Living within the truth means living according to Jesus Christ and God’s Word in Sacred Scripture. It means proclaiming the truth of the Christian Gospel . . . It means believing that the truths of the Creed are worth suffering and dying for. Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live . . . We are ambassadors of the living God to a world that is on the verge of forgetting him. Our work is to make God real; to be the face of his love. . .so that when we make our accounting to the Lord, we will be numbered among the faithful and courageous, and not the cowardly or the evasive, or those who compromised until there was nothing left of their convictions; or those who were silent when they should have spoken the right word at the right time.
– Archbishop Charles Chaput
Your voice, Lord, guides me. Ever since I was a little child, I have heard you call me by name, beckoning me closer to you. . .Your company has brought me joy, Lord. I have felt your presence at every step; I have trusted your shepherding. And yet you have not saved me from pain. Though I have followed faithfully, yet I have still stumbled and known distress. I have not escaped the thorns, brambles and cruel traps. You never promised me immunity from pain, Lord, but only the constancy of your love. Your hand holds mine securely. I know the tenderness of your embrace.
Prayer never touches us as long as it remains on the surface of our lives, as long as it is nothing but one more of the thousand things that must be done. It is only when prayer becomes “the one thing necessary” that real prayer begins . . . We are called upon to live Christ’s life. We are called into the desert . . . We are called to face God alone in the night of our own solitude. We are called to die with Jesus, in order to live with him. We are asked to lose all, to be emptied out, in order to be filled with the very fullness of God . . . Christianity is much more than an expression of brotherly love couched in religious terms. It is essential that each person make some kind of personal response to God in Christ.
– James Finley
Faith is not a thing of the mind; it is not an intellectual certainty or a felt conviction of the heart. It is a sustained decision to take God with utter seriousness as the God of my life. It is to live out each hour in a practical, concrete affirmation that God is Father and he is “in Heaven.” It is a decision to shift the center of our lives from ourselves to him, to forego self-interest and make his interests, his will, our sole concern. This is what it means to hallow his name as Father in Heaven . . . All that matters to faith is that God should have what he wants and we know that what he wants is always our own blessedness. His purposes are worked out, his will is mediated to us, in the humblest form, as humble as our daily bread.
– Sister Ruth Burrows, O.C.D.
We must relearn our devotion to the Cross. It seems too passive to us, too pessimistic, too sentimental – but if we have not been devoted to the Cross of Jesus in our lifetime, how will we endure our own Cross when the time comes for it to be laid upon us? A friend of mine, who depended for years on kidney dialysis and who realized that his life was slipping away from him moment by moment, once told me that as a child, and later as an adult, he had a special devotion to the Way of the Cross and had often prayed it. When he heard the frightening diagnosis of his illness, he was at first stunned; then suddenly the thought came to him: What you have prayed so often has now become a reality in your life; now you can really accompany Jesus; you have been joined to him by his Way of the Cross. In this way, my friend recovered his serenity, which thereafter illuminated his countenance to the end of his days.
– Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
If only we could actuate this right thinking in answering our daily calls, we would widen a spiritual horizon, a vista so beautiful . . . He is asking for patience, that we may come to him who bore all our infirmities without complaint. He is offering an opportunity for meekness and humility, that we may deepen our communication with Jesus, who is meek and humble of heart . . . This is what we mean by “call.” Not a call to do this or to do that, to suffer this or to give up that, but always a call to come to God. Thus we come to pray, “In the hour of my death, call me,” knowing that he will, and for the same reason that he has called me all during my life – that I may come to him . . . When God calls us, it is for a reason, particularly in that dearest final call, which will be made because he just wants to see us. We can help one another remember, by our manner of living, that God has always the same elemental reason for each of his calls, whether in life or death: that we may come to him. This is what we want to do: understand every call.
– Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.
All of us will die on a day we do not know at present, but how happy we will be if we die with our dear Savior in our hearts. Indeed, we must always keep him there, making our spiritual exercises in his company and offering him our desires, resolutions and protests. It is a thousand times better to die with the Lord than to live without him . . . If the death of the Savior is propitious for us, our own death will be a happy one. For this reason we should often think of his holy death, and love his cross and his Passion.
– St. Francis de Sales
“Today’s Reflection” is in paperback:
We need silence. We need to be alone or together looking for God in silence. There it is that we accumulate the inward power by which we act, by which we do the smallest duty and by which we suffer the severest hardships that befall us . . . Once I was asked by someone what I consider the most important aspect of the training of the Sisters of our Order. I answered, “Silence,” – interior and exterior silence. Silence is essential in a religious house. The silence of humility, of charity, the silence of the eyes, of the ears, of the tongue. There is no life of prayer without silence. Silence, and then kindness, charity; silence leads to charity, and charity to humility.
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Christ, who identified himself with sinners . . .turned to sinners as much as to saints for help. He was grateful for the help of the thief on the cross, the generosity of this derelict, dying man who acknowledged Christ’s goodness when those who knew him well had fled. Even when he was dead, he accepted his tomb, the place where his body should rest, from Nicodemus, the hesitating, careful man who dared only to come to him under cover of darkness. There is no exemption from the love of Christ in one another, or from sharing the cross. There is no moment when, if we meet one whose burden is too heavy, we may delay in helping him to carry it. It is not for those who are good alone to help Christ; it is most of all for sinners, for the weak, the hesitating, even the selfish . . . Every day, hidden under our sins, abject in his need, Christ says to the sinners who put out a hand or speak a word to help him: This day you shall be with me in Paradise.
– Caryll Houselander
We unite with Jesus crucified as we endure the difficulties and hardships of our labor. Underneath our strengths and weaknesses, God’s power is working in and through us. We rest in his power when nothing seems to go right. We accept what happens, do what we can, then step aside and let God take over. . .We are in the best of company when we hand over our reins of control to Jesus. During his time on the cross, Jesus could seemingly not do anything. At that time his life seemed useless, but by being where he was, he redeemed the world.
– Carolyn Humphreys