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Archive for the ‘01 Daily Meditations’ Category

“With Him there is no possibility of failure”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/26 at 12:00 AM
“I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” With him there is no possibility of failure, and this conviction gives rise to the holy “superiority complex” whereby we take on things with a spirit of victory, because God grants us his strength. (The Forge, 337)

If you’re not struggling, it’s no use telling me that you are really trying to become more closely identified with Christ, to know him and love him. When we set out seriously along the royal highway, that of following Christ and behaving as children of God, we soon realize what awaits us: the Holy Cross. We must see it as the central point upon which to rest our hope of being united with Our Lord.

Let me warn you that the program ahead is not an easy one. It takes an effort to lead the kind of life Our Lord wants… We will, however, discover our own meanness and selfishness, the sting of sensuality, the useless, ridiculous smack of pride, and many other failings besides: so very many weaknesses. But are we to give in to discouragement? Not at all. Together with St Paul, let us tell Our Lord, ‘I am well content with these humiliations of mine, with the insults, the hardships, the persecutions, the times of difficulty I undergo for Christ; for when I am weakest, then I am strongest of all’…

I am convinced that unless I look upward, unless I have Jesus, I will never accomplish anything. And I know that the strength to conquer myself and to win comes from repeating that cry, ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me,’ words which reflect God’s firm promise not to abandon his children if they do not abandon him. (Friends of God, 212-213)

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“Get to know the Holy Spirit”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/19 at 12:00 AM
Get to know the Holy Spirit, the great Stranger, on whom depends your sanctification. Don’t forget that you are God’s temple. The Advocate is in the centre of your soul: listen to him and be docile to his inspirations. (The Way, 57)

The strength and the power of God light up the face of the earth. The Holy Spirit is present in the Church of Christ for all time, so that it may be, always and in everything, a sign raised up before all nations, announcing to all men the goodness and the love of God. In spite of our great limitations, we can look up to heaven with confidence and joy: God loves us and frees us from our sins. The presence and the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church are a foretaste of eternal happiness, of the joy and peace for which we are destined by God. (…)

But our faith in the Holy Spirit must be complete. It is not a vague belief in his presence in the world, but a grateful acceptance of the signs and realities into which he has poured forth his power in a special way. When the Spirit of truth comes, our Lord tells us, “he will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you.” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit sent by Christ to carry out in us the work of holiness that our Lord merited for us on earth.

There cannot be faith in the Holy Spirit if there is not faith in Christ, in his sacraments, in his Church. A man cannot act in accordance with his christian faith, cannot truly believe in the Holy Spirit, unless he loves the Church and trusts it. He cannot be a coherent Christian if he limits himself to pointing out the deficiencies and limitations of some who represent the Church, judging her from the outside, as though he were not her son.

(Christ is passing by, 128-130)

“The charity of Christ should compel you”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/12 at 12:00 AM
You need interior life and doctrinal formation. Be demanding on yourself! As a Christian man or woman, you have to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, for you are obliged to give good example with holy shamelessness. The charity of Christ should compel you. Feeling and knowing yourself to be another Christ from the moment you told him that you would follow him, you must not separate yourself from your equals – your relatives, friends and colleagues – any more than you would separate salt from the food it is seasoning. Your interior life and your formation include the piety and the principles a child of God must have in order to give flavour to everything by his active presence there. Ask the Lord that you may always be that good seasoning in the lives of others. ( The Forge, 450)

A Christian can’t be caught up in personal problems; he must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.

Concern for one’s own spiritual improvement is not really a personal thing, for sanctification is completely bound up with apostolate. We must, therefore, develop our interior life and the christian virtues with our eyes upon the good of the whole Church. We cannot do good and make Christ known, if we’re not making a sincere effort to live the teachings of the Gospel.

If we are imbued with this spirit, our conversations with God eventually aid other men, even though they may begin on an apparently personal level. And if we take our Lady’s hand, she will make us realize more fully that all men are our brothers — because we are all sons of that God whose daughter, spouse and mother she is.

Our neighbours’ problems must be our problems. Christian fraternity should be something very deep in the soul, so that we are indifferent to no one. Mary, who brought up Jesus and accompanied him through his life and is now beside him in heaven, will help us recognize Jesus as he crosses our path and makes himself present to us in the needs of our fellow men. (Christ is passing by, 145)

“You have to live in harmony with your fellow men and understand them”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/12 at 12:00 AM
You have to live in harmony with your fellow men and understand them as a brother would. As the Spanish mystic says, you have to put love where there is no love to obtain love. (The Forge, 457)

Christ, who came to save all mankind and who wishes Christians to be associated with him in the work of redemption, wanted to teach his disciples — you and me — to have a great and sincere charity, one which is more noble and more precious: that of loving one another in the same way as Christ loves each one of us. Only then, by imitating the divine pattern he has left us, and notwithstanding our own rough ways, will we be able to open our hearts to all men and love in a higher and totally new way.

