Monday, May 22, 2017

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter - Condemnation and Righteousness

Jesus said to his disciples: "But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ´Where are you going?´ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you because you have made yourself known to me. I desire to know you more each day. Let my knowledge of you be simple, real and personal. I hope in your grace because I am aware of my inclination to evil and I know my weakness. As an expression of my love for you, I want to live as you would have me live. I want to please you by my every action.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith.

1. Convict the World in Regard to Sin
Why does Christ come to convict the world in regard to sin? Didn’t he come, “(not) to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3: 17)? Which is it, condemnation or liberation? It’s both. If you are not aware that you’re sick, you will not go to the doctor. First we have to be aware that we are sinful, so that we experience the need for a savior in the first place. The greatest danger in today’s society isn’t that it’s sinful: Sin has been here since Adam and Eve. The greatest danger is no longer recognizing sin at all because of moral relativism (cf. John Paul II, The Splendor of Truth, 32). “This is fine for me; I make my own rules,” goes the battle cry of the relativist. Therefore, the Spirit must first make us aware that we are selfish, sinful and in need of a savior. Then the work of conversion can begin.

2. Convicted of … Sin Because They Do Not Believe in Me
Is Christ saying that every non-believer is a sinner and not worthy of salvation? This seems to be confirmed in John 3:18a: “Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already.” The Church teaches that those people, who through no fault of their own know neither Christ nor his Church, may be saved by following the dictates of their conscience (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 847). This said, there is also the danger of a will to unbelief: “For this people´s heart has grown dull…and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes…and understand with their heart and turn -- and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:15). Seeing, some chose not to believe because it would mean changing. It is this conscientious rejection of the truth out of obstinacy that must be avoided at all costs.

3. Righteousness
Christ’s resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit are proof of Christ’s righteousness and authenticity. He is what he claimed to be: the Messiah, the Son of the living God (cf. Matthew 16:16-17). It is also righteous or just that Christ, having completed his mission, returns to the Father. Yet Christ’s righteousness is also being offered to us if we but accept it. His mission was to condemn Satan, the Father of lies, and remake us in his image and likeness. Through his sacrifice we become much more than freed slaves: We become adopted children of God (cf. John 1:12).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, aware of the importance of faith, I ask you to increase my faith. You continuously offer me so many graces, let me take advantage of all of them and use them according to your will.

Resolution: During my conscience examen today I will recognize my faults with honesty, but also express a greater confidence in God’s mercy in my life.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter - The Spirit’s Witness

Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Lord God, help me to live as a true witness to Christ. 

1. Witness of Christ: Some people try to invoke the Holy Spirit as justification for ideas contrary to Christ’s teaching. A careful look at today’s Gospel illustrates how this can never be according to God’s plan. The Holy Spirit is not at odds with Christ’s message, nor is he working out a plan of salvation distinct from Christ’s Church. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ and of the Father; his very purpose in coming is to testify to Christ. Every true inspiration of the Holy Spirit moves us to a greater fidelity to the truth. Am I attentive to the Spirit’s urging me to a greater fidelity to my Christian commitments? 

2. Witnesses in the Spirit: Our faith is by no means a static reality. Just as the first disciples experienced Christ’s preaching, miracles and personal love, all Christians serious about their faith discover Christ’s presence throughout their daily experience. This is especially true in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. Jesus is always with us, and his forgiveness and closeness are the source of our joy. The Holy Spirit empowers us through the grace of our baptism to give witness to what we have freely received. Do I take seriously my Christian vocation to give testimony to Christ’s love? Do I realize that my first act of testimony needs to be the witness of a truly Christian life? Do I remember that in this seemingly daunting task I should rely heavily on the Holy Spirit as my business partner? 

3. Fidelity Amidst Opposition: Christ shares with the apostles gathered in the Upper Room that being witnesses to him will not always be met with acceptance. Opposition seems to be an integral part of being a Christian. Deep-seated and unflinching adherence to Christ and the voice of conscience has never been compatible with the popular mindset. In fact, many times Christians are not called to “fit in” but to “stand out”, and this has inevitable consequences as it did in the life of Our Lord. The wonderful part is that we have been promised the final victory. Christ goes before us and the Holy Spirit is at our side.  

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, it has always been demanding to be an authentic witness to you. Teach me not to rely on my own capabilities, but to grow in strength and coherence through fidelity to the inspirations of your Holy Spirit.

