Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer: "Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend.
Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.READ MORE
“Love is paent, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous…” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Do you get jealous? Do you focus more on the things that other people have than on the gifts that God has given to you? Are you pompous? Do you acquire more possessions to impress others? At times we are all guilty of these things. Pray for Stewardship with humility. Humility helps us become less “self centered” and become more “God centered” for the sake of others.
St. Oscar Romero (1917-1980) was a “Salvadoran Roman Catholic archbishop who was a vocal critic of the violent activities of government armed forces, right-wing groups, and leftist guerrillas involved in El Salvador’s civil conflict (Encyclopedia Britannica).” As a voice of the voiceless, he was an outspoken champion of the poor who were the ones most affected by the civil unrest and violence. His advocacy provoked several attempts on his life.READ MORE
“Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared…” – Neh 8:10
Ezra’s instructions to the people show us that God does not forbid us from enjoying the good things in life. He wants us to be happy! However, God expects us to be grateful for all that He has given us and through our Stewardship to generously share our blessings with those who are in need. Now here’s the hard part to share all we have without expecting anything in return.
I heard a story of a little girl who walked to and from school daily. The weather one morning was questionable and clouds were forming, yet she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning.
The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky.READ MORE
Of all the classical Spiritual Disciplines, Christian Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure is the most conductive to the growth of humility.
When we set out on a consciously chosen course of action that accents the good of others and is for the most part a hidden work, a deep change occurs in our interior spirit.READ MORE
God delights in you. How do you feel when you hear that? Delight usually comes with an exuberant flow of joy that seemingly arises from one’s toes with the expression of great glee. Reflecting upon the deep measure of joy God has in us can be a source of joy for ourselves. Delight is infectious.READ MORE
“To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” (1 Cor 12:7)
St. Paul tells us that God has blessed each of us for a reason. How has God blessed you? Are you using your gifts according to God’s plan? How are you helping to build God’s kingdom here on earth? Remember that if you don’t do the work God planned for you, no one else can do it. Live the life God has intended for you. Take %me to discern your charisms (gifts from the Holy Spirit). Experience the supernatural Peace and Joy God desires for each of us His Stewards.
“John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming…he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit...’” (Luke 3:16)
The Catholic Catechism states that “Jesus’ immersion in the water is a sign for all human beings of the need to die to themselves to do God’s will.” In other words, as bap zed Catholics living in Stewardship, there is only one gift that we need to give to Jesus the gift of ourselves. Surrender yourself to God, place your trust in Him and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you for the greater glory of God.
“We are called to live our baptism every day, as new creatures, clothed in Christ.” —Pope Francis
What reference point do you use when making decisions? Many times, impulse takes control and decisions are made based solely on emotion and desire. We all know that these types of decisions can often get us into trouble. When a person has a confident sense of who they are and a real understanding of what is important and of value, the likelihood of kneejerk impulsive choices diminishes.READ MORE
Healing takes time, patience and determination to persevere through the long process of healing. It’s not easy, but it is the reality of the healing process. A good friend recently told me his own experience with the healing process of his right knee. About two years ago he had a total right knee replacement. When his knee started acting up and hindering his walking he wanted his knee to be better right now -not tomorrow. He wanted a microwave healing.READ MORE
In his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis references a thought from Pope Benedict XVI: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” Today we celebrate an encounter with the Person of Jesus Christ! This simple but holy event in time dramatically changes human life, pointing it toward a new horizon and giving it a decisive direction. This is a message and truth that is not meant to be shared with only a select few who qualify but with the entire world.READ MORE
“…They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” –Matthew 2:11)
What gifts do Stewards give to the Lord? Pope St. Gregory said that these three gifts represent what we should give God every day. Gold we should reflect Christ’s wisdom in all our relationships. Frankincense represents our daily prayer and adoration to God. Myrrh is a symbol of our daily sacrifices that we unite with Jesus for the sake of others.
As we begin a new calendar year let me offer some thoughts about making Christian Service a joy.
An amusing story was told to me by the retired manager of a New York hotel which hosted many large Catholic functions. The great Paderewski occupied a suite there a number of years ago during one of his seasons at Carnegie Hall. It was his custom to practice for a couple of hours every morning on the magnificent instrument that he had brought with him.READ MORE