Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"no confidence whatever in my own strength"

O Lord, I do not wish to be preoccupied with my fears nor be discouraged at my weakness.  On the contrary, I wish to trust in Your mercy, and to have no confidence whatever in my own strength, convinced that my weakness comes from depending on myself.  ~St. Teresa of Avila

On the day when I shall fear,
I will trust in you,
in God, whose word I praise.
In God I trust; I shall not fear.
~Psalm 56(55):4-5

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Believe in His love..."

"Believe that He loves you.
He wants to help you Himself
in the struggles you must undergo.
Believe in His love, His everlasting love."
~Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity

The Father Himself loves you,
because you have loved me and
have believed that I came from the Father.
~John 16:27

Monday, June 27, 2016

Awake, my soul! Ps 57:9

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  ~Helen Keller

My heart is ready, O God; my heart is ready.
~Psalm 108(107):1

Sunday, June 26, 2016

"help me to live this day"

In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.  ~Isaiah 30:15

Dear Lord,
help me to live this day quietly, easily;
To lean upon Thy great strength trustfully, restfully;
To wait for the unfolding of Thy will patiently, serenely
To meet others peacefully, joyously;
To face tomorrow confidently, courageously.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.  ~Luke 1:44

St. John The Baptist As A Child by Bartolome Esteban Murillo
We must therefore confess that we are a work of mercy:  our sacrifice is Eucharistic, a sacrifice of thanksgiving.  This was the sacrifice offered by St. John [the Baptist].  In leaping for joy, he gave thanks to the Liberator.  If the Liberator caused John to leap for joy by means of his presence alone, what will it be like in heaven when we shall see him face-to-face?  John was in his mother's womb and was able to sense Jesus, who was in his Mother's womb.  Jesus comes to our very selves, yet we seem to be unaware that he is with us.  ~Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
Dear St. John the Baptist, make me aware!  Make me aware that Jesus is truly with me!.  And help me to live as you did, gratefully proclaiming His mercy and glory to all.  Amen.  Alleluia!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Praise and exalt Him above all forever!

Declare his glory among the nations;
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
~Psalm 96(95):3

If we are able to tell everybody straight out and with a joyful heart that we praise God and thank him for all his goodness, if we represent and proclaim our kind and merciful God, then we will be a great comfort to many people. We will forget about our own cross and rejoice with those who praise God. Then we will be able to sing songs of praise from the bottom of our hearts. How good, how pleasant it is to praise the Lord!  ~Johann Christoph Blumhardt

Dear Lord, make me Your living song of praise!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Therefore I tell you,
her sins, which are many, are forgiven,
for she loved much.
~Luke 7:47

A sinful woman has proclaimed to us that God's love has gone forth in search of sinners. For when he called her, Christ was inviting our whole race to love; and in her person he was drawing all sinners to his forgiveness.

He spoke to her alone, but he was drawing all creation to his grace.

No one else persuaded him to help her come to forgiveness; only his love for the one he himself had formed persuaded him to do this, and his own grace besought him on behalf of the work of his hands.

Who would not be struck by the mercy of Christ, who accepted an invitation to a Pharisee's house in order to save a sinner!

For the sake of the woman who hungered for forgiveness, he himself felt hunger for the table of Simon the Pharisee; and all the while, under the guise of a meal of bread, he had prepared for the sinner a meal of repentance!

The shepherd came down from heaven for the lost sheep, to catch in Simon's house the woman the cunning wolf had carried off. In the house of Simon the Pharisee he found the one he sought.

Seeing Jesus' feet, the sinner took them to be a symbol of his incarnation, and in grasping them believed herself to be grasping her God on the level of his corporal nature.

By her words she besought him as her Creator—for clearly her words, though not written down, may be guessed at from her actions. She must surely have uttered words corresponding to her deeds when she bathed his feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, and poured precious ointment over them.

