Archive for December, 2014

The Angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.”  – Lk 1:13

Reflection.  The demons love to stir up our fears.  It’s all too human to be afraid, but we are not poor helpless creatures.  There is always grace.  Jesus gives us what we need to overcome our apprehensions.  He gives us Himself.

Prayer.  Loving God, with You at my side, I will not be afraid.  

Mary … gave birth to Jesus Who is called the Christ.  – Mt 1:16

Reflection.  The Gospel of Matthew opens with the human genealogy of Jesus.  It is a passage that tells of His human roots.  He is true God, but true Man as well.  He knows what it is to be human; He knows what pain is.  Look to Him for comfort in distressing moments, and trust that He will be at your side when you need Him.

Prayer.  Dear Jesus, help me to see You as my dearest friend.  

The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he … sold everything he had and bought it.  – Mt 13:45-46

Reflection.  When a speck of sand gets into an oyster, it irritates the flesh around it.  To protect itself, the oyster coats it with an iridescent material, so that gradually the grain of sand turns into a beautiful pearl.  You are like a grain of sand.  Be patient; God is transforming you into a pearl of great price.

Prayer.  Thank You, Lord, for purifying me.  

Give joy to the soul of Your servant, for to you, I lift up my soul.  – Ps 86:4

Reflection.  The holiday season can be hectic.  Learn to pace yourself.  A bird needs its nest, a bee needs its hive, and every human soul needs some pillow talk with God.  St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You, O Lord.”  Resting in God’s love, without saying anything, is the purest form of prayer.

Prayer.  Holy Spirit, help me to enjoy the silence of Your presence.  

The Lord … answered me; He set me free from all my fears.  – Ps 34:5

Reflection.  The Supreme Law is: “Love God, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  This law can be reduced to three simple requirements:  cling to God, think of others, and don’t put yourself down.  Catch yourself when you begin putting yourself down, and try to become your own best friend.

Prayer.  Dear God, help me to be kind, above all to myself.  

Love one another with genuine affection.  Esteem others more highly than yourself.  – Rom 12:10-11

Reflection. Did you know that when Mrs. Harry Truman was 18, her father committed suicide?  Her friend Mary Paxton came over right away and they talked for hours.  Years later, Bess said, “Mary’s loving presence was exactly what I needed when I needed it.”  People never forget those who reach out to them in their hour of need.

Prayer. Jesus, help me to be alert to the needs of others.

Rejoice always; … for this is the Will of God for you in Christ Jesus.  – 1 Thes 5:16

Reflection.  St. Paul said, “Rejoice always” (1 Thes 5:16).  William Shakespeare said, “A light heart lives long.”  Jesus explained it this way, “In this world you will have many problems, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).  Cheerfulness is the sunshine of the soul.

Prayer.  Dear God, help me to be more light-hearted and happy.  

I do not concern myself with great affairs or with things too sublime for me.  Rather, I have stilled and calmed my soul.  – Ps 131:1-2

Reflection.  The words “Do Not Be Afraid” are repeated 365 times throughout the Bible: first to Isaiah, “Take courage, do not be afraid” (Isa 7:4).  The Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid” (Lk 1:30).  Jesus said, “Be not afraid, fear is useless; what you need is trust” (Lk 8:50).  Calm your soul, and be at peace.

Prayer.  Holy God, I give You all my fears; help me to calm my soul.  

Your words … became a source of joy to me and the delight of my heart.  – Jer 15:16

Reflection.  One of the worst things you can do is overestimate your ability to solve the problems of other people.  Meddling can lead to so much needless tension.  Putting your nose in other people’s business is not wise.  Back off, and wait until you’re asked for advice before you give it.

Prayer.  Lord, Jesus, help me to be wise.  

Our competence comes from God Who has empowered us to be the ministers of a new covenant.  – 2 Cor 3:5-6

Reflection.  Face it, without God you can do nothing.  So when you try to do too much on your own, don’t blame anyone else for your failures.  Be honest, make amends, and call on God for help.  Once you learn to do that, things will move along a lot smoother for you.

Prayer.  Lord, give me the grace to see that I am nothing, and You are everything.