St. Joseph Catholic Church
Pope Francis reminds us that we must turn not to worldly responses in the face of fear—to consumerism, violence, self-centeredness—but instead turn to a strong personal experience of Christ in the Spirit. Like the disciples on a boat during the storm, we too will ﬁnd ourselves afraid and confused in this life. But may we reach not for the fear-mongering mentality of worldly wisdom and politics and instead reach out to Christ who shows us the way through the fear toward life and courage. Only then can we defeat the enemy of Christian discipleship, living fearlessly as witnesses of the Gospel in a world so desperately in need of that hope.
—from Dan Horan, OFM, author of God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude
Peace is a work of justice; it does not come about by a display of superior strength or military might. In fact, it can be argued that those who “live among social outcasts, among the poor and helpless, the sick and the lepers, and those who beg by the wayside” most truly effect the cause of peace and justice by changing society at its very roots: its people. Make a sign of peace today in some small way. Help to effect a change in the world with an act of justice and love.
—from Pat McCloskey, OFM, author of the book Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi
There can be no doubt that Padre Pio dedicated his life to prayer and suffering. Every breath he took was a prayer—never for himself, always for others. From the beginning of his life, he was able to easily travel from this world to the next, through deep prayer. He used this connection with God to recommend to him the prayers of his spiritual children.
This ability to make contact with the powerful presence of God through prayer enabled him to bless and pray with those in most need, wherever they were in the world.
—from the book Padre Pio: A Personal Portrait
Always bear in mind as a safe general rule that while God tries us by his crosses and sufferings, he always leaves us a glimmer of light by which we continue to have great trust in him and to recognize his immense goodness. I urge you, therefore, not to be entirely disheartened in the face of the cross...heaven bestows on you, but to continue to have boundless confidence in the divine mercy.
Mary remains an ever-present figure as we journey through the Gospels with the women who meet Jesus. These stories are the tales of very different women, yet the common thread is the one most powerfully illustrated by his own Mother: intimacy with Jesus calls out the very best of who we can be.
“It seems to me that I am no more than a very tiny thing in the arms of God, and that I will remain so until I die. I do not know what He wants to do with me, but I desire it all.”
—Venerable Marthe Robin, as quoted in Robert Ellsberg’s The Franciscan Saints
When you read and study Scripture, you are not alone. You are part of an ancient and global community (Acts 2:42–47). It’s more than an individual expression, because it also happens in and with the universal Church. Reading and studying Scripture is both an individual expression of love and trust for God, as well as a communal expression of our faith.
—from the book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before