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Posted on 10/20/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
Is it possible to describe Pope Francis in a single word? I will try to suggest one: the pope of patience. Young people, he recognizes, rightly feel the need to change the world. But, very quickly, as they grow up, they discover that this objective is unattainable if they are in a hurry. It can only be done with patience. This is something that parents know well when they understand that, beyond giving a model of life to their children, they must just learn to wait until the child makes his or her own life and, if need be, his or her own mistakes.
The pope speaks of a kite, which begins to tremble. At that point, instinct would make you pull the cord, to take back control. But that would be a mistake. When the kite “wags its tail,” you must give—let it have its way; you must set it free (without abandoning it), you must give it time. We could call it the Gospel of Patience.
—from the book Pope Francis Takes the Bus, and Other Unexpected Stories by Rosario Carello
Posted on 10/19/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
What would you think of a father who took his daughter’s scribbled picture, tore it up, and told her not to draw again until she got it exactly right? No good father would do that!
God looks at us the way a good dad looks at his son or daughter. When it comes to prayer, our heavenly Father sees our hearts, our sincere desires to pray well, not just our final products in prayer. So even if our praying of the rosary ends up being just a bunch of scribbles, we should remember that God can write straight with our crooked lines. He can delight in our good intentions, our sincere desires to please him in prayer, even if our minds go someplace else. Having a good intention is more important than maintaining perfect attention throughout prayer.
—from the book Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth by Edward Sri
Posted on 10/18/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
Love is not divisible. Genuine love of God implies love of neighbor and self. Genuine love of neighbor and self can come only out of a love of God. Even in the most vindictive, inconsiderate, domineering person, we are called to see God. Beneath the sin and ugliness, everyone mirrors at least some of the attributes of God: free, intelligent, capable of the highest love. Even if that freedom has been enslaved or that intelligence is clouded by physical, emotional, or moral obstacles, that person is still full of potential.
Christ brought new dignity to human nature by the union of the divine and the human. In the one person of Christ, human nature is inseparably and forever united to God. Christ did not add anything to human nature. Rather he made visible the love that had never changed.
Posted on 10/17/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
In the Psalm we said: “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things” (Psalm 98:1). Today we consider one of the marvelous things which the Lord has done: Mary! A lowly and weak creature like ourselves, she was chosen to be the Mother of God, the Mother of her Creator.
At the message of the angel, she does not hide her surprise. It is the astonishment of realizing that God, to become man, had chosen her, a simple maid of Nazareth; not someone who lived in a palace amid power and riches, or one who had done extraordinary things, but simply someone who was open to God and put her trust in him, even without understanding everything: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). That was her answer.
—from Pope Francis, as quoted in the book Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis
Posted on 10/16/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
To Francis everything in him and around him was a gift from his Father in Heaven. He expected nothing, so he was grateful for everything. Even a piece of earth was cause for rejoicing, and he thanked God always for everything that was. He held everything to his heart with the enthusiasm of a child surprised by some unexpected toy. The air he breathed, the sounds he heard, the sights and smells of all the world entered his grateful soul through senses perfected by gratitude and purity of heart.
Nothing was evil, for everything came from God, and evil came only from a heart that chose not to love.
—from the book Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, OFM
Posted on 10/15/2017 05:00 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
Teresa of Avila had no desire to be set apart as “the holy one,” because she believed she was far from perfect. She told a priest, “During my lifetime, I have been told that I was handsome and I believed it; that I was clever and I thought it was true; and that I was a Saint, but I always knew that people were mistaken on that score.”
Teresa’s reputation for sanctity spread, in spite of her protests, among those who weren’t blinded by jealousy. Try as she might to bring her flaws to light, the Light of Christ shone more brightly within her. This holy radiance shone around her and all the saints because they carried Jesus within them. Saint Teresa’s life of prayer made this divine presence possible.
—from the book The Four Teresas by Gina Loehr
Posted on 10/14/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
I come back once more to formal prayer, to the doxology that traditionally concludes the prayers we begin “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In the concluding doxology, too, we usually connect Father, Son, and Spirit by the word and. But I prefer a more ancient version. This more dynamic version suggests our entering into God’s life as we pray to the Father (Mother and Source of all), through the Son (through whom we have communion with God), in the Holy Spirit (that Force which comes from God, is God, and leads all things back to the Source in a great dance).
—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life, by Brother David Steindl-Rast
Posted on 10/13/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
We have no right to glory in ourselves because of any extraordinary gifts, since these do not belong to us but to God. But we may glory in crosses, afflictions, and tribulations, because these are our own.
—Saint Francis of Assisi, as quoted in the book The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg
Posted on 10/12/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
That God is not fair is actually one among many reasons for gratitude, albeit in a way counterintuitive to our usual thinking. The simple premise here is that God’s way is not our way, God’s love is not conditioned like our love, God’s mercy is not bound as ours is, and God does not discriminate or reward a person according to the standards of a given society, no matter how widespread such criteria may be. (Thank God!)
—from the book God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude, by Daniel P. Horan, OFM
Posted on 10/11/2017 05:45 AM (Minute Meditations | AmericanCatholic.org)
God knows best, and, while we’ll still hope for a favorable surprise, we can hardly do better than not only being resigned to whatever God permits but even beforehand to thank him for his mercifully loving designs.
—Solanus Casey, as quoted in God's Doorkeepers: Padre Pio, Solanus Casey and Andre Bessette by Joel Schorn