Showing posts from December, 2021

Daily Thought For December 31, 2021

  The Witness of St. Stephen, the Martyr St. Stephen. His secret is easy to discern. He saw clearly that mankind had been lifted to a new plane through the miracle of the holy night and the encounter with Christ; that man now had new strength and the new responsibility of bearing witness. What had been enough before was enough no longer. Hence the expressions full of grace and strength—signs and wonders. But these things have not been given to man merely for him to master himself. Since Christmas God is with us and injustice and even murder are sanctified and transformed into signs of grace and strength and salvation. St. Stephen’s law is that of extraordinary self-surrender and extraordinary witness. This is his message and his judgment. He challenges us to get out of our rut. As we draw near to God the old and familiar become useless. God will transform us into faithful witnesses if we earnestly and with complete surrender turn to him for help. Delp, Fr. Alfred. The Prison Meditation

Daily Thought For December 30, 2021

  True Love A truly loving heart loves God's good pleasure, not only in consolations but also in afflictions, trials and crosses. In fact, in such cases it even loves more. Love does just this; it makes the lover ready to suffer for the beloved.  St. Francis de Sales

Daily Thought For December 28, 2021

  Hope In The Midst of Tragedy Lectio Matthew 2:13–18 Meditatio “Joseph rose and took the child  and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.” Matthew’s Gospel is the only Gospel that includes the account of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents and the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt. In choosing to include it, he foreshadows the cross from the start, reminding us that Jesus did not avoid our human suffering and pain—he was born right in the midst of it! Forced to flee into Egypt as refugees to escape the heinous and unjust actions of a historically cruel king, the Holy Family knew what it was to live in our imperfect and often dark world. They, too, suffered injustice and experienced the loneliness of being far from home. In a world where headlines often tell of war, terror, persecution, and even genocide, we are painfully aware that our world is no more peaceful and utopian now than it was then. Political strife and injustice can be found on every side, and mothers continue to

Daily Thought for December 26, 2021

The Holy Family & Prayers For Our Families Dear Brothers and Sisters, buongiorno! Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. God chose a humble and simple family through which to come into our midst. Let us contemplate in amazement the beauty of this mystery, emphasizing two concrete aspects for our families. The first: the family is the story from which we originate. Each one of us has our own story. None of us was born magically, with a magic wand. We all have our own story and the family is the story from which we originate. The Gospel of today’s liturgy reminds us that even Jesus is the son of a family story. We see him traveling to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph for the Passover; then he makes his mommy and daddy worried when they do not find him; found again, he returns home with them (cf. Lk 2:41-51). It is beautiful to see Jesus inserted into the warp of familial affections which were born and grew in the caresses and concerns of his parents. This is impor

Daily Thought For December 25, 2021

  The Humble Birth Again and again the beauty of this Gospel touches our hearts: a beauty that is the splendour of truth. Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me. Benedict XVI. (2013). Homilies of His Holiness Benedict XVI (English). Libreria Editrice Vaticana. (excerpt from Homily of December 24, 2012)

Daily Thought For December 24, 2021

Preparing For Christmas   "Not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but by virtue of His own mercy" (Tit 3 :5). The second tiling we need to know is that it is not because man is proud and worthy, but because God upholds us. Man needs to know that we live from grace; we live from God's merciful commitment to mankind, from His mercy. Not as miserable wretches, however, but renewed in spirit; so that we know our intrinsic dignity, know that we are raised up above and beyond all else, because we mean so much to God. This is how we attain maturity in the presence of God. Alfred Delp, S.J. 

Daily Thought for December 23, 2021

  What Will This Child Be?  Lectio Luke 1:57–66 Meditatio   “What, then, will this child be?” As each of my nieces and nephews was born (and especially when I had a chance to see them soon after birth), a feeling of awe and wonder struck me. What a little bundle of potential a newborn baby is! Each child is a mystery. What will he become? What will she be like? We can spot some clues—long feet and toes indicating future height, for example. We can surmise some likely possibilities—the prospect of inheriting gifts and inclinations from artistic, athletic, or musically gifted parents, for instance. But no one except God can know for sure anything about the future deeds, accomplishments, influence, or lifespan of the child. And only a foolish person would claim to know the future. A child like John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, is the focus of wonder because each child is a gift from God to the world—a sign that God has not finished with us yet. The extraordinary circumstances arou

Daily Thought For December 22, 2021

  Pondering Prayer     O KING OF ALL NATIONS,     the one for whom they have been yearning,     the cornerstone who unites all of them in perfect union,     come now, and rescue poor humanity,     which from dust you have fashioned. The Church offers us the opportunity to gather together daily in prayer at the Eucharistic liturgy and the Liturgy of the Hours. For centuries Christians have broken up the day and night into periods of prayer, rest, work, and, yes, recreation. Through these meditations we have tried to ponder and to pray, but what is prayer? Can I define what prayer is for you? No one else’s words fit right in our mouths or in our patterns of thought. Each of us needs to speak to God in our own language, in our own way. Even so, Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: in order to pray, one must have the will to pray. Nor is it enough to know what the Scriptures reveal about prayer: one must also learn how to pray. Through a living transm

