Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Advent journey ends in adoration

What a blessed time of year this is!
In many parts of the world it is cold and dark...

In other parts it is sunny and bright...

At a time when many feel stress and anxiety over the material things...
we receive the greatest gift ever to be given, anywhere:
the gift of God's only Son, Jesus.
This is the gift of God Himself, in the flesh...
Coming to a people He loved into creation,

to redeem and save and unite back to Him...

Our advent (waiting) is over - in part
because we receive Christ as a child into our yearning hearts.
Our waiting is not over because we await the coming
of Christ triumphant and dressed in Glory...
on the final day.

For now, and in our little lifetime,

we are grateful and remain in adoration.
In adoration of the King of kings, and Lord of lords:

our Messiah...our Savior...our Brother and Friend...

May we continue to glorify God in the face of Jesus

and in every adoring moment we witness new life in the Child!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Patroness of the Americas:

Do you know how the Virgin Mary came to be known as Our Lady of Guadalupe?

It was the month of December in 1531; only 10 years after the Spanish Conquistadores conquered Tenochtitlan when the Virgin Mary appeared before the (Aztec) indian Juan Diego (St. Juan Diego).

When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego on a hill in Tepeyac, Mexico (present day Mexico City) she declared in his native (nahuatl) language: "I am your merciful Mother...I want to show my loving clemency and compassion to those who call upon me in their sorrows."

The miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that appeared on St. Juan Diego's tilma is venerated to this day. Our Lady of Guadalupe is venerated as the Patroness of America and the Protectress of the unborn.

As a child, living in Mexico city (many years ago...) I can remember when my parents would take us to visit our Blessed Mother at the original Basilica. We would walk up to her and touch her (image). She was as real to me then as she continues to be in my life to this day. Today, the image is encased in a large protected frame high above the main altar. Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to intercede for our most vulnerable and disappeared lives (the unborn lost via abortion)...Are we listening to their cry, and invokking the aid of our beloved Mother?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blessed are the peacemakers

...for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9)
It has been said that true peace
is both: a gift and a task
(Pope Benedict XVI)

God Himself is the true and supreme peacemaker.
Because of this, those who work for peace
are the sons and daughters of God.
God also created an orderly and harmonious universe.
This is the gift of God's peace to humanity.

As a peacemaker,
Christ shed His precious blood on the Cross
in order to bring redemption
and restore unity in God.
True Christian peacemaking is painful...

because in the service of peace one must overcome many barriers
created by hatred, envy and selfishness.
Am I willing to take on this pain?
Am I desirous to change my heart,
and make it a place of peace?

Am I actively transmitting this peace from God
to others around me,
in a world disordered by sin and strife?

As I remain in peace...
I am able to be an instrument of peace to the world (St. Francis).
There can only be peace in the world

when we make peace with God...
God grant us this one little favor. Amen.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Acting in the presence of Christ

When we recognize the presence of another,
we begin the ascent on the hill to calvary...
a formation of the heart and soul through sacrifices.

To be truly aware and thankful of another's presence
is the beginning of a lifetime of sacrifices - always.
From the moment I married my husband,
and said 'yes' three times at the altar of my Lord,
a lifetime of sacrifices began for my spouse and me - a couple.

From the moment I began to nurture my babies in the womb,
a lifetime of sacrifices began for me - a mother.
We know that we are all created in the image of God
- every single one.
The Bible (God's revelation to man) is telling me so.
Do I believe this holy Presence is real?
Do I know that God became man
- one of us and like us in all things except sin)?
If God became man to be present to you and me,

it is this Presence that determines and defines
how my life will unfold for me
with all its personal encounters and relationships.
Do I recognize this Christ-like presence in my fellow brother or sister - always?
The greatest sacrifice is to recognize a Presence;
The Presence of Christ in another.
When this becomes grafted unto my being,

then I will be acting in the presence of Christ - always.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Your deliverance is drawing near

(A reflection on Luke 21:28)

What do we mean by "deliverance"? The word means Redemption - the joyful message of Advent!

What must I do to prepare my heart during this special season?
I must go to my Redeemer with a pure heart and with a love ready for sacrifice.
Is this possible? Can I really offer my heart in a sincere act of sacrifice?

Alone, I cannot do this. By myself, I am not able to offer my heart as pure.
With the aid of my Savior and Lover of souls, I can.
He alone can prepare my heart
so that it will be ready to receive His Majesty:
in splendor and in truth on Christmas Eve.

Am I ready to surrender it all
for love of the One who is to come?

