On entering a church, or in passing before the altar, kneel down all the way without haste or hurry, putting your heart into what you do, and let your whole attitude say, ‘Thou art the great God.’ It is an act of humility, an act of truth, and everytime you kneel it will do your soul good.

Fr. Romano Guardini

A Prayer of Trust by St. Ignatius

O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel
our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of
Your presence, Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for,
living close to You, we shall see
Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556 (via mycatholicstory)

The Power of Confession for Pope Francis

mycatholicstory:

“For Pope Francis it was a great gift that sneaked up on him unnoticed. It was September 21 and, like many young people, 17-year-old Jorge Bergoglio was getting ready to go out with his friends for Students’ Day. But he decided to start the day by visiting his parish church. He was a practicing Catholic who attended the Buenos Aires church of San José de Flores.

When he arrived, he met a priest he’d never seen before. The priest conveyed such a great sense of spirituality that he decided to confess to him. He was greatly surprised when he realized that this was not just another confession, but a confession that awakened his faith. A confession that revealed his religious vocation, to the point where he decided not to go to the train station to meet his friends but instead went home with a firm conviction. He wanted to — he had to — become a priest.

‘Something strange happened to me in that confession. I don’t know what it was, but it changed my life. I think it surprised me, caught me with my guard down,’ he recalled more than half a century later. Bergoglio now has his own theory about that mystery. ‘It was the surprise, the astonishment of a chance encounter,’ he said. ‘I realized that they were waiting for me. That is the religious experience: the astonishment of meeting someone who has been waiting for you all along. From that moment on, for me, God is the one who te primerea — ‘springs it on you.’ You search for him, but he searches for you first. You want to find him, but he finds you first.’”

The above paragraphs are taken from chapter 4 of “Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words,” Pope Francis with Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti (New York: G.P. Putman’s Sons, 2013), 33-34, 40-41.

A great reflection as we celebrate 24 hours for the Lord!

How many days do I spend dreaming, planning, preparing all the ways I think I can build up God’s Kingdom, while I am literally forgetting to love the person right in front of me? Forgetting to serve in the most basic ways those whom God has placed in my life today?  To do the “small things with great love” as Mother Teresa reminds us?  When I forget to do this, I miss the boat. I miss living the heart of the Gospel in my own life.

Kara Klein, “You Have Called Me to Be Faithful”  http://catholicmom.com/2016/02/17/you-have-called-me-to-be-faithful/

Do you not know that fasting can  master concupiscence, lift up the soul, confirm it in the paths of virtues, and prepare a fine reward for the Christian?

St. Hedwig of Silesia

Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to Him, ‘Lord, I am here.  Tell me what you would have me to do.’  And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart.  I tell him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen.  If you listen, God will also speak to you.

St. Catherine Labouré