Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Observing the Sabbath

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 58

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Build An Oratory Within Yourself

Build an oratory within yourself, and there have Jesus on the altar of your heart. Speak to Him often of His holy love, of His holy sufferings and of the sorrows of Most Holy Mary. - St. Paul of the Cross

Monday, May 12, 2014

Make The Treasures And The Glory Of Heaven The End Of All Your Efforts

If your heart craves joy, raise it to the contemplation of that Good which contains in Itself all joys.  If you are in love with this created life, consider the eternal life which awaits you above.  If the beauty of creatures attracts you, live that you may one day possess the Source of all beauty, in whom are life, and strength, and glory, and immortality, and the fullness of all our desires.  If you find happiness in friendship and the society of generous hearts, consider the noble beings with whom you will be united by the tenderest ties for all eternity.  If your ambition seeks wealth and honors, make the treasures and the glory of Heaven the end of all your efforts.  Finally, if you desire freedom from all evil and rest from all labor, in Heaven alone can your desires be gratified.  – The Sinner’s Guide (Chapter 9, Paragraph 21)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Why Your Body Matters for Prayer

Christian prayer is embodied prayer. In C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters we discovered an experienced devil giving lessons to a young temptor. At one point, the veteran orders his young charge to encourage his 'client,' a budding Christian, to envision prayer as something very 'interior' and 'mystical,' having little to do with posture or the position of the body. He wants the poor Christian to think that whether he stands, slouches, sits, or kneels is irrelevant to the quality of his communication with God. This, of course, is the Cartesian voice, the belief that our bodies and souls are independent and have little to do with each other.

But then consider the view of William James. In his Principles of Psychology, James writes that it is not so much sadness that makes us cry as crying that makes us feel sad. The body in a significant sense precedes the mind.

The same dynamic occurs when we pray. It is not so much keen feelings of devotion that force us to our knees as kneeling that gives rise to keen feelings of devotion.

If you're having difficulty in prayer today, try kneeling, or bowing, or making some sort of reverent gesture. The body often leads the mind into a deeper spiritual space. - Fr Robert Barron

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We Must Have A Real Living Determination To Reach Holiness...

We must have a real living determination to reach holiness. I will be a saint means I will despoil myself of all that is not God; I will strip my heart of all created things; I will live in poverty and detachment; I will renounce my will, my inclinations, my whims and fancies, and make myself a willing slave to the will of God. - Blessed Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rebel Against This Culture That Sees Everything As Temporary

Pope Francis said: “Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘forever,’ because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.”

“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believe that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide.’ Have the courage to be happy,” the Pope added.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

God Comes As A Baby - Defenseless And In Need Of Our Help

God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendour. He comes as a baby – defenceless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practise with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him. - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Prayer Is Helplessness Casting Itself On Power...

Prayer is helplessness casting itself on Power, infirmity leaning on Strength, misery reaching to Mercy, and a prisoner clamoring for Relief. - Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Inextinguishable Yearning For The Infinite

In man there is an inextinguishable yearning for the infinite. None of the answers attempted are sufficient. Only the God himself who became finite in order to open our finiteness and lead us to the breadth of his infiniteness responds to the question of our being. For this reason, the Christian faith finds man today too. Our task is to serve the faith with a humble spirit and the whole strength of our heart and understanding. - Pope Benedict XVI 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

When Love Ceases To Act, It Ceases To Exist

The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when love ceases to act, it ceases to exist. - Saint Gregory the Great

Monday, August 26, 2013

In Times Of Aridity

In times of aridity arouse your spirit gently, by acts of love; then rest in the will of God. It is thus that the soul gives the strongest proof of her fidelity to God. Make a bouquet of the sufferings of Jesus, and place it on the bosom of your soul, as I have told you. You can from time to time call them to mind, and say sweetly to your Saviour: 'Oh good Jesus, how swollen, bruised, and defiledwith spittle do I behold Thy countenance! Oh my Love! why do I see Thee all covered with wounds? Oh Infinite Sweetness! why are Thy bones laid bare? Ah, what sufferings! what sorrows! O my God! for what are Thou all wounded! Ah, dear sufferings! dear wounds! I wish to keep you always in my heart'. - Saint Paul of the Cross

