2cornucopias

Posts Tagged ‘Christians?’

“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)

Advertisements

“We are ordinary Christians who lead an ordinary life”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/06/12 at 12:00 AM

God is not removing you from your environment. He is not taking you away from the world, or from your condition in life, or from your noble human ambitions, or from your professional work… But he wants you to be a saint – right there! (The Forge, 362)

No matter how much we may have reflected on all this, we should always be surprised when we think of the thirty years of obscurity which made up the greater part of Jesus’ life among men. He lived in obscurity, but, for us, that period is full of light. It illuminates our days and fills them with meaning, for we are ordinary Christians who lead an ordinary life, just like millions of other people all over the world.

That was the way Jesus lived for thirty years, as “the son of the carpenter” [1]. There followed three years of public life, spent among the crowds. People were surprised: “Who is this?” they asked. “Where has he learned these things?” For he was just like them: he had shared the life of ordinary people. He was “the carpenter, the son of Mary” [2]. And he was God; he was achieving the redemption of mankind and “drawing all things to himself” [3].

As with other events in his life, we should never contemplate Jesus’ hidden years without feeling moved. We should realize that they are in themselves a call to shake off our selfishness and easy‑going ways. (Christ is passing by, 14-15)

[1] Matt 13:55
[2] Mark 6:3
[3] John 12:32

“The new commandment of love”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/04/17 at 12:00 AM
Jesus Our Lord loved men so much that he became incarnate, took to himself our nature, and lived in daily contact with the poor and the rich, with the just and with sinners, with young and old, with Gentiles and Jews. He spoke to everyone: to those who showed good will towards him, and to those who were only looking for a way to twist his words and condemn him. You should try to act as Our Lord did. (The Forge, 558)

It is easy to understand the impatience, anxiety and uneasiness of people whose naturally christian soul stimulates them to fight the personal and social injustice which the human heart can create. So many centuries of men living side by side and still so much hate, so much destruction, so much fanaticism stored up in eyes that do not want to see and in hearts that do not want to love!

The good things of the earth, monopolized by a handful of people; the culture of the world, confined to cliques. And, on the outside, hunger for bread and education. Human lives — holy, because they come from God — treated as mere things, as statistics. I understand and share this impatience. It stirs me to look at Christ, who is continually inviting us to put his new commandment of love into practice.

We must learn to recognize Christ when he comes out to meet us in our brothers, the people around us. No human life is ever isolated. It is bound up with other lives. No man or woman is a single verse; we all make up one divine poem which God writes with the cooperation of our freedom. (Christ is passing by, 111

“You will be able to support one another”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/02/27 at 12:00 AM
When you love other people and you spread that affection – Christ’s kindly, gentle charity – all around you, you will be able to support one another, and if someone is about to stumble he will feel that is being supported, and also encouraged, to be faithful to God through this fraternal strength. (The Forge, 148)

When the fullness of time comes, no philosophical genius, no Plato or Socrates appears to fulfill the mission of redemption. Nor does a powerful conqueror, another Alexander, take over the earth. Instead a child is born in Bethlehem. He it is who is to redeem the world. But before he speaks he loves with deeds. It is no magic formula he brings, because he knows that the salvation he offers must pass through human hearts. What does he first do? He laughs and cries and sleeps defenseless, as a baby, though he is God incarnate. And he does this so that we may fall in love with him, so that we may learn to take him in our arms.

We realize once again that this is what Christianity is all about. If a Christian does not love with deeds, he has failed as a Christian, besides failing as a person. You cannot think of others as if they were digits, or rungs on a ladder on which you can rise, or a multitude to be harangued or humiliated, praised or despised, according to circumstances. Be mindful of what others are — and first of all those who are at your side: children of God, with all the dignity that marvelous title entails.

