Archive for July, 2013

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.

Spirituality for Today – July 15, 2013

What Does God Want?

By:  Fr. John Catoir

    In this column I am going to try to reduce the New Testament to a few hundred words. Are you with me? Here goes.

God wants your love. He desires you, and He wants you to be with him in heaven. Jesus died on the cross for you. Those who understand this have The Faith, the others who do not are in the cold. We can only pray for them.

Believers like you, already have the Risen Lord living within your baptized soul, which means God is closer to you than your own heart beat. He loves you, and He wants your happiness. When you come to this understanding, you will be ready to follow his instructions.

One of the first things he asks is that you abide in Him. Abiding in Him is not found exclusively in contemplative prayer. No, to ‘abide’ with Him also means living your daily life in Him and with Him. By living in the present moment you will find God at your side, along with His love and joy. Don’t cloud your mind with needless guilt of fear. You are loved. Jesus said, “Fear is useless, what you need is trust.” 

Fidelity to His will is not an abstract theological obligation. In real life, it is nothing more than seeing the duties of the present moment as opportunities to unite with HIm. It is only in the present moment that you can be attentive to the needs of others.  

Real holiness is more about loving than it is about doing. Mother Theresa explained the connection: “It’s not so much what you do that counts; it’s how much love you put into the doing.”

Pray for the grace to respond joyfully to God’s love. The essential calling of every Christian is first of all to love and honor Almighty God. We do that best by loving Him in those who need us. Love is life’s greatest joy.

The supreme law is this: “Love God with your whole heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” In other words, cling to God; think of others; and don’t put yourself down. Loving and forgiving yourself is essential.

Jesus commanded us to “love one another;” and added, “I have told you this, that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete,”(John 15:11).

He wants us to share in His happiness. This same theme is repeated over and over in the New Testament. 

Pope John Paul II captured the same idea with this proclamation:
“Christ came to bring joy; joy to children, joy to parents; joy to friends and families; joy to the sick and elderly; indeed, Christ came to bring joy to all people. Joy is the keynote message of Christianity, and the recurring motif of the Gospel, go therefore, and become messengers of joy.” 

For over twenty-five years I have been writing books on joy. 

I have a website entitled: “messengerofjoy.com“, and my Tweet address is:
@JOHNCATOIR. 

For me this obsession is like a vocation within a vocation. But we are all called to be messengers of joy. Therefore, it should be your obesession too. 

My hope is that you will become a messenger of joy. In that way, we can all do our part in making the theme of Christmas and Easter, a reality all year round: 

“JOY TO THE WORLD.”  

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.

Lovers of Your Law have much peace, nor is it a stumbling block for them.  - Ps 119-165

Reflection. St. Anthony of Padua (whom we celebrate today) was a lover of God’s Will and a man of peace.  He was a priest and a Doctor of the Church, as well as a miracle worker.  He was also a man of deep prayer.

Prayer. Dear Jesus, teach me to be still in Your loving presence.  Help me to love Your Holy Will, even if at times it is difficult.  In Your Will is my peace.