Tertullian writing in the second century tells us how impressed the pagans were by the behaviour of the faithful at that time. So attractive was it both supernaturally and humanly that they often remarked: ‘See how they love one another.’

If you think, looking at yourself now or in so many things you do each day, that you do not deserve such praise; that your heart does not respond as it should to the promptings of God, then consider that the time has come for you to put things right.

The principal apostolate we Christians must carry out in the world, and the best witness we can give of our faith, is to help bring about a climate of genuine charity within the Church. For who indeed could feel attracted to the Gospel if those who say they preach the Good News do not really love one another, but spend their time attacking one another, spreading slander and quarrelling? (Friends of God, 225-226)

“With your help, Lord, I’ll fight”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/05 at 12:00 AM
Mary’s humble song of joy, the Magnificat, recalls to our minds the infinite generosity of the Lord towards those who become like children towards those who abase themselves and are sincerely aware that they are nothing. (The Forge, 608)

Don’t forget that the saint is not the person who never falls, but rather the one who never fails to get up again, humbly and with a holy stubbornness. If the book of Proverbs says that the just man falls seven times a day, who are we poor creatures, you and I, to be surprised or discouraged by our own weaknesses and falls! We will be able to keep going ahead, if only we seek our fortitude in him who says: ‘Come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest.’ Thank you, Lord, quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea, because you, and you alone, my God, have always been my strength, my refuge and my support.

If you really want to make progress in the interior life, be humble. Turn constantly and confidently to the help of Our Lord and of his Blessed Mother, who is your Mother too. No matter how much the still open wound of your latest fall may hurt, embrace the cross once more and, calmly, without getting upset, say: ‘With your help, Lord, I’ll fight so as not to be held back. I’ll respond faithfully to your invitations. I won’t be afraid of steep climbs, nor of the apparent monotony of my daily work, nor of the thistles and loose stones on the way. I know that I am aided by your mercy and that, at the end of the road, I will find eternal happiness, full of joy and love for ever and ever.’ (Friends of God, 131) [

“If you want to be useful, serve”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/05 at 12:00 AM
You too have a professional vocation which spurs you on. Well, that spur is the hook to fish for men. Rectify your intention, then, and be sure you acquire all the professional prestige you can for the service of God and of souls. The Lord counts on this too. (Furrow, 491)

And so, as the motto of your work, I can give you this one: If you want to be useful, serve. For, in the first place, in order to do things properly, you must know how to do them. I cannot see the integrity of a person who does not strive to attain professional skills and to carry out properly the task entrusted to his care. It’s not enough to want to do good; we must know how to do it. And, if our desire is real, it will show itself in the effort we make to use the right methods, finishing things well, achieving human perfection.

But human service and technique, our knowledge of our job, should have a feature which was basic to St Joseph’s work and should be so for every Christian: the spirit of service, the desire to contribute to the well‑being of other people. Joseph’s work was not self‑centred, even though his active life made him a strong and forceful personality. When he worked, he was aware that he was carrying out God’s will; he was thinking of his people, of Jesus and Mary, and of everyone in Nazareth. (Christ is passing by, 50-51

“The richness of our faith”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/12/20 at 12:00 AM
Don’t be a pessimist. Don’t you realize that all that happens or can happen is for the best?—Your optimism will be a necessary consequence of your faith. (The Way, 378)

In the midst of the limitations that accompany our present life, in which sin is still present in us to some extent at least, we Christians perceive with a particular clearness all the wealth of our divine filiation, when we realize that we are fully free because we are doing our Father’s work, when our joy becomes constant because no one can take our hope away.

It is then that we can admire at the same time all the great and beautiful things of this earth, can appreciate the richness and goodness of creation, and can love with all the strength and purity for which the human heart was made. It is then that sorrow for sin does not degenerate into a bitter gesture of despair or pride, because sorrow and knowledge of human weakness lead us to identify ourselves again with Christ’s work of redemption and feel more deeply our solidarity with other men.

It is then, finally, that we Christians experience in our own life the sure strength of the Holy Spirit, in such a way that our own failures do not drag us down. Rather they are an invitation to begin again, and to continue being faithful witnesses of Christ in all the moments of our life — in spite of our own personal weaknesses, which, in such a case, are normally no more than small failings that hardly perturb the soul. And even if they were grave sins, the sacrament of penance, received with true sorrow, enables us to recover our peace with God and to become again a good witness of his mercy.

