Prayer and Meditation for Friday, June 16, 2017 — “The surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” — “Be not driven to despair.”

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 363

Reading 1 2 COR 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,”
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm  PS 116:10-11, 15-16, 17-18

R. (17a) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I believed, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm,
“No man is dependable.”
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
R. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia  PHIL 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel  MT 5:27-32

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

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Reflection by The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
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16 JUNE, 2017, Friday, 11th Week, Ordinary Time
EARTHENWARE VESSELS HOLDING THE TREASURE OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ 2 Cor 4:7-15; Ps 115(116):10-11,15-18; Mt 5:27-32]

Man is a complex being.  He is a paradox to himself.   As a creature he is weak. He experiences his finiteness and limitations.  He is very fragile physically, psychologically and emotionally.  Just a sickness or some pain can upset his whole life.  He could die anytime.  Psychologically and emotionally, he is susceptible to what people think and say of him.  His self-confidence is much influenced by how others perceive him.  He is worried about his future.  He is afraid of pain, suffering and death.  As a result, he competes and defends his own interests.  Man is self-preservative.  Each one of us has a built-in defense mechanism.  We know we are sinners.  We are selfish, proud and greedy.

Yet man’s potential is unimaginable. Although finite, he has possibilities beyond human imagination.  This is because he is not only made of matter but he has a spirit.  He is able to think, to imagine and to change the environment.  He is aware that he is called to co-create with God and be stewards of this earth.   He is created in God’s image and likeness.  Most of all, in spite of his desire to protect himself, he is capable of love and is able to go beyond himself.  This explains why we are earthen vessels holding the treasure of God.  We are merely human beings but we are called to share in the life and the power of God without becoming gods ourselves.

The question is, how do we use our potentials and make sense of our weaknesses?  For those of us who are intelligent and talented, there is a danger of falling into pride.   We tend to rely on ourselves and give ourselves credit for what we do.  We think highly of our achievements. We begin to glorify ourselves. The sin of pride is the cause of the downfall of many.  And when we fail, we fall into despair.  

On the other hand, those who are weak can fall into low-self esteem.  They feel that they are not good enough.  They become negative of themselves and of others.  They feel easily rejected and unloved.  They become a source of trouble to others.   When we are negative towards ourselves, we cannot think of others.  A person who is insecure and suffers from low self-esteem is more concerned about what others think of him and his performance than how effectively he is reaching out to those whom he is serving.   Only those who are secure can focus fully on those whom they are called to minister.

How can we best harness the strength that comes from our weaknesses and avoid the pitfalls of pride?  We need to allow God to work in and through us.  God allows us to experience our finiteness so that we will never think too highly of ourselves.  Such inadequacies should not discourage us.  Rather, they keep us humble in service.  Indeed, our sinfulness and weaknesses teach us compassion.  Through our struggles we learn to help others, especially when we have overcome them ourselves.  St Paul in 2 Cor 1:3-7 says that it is through the mercy and consolation which we have received from Jesus that we are called to give mercy to others.   This is what we mean when we say Jesus carries our sins in His body.

We too must carry the death of Jesus in us.  In other words, we must continue to die to ourselves.   We must accept our human weaknesses and limitations.  We must surrender ourselves entirely to the power of God at work in us as Jesus did on the cross when He surrendered His mission to the Father.  Only when we die to ourselves and allow God to work in us, will God then take over.   To carry the death of Jesus in us is to rely only on His grace alone.  After we have done all that can, we must surrender ourselves to His grace and power.  We must rest on the primacy of grace.  Indeed, like St Paul, we can also say, “we are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed.”

The greatness of God is seen when people see how God works in us, not how well or how capable we are. When they know that we could not have accomplished what we did by our own strength and yet have done it, they will give glory to God, just as Mary said in the Magnificat, “For He has done great things for me.  Holy is His name.”  We have nothing to boast of ourselves except the power of  God.  Again this is what St Paul said, “You see, all this is for your benefit, so that the more grace is multiplied among people, the more thanksgiving there will be to the glory of God.”

In this way, our life can be a thanksgiving.  Unless we have experienced the liberating power of God’s love, we cannot offer ourselves as a thanksgiving sacrifice.  “I trusted, even when I said: ‘I am sorely afflicted,’ and when I said in my alarm: ‘No man can be trusted.’  O precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful.  Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds.”

