Posts Tagged ‘Morning Prayer’

Afternoon Prayer for Sunday, September 23, 2018 — Our Lives are Worth What Our Prayers Are Worth

September 23, 2018

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“Our Lives are Worth What Our Prayers Are Worth.”

— Marthe Robin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marthe_Robin

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Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

— Thes 5:16-18

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Spiritual Awakening In 12 Step Addiction Recovery — Meditation for September 23, 2018

September 23, 2018

Step Twelve is, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Note that the basis of our effectiveness in carrying the message to others is the reality of our own spiritual awakening. If we have not changed, we cannot be used to change others. To keep this program, we must pass it on to others. We cannot hoard it for ourselves. We may lose it unless we give it away. It cannot flow into us and stop; it must continue to flow into us as it flows out to others. Am I always ready to give away what I have learned in A.A.?

Meditation for the Day

“Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you.” When you are faced with a problem beyond your strength, you must turn to God by an act of faith. It is that turning to God in each trying situation that you must cultivate. The turning may be one of glad thankfulness for God’s grace in your life. Or your appeal to God may be a prayerful claiming of His strength to face a situation and finding that you have it when the time comes. Not only the power to face trials, but also the comfort and joy of God’s nearness and companionship are yours for the asking.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to draw near to God each day in prayer. I pray that I may feel His nearness and His strength in my life.

From the Book “Twenty Four Hours A Day”

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From Despair to Repair

Morning Prayer for Sunday, September 23, 2018 — Man’s Desire for God

September 23, 2018

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God,
the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?

Psalm  42:2-3
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“Our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
St Augustine, The Confessions

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The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God
and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find
the truth and happiness he never stops searching for…

Catholic Catechism

Related:

“There’s been a gnawing pain in my heart and soul about what is the meaning of life. What’s my role in it?”

Morning Prayer for Saturday, September 22, 2018 — Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s Daily Prayers

September 22, 2018

Heavenly Father,
you have given us the model of life
in the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to make our family another Nazareth
where love, peace and joy reign.
May it be deeply contemplative,
intensely Eucharistic,
revived with joy.

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Help us to stay together in joy
and sorrow in family prayer.
Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our families,
especially in their distressing disguise.
May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus
make our hearts humble like his
and help us to carry out our family duties
in a holy way.
May we love one another
as God loves each one of us,
more and more each day,
and forgive each other’s faults
as you forgive our sins.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to take whatever you give
and give whatever you take with a big smile.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy: Pray for us.
St. Joseph: Pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels, be always with us, guide and protect us. Amen

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Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance
everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus.
Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be ours.
It will be you shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching,
not by words, but by our example;
by the catching force –
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you. Amen.

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Who is Jesus to me?

Jesus is the Word made Flesh.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross.
Jesus is the Sacrifice at Holy Mass for the sins of the world and mine.

Jesus is the Life – to be loved.
Jesus is the Joy – to be shared.
Jesus is the Hungry – to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty – to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked – to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless – to be taken in.
Jesus is the Sick – to be healed.
Jesus is the Lonely – to be loved.
Jesus is the Unwanted – to be wanted.
Jesus is the Leper – to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar – to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard – to listen to him.
Jesus is the Little One – to embrace him.
Jesus is the Drug Addict – to befriend him.
Jesus is the Prostitute – to remove from danger.
Jesus is the Prisoner – to be visited.
Jesus is the Old – to be served.
Jesus is my Everything. Amen.

https://daily-prayers.org/angels-and-saints/prayers-of-blessed-mother-teresa-of-calcutta/

Morning Prayer for Friday, September 21, 2018 — “To set the world at nought.”

September 21, 2018

Give me thy grace, good Lord,
to set the world at nought;

To set my mind fast upon thee,
and not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;

To be content to be solitary;
Not to long for worldly company;

Little and little utterly to cast off the world,
And rid my mind of all the business thereof;

Gladly to be thinking of God.

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Prayer by St. Thomas More

Many know the story of Henry VIII’s break with the Church of Rome so that he could divorce his queen, Katharine of Aragon. The 1534 Act of Supremacy declared Henry VIII head of the Church of England. More could not bring himself to sign the oath of allegiance to the Act of Supremacy, though he never spoke publicly against the king’s split with Rome or his marriage to Anne Boleyn. He preferred to remain silent on the subject.

Nevertheless, More’s refusal was interpreted by Parliament as an attempt to spread sedition, and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. More held fast to his convictions despite Cromwell’s efforts to persuade him to sign the oath. As part of that persuasion, Cromwell ordered that More’s books and papers be removed from his cell in the Tower. Perhaps this prayer book remained.

