Saturday, November 24, 2012

Devotion for today: thoughts from St. Teresa of Avila

These are some beautiful excerpts from the various writings of St. Teresa of Avila in The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, vol.1, vol.2.


Oh, strong love of God! And how true it is that nothing seems impossible to the one who loves! Oh, happy the soul that has obtained this peace from its God, for it is master over all the trials and dangers of the world.


Let us praise Him, my daughters, for He has granted it to us, and let us not tire of praising so great a King and Lord. He has prepared for us a kingdom without end in exchange for a few little trials, which come wrapped in a thousand consolations and will end tomorrow. May He be forever blessed. Amen, Amen.


He will see that whoever loves Him much will be able to suffer much for Him; whoever loves Him little will be capable of little. I myself hold that the measure for being able to bear a large or small cross is LOVE.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Devotion for today: America's tradtion is to give thanks

George Washington’s Declaration of a Day of Thanks


On November 26, 1789, Present George Washington issued a general proclamation for a special day of thanks.


"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of these United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.'  Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted to the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, and that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interposition of his providence, which we experience in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best." (This was taken from the writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscripts Sources by John C. Fitzpatrick; 1745-1799, 39 Vol. Government Printing Office, 1931-1944.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Prayer

This is a Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision that speaks to our praise of and thankfulness to God. Happy thanksgiving, faithful readers!

O My God,

Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;

I bless thee for body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigor, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

I bless thee for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness;

I bless thee for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures. Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Devotion for today: Are you here today? Then thank God He woke you up!

Let us take time today to thank God for giving us another chance at life!

Scripture for meditation: Psalm 59:16-17
 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
 O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: 2638: As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always present in it: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”; (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)

My thoughts: The Catechism reminds us that every event in our lives can become an offering of Thanksgiving, so why not thank God for the gift of life in you? God made you and formed you in His image; you are His beloved Son or Daughter, put on the earth in today’s world to do His work of bringing all His children into the glory of right living and eventually into heaven. You are salt, light, and leaven, meant to make a difference. You are beautiful, loved and needed. Thank God for creating you, for having a dream for you, and for giving you at least one more day to make that dream come true.

Prayer: Good morning, Lord. Thank you for this beautiful day! Thank you for waking me up and giving me another chance at life. Thank you for all the gifts you have given to me. Help me find a way to use them today for your greater glory. May all those who look upon me today see your grace, love and mercy, and may I spend my life on earth doing good for others, and my life in eternity next to your side. Amen. (Sandy Bertini)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Devotion for today” I am thankful for my family

This week we are looking at areas of our lives for which we give thanks.

Scripture for meditation: Deuteronomy 4:40 
Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

Scripture for reflection: Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The Catechism of the Catholic tells us: 2204The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church." It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament. 2205 The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task. 2206 The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing." II. THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY: 2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

St. Anthony Mary Claret (from his autobiography) states: "Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting."

My thoughts: I recently substituted in the kindergarten class at my parish school. The little ones were instructed to open their morning prayer with thanksgiving. Every single one of them thanked God first and foremost for their parents and their families. It reminded me of the simplicity of life. Really, there isn’t much more we need in life other than the love of our family. It is the sign and symbol of God the Father’s love for us. It is the reminder that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. So goes our treatment of our family, so goes our treatment of Christ. We learn in our families how to love in the Christian sense of the word: without motive or agenda, patiently, never seeking our own good but only the good of the other. How wonderful the world would be today if families followed the Bible and the Catechism, and taught God’s words on love and living to their children. What a wonderful world it would be!

Prayer: Family Prayer To The Holy Family
O Heavenly Father, our loving God, you have given us the Holy Family as our patron to bless and guide our families that the fruit of the Holy Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control - shall reign in our homes.

As husbands and wives, teach us to love our spouses more than ever. As parents, give us wisdom and knowledge in rearing our offsprings to be responsible and successful Christians forever. As brothers and sisters, may we learn to care and support for one another and be of inspiration to each other. As children, teach us to be obedient just as Jesus showed obedience and respect to Mary and Joseph.

As Christians, melt us, mold us, fill us, and use us, in spreading the good news in our community that they may see Christ in us. When trials come, help us to face them with trusting faith and confidently hope that all things work for good for those who love God. May we have a happy holy family forever through Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, our miraculous patron, the adorable Holy Family. Amen.

