Monday, April 30, 2012

However, what is so wonderfully amazing is that God can take the most brutal weapon of the enemy [death] and turn it around, rendering evil impotent. When I teach the Book of Revelation, I lay the foundation by first discussing the kingdom of God, how it is the kingdom that is the heart and soul of everything Jesus said and did. I attempt to paint a picture of the kingdom of God locked in mortal combat with the kingdom of Evil, embodied especially in the seven-headed red dragon. If death is the conquering weapon of victory for the dragon and his kingdom, that weapon lies broken and useless if the dragon and his kingdom are defeated. One of the great truths from the Apocalypse is that the dragon fights ferociously against the kingdom of God not because he is strong, but because he is defeated. ~Gary A. Fritz

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It is my hope that the local Churches and all the various groups within them, will become places where vocations are carefully discerned and their authenticity tested, places where young men and women are offered wise and strong spiritual direction. In this way, the Christian community itself becomes a manifestation of the Love of God in which every calling is contained. As a response to the demands of the new commandment of Jesus, this can find eloquent and particular realization in Christian families, whose love is an expression of the love of Christ who gave himself for his Church (cf. Eph 5:32). Within the family, “a community of life and love” (Gaudium et Spes, 48), young people can have a wonderful experience of this self-giving love. Indeed, families are not only the privileged place for human and Christian formation; they can also be “the primary and most excellent seed-bed of vocations to a life of consecration to the Kingdom of God” (Familiaris Consortio, 53), by helping their members to see, precisely within the family, the beauty and the importance of the priesthood and the consecrated life. May pastors and all the lay faithful always cooperate so that in the Church these “homes and schools of communion” may multiply, modelled on the Holy Family of Nazareth, the harmonious reflection on earth of the life of the Most Holy Trinity. ~Pope Benedict XVI, message World Day of Prayer for Vocation, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.” ~St. Augustine

Friday, April 27, 2012

Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me. ~St. Clare of Assisi

Thursday, April 26, 2012

At its very center [of Christianity] is a God who comes after us with a reckless abandon, breaking open his own heart in love in order to include us in the rhythm of his own life. ~Fr. Robert Barron

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.” ~Henri J.M. Nouwen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” ~Pope John XXIII

Monday, April 23, 2012

"The world you are inheriting is a world which desperately needs a new sense of brotherhood and human solidarity. It is a world which needs to be touched and healed by the beauty and richness of God's love. It needs witnesses to that love. It needs you to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world." ~Pope John Paul II at the Solemn Mass, World Youth Day, Toronto, July 28, 2002

Sunday, April 22, 2012

No place of grace for those who avoid the Face. No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the Voice. ~T.S. Eliot

Saturday, April 21, 2012

‎"I simply argue that the cross should be raised at the center of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am recovering the claim that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town's garbage heap; at a crossroad so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and Latin and Greek ... at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. Because that is where He died. And that is what He died for. And that is what He died about. That is where [Christians] ought to be and what [Christians] ought to be about." ~Rev. George Macleod

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Prayer
Teach me to love you truly, O my God;
Earnestly I implore,
And may the sole return for all my love
Be grace
To love you even more.
 ~Ruth Mary Fox

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In giving his life for us, Jesus asks us to live our lives for others. He asks us to share in his work of redemption. That's why the Gospel is never merely a call to be 'nice' to others. There's nothing sweet about Golgotha. Life in Jesus Christ is a call to heroic and self-sacrificing love. ~Archbishop Charles Chaput

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person. ~Saint Therese of Lisieux

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it. ~C.S. Lewis

Monday, April 16, 2012

Action is the antidote to despair. ~Joan Baez

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Although we have no claim on God's mercies, and although they are altogether undeserved, nonetheless they never cease. We have done much to provoke God and give Him cause to cut off His mercy in our behalf. We have abused His mercy, ignored His mercy, even at times ungratefully accepted His mercy. Still, while God's mercies may not always be visible, they are always present. The mercies of God may change their form, as the morning light varies from the evening light, but the mercies of God will never cease to give their light. Even chastisement is mercy in disguise; and frequently, under the circumstances which make chastisement necessary, it proves to be more merciful than if God had not chastised us at all. ~Woodrow Kroll

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest. ~Oscar Romero

Friday, April 13, 2012

Of ourselves, we are too weak to lift up our hearts to the heights of God. We cannot do it. The very pride of thinking that we are able to do it on our own drags us down and estranges us from God. God himself must draw us up, and that is what Christ began to do on the cross. He descended to the depths of our human existence in order to draw us up to himself... Only in this way could our pride be vanquished: God's humility is the extreme form of his love, and this humble love draws us upwards. ~Pope Benedict XVI