How can our life be a thanksgiving?  We must now glorify Him with our lives.  This was what Jesus prayed in His priestly prayer when He asked the Father to glorify Him.  Jesus spent His whole life glorifying the Father by doing His will, manifesting His love, mercy and compassion by His words and works and, most of all, by His passion, death and resurrection.  We too must glorify Him in all that we say and do.  Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”  (Mt 5:16).

Hence, we must constantly seek to purify our love for God and for our fellowmen.  In the gospel, Jesus speaks of this purity of love.  “You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery.  But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”   In other words, it is not enough not to commit adultery.  Even the wrong intention itself is already a sin because sin is already conceived in our hearts and waiting to give birth to action.  So we need to purify our love for God and for the service of our brothers and sisters.   It is the purity of motive that will empower us in love.

Secondly, we must avoid harming ourselves.  “If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell.  And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell.”  Consider what is preventing us from allowing God to shine through our lives.   We must avoid the occasion of sin so that we will not be tempted into sin. To avoid the occasion of sin, we must think through the implications of our sins and the consequences.  In the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, one of the exercises is contemplation of hell.  What is the purpose of this exercise?  It is to consider the consequences of our sins for ourselves and for others.  Knowing the consequences, it prevents us from falling into sin.

Thirdly, we must not cause others to sin because we will hurt ourselves as well.  Jesus said,  “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal.  But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced women commits adultery.”  The best way to protect ourselves is to protect others.   When we hurt others, they will hurt us.  When we make them angry they will be vindictive.  In their desire to seek revenge, they will hurt us.  Causing others to sin because of our weaknesses and our selfishness will not only hurt our loved ones but ourselves as well.

Hence, the key to loving others is that we must love ourselves.  To love ourselves properly we must take care of ourselves.  We need to be faithful to our prayers and our intimacy with the Lord.  Basking ourselves in the Lord’s love is what will give us strength and consolation.  Unless, we spend quiet time with the Lord, contemplating on His love and on our lives, we will not be able to discern the will of God in all that we do.  When we do not make time for ourselves, we will eventually suffer burnt-out.  We must also ensure that we have sufficient rest, recreation and exercise.  We need to have a proper schedule for the day.  We need to plan our days well so that we will not waste time unnecessarily.   If we do not plan our time-table for the day, others will plan it for us.  If we have no program, then others will dictate our program.  Those who cannot say “no” are those without a program because they are waiting for their empty slots to be taken up.

All these are possible if only we have a real encounter with the Risen Lord.  St Paul wrote, “But as we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture – I believed, and therefore I spoke – we too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us.” Our faith in God’s power is founded on the resurrection.  With the resurrection, nothing is impossible. (1 Cor 1:8-10)  It was St Paul’s faith in the power of the resurrection that freed him from the fear of death and failures.

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Written by The Most Rev William Goh
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Lectio Divina from the Carmelites
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Reflection
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• In yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus made a rereading of the commandments: “Do not kill” (Mt 5, 20-26). In today’s Gospel Jesus rereads the commandment “You shall not commit adultery”. Jesus rereads the law starting from the intention that God had, which was proclaimed centuries before on Mount Sinai. He seeks the spirit of the Law and does not close himself up in the letter.

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He takes up again and defends the great values of human life which constitute the background of each one of these Ten Commandments. He insists on love, on fidelity, on mercy, on justice, on truth, on humanity (Mt 9,13; 12,7; 23,23; Mt 5,10; 5,20; Lc 11,42; 18,9). The result of the full observance of the Law of God humanizes the person. In Jesus we can see what happens when a person allows God to fill his life. The last objective is that of uniting both loves, the building up of fraternity in defence of life. The greater the fraternity, the greater will be the fullness of life and greater will be the adoration given by all creatures to God, Creator and Saviour.

• In today’s Gospel, Jesus looks closely at the relationship man-woman in marriage, fundamental basis of human living together. There was a commandment which said: “Do not commit adultery”, and another one which said: “Anyone who divorces his wife, has to give her a certificate of divorce”. Jesus takes up again both commandments, giving them a new meaning.

