Friday, September 30, 2016

Activate the Power

Happy Friday All!

I am overwhelmed this morning with a complete sense of Gratitude and Joy as I continue to witness first hand the amazing and inexplicable POWER of PRAYER in all of our lives!! 

I urge everyone to take this gift and powerful tool we have all been given seriously and to make it a central and continual part of your daily life! 

It is life altering and I know there are some out there reading this today who now truly Believe the passage below to be a Truth and a Promise!

Have a Terrific Weekend!


"Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you."
(Matthew 7:7, AMPC)

Press Through

In Mark chapter five, there was a woman who had been sick for twelve years.

The doctors gave her no hope.

But, she heard that Jesus was passing through her town.

Something deep down on the inside was saying, "This is your season. This is your time to get well."

In the natural, when she saw all the people around Jesus, she might have thought, "I'll never get to Him. It's so crowded and I'm weak."

She could have missed her season.

But instead of dwelling on those negative thoughts, instead of looking at her situation, she started reminding herself, "If I can just get to Jesus, I will be whole."

She made the choice to turn her thoughts in the right direction and was empowered to take a leap of faith.

She pressed through the crowd until she got just close enough to touch the edge of Jesus' robe.

Instantly, she was made whole.

Jesus said in Mark 5:34, "Daughter, your faith has made you well."

Notice it's our faith that activates God's power.

We have to press through our thoughts, press through our circumstances, and press through the crowd and obstacles until we touch Him.

And we cannot stop until we reach Him!

A Prayer for Today
"Father, I come to You today with an open and humble heart. I ask You to fill me with Your Strength, Peace and Joy so that I can press through to victory today. Show me the good plan You have for me in Jesus' name.

From "Today's Word" by Joel O


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ready For Battle!

Ready for Battle!

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael – the Archangels.

Each of them is mentioned in Scripture.

We have two options for the first reading. The first, from Daniel 7, contains a vision of heaven.

Here we see "myriads upon myriads" attending to the Ancient One.

In our other option from Revelation 12, we see St. Michael doing battle with Satan and his minions.

I love this story…very macho stuff!

In the Gospel today from John 1, Jesus speaks of "the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

In recent years, I have developed a very strong devotion to St. Michael the Archangel.

He is the heavenly warrior.

You've probably seen images of him doing battle with and defeating Satan and his minions.


The reason for my devotion to St. Michael is my increasing awareness that we are in a spiritual battle – all day every day.

My friend, there is a war going on. It is a war for your soul, and the souls of your children, family and friends.

If we try to fight alone, we are doomed.

That's why God sent St. Michael.

Call on him today, fellow warrior!

"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

From "60 Second Reflections" by Gus Lloyd


Monday, September 26, 2016

Rest Assured and Trust

He will do this.
(Psalm 37: 5)

"I once believed that after I prayed, it was my responsibility to do everything in my power to bring about the answer.

Yet God taught me a better way and showed me that self-effort always hinders His work.

He also revealed that when I prayed and had confident trust in Him for something, He simply wanted me to wait in an attitude of praise and do only what He told me.

Sitting still, doing nothing except trusting in the Lord, causes a feeling of uncertainty, and there is often a tremendous temptation to take the battle into our own hands.

We all know how difficult it is to rescue a drowning person who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally difficult for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist upon trying to fight them ourselves.

It is not that God will not but that He cannot, for our interference hinders His work."

-- C. H. P.

"Spiritual forces cannot work while we are trusting earthly forces.

Often we fail to give God an opportunity to work, not realizing that it takes time for Him to answer prayer.

It takes time for God to color a rose or to grow a great oak tree.

And it takes time for Him to make bread from wheat fields.

He takes the soil, then grinds and softens it.

He enriches it and wets it with rain showers and with dew.

Then He brings the warmth of life to the small blade of grass, later grows the stalk and the amber grain, and finally provides bread for the hungry.

All this takes time.

Therefore we sow the seed, till the ground, and then wait and trust until God's purpose has been fulfilled.