It was a prayer that she offered to the incarnate God: by bringing him her humility she showed her trust in him, and by the conversation they had with one another she proved him to be truly man.

Such then were the words addressed to Jesus by the sinner when she clasped his feet. He listened to them patiently, his silence proclaiming his steadfastness, his patience proclaiming his endurance.
By his kindness he showed his approval of her boldness. He made it obvious that it was right for her to wrest pardon from him in the presence of all the guests.

He did not speak at once and when he spoke he uttered only one word, but by that word he destroyed sins, abolished faults, chased away iniquity, granted pardon, uprooted evil, and made righteousness bud.

All at once his forgiveness appeared within her soul and chased out of it the darkness of sin; she was cured, she recovered her wits, and gained both health and strength.

For when Jesus gives graces he gives them lavishly, as he easily can, being the God of all things.

In order that you may have the same experience, reflect within yourself that your sin is great, but that it is blasphemy against God and damage to yourself to despair of his forgiveness because your sin seems to you to be too great.

He has promised to forgive your sins, however many they are; will you tell him you cannot believe this and dispute with him, saying that your sin is too great; he cannot heal your sickness?

Stop at this point, and cry out with the prophet, Lord, I have sinned against you.” At once he will reply, “As for me, I have overlooked your fault: you shall not die.” Glory to him from all of us, for all the ages.   Amen.

~Anonymous from the Early Church

But I have trusted in thy mercy.
My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation:
I will sing to the Lord, who giveth me good things:
yea I will sing to the name of the Lord the most high.
~Psalm 13(12):6-7

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Obedience and Faith

Are you worried because you find it so hard to believe? Don’t be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of your life where you are consciously resisting or disobeying the commandment of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest, some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? If so, you must not be surprised that you have not received the Holy Spirit, that prayer is difficult, or that your request for faith remains unanswered...The person who disobeys cannot believe. Only if you obey can you believe.  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Put a new and right spirit within me.  ~Psalm 51(50):10

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"His exceeding love"

Believe that He loves you. 
He wants to help you Himself
in the struggles you must undergo. 
Believe in His love, His exceeding love.
~Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.

As the Father has loved me,
so have I loved you;
abide in  my love.
~John 15:9

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The upward call...

..but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:13-14

Difficulties should not depress or divert us. The cause that has gripped us is so great that the small weaknesses of individuals cannot destroy it. Therefore I ask you only one thing: do not be so worried about yourself. Free yourself from all your plans and aims. They occupy you far too much. Surrender yourself to the sun, the rain, and the wind, as do the flowers and the birds. Surrender yourself to God. Wish for nothing but one thing: that his will be done, that his kingdom come, and that his nature be revealed. Then all will be well.  ~Eberhard Arnold

Dear Lord, with the help of Your grace, today I will let go and fly on the wings of Your love.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Not a pretty picture...!

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.  ~Revelation 3:16

We must loathe lukewarm people. This message is found throughout scripture. Those who are violent are better off, even if initially they do evil. We cannot expect anything from souls who are slumbering; from those who do good – or think they do good – by abstaining from evil. A heart that is on fire, even if it bewilders us at times, is equipped to serve. God freely chooses his saints from among the great sinners, but never from among those who are lukewarm – from those who do not risk anything.  ~Henri Daniel-Rops

Deliver us from lukewarmness, dear Lord -- and especially deliver me from myself!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

10th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Young man, I say to you, arise.  ~Luke 7:14

All believers are moved when they hear the accounts of the miracles wrought by Jesus, our Lord and Savior, though they are affected by them in different ways. Some are astounded at his wonderful physical cures, but have not yet learned to discern the greater miracles that lie beyond the world of sense. Others marvel that the miracles that they hear of our Lord working on people's bodies are now being accomplished more wonderfully in their souls.

No Christian should doubt that even today the dead are being raised to life. Yet, while everyone has eyes capable of seeing the dead rise in the way the widow's son rose, as we have just heard in the Gospel, the ability to see the spiritually dead arise is possessed only by those who have themselves experienced a spiritual resurrection.

