Inspirational Snippet: Every change in our lives is a commissioning. Every loss is the beginning of a new calling.
- Love God back.
- Do God’s will by living the Gospel without compromise.
- Do everything with love—every nitty-gritty thing.
- Do the duty of the moment.
- Live a life of simplicity according to your state.
Prayer is a matter of relationship. Intimacy is the basic issue, not answers to problems or resolutions “to be better.” Many of life’s problems and challenges have no answers; we can only live with and through them. Problems and challenges, however, can be faced and lived through with more peace and resilience if people know that they are not alone. A man’s wife will not return from the dead, but the pain is more bearable when he has poured out his sorrow, his anger, and his despair to God and has experienced God’s intimate presence.
—Excerpted from Letting God Come Close by WilliamA Barry SJ
Christ in My Life Lord Jesus, you have wished to be my friend. I have so many friends. Friendship seems so simple, so natural. Do you really want to live like that with me? Don’t you want something more dramatic, more impressive, more historic? After all, you are the King of the universe. But no, you just want my friendship. And I want yours. It is all I want. Increase my faith, Lord, and teach me to walk always by your side…
You keep repeating the same lesson, Lord, that you want me to love as you have loved. Why do you keep insisting? Because I still haven’t learned it. It’s like when I was a kid and my coaches and teachers kept drilling the fundamentals. How many times I had to write out the alphabet! How many times I had to shoot a layup! The fundamentals of eternal life – help me get them right, so I can help others…
I am so grateful that you have made me your soldier. You didn’t need me; you could have conquered without me. But you chose to include me, to make me your ambassador, to give me a mission, a responsibility, a field of action. Now I can show you that I love you, that I am thankful for the innumerable gifts you have given me. I can show it by giving myself wholly to the mission you have entrusted to me
From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his son. “Full of grace,” Mary is “the most excellent fruit of redemption”: from the first instance of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin, and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.”
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 509
"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
...Catherine gave all Christians a simple formula for how to become holy while living in this broken down, discordant, out of pitch world. The formula is really a distillation of Eastern and Western spirituality.
Of course, this simple way will require that sometimes we hang on the other side of the Cross, but our Lord is always there, holding us up.
When all is said and done, what we do matters, but not much. Who we are is what counts. The important point is that when all of us are too old or too sick or for whatever reason we can no longer live the Gospel in the way we used to (projects, activities, even being) we really have to believe in the spiritual truth of the usefulness of uselessness. No one was more useless than Our Lord on the Cross. He didn’t do anything but hang there and suffer—and He saved the world.
Every Christian is called to participate in Christ’s salvation of the world, to be a listening heart, to be a light to ...
St Mark the Evangelist, a cousin of Barnabas, accompanied St. Paul on his first missionary journey and later went with him to Rome. He was a disciple of St. Peter whose teaching was the basis for Mark’s gospel. Mark is said to be the founder of the church of Alexandria [cf the Office of Readings, for the Feast of Mark, Evangelist (April 25), Liturgy of the Hours]. Some have speculated that he was the young man wrapped in a linen cloth in the Garden of Gethsemene, who left the cloth behind and ran away naked in Mark 14:51-52.
He is represented as a lion because of the words at the beginning of Mark’s gospel “A voice of one crying out in the desert” (Mark 1:3a). The lion can be found in the symbolism of Revelation, Ezekiel and elsewhere in Scripture. The lion also has symbolized Christ, the Resurrection, courage, fortitude, and kingliness. He is the patron saint of attorneys, barristers, captives, lions, notaries, prisoners, and Venice, among others.
O Lord, Lord, how small and narrow is the house of my soul for You to enter! Enlarge it Yourself. It is in ruins; repair it. I know and admit that there are things in it that are offensive in Your sight. But who will cleanse it? Or to whom but You shall I cry, purify me, Lord, from my hidden sins?” (St. Augustine).
“O good Jesus, to sustain our weakness and to stir up our love, You have chosen to remain always in our midst, although You well foresaw the way that men would treat You and the shame and outrages from which You would have to suffer. O eternal Father, how could You permit Your Son to live with us, to endure fresh insults every day? O my God! What great love in that Son! and also, what great love in that Father!
“But how, eternal Father, couldst Thou consent to this? How canst Thou see Thy Son every day in such wicked hands?… How canst Thy mercy, day by day, and every day, see Him affronted? And how many affronts are being offered today to this most Holy Sacrament! How often must Thou see Him in the hands of His enemies!
“O eternal Father! Surely all these scourgings and insults and grevious tortures will not be forgotten…. Could it be that He failed to do something to please Thee? No, He fulfilled everything…. Has He not already more than sufficiently paid for the sin of Adam?
“O Holy Father who art in Heaven, if Thy divine Son has left nothing undone that He could do for us in granting sinners so great a favor as that of the Blessed Sacrament, do not permit Him to be so ill-treated. Since Thy holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let us make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as in many places is paid to this most holy Sacrament” (cf. Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 33-3-35)
O St. Joseph, how much I love you! How much good it does me to think of your humble, simple life! Like us, you lived by faith. I contemplate you in the little house at Nazareth, near Jesus and Mary, busy working for them. I see you using the plane, and then wiping your forehead from time to time, and hurrying to finish the work on time for your customers. Although you lived with the Son of God, your life was very ordinary, for Jesus certainly did not perform any useless miracles. Everything in your life was just as it is in ours. And how many sorrows, fatigues and dangers! Oh! how astonished we should be if we knew all that you suffered!” (cf. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Counsels and Souvenirs, – Novissima Verba).
“I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to you, O glorious St. Joseph, for the way you helped them. For this reason it seems to me that those who practice prayer should have a special affection for you always.
“I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to you, for I have great experience of the blessings which you obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to you and render you particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for you give very real help to souls who commend themselves to you. I have clearly seen that your help has always been greater than I could have hoped for. I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of you which you failed to grant. The Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to you on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, you could command Him), just so in Heaven He still does all that you ask” (cf. Teresa of Jesus. Life, 6).
O dear St. Joseph, I place myself, then, with full confidence under your protection. Teach me to live as you did, in faith and abandonment to God; teach me to live solely for Him, by consecrating myself entirely to His service.
Through me many peoples have been reborn in God
I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to God. God is never to be doubted. He answered my prayer in such a way that in the last days, ignorant though I am, I might be bold enough to take up so holy and so wonderful a task, and imitate in some degree those whom the Lord had so long ago foretold as heralds of his Gospel, bearing witness to all nations.
How did I get this wisdom, that was not mine before? I did not know the number of my days, or have knowledge of God. How did so great and salutary a gift come to me, the gift of knowing and loving God, though at the cost of homeland and family? I came to the Irish peoples to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.
If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for his name. I want to spend myself in that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor. I am deeply in his debt, for he gave me the great grace that through me many peoples should be reborn in God, and then made perfect by confirmation and everywhere among them clergy ordained for a people so recently coming to believe, one people gathered by the Lord from the ends of the earth. As God had prophesied of old through the prophets: The nations shall come to you from the ends of the earth, and say: “How false are the idols made by our fathers: they are useless.” In another prophecy he said: I have set you as a light among the nations, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: They shall come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world.
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