Monday, December 31, 2012
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son shared at Nazareth the life of an earthly home: grant to your Church grace to live as one family, united in love and obedience, and at the last bring us all to our home in heaven; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Posted by The Hermit at 9:22 AM
Saturday, December 29, 2012
"Luke’s Gospel account of the Christmas event is full of activity…And yet, in the middle of the frenetic action, here is this woman wrapped in mystical silence…She demonstrates the necessity of a quiet place within ourselves at Christmastime—that place where we are most ourselves in relation to God.
"It is a place of silence, not because it is untouched by all the activity of our lives, but because it is capable of wonder. Every prayer begins with silent wonder before it turns to words. Our first response to God is dumbstruck awe at who he is and what he has done for us." ~William Frebuger
Friday, December 28, 2012
Dear brothers and sisters! Kindness and truth, justice and peace have met; they have become incarnate in the child born of Mary in Bethlehem. That child is the Son of God; he is God appearing in history. His birth is a flowering of new life for all humanity. May every land become a good earth which receives and brings forth kindness and truth, justice and peace. Happy Christmas to all of you! ~Pope Benedict XVI, Dec 26, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 6:46 AM
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Merry Christmas 2013
The Twenty-fifth Day of December, when ages beyond number had run their course from the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth, and formed man in his own likeness;
when century upon century had passed since the Almighty set his bow in the clouds after the Great Flood, as a sign of covenant and peace;
in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith, came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses in the Exodus from Egypt;
around the thousandth year since David was anointed King; in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-two since the foundation of the City of Rome;
in the forty-second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the whole world being at peace, JESUS CHRIST, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and when nine months had passed since his conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man:
The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.
Posted by The Hermit at 6:23 AM
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Genuine progress does not consist in wealth sought for personal comfort or for its own sake; rather it consists in an economic order designed for the welfare of the human person, where the daily bread that each person receives reflects the glow of love and the helping hand of God. ~Pope Paul VI
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
"It is within my power either to serve God or not to serve Him. Serving Him, I add to my own good and the good of the whole world. Not serving Him, I forfeit my own good and deprive the world of that good, which was in my power to create." ~Leo Tolstoy
Posted by The Hermit at 6:43 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2012
“There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most 'natural' men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerers have been; how gloriously different are the saints. But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away 'blindly' so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality; but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him...Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” ~C.S. Lewis
Posted by The Hermit at 6:28 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
"Only the person who renounces self-importance, who no longer struggles to defend or assert himself, can be large enough for God's boundless action." ~Saint Teresa of Avila
Posted by The Hermit at 6:10 AM
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Dear young friends,
What does it mean to be a missionary? Above all, it means being a disciple of Christ. It means listening ever anew to the invitation to follow him and look to him: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Mt 11:29). A disciple is a person attentive to Jesus’ word (cf. Lk 10:39), someone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Teacher who has loved us so much that he gave his life for us. Each one of you, therefore, should let yourself be shaped by God’s word every day. This will make you friends of the Lord Jesus and enable you to lead other young people to friendship with him. ~Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Youth Day 2013
Monday, December 17, 2012
"Advent is the spiritual season of hope par excellence, and in this season the whole Church is called to be hope, for itself and for the world. The whole spiritual organism of the mystical body assumes, as it were, the 'color' of hope." ~Pope Benedict XVI
Posted by The Hermit at 5:28 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2012
"What I am anxious to see in Christian believers is a beautiful paradox. I want to see in them the joy of finding God while at the same time they are blessedly pursuing Him. I want to see in them the great joy of having God yet always wanting Him." ~A. W. Tozer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
"To become authentic peacemakers, it is fundamental to keep in mind our transcendent dimension and to enter into constant dialogue with God, the Father of mercy, whereby we implore the redemption achieved for us by His only-begotten Son. In this way mankind can overcome that progressive dimming and rejection of peace which is sin in all its forms: selfishness and violence, greed and the will to power and dominion, intolerance, hatred and unjust structures.