Monday, August 5, 2013

On Christian Marriage Excerpt

In 1930, Pope Pius XI wrote the encyclical Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage), in which he restated the Church’s position on contraception: “We admonish, therefore, priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls ... not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God. ... If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may, God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust”

Christianity Has Glorified Marriage More Than Any Other Religion

CS Lewis: "Christianity has glorified marriage more than any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in the world has been produced by Christians. If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Allow me to remind you that among other evident signs of a lack of humility are:
Thinking that what you do or say is better than what others do or say
Always wanting to get your own way
Arguing when you are not right or — when you are — insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
Giving your opinion without being asked for it, when charity does not demand you to do so
Despising the point of view of others
Not being aware that all the gifts and qualities you have are on loan
Not acknowledging that you are unworthy of all honour or esteem, even the ground you are treading on or the things you own
Mentioning yourself as an example in conversation
Speaking badly about yourself, so that they may form a good opinion of you, or contradict you
Making excuses when rebuked
Hiding some humiliating faults from your director, so that he may not lose the good opinion he has of you
Hearing praise with satisfaction, or being glad that others have spoken well of you
Being hurt that others are held in greater esteem than you
Refusing to carry out menial tasks
Seeking or wanting to be singled out
Letting drop words of self-praise in conversation, or words that might show your honesty, your wit or skill, your professional prestige…
Being ashamed of not having certain possessions…

St. Josemaria, pray for us!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Strive To The Point Of Heroism

Another thing I have never forgotten, though it took place a long time ago, was once when I had gone into the Cathedral in Valencia to pray and I passed by the tomb of the Venerable John Ridaura. I was told that whenever this priest, already very advanced in years, was asked how many years he had lived, he would reply with great conviction, in his Valencian dialect, Poquets, 'Very few! Only those I have spent serving God.' For many of you here, the fingers of one hand are still sufficient to count the years since you made up your minds to follow Our Lord closely, to serve him in the midst of the world, in your own environment and through your own profession or occupation. How long is not all that important. What does matter is that we engrave, that we burn upon our souls the conviction that Christ's invitation to sanctity, which he addresses to all men without exception, puts each one of us under an obligation to cultivate our interior life and to struggle daily to practise the Christian virtues; and not just in any way whatsoever, nor in a way which is above average or even excellent. No; we must strive to the point of heroism, in the strictest and most exacting sense of the word. - St. Josemaria Escriva

Monday, July 15, 2013

No Matter How You Try To Clean It Up...

No matter how you clean it up, try to call it something else, and sanitize it, abortion always ends up with a dead baby. - Father Casey

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Suffering? You Are God's Prized And Valued Stone.

Don’t complain if you suffer. It is the prized and valued stone that is polished. Does it hurt? - Allow yourself to be cut, gratefully, because God has taken you in His hands as if you were a diamond. An ordinary pebble is not worked on like that. - St. Josemaria Escriva (Furrow, 235)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Be Bold

It is not those who commit the least faults who are most holy, but those who have the greatest courage, the greatest generosity, the greatest love, who make the boldest efforts to overcome themselves, and are not immoderately apprehensive of tripping. - Saint Francis de Sales

Monday, June 3, 2013

“Be sure to be warmly affable toward everyone. Speak to and answer everyone with very great gentleness and deference. Keep in mind the way the Lord spoke and replied to others even when he was most harshly treated. Never comment on the faults or the behavior of your neighbors. When others speak of them, put a good interpretation on their actions. If you cannot, say nothing at all. In short, decide never to speak of the failings of others nor to reprimand them no matter how serious they seem to you. When you see someone fall into some fault, call to mind the gospel saying, ‘You can see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but you cannot see the beam in your own’ (Mt 7:3)”.. St John Baptist de la Salle

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The Heart Of Man Is An Abyss

The heart of man is an abyss; there is room in it for infinity because in it there is an infinity of desire; and it cannot remain empty; the stark horror of an alien evil will inhabit it if it is not filled by the limitless ocean of the goodness of God. - Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

...without the Way there is no going; without the Truth, there is no knowing; without the Life, there is no living.

