Minute Meditation – Strength of Conviction

Dear God, we ask that you hear our Lenten prayer of praise, surrender, and petition. We praise you for the many gifts that you have given us. We surrender our control, seeking to follow Jesus’s model of humility, while striving to love as he loved us. We recognize that suffering comes with love, that great love and great suffering can transform us, but that neither experience is necessarily easy. We offer our petition to you, praying that we might have the strength of our convictions, the hope of our faith, and the joy of that hope when times are difficult. May we always place our trust in you and commend our whole selves to your care. In doing so, may we always proclaim, in word and deed, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done! Amen.

—from the book The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering,
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM, page 93

//Franciscan Media//

Minute Meditation – Beginnings and Endings

It can be difficult to tell the difference between beginnings and endings. Perhaps one of the strongest lessons in Jesus’s words from the cross is that we must not be as concerned about our time as we are about God’s time. In God’s time beginnings and endings are one in the same, because God’s time is not so much a matter of minutes, hours, and days as it is about a way of living in the world. The way we mark the passage of our life is not the same way that God marks our time. It is when washing the feet of others, the giving of ourselves for the sake of our brothers and sisters, that we live according to God’s time.

—from the book The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering 
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM, page 79

//Franciscan Media//

Daily Meditation – Our Evil Thoughts

“With regard to evil thoughts, there may be a twofold delusion. God-fearing souls who have little or no gift of discernment, and are inclined to scruples, think that every wicked thought that enters their mind is a sin. This is a mistake, for it is not the wicked thoughts in themselves that are sins, but the yielding or consenting to them. The wickedness of mortal sin consists in the perverse will that deliberately yields to sin with a complete knowledge of its wickedness with full consent. And therefore St. Augustine teaches that when the consent of the will is absent, there is no sin. However much we may be tormented by temptations, the rebellion of the senses, or the inordinate motions of the inferior part of the soul, as long as there is no consent, there is no sin. For the comfort of such anxious souls, let me suggest a good rule of conduct that is taught by all masters in the spiritual life. If a person who fears God and hates sin doubts whether or not he has consented to an evil thought or not, he is not bound to confess it, because it is morally certain that he has not given consent. For had he actually committed a mortal sin, he would have no doubt about it, as mortal sin is such a monster in the eyes of one who fears God that its entrance into the heart could not take place without its being known. Others, on the contrary, whose conscience is lax and not well-informed, think that evil thoughts and desires, though consented to, are not sins provided they are not followed by sinful actions. This error is worse than the one mentioned above. What we may not do, we may not desire. Therefore an evil thought or desire to which we consent comprises in itself all the wickedness of an evil deed.”
—St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 142-143

//Catholic Company, 3/22/2022//

Minute Meditation – God is the Source of All Good

While we are quite familiar with being disappointed by the worst we see in the world, we cannot deny the extraordinary heroism of which humanity is also capable. All around us, ordinary people are performing acts of sacrifice, giving up their own lives so that others may live. It is nearly impossible to look into the world and not see love overflowing at every turn. Science cannot explain it; logic doesn’t understand it. And yet, love emanates more powerfully than any substance we can measure. Truth transcends any instrument or equation. In moments of pessimism, when we find ourselves impatient with the world, do not grow hopeless, but trust in the unexplainable love lived by so many. Trust the goodness you see. Be still, and know that God is the source of all that is Good, Beautiful, and True, and that all love exists because God wills it.

—from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship
by Casey Cole, OFM, page 55

//Franciscan Media//

Minute Meditation – Follow Without Reservation

If we want to be disciples of Jesus Christ, following him in complete freedom and without any reservation, the first and most important thing that we must let go of is ourselves. We must identify all that lives within us that does not bear life, that does not reflect the joy of the kingdom, that does not live up to the person Christ created us to be, and we must die to ourselves. Let go of your delusions of grandeur, self-loathing, and false selves, and follow Christ as the person he created you to be.