More was tried and found guilty of violating the Treason Act and was sentenced to be drawn through London on a hurdle and then hanged until half dead. After that ordeal, he was to be castrated and disemboweled, quartered and beheaded, and his parts were to be set up on the gates of London, with his head upon London Bridge.  Henry VIII commuted that sentence to mere beheading, and Sir Thomas More was executed on Tower Hill on July 6, 1535. His parboiled head was displayed upon a spike.

Four hundred years later, in 1935, More was canonized by Pope Pius XI.

https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/about/blogs/research-files/2016/03/14/%E2%80%9C-set-world-nought%E2%80%9D-prayer-book-sir-thomas-more

Morning Prayer for Thursday, September 20, 2018 — Not to long for worldly pleasures

September 20, 2018

Prayer by St. Thomas More:

Give me the grace, Good Lord:
• To set the world at naught.
• To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang
upon the words of men’s mouths.
• To be content to be solitary.
• Not to long for worldly pleasures.
• Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid
my mind of all its business.
• Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that
the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing
to me.
• Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call
for His help.
• To lean into the comfort of God.
• Busily to labor to love Him.
• To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
• To humble myself under the mighty hand of
God.
• To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them,
patiently to suffer adversity.
• Gladly to bear my purgatory here.
• To be joyful in tribulations.
• To walk the narrow way that leads to life.
• To have the last thing in remembrance.

Morning Prayer for Wednesday, September 19, 2018 — With spiritual laws, you can expect your share of joy and peace, satisfaction and success

September 19, 2018

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“These things have I spoken unto you, that your joy may be full.” Even a partial realization of the spiritual life brings much joy. You feel at home in the world when you are in touch with the Divine Spirit of the universe. Spiritual experience brings a definite satisfaction. Search for the real meaning of life by following spiritual laws. God wants you to have spiritual success and He intends that you have it. If you live your life as much as possible according to spiritual laws, you can expect your share of joy and peace, satisfaction and success.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I will find happiness in doing the right thing. I pray that I will find satisfaction in obeying spiritual laws.

Related:

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Reflection by The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
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19 SEPTEMBER, 2018, Wednesday, 24th Week, Ordinary Time

LOVE IS THE KEY TO WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ 1 COR 12:31-13:13LUKE 7:31-35  ]

There are many questions in life for which we seek answers.  Many of us have questions regarding their faith and the existence of God.  We wonder whether He loves us and cares for us, or even if He could help us at all.  We cannot understand why we have to suffer and why there is so much innocent and senseless suffering in the world.  We also feel powerless to do good, and even if we do, we end up doing evil and selfish things.  No matter how we search, we know that every answer is inadequate and imperfect.  This was how St Paul felt when he wrote, “When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me.  Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but them we shall be seeing face to face.  The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.”

Indeed, in this life, we can never have the full answers to the mysteries of life.  Our minds are finite and limited.  We will never be able to comprehend everything even if they are revealed to us because we do not have the capacity to understand, just like a child who does not understand why his or her parents make him or her do certain things.  When compared to the mind of God, our minds are like little children.  St Paul exclaimed, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.”  (Rom 11:33-36)  Like St Paul, we can only surrender in faith to the mystery of God’s plan and love for us.

It is not the answers to our intellectual questions that we ultimately need, so long as we are assured that we are safe and secure in love.  We look for answer after answer simply because we do not trust God enough to surrender our lives to Him.  In the same way, if we do not trust someone, we will always be suspicious and keep asking what he is doing or where he is. We will keep checking on that person because we are unsure of the person’s love and fidelity.  However, if we know that the person loves us above everything else and will protect us in love, then all questions and doubts will cease.  When there is an assurance of love, all the questions become secondary.  One does not need to know all about the person in order to love.  One only needs to know that the person loves us for us to entrust our life to that person.

So too, it is, in our relationship with God.  When we know that God loves us, we will stop asking all the intellectual questions about Him.  Those of us who keep doubting God and asking questions are simply saying that we do not know Him well enough to entrust our lives to Him because He might not even exist, much less that He loves us.  St Paul makes it clear, “among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.”  (1 Cor 2:6f) For this reason, St Paul remarks, “there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.”  When there is love, our faith in Him is strong and our hope is certain.  Only faith, hope and love give us the grace to persevere in times of difficulties and trials.   Love pulls faith and hope together in this journey of life.  So long as there is love, we will continue to keep our faith in God or in anyone whom we love, never giving up hope in God or in anyone.

It is love that enables us to see life from the perspective of our beloved.  Love is not self-centered but always focused on the other.  “It is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish.”  Love makes us able to enter into the other person’s life. Such a love is always non-judgmental and always understanding.  Even when the person fails us, love is always patient and kind.  Indeed, St Paul says that love “does not take offence, and is not resentful.  Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.”  Love therefore is the key to enter into the heart and mind of our beloved.  Instead of judging them from our vantage point, we see them the way they look at themselves and their life.