Prayer: My Savior, grant me Your spirit and Your way of thinking. Let me be ready for Christmas, for YourDivine birth in my soul. Amen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blessed are the pure of heart

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they will see God... (Mt. 5:8)
Who are the clean of heart?
How can we be pure of heart?
Are we willing to empty our heart of everything earthly and temporary...
for the sake of an unimaginable reality-to-come?

Are we satisfied with passing pleasures
(to which most times we can become addicted to?)
or are we totally convinced that in the purity
of God's image and likeness we can obtain and rejoice in the hope of the vision of God Himself?
Wow! what a day this would be...
if we only give ourselves over to the One (the I AM)
who has always been...and always will be...

Who can see through a dirty window pane?
We cannot see God with a heart dirtied by selfish worries and concerns...

As we ask God to help us begin to focus on Him and His goodness...
our spirit will take shape before our little (inner) eyes...
God will take hold of the heart and purify it by His presence within...
With God nothing is impossible. This is what we are all called to be...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Family Beatitudes

Blessed is the family
that has made
Christ the center
of their home-life.

Blessed is the family where the children know
that they can trust and rely on their parents.

Blessed is the family
where the husband and wife
openly show love and affection
toward each other.

Blessed is the family that worships God
both privately and publicly.

Blessed is the family that has a sense of humor
and playfulness in good and not-so-good times.

Blessed is the family where members learn
the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Blessed is the family that knows
how to make the stranger feel welcome.

Blessed is the family where parents take the time
to teach their children to pray, think, read and reflect.

Blessed are the merciful...

(a reflection on Mt 5:7)

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God has created each and every person all over the world: in His image.
Because we know this to be true, then how can we keep from entering into an accepting relationship with each and every person around the world
since we are one family in God (our Creator)?

We may not come to personally know every person around the world,
in this life. But when we connect with each person that God sends to us
in our daily living, and feel their joy, their sadness,
their pain, their forgiveness.
Then we learn to be joined in sorrow to the suffering of others...
We can only learn to be merciful when we cling to God's mercy for us
in our constant weakness.

Remember this: What we are to others, God will be to us.

Prayer: God of goodness and mercy, enlarge my heart
as You fill it with your merciful love.
Let the miracle of Your mercy shine through me
for Your honor and glory. Amen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness...

...for they will have their fill (a reflection on Mt 5:6)
Those who hunger and thirst for holiness are aware of their own lowliness.
They know how much they need Christ in their lives
to draw abundantly from this fountain of divine grace.

On the other hand, those who enjoy too much of the present things
and think of themselves as comfortably pious

will not grow in holiness.

It is better and necessary to be always in want of more of God
for God is love.
This love is forever drawing us closer and closer
to the depths of the living God.
When we thirst for holiness it is not because we wish to feel more holy
(this is vanity of vanities - per the great saints)...
We wish to grow in holiness because we want Christ
to be able to fulfill God's designs fully, in us.

Our hunger and thirst will then be satisfied
when we let God be God in our lives.

After all, Christ Himself said to us: "I am the bread of life;
he who comes to me shall not hunger

and he who believes in me shall not thirst." (John 6:35)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sorrow is Worth the Price

In times of sorrow, I can be thankful for the fact that I have loved and been loved, thankful, in fact, for the ability to grieve because grief witnesses to love.

from St. Anthony Messenger magazine

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Endless Love

God is love.

The depth of His love
never ends...
The gift of love
never dies...
Know for certain
that death
does not end our relationships
with all those we love.
We will go on loving each other
beyond time and telling.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land

(a reflection on Mt 5:5 and Philippians 2:5-7)

Who are the meek? How do we become meek?
The meek are those who yield before outbursts of wickedness and overcome evil with good just as Christ shows us. Though a meek and humble person is humiliated; their peace of heart is not disturbed, because they do not live by the world - their life depends solely on God and God's Divine Providence.

Are we meek and humble of heart, then?
Do we wish to be like Christ?
"For though Christ Jesus was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men..." Can we follow in the likeness of our model, Christ? Do we dare?
When the world we live in says to the contrary?
Though the meek may be deprived or disenfranshised
by selfish men of this world;
because they know God is always with them through... Christ, they can enjoy and even 'possess' the earth which belongs to Christ. And, this is the only land that is worth inheriting for all eternity.
We are called to follow Christ in the depths of our being. The choice to follow Christ is ours to make...But we need to ask for the graces needed to accept this calling.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blessed are the sorrowing, for they will be consoled

(a reflection on Mt 5:4)

When we think of sorrowing or hurting or feeling the weight of the cross...
do we buckle our knees and pray?
or do we buckle our knees in sheer panic, and flee?

The Cross of Christ is not only a grace; but a blessing.
It strips us of all things that refrain us from embracing our vocation to love

as Christ loves.

