Do not be concerned about your life and what you will have to eat or drink, or about your body and what you will wear.  Surely life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.  - Mt 6:25

Reflection. Joy is the sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence because a joyful person obeys the Lord.  Putting aside needless worry is possible.  Otherwise Jesus would not have told you to stop worrying.

Prayer. Dear Lord, I hear Your counsel; now all I need to do is make the decision to will it into reality.  I will not worry about petty things.  I will entrust them to You and let You worry about them for me.

What shall I render to the Lord for all He has given me?  I will take the chalice of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord.

Reflection. Why not give the Lord a loving heart?  St. Peter, quoting the Book of Proverbs, says, “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet 4:8).  Love conquers all.  Sinful persons reject God’s love and say:  “I’ll do it my way!”  But if they repent and turn their lives around, they win His favor.

Prayer. Lord, at Mass each day I unite spiritually with Jesus as He offers Himself to the Father.

Though the mountains may depart and the hills may waver, My kindness shall not depart from you.  - Isa 54:10

Reflection. God is unchanging love.  His kindness endures forever.  Everything in existence belongs to Him.  Begin now to love Him with your whole heart.  Believe in His eternal kindness.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, I am certain that You give Yourself to me wholeheartedly.  In return, I want to give myself to You heart and soul.

Owe no person anything except to love one another; for whoever loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law.  - Rom 13:8

Reflection. Jesus said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12).  He said this on the night before He died.  That people should love one another was not new.  The command was contained in the Hebrew bible, but Jesus extended it to include one’s enemies.

Prayer. Dear Lord, in my heart of hearts I pray for the grace to love as You loved.

God created human beings in His image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.  - Gen 1:27

Reflection. Atheistic humanism was bound to end in bankruptcy — if man takes himself as a God, he can for a time cherish the illusion that he freed himself, but it is a fleeting exultation.  In reality, he has merely abased God, and it is not long before he abases himself.

Prayer. Father of Life and Love, deliver me from the father of lies, and from the spirit of atheism, that I may prosper in the joy of loving You.

Faith then depends on hearing, and hearing on the Word of Christ …  “Their voice has gone forth into all the earth.”  - Rom 10:17-18

Reflection. Apparently, not everyone hears the message.  In 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:  “God is dead.  It is we who have killed him … We are the assassins of God … We are at war against the Christian ideal, against the doctrine that makes beatitudes and salvation the aim of life.”  Hitler idolized Nietzsche, and we know the evil that flowed from his life.

Prayer. Dear Jesus, an evil root produces evil fruit.  Cleanse me of all evil, and bring me into the realm of Your joy.

Fear the Lord, you holy ones; nothing is lacking for those who fear Him.  - Ps 34:10

Reflection. The Lord God knows all things.  He knows what you really need, not merely what you think you need.  Trust Him to take care of you in His own way.  Life may hurt from time to time, but He knows what He is doing.

Prayer. Lord, I turn over my needs and my very self to You.  I never seem to do it completely so I am not sure if You think I am sincere or not.  But I want to be.  I give myself to You warts and all, and I know that You will receive me kindly.

We compel everything thought to surrender in obedience to Christ.  - 2 Cor 10:5

Reflection. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.  Take heaven.  No peace lies in the future that is not hidden in the present moment.  Take peace.  The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.  Take joy.

Prayer. Dear Lord, help me to take responsibility for my thoughts.  Help me to banish every drop of self-pity.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His kindness and for the wonders he does for people.  He has satisfied the thirty and filled the hungry.  - Ps 107:8-9

Reflection. The prayer of thanksgiving is itself the prelude to the prayer of praise.  When we pause in quiet praise of God, the need for words diminishes and we enter an atmosphere of joyful silence.  This quiet time is restful and full of peace.  It is called the gift of contemplation, and it flourishes in a grateful heart.

Prayer. Father, humbly I bow before You, and bathe in the warmth of Your love.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  - Mt 5:3

Reflection. In His Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:1-10) Jesus taught these values:

Be meek and humble.

Be a comfort to others.

Be merciful.

Be clean of heart.

Be a peacemaker.

Be willing to suffer for justice’s sake.

Prayer. O Lord, my pride and laziness often blind me to my higher calling.  Give me the clarity and strength to be poor in spirit.

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