Resolution: I will make some public sign of witness to my faith today.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sixth Sunday of Easter - Intimacy with God

Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures and petty successes. I open my entire being to you, aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving gaze.

Petition: Lord, I want to believe in your personal and passionate love for me.

1. Intimacy with Jesus: When we gaze at the cross, we need to remind ourselves that he died there for each one of us, for “me”. He died to forgive my sins and to pour his divine life into my soul. He wants there to be no divisions between us, barriers caused by sin. He wants us to be united in all things. This is why he says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” He wants our wills to be united, for his will represents our true good. He asks for our obedience out of love, not fear. There is a tendency in today’s society to separate love from obedience. Love of God gets reduced to some kind of vague feeling of goodwill toward God and others. Love requires sacrifice. Love is self-donation. Ask Jesus for the grace to love as he has loved us.

2. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit: Jesus promised his disciples another advocate, one who would remain with them forever. The disciples were upset to hear Jesus speak of his death and departure. They were distraught to think of themselves alone in the world, with all their hopes and plans crashing down around them. Jesus didn’t want to leave them alone, nor does he want to leave us alone. He does not leave us orphans in the world; he sends us a helper, a gift of love. In the Holy Spirit we find a guide and friend, another person who abides within us. We are never alone. He is always with us, even when we feel abandoned by others. 

3. Intimacy with the Father: “Whoever loves me, will be loved by my Father.” Now we turn to the Father, and we come to him through Jesus Christ. The Father’s plan from all eternity was to love us in his Son. He wants to love us with a fatherly love, to love us with the same love he has for his only-begotten son from all eternity. How much God loves us! He wants to draw us into his living and eternal relationship of love. In a thousand different ways he is calling us, inviting us, pulling us towards himself. Jesus reveals a Triune God, and he invites us to share in the communion of life and love that is the Holy Trinity. 

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to believe in you and your love. Imprint your love very deeply onto my heart. I want to remain in your love always. I want to remain in the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit, but I need your strength and grace. Help me to set aside anything that displeases you.
 
Resolution: I will make three spiritual communions with Jesus during the day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter - The Master and the Slave


Jesus said to his disciples: "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ´No slave is greater than his master.´ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me."

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.

 

Petition: Lord, help me to embrace my cross joyfully. 

 

1. Bearing the Burden: “The world hated me first.” This is the incredible story of the Gospels. Christ came and the culture was against him. As the story of Christ in the Gospel progresses, the forces of antagonism get worse: The dangers increase with the turning of every page. This was a real burden for Christ, the burden of a parent whose children turn against him. Perhaps I, too, feel that burden. Perhaps I experience that rejection from those who love me or from those who don’t believe.

 

2. Loving Acceptance: Christ courageously and lovingly accepted that burden. He did not complain. Perhaps he asked his Father for an easier way. It is the same in our lives. I often face problems, even when I want to do good. There comes a moment in life when I must accept my limitations and the limitations imposed on me by others. This is a memorable moment in life—the moment I accept my cross, like Christ did. That acceptance isn’t easy, but at the same time it fills my heart with a deep peace and sometimes even joy.

 

3. Seeking Solutions: After I accept my cross, I experience a new courage, and my imagination fires up. Love always looks for solutions: Christ never stopped searching for ways to get through to the culture. I must do the best I can to evangelize, even though I may encounter opposition. With Christ’s help, no obstacle is too great. He will help me to overcome all the problems I may encounter. The important thing is that I keep focused on the fulfillment of his will out of love. He will take care of the rest.

 

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know my burden. You know what makes me lose sleep, what I wake up worrying about. Help me to accept it, as you accepted your cross.

 

Resolution: I will stop complaining and see what I can do to alleviate the burdens and sufferings of others.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Loving to the Extreme


Jesus said to his disciples: "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one´s life for one´s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."

Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, O Lord, in your great love for me. You are my creator and redeemer. I trust in your friendship; I trust that you will share with me all the insights and desires to love as you have loved. I love you, Lord, for you have loved me first. I want to love you by helping to bring your love and life to others.

 

Petition: With the love of your heart, inflame my heart!