...without the Way there is no going; without the Truth, there is no knowing; without the Life, there is no living. The Way becomes lovable, not when it is in abstract codes and commandments, but when it is Personal. As Plato once said, "The Father of the world is hard to discover, and when discovered cannot be communicated." Our Lord's answer to Plato would have been that the Father is hard to discover unless He is revealed through the Person of His Son. - Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Many Kinds Of Martyrdom

As there are many kinds of persecution, so there are many forms of martyrdom. You are a witness to Christ every day. - Saint Ambrose

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Love Jesus Trustfully Without Looking Back

Believe in Jesus - trust Him with blind and absolute confidence because He is Jesus. Believe that Jesus and Jesus alone is life - and sanctity is nothing but that same Jesus intimately living in you - the same life we received at Baptism grown up and made perfect. That is why it is so beautiful that the Holy Father has asked us to go more deeply into the riches of our Baptism this year. Love Jesus trustfully without looking back, without fear. Give yourself fully to Jesus. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love, than in your weakness. We must not be afraid to proclaim Jesus' love and to love as he loved. In the work we have to do, no matter how small, we must make it Christ's love in action. Do not be afraid to be poor and so proclaim His poverty. Be not afraid to keep a pure and undivided heart and so to radiate the joy of belonging to Jesus. Do not be afraid to go down with Christ and be subject to those who have authority from above - His Church - and so declare Christ's obedience unto death.

Serve Jesus with joy and gladness of spirit - casting aside all that troubles and worries you. In each of our lives Jesus comes as Bread of Life - to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how He loves us. And then Jesus comes in our human life as the Hungry One, the Poor One, hoping to be fed with the bread of our life, our hearts by loving, our hands by serving. As He said, "What ever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me". In so doing we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God - for God is Love and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."

Jesus wants us to be holy as His Father is holy. Holiness is not the luxury of the few, but a simple duty for you and for me. Holiness - very great holiness - becomes very simple if we belong fully to Our Lady. In 1997, the Year of Jesus Christ, may the Immaculate Heart of our Queen and Mother be more and more our way to Jesus and may she obtain the light of Jesus, the love of Jesus and the life of Jesus for each one of us. Then, when the Jubilee of the Year 2000 comes, we will be able to rejoice that once more Christ is walking through the world in us and through us going about doing good. Let us pray. God bless you! - Mother Teresa

Friday, December 14, 2012

Faith Is Illuminative, Not Operative: It Does Not Force Obedience

Faith is illuminative, not operative; it does not force obedience, though it increases responsibility; it heightens guilt, but it does not prevent sin. The will is the source of action. - Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman

Friday, November 9, 2012

Without Friends Even The Most Agreeable Pursuits Become Tedious

Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious. - Saint Thomas Aquinas

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There Is Joy Before The Angels Of God Over One Sinner Who Repents

    [1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
    [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
    [3] So he told them this parable:
    [4] "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
    [5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
    [6] And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.'
    [7] Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
    [8] "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
    [9] And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'
    [10] Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." 
Luke 15:1-10

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Most Potent And Acceptable Prayer

The most potent and acceptable prayer is the prayer that leaves the best effects. I don't mean it must immediately fill the soul with desire...The best effects [are] those that are followed up by actions - when the soul not only desires the honor of God, but really strives for it. - Saint Teresa of Avila

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Urged On By Love Of Christ To Proclaim The Good News Everywhere In The World

Those who with God's help have welcomed Christ's call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ's faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer. - CCC 3

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Spiritual Littleness

"Unless you go back and become like little children you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." This was another way of saying that no old people ever enter heaven; by "old" people is meant those who lack the simplicity of the child which prepares for faith.