…[T]he Church is convinced of the urgency of a new proclamation of Jesus Christ, the first and fundamental factor of the integral development of peoples and also of peace. Jesus is indeed our peace, our justice and our reconciliation. The peacemaker, according to Jesus’ beatitude, is the one who seeks the good of the other, the fullness of good in body and soul, today and tomorrow.
The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.” ~Pope Benedict XVI, Dec 14, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 6:38 AM
Friday, December 14, 2012
Advent spirituality is not a time to meditate on the actual birth of Christ. According to tradition, we ought not to sing Christmas carols until Christmas itself, for Advent is not a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the manger but a time to long for the coming of the Savior. The appropriate sense of this season is captured in the pleading of “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel." ~Robert Weber
Posted by The Hermit at 6:26 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2012
A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes... and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
"For a stalk to grow or a flower to open there must be time that cannot be forced; nine months must go by for the birth of a human child; to write a book or compose music often years must be dedicated to patient research ...To find the mystery there must be patience, interior purification, silence, waiting...."
~Bl. Pope John Paul II
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Many young people today seriously question whether life is something good, and have a hard time finding their way. More generally, however, young people look at the difficulties of our world and ask themselves: is there anything I can do? The light of faith illumines this darkness. It helps us to understand that every human life is priceless because each of us is the fruit of God’s love. God loves everyone, even those who have fallen away from him or disregard him. God waits patiently. Indeed, God gave his Son to die and rise again in order to free us radically from evil. Christ sent his disciples forth to bring this joyful message of salvation and new life to all people everywhere. ~Pope Benedict XVI
Posted by The Hermit at 6:09 AM
Monday, December 10, 2012
Dear young friends, Let yourselves be drawn to Christ! … Accept Christ’s love and you will be the witnesses so needed by our world. … I am happy that you too, dear young people, are involved in [the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith], this missionary outreach on the part of the whole Church. To make Christ known is the most precious gift that you can give others.” ~Benedict XVI, Message for World Youth Day, Nov 16, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 4:23 AM
Sunday, December 9, 2012
In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature "(n. 2). God not only says something, He communicates with us, draws us into the divine nature, so that we are involved in the divine nature, deified. God reveals His great plan of love engaging with man approaching him to the point of becoming himself is a man. ~Benedict XVI, Dec 5, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 6:56 AM
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
“God freely chose Mary from all eternity to be the Mother of his Son. In order to carry out her mission she herself was conceived immaculate. This means that, thanks to the grace of God and in anticipation of the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary was preserved from original sin from the first instant of her conception.” ~ Compendium of the CCC
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
"For a stalk to grow or a flower to open there must be time that cannot be forced; nine months must go by for the birth of a human child; to write a book or compose music often years must be dedicated to patient research ...To find the mystery there must be patience, interior purification, silence, waiting...." ~Bi. Pope John Paul II
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
"Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time." ~Edward Hays
Sunday, December 2, 2012
"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope." ~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above, 1986
Posted by The Hermit at 6:44 AM
Saturday, December 1, 2012
In keeping with the Church's desire that Catholics use social media to advance the New Evangelization, and in celebration of the Year of Faith the hermitage has created a Facebook page. Please visit www.facebook.com/LittlePortionHermitage, "Like" what you see, then follow along as we share spiritual reflections, theological ramblings, the occasional rant, and Godly ruminations---our own and those of others---about things visible and invisible.