  1. A New Commandment: “And can love be commanded?” Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI poses this very objection in his encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est.”. Love is not merely a sentiment; it is an act of will. “God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing” (n. 17). We cannot be ordered to “like” someone or to “fall in love”, but we can “choose to love” our enemies. More importantly, when we experience God’s love for us, the joy of being loved leads us to want to respond to that love. And God has loved us first: “It was not you who chose me….” We experience his love for us as an ongoing reality each time we receive the sacraments, but also each time we reflect on the fact that he is keeping us in existence. This personal experience enables us both to understand love and want to share it.



  1. Friends Forever: Like love, friendship is easily misrepresented in today’s world, for it is more than convenience, mutual tolerance or mutual utility. Friends not only share love, they share secrets and intimate knowledge. Love leads “to a community of will and thought” (idem). I want to know what my friend is thinking and desiring so that I can share in those thoughts and even satisfy those desires. “The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God´s will increasingly coincide: God´s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself” (idem).



  1. Chosen to Bear Fruit: Jesus’ commands are few, but they all have to do with love: “Do this in memory of me”; “Love one another”; “Love your enemies”; “Go and make disciples of all nations”, etc. The essential and urgent nature of this command of love is linked to the very mission of Christ. We are chosen and have been appointed to go and love others. If this love is authentic, grown from the vine of his love and great in sacrifice, it will bear fruit. The fruit which lasts, that for which he died, is an eternal life of friendship with God. What others most need from me then, is not material goods or consolation, or even my friendship, but an experience of God’s love for them, namely, knowledge of Christ. “Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave” (ibid., n. 18).


Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord Jesus, grant me a constant, growing desire to live your commandment of love. Awaken in me an awareness of your ever-present love in my life. Let this inspire me to love without measure, without distinction of persons, without fears of losing all that is less than love.

Resolution: I will choose to serve someone today, not because I feel the desire to do so, but for love of Christ.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter - My Love for the Church


Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father´s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.

 

Petition: Lord, increase my love and appreciation for the Church and her leaders.


  1. Christ and His Church: When Christ says, “Keep my commandments and remain in my love,” he is talking not only about the Ten Commandments but also about the Church. What is the Church? It is Christ’s extension through time. We cannot say, “Christ, yes; the Church, no,” because the Church is the mystical body of Christ; the two are inseparable as head and body. The Church, through its sacraments and its solid teachings, makes Christ present for me now, today. It is through this Church that I received the gift of faith. I want to remain in Christ. I want to remain enthusiastically in his Church.



  1. God’s Chosen Ministers: You chose the Apostles to continue your work of redemption throughout the ages. Therefore, Lord, I want to love your priests and your bishops. I know how hard their job is. I see their perseverance. The Eucharist is available all over the world because of the fidelity of priests. Thank you for bishops and priests. Thank you for our parish. I want to support the parish with joy; giving of my time and my financial sacrifices.



  1. The Pope: Lord, I want to love the Holy Father. He is the rock on which you chose to build your Church. Because he has kept the straight path, the world recognizes his moral authority. Lord, I want to learn more about what he is saying. Today with the Internet, it is so easy. It just takes a little interest and a little time. This is one way I can remain in your love. Thus, my joy will be complete.


Conversation with Christ: When you came, Lord, you wanted to heal us through the sacraments, and you set up the Church to administer them. Because you are present in your Church, it has lasted two thousand years. Thank you for giving us this instrument of salvation.

Resolution: I will read something Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI has written. Much can be found on the Vatican website.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter -Separated From Christ


Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."


Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.


Petition: Lord, help me to grow in my interior life so I can remain united to you.




  1. Forgetfulness of God: Lord, it is so easy to forget you when life gets busy. It is easy to forget you when things go well. Almost without realizing it, I begin to separate myself from the vine. My prayer time is a good thermometer: When I am separating myself from the vine, it becomes shorter and shorter until it almost fades. I go my own way. I forget to pray. However, it isn’t necessarily a question of eliminating activities but of doing all of these tasks for God and in union with him.



  1. Barrenness: If I separate myself from Christ, the vine, and invest my energies in something else, I know what is going to happen. I will produce no fruit. This is my experience; it has already happened. Eventually I will wither and be thrown out like a dry branch. Lastly, these withered, old, dried-up branches will be gathered and thrown into a fire, and they will be burned. There is no way I can bear fruit if I am separated from the vine.