Submitted to Catholic Payers
by Romeo (boyeT) T. Santiano
on February 19, 2000


Monday, November 19, 2012

Devotion for today: Give thanks and remember

This week we will pause to contemplate the gifts God has given us. We begin with our parents.

Scriptures for meditation Exodus 20:12: "Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." 
Proverbs 1:8: "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Proverbs 10:1: "The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother."
Proverbs 23:25: "May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!"

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: 2214: The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood; this is the foundation of the honor owed to parents. The respect of children, whether minors or adults, for their father and mother, is nourished by the natural affection born of the bond uniting them. It is required by God’s commandment. 2218: The fourth commandment reminds grown children of their responsibilities toward their parents. As much as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude. (Found in Matthew 7:10-12). For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.” (Sirach 3:2-6)

By Tim Russert Washington bureau chief NBC News

In the spring of 2004, I published a book about my father—about the lessons I have learned from him, the ways he has influenced me, and my enormous love and respect for this steady, hardworking, and modest man. Big Russ & Me came out in May, and my publisher sent me on a publicity tour in the hope that people around the country would see the book as an ideal Father’s Day gift. Early in the tour I was in Chicago, where, to my great relief, customers were lining up to buy the book and have me autograph it. What happened next really surprised me.
“Make it out to Big Mike,” somebody told me, which was followed in rapid succession by:
“This is for Big Mario.”
“Please inscribe it to Big Manuel.”
“For Big Irv.”
“Big Willie.”
“Big Stan.”
I had expected that my book would appeal to readers in my hometown of Buffalo, New York, but I didn’t know whether the story of a young man coming of age in a blue-collar Irish-Catholic neighborhood, whose father was a truck driver and sanitation man, would strike a chord with a wider audience. As I soon discovered, there were many Big Russes out there—good, industrious, patriotic men who had a lot in common with my dad, even if they didn’t share his religion or heritage. By writing a book about my father, I was affirming not only his life, but the lives of many other fathers as well.

My thoughts: This week we will take time to think about and thank God for the gifts He has given us, ones we probably overlook in our daily lives. I start with our parents, all parents: single, adoptive, birth, foster, grand, great-grand: all parents who have given us life, who have given us a home, taught us to walk and talk, kissed us good-night and taught us to know and love God in this world so as to be happy with Him in the next. If you were blessed with wonderful parents, thank God for them. If your parents were not so great, forgive them. If you are at odds with your parents, bury your pride and make up with them. God chose our parents for us. We must pray for them and honor them. Let us thank God for them, and pray we will be honorable parents as well.

Just a thought: "Admirable parents indeed! Only in Heaven shall I fully understand the vigilance, devotedness and love of my mother and father...I thank Thee for having spared, until this day, these two beings who ever preferred Thy good pleasure to their own gratification and did not hesitate to sacrifice what was dearer to them than life itself...To prove my gratitude, I am in duty bound to become a Saint. I have contracted a sacred debt which I must discharge at all costs...Yes I will become a Saint. I will become holy to the degree God has marked out for me. Thus may I repay them for the pains they have taken for my education and console them in their grief over our separation." Blessed Dina Belanger

Prayer: Our Father, Who art in heaven, bless my father and mother, my guardians, and those who are in authority over me, for their love and tender care for me, and the benefits I receive at their hands. Help me, I pray Thee, to be respectful and obedient to them in all matters according to Thy will; and give me Thy grace to perform all my duties carefully and faithfully, to avoid undesirable company and influence, and resist all temptation that may come my way; that I may live a sober, righteous and godly life, ever praising Thee and glorifying Thy Holy Name. Amen.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Devotion for today: Desire knowledge with prudence and charity

A thought by St. Bernard

"There are some who desire knowledge merely for its own sake; and that is shameful curiosity.

 And there are others who desire to know, in order that they may themselves be known; and that is vanity, disgraceful too.

Others again desire knowledge in order to acquire money or preferment by it; that too is a discreditable quest.

But there are also some who desire knowledge, that they may build up the souls of others with it; and that is charity.

Others, again, desire it that they may themselves be built up thereby; and that is prudence.

 Of all these types, only the last two put knowledge to the right use"

 (St. Bernard, Sermon on the Canticle of Canticles).