Posted by The Hermit at 1:11 PM
We must love God in the way that pleases him, and not just in a way that suits ourselves. God wishes people to empty themselves of everything and to be filled with his divine love. ~St. Alphonsus Liguori
Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
"You cannot please both God and the world at the same time. They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions." ~St. John Vianney
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Prayer reveals to souls the vanity of earthly goods and pleasures. It fills them with light, strength and consolation; and gives them a foretaste of the calm bliss of our heavenly home. ~St. Rose of Viterbo
Posted by The Hermit at 5:29 AM
Monday, November 26, 2012
The intellectual and ideological separation of Christ from his Church is one of the first realities we must deal with as we propose a New Evangelization of culture and people today. Already in his encyclical letter God is Love (Deus caritas est) our Holy Father reminded us that "the Church is God's family in the world" and that "the Church's deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God, celebrating the sacraments, and exercising the ministry of charity." Further he points out that "these duties presuppose each other and are inseparable." ~Donald Cardinal Wuerl
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Feast of Christ the King
Almighty and merciful God, you break the power of evil and make all things new in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the universe. May all in heaven and earth acclaim your glory and never cease to praise you. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
God speaks in the silence of the heart, and we listen. And then we speak to God from the fullness of our heart, and God listens. And this listening and this speaking is what prayer is meant to be.... ~Mother Teresa
Posted by The Hermit at 5:30 AM
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thanksgiving Day (USA)
"I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know." ~As Bill Sees It, page 37
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals." ~J.R.R. Tolkien
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Frodo: “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil.” ~J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Posted by The Hermit at 7:15 AM
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Monastic life is not really about self-realization, in the immediate sense of these words: it is far more about self-transcendence. These are noble words, but the reality they describe is a lifetime of feeling out of one’s depth: confused, bewildered, and not a little affronted by the mysterious ways of God. This is why those who persevere and are buried in a monastic cemetery can rarely be described as perfectly integrated human beings. ~Michael Casey, OSB, from Strangers to the City: Reflections on the Beliefs and Values of the Rule of Saint Benedict, (2005), p.4.
Posted by The Hermit at 5:22 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
I think it would do orthodox Christians well to remember that the children of Judah went into the Babylonian captivity not because of the sins of Babylon but because of their own. Now, as it should always be, is time for reflection, confession and repentance and to remove the motes from our own eyes before seeking the remove the specks from the eyes of our neighbor. If we are captives in Babylon, we have only ourselves to blame. ~Anonymous
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The greatest grace God can give someone is to send him a trial he cannot bear with his own powers --- and then sustain him with His grace so he may endure to the end and be saved. ~Saint Justin Martyr
Posted by The Hermit at 4:45 AM
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Election Day USA 2012
"Allow Christ to exercise his purifying action in society. Do not crucify him anew." ~Pope Benedict XVI in his "Message to Politicians," which was released 11 Oct 12.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
The renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us. The Council itself, in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, said this: While “Christ, ‘holy, innocent and undefiled’ (Heb 7:26) knew nothing of sin (cf. 2 Cor 5:21), but came only to expiate the sins of the people (cf. Heb 2:17)... the Church ... clasping sinners to its bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal. The Church, ‘like a stranger in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God’, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes (cf. 1 Cor 11:26). But by the power of the risen Lord it is given strength to overcome, in patience and in love, its sorrow and its difficulties, both those that are from within and those that are from without, so that it may reveal in the world, faithfully, although with shadows, the mystery of its Lord until, in the end, it shall be manifested in full light.”~Pope Benedict XVI, from his Apostolic Letter announcing the Year of Faith, Oct 11,2011
Posted by The Hermit at 6:14 AM
Saturday, November 3, 2012
God made us so that we might become partakers of the divine nature and sharers in his eternity, and so that we might come to be like him through deification by grace. ~St. Maximus the Confessor
Posted by The Hermit at 6:50 AM
Friday, November 2, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Happy Feast of All Saints!
The New Evangelization begins with each of us taking it upon ourselves to renew once again our understanding of the faith and our appropriation of it in a way that more deeply, willingly and joyfully embraces the Gospel message and its application today. ~From Cardinal Donald Wuerl's Report at the Synod of Bishops, Oct 8, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 4:02 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth. ~Rev. John Wesley
Posted by The Hermit at 4:35 AM
Monday, October 29, 2012
In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, Pope Paul VI drew on the teaching of the Council when he affirmed that the Church is "a community which is in its turn evangelizing. The command to the Twelve to go out and proclaim the Good News is also valid for all Christians, though in a different way ... the Good News of the kingdom which is coming and which has begun is meant for all people of all times. Those who have received the Good News and who have been gathered by it into the community of salvation can and must communicate and spread it."
~Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Posted by The Hermit at 4:10 PM
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Everything the Church is, she has received from Christ. The first and most precious of his gifts is the grace bestowed through the Paschal Mystery: his passion, death and glorious Resurrection. Jesus has freed us from the power of sin and saved us from death. The Church receives from her Lord not only the tremendous grace he has won for us, but also the commission to share and to make known his victory. We are summoned to transmit faithfully the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The Church's primary mission is evangelization. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC
Posted by The Hermit at 5:47 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2012
You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time. ~St. Augustine
Posted by The Hermit at 9:50 AM
Friday, October 26, 2012
"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.
God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened."
The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. ...[E]ntire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history." ~Cardinal George Francis of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Posted by The Hermit at 5:38 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2012
What distinguishes our Catholic faith today is precisely the understanding that the Church is the enduring presence of Christ, the mediator of God's redeeming action in our world, and the sacrament of God's saving acts. ~From Cardinal Donald Wuerl's Report at the Synod of Bishops, Oct 9, 2012.
Posted by The Hermit at 5:33 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
As our Holy Father's post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini so clearly points out, "The relationship between Christ, the Word of the Father, and the Church cannot be fully understood in terms of a mere past event; rather, it is a living relationship which each member of the faithful is personally called to enter into. We are speaking of the presence of God's word to us today: 'Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age' (Mt 28:20)." ~From Cardinal Donald Wuerl's report at the Synod of Bishops, "New Evangelization is the Re-Introduction, the Re-Proposing, of Christ."
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Gospel that Jesus Christ came to reveal is not information about God, but rather God himself in our midst. God made himself visible, audible, tangible. In return, he asks our love.
In the Sermon on the Mount presented in Matthew's Gospel, we hear of a new way of life and how it involves the merciful, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who mourn, the peacemakers, the poor in spirit. Here we learn of the call to be salt of the earth and a light set on a lamp stand. Later in that same Gospel, we hear the extraordinary dictum that we should see in one another the very presence of Christ. Jesus' disciples are challenged to envision a world where not only the hungry are fed, the thirsty are given drink, the stranger is welcomed and the naked are clothed, but also most amazingly sins are forgiven and eternal life is pledged. (cf Instrumentum Laboris n. 23, nn. 28-29)
Jesus beckons us. The joy we experience compels us to share it with others. We are not only disciples, we are evangelizers. Like those first disciples, we are called to envision ourselves walking alongside Jesus as the sower of the seeds of a new way of living, of a share in a kingdom that will last forever (cf Mt 13:1-9, 18-23; Mk 4:3; Lk 8:5). (cf Instrumentum Laboris n. 25 & n. 34). ~From Donald Cardinal Wuerl’s Report at the Synod of Bishops, Oct 8, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 10:13 AM
Monday, October 22, 2012
Our proclamation is focused on Jesus, his Gospel and his way. Christian life is defined by an encounter with Jesus. When Jesus first came among us, he offered a whole new way of living. The excitement spread as God's Son, who is also one of us, announced the coming of the kingdom. The invitation to discipleship and a place in the kingdom that he held out to those who heard him, he continues to offer today. This has been true for 20 centuries. As his message was more fully understood, it became evident that Jesus offers us not only a new way of living, but also a whole new way of being. ~From Donald Cardinal Wuerl’s Report at the Synod of Bishops, Oct 8, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 7:28 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2012
"We cannot speak about the new evangelization without a sincere desire for conversion. The best path to the new evangelization is to let ourselves be reconciled with God and with each other (cf. 2 Cor. 5:20). Solemnly purified, Christians can regain a legitimate pride in their dignity as children of God, created in his image and redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and they can experience his joy in order to share it with everyone, both near and far.” ~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Opening Mass at Synod of Bishops, Oct 7, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 5:50 AM