Childlike simplicity, or spiritual littleness and humility, is the condition of discovering anything great. - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Servant of God

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I desire to love you, O my God, with a love that is patient, with a love that abandons itself wholly to you, with a love that acts, and most important of all, with a love that perseveres. - Saint Theresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

There will be no defense left to you on the day of judgement, when you will be judged according to the sentence you passed on others and you will be dealt with as you have dealt with others. - Saint Cyprian

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Come here, then, my soul, and tell me – in God’s name, I ask you – what hinders you from following wholly after God with all your strength? What do you love if not God, your spouse? Why don’t you have great love for him who has so greatly loved you? Had he nothing else to do on earth except to give himself up for you? And seek your benefit even to his own hurt? What is there for you to do on earth except to love the King of heaven? Don’t you see that all these things must come to an end? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you touch? Taste? Handle? Don’t you see that all these things are but a spider’s web that can never clothe you or keep you from the cold? Where are you when you are not in Jesus Christ? What do you think about? What do you value? What do you seek beyond the one perfect good? Let us rise, my soul, and put an end to this evil dream. Let us awaken, for it is day, and Jesus Christ, who is the light, has come. - St. John of Avila

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Friday, September 14, 2012

It Is Through The Flesh That Man Turns Away From God; It Is In Becoming Flesh That God Delivers Man

Sin which destroyed the divine life within us demands a satisfaction, an expiation without which it would be impossible for divine life to be restored to us. Being a mere creature, man cannot give this satisfaction for an offense of infinite malice, and, on the other hand, divinity can neither suffer nor expiate. How is this problem to be solved? The Incarnation gives us the answer. Consider the babe of Bethlehem. He is the Word-made-Flesh. The Word asks of us a human nature to find in it wherewith to suffer, to expiate, to merit, to heap graces upon us. It is through the flesh that man turns away from God; it is in becoming flesh that God delivers man. The flesh that the Word of God takes upon himself, is to become the instrument of salvation for all men. - Blessed Columba Marmion

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

As the tree is known by its fruits, so they who claim to belong to Christ are known by their actions; for this work of ours does not consist in just making professions, but in a faith that is both practical and lasting. - Saint Ignatius of Antioch

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Taste And See

Jesus Christ finds means to console a soul that remains with a recollected spirit before the Most Blessed Sacrament, far beyond what the world can do with all its feasts and pastimes. Oh, how sweet a joy it is to remain with faith and tender devotion before an altar, and converse familiarly with Jesus Christ, who is there for the express purpose of listening to and graciously hearing those who pray to him; to ask his pardon for the displeasures which we have caused him; to represent our wants to him, as a friend does to a friend in whom he places all his confidence; to ask him for his graces, for his love, and for his kingdom; but above all, oh, what a heaven it is there to remain making acts of love towards that Lord who is on the very altar praying to the Eternal Father for us, and is there burning with love for us. Indeed that love it is which detains him there, thus hidden and unknown, and where he is even despised by ungrateful souls! But why should we say more? 'Taste and see.' - Saint Alphonsus De Liguori

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A World Soaked Through With Oceans Of Mercy

With eyes of faith, we do not wonder why God allows so much suffering, but rather why He doesn't allow more. We're not looking at a world full of innocent people suffering unjustly. We're looking at a world soaked through with oceans of mercy, because all of us are sinners, and none of us deserves even the next breath we're going to take. - Dr. Scott Hahn
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dictatorship Of Relativism

‎We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as for certain and has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires as the final measure. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, pre-conclave homily

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Asking A Christian To Keep His Religion Out Of The Public Square...

