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.

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.

Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the Law.  - Rom 13:10

Reflection. I learned that Christ’s love in me impels me to show kindness when I want to be selfish.  It is His love that induces me to sacrifice my time and comfort, when others reach out to me.  It is no big deal, just a part of life.  However imperfectly I perform, I know it is the Lord working in me.  I am a channel of His love.

Prayer. Jesus, You are my strength and my joy.  Thank You for helping me live the Gospel joyfully.

Give thanks in all circumstances.  For this is the Will of God for you in Christ Jesus.  - 1 Thes 5:18

Reflection. Cultivate a grateful heart by continually thanking God.  You cannot keep your mind on God all day long, but you can make an intention in the morning that every breath you take will be a prayer of thanksgiving.

Prayer. Almighty Father, I know that a grateful heart chases away sadness and fear.  Keep my heart happy and grateful.

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