If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him for a second mile.  - Mt 5:41

Reflection. Bearing wrongs patiently goes with the challenge of love.  Getting even is not permitted.  The words of the crucified Christ echo down from His Cross:  “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).

Prayer. Dear Jesus, You are my defender and guardian.  You are my shield in the battle of life.  In You I put my trust.

Consider it joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith begets perseverance.  - Jas 1:2-3

Reflection. Joy is possible even in difficult circumstances.  Joy is nothing like the happiness of a fun time; rather it is more a deep inner contentment, which comes from the knowledge of God’s love.

Prayer. Jesus, my Lord and my God, what joy I feel when I know I have done something to please You.  Help me when I am not so sure of myself.  It is difficult to believe that Your love does not depend on my good behavior.  You love the sinner even before he repents.

In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and he carried them and lifted them up. - Isa 63:9

Reflection. To be lifted up in the joy of the Lord is an experience we might call a mystical grace.  Perhaps such moments are more common than we think.  There are times when you feel God’s love deeply, and other times you feel nothing.  In these matters feelings are not facts.  God is always loving you.

Prayer. Teach me, Lord, that You are Unchanging Love, no matter what I might be feeling at any given moment.

Wisdom is glorious and never fades away, and is easily seen by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.  - Wis 6:13

Reflection. You have within you everything that you need to purchase the Kingdom of Heaven.  Joy will be purchased by your sorrow, rest by your labor, glory by your humiliation, and eternal life by your passing death.  - St. Augustine

Prayer. Dear Lord, we reap what we sow.  Give me the wisdom to know how to draw joy from sorrow.

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts in accordance with them will be like a wise man who constructed his house on a rock foundation.  - Mt 7:24

Reflection. The words of the Lord give wisdom and life.  If you are willing to lose your life for the sake of the Kingdom, you will gain it for eternity.  Surrendering oneself is never easy.  We know that it is in giving that we receive, but we do not easily grasp the idea that it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Prayer. Dear Jesus, thank You for guiding me through the narrow gate that leads to a joyful life.  Teach me that the secret of joy resides in trusting Your promises.

Your heart shall rejoice, and your limbs shall flourish like the young grass.  The power of the Lord shall be made known to His servants.  - Isa 66:14

Reflection.  All of us are seeking the same thing:  happiness.  We have so much in common.  Even though we may have traveled different roads to reach our present state in life, our basic hope is the same:  a brighter, happier future.  We would all like to believe the future will be better than anything we have ever known before.  The fact is, with the help of God, it will be.

Prayer.  Father, let Your Light shine in me, that I may give peace and joy to others.

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.  - Dan 3:89

Reflection. Ten lepers approached Jesus as He was traveling to Jerusalem.  People shunned them and feared them, because of the danger of contagion.  Christ was moved to pity.  He told them to visit the priests of the Mosaic Law, who would judge their cleansing.  All ten were miraculously cured.  Only one returned to give thanks.  Jesus said to him, “Your faith has saved you”  (Lk 17:19).

Prayer. Thank You, Lord, for giving me peace of mind and heart.  I rejoice in Your love.

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.  - 1 Jn 5:3

Reflection. Christ declared, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6).  The human heart longs for love.  Without love, there is no joy.  If you really love, you will be willing to make sacrifices.  Joy and surrender go hand in hand.

Prayer. I love You, my Lord, and my God.  Teach me to love You more and more, that my joy may be full.

But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection.  - Col 3:14

Reflection. Dear Lord, You bless everyone with the ability to love.  To know You is to love You.  To love You is to rejoice with You.  Still there are those who do not show signs of knowing You, the one, true God.  Millions have not encountered Your Son, Jesus.

Prayer. Jesus, help me to be a carrier of Your love.  Show me the way to make Your Name known and loved.

The person who is without love does not know God, for God is love.  - 1 Jn 4:8

Reflection. 

Love is a basket of bread

from which to eat for year to come.

Good loaves fragrant and warm

miraculously multiplied;

the basket is never empty

the bread never stale.  – Catherine de Vinck

Prayer. Heavenly Lord, increase my love and my joy.

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