  1. Abundant Fruit: I want to produce abundant fruit. I want to help bring about a change in this world. That is attractive to me. That means a lot to me. I have tried different ways, and I know that only united to the vine can I bear lasting fruits for Christ’s Kingdom. This is the way I will glorify the Father. In this meditation, I already sense the sap running back into my soul. My life will produce fruit for others. Lord, help me to cling to the vine. Help me to strengthen that bond of unity. Help my faith and love for you grow, for you are my all.


Conversation with Christ: Lord, it is easy to trust what I can see, feel and touch. It is wiser, infinitely wiser to trust you, even if you are hidden from me for now.


Resolution: At least three times today I will lift up my thoughts to offer one of my activities to God.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Danger of Slavery

Jesus said to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ´I am going away and I will come back to you.´ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me."


Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.


Petition: Lord, help me always to remember who I am, where I come from, and where I am going.




  1. Activism: In today´s culture, many people believe, almost religiously, that what they do will eventually make them someone. They believe that from doing flows being, since their activity defines them. This makes it easy for them to be exploited. In nineteenth century America, a slave was often not told his birthday, so he could never really know who he was. He was just made to work. This same temptation exists today. Many people work such long hours — some as a means of escape from difficulties or responsibilities at home; others for the satisfaction they feel seeing a job completed; still others, just to earn more money and to be able to afford a more comfortable life. However, these are all manifestations of the same slavery.



  1. My True Identity: With his example, however, Christ shows us a different way of life, a way that goes against the current. First I have to be. Then my doing will flow from my being. Christ says again and again: I am the Son of my Father. Now I will act accordingly. When Moses asked God of the burning bush who he was, he said, “I AM who AM.”

    Who am I? What defines me is my relationship to God. Just imagine this: I have the privilege of being a child of God! God has loved me so much that he has adopted me as his child! This is something worthwhile. This is who I really am, and I should act accordingly, as Christ taught me.



  1. True Peace: Christ´s great peace comes as a consequence of meditating on and living out who I really am. When I meditate, I discover that I am God’s creature. Suddenly, I find the strength to face reality. Others will be unable to exploit me, and I will stop exploiting others because I am – and they are – children of God. My dignity derives from this fundamental truth: I was created in God’s image and likeness. I came from God, and he is inviting me to return to him and be happy with him for all eternity.


Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have the bad habit of focusing on my doing. That is why I am always anxious. I want to be like you, Lord, seeing first who I am and letting my activity flow from that. This will bring me peace. However, Lord, I need your grace. Help me to live as a true son or daughter.


Resolution: Today, I will do two kind acts to someone who is troubled in order to help them experience God’s love for them.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Holy Spirit

Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him." Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, "Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. "I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name-- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you."


Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for taking the time to be with me. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.


Petition: Lord, a lot of images distract me. Help me do something about this.


1. The Danger

It is easy to forget you, Lord, especially with all the images that are around me. Every image I harbor in my heart, every emotion I abandon myself to leaves its mark. These can come from the radio, the Internet, songs, novels… anywhere. They seem to swamp my mind and make it easier to forget you. These images and emotions can also impoverish, degrade, limit and reduce my ability to extract from life its magnificent content, usefulness and happiness. You remind me that I should use everything only in as much as it helps me to reach you, my final goal.


2. The Gift

On the other hand, I know you have sent us the gift of the Holy Spirit. As you promise in this Gospel, he will never stop reminding me of you. All I have to do is let his projector fill my imagination with images, with thoughts, with insights. Of course, I also have to use the world’s media correctly and in moderation. Holy Spirit, I know you are near; take possession of my soul and make it all your own. Guide my every decision so that I choose what is right and reject what is evil.


3. Accepting the Gift

When I do forget, the Holy Spirit will remind me of all that Christ has said. All of the emotions and thoughts you inspire, Holy Spirit, will enrich my ability to live enthusiastically and forcefully. You will fill my mind with great and powerful images. All I have to do is open myself to you. “The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. […] To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for him and lead us resolutely to offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2729).


Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have the option of letting myself be consumed with thoughts of anger, lust, and power—thoughts that will make me grow old and become a more intense version of myself, closed in on myself. Help me take the steps to avoid these temptations. Allow the Holy Spirit to animate my mind and my soul.


Resolution: I will clear my mind by filling my thoughts with God and his things.

Prayer for Mom


it makes me cry out of joy and thankfulness for my Mother... specially My Mother in Heaven Mary our Lady of Fatima... literally dying to Herself to be what God meant Her to be: Mother of all the living... 

