“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Amos 5:14

TODAY’S WORD…

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is.

– Amos 5:14

 

REFLECTION…

This is a simple but clear call to conversion, directed at believers. We often need to look inside ourselves to realise and admit that in our, sometimes blind, efforts to satisfy our ego and our yearnings, we so often seek that which is not good for our soul.

If we truly believe, then we should seek what is good, because we ought to be very well aware that there, in what is good, we will find God…and that is when we shall truly live!

 

PRAYER…

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

 

I believe in You, O Lord,

and my soul yearns for You,

yet I am weak and selfish,

…and foolish enough to seek what goes against Your Truth.

 

Lord, I want to truly live with You in my heart.

Come Lord, and cleanse me

and fill me with life

and with Your love, joy and peace.

 

I love You Lord.

Forgive me Lord.

Renew me Lord.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – John 20:28

TODAY’S WORD…

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed to Jesus.

– John 20:28

 

REFLECTION…

Thomas’ doubted – He had not believed his friends and fellow disciples about Jesus having appeared to them. He insisted that only if he saw for himself and touched Jesus’ wounds, would he then believe. Gentle, loving and understanding Jesus allows Thomas to do so, and that is when Thomas’ lets out, from the bottom of his heart, this short yet profound assertion of faith, “My Lord and my God!”

We too can be like Thomas, at various stages of our lives. We too can become almost irreverent towards the Lord in those moments when our faith is tested by circumstances in our lives, or influenced by an increasingly Godless world.

Jesus, who loves us and who so understands our humanity, wants us, encourages us, to go to Him in those dark moments and to insist with Him about our doubts.  Jesus knows it when we sincerely want to believe, and He will touch us in ways which are beyond our own understanding, and our incredulity will be healed…and our heart will recognise its Maker and cry out, “My Lord and my God!”

 

PRAYER…

Jesus, my Lord,

please let me touch Your wounds

so that my faith may be strengthened.

Your amazing love for me is reflected in Your wounds of suffering and death,

which saved me and gave me life.

 

Thank You Jesus for Your gentleness and kindness,

and for helping me truly acknowledge You as my Lord and my God!

 

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Psalm 50:16-22

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TODAY’S WORD…

God says to the wicked:

“Why bother reciting My decrees

and pretending to obey My covenant?

For you refuse My discipline

and treat My words like trash.

 

When you see thieves, you approve of them,

and you spend your time with adulterers.

Your mouth is filled with wickedness,

and your tongue is full of lies.

You sit around and slander your brother –

your own mother’s son.

 

While you did all this, I remained silent,

and you thought I didn’t care.

But now I will rebuke you,

listing all My charges against you.

Repent, all of you who forget Me…”

– Psalm 50:16-22

 

REFLECTION…

God scolds “the wicked” – the evil and the morally wrong; those who in their hypocrisy try to deceive God and are disloyal towards Him and towards others. Such persons, in their utter selfishness act like as if God may be looking the other way – they appear to convince themselves that His apparent silence is tacit approval of their behaviour.

Such egocentric persons’ notion of God is in keeping with their small-mindedness, and it amounts to losing sight of the True God. There is a price – the biggest of them all – to be paid by such persons, unless they mend their ways.

 

QUOTE…

“In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare. The Last Judgement will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life.”   – Catechism of the Catholic Church 1039

 

PRAYER…

My Lord and my God,

I believe in You and in Your omnipresence.

Remove my hypocrisy, Lord,

cleanse me from my sins,

and forgive my selfish attitudes.

 

Lord, I so want to honour You.

I so want to be saved.

I love You, Lord.

Forgive me, Lord

 

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Mark 5:36

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; only have faith.”

– Mark 5:36

 

REFLECTION…

Jesus forever lovingly reassures us, “Do not be afraid; only have faith” ; “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1); “I am with You, always.” (Mat 28:20)

Faith is the only remedy against grief and fear. If we truly believe in the Resurrection, then we shall fear not. Believers who seek to do God’s will cannot expect not to face problems in their lives. In fact it can be quite the contrary, because doing the right thing, in a world urging us to do the complete opposite, can be a daunting task.

But, because we have faith, and because we believe in Jesus’ promises, we shall find comfort in our trials and situations, and overcome them with that inner joy and peace that only knowing the Truth and believing in Jesus can bring.

 

PRAYER…

My Lord Jesus,

You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I believe in You Lord

and I shall walk with You – come what may.

 

Lord, thank You for Your comforting love,

for Your loving reassurance,

for Your precious encouragement,

and for Your glorious promise of life everlasting.

 

You are my Shepherd, O Lord,

and I shall not be afraid.

Thank You, Lord.

I love You, Lord.

 

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Lamentations 2:19

TODAY’S WORD…

Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him in prayer…

– Lamentations 2:19

 

REFLECTION…

God hears the prayers of all who seek Him – of the meek and humble; of the needful; of the discouraged; of the repentant and remorseful; of the disconsolate; of all those who go to Him in prayer…whatever the time of day, or night.

God knows the hearts of those who sincerely seek Him in prayer and He sends the grace and power, through Christ, which then works in us, combining with our feeble efforts, strengthening us, filling us with hope, and helping us to overcome.

 

QUOTE…

“Whoever calls upon the Lord must act as if he does not know the existence of any special time to be dedicated to implore the Lord, but always remains in that attitude of supplication. Whether we eat or drink, let us proclaim Christ, pray to Christ, think of Christ, speak of Christ! May Christ be ever in our heart and on our lips!”   – St. Ambrose

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.   – Philippians 4:13

 

PRAYER…

My Lord, my God,

my Hope, my Salvation,

my Healer, my Consolation, my Strength!