‎Asking a Christian to keep his religion out of the public square is like asking a married man to act single in public. — Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Lay A Successful Siege Against The World's Many Barricaded Hearts - Breaching Their Walls With Love

The Pharisees were unbelieving. They didn’t want to believe in a Messiah that didn’t fit their pre-conceived ideas, and so they found ways to justify their resistance – if Jesus drives out demons, he must be possessed by a stronger demon, that’s all. Imagine how Christ’s heart reacted to those accusations, such stubborn resistance to his grace. Imagine how it reacts to the disbelief of so many people who refuse to see the signs of his love and truth in the world today.

When a friend is in pain, you do whatever you can to comfort him. Christians can comfort Christ by keeping their own faith fresh and, above all, by living a real, practical, and universal Christian charity. That’s the only way to lay a successful siege against the world’s many barricaded hearts – breaching their walls with love, so the gift of faith can come streaming in. - Fr. Bartunek

Whatever Is True, Whatever Is Noble, Whatever Is Pure, Whatever Is Lovely...

"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Relationship Between Eros And Agape Is Deeply Rooted In The Mystery Of The Incarnation

What Pope Benedict teaches about the proper relationship between eros (human love) and agape (divine love) is deeply rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation and, in turn, the Trinity. Eros is distinct from agape, just as the human nature in Christ is distinct from the divine. Furthermore, just as the human and divine natures in Christ are profoundly and indissolubly united, so are erotic and divine love (or at least, they should be). Indeed, the proper unity of eros and agape flows precisely from the mystery of the Incarnation, in which the human and divine meet in an embrace that never ends. - Christopher West

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Drawn By A Superior Force

My heart feels as if it were being drawn by a superior force each morning just before uniting with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. I have such a thirst and hunger before receiving Him that it's a wonder I don't die of anxiety. I was hardly able to reach the Divine Prisoner in order to celebrate Mass. When Mass ended I remained with Jesus to render Him thanks. My thirst and hunger do not diminish after I have received Him in the Blessed Sacrament, but rather, increase steadily. Oh, how sweet was the conversation I held with Paradise this morning. The Heart of Jesus and my own, if you will pardon my expression, fused. They were no longer two hearts beating but only one. My heart disappeared as if it were a drop in the ocean. - Saint Padre Pio

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Let Anyone Who Thinks That He Stands Take Heed Lest He Fall

Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Monday, June 18, 2012

All-Purpose "Thens"

All purpose "thens" to use in "if-thens" (ex. "Polly, this discussion is over. Don't say another word, or you'll cool down in your room." or "Nielson, please turn off the TV and come to supper. If I turn it off, I decide when it comes back on."
  • half an hour in their room
  • sitting at the table with their head down
  • fifteen minutes worth of chores

Weak Discipline Invites Relentless Challenge; Resolute Discipline Makes For A Better Relationship

While kids initially may resist stronger discipline, with time they become more amenable to it. Both their demeanor and their mood settle. The explanation is pretty straightforward. Weak discipline invites relentless challenge, causing ill will for all. Resolute discipline, on the other, lays down a stable line. When consequences are clear and sure, kids learn the terms. They cease the battle, and accept what is. Put simply, better discipline makes for a better relationship. - Dr. Ray Guarendi

A Distinction Must Be Made Between The False Notion That Discipline Is "Mean" And The Reality Of Truly Mean Discipline

A critical distinction must be made between the false notion, on the one hand, that discipline in and of itself is mean, and the reality, on the other, of truly mean discipline. Certainly we can be mean as we discipline. We can verbally pummel, demean, and fling all kinds of unnecessary and hurtful words and emotions. By virtue of our human weakness, all parents are prone to some mean discipline. Good parents work hard for years to reduce its presence. Yet setting firm limits and holding children accountable for their actions is not mean at all. It is love in action. It is love that is hard for children to comprehend. Nonetheless, it is love that will endure long beyond our lifetimes in the character of the next generation we leave behind on this earth. - Dr. Ray Guarendi