said he must have been crazy or possessed to have adopted such an extreme lifestyle in the desert, “neither eating nor drinking.” But Jesus didn’t live that kind of hermit- or prophet-like existence. He lived among the people, and he ate and drank with them when they invited him to their homes. So they now accuse him of lack of moderation. “Look, he is a gl

Daily Thought For December 10, 2020

The Shaking Reality of Advent There is perhaps nothing we modern people need more than to be genuinely shaken up. Where life is firm we need to sense its firmness; and where it is unstable and uncertain and has no basis, we need to know this, too, and endure it. We may ask why God sends whirlwinds over the earth, why the chaos where all appears hopeless and dark, and why there seems to be no end to human suffering. Perhaps it is because we have been living on earth in an utterly false and counterfeit security. and now God strikes the earth till it resounds, now he shakes and shatters: not to pound us with fear, but to teach us one thing – the spirit’s innermost longing. Many of the things that are happening today would never have happened if we had been living in that longing, that disquiet of heart which comes when we are faced with God, and when we look clearly at things as they really are. If we had done this, God would have withheld his hand from many of the things that now shake a

Daily Thought For December 9, 2020

  Pray For Parents To Communicate The Joy of the Faith to their Little Ones The Year of Faith is an opportunity for us to discover, our imaginations fired by the Holy Spirit, new paths to take on a personal and community level so that the power of the Gospel may become wisdom of life and an orientation for existence everywhere. In our time too, the family, the first school for communicating the faith to the new generations, is a privileged place in which to talk about God. The Second Vatican Council speaks of parents as the first messengers of God (cf. Dogmatic Constitution, Decree Lumen Gentium, n. 11; Apostolicam Actuositatem, n. 11). Parents are called to rediscover their mission, assuming responsibility in educating, in opening the consciences of their little ones to love of God as a fundamental service to their life and in being the first catechists and teachers of the faith for their children. And in this task watchfulness is of the utmost importance. It means being able to take

Daily Thought For December 8, 2020

  Fr. Cantalamessa's Reflection on the Immaculate Conception So that we see how the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is not simply a celebration of the privileges of Mary but touches us and involves us in a profound way, we have to understand it in the light of the words of Paul in the second reading: "God the Father chose us in Jesus Christ before the creation of the world, to be holy and immaculate in his sight in charity.” We are all, therefore, called to be holy and immaculate; it is our truest destiny; God's project for us. A little later, in the same Letter to the Ephesians, Paul contemplates this plan of God, no longer regarding it as applicable to men taken individually, everyone for himself, but as applicable to the universal Church, Bride of Christ: "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to sanctify her, purifying her with baptism and the word, because he wanted her to appear in splendor, without blemish or wrinkle but holy and immaculate

Daily Thought For December 7, 2020

  Rivers of Joy  There is also a stream which flows down on God’s saints like a torrent. There is also a rushing river giving joy to the heart that is at peace and makes for peace. Whoever has received from the fullness of this river, like John the Evangelist, like Peter and Paul, lifts up his voice. Just as the apostles lifted up their voices and preached the Gospel throughout the world, so those who drink these waters begin to preach the good news of the Lord Jesus.   Drink, then, from Christ, so that your voice may also be heard. Store up in your mind the water that is Christ, the water that praises the Lord. Store up water from many sources, the water that rains down from the clouds of prophecy.   Whoever gathers water from the mountains and leads it to himself or draws it from springs, is himself a source of dew like the clouds. Fill your soul, then, with this water, so that your land may not be dry, but watered by your own springs.   He who reads much and understands much, receiv

Daily Thought For December 5, 2020

  Seeing The World As God See It There are ten thousand ways of looking at this world, but only one right way. The man of pleasure has his way, the man of gain his, and the man of intellect his. Poor men and rich men, governors and governed, prosperous and discontented, learned and unlearned, each has his own way of looking at the things which come before him, and each has a wrong way. There is but one right way; it is the way in which God looks at the world. Aim at looking at it in God’s way. Aim at seeing things as God sees them. Aim at forming judgments about persons, events, ranks, fortunes, changes, objects, such as God forms. Aim at looking at this life as God looks at it. Aim at looking at the life to come, and the world unseen, as God does. Aim at “seeing the King in his beauty.” All things that we see are but shadows to us and delusions, unless we enter into what they really mean. It is not an easy thing to learn that new language which Christ has brought us. He has interprete

Daily Thought For December 4, 2020

  Open The "Garden" of Scripture All who ask receive, those who seek find, and to those who knock it shall be opened. Therefore, let us knock at the beautiful garden of Scripture. It is fragrant, sweet, and blooming with various sounds of spiritual and divinely inspired birds. They sing all around our ears, capture our hearts, comfort the mourners, pacify the angry, and fill us with everlasting joy. St. John Damascene

Daily Thought For December 3, 2020

 Little By Little We Grow in Charity It is not possible to gain control over your soul all at once and have it immediately in your power. Be satisfied, therefore, with gaining control of it little by little, and so learn how to conquer your dominant passion. If you have to put up with others, begin by putting up with yourself. Be patient at finding that you are not perfect. Do you want to enjoy interior peace without having to suffer the day-to-day contradictions and setbacks? Every morning prepare your soul to face the day without getting upset, and throughout the day be careful to return to this resolution. St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For December 2, 2020

  His Heart Was Moved With Pity Lectio Matthew 15:29–37 Meditatio “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd.” Today’s Gospel visibly demonstrates Jesus’ compassion in word and action. After days of following the Master, the crowd longs for his presence, his words, and his saving deeds. Jesus also knows the people are hungry! “My heart is moved with pity.…” As the Teacher climbs the mountain and sits before the crowd, the suffering of the sick and the needs of the people stirred his heart with pity. His saving touch heals the physically challenged and those who suffered many kinds of sickness. With seven loaves and a few fish, Jesus multiplies the food so the people will not “collapse on the way.” The healing of the sick and the feeding of the four thousand show clearly how profoundly God embraces our human condition in Jesus Christ. The heart of God understands the physical suffering, pain, and weakness we experience! He is not only a God who is “for” us in our need, but who experienc

Daily Thought For December 1, 2020

  Dare to Step Forward toward God’s Mysterious Presence From early times the Church’s liturgy has set words from one of the psalms at the beginning of Advent, words in which Israel’s Advent, the boundless waiting of that people, has found concentrated expression: “To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul; O my God, in thee I trust …” (Ps 24:1). Such words may seem hackneyed to us, for we no longer attempt the adventures that lead man to his own inner self. While our maps of the earth have become more and more complete, man’s inner self has become increasingly a terra incognita, an alien region, in spite of the fact that there are greater discoveries to be made there than in the visible universe. To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul: recently I came to a new awareness of the dramatic meaning behind this verse when reading an account that the French writer Julien Green recently published concerning his path to conversion to the Catholic Church. He tells how, in his youth, he was in bondage to “t