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
The word of God places us before the glorious One who was crucified, so that our whole lives...take place in the sight of him and in the light of his mystery. In every time and place, evangelization always has as its starting and finishing points Jesus Christ, the Son of God (cf. Mk1:1); and the Crucifix is the supremely distinctive sign of him who announces the Gospel: a sign of love and peace, a call to conversion and reconciliation. …[L]et us fix our gaze upon him and let us be purified by his grace. ~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Opening Mass of Synod of Bishop , Oct 7, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 5:31 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2012
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence, we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come. ~St. Gregory the Great
Posted by The Hermit at 7:05 AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
As we contemplate Mary, we must ask if we too wish to be open to the Lord, if we wish to offer our life as his dwelling place; or if we are afraid that the presence of God may somehow place limits on our freedom, if we wish to set aside a part of our life in such a way that it belongs only to us. Yet it is precisely God who liberates our liberty, he frees it from being closed in on itself, from the thirst for power, possessions, and domination; he opens it up to the dimension which completely fulfills it: the gift of self, of love, which in turn becomes service and sharing. ~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at the Shrine of Loreto, Oct 4, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
”…[T]he Incarnation of the Son of God speaks to us of how important man is to God, and God to man. Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God, so that man may return to being man. With God, even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: the Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us.” ~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at the Shrine of Loreto, Oct 4, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 6:39 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2012
If we ask ourselves who saves the world and man, the only answer is: Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ, crucified and risen. And where is the Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ made present for us, for me today? The answer is: in Christ’s action in and through the Church, in the liturgy, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which makes present the sacrificial offering of the Son of God, who redeemed us; in the Sacrament of Penance, in which we pass from the death of sin to new life; and in the other sacramental acts whereby we are sanctified (cf. Presbyterorum ordinis, 5). ~Pope Benedict XVI, On the Sacred Liturgy as a School of Prayer
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The first school of prayer . . . is the Word of God, Sacred Scripture. The Sacred Scripture is a lasting dialogue between God and man, an ongoing dialogue in which God shows his increasing closeness, in which we may better know his face, his voice, his being; and man learns to accept God, to know God, to speak with God. ~Pope Benedict XVI, On the Sacred Liturgy as a School of Prayer
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
In reality, only in Christ is man enabled to unite himself to God with the depth and intimacy of a child toward a father who loves him; only in him may we turn in all truth to God, affectionately calling him “Abba! Father!” Like the Apostles, we too repeated over these weeks, and today again we say to Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). ~Pope Benedict XVI, Sept 26, 2012, On the Sacred Liturgy as a School of Prayer
Posted by The Hermit at 5:53 AM
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us." ~Abraham Lincoln
Posted by The Hermit at 4:54 AM
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Within marriage the careful, painstaking, selfless cultivation of friendship with one's spouse is not only the most joyful and rewarding of endeavors but also the most practical of occupations --- "practical" that is, if what one envisions in one's life as the most desirable thing is not career success or money or fame or comfort or reputation, but joy in love resulting from great length of days spent in the company of one's beloved. ~Brother Simeon
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
"It is bad to be ignorant, but someone who is ignorant of the courses of the planets can yet be wise in the ways of men. Stupidity is different. Stupidity, I believe, takes real work. Nature provides each of us with a certain measure of dullness and sluggishness of mind; it is only by means of persistence and, for some, hard study that one can deepen that dullness into stupidity." ~Anthony Esolen
“Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.” ~Blessed Pope John Paul II
Thursday, October 4, 2012
BLESSED FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS!
