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.

The Lord of hosts says, “… I will judge you, each according to his ways.”  - Ezek 18:30

Reflection. Grace builds on nature, so we must all do our share to make this a better world.  Believe that you are responsible for your thoughts and actions.  Accept the fact that you are what you are today largely because of your own choices.  As you move into the future choose wisely.

Prayer. Father in heaven, help me to know myself that I may not blame others for my shortcomings.  I want to walk humbly with You in the journey of life.  Be my guide.

You will be hated by all because of My Name, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.  - Mt 10:22

Reflection. Vince Lombardi, the late great football coach of the Green Bay Packers, said, “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.”  Hang in there.  Stand firm in the strength of the Lord, even if people speak against you because of your faith.

Prayer. Jesus, You have dominion over the whole earth.  Enable me to see Your loving hand behind all events and to accept each as an opportunity to rely on Your strength.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice … ; shout for joy, all you upright of heart.  - Ps 32:11

Reflection. The Lord is aware that life, with its many sorrows, is a penance.  One of the greatest sorrows is not to be a joyful, holy Saint.  We pine for paradise; this yearning for God will always be with us.

Prayer. Lord, no matter what I do, it is only through You that I do it.  Enable me to work as if all depended on me and pray as if all depended on You — and to be joyful in the process.

Delight in the Lord … and He will give you what you desire.  - Ps 37:4

Reflection. Jesus speaks to you:  “I know you want to live for My love, gladly suffering all the penance that might come to you.  But inasmuch as you do not live without sin, you are depressed and sorrowful … yet do not be too much vexed with the sin that falls to you against your will … I keep you most securely.”  - Bl. Juliana of Norwich

Prayer. Dearest Jesus, I trust in Your words of love and comfort.  There are times, however, when I am afraid.  Strengthen me that I may trust You completely, on good days and bad.

God our Savior … desires everyone to be saved and to come to full knowledge of the truth.  - 1 Tim 2:4

Reflection. Perhaps this explains why you have received the cross you must carry.  By your union with Jesus, you are sharing in the work of Redemption.  Maybe the soul of a loved one is being saved by your life.

Prayer. Lord, I am baffled by the mystery of suffering.  Help me to do all in my power to lighten my burden, but in the end help me to surrender to my destiny.  Your love for me is my greatest gift.  Thank you.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  - Mk 9:42

Reflection. Does Christ expect you to mutilate yourself?  Certainly not.  Even the strictest fundamentalist would admit that we cannot take this passage literally.  We must, however, do everything in our power to attain the Kingdom.

Prayer. Father, once again I am painfully aware that I am not capable of saving myself.  That is why I am so indebted to You, so grateful and joyful because of the knowledge of Your love.

And when I am lifted up from the earth [on the Cross], I will draw everyone to Myself.  - Jn 12:32

Reflection. In dying, Jesus thought of you.  He gave His life that you might have eternal life.  He draws all those whom you love to Himself.  Your prayers for your loved ones are being answered.  Be glad and rejoice in His love.

Prayer. Thank you, Jesus, for lifting me up above my petty concerns.

Do not be afraid … Behold, your King.  - Jn 12:15

Reflection. To contemplate is simply to enjoy God.  It is not an intellectual process.  It is not thinking about God.  You simply sense His loving Presence filling you, and you love Him in return.  Remember, your union with God depends more on His love for you, than on your love for Him.  Contemplative prayer is being in love with God.  To love God is to enjoy Him.

Prayer. Almighty Father, Holy One, Lord of Lords, I love You.  Help me to love You more and more.  Let me bathe in the splendor of Your warmth.

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