• Matthew 5, 27-28: Do not commit adultery. What does this commandment require from us? The ancient response was: man cannot sleep with somebody else’s wife. This was demanded by the letter of the commandment. But Jesus goes beyond, surpasses the letter and says:“But I say to you, if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.

The objective of the commandment is reciprocal fidelity between man and woman who assume life together, as a married couple. And this fidelity will be complete only if both will know how to be faithful to one another in thought and in the desire and, will know how to reach a total transparency between them.

• Matthew 5, 29-30: Tear out your eye and cut off your hand. To illustrate what Jesus has just said, he states a hard word of which he serves himself on another occasion when he spoke of the scandal to little ones (Mt 18, 9 e Mc 9, 47). He says: If your right eye should be your downfall tear it out and throw it away: for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have to have your whole body thrown into hell”. And he affirms the same thing concerning the hand. These affirmations cannot be taken literally. They indicate the radical nature and the seriousness with which Jesus insists on the observance of this commandment.

• Matthew 5, 31-32: The question of divorce. Man was permitted to give a certificate of divorce to the woman. In the discourse of the community, Jesus will say that Moses permitted this because the people were hard hearted (Mt 19, 8). “But I say to you: anyone who divorces his wife, give her a certificate of divorce; but I say to you: anyone who divorces his wife, except in the case of concubinage, exposes her to adultery and anyone who marries a divorced woman , commits adultery”.

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There has been much discussion on this theme. Basing itself on this affirmation of Jesus, the Oriental Church permits divorce in case of “fornication”, that is of infidelity. Others say that here the word fornication is the translation of an Aramaic or Hebrew word zenuth which indicated a valid marriage among people who were relatives, and which was forbidden. It would not be a valid marriage.

• Leaving aside the correct interpretation of this word, what is important is to see the objective and the general sense of the affirmation of Jesus in the new reading which is done of the Ten Commandments. Jesus speaks about an ideal which should always be before my eyes. The definitive ideal is: “to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5, 48). This ideal is valid for all the commandments reviewed by Jesus. In the rereading of the commandment “Do not commit adultery”, this ideal is translated as transparency and honesty between husband and wife.

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Even more, nobody can say: “I am perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect”. We will always be below the measure. We can never merit the reward because we will always be below the measure. What is important is to continue walking on the road, turn our look toward the ideal, always! But at the same time, as Jesus did, we have to accept persons with the same mercy with which he accepted persons and directed them toward the ideal.

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This is why, certain juridical exigencies of the Church today, for example, not to permit communion to those divorced persons living a second marriage, seem to be more in agreement with the attitude of the Pharisees than with that of Jesus. Nobody applies literally the explanation of the commandment “Do not kill”, where Jesus says that anyone who says idiotto his brother deserves hell (Mt 5, 22). Because if it was like that we would all have the entrance into hell guaranteed and nobody would be saved. Why does our doctrine use different measures in the case of the fifth and the ninth commandments?

Personal questions

• Do you succeed in living honesty and transparency totally with persons of the other sex?

• How is this to be understood: “to be perfect like the Heavenly Father is perfect?”

Concluding Prayer

Of you my heart has said,
‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Yahweh, I seek;
do not turn away from me.
Do not thrust aside your servant in anger,
without you I am helpless.
Never leave me, never forsake me, God, my Saviour.
(Ps 27,8-9)

http://ocarm.org/en/content/lectio/lectio-divina-matthew-527-32

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Reflection by  The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
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10 JUNE 2016, Friday, 10th Week in Ordinary Time
RUNNING AWAY FROM OUR FEARS

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ 1 KINGS  19:9,11-16; MATTHEW 5:27-32 ]

We all have this defence mechanism in our human DNA to run away from our enemies and our fears.  When we are successful and doing well, we are elated.  But when trouble knocks at our door, we panic and react by running away from the challenges ahead of us.  It was the case of the Jews during the time of Jesus and the Israelites in the Old Testament. The teaching against adultery was directed at the fickle mindedness of married couples.  Instead of facing their sin of lust, they found excuses to declare a divorce.

