To pray is to spend time freely with God just for the joy of being together. It is to love, because giving our time means giving our lives. Love does not mean primarily to do something for the other person, it means being there with them. Prayer trains us to be there with God, in a simple act of loving attention. ~Fr. Jacques Philippe; Thirsting for Prayer
It is when things go wrong, when the good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly. There is no such thing as belief without doubt or struggle.~Madeleine L’Engle; Two-Part Invention
“It is not how much we are doing but how much love, how much honesty, how much faith is put into doing it. It makes no difference what we are doing. What you are doing, I cannot do, and what I am doing, you cannot do. Only sometimes we forget and we spend more time looking at somebody else and wishing we were doing something else. We waste our time thinking of tomorrow, and today we let the day pass, and yesterday is gone.” ~St. Teresa of Calcutta; Mother Teresa, Her People and Her Work
In a culture increasingly devoid of common courtesy and with an increasing number of young people self-identifying as “nones” when referring to their religious affiliation, it was a two-fold joy to receive this “thank you” note after Mass this morning.
Use what little obedience you are capable of, even if it be like a grain of mustard seed. Begin where you are. Live this present moment, this present hour as you now sit in your seats, in utter, utter submission and openness toward God. Listen outwardly to these words, but within, behind the scenes, in the deeper levels of your lives where you are all alone with God the Loving Eternal One, keep up a silent prayer, “Open Thou my life. Guide my thoughts where I dare not let them go. But Thou darest. Thy will be done.” Walk on the streets and chat with your friends. But every moment behind the scenes be in prayer, offering yourselves in continuous obedience. ~Thomas Kelly, Holy Obedience
“Christ, the hope of all who have faith… ‘For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise.’ (cf 1 Thes. 4:16)
May this hope of resurrection put heart into us since we shall see again in heaven those whom we lose on earth. All we have to do is to believe firmly in Christ and obey his commandments. Such is his power that he can raise the dead more easily than we can arouse the sleeping. …
O unfeeling death, cruelly pulling asunder those who are joined together, and parting those who are united in friendship! But now is your power destroyed and your godless yoke shattered by him who gave you stern warning when he said through Hosea, ‘O death I will be your death.’ To which we add our own taunts in the words of the Apostle, ‘O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?’ He who conquered you is our redeemer. …” ~From the letters of St Braulio of Saragossa
Christians are called to become icons of Christ, to reflect him. But we are called to even more than that. Ikon is the Greek word for “image of God.” We are called to incarnate him in our lives, to clothe our lives with him, so that men can see him in us, touch him in us, recognize him in us.
When we don’t live the gospel without compromise, or try to, we are skeletons. People do not care to deal with skeletons. The gospel can be summed up by saying that it is the tremendous, tender, compassionate, gentle, extraordinary, explosive, revolutionary law of Christ’s love. ~Catherine Doherty, The Gospel Without Compromise
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness. Come, my Life, and revive me from death. Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds. Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins, kindling my heart with the flame of thy love. Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there. For thou alone art my King and my Lord. ~Saint Dimitri of Rostov
Have you wept at anything during the past year? Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty? Have you thought seriously about the fact that someday you are going to die? More often than not, do you really listen when people are speaking to you, instead of just waiting for your turn to speak? Is there anybody you know in whose place, if one of you had to suffer great pain, you would volunteer yourself? If your answer to all or most of these questions is no, the chances are that you’re dead. ~ Frederick Buechner, Listen To Your Life