Today’s Reflection March 29

When someone has lived most of his or her life in the last place and then discovers that Jesus is there in the last place as well, it is truly good news. However, when someone has always been looking for the first place and learns that Jesus is in the last place, it is confusing! . . .Yes, the broken and the oppressed have taught me a great deal and have changed me quite radically. They have helped me discover that healing takes place at the bottom of the ladder, not at the top. Their cry for communion has taught me something about my own humanity, my own brokenness – that we are all wounded, we are all poor. But we are all the people of God; we are all loved and are being guided. They have taught me what it means to be with brothers and sisters in communion, in community. They have revealed to me the well of tenderness that is hidden in my own heart and which can give life to others. The broken and oppressed are teaching me what the good news is really about.

 – Jean Vanier

Today’s Reflection March 28

I am the vine and you are the branches . . . and everyone that beareth fruit, he will purge it that it may bring forth much fruit (John 15:1-2). This purging or pruning action of the Father is what disconcerts us. We see an orchard in full bloom, and what has a more delicate charm? And yet those flowers must disappear if the branches are to bring forth fruit. There are many flowers in our life that seem of great value to us. In God’s sight they are only flowers, and in his mercy, he removes them that we may yield him fruit . . . The whole trouble is that, literally, we do not know what is good for us; and what makes the trouble still worse is that we think we do. We have our own plans for our happiness and too often we merely regard God as somebody who will help us to accomplish them. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has his plans for our happiness, and he is waiting for us to help him to accomplish them. And let us be quite clear about it, we cannot improve on God’s plans. Once a man has realized that God wills his happiness and that all that happens to him is ruled and regulated by God with infinite wisdom and power toward that end, and that all God asks of him is to cooperate with that loving will of his, then that man has found the beginning of peace.
– Father Eugene Boylan, O.C.S.O.

Padre Pio Devotions Announces a New Book:
They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey

Today’s Reflection March 27

Jesus, you have told us many times, in many different ways, to trust in you, to have faith in you. If you had not given us that gift of faith, we would be wandering on the earth, looking for you without knowing what we are looking for. We would have been empty people, ghostly people. We treasure that gift despite all of our fickleness and all of our weakness . . . And though we have failed in so many ways, so many  times,  we  trust  in your love and forgiveness; we trust that you will renew our faith and let us be yours in every way, now and forever.

– Father Killian Speckner

Today’s Reflection March 26

As a traveler, approaching a river after a long journey, senses how cool the water will be, so you and I are getting nearer to the great time of purification. We should greet every Lent as if it were the last in our lives, so that we stop and think – if only for a short while, tearing ourselves away from the perpetual bustle and rush that constitutes our lives. Look how we live nowadays: how bitter and exhausted we are, what an endless hurry we are in – we are making such an effort, trying to make progress. But all of it comes to an end earlier than we realize. . .Let us think for awhile about how we can open up our souls to the Lord, how we can start to live a real life. So what kind of life is a real life? It is a life of love – for God and men – a life in which what is most important comes first and is not pushed aside by trivialities.

– Father Alexander Men

Today’s Reflection March 25

How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you” (Mt. 25:1-13). What are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought for others, our way of being silent. . . These are the true drops of love that keep your religious life burning like a lively flame. Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves. He is not out there: he is within you. Keep your lamp burning, and you will recognize him.

– Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 

Today’s Reflection March 24

Your sole concern should be the establishment of God’s reign in your heart, in this life and in the next. In this life your study should be to bring about this reign of God, in your heart by his grace and through the plentitude of his love. You should live for God alone, and the life of your soul should be the life of God himself. You ought likewise to nourish yourself with God by thinking of his holy presence as often as you possibly can. That which constitutes the life of the saints is precisely their continual attention to God and this also should form the life of those who . . . seek only to accomplish his holy will, to love him and so make others love him.

– St. John Baptiste de la Salle

Today’s Reflection March 23

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

Today’s Reflection March 22

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.

Elizabeth-Anne Vanek

Today’s Reflection March 21

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

Padre Pio Devotions Announces a New Book:
They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey

Today’s Reflection March 20

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.