Thank you Mom!

Let's all pray in gratitude for our dear Mothers...

Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly, patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered me and mentored me, and even disciplined me. 

Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her. Help her loving heart to continue to love and give of herself to others. Strengthen her when she is down and give her hope when she is discouraged. 

Most of all, Lord, on this Mother's Day, give my mother the graces she most needs and desires today. I ask you this, in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior forever and ever, Amen.



Share it with everyone (everyone has a Mother watching over us)

Spanish version here:

https://youtu.be/zqSISPX4PEE

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fifth Sunday of Easter - Few Feel at Home

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father´s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ´Show us the Father´? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for allowing me to spend this time with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.

Petition: Lord, help me to be patient and to accept your timing.

1. Nostalgia: Few of us feel at home in this world. We are exiles, often homesick, waiting for news from a faraway land. We have heard of this land many times, but have never seen it. To compensate for our homesick emptiness, we work hard to fill our existence with material goods. When we have them, we suffer from boredom. When we don’t, we suffer from ambition. “Vanity of vanities and all things are vanity!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). We long for something that can fill that emptiness.

2. Right Now:  Lord Jesus, I know that you are hidden behind the veil of the Eucharist and that you are in your Father’s house. In your Father’s house there are many rooms. Right now, as I pray, you are preparing a place for me. Lord, may I tell you how I would like my room to be? (Imagine being an interior decorator and being able to make that room any way you like.) 

3. One Day: One day, when I least expect it, you will come and take me home. When I get there, I will know it is the place I have been mysteriously longing for all my life. In some way it will be as I imagined, and yet, it will be different. It will be a place of no more nostalgia, no more pining. I will be able to meet many friends there again. Each day will get better and better. Yes, it is important to dream about that day and what it will be like, because that keeps me motivated in my struggle to attain eternal life.

Conversation with Christ: Meanwhile, Lord, I am here, right here, and I have work to do. Some of today’s tasks don’t excite me; however, I will do them for you. In those moments of my day when I don’t feel you, I wait. I know you are coming.

Resolution: I will be patient and accept the Lord’s timing, because those who love learn the hard lesson of waiting.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Supernatural Secrets

Jesus said to his disciples: "If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ´Show us the Father´? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."


Introductory Prayer: Father, how empty is the life that doesn’t know the joy of Jesus your Son. I have come to this prayer today to know you and your Son better, to love you more and to imitate your perfections. Thank you for this time of prayer. 


Petition: Father, help me to be aware of your presence in my soul.


1. The Father and Jesus Are One: The liturgy gives us a second look at this Gospel passage. The great truth that Jesus is sharing with Philip is that as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus and the Father are one – they are inseparable. We worship Christ. We don’t merely honor him as the best of men; he is the God-man whom we adore. What Jesus is by nature we are empowered to be by grace. With our baptism, we became adopted children of God. Brought into the family of the Trinity, the divine persons dwell in our soul as in a temple. Do we realize the dignity we have been given?


2. Doing the Same Works As Jesus: Herein lies the possibility of doing the works of Jesus. If he lives in us, he can work through us. What an opportunity to cooperate with grace! When we are loving, kind and disciplined, we aren’t merely being good. These good deeds are more than just good; they have an eternal value. After all, they are the “works of Jesus.” We receive the reward for his works. Such is the generosity of the Master whom we serve!


3. Ask and You Shall Receive: The name of Jesus is powerful. He commands us to ask in his name for the things we need so that in granting them to us, the Father may be glorified. When we kneel before the tabernacle, we must approach the Lord with total and absolute confidence. He knows that our faith will grow when we experience his power in action: “Ask and you shall receive!” (Matthew 7:7-9).


Conversation with Christ: Lord, what a consoling thought is it that the Holy Trinity dwells in my soul. I am a child of God! Help me to do the works of God! I ask this in your name.


Resolution: Because God dwells in my soul I will try to treat others as he would treat them.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Our Gaze Fixed on Christ



Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Introductory Prayer: Father, how empty is the life that doesn’t know the joy of Jesus your Son. I have come to this prayer today to know you and your Son better, to love you more and to imitate your perfections. Thank you for this time of prayer.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me a greater intensity in my relationship with you, the Way, the Truth and the Life!