Such is the brief summary, which can barely be expressed in human language, of the richness of our faith and of our christian life, if we let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. (Christ is passing by, 138)

“Practice fraternal correction”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/12/11 at 12:00 AM
To practice fraternal correction – which is so deeply rooted in the Gospel – is a proof of supernatural trust and affection. Be thankful for it when you receive it, and don’t neglect to practice it with those you live with. (The Forge, 566)

Be prudent and always act with simplicity, which is a very appropriate virtue for a son of God. Behave naturally in the way you speak and in what you do. Get to the root of problems; don’t stay on the surface. Remember that, if we really want to fulfill our obligations as Christians in a holy and manly way, we must anticipate unpleasant moments for others and for ourselves too.

I won’t hide from you the fact that, when I have to correct someone or take a decision that will cause pain, I suffer before, during and after it; and I am not a sentimental person. It consoles me to think that it is only animals that don’t cry. We men, children of God, do cry. As I see it, there will be times when you too will have to suffer if you are really serious about doing your duty faithfully. Don’t forget that it is more comfortable (though it is a mistake) to avoid suffering at any cost, with the excuse of not wanting to hurt others. This inhibition often hides a shameful escape on our part from suffering, since it isn’t usually pleasant to correct someone in a serious matter. My children, remember that hell is full of closed mouths.

(…)To heal a wound, the first thing to do is to clean it well, including a wide area around it. The surgeon knows that the cleaning hurts, but he also knows that there will be worse pain later if it is not done. A disinfectant is also applied immediately. Naturally it stings (or, as they say where I come from, it prickles) and hurts the patient. But it’s the only way if the wound is not to become infected.

If it is obvious that such measures must be taken to protect bodily health, although it may only be a relatively minor wound, then when the health of the soul is at stake — the very nerve centre of a man’s life — how much more necessary it is to wash, to cut away, to scrape, to disinfect, to suffer! Prudence demands that we intervene in this way and that we don’t flee from duty, because to side-step our obligations here would indicate a great lack of concern for and even a grave offence against the virtues of justice and fortitude. (Friends of God, 160-161)

“I put my trust in you. I know you are my Father”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/11/13 at 12:00 AM
Jesus prays in the garden. Pater mi (Matt 26:39), Abba Pater! (Mark 14:36). God is my Father, even though he may send me suffering. He loves me tenderly, even while wounding me. Jesus suffers, to fulfill the Will of the Father… And I, who also wish to fulfill the most holy Will of God, following in the footsteps of the Master, can I complain if I too meet suffering as my traveling companion? It will be a sure sign of my sonship, because God is treating me as he treated his own Divine Son. Then I, just as He did, will be able to groan and weep alone in my Gethsemani; but, as I lie prostrate on the ground, acknowledging my nothingness, there will rise up to the Lord a cry from the depths of my soul: Pater mi, Abba, Pater,… fiat! (Way of the Cross, First Station, No. 1)

For reasons that I need not go into now (but which Jesus, who is presiding over us here from the Tabernacle, knows full well) my life has led me to realize in a special way that I am a son of God and I have experienced the joy of getting inside the heart of my Father, to rectify, to purify myself, to serve him, to understand others and find excuses for them, on the strength of his love and my own lowliness.

This is why I want to insist now that you and I need to be made anew, we need to wake up from the slumber of feebleness by which we are so easily lulled and to become aware once again, in a deeper and more immediate way, of our condition as children of God.

The example of Jesus, every detail of his life in those Eastern lands, will help us to fill ourselves with this truth. ‘If we admit the testimony of men,’ we read in today’s Epistle, ‘the testimony of God is greater.’ And what does God’s testimony consist of? Again St John tells us: ‘See how God has shown his love towards us; that we should be counted as his sons, should be his sons… Beloved, we are sons of God even now.’

Over the years, I have sought to rely unfalteringly for my support on this joyous reality. No matter what the situation, my prayer, while varying in tone, has always been the same. I have said to him: ‘Lord, You put me here. You entrusted me with this or that, and I put my trust in you. I know you are my Father, and I have seen that tiny children are always absolutely sure of their parents.’ My priestly experience tells me that abandonment such as this in the hands of God stimulates souls to acquire a strong, deep and serene piety, which drives them to work constantly and with an upright intention. (Friends of God, 143)

“Serenity. Why lose your temper?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/11/06 at 12:00 AM
Serenity. Why lose your temper if by doing so you offend God, annoy other people, upset yourself… and have to find it again in the end? (The Way, 8)

Say what you have just said, but in a different tone, without anger, and your argument will gain in strength and, above all, you won’t offend God. (The Way, 9)

Never correct anyone while you are still indignant about a fault committed. Wait until the next day, or even longer. And then, calmly, and with a purer intention, make your reprimand. You will gain more by one friendly word than by a three-hour quarrel. Control your temper. (The Way, 10)

As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Lord, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have turned out the way God wants them to. (Furrow, 860)

When the good of your neighbour is at stake you cannot remain silent. But speak in a kindly way, with due moderation and without losing your temper. (The Forge, 960)