“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:22-23

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is unclouded, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If the light in you is darkness, how dark it will be!”

– Matthew 6:22-23

 

REFLECTION…

This “eye“, this “lamp”, is the motivation behind our behaviour. If what motivates us is to love and honour God, then we welcome His glorious, cleansing and uplifting light, and we allow it to fill every corner of our heart. But when we succumb to malignant passions or lusts, we are closing out the light, preferring the cover of darkness.

We may convince ourselves that we can still see in the dark…but the terrible risk is that the darkness will be overpowering and will take over our soul completely.

 

QUOTE…

“The eye He [Jesus] speaks of is not the external but the internal eye. The light is the understanding, through which the soul sees God. He whose heart is turned to God, has an eye full of light; that is, his understanding is pure, not distorted by the influence of worldly lusts. The darkness in us is our bodily senses, which always desire the things that pertain to darkness.” – St. John Chrysostom

 

““If then the light in you is darkness, how dark it will be!” that is, if the senses which are the soul’s light be darkened by vice, in how great darkness do you suppose the darkness itself will be wrapped?” – St. Jerome

 

PRAYER…

Lord Jesus, Light of the world,

I worship You,

I want You,

I need You.

 

Lord, place inside me

the fear of spiritual and moral darkness.

Lord, help me choose

to always live in Your glorious light

and to discern the lure of darkness

and fear its overwhelming menace.

 

Light of the world,

I reach out for You with a great yearning.

Come Jesus, and shine on me!

 

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:14-15

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.”

– Matthew 6:14-15

 

REFLECTION…

A Christian is not a true Christian if there is no will to forgive. Am I that sort of Christian? Is there somebody in my life who I am not prepared to forgive? Am I so determined not to forgive, that I will stick to my decision at any cost?

At any cost? …even in spite of Jesus’ warning that if I do not forgive the failings of others, then the Father will not forgive mine?

At any cost? Am I truly determined not to forgive…even at the cost of losing my soul?

 

QUOTE…

“All right: that person has behaved badly towards you. But, haven’t you behaved worse towards God?” – St. Josemaria Escriva

 

PRAYER…

Lord Jesus, my Saviour,

I think of You on that Glorious Cross of Humility

– the Son of the Living God,

One with the Father,

True God from True God –

and I hear You cry out, “Forgive them, Father…”

 

Lord Jesus,

help me learn from You;

make me more like You;

remove my pride

and fill me with love and forgiveness,

that I too may be forgiven by the Father.

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:6

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

– Matthew 6:6REFLECTION…

By saying “you” (in the Aramaic singular) our Lord indicates, quite unequivocally, the need for personal prayer – like a child to the Father – alone with God.

 

When you pray, enter into your inner room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father.”  Public prayer, which is when we, the faithful, assemble together, is something necessary and holy; but it should never displace obedience to this clear commandment of our Lord.

 

“…and your Father…will reward you openly.”  We pray in secret, we open our hearts to God, in private, and the Father rewards us openly, through the joy and peace with which He fills our hearts – an interior serenity, yet visible to all.

 

PRAYER…

Father,

You know what I need before I even ask,

yet still You want me to come to You and open my heart to You.

 

Heavenly Father, You know me inside out

– my strengths and my weaknesses;

You know all that I truly need,

all that will serve Your divine purpose for me.

 

Father,

grant me the yearning that a loving child has for a doting parent,

and let me always make the time to come to You,

in my inner room,

and to pray to You in secret.

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 5:44-46

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For He makes His sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you?”

– Matthew 5:44-46

 

REFLECTION…

Jesus constantly teaches us to love our neighbour, and for Him, everyone is our neighbour. Our Lord goes so far as to say that a Christian should have no personal enemies, nor return scorn with scorn. A believer’s only enemy is evil as such – sin – but never the sinner. Jesus Himself puts this into practice with those who crucified Him, and He continues to act in the same way towards sinners who rebel against Him and despise Him.

This is the apex of Christian perfection – to love, and pray for, even those who persecute us and calumniate us. It is the distinguishing mark of the children of God.