— from the book Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM, page 3

//Franciscan Media//

Minute Meditation – The Spiritual Virtue of Humility

Humility is the hallmark spiritual virtue of letting go. It’s an open-minded, openhearted, openhanded way to move through the world. To be humble is to make room for life as it comes, without the need to grasp too tightly, even (and especially) to certainty. This kind of attitude is what keeps your vision from clouding up and occluding. No one manages this perfectly, of course. That’s why life seems all too willing to deal us periodic humiliations that knock down our towers of Babel and drop us back onto the ground of our being: the truth that we are held in divine and loving hands, without being able to do anything to deserve or ruin it. 

— from the book Making Room: Soul-Deep Satisfaction through Simple Living
by Kyle Kramer

Minute Meditation – Eating is an Opportunity for Gratitude

Food offers a constant opportunity to take in gifts with gratitude, which is one of the fundamental practices of the spiritual life. Every time you eat is a chance to give thanks for all those many links in the great chain of being that brings nourishment to your body and your soul. It’s a chance to be grateful for the miracle of your body, which can take food and turn it into the miracle that is you or, if you are pregnant, your developing child. There are plenty of times when I take food for granted, when I treat it merely as fuel, or when, to use one of the phrases I like least in the English language, I just “grab a bite.” But other times, whether it’s in receiving the Eucharist or eating Cyndi’s homemade pizza on Friday nights, I’m full—of wonder, gratitude, and a sense of belonging with those I eat with and with the beautiful living world that brings such miracles to my plate. Saying grace over meals, then eating with full awareness and intention, is one of the most profoundly spiritual practices I know of—and we have a chance to do it several times, every day.

— from the book Making Room: Soul-Deep Satisfaction through Simple Living by Kyle Kramer, page 123

Meditation for February 28, 2022

“The Eucharist is alive. If a stranger who knew nothing about the Eucharist were to watch the way we receive, would he know this? When you and I approach the Eucharist, does it look like we believe we are about to take into our bodies the living person, Jesus Christ, true God and true man? How many times, Lord, have I forgotten that the Eucharist is alive! As I wait in line to receive you each day, am I thinking about how much you want to unite yourself with me? Am I seeing your hands filled with the graces you want to give me? Am I filled with awe and gratitude that you love me so much as to actually want to come to me in this incredibly intimate way? Or am I distracted, busy with other thoughts, preoccupied with myself and my agendas for the day? How many times, Jesus, have I made you sad, mindlessly receiving you into my body, into my heart, with no love and no recognition of your love? How many times have I treated you as a dead object? The Host that we receive is not a thing! It’s not a wafer! It’s not bread! It’s a person – He’s alive!”
—Vinny Flynn, p. 8

//Catholic Company//

Minute Meditation – Having Enough

Many of us think about money in terms of scarcity: the fear of losing it, of not having enough, and therefore the need to hold on to it tightly. Behind the veil of scarcity, though, there are more gracious ways to engage with money. What if we understood money as a form of energy that is meant to flow through our lives and through the world, rather than be hoarded and so become stagnant? To see money this way, to be willing to let it flow, requires letting go of fear and trusting instead that there is and will be enough for us and for others. Sufficiency—enoughness—is the middle way between scarcity and exploitative wealth. As Gandhi put it, the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Sufficiency is the way the birds of the air live, and the lilies of the field.

— from the book Making Room: Soul-Deep Satisfaction through Simple Living by Kyle Kramer, page 54

//Franciscan Media//

Daily Meditation for February 12, 2022

Now man need not hide from God as Adam did; for He can be seen through Christ’s human nature. Christ did not gain one perfection more by becoming man, nor did He lose anything of what He possessed as God. There was the Almightiness of God in the movement of His arm, the infinite love of God in the beatings of His human heart and the Unmeasured Compassion of God to sinners in His eyes. God was now manifest in the flesh; this is what is called the Incarnation. The whole range of the Divine attributes of power and goodness, justice, love, beauty, were in Him. And when Our Divine Lord acted and spoke, God in His perfect nature became manifest to those who saw Him and heard Him and touched Him. As He told Philip later on: Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father [John 14:9].”
—Fulton J. Sheen, p. 21