Four Choices

July 27

Four choices:

A. The seed sown on the path
B. The seed sown on rocky ground
C. The seed sown among thorns
D. The seed sown on rich soil

I remember reading this passage years ago and thinking I was for sure living as if I was the seed sown among rich soil; how could I not be?! And then God started to pull up the roots… and I realized I was no where near rich soil. And He replanted me.

Our lives are full of opportunities to explore where we are. Every day is a new opportunity to dig and replant. Looking at the root is so important. We cannot fully become all we were created to be if we are not planted deep in rich soil.

Reread the Gospel tonight, and ask our Lord where you are. Then, ask Him to uproot you, and plant you amongst the most fertile of soil. Then, watch Him water the garden of your soul. You’ll be blooming in no time!

Blessed are You

July 26

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.”

If you look back over your life, do you recognize the presence of God at work even in challenging times? When you stop to appreciate how far your spiritual journey has led you, do you see how much more wisdom you have today than years before?

There’s a real virtue in wisdom and to be able to know our Lord’s voice is a grace. How often we should attune our ears to hear that voice throughout the day!

If you were to make a list of three things in your life that our Father has let you see, what would those be? Now, what about the things He asks of you, but you pretend to not hear? What changes does He want you to make in order for you to truly know how blessed you really are? Open your eyes and your ears- He is calling out to you! Oh, how much He loves each of us, as if we were the only one!

Moment by Moment

July 25

“Everything indeed is for you.” There’s so much wisdom in today’s reading from 2 Corinthians. My favorite line, though, is above: “Everything indeed is for you.”

In reflecting on the anniversary of Humanae Vitae and how special this very day is to me, I am filled with gratitude knowing that my dear Father has and wants to give me everything. All He asks in order for me to receive this most precious gift (you know, everything) is for me to simply die to myself and allow Him to take over.

This applies so much to today. Within the sacrament of marriage, our Father wants us to give to our spouse all of us without holding back. It’s the same He asks of us in our own individual lives- trust Me with all of it, every single detail, and put it all into My hands.
How beautiful it is for us to let go completely, to release every ounce of our grip and let Him take over. And within marriage, we are to trust Him with everything together, embracing the knowledge that His life within us is so much greater than simply our life without Him.

His gift of everything waits outstretched in the palm of His hand. All we have to do is to reach for it.

Give us Life

July 24

“Will you not instead give us life; and shall not your people rejoice in you? Show us, O LORD, your kindness, and grant us your salvation.”

How beautiful this hope is: our Lord gives life, and we are to rejoice in it! And what a wonderful week to hear this in preparation for the anniversary of Humanae Vitae tomorrow.
How does He give us life? From the moment of conception throughout the ENTIRETY of our lives; He shows up and continues to pour life into us. And we are to REJOICE!
How tough, though, it is to rejoice when life is a struggle; yet, we need to be reminded to keep rejoicing! Why? Because He wants us to, He tells us to, and He is giving us life even when it doesn’t feel like it. Our entire life is in His hands. What a profound truth!

Tonight, think of your life, and write down one thing you remember God having done for you. And remember to… REJOICE!

Amazing Grace

Johnnette addresses Women of Grace Retreat participants

by Anne Gerard

My first‑ever experience attending the Women of Grace Retreat at The Malvern Retreat House was, in a word — AMAZING! The grounds of the center are tranquil and inviting, lending itself beautifully to assist the attendees in having an enriching and fulfilling experience. Read the rest…

To Walk Humbly

July 23

“You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

At first glance, one may think this reading from Micah seems too easy to be enough; yet, after prayerful consideration, it really is that simple. It’s us who complicate it.

What about us interferes with the ease with which God calls us to obey? Well, everything, because of original sin. Think of Adam and Eve. Y’all, they had it pretty easy out there in the Garden. As long as they did what they were told, life was literally perfect. But they got greedy, and selfish, and distrustful. And boom, here we are, struggling to “do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with [our] God.” But how much more relieved do you feel knowing that this isn’t supposed to be so tricky and scary and tough? Really… all He wants is obedience, trust, and well, everything. And why not give it to Him? What in the world can we do without Him?! Let’s all take a pause and ask God this simple request: Lord, may You increase, and I decrease, so I get out of the way, and You can take over. Amen!

To share your story

July 23

“The baptized have become ‘living stones’ to be ‘built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:5).  By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission.  They are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people that [they] may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called [them] out of darkness into his marvelous light’ (1 Peter 2:9).”
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1268

Rest a While

July 22

There are two parts of the Gospel today that really spoke to my heart: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” and “When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” Although these lines don’t follow one after another, they can easily be read together.

Basically, in order for us to teach others and evangelize according to His call, we have to make sure our own spiritual cup is full. Meaning, we cannot help anyone if we haven’t first taken care of ourselves.

How do we do this? Practically speaking, we actually rest, just like Jesus tells His disciples to. We make sure every bit of our health is taken care of- we eat healthy, we sleep, we exercise, we pray. Now, for us to be able to really evangelize and lead others to God, we have to know and love Him ourselves first! And part of resting is resting “in Him”. We must retreat each day, even if for a short period of time, to allow Him to fill our hearts and souls. We must study His life, we must communicate with Him, we must invite Him on this journey. Finally, ask Him who He is calling you to encounter and walk with. Each soul requires a unique form of loving. But if you listen, He will tell you exactly what He wants you to do at just the right moment.

Then, and only then, can we truly help those who are lost, with Him as our shepherd.


The Grace of Healing

July 22

“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”
-2 Timothy 2:20-21 (RSV)

He Withdrew from that Place

July 21

“The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.”

When you think of the Pharisees out to get Jesus and how He responds, are you left wondering what you do when someone is out to harm you, specifically, spiritually? Let me explain.

Our lives involve continual interactions with others, some good and some not so good. We encounter all sorts of people in our day to day lives: family, friends, coworkers, strangers. And in those interactions, we are bound to face sin at some point. Throughout the day, we are tempted, although these temptations vary from person to person. Gossip, criticism, anger, judgment, lying… and what about those temptations we face when we are all alone? Despair, hopelessness, fear, lust, gluttony? Do we run from these things that threaten our lives, the state of our souls, or do we give in?

Jesus knew what the Pharisees were up to, and He fled. He still had work to do that depended on His very life. God has assigned each of us gifts, tasks, and callings. We aren’t done until He says so. The next time your soul is in jeopardy, ask Him for the courage and RUN to Him… and don’t look back!