When we allow ourselves to be cleansed by the endurance of the Cross,

we are born again...
we mature in faith...
we are enriched with a new strength...
what greater consolation can we hope for
than to be completely united to the one we love?
Our 'secret' lover is the Crucified.
Our loving embrace is found on the Cross.
When we believe this...then we are truly free.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

(A reflection on Matthew 5 Verse 3)

Who are the 
poor, in spirit?Do we want to be poor?
Are the poor people of the world, also the poor in spirit?
When we have nothing
(we are all born into the world this way),
then we are poor.

When we depend upon someone else in order for us to live,
then we are poor.
When we are small in this world,
we are the poorest of the poor.
Why are we blessed when we are poor?
The secular world in which we live in tells us that we are "lucky" and "privileged" when we are rich in possessions and education and have many "things". Seldom do we hear the words "blessed" referring to persons with great wealth or intelligence. Though we know in our hearts that this is truly the case: Blessed are we, for all things come from the hand of the Father, who feeds and nourishes and sustains us on this earth.

In order to be poor in spirit...
we must be trusting (like a child).
When was the last time we put our trust in God: to carry out His divine plan in our lives?
(Without us trying to get in the way, and do things our way?)
As we grow older, do we also grow less dependent on the Father because we believe more in our own self-imposed capacity to carry out all things as we believe them to be true?

let us begin each day with prayer...
Pray, pray, pray to the Father,
with the Son
and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit...
that we grow more trusting in Him who created us

and knows what we need at every moment in our lives...

let us be the small in this world in order to be the poorest of the poor.Our poverty will enable us to embrace one thing and one thing only:
the foot of the Cross.

In our true poverty, when we have nothing to loose or worry about losing...
God will reign.
This then, will be the true kingdom of heaven in our hearts.

Friday, October 15, 2010

what is the way to true happiness?

The vocation of all the faithful is described in the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. (Mt.5:1-12; Lk 6:20-23)
We know these teachings as the Beatitudes
(some even refer to them as the "Be-attitudes").

A way of life that portrays our Lord's charity in this life. By following this simple way (though not so easy to do at times) we can already taste the delicacy of God's heavenly scent. These are the blessings and rewards already secured through Christ (as the Virgin Mary and all the saints already experienced).

Join me in my walk through the meditating of the Beatitudes. I wish to follow Christ more closely. So, for the sake of our vocation to grow in holiness, I will ask the Lord to give us the heart to prayerfully, humbly and with a sincere heart, delve into these Beatitudes: the next few weeks.

May we be given the graces and continued desire to be in constant communion with the One who alone can fulfill our divinely-inspired desire for happiness. Amen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are we showing mercy to others?

Blessed are the merciful, for mercy will be theirs... (Mt 5:7)

Have we forgiven our neighbor today?
Have we been patient with our spouse? our parent?
our child? our brother? our sister?
Showing mercy to others means to forgive those closest to us, our family.

Many times, it is easier to practice patience and show mercy to those outside the home.
Are we being true to the call to be merciful?
Only when we are true in showing mercy from the heart...
will the Father be merciful to us. 
Have I asked the Father to give me the grace to be merciful today?
It is in the asking with a sincere and humble heart...
that we receive in overabundance.
For the Father, with the Son and through the Holy Spirit,
is infinitely generous and kind to those who seek Him
with a sincere and humbled heart (intention).

Prayer: God of goodness, enlarge my heart with Your merciful love. Let the miracle of Your mercy shine through me for Your honor and glory. Amen.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Like a child

Today we celebrate the life of
St. Therese of Lisieux.
Like a child,
she lived a life of humble acceptance
of the will of God in her life.
She also found great wonders

in the little things of this world.

When we view each day
with the wonder of a child,
we are setting ourselves up for
an adventure of a ride.
After all,
life is an adventure to be lived and not a problem to be solved...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In the presence of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

In all the events of life, we must recognize the Divine will.
Padre Pio also says: "Adore and bless it, especially in the things which are the hardest for you".

We must remember that God is within us when we are in a state of grace and outside of us when we are in a state of sin; but His angel never abandons us. . .
He is our most sincere and faithful friend even when we sadden him with our bad behavior.

Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.
We remember to Pray, pray, pray...
St. Padre Pio, pray for us. Amen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God, Teach Me to Love

I pray not for wealth, I pray not for honors, I pray not for pleasures, or even the joys of poetry. I only pray that during all my life, I may have love: that I may have pure love to love thee.

— from The Catholic Prayer Book

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The good we fail to do

(a reflection on Jas 4:17)

We can live our lives doing good things in service of others.
But, have we noticed the times when we fail to do good?