We understand this principle when it comes to planting a field, and we need to learn the same lesson regarding our prayer life.

It takes time for God to answer prayer."

-  J. H. M.

Stay Strong!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Supernatural Lift

"...'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."
(Zechariah 4:6, NIV)

The Wind is Blowing

Are you struggling or striving to make something happen?

Maybe you need a breakthrough in your finances or in a relationship.

It's good to do everything we know to do in the natural, but we have to always remember that victory doesn't come by might nor power, but by the Spirit of the living God.

One translation says, "It's by the breath of Almighty God."

When you know God is breathing in your direction and dare to take a leap of faith and say:

"Yes, this is my time; I'm going to accomplish my dreams,"   - that's when you will feel a wind beneath your wings.

That's when you'll feel a supernatural lift, an anointing that will help you accomplish what you could not accomplish on your own.

Today, know that the wind of God is blowing.

This is YOUR season!

This is your time to BELIEVE again.

BELIEVE that God can open doors that no man can shut.

BELIEVE that He is working behind the scenes in your favor.

BELIEVE that it's your season, it's your time, and get ready to embrace every blessing He has in store for you!

A Prayer for Today

"Father God, thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit at work in me.
Today, I surrender every area of my heart, my mind, my will and my emotions to You.
Thank You for directing my steps and giving me the power to overcome in this life in Jesus' name.

From " Today's Word by Joel O

Stay Strong!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Escape Hatch

"This is an important point to understand.

We said before that God always gives us an "escape hatch."

No matter how great our pain, he always gives us a way to make it through the storm with our mind, heart, and soul fully intact.

But even with an escape hatch, some effort on our part is always required.

We still have to reach up, turn the valve, push open the hatch, and lift ourselves through the opening.

What sometimes happens, unfortunately, is that people get into a pattern of not using the escape hatch God provides.

They fail to reach out to God through prayer, even in their times of greatest suffering.

Or they fail to reach out to the people God sends their way to help them during those dark days.

If this becomes enough to a habit over a period of years, then it is possible for these people to feel overwhelmed and trapped when their moment of tribulation comes.

In those cases, they may not see the emergency exit God has given them—even though it might be right in front of their eyes.

They may sincerely feel that for them there is "no way out," that for them there is "no hope."

And they may never escape.

What becomes of these tormented souls?

They become irrevocably harmed, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

Their pain suffocates them—not for months, or years, or decades, but forever.

Some people go through a divorce or a breakup and are never able to love again.

Some people are paralyzed in a car accident and are never able to enjoy life again.

Some people lose a close relative or friend and are never able to believe in God again.

The saddest people are those who, depressed for one reason or another, turn completely in on themselves, lose all hope, and are finally driven to the loneliest death of all—suicide.

No one is saying that these people consciously or freely choose their fate, or that God is going to hold them strictly accountable for their actions.

It all depends on the inner state of a person's soul—and only God can see that.

Knowing how kind the Lord is, it is probably poor men and women like these on whom he bestows the most mercy.

All we're saying here is that every one of the horrible outcomes I've mentioned could have been avoided.

Even the worst thunderstorm doesn't have to result in a car crash.

Even the cruelest death doesn't have to result in the loss of a person's faith.

Even the most severe case of clinical depression doesn't have to result in a suicide.

God always gives us a way out.

It may not be easy, but it's always possible.

God always says yes to the prayer "Get me through this Suffering.

But we have to Ask!"

From "The 10 Prayers God Always Answers "

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Difference....


"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." PHILIPPIANS 4: 12 NIV

"Some years ago I visited a man who was wealthy and successful, the envy of all his friends and business associates.

But as we talked, he broke down in tears, confessing that he was miserable inside.

Wealth had not been able to fill the empty place in his heart.

A few hours later I visited another man who lived only a few miles away.

His cottage was humble, and he had almost nothing in the way of this world's possessions.