“In truth, in very truth, the presence of Francis, our brother and our father, was light, not only to us who were close to him but also to those who were more removed from us in calling and in life. He was as light sent forth from the True Light, to enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death; that he might guide their feet into the way of peace. He did this even as the True Daystar from on high enlightened his heart and inflamed his will with the fire of His love. When he preached the Kingdom of God…he made ready for the Lord a new people throughout the whole world.” ~From the letter of Brother Elias announcing the death of Saint Francis of Assisi
Posted by The Hermit at 7:00 AM
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
"For not only does sound reason direct us to refuse the guidance of those who do or teach anything wrong, but it is by all means vital for the lover of truth, regardless of the threat of death, to choose to do and say what is right even before saving his own life." ~A. W. Tozer
Posted by The Hermit at 5:44 AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
As Caesar demands of us the stamp of his likeness, so does God also. And as we render money to the one, so we give our souls to the other,…our souls enlightened and sealed with the light of His countenance. ~The Venerable Bede
Posted by The Hermit at 4:49 AM
Monday, October 1, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
The Person of Christ is to me the surest as well as the most sacred of all facts; as certain as my own personal existence; yea, even more so: for Christ lives in me, and He is the only valuable part of my existence. I am nothing without my Savior; I am all with Him, and would not exchange Him for the whole world. ~Philip Schaff
Posted by The Hermit at 3:32 PM
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Preachers and laymen are each rowing different oars, but they are both in the same boat. When only one oar is being pulled, there is alot of splash but no progress. Let us see that both oars are being pulled. ~Roger Ward Babson
Friday, September 28, 2012
"In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine. Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a friction, in the running of that machine...When you are being taught how to use any machine, the instructor keeps on saying, 'No, don't do it like that,' because, of course, there are all sorts of things that look all right and seem to you the natural way of treating the machine, but do not really work." ~C.S. Lewis
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
When we lose out ability to change, we can easily be physically alive but spiritually dead. This could be why God wants us to keep moving forward and deeper in our spiritual life. We are either growing or we are dying. ~Trevor Hudson
Posted by The Hermit at 4:48 AM
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering. ~Pope Benedict XVI
Posted by The Hermit at 5:10 AM
Sunday, September 23, 2012
“It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.” ~G.K. Chesterton
Posted by The Hermit at 9:02 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. ~Pope Benedict XVI
Friday, September 21, 2012
The great understanding given by the Spirit of Wisdom must involve us in a lot of suffering. We shall be obliged to see the wound that sin has inflicted on the people of the world. We shall have X-ray minds; we shall see through the bandages people have laid over the wounds that sin has dealt them; we shall see Christ in others, and that vision will impose an obligation on us for as long as we live, the obligation of love. ~Carol Houselander, by way of Joanne McPortland
Posted by The Hermit at 5:34 AM
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I do not know your gods. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, is my God. If you take my answer as an offense, cut off my tongue. Every part of my body is ready to suffer when God calls for this sacrifice. ~St. Theodore Tiro
Posted by The Hermit at 5:12 AM
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
“If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.” ~Julian of Norwich
Posted by The Hermit at 5:08 AM
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
"Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood..." (John 6:56)
"This Bread of Life is nourishment but it is nourishment as love is nourishment. Jesus' words are words of a lover, the words of someone who thirsts to live in people and to carry people in him. It was these words that helped people realize that he came, not as a miracle worker, but as a friend who saves and calls us forth from the Father." ~Jean Vanier
Posted by The Hermit at 6:12 AM
Saturday, September 15, 2012
"You have read very good books, I am sure; there is an excellent book however, that never grows old; it is the one that God has written on every plant, on every grain of sand, in yourself; it is the book of Divine love. Give, therefore, your preference to that beautiful book and add to it a few pages of admiration and gratefulness. Read and understand all other books in the light of this one..." ~ St. Peter Julian Eymard
Posted by The Hermit at 6:52 AM
Friday, September 14, 2012
It was not enough that He became man, that He was struck in the face, that He was slaughtered, but He also commingles Himself with us; and this not alone through faith. He has in very deed made us His own Body. Who should be more free from sin than one who partakes of such a sacrifice? As spotless as the sunbeam should be the hand that breaks that Body, the mouth that is to be filled with this spiritual Fire, the tongue that is stained by this awesome Blood! Consider with what honor you have been honored; at what Table you feast. That which the Angels tremble to behold, and dare not gaze upon because of Its flashing brightness. It is with This we are nourished, to This we are joined; made one Body and One Flesh with Christ. ~St John Chrysostom