Our daily duties, activities or choices in life usually come about out of our own doing (we could say). In other words, what we do this day is based on a self-imposed schedule; and many times we are too rigid in following it. When this happens, we are missing little opportunities to go out of our daily schedule - to let 'surprise' moments happen.

For example; on my way to work one day I received a phone call from someone needing my heart to listen. I was already running late in my self-imposed schedule (I do also have an employer who expects me to me faithful in my work). However, there was a tug on my heart that spoke to me stronger than words can say: 'stop and listen here' 'be present to this moment, now'... So, I did. I stopped, took a deep inhale-the-gift-of-the-Spirit breath, and listened with the heart.

For the next few minutes my heart was changed for the good in a way I could not have imagined. All because I paused to do a good I might have failed to do...The conversation was brief, yet worthy of a heartfelt 'yes, I am here for you, now' (not later when I think I may have the moment to 'spare').

When we live our lives this way, we are growing closer to grasping a deeper reality of the gift of charity. Believe it or not, our Lord does arrange our schedule in a way that always works itself out for the good of all (after all He is the Master Planner of our lives).  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Growing deeper in Love

Growing deeper in Love

is growing closer to the Good.
The Supreme Good is the Love in God.
Growing closer to God is our perpetual prayer.
Think about it this way,

when we wish to reach a certain goal in our lives
(and hopefully, we do set these ahead of time mostly),
we train in a steadfast way all the way.
We take the mastering of the skill or the attainment of the good,
very seriously!
How much more seriously we ought to be

when growing in our relationship with God…
Our perpetual prayer is this:
Doing our little task in a most loving way,
always directed toward the Supreme Good!
We shall no longer be slaves to the distractions of this world…

We shall be called friends of Christ!
And, is this not the best place to be?
For all eternity?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In the presence of LIFE

Today begins another seemingly normal day in my life...
It is raining outside my window though, and this causes me to shrug my shoulders a bit thinking about the moment I will have to walk outside and have to face the rainy day without my rain gear...(you see I forgot to carry an umbrella).

How often we forget or neglect to prepare ourselves for an unexpected moment life might bring?
It begins with the moment of our birth. We do not determine this moment for ourselves, it simply happens when God decrees it should be...Are we ready to face the challenges? As innocent babies we do not have the slightest clue as to what lies ahead for us...yet we trustingly live on and begin life as an adventure to be lived!

Life is not intended to be a problem to be solved (as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said). Life is a GIFT from God with all its possibilities for service to our brothers and sisters who are counting on us to show them the love of God as Jesus does.

So, I shall look forward to stepping outside in the rain! Because, come to think of it, by the time I'm ready to do so, it probably will stop raining all together anyway. God is so good to me!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The birth of Mary

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and she shall name Him Emmanuel." (Is 7:14)
The virginity of Mary is not only of body but also of her spirit. It is a total dedication to God, a consecration, a marriage with Him.

Love and veneration for Mary's virginity are essential virtues of the true devotion to Mary. Unless we follow her by a total dedication to God's service, our lives will not be fruitful.

Prayer: Mary, most pure Mother, obtain for me the grace to dedicate my whole life, with all my strength of body and soul, to serve God. Amen.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Intercession of Mary

"Let us venerate Mary with every fiber of our being, from the deepest part of our heart, because this is the will of Him who wanted us to receive everything through Mary." -St. Bernard of Clairvaux

— from Mysteries of the Virgin Mary

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How often must I forgive?

(A reflection on the Gospel of Mt 18:21)
This is the question of persons who do not yet know or possess Christ. This is why there is so much suffering in the world.

Those who want to have Christ as their model for living this life must be compassionate and forgive without limit. For God’s forgiveness is also limitless. Our Lord’s mercy and forgiving heart is at the center of our finding peace within us and in the world. But first, we must remember to pray, pray, pray…asking God to fill us with His boundless love. He will then help us to forgive seventy times seven.

Prayer: My Lord and my God, how guilty I am of my selfishness and worldly feelings. Grant that in Your compassionate love I may be found worthy of Your mercy in the future judgment…Give me Your heart that I may forgive others through You. Amen.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finding Happiness and Peace

Let anyone who comes to you...
go away feeling better and happier...

How is my encounter with every person?
my encounter with every person I meet along the way, today?
Is my attention to noticing their presence?
Do I look at people along the way?
or am I hurried to "get-to-where-I-must-go"

neglecting little opportunities for blessings-poured-out?

God sends us blessings-poured-out, constantly...
Am I aware and sensitive to them?

or am I oblivious and distracted by the 'things' I must do?