When we lack this kind of love, then we become judgmental and inconsistent, like the religious leaders during the time of Jesus.  They were not ready to accept the love of God and His Word spoken through John the Baptist or Jesus.  They were always finding excuses and rationalizing to reject the truth spoken by them.  “For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, ‘He is possessed.’  The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”  Jesus likened them to children in the market square shouting to one another, “We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t cry.”  Their wisdom was the human wisdom of the world.  It was not the wisdom that came from their love of God.

This also explains why many of us do not know how to truly love, because our love lacks trust.  For many people love is reducible to having gifts from their loved ones.  We need tangible signs for us to encounter the love of someone.  Like the Corinthians, we seek to have more and more gifts, and we think that the gifts we receive is love itself.  But it is not the gifts that we need, what we need is love itself.  Gifts are important, but they are just signs.  St Paul wrote, “But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.”

Consequently, St Paul urges us, “Be ambitious for the higher gifts.  And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them.”  The only gift that can fulfill and complete us is when we have the love of God in our hearts.  Otherwise, “If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all.  If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.”   When there is love, we are always happy.  The gifts we possess are means for us to express the love in our hearts when we share them with others.  Unless the gifts come from a heart of love, they will only be used to manipulate others for our self-interests and insecurity. 

To find the greatest love in life is to find Christ.  The true wisdom is God’s love for us in Christ crucified.  This is what the Lord prophesied, “Yet wisdom has been proved right by all her children.” St Paul wrote, “Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”  (1 Cor 1:22-24)  Christ’s love is captured in St Paul’s poem of love.  His love is unconditional and forgiving.  His love is enduring and faithful.   When we experience such love, we can surrender our lives completely to Him as St Paul did.   With the psalmist, we say, “They are happy, whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as his own. May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.”

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Written by The Most Rev William Goh Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore

Morning Prayer for Tuesday, September 18, 2018 — God Reaches Out To Us

September 18, 2018

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“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Dwell for a moment each day in a secret place, the place of communion with God, apart from the world, and thence receive strength to face the world. Material things cannot intrude upon this secret place, they cannot ever find it, because it is outside the realm of material things. When you abide in this secret place, you are under the shadow of the Almighty. God is close to you in this quiet place of communion. Each day, dwell for a while in this secret place.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may renew my strength in quietness. I pray that I may find rest in quiet communion with God.

Related:

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Morning Prayer for Monday, September 17, 2018 — “Show us the way, O Lord, and let us walk in Thy paths.”

September 17, 2018

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“Show us the way, O Lord, and let us walk in Thy paths.” There seems to be a right way to live and a wrong way. You can make a practical test. When you live the right way, things seem to work out well for you. When you live the wrong way, things seem to work out badly for you. You seem to take out of life about what you put into it. If you disobey the laws of nature, the chances are that you will be unhealthy. If you disobey the spiritual and moral laws, the chances are that you will be unhappy. By following the laws of nature and the spiritual laws of honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love, you can expect to be reasonably healthy and happy.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to live the right way. I pray that I may follow the path that leads to a better life.

Related:

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Reflection by The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
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17 SEPTEMBER, 2018, Monday, 24th Week, Ordinary Time

A WORTHY RECEPTION OF THE LORD

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ 1 Cor 11:17-33Ps 40:7-1017Luke 7:1-10  ]

Both readings today focus on the theme of unworthiness in receiving the Lord.  In the first reading, St Paul was reprimanding the Christians at Corinth for receiving the Lord at the Eucharist unworthily.  What happened was that the Christians were celebrating the Eucharist but they did not exercise love among themselves or foster unity. This happened because in the early Church, the meal fellowship among them took place before the actual celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  Those who were rich and could afford were eating among themselves. The poorer members were segregated and often came late and had nothing to eat.  St Paul saw this situation as a contradiction of the Eucharist that they were celebrating.   Such a celebration no longer truly reflected the meaning of the Eucharist and the objective of the Eucharist.  Many Catholics who are used to attending mass regularly on Sundays and even on weekdays can also fall into this same mistake of treating the mass like a ritual and missing the real intent of the Eucharistic celebration.  How then can we ensure that our reception of the Lord in the Eucharist does not end up as a mockery of what we celebrate?

Firstly, the Eucharist celebrates our deliverance from sin and death through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  When we celebrate the Eucharist, we are reminded of how Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper on the night of the Passover Meal.  (Cf. Lk 22:13-20)  Just as the Passover celebrated the deliverance of the Hebrews from the slavery of the Egyptians, so too, the Last Supper Meal celebrates our deliverance from sin through the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord.  Although St John had it as a farewell meal so that Jesus was the Passover Lamb as He died at the time when the lambs were slaughtered for the Passover Meal, both commemorate our Lord as the Passover.  For Catholics, every mass therefore is a memorial or a remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Secondly, the Last Supper is celebrated as a thanksgiving for our salvation.  St Paul said, “For this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it.”  So when we celebrate the Eucharist, we want to thank God for all the blessings given to us in and through Christ, especially the gift of forgiveness for our sins and new life through His sacrificial death on the cross.