Posted by The Hermit at 4:39 AM
Thursday, September 13, 2012
“In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.” ~Andy Stanley
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” - Helen Keller
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit. Christians who have come to terms with their inadequacies, fears, and failures. Believers who have become discontent with 'surviving' and have taken the time to investigate everything God has to offer in this life. ~Rev. Charles Stanley
Posted by The Hermit at 8:15 AM
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012
We are not baptized into the hierarchy; do not receive the Cardinals sacramentally; will not spend an eternity in the beatific vision of the pope. Christ is the point. I, myself, admire the present pope (John Paul II), but even if I criticized him as harshly as some do, even if his successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I find the church, as I have to live with it, a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing a pope (or a priest) could do or say would make me wish to leave the church, although I might well wish that they would leave. ~Frank Sheed, Catholic Apologist
Posted by The Hermit at 8:30 AM
Friday, September 7, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
"I have to keep reminding myself: If you give your life to God, he doesn't promise you happiness and that everything will go well. But he does promise you peace. You can have peace and joy, even in bad circumstances." ~Patricia Heaton
Monday, September 3, 2012
“If you will look into your own heart in complete honesty, you must admit that there is one and only one reason why you are not a saint: you do not wholly want to be.” ~William Law
Sunday, September 2, 2012
We will never be happy until we make God the source of our fulfillment and the answer to our longings. He is the only one who should have power over our souls. ~Stormie Omartian
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Co-responsibility requires a change in mentality, particularly with regard to the role of the laity in the Church, who should be considered not as “collaborators” with the clergy, but as persons truly “co-responsible” for the being and activity of the Church. It is important, therefore, that a mature and committed laity be united, who are able to make their own specific contribution to the Church’s mission, in accordance with the ministries and tasks each one has in the life of the Church, and always in cordial communion with the bishops. ~Pope Benedict XVI, Aug. 24, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The heart finds the well-spring of perennial blessedness when it has yielded itself absolutely and unconditionally to the Lord Jesus Christ. If He is Alpha and Omega; if our faith, however feebly, looks up to Him; if we press on to know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship Of His sufferings; if we count all things but loss for the excellency of His knowledge - we may possess ourselves in peace amid the mysteries of life, and we shall have learned the blessed secret of serving the Lord "with joyfulness and with gladness of heart." ~F.B. Meyer
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Dear friends, it is important to deepen and to live out this spirit of profound communion in the Church, which characterized the early Christian community, as the book of the Acts of the Apostles attests: “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul” (4:32). Feel the commitment to work for the Church’s mission to be your own: through prayer, through study, through active participation in ecclesial life, through an attentive and positive gaze at the world, in the continual search for the signs of the times. Never tire of becoming more and more refined, through a serious and daily commitment to formation, through the aspects of your particular vocation as lay faithful, who are called to be courageous and credible witnesses in every sphere of society, so that the Gospel might be the light that brings hope in difficult situations, in troubles and in the darkness that men today so often find along the path of life. ~Pope Benedict XVI
Saturday, August 25, 2012
“"O God, my God, for Thee I long at break of day; my soul thirsts for Thee, my body longs for Thee, as desert, arid land, without water" (Psalm 63:1). Not only my soul, but even every fiber of my flesh is made to find its peace, its fulfillment in God. And this tension cannot be erased from man's heart: even when he rejects or denies God, the thirst for the infinite that abides in man does not disappear. Instead, he begins a desperate and sterile search for "false infinites" that can satisfy him at least for the moment. The heart's thirst and the body's longing of which the psalmist speaks cannot be eliminated; thus, man unknowingly stretches out in search of the Infinite, but in misguided directions: in drugs, in sexuality lived in a disordered manner, in all-encompassing technologies, in success at any cost, and even in deceptive forms of religiosity. Even the good things that God has created as paths that lead to Him, often run the risk of being absolutized and thus become idols that replace the Creator.” ~Pope Benedict XVI
Friday, August 24, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