 

  1. Follow Me, I Am the Way: Remember the olden days, when you would stop in a gas station and ask directions? “Follow me” was the easiest way to give directions. Something like that is happening in the Gospel today. To Thomas’ question, “How can we know the way?” Jesus gives himself as the answer. We know the way with infallible precision. A personal and passionate relationship with Christ is the sure way through this confusing world. Let us keep our relationship with Jesus always on our spiritual GPS. Whenever we have a doubt, we should ask ourselves, “How would Jesus act in this situation? What is the path he would follow?”
  1. Believe in Me, I Am the Truth: Jesus gives his followers a truth so rock solid, that nothing can shake them. Just as he is the Way, he is also the Truth. “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). With the Truth of Jesus, we have the answer to basically any question we need to ask. What a comfort it is to have Jesus as the Truth in this world of jaded souls and in this climate of relativism.
  1. Come to Me, I Am the Life: “He’s the life of the party” is a compliment of high regard in certain circles. He’s the spark plug, the guarantee for an entertaining evening. If he’s not there, a deflated feeling hangs in the air and everybody wonders if there isn’t a better way to be spending their time. A life lived with Jesus is never dull. He is the “Life” of more than just a party. The Christian with an intense relationship with Christ is completely fulfilled — he is never bored, nor is he boring.

 

 Conversation with Christ: Lord, you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. I thank you for giving me the great grace of my Catholic faith. Help me to share with others the immense joy of this personal relationship you have given me.

Resolution: I will speak to someone today about having a personal relationship with Christ.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Fulfilled Without Fear


When Jesus had washed the disciples´ feet, he said to them: "Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me. From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

Introductory Prayer: Love is in your powerful name, Lord. We come and bow down before you who have made us, set us free, and rescued us from death. I offer you this time of prayer, of atonement. Come, Lord, so that I may receive you.

Petition: Lord, open my heart and grant me the grace and strength to desire holiness.

1. Fears
The Church is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The apostles experienced fear, mistrust, depression and failure. In spite of all this, Christ did not rebuke them. He simply questioned them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38). Jesus’ kind words are also appropriate for our fears today. How can we, the chosen children, truly be fulfilled if we have fears within us? No evil can stand the face of Christ. Fears are a true hindrance to receiving fully the One that God sent. We cannot see the future, but God can. Why fear what God, who is love, has in store for us?

2. Offering Yourself
The first step to receiving is offering ourselves to the Father. We do this by laying our wills and our very lives before the cross, knowing that God will do what is best for us. If we trust him and are not afraid of his calling, he will do what is best. We must be sure of this, though; there can be no fear, no doubt. We must profess this to Christ, saying that he is powerful enough to do everything and that nothing is impossible through him. It is then that we can truly receive. We must leave all our attachments with the One who was sent – after all he was sent so that we may walk without fear, so that we may be set free. Accepting the will of God, without fear, brings us true joy and true happiness.

3. Understanding Greatness
We must take Jesus’ joy wherever we walk; he has bestowed that gift upon us. We have truly been blessed, and blessings will continue to pour from his everlasting flow of love. There will be times, though, that we do not understand why bad things happen, why troubles possess us, why we are here. This is when we need to offer up a prayer, seeking to understand greatness, seeking to understand love and seeking to understand others. It is with this understanding that we can truly appreciate the divine plan, that we can truly receive the greatness that God has in store for us, because then we will love, and love conquers. Greatness lies in the cross. It is the richest gift from heaven, the gift of life.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I know in every place your shadow blankets me; in every high and low place you are there. I can see your light. You have chosen to hold on to me, Lord. You have chosen me to receive your spirit. How grateful I am for that! I look at your crucifix, Lord, and see your blood that you so willingly gave for me, the crown of thorns that you so graciously wore for me, and the cross that you humbly carried for me. How am I worthy, Lord? Thank you for washing me clean, filling my soul with living water and being the shelter where I can hide. Help me, Lord, always to receive you, to cast out my fears and doubts, to offer myself to you and to understand your greatness. Thank you, Jesus.

Resolution: Today, I will do everything possible to avoid the near occasions of sin.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter - The Light of Life


Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

Introductory Prayer: Father, you have blessed me with this opportunity to pray. I come into your presence to please and glorify you. I offer it up for all those who are counting on me for spiritual support.

Petition: Lord, increase my hope so that I know that you are always guiding me.