Thirdly, the Eucharist is celebrated as a meal.  It is a fellowship among the disciples of our Lord.  By partaking of the Eucharist, we are united with Jesus and with each other.  By coming together to celebrate the Eucharist, we become more and more the body of Christ.  The Eucharist should promote fraternal unity and love among ourselves as Christians because we are all united in Christ.  Receiving the Eucharist is more than just receiving the Body of Christ but also to welcome the members of His body, the Church.  Christ has died for us all.  As people of the New Covenant, we become the new People of God.  Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”  Hence, we must live together as God’s people.

St Paul felt it scandalous that the Christians were not regarding each other as brothers and sisters.  There were factions among themselves.  “In the first place, I hear that when you all come together as a community, there are separate factions among you, and I half believe it – since there must no doubt be separate groups among you, to distinguish those who are to be trusted.”   Secondly, they were acting uncharitably towards each other, especially the poorer members of the community.  For St Paul, this was a serious breach of unity and charity which went against the spirit of the celebration of the Eucharist.

And all these are not just symbols but truly a memorial, “anamnesis” which makes present the sacrifice of Christ and transforms the bread and wine into His body and blood.  Jesus said, “‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me’. In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’” It is Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist that we celebrate.  It is His presence that makes all the difference.  This is why Catholics regard the Eucharist as Christ’s presence par excellence.

Consequently, we must receive the Lord with reverence and respect.  This is not just any other meal but it is the meal of the Lord where He makes Himself truly present.  We must remember what we are celebrating and why we are celebrating, otherwise it becomes a ritual and a routine which does not bring any real effect in our lives.  We must confess our sinfulness and unworthiness when we receive Him.  This was what the Centurion did when the Lord wanted to come to His house to heal his servant.  He said, “Sir, do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured.”   The centurion was mindful that as a pagan, Jesus could not enter his house, lest He became ritually unclean.  So in his humility and unworthiness, he was contented to receive the Lord from afar.  In reality, this is our case too.  We also must examine our conscience and confess our sins before Holy Communion, asking for the Lord to forgive us our sins so that we will be more worthy to hear His Word and receive Him in the Eucharist.

Secondly, to receive Him, worthily, we must examine ourselves, whether we hold resentment against others, especially members of our community, bearing in mind what the Lord said, “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”  (Mt 5:23f)  Receiving the Eucharist without forgiving our brothers and sisters is an act of contradiction because the Eucharist takes away our sins, reconciles us with God and with our neighbours.  To receive the Eucharist and yet hold grudges in our hearts against our fellowmen is to deny the saving effects of Christ’s death for us on the cross.  Sinning against unity, and worse still, pretending to be in unity with Christ and the Church, is to drink the cup unworthily.

Most of all, after receiving the Eucharist, we must live out the Eucharist in our lives.  St Paul says, “Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.  So to sum up, my dear brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for one another.”  Fraternal charity is the manifestation of a Eucharist properly received.  Pope Benedict  wrote, “As the years went by and the Church spread further afield, the exercise of charity became established as one of her essential activities, along with the administration of the sacraments and the proclamation of the word: love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to her as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel. The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word.”  (Deus Caritas Est, 22)

This was precisely why the Centurion was loved by the Jews.  They spoke up for him because of his love for the people.  The centurion sent some “Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’”  Love is the ultimate truth that God lives in us.  So says, St John.  “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (cf 1Jn 4:7f)  Indeed, there are many non-Christians who love without explicitly knowing God, as in the case of the Centurion.  But they certainly have known God in love.

To find the strength to love, we must celebrate the Eucharist as a memory of Him.  St Paul says, “‘Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.”  This means remembering what Jesus did for us and then imitating Him in dying to self so that we can give life to others in self-sacrifice and love.  Indeed, this is what the psalmist says, “You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear. You do not ask for holocaust and victim. Instead, here am I.”  We must make ourselves a living sacrifice for Christ and our fellowmen.

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Written by The Most Rev William Goh Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore

Morning Prayer for Sunday, September 16, 2018 — Spiritual works and an eye on eternity

September 16, 2018

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We seem to live not only in time but also in eternity. If we abide with God and He abides with us, we may bring forth spiritual fruit, which will last for eternity. If we live with God, our lives can flow as some calm river through the dry land of earth. It can cause the trees and flowers of the spiritual life – love and service – to spring forth and yield abundantly. Spiritual work may be done for eternity, not just for now. Even here on earth we can live as though our real lives were eternal.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may try to make my life like a cool river in a thirsty land. I pray that I may give freely to all who ask my help.

Related: