Friday, August 31, 2012

Prayer is the meeting point of two desires; man's desire with God's desire, or rather the assumption of man's desire into God's desire. ~Patrick Jaquemont

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

You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. You will know. You will know when it's right. ~Dorothy Day

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

Our task as laymen is to live our personal communion with Christ with such intensity as to make it contagious. ~Paul Tournier

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows. ~Helen Nielsen

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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Love without suffering is impossible. Suffering without love is unbearable. ~Dr. Scott Hahn

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

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

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10-12.

Return Monday, August 13.

Until then,
Pax et Bonum!

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

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

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

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

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver

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.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Today is the
Feast of Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula.
It's a day to celebrate all churches, friaries, hermitages
(like this one), apostolates, etc that take their name from
Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula.

Happy Feast Day!

“The Portiuncula [Little Portion] was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned. Francis had a great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the angels often visited it, so that it used to be called St. Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ. He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here that he began his religious life in a very small way; it was here that he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.

This was the place where St. Francis founded the Order of Friars Minor by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel. This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.

As he was living there by the church of our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercessions of the Mother of Mercy and he brought it to fruition.

He embraced the Mother of our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars.” ~St. Bonaventure
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:27-30).

After the past couple days’ worth of shout outs from friends in the blogosphere (I can't provide you with links because I don't know how to make a link link from within the body of this post), and after I sent a few dozen email to whomever I could think of, complete with links to the above mentioned shout outs, (an embarrassing display of shameless self-promotion on my part, I now admit), I asked the Lord for a word to help me get back to right size. My evil twin, Ego, has a rather fat head to begin with, so I decided he needed something to focus on besides those blogs to keep his head from exploding!

Instead of a Scripture passage to claim as a “power verse,” and rather than pointing me to an episode of ego deflation in the life of one of the saints, our Blessed Lord gave me instead a poem by Emily Dickinson to prayerfully ponder.

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

So today I'm back to practicing being a Nobody for Christ. May I decrease that He might increase (cf. John 3:30).

And all God’s people said... AMEN!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Where humility is combined with the remembrance of God that is established through watchfulness and attention, and also with recurrent prayer inflexible in its resistance to the enemy, there is the place of God, the heaven of the heart in which because of God's presence no demonic army dares to make a stand."
~St. Philotheos of Sinai