  1. Our Souls Were Made for the Light: Little children are scared of the dark – after all, monsters and ghosts live in the dark. Flick on the light switch, however, and all the fears dissipate. The real world is so much less scary when the light is on. What’s true for children is also true for us – but on a different level. We have many fears, and so many of them come because we are in the dark. We don’t know the future; we can’t control outcomes. We fear spiritual darkness because our souls were made for the light. But Jesus “came into the world as light.” When we know Jesus, the light has come into our lives, the fears vanish. We don’t know the future, but he does. We can’t control outcomes, but his providence guides all. Like the little child who is relieved when Mom or Dad comes into the dark room, with Jesus we can rest assured that everything will be okay.



  1. Living in the Truth: If there is one thing that we should fear, it is ourselves. It is said that Saint Philip Neri used to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, “Lord, watch out for Philip lest he betray you again today.” The Lord speaks of a self-inflicted condemnation that comes from not accepting his words. When we feel the inner tug of our pride or sensuality, beckoning us to confide more in ourselves than in Christ, then we need to pause. It is like a spiritual red flag telling us that our adherence to Jesus’ words is waning. If we stick with Christ, and abhor the thought of going our own way rather than his, we will avoid that inner darkness which is far more fearsome than anything in the world.



  1. The Father’s Command Is Eternal Life: The philosophy of the 1960’s has left a long trail of wreckage that persists to this day. “Do your own thing!” the Woodstock creed, would have us believe that self-assertion is the key to happiness. As counterintuitive as it may sound, obedience is really the key. Jesus was the man that could walk on water, pacify storms with the snap of the finger, and provide dinner for thousands with a few loaves and fish. Yet he teaches that happiness doesn’t lie in power. Rather it lies in obedience to the Father’s command. Obeying him is the road to eternal life: fulfillment beyond our wildest dreams.


 Conversation with Christ: Lord, take away all my fears. I know that my true good is to be found in loving you and following you. Give me the strength to obey the Father and so find the eternal life that I seek.

Resolution: I will fulfill my spiritual commitments perfectly today.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Nobody Can Steal From Jesus

The feast of the Dedication was then taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father´s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father´s hand. The Father and I are one."

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, I believe you are who you say you are. Thank you for granting me this gift of faith. You came so that we, the lost sheep, may be found. Thank you. You brought us knowledge of who we are and what we are worth. 

Petition: Lord, help me to hear your voice when you are calling in the night. 

1. Kept in Suspense: Suspense is a state or a character of being undecided or doubtful. How many times have we been in suspense, waiting for Christ to do amazing things in our lives, doubting that he could save such lowly sinners like ourselves? Are we undecided in believing in Christ? He has already told us and shown us through his works who and what he is. We are to be his sheep and await him; sheep know their shepherd’s voice, and they follow their shepherd. Then we can await eternal life. Suspense also means “to have a pleasant excitement as to a decision or an outcome.” What is the outcome of life? It is true salvation, and it is eternity with the heavenly Father. Today, as in every day, we should have a “pleasant excitement” in waiting for our outcome. As we go to bed at night we should look at Christ and say, “Another day closer to heaven.”

2. Spiritually Blind: Christ is always standing right beside us. What in our lives is blinding us from seeing him? In human terms, seeing comes through the senses. However, we need a spiritual connection with our Lord in order to see him: The spirit replaces human sight. Once that connection is made, we see God everywhere: in people, in charitable actions, in the beauty of nature. Then, we see him in ourselves. When we see Christ in us, we begin to have peace and assurance that we may yield abundantly. 

3. Yield Harvest: Christ’s peace flows in us when we are open and begin to see the path to salvation. Think about how the water of spring rain brings forth life that yields a good harvest. We believe in living water. This living water provides us peace and harmony in Christ. It fills us and brings forth in us work accomplished in peace. Believing and abiding in Christ yield great successes, rich harvests. Let us be watered by trust and bear much fruit in the name of Christ. Come, Lord Jesus.

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, you have called me many times. Many times I have turned a deaf ear to you, not believing that you could carry my burdens. Help me today, Lord, to believe in you; help me to testify to you, Lord; help me to be amongst your sheep that I may follow you. When I think it is too hard, help me to seek you in prayer and see what you have told me to believe, so that I may have eternal life in you and through you. 

Resolution:  Today I will speak to at least one person about God’s infinite love and mercy.