Step By Step

Almighty, eternal, just, and merciful God, grant us in our misery that we may do for your sake alone what we know you want us to do, and always what pleases you; so that, cleansed and enlightened interiorly and fired with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, we may be able to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

—Francis of Assisi

from the book Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi

 

Spirit of the World

The “spirit of the world” offers many false illusions and parodies of happiness. There is perhaps no darkness deeper than the darkness that enters young people’s souls when false prophets extinguish in them the light of faith and hope and love. The greatest deception, and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility....

–St. John Paul II

 

from the book: The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare

 

God, Watch Over Us

Almighty God, who gave to the just man from Nazareth, St. Joseph, the privilege of serving as earthly Father to Jesus your Son, through his intercession, watch over our families and guide us in your ways. May this son of David, in whom the shoot from the stump of Jesse has blossomed, guide your people with care and protect your Church from harm. United with Mary his spouse and Jesus our Lord, may we be joined forever in the joys of your heavenly kingdom.

 

-from: Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions

Land of the Living

Like the good thief who hung condemned next to the sinless Christ on a cross, anyone who confesses at the end of life may experience the same eternal reward as those who have lived a lifetime of piety and penitence for their sins. Their lives, St. Bernard of Clairvaux says, can be like “a short bridge from the religion of death unto the land of the living.”

-from: The Saint vs. The Scholar: The Fight Between Faith and Reason 

Marian Shrines

            In certain places, the Mother’s presence is felt in a particularly vivid way. These places sometimes radiate their light over a great distance and draw people from afar. Their radiance may extend over a diocese, a whole nation, or at times over several countries and even continents. These places are the Marian sanctuaries or shrines.

            In all these places, that unique testament of the Crucified Lord is wonderfully actualized: in them man feels that he is entrusted and confided to Mary; he goes there in order to be with her, as with his Mother, he opens his heart to her and speaks to her about everything: he “takes her to his own home,” that is to say, he brings her into all his problems, which at times are difficult. His own problems and those of others. The problems of the family, of societies, of nations and of the whole of humanity.

-from: Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers, and Devotions

The Discipline of Prayer

The courage to live the call to share Jesus with others comes from a hope that gives way to the discipline of prayer. Prayer inspires a life of joyful dependence on the Lord, which allows us to see and recognize him at work in the most surprising of ways. And from a heart focused on God blossoms the thanksgiving that overflows into sharing Christ with a waiting world.

-from: Who Does He Say You Are?

A Revolutionary Promise

In the Eucharist, we actually receive the Risen Jesus—an encounter that transforms and miraculously changes us into him. We experience the Love that is his very Person. “For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him” (John 6:55–56). This is a revolutionary promise from the revealed words of Jesus himself!

–from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life

 

 

Forever Bonded in Love

Remember that you can never be separated from the Being who gave you life. You were created by the Love that gives life to all things. Human love is a way to touch this greater Love. That is its purpose.

-from the book The Divine Spark

 

 

Making a Commitment

Mary as a good mother teaches us to be, like her, capable of making definitive decisions; definitive choices, at this moment in a time controlled by, so to speak, a philosophy of the provisional. It is very difficult to make a lifetime commitment. And she helps us to make those definitive decisions in the full freedom with which she said “yes” to the plan God had for her life (cf. Luke 1:38). Let us ask Mary to help us fix our eyes intently on Jesus, to follow him always, even if this is demanding.

 

-from the book Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

 

Stay Calm

If we have to wait for long for anything, we feel stress rising within—a sure sign that impatience is getting the upper hand. And when we are impatient, we can lose our temper, act rashly, harm ourselves or others, or make a mess of that which we wanted to turn out well.

–from the book: Don’t Panic: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough