“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

TODAY’S WORD…RELECTION…and PRAYER…

Teach me Your ways, O Lord;

make them known to me.

Teach me to live according to Your truth,

for You are my God, who saves me.

I always trust in You.

Remember, O Lord, Your kindness and constant love

which You have shown from long ago.

Forgive the sins and errors of my youth.

In Your constant love and goodness,

remember me, Lord!

Because the Lord is righteous and good,

He teaches sinners the path they should follow.

He leads the humble in the right way

and teaches them His will.

– Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

 

PRAYER…from the heart…

Teach me Your will, Lord. 

Teach me to live according to Your truth,

for You are my God, who saves me.

I always trust in You.

 

.

Advertisements
Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment

“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – James 3:8

TODAY’S WORD…

No one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.

– James 3:8

 

REFLECTION…

Beware the tongue!

No one can tame the tongue. No cunning, persuasion, or influence has ever been able to silence the tongue. Nothing but the grace of God, removal, or death, can bring it under subjection.

It can be full of deadly poison, which, privately, secretly, and gradually, destroys the characters and reputation of men. It can be of fatal consequence in families, friendships and in relationships of any kind – personal, social, political… It can be an unruly evil – so difficult to restrain; it breaks all bounds.

Full of deadly poison – hissing and whispering, backbiting, lying, insinuating, badmouthing…full of hate, malice, envy, resentment, cruelty, slander…

Full of deadly poison – the tongue acts on the happiness of man, and on the peace of society, as poison does on the human frame. There is no sting of any serpent that can do so much evil; there is no poison more deadly to the human than the poison of the tongue is to the peace and happiness of man.

 

PRAYER…

My Lord, forgive me.

Forgive me for whatever hurt or damage I may have caused others

through what I said, shouted or whispered, directly or indirectly.

 

I beg you, Lord, undo the damage I have caused,

heal those hearts which I have hurt,

and let them be filled with Your peace.

Lord, please also heal my hurts,

and help me forgive, truly forgive, all those who have hurt me with their words.

Lord, help me forgive them like You forgive me.

 

For this I pray with all my heart.  Amen.

Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment

“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Isaiah 58:6-9a

.

TODAY’S WORD…

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:

Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;

lighten the burden of those who work for you.

Let the oppressed go free,

and remove the chains that bind people.

 

Share your food with the hungry,

and give shelter to the homeless.

Give clothes to those who need them,

and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

 

Then your salvation will come like the dawn,

and your wounds will quickly heal.

Your godliness will lead you forward,

and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.

 

Then when you call, the Lord will answer.

‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply.”

– Isaiah 58:6-9a

 

REFLECTION…

God ignores fasts if those who perform them commit sins against justice and charity. Hypocrisy of any kind is condemnable and God teaches and reproaches, telling us that He will have nothing to do with the pretence and two-facedness of those who fast but behave wickedly and sinfully. He will, however, certainly listen to prayers if they are accompanied by acts of justice and charity.

The works of mercy recommended in this oracle are echoed in Jesus’ discourse on the Last Judgment (Mat 25:23-45). Christian spirituality has always stressed that love of neighbour and works of mercy are clear proof of a person’s love of God and are a touchstone of true religion, for “…works of mercy are proof of a truly holy life” (from St Thomas Aquinas).

St Leo the Great taught: “Let each of the faithful examine his own conscience, seeking out his deepest desires; if he finds the fruits of love within his soul, he will know that God is with him, and he should strive even harder to be worthy of so great a guest, being ever more generous in his works of mercy”.

 

PRAYER…

Here I am, Lord, remove my impurities and fill me with your love.

Take me, shape me and mould me.

Strengthen my determination and self-control.

Guide me, lead me, walk beside me and use me, Lord.

Amen.  

Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment

“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Joel 2:17

TODAY’S WORD…

“Have pity on Your people, Lord. Do not let other nations despise us and mock us by saying, ‘Where is your God?’”

– Joel 2:17

 

OBSERVATION…

Today’s Word is taken from yesterday’s liturgy – from the First Reading, to be precise. Yesterday the Christian world celebrated Ash Wednesday with its tradition of marking, with ash, the shape of a cross on the forehead or on the head of those attending church services – reminding us of Christ’s self-giving love for us. Yesterday also happened to be Valentine’s Day – the “feast of romantic love”.