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Psalm 34:7

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TODAY’S WORD…

The angel of the Lord encamps

around those who fear Him,

and delivers them.

– Psalm 34:7

 

REFLECTION…

Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve His saving plans for other creatures: “The angels work together for the benefit of us all” – St. Thomas Aquinas. [*1]

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. St Basil tells us that “beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” [*2]

The fear of the Lord is the reverence, awe and great respect which comes over us when we encounter God in our life. As we acknowledge Him as our Lord and God, this leads to an attitude of humility and of obedience…and the angel of the Lord encamps around us, to protect us and to shepherd us through life into the arms of the Lord!

[*1] and [*2] source: the Catechism of the Catholic Church – paras 350 & 336 respectively]

 

PRAYER…

Lord, thank You for my Guardian Angel.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 7:21

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TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

– Matthew 7:21

 

REFLECTION…

Do I go to Mass every Sunday? Do I pray regularly? Do I even speak to others about God and His goodness and greatness?

If I do all of that, it is all very good, but if I then go off and continue living a life which is not in accordance with God’s will and His Commandments, then I am only deceiving myself.

 

PRAYER…

Lord Jesus, my Lord and my God,

I believe in You and I love You.

 

Lord, I pray, that I will not love myself more than I love You.

I pray that I will strive to love You like You loved me

and to give my self for You.

 

I pray

that I will determinedly do the Father’s will

and obey His Commandments,

because my ultimate desire is to be in Your glorious presence,

forever, in Your Heavenly Kingdom.

…..

I want to give my self for You, O Lord;

to surrender all to You;

to give up everything for You.

I worship You, my Lord, my God.

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 7:15

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

– Matthew 7:15

 

REFLECTION…

Jesus warns us about false prophets, of which there have always been many, and our era is certainly no exception. False prophets are those who promise that the way to heaven is broad and easy, in complete contrast with Jesus’ advice that “it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life.” (Mat 7:14)

False prophets know that the ears of many will gladly listen to, and also pay for, doctrines and practices offering spiritual enlightenment which suits their lifestyle and also allows them to pursue their own desires. These false teachers of liberal, soothing and flattering doctrines, come in sheep’s clothing, with a virtuous, gentle and plausible exterior, and always with the welcome news that the “gate” is not so narrow after all.

They are ferocious wolves, because they are focused on separating the flock from the One True God, and bent on devouring it for their own ends.

 

PRAYER…

Lord, Heavenly Father, Glorious Creator,

I praise Your Holy Name

and I thank You for Your unending Love for me.

Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God,

I praise and thank You

for showing me the True Way to the Father

and for dying on the Cross for me.

 

Holy Spirit, Breath of Life,

I welcome You into my heart.

Increase my faith

and protect me from the snare of false prophets

and from doctrines which seek to seduce me away from the only Truth.

 

Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 7:13-14

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

– Matthew 7:13-14

 

REFLECTION…

The way of sin is momentarily pleasant and calls for no effort, but…it leads in the direction of eternal perdition. The plain fact is that the majority appear to avoid the road that leads to life – they even despise it because it involves carrying “the cross”; it involves self-giving and self-sacrifice.

Self-denial, forgiveness of others, monogamy, meekness, renunciation of the pursuit of wealth as the chief end to life, and other basic principles of faith and morality- all seem to be diametrically opposed to our baser instincts which propel us constantly in the direction of the wide, glittery and seducing way.

It is only those truly desiring salvation, who set their minds upon the things of heaven and on the Lord’s promise, and determinedly enter and negotiate, with God’s help, the narrow and demanding way…that leads to eternal Life.

 

QUOTE…

“If a man resolves to submit himself to carrying this cross – that is to say, if he resolves to desire in truth to meet trials and to bear them in all things for God’s sake, he will find in them all great relief and sweetness wherewith he may travel upon this road, detached from all things and desiring nothing.

Yet, if he desires to possess anything – whether it comes from God or from any other source – with any feeling of attachment, he has not stripped and denied himself in all things; and thus he will be unable to walk along this narrow path or climb upward by it.”    – St. John of the Cross

 

PRAYER…

Lord, detach me from everything…and lead me along Your Way.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 7:3

TODAY’S WORD…

Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?”

– Matthew 7:3

 

REFLECTION…

A good maxim to live by! Maybe we should print this verse and put it where we can see it every day!

When we think we’ve spotted a defect in others, rather than focus on that possible defect we should use the opportunity to look at ourselves. We need to stop, often, and look inwardly. How do others see us? Most importantly, how does God see us and what does He, who sees everything, see in us that does not please Him?

But we must beware, for if we see nothing wrong with ourselves, then we really do have a big problem.

 

QUOTES…

“Strive to acquire the virtues you think your brothers lack, and then you will no longer see their defects, because you yourselves will not have them.” – St. Augustine

“To criticize, to destroy, is not difficult; any unskilled labourer knows how to drive his pick into the noble and finely-hewn stone of a cathedral. To construct: that is what requires the skill of a master.” – St. Josemaria Escriva

 

PRAYER…

O Lord, stop me from judging others.

Rather, make me look at myself

and help me see myself as I truly am.

 

Stop me from preferring not to look

or from seeking to justify all that I may see in myself that is not right.

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Point out anything in me that offends you,

and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Ps. 139:23, 24)

 

Amen.

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