It is not the healthy who need a physician, but rather those who are sick.  I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.  - Mk 2:17

Reflection. Do not worry if you are not particularly joyful on any given day.  Perhaps you think you are not worthy.  Nonsense!  When you think about the bad things you have done in the past, it has a purifying effect.  You become purer and humbler by a spirit of penance.  However, you must also learn to let go of it.  Turn the past over to God’s mercy.

Prayer. Lord, You help me to see myself as I am.  I know You want me to be a joyful person.  Refresh my drooping spirit.

The word of the Lord is true; all His works are trustworthy.  - Ps 33:4

Reflection. In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky wrote:  “Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love.  For love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.  Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed; hoping that all will be looking on applauding, as though on a stage.  But active love is labor and fortitude.”

Prayer. Dear Lord, help me not to be afraid of my weaknesses or discouraged by my revulsion at the first sign of the cross.

Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel — and to do so without words of human wisdom lest the Cross of Christ be devoid of its power.   - 1 Cor 1:17

Reflection. Teilhard de Chardin viewed the Cross differently from the way it is usually seen.  He saw it as a sign of human evolution, that is, a symbol of the whole process of our growth toward heaven.  All the suffering and hard work of the human race over the centuries is recapitulated in Christ’s Passion and Death.

Prayer. Grant that I may give You, Lord Jesus, my whole being, tree and fruit alike, the finished work as well as the harnessed power.  - Teilhard de Chardin

I was ill and you took care of Me.  - Mt 25:36

Reflection. Thomas Carlyle, the historian, was right when he said:  “Empires fall or civilizations decline, not necessarily through some colossal criminality, but from multitudinous cases of petty betrayal or individual neglect.”

Prayer. Dear Jesus, help me to minister to those in need.  Enlighten my mind that I may see You living in my neighbor.

Forgetting what is behind me and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the finishing line to win the heavenly prize to which God has called me in Christ Jesus.  - Phil 3:13-14

Reflection. Whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.  This is to have succeeded.  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prayer. Lord, I do not ask for success.  I ask only to be faithful to You.  Help me to do my share to make this a better world.

Go forth, therefore, and make disciples …  - Mt 28:19

Reflection. When we speak of going forth we focus on Jesus.  The Church is Christ living in His Mystical Body on earth today.  Just as Jesus had a mission, so too does the Church.  We are commissioned to be other Christs, and do what He did.

Prayer. Lord, teach me to be patient and kind.  I hope for the best when I trust in Your power.  Give me the heart to go forward with courage.

Pray for those who mistreat you.  If anyone strikes you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek as well.  - Lk 6:28-29

Reflection. Charity is at the heart of Christian perfection; charity is human love touched by grace.  Love flows from person to person or it does not flow at all.  It is not communicated by institutions or organizations but by people.

Prayer. Lord, Your wisdom is beyond me.  To return good for evil is not my way of doing things, but I bow to Your Will.  All I need is a ton of grace precisely at those moments when I want to strike out in anger.

Let each one give …  not grudgingly … for God loves a cheerful giver.  - 2 Cor 9:7

Reflection. We are a privileged people.  Our goal is heaven, and with Divine help we can make it; in fact we believe eternal life has already begun here on earth.  Be grateful for this gift.  Rejoice in the Risen Lord and be glad.

Prayer. Dear Jesus, You alone have the power to quell my fears.  Help me to stay focused on heaven and rejoice always in the knowledge of Your love.

A cheerful heart enjoys a continual feast. - Prov 15:15

Reflection. Some people are put off by the emphasis on good cheer, and I understand that.  They know that the real life of the Spirit has little to do with emotional enjoyment sought for its own sake, even if it is enjoyment of the loftiest kind.  But that does not mean our religion should make us stodgy.

Prayer. O Lord, help me to understand that You love a cheerful giver.  Grant me the grace of a cheerful heart.

During this period of time, He went onto the mountain to pray, and He spent the entire night in prayer to God.  - Lk 6:12

Reflection. The soul needs silence and solitude to draw from God’s immense power.  Like a battery in need of a charge, we need to plug into God’s power.  Without prayer there will be no spiritual perception, no spiritual energy.

Prayer. Help me, Father, to be sincere in my effort to give myself to You alone.  Bless me with Your love.

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