Jesus said, This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12), and yesterday’s Valentine’s day was a wonderful opportunity for each one of us to think of the Lord’s great love for us and to pledge ours in return, and to also demonstrate our love to our loved ones, pray for their intentions, promise fidelity to them, and thank them for their love in return.

In my part of the “Christian world”, all the restaurants and bars were full of people, young and older, celebrating Valentine’s day – it was a squeeze to get into the bars and impossible to find a table at the fully-booked restaurants.

In my part of the “Christian world”, the Catholic Churches were one third full of mainly older people (or two thirds empty, if you’re feeling pessimistic).

This overlapping of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day (the last time it happened was in 1945) provided me with a sad reflection (and a confirmation, if one was needed) of the true state of the world around me, immediate and otherwise. This is why verse 17 from Chapter 2 of the Book of Joel, read out during yesterday’s Mass, struck me so much especially when I heard the question ‘Where is your God?’

Indeed, where in our heart have we placed the Lord our God?…that is if He is still our Lord, and if we have kept Him there at all!

 

PRAYER…

Have pity on us, Lord.

Do not let us forget You or put You aside.

Restore and renew our love for You,

and increase and strengthen our faith

so that all will see that You are in our heart.

Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment

“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

.

TODAY’S WORD…

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

QUOTE…

“Love is patient, because it bears serenely the injury it suffers.

It is kind, because it repays evil with good.

It is not jealous, because it covets nothing in this world: it does not know what it is to envy worldly prosperity.

It is not boastful, because it yearns only for spiritual reward and it is not carried away by external things.

It is not arrogant, because it thrives only on the love of God and neighbour and avoids whatever would take it from the path of righteousness.

It does not insist on its own way, because it scorns, as alien, those things it temporarily possesses here below: it seeks to hold on only to what is enduring.

It is not irritable, and even though injuries seek to provoke it, it does not let itself have any desire for vengeance, for no matter how difficult a time it may have in this life, it hopes for greater rewards in the next.

It is not resentful, because it has invested its thought in the love of purity, and, having rooted out all hatred, it is incapable of harbouring in its heart any type of aversion.

It does not rejoice at wrong, because it feels affection for others and does not rejoice at seeing the ruin of its enemies.

It rejoices in the right, because by loving others as it loves itself, it is as pleased to see goodness in them as if it were indeed something to its own personal advantage.”    – St. Gregory the Great

 

PRAYER…

Lord, fill me with Your love.  Teach me and help me truly love.

Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment

“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Romans 8:35,37

TODAY’S WORD…

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

– Romans 8:35,37

 

REFLECTION…

This is the attitude which enables us to live as children of God, who fear neither life nor death.

 

QUOTE…

“Our Lord wants us to be in the world and to love the world but without being worldly. Our Lord wants us to remain in this world (which is now so mixed up and where the clamour of lust and disobedience and purposeless rebellion can be heard) to teach people to live with joy […].

 

Don’t be afraid of the paganized world: our Lord has in fact chosen us to be leaven, salt and light in this world. Don’t be worried. The world won’t harm you unless you want it to. No enemy of our soul can do anything if we don’t consent. And we won’t consent, with the grace of God and the protection of our Mother in heaven.”

– S. Bernal, “Monsignor Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer”

 

PRAYER…

Lord, make me more than a conqueror

– don’t let anything separate me from You!

 

Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment

“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – James 1:2-3

.

TODAY’S WORD…

Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

– James 1:2-3

 

REFLECTION…

Everyday adversity: problems, trials, temptations – all these test our faith. These trials act as a test of perseverance in the pursuit of good and help the soul to grow in patience, which is a much needed virtue

Being patient and steadfast reflects enduring perseverance, and is quite different from the mere passive endurance of suffering. Being patient and steadfast, comes from the virtue of fortitude and leads one to accept suffering as something sent by God.

Fortitude is grounded on hope and on faith put to the test; and it is also very fruitful, and produces immense and infectious Christian joy!

 

QUOTE…

“God knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come out like gold.”  – Job (23:10)

 

PRAYER…

Father God, thank You for all the blessings You have given me,

let me never forget all that is good in my life,

all that brings me joy.

 

Holy Spirit, whenever I have to face

difficulty, pain, adversity and temptation,

fill me with the mental and emotional strength that I need.

 

Faithful Jesus, help me endure…with joy

– joy which comes from knowing that You are always with me,

shaping and strengthening me for Your glory.

Lord, I trust in You, and in good times and in bad I will praise You!

Posted in Spiritual | Leave a comment