Yet his face was radiant as he told me about the work he was doing for Christ and how Christ had filled his life with meaning and purpose.

I went away convinced that the second man was really the rich man.

Although he had very little, he had learned to be thankful for everything God had given him.

A spirit of Thankfulness makes all the difference."

- Anonymous

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Get Me Through This Suffering....

"It's the same as if you were driving through a fierce storm at night.

As the rain pelts the windshield and the lightning flashes across the sky, obscuring your vision; as the sound of the thunder and pouring rain and windshield wipers going back and forth make it practically impossible to think—as all this is happening—what is the best thing for you to try to do?

Would it help very much, at that moment, to attempt to understand where storm clouds come from?

Or why different weather masses converge and produce precipitation?

Or what the various scientific reasons for lightning are?

What good would any of this information do when you are in the middle of a storm?

No, the best thing to do when you're in that kind of situation is to concentrate on holding the steering wheel steady, controlling the speed of your vehicle, and keeping your eyes peeled for turns in the road and for other traffic.

In other words, the best thing to do is focus your energy on getting through the storm.

There will be time enough later to figure out why you got caught in the bad weather, or—if you're interested—to take up the study of meteorology.

But while the storm is actually raging, the most important thing to do, always, is to make it through, safe and intact.

God understands this concept well.

Very often the last thing he will do when we are suffering is to tell us the reasons for that suffering.

That's something he saves for later—sometimes much later.

What he will always do, however, is help us to endure the terrible pain of the open wound; to make it through the storm in one piece.

We'll talk more about the "why" of human suffering in a moment.

But for now, let's understand this one point: No matter who you are or what your situation, God will always say yes to this prayer: "Please get me through this suffering."

Now, there are many kinds of suffering we have to get through in this world.

Some suffering is big and some is small.

But every kind can be torturous in its own way—from toothaches to kidney stones; from migraine headaches to bouts of depression; from frustration at work to anxiety at home; from the sad, deteriorating death of the elderly to the sudden, shocking death of the young; from the grief that every son goes through when his mother dies to the unspeakable agony of two parents mourning the loss of their child.

God says yes to all who come to him for help and comfort when they are in the midst of such trials.

Notice I did not say that he promises to stop the suffering, or prevent it from happening in the first place, or alleviate it in any way.

This may be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to faith, but we have to face it, head-on:

God allows a lot of terrible things to happen.

He allows diseases to ravage countries, hurricanes to destroy cities, murderers and rapists to terrorize communities.

Remember, he allowed hundreds of thousands of children to be gassed to death in Nazi concentration camps.

So yes, he may very well allow you to undergo some form of suffering—maybe the exact kind you dread the most.

Just look what happened to Christ.

The night before he died, he prayed to God that he wouldn't have to endure the bloody, violent death of a crucifixion.

He knew very well how much pain he was going to go through, and he tried to get out of it:

"My father," he asked, "if it is possible, let this cup be taken away from me."

Christ—the second person of the Blessed Trinity—made a last-ditch attempt to avoid suffering.

At the eleventh hour, he asked for a reprieve.

But since he was the perfect son, he also added, "Yet not as I will, but as you will."1

We all know what happened.

His request was denied. The Crucifixion went on as scheduled.

Well, if God refused his own son, how can we expect any guarantee that he will be any easier on us?

No matter how much we pray, we may still have to go through some horrible ordeal in the future.

The point is that no matter what kind of suffering we have to endure, God always gives us a way out.

Not a way out of the suffering itself—but from the utter, black hopelessness that suffering can lead us into.

And that's what this prayer is—a way out of hopeless despair.

In a famous passage from his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul says that God "will not let you be tested beyond your strength. With your trial, he will also provide you with a means of escape, so that you will be able to endure it."

God always gives us an "escape hatch."

No matter how great our inner turmoil, he always gives us an exit through which we can go to avoid being trapped.