To say “the nature of man is a relationship with the infinite” means, then, to say that every person is created so that he may enter into dialogue with the Infinite. At the beginning of the history of the world, Adam and Eve are the fruit of an act of God’s love, made in His image and likeness, and their lives and their relationship with the Creator overlapped: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). And original sin has its ultimate root precisely in our first parents avoiding this constitutive relationship, in wanting to take God’s place, in believing they could get along without Him. Even after sinning, however, the aching desire for this dialogue remains in man, like a signature imprinted with fire in his soul and body by the Creator himself. ~Pope Benedict XVI, August 21, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 5:05 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me. ~Robert Murray McCheyne
Monday, August 20, 2012
We are called to be the Lord's die-hards, to whom can be committed any kind of trial of endurance, and who can be counted upon to stand firm whatever happens. Surely fortitude is the sovereign virtue of life; no patience, though we need it too, but fortitude. O God, give me fortitude. ~Amy Carmichael
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Some prayers have a longer voyage than others, but they return with the richer lading at last, so that the praying soul is a gainer by waiting for an answer. ~William Gurnall
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Contemplating the Lord is at the same time both fascinating and awe-inspiring: fascinating because he draws us to him and enraptures our hearts by uplifting them, carrying them to his heights where we experience the peace and beauty of his love; awe-inspiring because he lays bare our human weakness, our inadequacy, the effort to triumph over the Evil One who endangers our life, that thorn embedded also in our flesh. In prayer, in the daily contemplation of the Lord, we receive the strength of God’s love and feel that St Paul’s words to the Christians of Rome are true, when he wrote: “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).
~Pope Benedict XVI
Friday, August 17, 2012
In prayer . . . let us open our soul to the Lord so that he may come and inhabit our weakness, transforming it into power for the Gospel. . . . [T]he Greek verb with which Paul describes this dwelling of the Lord in his frail humanity is also rich in meaning; he uses episkenoo, which we may convey with “pitching his tent”. The Lord continues to pitch his tent in us, among us: he is the Mystery of the Incarnation. The divine Word himself, who came to dwell in our humanity, who wishes to dwell in us, to put up his tent in us to illuminate and transform our life and the world. ~Pope Benedict XVI
Posted by The Hermit at 6:08 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides." ~ St. Athanasius, 4th century AD
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves? ~St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyr
Posted by The Hermit at 4:15 AM
Monday, August 13, 2012
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. ~Rev. John Wesley
Posted by The Hermit at 4:55 AM
Friday, August 10, 2012
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Dear friends, St. Dominic reminds us that prayer, that personal contact with God, is at the heart and origin of the witness of faith that every Christian must give within family life, at work, in social commitments, and even in times of relaxation. Only this real relationship with God gives us the strength to live each event intensely, especially the most painful moments. … I would like to recall once again the need in our spiritual lives to find quiet moments for prayer each day, to have a little time to speak with God. We should take this time especially during the summer holidays, and make a little time to speak with God. It will also be a way of helping those around us to enter into the luminous rays of the presence of God, who brings the peace and love that we all need. ~Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of St. Dominic, August 8, 2012
Posted by The Hermit at 4:10 AM
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
There are no real personalities apart from God. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most 'natural' men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerers have been; how gloriously different are the saints. But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away 'blindly' so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality; but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him...Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. ~ C.S. Lewis
Posted by The Hermit at 4:30 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
All our religion is but a false religion, and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone – for the good, and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich, and for all those who do us harm as much as those who do us good.
~St. Jean Marie Vianney
Monday, August 6, 2012
Christ alone can free man from what enslaves him to evil and selfishness: from the frantic search for material possessions, from the thirst for power and control over others and over things, from the illusion of easy success, from the frenzy of consumerism and hedonism which ultimately destroy the human being.
~Bl. Pope John Paul II
~Bl. Pope John Paul II
Sunday, August 5, 2012
When I contemplate a God who, from his Incarnation unto the cross, led only a life filled with abasement and ignominy, ought I be afraid of humbling myself? A God seeks abasement. I, a worm, should exalt myself? My God, destroy this pride, which separates us so much from thee! ~St. Augustine
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Posted by The Hermit at 3:57 AM