I met a woman the other day who blessed my day in a way I will always remember. She lay quietly asleep in a bed in a room where no sounds could be heard other than the breathing she made. As I prayed silently next to her, I watched with admiration and awe how the little ray of sunshine coming through the window brightened her peaceful face. Her face changed. She was radiant and smiling...though her eyes remained closed...she showed me a warmth and brilliance that could only come from the Source of all light: God. I saw the light of Jesus in her face...This was my moment's gift.

This woman is the woman I visit when I go to a nursing home or a hospital...there are so many more women and men like her. They are just waiting to bring sunshine into our little lives...if only we would reconsider our priorities and daily duties...and pause for these gift moments as we much wealthier we would be!

If God grants that we should live as long as He pleases...
Will we find ourselves waiting to shine our little light onto others from the quiet of an ailing moment...
or will we be neglected and forgotten by those we love?

Let us save time by shining our little light onto each and every person we meet along the way, today. We will be made happier as we acknowledge the gift of presence in the other.

This way, when it is our turn to slow down in life...we will have collected a treasure of shining moments to keep our face peacefully smiling inwards and outwards...
until we too shall breathe our last...and what a blessed moment this could be!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

We can be holy

 The One Who has called us is faithful; therefore He will [make us holy]. (a reflection on 1 Thes 5:24)

God who made us in His image, does not call us just to abandon us later to our own fates without any help. Since He cannot deny Himself, He cannot be unfaithful.

He gives us not only a good beginning
(all images He makes are very good)
but also (and most importantly) a good end.
We have only to grasp His blessed and mighty hand.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, firm as a rock is Your faithfulness among the waters of my infidelity and my weakness. You are my strength in life and in death.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Our seemingly ordinary lives are truly extra-ordinary when we see with the eyes of the heart. Life is a gift. When we can see with the eyes of a child in awe of God's creation...paying close attention to the littlest of things...the littlest persons around when God's greatness is in full majesty. God is God in all His works. We must always be present to this reality of our lives...lest our busyness robs us of the extra-ordinary beauty in all that we are by the goodness and love of our Creator and Father.

If you look hard enough, or from another person's vantage point, you might just discover the extra-ordinary in your seemingly ordinary life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I will not be afraid

(reflection on Hebrews 13:6)
When we are true to our nature...
When we are true to the One...
We will find ourselves truly as reflection

of God's image, with the Spirit and the Son.

God has made us in His image...
He has made us in His love...
I will not be afraid of trusting

in His goodness and guidance from above...
and from within...
my heart clinging to God alone.

Lord, I want to trust you completely.
I am so glad that you will never let me down.
If only I follow your ways,
I know that my life will be forever

united with you, as One.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do we cling to the Good?

In our search...
In our search for justice...
In our search for justice and peace...
In our search for justice and peace within our hearts...
In our search for justice and peace for all mankind...

Do we draw close to Christ crucified...
the One who can direct all things

to the Good?
In our world of misdirections, we often find ourselves clinging to temporary directionals. None of which serve us in finding the ultimate purpose for our existence. So we navigate this world lost and confused, mostly...until we turn to the only One who can set us straight on course...our valid GPS is exactly that: God's Providential Steering...provided lovingly to us by Christ, our brother.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We are celebrating!!!

I love to celebrate festivals dedicated to the Virgin Mary
(my dear spiritual mother).

When I look at her, I recognize immediately, the greatness of God. She is the Mother of Jesus, my Brother, and also the Mother of God (because Jesus is the Son of the Father).

How beautiful it is to celebrate Mary! A simple woman…totally dedicated to the Father. A woman full of grace and blessed among all women, because that is how God planned from all time and forever and ever ... Mary just had to say “yes”, and all would spill over unto Mary as already written by God.

But the “yes” of our sweet Mother would not be so simple to live ...

because all the sorrows of the Son, she would also have to feel...
Even so ... and beyond ...
Mary would enter into the glorious beating…
of the hearts united…
Father, Son and Holy Spirit ...

With whom she would assume…

And assume to the heavens…she did

but with the help and blessing of God ...
For the Father willed it so
to keep the temple pure, His Mother…
and unite her to the Triune God.

Oh Mary my Mother! Oh Consolation of mortals!

Shelter me and guide me to my heavenly home.
Hail Holy Queen! Our Mother and Advocate
God bless you on this special day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

To be is to be loved

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. (Jn 15:13)
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, sustained by his deep love for God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, found courage in the cross of Christ to lay down his life for a fellow concentration camp prisoner.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Be at peace today

Be at peace, today.
God will either shield you
from suffering...
or He will give you
unfailing strength
to bear it...
be at peace then,
and put aside
all anxious thoughts and worries.
In our weak moments,
God is strongest...
for us, with us and in us.
All we need to do
is to raise our eyes to the One.
He always knows what to do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An encouraging word today

Comfort one another and edify one another, as indeed you are doing
(1 Thes 5:11)

Seven months ago already...
Seven months ago, today...
On this day, seven months ago
an encouraging word warmed my heart
when my mother was taken away.

