And whenever you stand in prayer, forgive whatever grievance you have against anybody, so that you Father in heaven may forgive your wrongs too. - Mk 11:25

Reflection. Forgiveness bears good fruit, and certainly banishes resentment, the enemy of joy.  When resentment and guilt are dropped, things being to happen — both to the forgiver and to the forgiven.  It is like opening a dam and letting the water flow.  Power is released.

Prayer. Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, help me to forgive everyone who has ever hurt me.  Liberate me from my resentment and from my hurt that I may have life, and life in abundance.

Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you … For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink.        - Mt. 25:35

Reflection. Most people cannot reach out to the poor because they are afraid — of them, their neighborhoods, even their children.  When fear begins to breed division, it becomes a spiritual problem.  We are victims of our own fears when we allow them to shape our decisions and our personality.

Prayer. Lord, You alone can give me the grace to see beyond my present fears.  Help me to be compassionate to those in need so that I do not dwell so much on my own miseries.

Above all, maintain the fervor of your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.  - 1 Pet 4:8

Reflection. Jesus taught us to go out of ourselves and unite with others in bonds of caring.  Do not let your possessions hold you back.  He said, “Come and follow Me.”  The Gospel injunction of renunciation is at the heart of all Christian teaching.

Prayer. Dear Lord, You have said that much will be forgiven for those who love much.  Thank You for this teaching.  I need it.

Rejoice with those who rejoice.  Weep with those who weep.  Be of one mind toward one another.     - Rom 12:15-16

Reflection. Teilhard de Chardin spoke of suffering as the very means of return, discovery, and growth.  I think he meant that death itself, and everything that leads up to it, is a doorway to a new age.  Today many people cannot face suffering.  They retreat from it because they do not understand it.  Consequently, many become mentally sick.  It is better to face the pain as Jesus did.  Christ turned His suffering into an act of love.

Prayer. Jesus, there are many who carry a heavier cross than I.  Help me to weep with them, so that later, we may rejoice together with You in Your Kingdom.

You will keep them in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You, because they trust You.  - Isa 26:3

Reflection. I wrote the following when I was feeling low:

“I am not alone for God is always with me.

I am not afraid for God is protecting me.

I am forgiven everything for God is loving me.

I will bear good fruit for God is helping me.

I will persevere for God is sustaining me.

I will be saved for God is calling me.”

Prayer. Dear Jesus, You know that I love You.  I am trying day by day to rise above my petty fears, and little by little I am succeeding.  Thank You for Your grace.

Fight the good fight of the faith … Take hold of the life eternal to which you have been called.   - 1 Tim 6:12

Reflection. In the mystical revelations of Bl. Henry Suso written in 1327, God said: “Do you not know that I wish only what is best for you, more earnestly than you do yourself?”

“If you were forever bathed in the heavenly dew of spiritual sweetness … this would not oblige Me to you nor make Me your debtor as does loving suffering or resignation in hardship.”

Prayer. Lord, I praise You for Your wisdom.  Help me to love the Cross and give me the wisdom to see suffering as a hidden blessing.

Say to those with fearful hearts.  “Take courage, do not be afraid.  Behold, your God will … save you.”  - Isa 35:4

Reflection. Meister Eckhart used to advise his followers “to suffer God.”  He meant that we should bear lovingly with God, even if we do not understand Him.  We should trust Him, when He is silent, even if His silence baffles us.

Prayer. Grant me, O Lord, the bravery I need to be Your true follower.  I am so easily discouraged.  I place my trust in You for You alone are holy.

Teach [the Faith] to your children and to their children after them.  - Deut 4:9

Reflection. I believe, I profoundly believe in a better world.  It is for me much more real than this miserly fantasy that we devour and call life; it is always before my eyes.  I believe with all the powers of my conviction, and after so many struggles, so many studies, and so many proofs, it is the supreme consolation of my soul!  - Victor Hugo

Prayer. Almighty Father, give me a passion to spread the Good News.  The knowledge that You are unchanging Love fills me with consolation and joy.

A woman in labor suffers anguish because her hour has come.  But when her baby is born, she no longer recalls the suffering because of her joy that she has brought a child into the world.  - Jn 16:21

Reflection. You cannot get rid of the worries of this world or of the questionings of the intellect, but you can laugh at them.  Laugh at yourself and then think of God.  In the simple relation you have with God by prayer, it is as though you are in the center of a wheel where the noise of the revolving circumference does not matter.  - Abbot John Chapman

Prayer. Holy Spirit of joy and peace, I need Your good cheer.  So often I feel I am in the dark.  Calm my spirit.  Put a smile on my face.

When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.  Your alms-giving must be done in secret.

Reflection. ”One little deed, done against natural inclinations for God’s sake … has in it power outbalancing all the dust and chaff of mere profession.”  - Cardinal Newman

Success is measured by our capacity to love, and often our capacity to love is measured by our ability to be humble.

Prayer. Lord, You said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.”  Teach me how to be humble without becoming a doormat.

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