We have to behave as God’s children toward all God’s sons and daughters. Our love has to be a dedicated love, practiced every day and made up of a thousand little details of understanding, hidden sacrifice and unnoticed self‑giving. This is the “aroma of Christ” that made those who lived among our first brothers in the faith exclaim: See how they love one another! (Christ is passing by, 36)

“Here I am, for you have called me”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/09/26 at 12:00 AM

The day of salvation, of eternity, has come for us. Once again the call of the Divine Shepherd can be heard, those affectionate words: Vocavi te nomine tuo – I have called you by your name. Just like our mother, he calls us by our name, by the name we’re fondly called at home, by our nickname. There, in the depths of our soul, he calls us and we just have to answer: Ecce ego quia vocasti me here I am, for you have called me, and this time I’m determined not to let time flow by like water over the pebbly bed of a stream, leaving no trace behind. (The Forge, 7)

Open your own hearts to Jesus and tell him your story. I don’t want to generalize. But one day perhaps an ordinary Christian, just like you, opened your eyes to horizons both deep and new, yet as old as the Gospel. He suggested to you the prospect of following Christ earnestly, seriously, of becoming an apostle of apostles. Perhaps you lost your balance then and didn’t recover it. Your complacency wasn’t quite replaced by true peace until you freely said “yes” to God, because you wanted to, which is the most supernatural of reasons. And in its wake came a strong, constant joy, which disappears only when you abandon him.

I don’t like to speak of someone being singled out to be part of a privileged elect. But it is Christ who speaks, who chooses. It is the language of holy Scripture: “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy,” St Paul tells us [1]. I know that such thoughts don’t fill you with pride nor lead you to think yourself better than other men. That choice, the root of our vocation, should be the basis of our humility. Do we build monuments to an artist’s paintbrush? Granted the brush had a part in creating masterpieces, but we give credit only to the painter. We Christians are nothing more than instruments in the hands of the creator of the world, of the redeemer of all men. (Christ is passing by, 1)

[1] Eph 1:4:

More Christian Persecuted Than in the First Centuries

In Uncategorized on 2014/06/23 at 12:00 AM

The Holy Father commented on Jesus’ discourse in Jerusalem about the end of time. Jesus exhorted the apostles not to be deceived by false messiahs and not to be paralysed by fear, but rather to live this moment of waiting in hope, as a time of witness and perseverance.

The Holy Father emphasised the relevance of these words even to us now in the twenty-first century. “It is a call to discernment”, he said. “Even nowadays, in fact, there are false ‘saviours’ who seek to take Jesus’ place: leaders of this world, gurus, holy men, people who want to attract hearts and minds, especially of young people. Jesus warns us: ‘do not follow them’. And the Lord also helps us not to be afraid when faced with wars and revolutions, natural disasters and epidemics: Jesus liberates us from fatalism and false apocalyptic visions. … He reminds us that we are entirely in God’s hands! The adversity we encounter on account of our faith and our adhesion to the Gospel are opportunities for witness; they should not turn us away from the Lord but rather encourage us to abandon ourselves more fully to Him, to the strength of His Spirit and His grace”.

“In this moment”, he continued, unscripted, “let us think of the many Christian brothers and sisters who suffer persecution for their faith. There are many of them. Perhaps more than in the first centuries. Jesus is with them. Let us also be united with them by our prayer and our affection. Let us admire their courage and their witness. They are our brothers and sisters, who in many parts of the world suffer for being faithful to Jesus Christ. Let us extend our heartfelt and affectionate greetings to them”.

Francis highlighted Jesus’ promise to us as a guarantee of victory: “’Stand firm, and you will win life’. … This is a call to hope and patience, to know how to await the certain fruits of salvation, trusting in the deep meaning of life and history; the trials and difficulties form part of a greater design, and the Lord, the master of history, guides all to its fulfilment. Despite the disorder and catastrophes that afflict the world, God’s plan of goodness and mercy will prevail”.

VIS 131118

“Christians should sanctify everything that is good in their human lives.”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2013/12/27 at 12:00 AM

As an apostle you have a great and beautiful task. You find yourself at the place where grace and the freedom of each soul meet. You are also present at that most solemn occasion in the life of some men: their encounter with Christ! (Furrow, 219)

At Christmas our thoughts turn to the different events and circumstances surrounding the birth of the Son of God. As we contemplate the stable in Bethlehem or the home of the holy family in Nazareth, Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus occupy a special place in our hearts. What does the simple, admirable life of the holy family tell us? What can we learn from it?

I would like particularly to comment on one of the many considerations that we might make on this theme. As we read in holy Scripture, the birth of Jesus means the beginning of the fullness of time. It was the moment God chose to show the extent of his love for men, by giving us his own Son. And God’s will is fulfilled in the simplest, most ordinary of circumstances: a woman who gives birth, a family, a home. The power of God and his splendour come to us through a human reality to which they are joined. Since that moment Christians have known that, with God’s grace, they can and should sanctify everything that is good in their human lives. There is no human situation, no matter how trivial and ordinary it may seem, which cannot be a meeting‑place with Christ and a step forward on our journey toward the kingdom of heaven.