In the first reading, Elijah was in this mode as well.  He had just won a huge success and was in high spirits when he defeated the 450 prophets of Baal and demonstrated the power of God.  After slaying them, he must have felt vindicated and took delight in his triumph over them, having eliminated the false prophets and purified the faith of Israel.  But this taste of victory did not last long, for when Queen Jezebel heard of it, she was furious and sent men to take his life.  As a result, the prophet Elijah had to flee for his life.  The sudden turn of fortune must have deflated his ego.  He could overcome 450 false prophets but he had to run from a woman, and furthermore, a foreign woman.

The truth is that when we run away from our fears instead of confronting them, we will destroy ourselves.  How do we run away from our fears?  

Firstly, we blame others for the situation we are in.  Instead of doing an appraisal of ourselves, we look for scapegoats.  When the Lord asked Elijah, “’What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am filled with jealous zeal for the Lord of hosts, because the sons of Israel have deserted you, broken down your altars and put your prophets to the sword. I am the only one left and they want to kill me.’”  He laid the blame on the sons of Israel and Jezebel.   As for himself, he was the only holy one among all the people of Israel for he said, “I, I alone, am left as a prophet of the Lord, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty.”  Only he was jealous for the House of the Lord!  We, too, like to blame people, the situation and the structure for our incompetence, our setbacks and the problems we have caused.  When confronted, we seek to justify ourselves and make ourselves to be the innocent, good and blameless party.

Secondly, from self-denial, he went into depression and despair.  We read earlier that after a day’s journey into the wilderness, he told the Lord, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.”  (1 kg 19:4)   In the face of failure, he began to wallow in self-pity.  Rather than taking up the challenge of defeating the enemies of God, he was playing the role of victim.  Deep within himself, he was angry with God that such a thing could happen to him when he was on the side of God.  He felt that God had abandoned him and so it was no longer worthwhile working for God and His people.  Hence, he asked for an early exit from the struggles of life.   How true for us too.  When things are going on well, we bask in our laurels.   We are full of zeal, excitement and passion.  But when we meet with obstacles, the lack of response, appreciation or failures, or worse, opposition, we want to give up.  We tender our resignation or ask to be transferred elsewhere.  That is why many are hopping from one ministry to another, one job to another, one parish to another because the leopard cannot change its spots or its territory!

What is needed is not to run away from our fears and enemies but to confront our greatest enemy, which is ourselves!  We can either see ourselves as our best friend or our worst enemy.  How do we see ourselves?  This is the crux of today’s lesson.  In the gospel, Jesus made it clear when He said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.”   Of course, we must avoid this literal interpretation.  The point underscored by the Lord is that if something is causing you to sin or to run away from yourself, your false self, then we must confront our fears, weaknesses and sins head on.  The failure to do so will result in us going to hell, both figuratively and literally.

How, then, do we confront ourselves?  We need to retreat like Elijah to the desert to face our demons, like the Lord who was in the desert battling with the devil who sought to surface the human desires of our Lord through the offer of food, power and glory.  And this battle must be fought alone.  It is significant that Elijah “got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.”  (1 Kg 19:3)   He did not bring his servant with him into the wilderness but left him behind.  Indeed, if we want to face ourselves, we need to enter into the depths of our hearts.  We need total silence.  External silence must be kept if we were to hear the voice in our heart.  If we cannot keep external silence, we can never hear the real voice speaking to us deep in our hearts because the noise and voices of the world will drown that inner voice.

Secondly, we need to face our demons and fears not simply through self-introspection but to hear the voice of God.   Again, this was what Elijah did.  When he reached Mount Horeb, he sought the voice of the Lord, the Word of God.  It was clear that God did not choose to reveal Himself through signs and wonders this time.   He was not in the mighty wind, nor the earthquake or the fire but in the sound of a gentle breeze.  Some people only want to see God in spectacular events, healings, miracles, concerts, showmanship, etc but the truth is that God speaks loudest to us when He whispers into the ears of our hearts.  If we cannot hear or see God, it is because we are often looking in the wrong places.  It is in the gentle voice, in the silence of our hearts, in the calmness of the environment, in the stillness after the storm that God will reveal to us our true motives and who we really are, as He did with Elijah.