When Christ prayed that he be spared the agony of the Crucifixion, God may have denied his request, but he promptly dispatched an angel to the Garden of Gethsemane to comfort him.3

The angel stayed with the Lord and consoled him, strengthened his resolve, and essentially helped him to get through the deep emotional turmoil and dread he was experiencing.

That's the same model of assistance God employs with us.

Our appointed sufferings may or may not be prevented through prayer—depending on the situation and on God's will—but we, ourselves, can always count on being helped, consoled, and fortified by God if we ask for help."

From " The 10 Prayers God Always Answers"

Stay Strong!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Courage to Persevere

C. S. Lewis said that "courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point, which means at the point of highest reality."

In saying this he was following in the tradition of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, who believed that all the virtues—if they are to be of any practical value—must act with a "firmness" that can only be maintained by courage.

In other words, for a person to be honest or merciful or chaste or magnanimous or patient, he must first have the courage to overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of practicing those virtues.

At some point, strong temptations are going to present themselves.

That's the moment when courage is most important.

Essentially, a person must have the guts not to give in.

Courage—or fortitude, as it used to be called—is needed in life to do any kind of good or resist any kind of evil.

You need courage to follow all the commandments, to face physical danger, to overcome fears, both rational and irrational.

You need courage to struggle against neuroses and phobias, to overcome addictions, to persevere through life's difficulties, to endure suffering.

You need courage to take risks, to give witness to the truth, to dare to do great things. In short, you need courage for just about everything.

That's why Churchill wrote that "courage is rightly considered the foremost of virtues, for upon it all others depend."

And why Franklin Roosevelt said "the only thing to fear is fear itself."

Both of these leaders understood the all-encompassing importance of courage. And that's why we're so unbelievably fortunate that God always says yes to the prayer:

"Please give me courage."

Did you know that in virtually every book of the Bible God tells us to be brave?

In fact, the words "fear not," "be not afraid," or variations on that phrase appear 144 times in sacred Scripture!

And they aren't just suggestions—they're commands.

The Bible doesn't say, "Try not to be afraid," it says, "Don't be afraid."

It doesn't say, "Do your best to be strong," it says, "Be strong and fear not, for I will help you.

As we've said previously, God never gives a command unless he also gives us the ability to follow that command.

For example, he doesn't expect everyone to become pastors or priests, because he doesn't give everyone the ability to perform those roles.

He doesn't require everyone to write books about the faith or preach sermons about it, because he doesn't give everyone the ability to carry out those tasks.

But he does command everyone to have courage.


Because he gives everyone the ability to overcome the fears they have to face in life.

You see, courage isn't just a skill or a talent or an ability that human beings possess.

It's a gift.

Yes, a person can have a fearless disposition, in the same way that some people are born with gentle and peaceful natures.

But the kind of courage we're talking about here is much more than that—it's something that is added onto our personality.

Thomas Aquinas used the famous theological expression "grace builds on nature" to describe the phenomenon.

What it means is that God can take what we are born with, or what we have acquired in life by observation or habit, and then infuse even more of it into our souls, supernaturally.

Basically, he can inject us with a special, divine "shot" of courage anytime he wants.

All we need to do is ask this of Him and believe:

"Please Give Me Courage"

From "The 10 Prayers God Always Answers "

Stay Strong!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Promise of Peace

Suffering, turmoil, conflict, and indecision are all realities in this life, and we have to deal with them.

You can't just pray to God and expect him to make all your problems magically disappear.

That's not the way to true peace.

That's only a way of avoiding responsibility.

When bad things happen to us and to other people, we have a moral obligation to get involved.

We have a duty to fight evil and alleviate suffering.

We have a responsibility to look adversity squarely in the face and struggle against it with every fiber of our being.

It's just that in our effort to deal with these external challeneges, we can't ever allow ourselves to focus on them to the exclusion of what's most important in life—our relationship with God.

When we make God number one in our minds, even our struggles can become a means of bringing us closer to him.

And that, once again, is the definition of true peace: union with God.

When Peter focused his mind, heart, and soul on the Lord, he was able to walk on water.