It is only natural that the Church rejoices as it contemplates the modest home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. (Christ is passing by, 22)

“Sowers of peace and joy”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2013/04/09 at 12:00 AM
You laugh because I tell you that you have a ‘vocation for marriage’? Well, you have just that: a vocation. Commend yourself to the Archangel Raphael that he may keep you pure, as he did Tobias, until the end of the way. (The Way, 27)

It is very important that the idea of marriage as a real call from God never be absent, either from the pulpit and the religion class or from the conscience of those whom God wishes to follow this way. Couples should be convinced that they are really and truly called to take part in the fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of all men.

For this reason, there is perhaps no better model for a christian couple than that of the christian families of apostolic times: the centurion Cornelius, who obeyed the will of God and in whose home the Church was made accessible to the gentiles; Aquila and Priscilla, who spread Christianity in Corinth and Ephesus, and who cooperated in the apostolate of St Paul; Tabitha, who out of charity attended to the needs of the Christians in Joppe. And so many other homes and families of Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and Romans, in which the preaching of our Lord’s first disciples began to bear fruit. Families who lived in union with Christ and who made him known to others. Small christian communities which were centers for the spreading of the Gospel and its message. Families no different from other families of those times, but living with a new spirit, which spread to all those who were in contact with them. This is what the first Christians were, and this is what we have to be: sowers of peace and joy, the peace and joy that Jesus has brought to us. (Christ is passing by, 30)

“What should a Christian hope for?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/01/06 at 9:11 AM

Faced by all those men without faith, without hope; by minds desperately near the borders of anguish, seeking for a meaning in their life, you found your purpose: Him! This discovery will permanently inject a new happiness into your existence, it will transform you, and present you with an immense daily hoard of beautiful things of which you were unaware, and which show you the joyful expanse of that broad path that leads you to God. (Furrow, 83)

Perhaps some of you are wondering, ‘What should a Christian hope for?’ After all, the world has many good things to offer that attract our hearts, which crave happiness and anxiously run in search of love. Besides we want to sow peace and joy at every turn. We are not content to achieve prosperity just for ourselves. We want to make everyone around us happy as well.

Some people, alas, whose aims are worthy but limited and their ideals only perishable and fleeting, forget that Christians have to aspire to the highest peaks of all, to the infinite. Our aim is the very Love of God, to enjoy that Love fully, with a joy that never ends. We have seen in so many ways that things here below have to come to an end for all of us, when this world ends; and even sooner, for each individual, when he dies, for we cannot take wealth and prestige with us to the grave. That is why, buoyed up by hope, we raise our hearts to God himself and have learned to pray, , I have placed my hope in you, O Lord: may your hand guide me now and at every moment, for ever and ever. [1](Friends of God, 209)

[1] Ps 30:2

“Brief indeed is our time for loving”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/08/27 at 1:11 AM
A son of God fears neither life nor death, because his spiritual life is founded on a sense of divine filiation. So he says to himself: God is my Father and he is the Author of all good; he is all Goodness. But, you and I, do we really act as sons of God?(The Forge, 987)

For us Christians the fleetingness of our journey through life should instead be a spur to help us make better use of our time. It should never be a motive for fearing Our Lord, and much less for looking upon death as a disastrous and final end. It had been said in countless ways, some more poetical than others that, by the grace and mercy of God, each year that ends is a step that takes us nearer to Heaven, our final home.

When I reflect on this, how well I understand St Paul’s exclamation when he writes to the Corinthians, tempus breve est [1]. How short indeed is the time of our passing through this world! For the true Christian these words ring deep down in his heart as a reproach to his lack of generosity, and as a constant invitation to be loyal. Brief indeed is our time for loving, for giving, for making atonement. It would be very wrong, therefore, for us to waste it, or to cast this treasure irresponsibly overboard. We mustn’t squander this period of the world’s history which God has entrusted to each one of us…

That day will come for us. It will be our last day, but we’re not afraid of it. Trusting firmly in God’s grace, we are ready from this very moment to be generous and courageous, and take loving care of little things: we are ready to go and meet Our Lord, with our lamps burning brightly. For the feast of feasts awaits us in Heaven. (Friends of God, 39-40)

[1] 1 Cor 7:29