It is a greater thing to raise what will live for ever than to raise what must die again. When the young man in the Gospel was raised, his widowed mother rejoiced; when souls are daily raised from spiritual death, mother Church rejoices. The young man was dead in body, these latter are dead in spirit. Those who witnessed the lad's visible death mourned openly and visibly, but the invisible death of the dead in spirit was neither seen nor thought about.

The Lord Jesus sought out those he knew to be dead; he alone knew they were dead, and he alone could make them live again. Unless he had come to raise the dead the apostle would not have said: “Rise up. Sleeper,” of course, makes you think of someone slumbering, but when the apostle goes on to say “rise from the dead,” you realize that he really means a dead person. The visibly dead are often said to be sleeping and indeed for one who has power to wake them they really are only sleeping. A person is dead as far as you are concerned if he does not waken no matter how much you slap or pinch or even wound him. But for Christ, the young man he commanded to rise was only sleeping, because he immediately got up. Christ raises the dead from their graves more easily than another can rouse a sleeper from his bed.

Our Lord Jesus Christ wished us to understand that what he did for people's bodies he also did for their souls. He did not work miracles merely for miracles' sake; his object was that his deeds might arouse wonder in the beholders and reveal the truth to those capable of understanding.

A person who sees the letters in a beautifully written book without being able to read them will praise the skill of the copyist because he admires the graceful shape of the letters, but the purpose and meaning of these letters he does not grasp. What he sees with his eyes prompts him to praise, but his mind is not enriched with knowledge. Another, praising the artistry, will also grasp the meaning; one, that is, who is able not only to see what everyone else sees but also to read it, which is a skill that has to be learned. So too, those who observed Christ's miracles without grasping their purpose and the meaning they had for those able to understand, simply admired the deeds. Others went further: they admired the deeds and also grasped the meaning. As pupils in the school of Christ, we must be such as these.

~St. Augustine of Hippo

Saturday, June 4, 2016

We are precious in His eyes...

Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  ~Matthew 10:31

Friday, June 3, 2016

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened,
and I will refresh you.
Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me,
because I am meek, and humble of heart:
and you shall find rest to your souls.
For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
~Matthew 11:28-30

“O Jesus, by a divine decree, a soldier was permitted to pierce Your sacred side. As the blood and water came forth, the price of our salvation was poured forth, which flowing from the mysterious fountain of Your Heart, gives power to the Sacraments of the Church to bestow the life of grace, and becomes for those who live in You, a saving drink of living waters, bubbling up to life eternal. Arise, my soul, beloved of Christ, watch unceasingly, place your lips there, and quench your thirst in the Savior’s fount.

“O Jesus, now that I have been brought into Your most sweet Heart, and it is a great good to be here, I do not want to let myself be easily torn away from it. Oh! how good and pleasant it is to dwell in Your Heart! Your Heart, O good Jesus, is a rich treasure, it is the precious pearl which I have found in the secret of Your pierced Body, as in a furrowed field. Who would cast aside this pearl? Rather I will give all the pearls in the world, I will exchange for it all my thoughts and affections and I will purchase it for myself. I shall entrust all my cares to Your Heart, O good Jesus, and without fail it will support me. I have found Your Heart, O Lord, O most benign Jesus: the Heart of my King, my Brother, my Friend! Hidden in Your Heart, what is there that I shall not ask of You? I shall ask that Your Heart be mine also. If You, O Jesus, are my Head, can I not say that it is mine as well as Yours? Are not the eyes of my head also mine? Then the Heart of my spiritual Head is my Heart. What joy for me! You and I have but one heart. Having found this divine Heart which is Yours and mine, O most sweet Jesus, I beseech You, O my God: receive my prayers in that sanctuary where You are attentive to them and, even more, draw me entirely into Your Heart.”

~St. Bonaventure