But walking on water didn't mean that he could stop the sea from rising or the wind from blowing.

It meant that he was able to stay above the waves and overcome the storm.

That's exactly what God is willing to do for us.

He's willing to give us a peace that, in the words of Scripture, "transcends all understanding."23

No matter what kind of stressful problems we encounter in life, no matter how aggravating the situation or terrible the suffering, we always have the ability to face our challenges with amazing calmness and strength of character.

If you doubt this, maybe you should try taking a short break from all the commotion and tension and noise of your life.

Life is so very noisy.

Perhaps you need to close your eyes and shut out the world for a little while.

Try to forget all the problems, all the worries, all the details, and all the responsibilities that have been weighing so heavily on your mind.

Try to place yourself, for just a few seconds, back in that dark tomb in Palestine, on that first Easter morning.

If you could be there now, just before daylight, and watch the Resurrection take place, what would you see?

You would see the King of the universe—the person responsible for placing the planets in their orbits and for laying the foundation of the world; the person who was and is ultimately responsible for all the activities that have ever taken place, all the busyness, all the bustle, all the enterprise, all the movement, all the work, all the energy, all the power, and all the life that ever existed—you would see that person slowly and methodically folding his garments and placing them in a corner, quietly making sure his burial chamber was in perfect order before departing it forever.

If you ask that person for some of his peace, you can rest assured that his answer will be yes.

But you have to Ask.

From "10 Prayers God Always Answers "

Stay Strong!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Deep Inner Peace in the Storm

Happy Saturday!

I have included an excerpt below that may appear a bit lengthy at first but if you can power through it I believe you may find the message meaningful, powerful and hopefully helpful as life's inevitable storms rage on us all and we seek our own refuge and peace!

Stay Strong!

"Everyone is familiar with the fact that Christ "walked on water," but not everyone knows that one of the main purposes of the story is to teach people the true meaning of PEACE.

I'm going to quote the passage in full now, because it has such a direct bearing on some of the matters we've been discussing.

'When evening came, the disciples went down to the water. They got into a boat and started across the sea to Capernaum.

It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.

The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water and drawing near to the boat.19

They were terrified and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

But immediately he spoke to them, saying,

"Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid."

And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, tell me to come out to you on the sea."

And Jesus said, "Come."

So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

But when he saw the wind he became afraid and started to sink; he cried out, "Lord, save me."

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him.

"O man of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

And when they got into the boat, the storm ceased, and those in the boat worshipped him.20'

Peter and the other disciples play an enormously important role here—they represent humanity.

All of us are being tossed about on a stormy sea, and all of us must face a good deal of suffering and anxiety in our life.

Yet, in the midst of the winds and the rain and the turmoil, God offers us something incredible—the gift of deep, inner peace.

When Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk toward Christ, he was miraculously suspended over the water.

None of the elements had any power over him.

Despite the strength of the storm, he was untouchable.

However, Peter faltered for two reasons.

First, he stopped walking toward the Lord.

After getting out of the boat and advancing fearlessly for a few paces, he recognized where he was and came to a halt, petrified.

It was at that moment that he lost the ability to stay above the waves.

We do the same thing.

When faced with the problems of life—and the stress that comes with them—we try to "manufacture" our own peace and security.

Essentially, we stop moving toward God and try to "do it ourselves."

But, as we've already seen, God and peace are inseparable.

If you try to obtain one without the other, you're doomed to failure.

The one critical component to possessing deep, inner peace is being "right with God."

And that means trying to move toward him all the time, obeying him as best you can, and then repenting whenever you fall.

The second thing Peter did was to stop looking at the Lord.

Instead of placing his trust completely in God, he turned his attention instead to the wind and the waves.

That's when he panicked—and that's when he started to drown.

Again, we do the very same thing.

We can be sailing through life, relatively free from worry and pain, and then all of a sudden storm clouds gather and the downpour begins—and we're stuck right in the middle.

The wind blows against us and the sea rises around us and it can be pretty scary.

Unfortunately, there's very little that can be done to avoid such situations.

Suffering comes to everyone.

No matter how smart you are, no matter how rich you are, there's just no way to prevent "external" events from interfering with your plans.

That's why you can't ever allow your peace of mind to depend on EXTERNAL events.

When Peter focused all his attention on what was going on around him, he took his eyes off God.

He looked up, down, around, and sideways, and was quickly overwhelmed with terror.

How could he not be?

He was alone at sea in the middle of the night while a tempest was blowing.

He had no chance, and he knew it.

How often do we act in the same fashion?

How many times do we look at all the problems in our life and start to panic?

Even when we manage to keep our composure on the outside, stress is busy eating away at our insides.

It's impossible to be happy that way.

The only solution is to keep your eyes focused on God.

ONLY he knows your final destiny.

ONLY he can grant you eternal happiness in heaven, and ONLY he can give you true joy in this life.

Therefore the more you are able to give yourself over to his will and "cast your anxieties" onto him, the more you'll be able to experience true peace, despite what may be happening around you."

From " The 10 Prayers God Always Answers"

Stay Strong!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Let Her Comfort You

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of "Our Lady of Sorrows."

The Bible reading today is from Luke 2 where Simeon tells Mary, "you yourself a sword will pierce," prophesying about her coming sorrows.

Perhaps the only thing harder than bearing hardships and sorrows ourselves is watching someone we love go through sorrow and pain.

I know that if we could trade places and take our loved ones' sorrows upon ourselves, we would do it in a heartbeat.

This we cannot do.

We all have our own journey.

We can, however, comfort and pray for our sorrowing brothers and sisters.

I know that this is how Mary feels about you.

When you suffer, she suffers.


Because she is your Mother.

Your sorrows are her sorrows.

She suffered greatly, so she knows just what you're going through.

Let her comfort you today.

Father, we thank you for Mary, our Mother. May she always give us comfort in our sorrows. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

From "60 Second Reflections" by Gus Lloyd

Stay Strong!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Help Before We Even Ask for It

A Lesson from the Wedding at Cana

St. Alphonsus notes that Mary's action at the wedding feast at Cana shows how she wants to help us EVEN BEFORE we ask for her help.

Mary, even when living in this world, showed at the marriage feast of Cana the great compassion that she would afterwards exercise toward us in our necessities.

Even now it compels her to have pity on us and assist us, even before we ask her to do so.

This good mother's compassion is so great, and the love she bears us is so great, that she doesn't even wait for our prayers before she comes to assist us.

Richard of Saint Victor remarks that her love for us is so tender, that in our needs she anticipates our prayers, and her mercy is more prompt to help us than we are to ask her aid: "The heart of Mary is so filled with compassion for poor sinners, she no sooner sees our miseries than she pours her tender mercies upon us. Neither is it possible for this kind queen to see the need of any soul without immediately assisting it."

In the second chapter of St. John we read that at this feast the compassionate mother saw the embarrassing situation in which the bride and bridegroom found themselves, and that they were quite ashamed at seeing the wine fail.

So she listened only to the dictates of her compassionate heart, which could never behold the afflictions of others without feeling for them.

Without being asked, she begged her Son to console them simply by laying their distress before him:

"They have no wine" (Jn 2:3).

No sooner had she done so, than our Lord, in order to satisfy everyone present, and still more to console the compassionate heart of his mother who had asked the favor, worked the well-known miracle by which he changed the water, brought to him in jars, into wine.

From this, the spiritual writer Luigi Novarini argues:

"If Mary, unasked, is so prompt to help the needy, how much more so will she be to help those who call upon her and ask for her help?"
  —St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary

IN GOD'S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . . Are there concerns in my life right now that I haven't yet brought to Mary in prayer? Might she already be intervening in those matters before I ask for her help?