It was the Spirit of the Lord, it was...
It was the whisper of God's Holiness...
It was the arm of my Big Brother
who gave the strength and comfort and peace.

God gives me so much each day
though He must also take away...
This is all part of His greater plan
unknown to me, I'll say.
The Lord always knows what is best for me
That is all I need today.

Pray with me...
Pray for my mother...
Pray in the presence of our Triune God.
Let us pray for one another,
and be one
in, with and through our divine Brother...
rising like incense to the heavens above.

He will give us what is needed...
He will walk with us hand-in-hand...
He will lead us to the Father
where we live in joy, peace and love
when He is One in us
and all in all.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The closer you are to a mountain...

O Lord, You are great, and Your Name is great in power (Jer 10:6)

God's almighty power is visible even today...
If it is hidden from you it is because you are far away from God.

The closer you are to a mountain,
the BIGGER it looks to you!

Prayer: Lord, make me recognize YOUR greatness and power
so that this knowledge may benefit my life. Amen.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Enter by the narrow gate

(a reflection on Mt 7:13)
Narrow is the gate that leads from this world into heaven.
How do we get there?
How do we enter by this narrow gate?
whether we like it or not
(and it helps if we "learn to like it")

this narrow gate is learning from
the many sorrows,

moments of true repentance for wrong-doing,
moments of "victory over self-will"
accepting the will of God
(with its trials and moments of deprivations).

All of this means to walk into the narrow gate.
In this way, we truly attain union with God.
Is not this end worthy of any sacrifice?

Prayer: God, You are my highest Good. No road will be too long if it leads me to You, no sacrifice too hard. Bless and strengthen my good will! Amen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What to do about pain

Pain is an ordinary part of human experience. We are fully human only when we experience pain. Pain may come for a short visit or a long stay. To me, pain was like an "allergy" I had to deal with, or not. But choosing to constantly numb pain or run away from it does not help us grow and learn from the deeper message it brings into our lives.

Sometimes, temporary helps are useful in dealing with an overwhelming moment of pain. But sooner or later it is better to face the underlying reason for the pain, and uproot it at its core. This is what pain is for: to warn us of an enemy within. The pain itself is not the enemy. Many who choose to live with pain and are miserable, waste this precious "gift" and opportunity given in order to learn to persevere and be strengthened in the Spirit.

If the pain is due to a physical illness, we have to listen to what the doctor recommends as a cure, and follow obediently without delay. If the pain is emotional, we can reach out and be of service to others who may also be hurting and in this way walk to overcome the pain, together.

I have walked with another who was hurting in the same way that I was after losing a child. She became my little ray of hope when my life seemed hopeless. I became an instrument of God's peace to her when her heart was restless and afraid. We all have the God-given grace to choose to surrender all pain, and unite it to Christ's sufferings on the Cross. In this way, animated by God's inner strength in the Holy Spirit, we become participants in Calvary uniting ourselves to the yoke of Christ (who bears all our pain for us already).

We have the ability to choose to rejoice in our pain and live; or be distressed by it and die.
Which will you choose?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What brings God close to our hearts?

Should I close myself to the world and pray all day in solitude?
Will this bring God close to my heart?

It is the fidelity of my love for His greatest LOVE that brings Him close to my heart.
For He is always faithful.

Should I feel consolations and sweet anointings when I pray?
Does this mean God is close to my heart?
Is this a "sign" that God is close to my heart?

It is not always in the "feelings" I have of His sweetness, but in the consent I freely give to His holy will,
which helps carry out God's plans in me. This brings God closer to my heart.

A hundred or more times a day I should look upon this loving will of God, and dissolving my will into it, sing songs of praise and glory to His name. This simple act of love brings God close to my heart each day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

July 14, 2010

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Kateri said: “I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus. He must be my only love. The state of helpless poverty that may befall me if I do not marry does not frighten me. All I need is a little food and a few pieces of clothing. With the work of my hands I shall always earn what is necessary and what is left over I’ll give to my relatives and to the poor. If I should become sick and unable to work, then I shall be like the Lord on the cross. He will have mercy on me and help me, I am sure.”

My prayer for you: Blessed Kateri, pray for us.

God Alone Suffices

Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. Though all things pass, God does not change. Patience wins all things. We lack nothing when we possess God, for God alone suffices.

My prayer for you today:

My Sweet Lord, give us the patience to be quiet and remain still in your loving embrace. That we obediently listen to your gentle call, and be ready to serve others as ordained by the Father: with You, through You and for You. Amen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where is your treasure?