 

PRAYER…

My Lord Jesus, help me love like You love.

Gently remove my hurts with the sweet balm of Your own love for me.

Heal my wounded pride and lift up my sagging spirit.

Change the darkness of my distressed soul into light,

and give me the will to love…like You loved on that Holy Cross.

Amen

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 5:39

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well.”

– Matthew 5:39

 

REFLECTION…

If we want to imitate the mercy of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us to forgive injuries, to be tolerant, and to also be patient with other people’s defects…because we must remember that we too are imperfect. This is what He means about turning the other cheek.

 

QUOTE…

“…we should not take it that Christ literally meant that you should offer the other cheek to some to hit you; what He was referring to was your interior disposition; that is, if necessary we should be ready not to be intolerant of anyone who hurts us, and we should be ready to put up with this kind of treatment, or worse than that. That was how the Lord acted when He surrendered His body to death”   – St. Thomas

 

PRAYER…

Lord, I pray to be more like You.

Help me learn from You, Lord,

on how to maintain my composure

in the face of situations which challenge my integrity

and disturb my serenity.

 

Help me accept the defects of others;

help me accept to be found imperfect in one way or another

– because I am imperfect.

 

Lord, I pray for self-control in the face of discomfort and uneasiness.

I pray that in future situations I will think of You first.

Lord, let me be worthy of calling myself a Christian.

Help me to turn the other cheek.

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Mark 4:33-34

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus used…stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in His public ministry He never taught without using parables; but afterward, when He was alone with His disciples, He explained everything to them.

– Mark 4:33-34

 

REFLECTION…

That is how it has always been, in the days of the Old Testament God taught His people with stories and illustrations. When Christ walked this earth, He did the same and used…stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.

Today, we read the Scriptures; in the Gospels we read about Christ’s life and about His teachings – His stories and parables – and we absorb as much as we can. But afterwards, when we are alone with Christ, in that quiet place, during those moments of reflection and prayer, with a humble yearning to get closer to Him, the Holy Spirit will come and teach us and lovingly explain everything to us.

 

QUOTE…

“But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” – Jesus Christ (John 14:26)

 

PRAYER…

Come Holy Spirit, and open my heart and mind

– give me a deep yearning for God’s Word,

and a welcoming attitude to Christ’s teachings.

Come and teach me everything I need to know,

to draw closer to Jesus,

to long for His friendship and His presence.

 

Come Holy Spirit, and give me a deep desire to always walk with the Lord.

Come and help me understand what He wants from me;

Come and help me do His will.

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Luke 2:51

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus’ mother treasured all these things in her heart.

– Luke 2:51

 

REFLECTION…

As Mary pondered all she had learned from reading and from what she had heard and seen, she so greatly increased in faith, advanced in merit and become enlightened with wisdom! She was also, more and more consumed with burning love; she was filled with joy; she became alive with the Spirit; she was guided towards God and was kept humble in herself. These are the effects of divine grace – they raise us from the depths to the heights, and increasingly and wonderfully transform us.

Through the direction of the Spirit dwelling in her, Mary always obeyed the command of the Word of God…in all things. She was directed not by her own judgement or opinions, but she outwardly performed whatever wisdom had indicated inwardly to her faith. Imitate the Blessed Virgin, O faithful soul. Enter into the temple of your heart that you may be purified in spirit and cleansed of the pollution of your sins.

In everything we do God considers our disposition rather than our actions. Whether in prayer and contemplation, or intent on being of service to those around us, our objective must be that we are motivated only by love of Christ.

– from a sermon of St Laurence Justinian

 

PRAYER…

Hail Mary, sweet Mother of God,

heavenly mother of mine, pray for me.

.

I want to learn from you, dearest mother

– I want to get to know Jesus more and more, day after day,

and to treasure His words and actions in my heart.

 

Pray for me, sweetest mother,

that I will always seek inspiration from God’s Word

and that I will obey God’s Commandments,

so that I may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 

Amen.

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