Lord Jesus, I must confess that in some areas of my life, I "have no wine." I am empty, thirsty, dry. Through your Blessed Mother's intercession, fill the stone jar of my heart to overflowing with your life-giving water, and turn the water into the wine of gladness in your love.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hope and Refuge in Life's Storms

St. Alphonsus observes that in all the events of Mary's life recorded in the Gospels, we find that she demonstrated a firm hope in God the Father and in her Son.

Mary showed her confident hope in God when she knew that the time for the birth of our Lord approached.

For she was driven from even the lodgings of the poor in Bethlehem, and obliged to bring forth her Son in a stable, "because there was no place for them in the inn" (Lk 2:7).

She didn't speak a single word of complaint.

Instead, abandoning herself to God, she trusted that he would assist her there.

The Mother of God also showed how great was her confident hope in Divine Providence when she received notice from St. Joseph that they must flee into Egypt.

On that very night she undertook a long journey to a strange and unknown country without provisions, without money, accompanied only by her infant Jesus and her poor spouse, who "rose and took the Child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt" (Mt 2:14).

Yet even more did she show her confident hope when she asked her Son for wine at the marriage feast of Cana.

For when she had said, "They have no wine," Jesus answered her, "Woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come" (Jn 2:3–4).

This answer seemed to be a refusal.

But Mary had such great confidence in the divine goodness that she urged the servants to do whatever her Son told them, because she was certain that the favor would be granted (see Jn 2:5).

And indeed, it happened: Jesus Christ ordered the vessels to be filled with water, then changed it into wine.

Let's learn, then, from Mary to have the CONFIDENT HOPE in God that we should always have—especially in the great affair of our eternal salvation.

Though it's truly a matter in which we must cooperate, yet it's from God alone that we must hope for the grace necessary to obtain it.

We must put NO trust in our OWN strength, and say with the Apostle Paul:

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13).

—St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary IN GOD'S PRESENCE,

CONSIDER . . . What is hope, and how does it differ from faith? In which areas of my life right now do I need most to imitate Mary's virtue of hope?


From a prayer of Pope St. John Paul II:

"Dawn of a new world, show yourself the Mother of Hope and watch over us!"


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother!!

Today we celebrate the Nativity of The Blessed Mother! 

She is only one of three in the Holy Church whose birthday is celebrated with a Feast Day ... can you name the other two? :) One is a layup!

She is also one of the most powerful resources we have in our lives, given to us by Jesus on Calvary, on whom we can rely upon in times of challenge and strife!

She has NEVER left anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession unaided.

Take her up on her offer to intercede daily and the most reliable way to do this is through the daily Rosary! ;)

Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother and thank you for answering all our petitions!


Place yourself entirely in Mary's hands

St. Alphonsus advises us that Mary knows how to grant us an even greater grace than we could possibly ask.

Blessed Raymond Jordano affirms: "Whoever finds Mary finds every good."

He adds: "Her kindness is so great that no one need fear to approach her. And her mercy is so great, that no one is turned away."

Thomas à Kempis has her say: "I invite everyone to turn to me; I expect everyone, I desire everyone, and I never despise any sinner, however unworthy he may be, who comes to seek my aid."

She's always ready and inclined to help us, and to obtain for us every grace of eternal salvation by her powerful prayers.

When we turn to Mary, it's advisable to entreat her to ask and obtain for us the graces that she knows to be the most expedient for our salvation.

This is precisely what the Dominican Brother Reginald did, as it's related in the chronicles of that religious order.

This servant of Mary was ill, and he asked her to obtain for him the recovery of his health.

His sovereign Lady appeared to him, accompanied by St. Cecilia and St. Catherine, and said with the greatest sweetness, "My son, what do you desire of me?"

The brother was confused at so gracious an offer on Mary's part, and he didn't know what to answer.

Then one of the saints gave him this advice:

"Reginald, I'll tell you what to do: Ask for nothing. Instead, place yourself entirely in her hands, for Mary will know how to grant you a greater grace than you can possibly ask."

