Friday, December 31, 2010

Keep Going!

“Keep going! Don’t look back! Look ahead and trust God, but don’t trust the next year will be wonderful. Rather, be convinced that God will go with you. Christ will walk with anyone who invites Him along. The Lord is my shepherd. Why should I be afraid? I don’t expect everything to be wonderful next year; in fact, one of these years will be my last one on earth. I don’t expect blue skies every day; that would mean a drought. But I do know that I will not be alone, because the lips of the Man who was born in Bethlehem would say as He left this world thirty years later: ‘I will be with you always even to the end of the world’ (Mt 28:20).

Lord Jesus, as I end another year and prepare for the next one, make me ever more aware of Your presence. Help me to rest in Your presence even more than I have in the past. Help me spread the knowledge, the fragrance of Your presence wherever I go. Let more and more people know that You are with them, even in these anxious times. May this year, more than any previous one, be spent in Your presence. Amen.”
~Benedict Groeschel

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Filled with the Love of God

“You must not love this passing world
or anything that is in the world.
The love of the Father cannot be
in any man who loves the world,
because nothing the world has to offer
– the sensual body,
the lustful eye,
pride in possessions –
could ever come from the Father
but only from the world;
and the world, with all it craves for,
is coming to an end;
but anyone who does the will of God
remains forever.”
~I John 2:15-17

“And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
~Luke 2:36-38

May our hearts be so filled with the love of God that there is no room left for the world…

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

“O Key of David and Scepter of the house of Israel…
O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice…
O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of all…
O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of nations and their Savior…
Come, and save us, O Lord our God!

Tonight will be a night of mysterious gifts, much more mysterious than the toys found under the Christmas tree in the early morning. Tonight He comes to remind us that every day, every hour He is here for us, saying, ‘Come to Me.’”
~Benedict Groeschel

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Proclaim the Greatness of the Lord

“Blessed are you who have believed, because what has been promised to you by the Lord will be fulfilled.” And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.”
Luke 1:45-46

“You too, my people, are blessed, you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognises His works.

Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us. For every soul can receive the Word of God if only it is pure and preserves itself in chastity and modesty.”
~St. Ambrose

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All Are Made New

“Advent pulls us back from the emptiness that haunts this world. During these final days before Christmas, the stories of our ancestors in the faith are retold. Their words bring hope like light in the darkness; absence gives way to comforting presence. Guardians are watching over us. No one is driven out. All are called to become part of the Kingdom of God. In Jesus, all are made new.”
~Jerome Machar

“He does not just care for us, but loves us with no limits, a flaring unquenchable holy love, and a truly unbreakable strong love.”
~St. John Chrysostom

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Prince of Peace

“The Lord is coming… to bring peace and eternal life”
~Anthem for 3rd week of Advent

“And this righteousness will bring peace.
Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.”
~Isaiah 32:17

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”
~John 14:27

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome Him

"In Advent, Christ says: 'Follow me.' But He also says: 'I am rescuing you.' We respond: 'When will You come, Lord?' and He answers: 'I am here if you welcome Me.'"
~Benedict Groeschel

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

~Christina Rossetti
(excerpt from: In the Bleak Mid-Winter)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Lowly Stable

"Lord Jesus, open my eyes that I may see You hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and imprisoned, that I may come to You with a generous helping hand. Let me know the joy of giving that I may become always more generous and escape from my own selfishness. Help me to find You, as the shepherds did, in the lowly stable. Amen."
~Benedict Groeschel

As Henri Nouwen said concerning compassion, "to not reach down from our high position to pull up those less fortunate but to go and make our home with them. For we have a God who did not pull us up but came and made His home with us."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From the Canticle of Zechariah

“In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
~Luke 1:78-79

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Story

“And we find that we cannot read very far in the Story [Scripture] without admitting that it is indeed the story of our life. On page after page we find that we are deprived of the luxury of thinking, ‘Aha! Look at the trouble Adam and Eve, or Cain, got themselves into. I would never do that.’

Alack. It is not a matter of whether or not I would: I have. A thousand times I have murdered my brother. Perhaps not with a rock in a field. But by a small remark in someone’s ear, or the lift of an eyebrow, that has for its effect some diminishing of my brother in someone’s estimation. Or by a snide or cutting or discourteous remark to my brother himself.

Somehow, oddly, the Story seems to be piercing right to the marrow; and then I remember a memory verse from my childhood… ‘For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder… of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart’ (Heb 4:12).”
~Thomas Howard

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Image of Christ

“Nothing can make you such an imitator of Christ as your concern for others. Although you fast, although you sleep on the floor, even though, I dare to say, you kill yourself, if you are not attentive to your neighbor, you have done very little; you are very far from being an image of Christ.”
~St. John Chrysostom

Monday, December 6, 2010

Come, Lord Jesus!

“Any serious person looking back thoughtfully on a few decades of life will realize that even with the best of teachers and guides we have been blind to many truths, or at least to their meaning. This is why we read the Scriptures and especially the Gospels over and over again. As our eyes open to the truth, we learn more and more each time we read them.

…This is because the eyes of the mind and the ears of the heart are being opened and cleared in the process of growing in the grace of Christ. His light and word never change, but we change and grow in our ability to see and hear Him.

This is why the Christian life, when properly understood, can never be boring. Boredom is a clear symptom that we are not growing, that we have lost the meaning of these words: ‘Behold, I make all things new’ (Rv 21:5). The reasons for our blindness, deafness, and boredom are not difficult to discern. We are entranced by the sight of what is vain and passing, and captured by sounds that mean little or nothing.

Even in the most passing things we can find God’s words, but only if we look and listen. Our desires and our hearts are impure: we want God, but we want many other things besides. It could be so easy to escape this emptiness, to find God in all that we see, hear, and experience. The Imitation of Christ tells us that if our hearts are pure, every creature will be for us a mirror of God and a book of holy teaching.

Why, then, don’t we change? Because we cannot change, we cannot escape our blindness and deafness until we are healed by Jesus Christ. ‘Lord, that I may see,’ said the blind beggar of Jericho. Advent is a time to begin again, to appreciate, to value above all other things the coming of Him who is the light of the world for blind eyes and the Word of God for deaf ears. Come, Lord Jesus!”
~Benedict Groeschel

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Who Shall Come

Who shall come in the fullness of time to
gladden the hearts of men?
Who shall bring new joy to the world
and the poor and lonely defend?
Who shall come on a cold winter’s night,
when the world is hushed and still?
Only the silent stars keep watch as a
promise is fulfilled.
Just as a Child newly born He shall come
to a stable rough with sod.
‘Tis gentle Jesus, Prince of Peace, the
blessed Son of God!

We await Him with reverent hearts,
O come Lord Jesus, come!
~Mary Caldwell

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Eternally Grateful

“Without His [Christ] coming, the only greatness of our race would have been the magnitude of its catastrophe.”
~Benedict Groeschel

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Strangers & Sojourners

"He was empty, and he was full. He was alone. Yes, he was alone among men. He was an alien, a stranger and sojourner like all is fathers before him. He knew now the anguish of exiles, the depth of their loneliness. And he saw that this was a gift, for it was the state of pilgrims journeying toward their own true home."
~Michael O’Brien