Where your treasure is, there also is your heart (Mt 6:21)

Material wealth may bring happiness to some, but it is also a danger and temptation that can easily lead to greed. This makes us forget our true eternal good. Only one thing removes this danger: total dedication and surrendering to Christ.

Whenever the Lord fills the heart it is easier to reject the danger and temptation of giving in to the temporal "treasures" of this world. What is the object of my thoughts? To what am I attracted? Where is my treasure?

Prayer: My Savior, my true friend and companion, make me all Yours...that I may be happy resting in Your love. This is my only real treasure now and forever. Amen.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

For me, to live is Christ

(A reflection on Phil 1:21)
A life without Christ
is a life without value.

It is He alone who frees us
from guilt and sin.
He gives us the Divine life of grace
and introduces us to communion with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

But this new life in Christ is possible
only when the old sinful self,
which leads us to perdition,
is completely dead.

Prayer: My Sweet Jesus, for You I live, and for You I die. Jesus, I am Yours in life and in death. Amen.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

God loves us abundantly!

God loves us abundantly!
He created us and the whole universe out of love and for love. Throughout all of history God has always shown us this love by His presence and guidance. The stories of the Bible are not just "stories". They are the evidence of God's unconditional love and the promise of His fidelity.  They are meant to lead us to Him, to believe and trust in Him, and to live in the knowledge of His love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16).
These words reassure us of God's generosity and His desire to save us. He wants us to be united to Him forever, and to live with one another in a bond of unity, love and peace.

Jesus loves us abundantly!
If He had shed only one drop of His Precious Blood, it would have been enough to save us. But He wanted to show the depth of His love for us. In obedience to His Father, Jesus shed ALL His Blood! This is the abundance of God's love! Jesus suffered the most painful and cruel death to save us. The mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ, is all about LOVE - ABUNDANT LOVE! Nothing was spared. He gave all He had - for each and every one of us! No matter what circumstances and difficulties we may be facing at any time in our lives, we are never alone. The Eucharist is given to us so that we can remain united to Jesus who says, "I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger, whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6:35)

As we conclude this "Year for Priests", let us continue to pray for our bishops, priests and deacons. They need our gratitude and encouragement. They have been chosen by God to bring Christ to our world. Let us love and support these men who are God's instruments and witnesses of hope, reconciliation and peace. May we discover anew the gift of true Presence in the Eucharist, which our priests provide for us. May we find in this Sacrament, the nourishment and strength for our daily lives, in order to experience fully, our union with our God who loves us abundantly!

Let us bring to our encounter with Jesus, present in the Holy Eucharist, all our fears, all our concerns, all our hopes, all our desires to love and be loved. Above all, let us be truly grateful for this abundant Gift of Love!!! As we celebrate the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ on June 6th, we give thanks and praise to God for His abundant Love for us!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Come to Me, all you who labor…

(A reflection on Mt.11:28)
In the midst of life’s burdens there is one comfort only; the immense depth of God’s love poured out that renews us, even when human comfort falls short.

The only thing the Lord asks is that we go to Him. Why then do I go to creatures and not to Him?

Prayer: Most loving Savior, let me find in You, everything that I need for my soul and body. Amen.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In hope we were saved

(A reflection on Romans 8:24)
The consequences of sin have not yet been eliminated; the powers of darkness are always at work in this life. We have not arrived at our destination but are still on our way.

Yet in the night of our weakness there shines a brilliant light. This brilliant light of hope is the hope that God Himself will perfect in His faithful, the work that He has begun in us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, let Your perfect grace supply everything that I lack. Amen.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The one who sows bountifully

(a reflection based on 2 Cor 9:6)
The one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully...

We must never think of our personal benefit when we give. God pays back in a truly royal manner what a disinterested love gives...

Prayer: Lord, I want to love You and love my neighbor for Your sake, because You are the highest, the most loving good. Amen.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Is this true in my case?

"You did not choose Me. It was I who chose you." (Jn 15:16)

Reflection: For what I am and what I have, I give thanks to the one and only God. His faithful grace is always with me in everything...and everywhere.

This should inspire in me not only a sincere humility and a spirit of filial gratitude, but also (and most importantly) the desire to hold fast to God's outstretched merciful hand, so that none of His graces may be fruitless in me. Is this true in my case?

Prayer: Merciful God, I give you thanks and praise for all the graces of my life. Carry to fulfillment all that You have begun in me. Amen.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To Hope against hope

Master, we have toiled the whole night and have taken in nothing; but if You say so, I will let down the nets. (Lk 5:5)

It is a sad lot to work in vain! Yet it also means to Hope against hope, and to have confidence in God, even in the most bitter hour of discouragement and delusion.