The sick man followed this advice, and the Mother of God obtained for him the restoration of his health

If we also desire the happiness of receiving a visit from this Queen of Heaven, we should often visit her by going before her image, or praying to her in churches dedicated in her honor.

  —St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary IN

GOD'S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . . Am I uncertain sometimes what I should be asking God to do for me? Have I prayed that Mary will simply ask Him for what's best, knowing that she's better able to discern what's best than I am?

FROM a prayer of St. Germanus:

"O my sovereign Lady, guide of my poor judgment, strength of my weakness, covering of my nakedness, treasure of my poverty, remedy for incurable wounds, wiper away of tears, end of sighs, reverser of misfortunes, lightener of grief, loosener of my bonds, my hope of salvation: Listen to my prayers and have mercy on my sighs."

From "A Year with Mary"

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Believe to Receive

"If you believe, you will receive..."
(Matthew 21:22, NIV)

Positioned to Receive

All through the Bible, there are so many promises of what God has already done for us.

It says in Ephesians that "God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing."

It says in Colossians that "God has made us worthy."

There is mercy for any mistake we will ever make.

It's already been taken care of.

He paid the ultimate price through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

He's done His part.

Now it's up to us to do our part.

We have to start believing it so we can receive.

In the natural, when someone gives you a gift, what's the first thing you say? "Thank you."

When you give thanks, it's a sign that you are receiving the gift.

Today, receive what God has given you by saying,

"Father, thank You for Your mercy.
Thank You for supplying all of my needs. Thank You for Your goodness in my life."

As you learn to give Him thanks, you are learning to receive from Him.

Open your heart by faith today and thank Him for all of the blessings He has in store for you!

A Prayer for Today
"God, I come to You today giving You thanks and praise for Your faithfulness in my life. I receive Your Word which is life and strength to my soul. Help me to keep my heart focused on You in Jesus' name. Amen."

From " Today's Word by Joel O

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Replace Fear


"A righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear."
  - PSALM 112: 6 –8

Who of us hasn't spent nights tossing and turning?

Nights when we look at the clock, and it barely moves.

We lie there mulling over situations and issues, most of which we can do nothing about —but fearful of the outcome.

In John 14: 1, Jesus says, "Trust in God; trust also in me."

The answer to fear —is faith.

When I'm fearful for a loved one or something that's coming up in my life, I'm comforted and calmed as I meditate on who God is.

It helps me plant my faith in someone bigger than my fears.

The next time fear overwhelms you, think about who God is.

Look for a Scripture verse that underscores God's characteristics.

Then consider your situation in light of who He is.

Trust in God.

He will never fail you, leave you, or forsake you.

You can count on Him!

From " Fixing My Eyes on Jesus " by Anne Graham Lotz

Stay Strong!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hope for the Future

"He mounted the cherubim and flew, he soared on the wings of the wind."
PSALM 18:10

In the whirlwind of life, I'm sometimes an emotional turkey.

They say in a storm a turkey reacts by running under the barn, wings over its head.

In contrast, an eagle, when it senses a storm coming, spreads its wings and allows the wind to carry it higher.

Well, I'm one who wants to be an eagle but sometimes feels like a turkey!

What storm has swept into your life?

A betrayal?
Job loss?

I'm convinced God allows storms to increase and intensify in our lives because He wants us to soar higher in our relationship with Him - in order to grow stronger in our faith, to bear more fruit in our service to Him.

In Matthew 8, a furious storm arose when Jesus and His disciples were in a boat on the lake.

In a panic, the disciples went to Jesus and said, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

He replied,

"You of little faith" (vv. 25 –26).

Then He spoke to the storm and brought peace.

I'm convinced that storms are coming.

What are you doing to prepare?

I encourage you to spread your wings of faith through daily Bible readings, disciplined, consistent prayer, and obedience to God.

Keep your focus on Jesus as you ask Him to enable you to soar higher."

From " Fixing My Eyes on Jesus " by Anne Graham Lotz

Stay Strong!