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our hearts need tending. The fire there can be too easily extinguished. It is by pondering God's word (Word) that we again see the beauty and valor and activity of God's Spirit in creation and in human exchange. Once our hearts embrace the redemptive mystery of the cross and resurrection, they break forth in great brilliance and glory. ~Bishop Robert F. Morneau 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the wind, and join in the general Dance. ~Thomas Merton

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered. Through Jesus we do know ' the room where exiled love lays down its victory.' He himself is this place, and he calls us to be with him and in dependence on him. He calls us to keep this place open within the world so that he, the exiled love, may reappear over and over in the world... God exists: that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who can even begin to grasp what this means also knows what it means to be redeemed." ~Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Now it is the first day once again – creation is beginning anew. "Let there be light", says God, "and there was light": Jesus rises from the grave. Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies. The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and himself becomes God’s pure light. But this applies not only to him, not only to the darkness of those days. With the resurrection of Jesus, light itself is created anew. He draws all of us after him into the new light of the resurrection and he conquers all darkness. He is God’s new day, new for all of us." ~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily for Easter Vigil 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

"I Praise You for this Resurrection Madness"

Lord of such amazing surprises
as put a catch in my breath
and wings on my heart,
I praise you for this joy,
too great for words,
but not for tears and songs and sharing;

for this mercy
that blots out my betrayals
and bids me begin again
to limp on,
to hop-skip-and-jump on,
to mend what is broken
in and around me,
and to forgive the breakers;

for this YES
to life and laughter,
to love and lovers,
and to my unwinding self;

for this kingdom
unleashed in me and I in it forever,
and no dead ends to growing,
to choices,
to chances,
to calls to be just;

no dead ends to living,
to making peace,
to dreaming dreams,
to being glad of heart;

for this resurrection madness
which is wiser than I
and in which I see
how great you are,
and how full of grace.

Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle, Innisfree Press, Inc. 1984

Saturday, April 7, 2012

“SEPULCHER” – by George Herbert

Oh blessed body! Whither art thou thrown?
No lodging for thee, but a cold hard stone?
So many hearts on earth, and yet not one
                                     Receive thee?

Sure there is room within our hearts good store;
For they can lodge transgressions by the score:
Thousands of toys dwell there, yet out of door
                                     They leave thee.

But that which shows them large, shows them unfit.
Whatever sin did this pure rock commit,
Which holds thee now?  Who hath indicted it
                                     Of murder? 

Where our hard hearts have took up stones to brain thee,
And missing this, most falsely did arraign thee;
Only these stones in quiet entertain thee,
                                     And order.

And as of old, the law by heav’nly art,
Was writ in stone; so thou, which also art
The letter of the word,  find’st no fit heart
                                     To hold thee.

Yet do we still persist as we began,
And so should perish, but that nothing can,
Though it be cold, hard, foul, from loving man
                                     Withhold thee.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday is much more than reliving the passion of Jesus; it is entering into solidarity with the passion of all people of our planet, whether in the past, the present, or the future. In Jesus all human suffering is collected. The broken heart of Jesus is the broken heart of God. The broken heart of God is the broken heart of the world. ~Henri J.M. Nouwen

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Lord is at the center of all things and yet in such a quiet, unobtrusive, elusive way. He lives with us, even physically, but not in the same physical way that other elements are present to us. This transcendent physical presence is what characterizes the Eucharist. It is already the other world present in this one. In the celebration of the Eucharist we are given an enclave in our world of space and time. God in Christ is really here, and yet his physical presence is not characterized by the same limitations of space and time that that we know....

Contemplative life is a human response to the fundamental fact that the central things in life, although spiritually perceptible, remain invisible in large measure and can very easily be overlooked....The contemplative looks not so much around things but through them into their center. Through their center he discovers the world of spiritual beauty that is more real, has more density, more mass, more energy, and greater intensity than physical matter. ~Fr. Henri J.M. Nouwen

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Abba Mios was asked by a soldier, "Father, God then accepts the repentance of a sinner?"

The Elder, after counseling him with many instructive words, suddenly asked him: "Tell me, my beloved, when you tear your uniform, do you throw it away?" "No," the soldier answered, "I sew it and use it anew again."

Then Abba Mios also thoughtfully told him: "If you take pity on your clothing, will not God take pity on His own creation?" ~Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The perfect surrender and humiliation were undergone in Christ: perfect because He was God, surrender and humiliation because he was man. Now the Christian Belief is that if we somehow share in the humility and suffering of Christ we shall also share in His conquest of death and find a new life after we have died and in it become perfect and perfectly happy creatures. This means something more than our trying to follow his teachings. People often ask when the next step in evolution---the step to something beyond man---will happen. But on the Christian view, it has happened already. In Christ a new kind of man appeared, and the new kind of life which began in Him is to be put into us. ~C. S. Lewis