This morning during my hour of prayer, I tried to come to some level of abandonment to my Heavenly Father. It was a hard struggle, since so much in me wants to do my will, realize my plans, organize my future, and make my decisions. . . It is hard for me to say, “I shall gratefully accept everything, Lord, that pleases you. Let your will be done.” Charles de Foucauld once wrote a prayer of abandonment and said, “Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all; I accept all.”. . .These are the words of a holy man and they show the way I must go. I realize I can never make this prayer come true by my own efforts. . . I know that my inner peace depends on my willingness to make this prayer my own.
– Henri Nouwen
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
Let us remain in the care of the Shepherd, and we shall remain there, if we listen to his voice, if we obey him, if we do not follow anyone else. Now, what is his voice like? Blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are the pure of heart; blessed are the merciful. If we put these beatitudes into practice, we shall remain in the care of the Shepherd, and the wolf will be unable to come inside the fold. However, even if he should attack, he will do this for his own destruction, for we have a Shepherd who loves us so dearly as to lay down his life for us. Therefore, since he is powerful and since he loves us, what prevents us from being saved? Nothing – unless we ourselves should put an obstacle in the way . . . Listen to him saying, You cannot serve two masters, God and mammon. Therefore, if we serve the one, we shall not be subject to the tyranny of the other.
– St. John Chrysostom
Silence is a necessity for a contemplative soul, and there can be no prayer without it. To each of us is given the obligation to make our cloister and our soul a house of prayer, the home of the Blessed Trinity, a sanctuary of God, where we may pass our life listening to him and learning all from him. Let us be watchful over interior silence, especially. We are all aware how easily a slight contradiction may call up a multitude of persons and things to occupy our minds. These are “intruders” we are letting into the sanctuary, causing us to lose sight of the Divine Guest therein and to lose precious time with things that in no way concern his glory. We must bring back our souls to silence and solitude as soon as such thoughts arise to disturb the peace of our interior sanctuary.
– Mother Aloysius of the Blessed Sacrament
The farther I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and the power games of the world.
– Henri Nouwen
It is important to have a daily time of prayer to Jesus. That is your part. It is up to Jesus then to give the grace to make your time fruitful. And no doubt he sometimes does so by making us feel empty. We do not know the workings of God. We have put forth the effort and that is what Jesus loves. Success or failure is up to him, and we really don’t know in prayer what success or failure is. I do not use my time trying to figure out where I am on the spiritual journey. I don’t worry about myself at all. I just praise Jesus and thank him. The older I get, the more mysterious life is. I cannot begin to figure it out, or what God is doing with me. I don’t understand myself. I never will. It is vain to try to explain the unexplainable and the attempt is consuming time that could be used in giving glory to God. I look on myself simply as a little vigil light trying to burn faithfully. My little flicker of light is praising God. That is what life is for.
– Father Rawley Myers
In Paradise, there are many saints who never gave alms on earth. Their poverty justified them. There are many saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting. Their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many saints too, who were not virgins; their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise, there is no saint who was not humble. Jesus Christ calls us all into his school to learn – not to work miracles, nor to astonish the world by marvelous enterprises, but to be humble of heart: Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.
-Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo
Patience is long-suffering in injuries, which it endures without trying to return them and without any display of temper. Just as God holds back his anger and delays his punishments in order to give sinners time to repent, so also his sons and daughters must overcome their resentment and silence their desire for revenge. Only great love and great humility can give such a victory, especially since Christian patience must be practiced toward everyone and in every possible way. It presupposes great strength of soul. . .Because his patience makes him merciful to those who offend him and courageous in adversity, he lives in interior peace. . .Patience is never bitter. . .If charity is patient in all the irritating happenings of everyday life, it must be by participation through the Holy Spirit, in God’s patience and in imitation of Christ’s patience.
– Father Ceslaus Spico, O.P.
“Today’s Reflection” is now in paperback:
Don’t ever allow yourself to become upset by your misfortunes. In the face of your misery, should you find yourself in this situation by the will of God, remain humble and lowly before God, and be at great peace. Respond to all misfortune, whatever it may be, with gentleness, peace, tenderness, and interior moderation before God, abandoning yourself simply into His hands so that He may make of you and in you what He pleases. Wish calmly and peacefully to live only for Him, through Him and in Him.
– Francis Libermann
In 1985, at the invitation of Mayor Koch, Mother Teresa opened a home in New York City for men who were dying of AIDS. Four Missionaries of Charity Sisters dedicated themselves to caring for the fifteen dying men. Mother Teresa named the home, “Gift of Love.” The first to pass away there was a man named Harvey. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war and he also had a history of drug abuse. One day, Harvey told the Sisters that he would like to be baptized. A priest was summoned and with great joy, the Sisters witnessed the baptism. He also received the Last Rites. “It will be beautiful when you are in heaven,” one of the Sisters said. “Yes it will” Harvey replied. “I want to go to heaven but I don’t want to leave this home. I have experienced so much love and care here that I never want to leave this place.” One day, when one of the Sisters was reading the Psalms to him, Harvey passed away. Like many others who were fortunate enough to receive the help of Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity, Harvey had truly received a gift of love.