God's Word and His blessings will create something new...even from apparent ruin. Why do I so many times, forget this?

Prayer: My Lord and my God, I trust in You. Let me humbly and devoutly submit myself to your holy will. Amen.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mary said: "I am the servant of the Lord."

(a reflection on Luke 1:38)

What a magnificent program for life!
To be a servant for the Lord,
that is, to be ever at the disposal of God,
ready to regard life with all its joys and sorrows
as a sacred mission
given us by God's love.
And to fulfill this mission
with all the generosity of our heart.
Is it really this word of Mary that guides me each day
and points out the right way for my life?

Prayer: O Mary, faithful servant of the Lord,
obtain for me the grace to live as you did,
in accord with God's will until death. Amen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Do we cherish God's love for us on a day-to-day basis?

Are we truly intuned with the love of a God who is always near? never deceived? always patient...and always waiting for us (to show us the way to live in the awareness and awe of His everlasting presence within and without, all the time)?

Have I told someone lately that I love them in word or in action (for God is in that person, too)? a spouse, a parent, a child, a brother, a sister...a friend?

Or is it easier for me to miss an opportunity to love and be loved because I am too busy in my own busyness? To be always living in the presence of the one we love takes time...takes a conscientious effort (at first). Once we experience the goodness that comes from the heart-to-heart communicating...the living in the LOVE becomes our true nature.

Remember though, like anything else we learn to do: practice makes perfect!
We must practice loving in truth in order to engage-in and daily promote a more loving world.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On this day...three years ago...

It is much better for you that I depart. John 16:7

Christ's return to the Father served to make the disciples mature in faith. Their hopes were not destroyed but fulfilled.

God often takes from us - but only to give us something better. He destroys and breaks so that upon the earthly ruins, the temple of the Holy Spirit may be erected.

Three years ago, today, my father was taken from me - he died. Today, I celebrate the joy of having him accompany me in spirit (together with my mother, the angels, the saints...). The courage to mature in my faith has definitely come from God's love for me as He continues to guide me via my GPS (God's Providential Steering).

Prayer: Lord, do what You will: You know all things. I trust in You completely.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Our agony lies in our need for forgiveness

(A reflection on Micah 7:18-20)

Could we face another day if we live deprived of God's Mercy?

Who is there like our Father who removes guilt and pardons sins?
Who is there who delights in clemency,
and who will again and again
have compassion for each one of us, His children?

God, our Father, is waiting to forgive...
is waiting to pour out His gracious Mercy upon us...
like a long-awaited cooling shower (of Love).
It will serve to quench our parched, dried out, sinful selves;
giving us LIFE (in Christ our Savior), once again.

Like the long-awaited cooling rains that cover the dry lands,
and awaken new life within,
sprouting the seeds of green hope
and of a life restored, abundantly blessed,
once again.

This is how God's forgiveness and inexhaustible Mercy works for us.
If only we humbly turn to our Father
with a sincere heart
looking to be renewed, refreshed.
Hoping to have our heavy-ladden burdens lifted (far away unto His Cross)
from our sorrowing lives.

God will gently cover our wounds (caused by sin)
with the healing balm of one drop of His Son's precious blood.
This is how our compassionate Father repairs our brokenness,
and restores us back to LIFE
in Him, through Him, and with Him.

All we need to do is to turn our face to God,
the One who loves us more than we could ever love.
All we need to do is to recognize His loving gaze in our lives...
He will, in turn, take care of us every step of the way.

But first, we must BELIEVE!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Trusting in God's love and mercy

How do we learn to trust?

Is this an innate gift or is it something learned?

Do we trust out of fear? A child has no other recourse than to trust that someone will take care of his basic needs. He is but a helpless thing. Does this mean then that a child trusts out of fear of abandonment? A child clings to the only source of love and care that they know. Is this love? Is this trust?

God makes us in His image to love as He loves. And to trust in His endless mercy for each one of us. God's love never fails. Though we should fail a thousand times each day. As long as we place our trust in Him, we will be rescued from the darkness, and be lifted up to the light of His infinite love and mercy. This much we know. Our Lord Himself has given us this promise.

Let it suffice to say that: I believe.

Friday, February 12, 2010

One is never too old to be surprised by Joy

My Sweet Jesus,
What a joyful moment when you first appeared to the world in the flesh as a newborn child!
The choirs of angels sang...
The shepherds came

even kings and wisemen from afar drew near

to the place of your birth.

The old were made new

as the young were renewed...

What happens now when a child is murdered in the womb?
Do the angels cry?
Do the shepherds leave?

Do kings and wisemen turn away from the Truth?

Do the old die?

Are the young no more?

For Your Marriage - Por Tu Matrimonio

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