And the question God will ask us as He did with Elijah is, “What are you doing here?”   In other words, the Lord was helping Elijah to face the real fears and demons that he was fleeing from.  He blamed the people for his woes and the false prophets.  He assigned his predicament to the fact that he was the only one faithful to the Lord.  However, the Lord exposed his sin of arrogance and presumption as coming from his pride.  He was not the only one who was filled with zeal for the Lord or the only one who remained true to the pristine faith of Israel.  Indeed, the Lord said, “Go, go back the same way to the wilderness of Damascus. You are to go and anoint Hazael as king of Aram. You are to anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king of Israel, and to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.”   There were others who were also faithful to Yahweh.  Indeed, the Lord added, “Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”  (1 Kg 19:17f)   So Elijah was not the only true prophet.  In our zeal, sometimes we think we are the savior of the world. We think we are the only righteous one and the holy one of God!  Most of us think so highly of ourselves, failing to realize that we have fallen into the sin of self-righteousness. Because we have an exaggerated appreciation of ourselves, when we suffer, we feel that we are the victims and others are the oppressors.  We do not know that we also have our own inadequacies and are responsible for the current predicament as well.

So today, the Lord is telling us to face our fears and demons.  We should not run away from them or justify ourselves.  In true humility, let us recognize that we are prone to temptations, especially the sin of presumption.  To overcome our fears, we must see ourselves with the eyes and heart of God.  How we see ourselves will determine how we respond to others.  A negative or false understanding of self will lead to a corresponding distortion in the way we look at the situation and at other people.  The eyes and the hands work together.  What delight the eyes will cause the hands to obtain what is seen. So it is important how we see because it also affects our hearts.

In the final analysis, the most effective way to overcome evil and sin in our lives is to stop focusing on ourselves.  Elijah was focusing on himself under the pretext of focusing on the people of Israel and the purity of the faith.  The more we focus on ourselves, our needs, our pride, our ego, the more we sin.  To overcome lust, one does not sit down and start thinking about our lust.  All the person has to do is to go out and do some good works so that he is distracted from attending to his selfish needs or allowing the thought of lust to develop in his mind and heart.   We can overcome our fears and demons by good works and good thoughts.  Sadness and depression enter into our hearts only because we are licking our wounds.  But if we reach out in service and in love; and fill our minds with noble thoughts, we will find peace and true freedom.  This is what St Paul exhorts us, “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”  (Phil 4:8f)

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Written by The Most Rev William Goh
 
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Thoughts from Peace and Freedom
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The first time I became completely confused by my Vietnamese family, the only helper I could think of that might have a solution was the Vietnamese priest.

When I explained at length my dilemma, he gave me the best four word advice I’ve ever heard:

“Listen with your heart,”  he said.

I had no idea my heart had ears. In fact, I’d pretty much forgotten about my heart entirely (a common American illness).

So now, I give that advice out to other, like me, who sometimes forget why they are hear on this earth. We’re here to serve others.

And to get them what they need, we need to listen with our heart.

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One can never do justice to telling the story of Padre Pio except to say, I think about him every day. He taught me: “If you are worried: pray.  Once you are praying, you can stop your worry.” Padre Pio had the stigmata.

“Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers.”

– St. Pio of Pietrelcina
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“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”
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– St. Pio of  Pietrelcina
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Prayers of Hope, Words of Courage by Nguyễn Văn Thuận

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Many of  Nguyễn Văn Thuận letters, prayers and sermons have been preserved and published — most are available at fine bookstores and from Amazon.

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Book: Joseph’s Way: The Call to Fatherly Greatness – Prayer of Faith: 80 Days to Unlocking Your Power As a Father by Devin Schadt
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As no sensible person would make a long road trip without first consulting a map, so the person intent upon gaining Heaven should turn to a competent guide to reach that most important goal. An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is addressed as a personal letter to Philothea, the “lover of God.” This book instructs us in our approach to God in prayer and the Sacraments, the practice of 16 important virtues, remedies against ordinary temptations, and becoming confirmed in our practice of devotion. TAN-CLASSICS Edition; paperback.

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God, I offer myself to Thee-
To build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
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Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry: Survivors of Super Typhoon  “Yolanda” march during a religious procession in Tolosa in Leyte on November 18, 2013, over one week after the supertyphoon devastated the area. AFP/Philippe Lopez

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One Response to “Prayer and Meditation for Friday, June 16, 2017 — “The surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” — “Be not driven to despair.””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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