This is so true. I’ll never forget when I was in San Francisco. My ex had been so awful. To the point I cried profusely. I left the house and went to my church and prayed at the altar. On the way home I was angry at God. Even yelling at him. I stopped at a convenience store before going back home. As I walked in, an older man walked in behind me. As we walked towards the back he suddenly said “I want you to know God heard you tonight”. I looked at him and said “excuse me”. He said “God saw who hurt you tonight and made you cry. He wants you to know he will deal with him but he also wants you to know he has a plan for you. Everything is going to be alright”. I was so taken aback. He told me God had a plan for me. He said don’t worry about the person who hurt you. God will deal with him but as for you he has a plan and everything is going to be ok. I began to cry. This stranger put one arm around me and raised his other arm in the air and said “St Catherine of Sienna I ask you to intercede for this woman tonight. May you offer her the same gift you offered me years ago!” I looked at him and asked “Are you Catholic?” He answered “we are all Catholic”. He went on to share a story when he was in Europe and was down and out. He prayed even praying to St. Catherine of Sienna asking her to pray for him. A miracle happened. He prayed that I too would receive the same gift of a miracle he received that time.
Now you might wonder who this man was. I have no idea. He was just a business man who was lost in the city. He had google map on his iPad and wanted to ask the store clerk questions. Before he left he said “I’m so glad I walked in here tonight. God bless you.” He walked out and got in to his Mercedes and drove away.
I probably will never forget this night. They say God speaks to you through people. I have always been grateful he spoke to me through a stranger that night.
Most of us aren’t likely to betray anyone to a death squad. But as we meditate on the events of the Passion, we might reﬂect on the times we’ve betrayed a trust, the times we’ve talked about someone behind their back, the times we’ve stayed silent when a friend has been ridiculed. Resolve to keep silent when tempted to gossip and to speak out when others are gossiping. That sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? It is. Pray for the grace to meet it.
—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek
Dating God does not require a hermitage any more than taking a spouse on a date requires a special destination. Solitude comes when we create the space and set aside the time to enter more deeply into the mystery that is the very Love that gives us life and meaning. It can be found in the quiet of the morning before the busy day, in the ten minute walk at lunch, or in the restful moments before bed. Just as with creating time and space to be alone with another person, creating time and space for solitude is more about intentionality and the desire to be fully present in the moment than it is about being in this or that location. While solitude may appear scary at first, confronting that fear is perhaps the first step to deepening one’s relationship with God. Just as the prospect of learning more about another person or ourselves can be daunting, the reward comes in the connection that is formed when two know each other in the openness of an intimate friendship. Going into the created space and time set aside for solitude is going on a date with God.
—from Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis
Food is a symbol of our gratitude to God and our mutual appreciation for one another. It is a commodity to share as well as an expression of how much we care. Feeding the hungry is a virtue that must never be forgotten, dining with friends a value we cherish all the more. It is good to celebrate those moments—rare as they may be—where companionship around the table becomes a form of communion, where fantastic food seals friendships, where our vitality and our spirituality truly “wine and dine” together.
—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit
As a Catholic, we believe the rose is very significant. The rose represents unconditional love from our blessed mother. It is also a sign our prayers have been heard and are being answered. If you have been praying for something and the rose appears in your life, (it could be on a stamp, a photo, a vase)….however it comes in to your life recognize it as a sign that your prayers have been heard and are being answered. Interestingly enough, the rose has appeared several times in my life this morning. When I saw this post I realized that maybe it was a sign that God has heard me and my prayers are being answered. Now all I need to do is sit back, trust and believe god is in control. He’s working behind the scenes and everything is falling into place. Everything is going to be ok. 🌹
The reign of God is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;yet when it is sown it grows up
and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade. —Mark 4.30-32
You are a tiny speck of God’s infinite love.
When you let yourself be sown into this world,
given to low places,
what seems tiny unfolds,
because it is God,
and becomes great,
a cedar of Lebanon, a mighty oak of love,
a safe refuge for the weary,
a source of life and comfort for the meek,
a welcome home for God’s little ones.
We only see the seed,
but the unfolding awaits.
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Friends, today’s Gospel gives Jesus’ teaching about non-resistance to evil people. We are continually wanting God to behave as we would, that is to say, withdrawing his love from those who don’t deserve it and giving his love to those who do deserve it. But this is just not the way God operates.
Why should you pray for someone who is persecuting you? Why shouldn’t you be allowed at least to answer him in kind—an eye for an eye? Because God doesn’t operate that way, and you are being drawn into the divine life. Why should you turn the other cheek to someone who has struck you? Because it’s practical? No, because that’s the way God operates, and you’re being called into the divine life. Why should you go beyond simply loving those who love you? Because that’s the way God operates: he loves the saints and he loves the worst of sinners.
Is any of this easy to do? Of course not. Are we able to get to this state through willing it, through earnest practice? Of course not! That’s why love is referred to as a theological virtue. It is the sheerest participation in the divine life, and it can only come from God. – Daily Gospel Reflection by Bishop Barron