Today’s Reflection January 2

O Jesus, I see this new year as a blank page that your Father is giving me, upon which he will write day by day what he has arranged for me in his divine pleasure. With full confidence I am writing at the top of the page from now on, “Lord, do with me what you will.” And at the bottom I have already put my “amen” to every disposition of your divine will. Yes, O Lord, I say “yes” to all the joys, to all the sorrows, to all the graces, to all the hardships that you have prepared for me and which you will be revealing to me day by day. Let my “amen” be the Paschal amen, always followed by alleluia, uttered with all my heart.
– Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit

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They Walked with God: St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. John Vianney, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Andre Bessette, Bl. Solanus Casey

Today’s Reflection January 1

When for one reason or another, we contemplate the reality of death, it is not uncommon that we begin to think about the sin and failure in our past. And for many, this thought can be a cause of great unhappiness and even despair. After all, the past is past, we are told; it can never be recovered; the chance of grace is gone. But when we pray the Hail Mary, there is contained in one small word an entirely different message, and one which can, in itself, completely transform our thinking and transform our lives. It is the word “now.” “Pray for us now.” What Mary discovered, deep in her being at the Annunciation, was that nothing was impossible to God. In a single moment, in an instant of grace, everything can be changed. And this, of course, is true, or can be true, for each one of us…In our lives, we can say that there are only two moments that are of supreme importance: the moment of our death, and this moment now, the present moment. Part of the greatness of the Hail Mary is that it contains, and contains together in one breath, as it were, both of these moments: Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.   

– Father Paul Murray, O.P.

 

Today’s Reflection December 31

The last day of a year of which the chief characteristic for me has been privation. God willed it to be full enough of suffering, renunciation, sadness of every kind . . . But the blessed Master taught me stronger, deeper love, stripped of conscious happiness; and it is from the bottom of my heart that I offer him the year that is gone, and the one that is to come. I consecrate myself to him and accept all that he wants of me, through me, or for me; joy or sorrow, health or illness, poverty or riches, and also life or death . . . For myself, I ask one thing: let me love thee, without joy or comfort if need be, and use me for the spreading of thy spiritual kingdom in souls, Jesus my Savior.

– Elisabeth Leseur

Today’s Reflection December 30

Christ came, and comes now, so that we should have life and have it in its fullness . . . He is the Father and Mother whose heart never sleeps, whose hands never lift from their works that they have made. He is the one who has numbered the hairs on our heads. In his humanity, we are clothed as in a warm woolen garment. In him we live as in our home. He is our food and our drink, our shade in the heat, our comfort in sorrow, our healing when we are wounded, our light in darkness.

– Caryll Houselander

Today’s Reflection December 29

We should never despair, even in our darkest hours. We should remember that God shares our life, that through the Holy Spirit we can be on the most intimate terms with God and that He is always there, when outward pressure is at its worst, helping us to carry our burdens over the roughest places on our weary road. . . When faith wavers, hope disappears, love grows cold, adoration ceases, doubt nags and the whole life is shrouded like a winter landscape in snow, when hatred and arrogance predominate, life is mortally wounded. That is the time to get into reverse and let the Holy Spirit work from within, building up a new life. . .The Holy Spirit constantly helps me over my hurdles in the small hours.

Father Alfred Delp was a German Jesuit priest who was arrested for being part of the Nazi Resistance. While in prison in Berlin, he wrote reflections on the holy season of Advent, Christmas, and other spiritual topics. The Gestapo offered him his freedom in return for leaving the Jesuit Order but he refused to do so. He was executed on February 2, 1945. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered over a sewage field, by order of the Nazis.

Today’s Reflection December 28

In life and in death, keep close to Jesus and give yourself into his faithful keeping; he alone can help you when all others fail you. He is of such a kind, this beloved friend of yours, that he will not share your love with another; he wishes to have your heart for himself alone, to reign there like a king seated on his rightful throne. If only you knew the way to empty your heart of all things created. If you did, how gladly would Jesus come and make his home with you. When you put your trust in men, excluding Jesus, you will find that it is nearly all a complete loss.

– Thomas à Kempis

 

Today’s Reflection December 27

The Word of God is not a word to apply in our daily lives at some later date; it is a word to heal us through, and in our listening, here and now. The questions therefore are: How does God come to me as I listen to the Word? Where do I discern the healing hand of God touching me through the Word? How is my sadness, my grief and my mourning being transformed at this very moment? Do I sense the fire of God’s love purifying my heart and giving me new life? These questions lead me to the sacrament of the Word, the sacred place of God’s real presence.

– Henri Nouwen

 

Today’s Reflection December 26

God has made us and takes responsibility for what he has created. He takes responsibility for the history of this world and even for every single person’s life. He has enveloped us in his grace, his love, and his faithfulness. When we bring our past and our worries, with all our foibles and weariness, into the new year, our faithful and merciful God goes with us. . . So, let us say goodbye to the past year. It was a year of the Lord, a year of grace, a year of inner growth, even if we did not feel it. After all, God’s strength achieves victory in our weakness. Thus, we really can praise God at the end of the year, and thank him, and give him honor, for he is good, and his mercy is everlasting.

– Karl Rahner

 

Today’s Reflection December 25

Our Lord asks us to let the life continue in us that he began on earth in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Let him live in us; let his hidden life in Nazareth continue in us; let his life of universal charity continue in us; let his life of humility be prolonged in us. Let Jesus continue to light a fire on the earth by making each moment of our lives become moments of his life – all our thoughts, our words, and actions become thoughts and words and actions that are no longer natural or human, but Divine, no longer our own but those of Jesus.

– Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Today’s Reflection December 24

Christ rested in Mary – still, silent, helpless, utterly dependent. The Creator trusted himself to his creature . . . His hands were folded; her hands did the work of his hands. His life was her life; his heartbeat was the beating of her heart. This was a foreshadowing of what the Incarnation would mean for us; for in us, too, Christ rests as he rested in Mary. From the moment when the Christ-life is conceived in us, our life is intended for one thing, the expression of his love, his love for God and for the world. Our words are to be the words he wants us to speak; we must go to wherever he wants to go, we must see and look at whatever he wants to see and look at; the work that our hands do must be the work that his hands want to do; our life must be the living of his life, our loves, the loving of his heart.

– Caryll Houselander