Daily Thought For December 18, 2021

  Preparing For Christmas Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today’s General Audience is taking place in an atmosphere of glad and excited expectation for the Christmas festivities, now at hand. Come, Lord Jesus! This is what we repeat in prayer during these days, preparing our hearts to taste the joy of the Redeemer’s birth. In this last week of Advent in particular, the liturgy accompanies and sustains us on our inner journey with repeated invitations to welcome the Saviour and to recognize him in the humble Child lying in a manger. This is the mystery of Christmas, which a wealth of symbols helps us to understand better. These include the symbol of light, which is one of the symbols richest in spiritual significance and on which I would like briefly to reflect. In our hemisphere, the Feast of Christmas coincides with the days of the winter solstice, after which the daylight time gradually lengthens, in accordance with the sequence of the seasons. This helps us understand better the theme of

Daily Thought For December 16, 2021

  Casting Our Cares When you intercede for another, do so with a boundless confidence in My love for that soul. At the same time, relinquish every desire to see the outcome of your intercession as you would imagine or desire it to be. Allow Me to receive your prayer and to respond to it in ways corresponding to My infinite wisdom, to My love, and to My perfect will for the person you bring before My Eucharistic Face. Do not come to Me with solutions; come to Me only with your problems, and allow Me to provide the solutions. I have no need of your solutions, but when you bring Me problems, sufferings, questions, and needs, I am glorified by your confidence in My merciful love.  Bring Me your questions, your problems, and your fears, and I will attend to them; for Me darkness itself is not dark and night shines as the day. There is no situation and no suffering so heavy that I cannot make it light to bear, and even, if such be My will, remove it altogether from those who are crushed bene

Daily Thought for December 15, 2021

  Do Not Be Sad 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

Daily Thought For December 13, 2021

  Never Give Way To Anger When Joseph sent his brethren back from Egypt to his father’s house, he only gave them one counsel, “Let there be no recriminations on the way” (Gn 45:24). This earthly life is but the road to a blessed life. On the way let us not fall out with each other. Let us go on in the company of our brethren gently, peacefully, and kindly. I mean it when I say: if possible, never give way to anger, and under no pretext let anger and passion enter your heart. Saint James says, plainly and frankly, that “the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:20). Without a doubt, it is a duty to oppose what is wrong and to steadily and firmly correct those for whom we are responsible, but we must also do so gently and quietly.… A correction given excitedly, however tempered by reason, never has so much effect as that which is given with calmness; for the reasonable soul is naturally subject to reason. Passion is mere tyranny, and in its throes, reason is

Daily Thought For December 10, 2021

  The Key To Happiness - Say "Yes To God" 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.

Daily Thought For December 8, 2021

  The Immaculate Conception Dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno! The Gospel for today’s Liturgy, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, brings us into the house of Nazareth, where she receives the angel’s annunciation (cf. Lk 1:26-38). Within the domestic walls, a person reveals him or herself better than elsewhere. And it is precisely within that domestic intimacy that the Gospel gives us a detail that reveals the beauty of Mary’s heart. The angel calls her “full of grace”. If she is full of grace, it means the Madonna is void of evil: she is without sin, Immaculate. Now, at the angel’s greeting, Mary – the text says – is “greatly troubled” (Lk 1:29). She is not only surprised, but troubled. To receive grand greetings, honours and compliments sometimes brings the risk of provoking pride and presumption. Let us recall that Jesus is not gentle with those who go in search of greetings in the squares, adulation, visibility (cf. Lk 20:46). Mary, instead, d

Daily Thought For December 6, 2021

  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

Daily Thought For December 5, 2021

  Joyful Preparation! Lectio Luke 3:1–6 Meditatio   “[T]he word of God came to John … in the desert.” It’s not surprising that God’s word came to John in the desert. Scripture tells us that Israel’s early history abounded with desert experiences. Abraham receives God’s promise of descendants out in the open, beneath a sky strewn with stars. Sleeping in a barren landscape, with a stone for his pillow, Jacob experiences the Lord’s glory and reassuring presence as he set out on his journey to Haran. Moses first encounters God when a voice calls to him from a bush blazing on Mount Sinai. In that same desert God later molds the Israelites into a people. Desert experiences are also part of the Church’s heritage. The seasons of Advent and Lent remind us of this. I hope that during this Advent each of us will have an opportunity to create within ourselves our own “desert,” where we can meet the Lord and walk with him. In that desert we can share our concerns and his, ask for light and guidanc

Daily Thought For December 4, 2021

  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 of Damascus

Daily Thought For November 3, 2021

  Great Thought From Our Saint For Today Thought for the day: “The better friends you are, the straighter you can talk, but while you are only on nodding terms, be slow to scold. St. Francis Xavier

Daily Thought For December 2, 2021

The Wisdom to Look at Christ Once again we are in Advent, which reminds us vividly, beautifully, of Christ’s first advent in time. Even while he is coming, he is also with us now in many ways. He is with us in the tabernacle. Incredible Love that he is, he could not separate himself from us. He also walks among us in all his priests. Through their hands, he multiplies himself in the Hosts so that they can feed us with the Bread of Life—himself. How immense must be his love for us! Think for a moment. Allow a few moments of silence to interrupt your reading of this page. Try to comprehend the lavishness of God’s love for us. Daily, millions of Hosts are given in Holy Communion to the faithful throughout the world. And each Host is Christ, coming in tremendous love to be united to each and all. Think about it now! Let every day be the day of beginning again, of loving Christ a little more, of hungering for him a little more, of turning our face to him. To accomplish this, all we need to