Monthly Archives: March 2015

St. Joseph

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.”
(Matthew 1:20)

Do not be afraid! It is an angel who speaks these words to Joseph. You, yourself, will use them so many times during your ministry.

One of my favorite Christmas carols begins, “Let no fears appall you; be of quiet mind.” It describes the announcement of your birth to the shepherds.

Quiet my fears, Lord, and open me to your will and your love.

I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.
(John 5:30)

Show me how to seek only your will, Lord. When things are going smoothly, I sometimes worry that I am getting too comfortable. Yet, when the unexpected happens, my first instinct is to try to fix things myself. I make snap decisions, seeking to prevent further obstacles or interruptions. Sooner or later, you show me that my job is not to prevent difficulties, nor to protect myself from them.

David wore no armor when he went out to meet Goliath. You will is all the armor I need. It is fear that makes me build a wall, and fear denies love. Please make me braver in your love. Thy will be done.

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?”
(John 5:6)

Do I want to be well, Lord? It sounds like a foolish question, but how willing am I to do what I know I should? And how willing am I to trust in you?

You heal us, then tell us to sin no more. Still, we are tempted to ignore the healthy diet that will benefit us, to neglect exercise for our body and minds, to put off prayer and rest. We bury ourselves in work or social commitments and isolate ourselves from family and friends. We forget that by serving you in our neighbor, we nourish our own souls. Help us to want what you want for us. Thy will be done.

The man believed what Jesus said and left.
..and he and his whole household came to believe.

(John 4: 50, 53)

The official whose son you assured would live believed you, my Jesus. He did not continue to plead; he did not ask if you were sure. He simply turned and went home. When his family told him at what time the child had recovered, he knew that it was during his encounter with you. So his whole household believed.

Are we ready to believe? We are blessed with so many miracles. Our very life is a miracle. How often we look for natural, logical explanations instead of accepting with gratitude your goodness and mercy. “O Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief.”

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

(John 3:17, 21)

Here I am, Lord. Let me never fear to come into your light, even when I have sinned. Only by exposure can I be healed.

Adam and Eve tried to hide from you after they had succumbed to temptation. Of course, you see us wherever we are. You will save us when we come before you and trust in you. Help us to live in your truth. Thy will be done.

But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
(Luke 18:13)

…for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
(Luke 18:14)

“Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

If I were not a sinner, I would have no need of your mercy. If I didn’t pray, I would have no hope. I confess to you and to my brothers and sisters because I trust in you, my Jesus, who have already atoned for us all.

Today, I will listen for your will and strive, with your grace, to remember that I am your instrument. I will glory only in you and, should anyone compliment me, I will reflect that anything good comes from you. Let me not judge, neither myself nor others. Thy will be done. I am listening now.

The first [commandment] is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love him with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all you strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
(Mark 12:29-31)

How do I love you, my God and my All?

With all my heart: my emotions, my desires, my will.

With all my soul: my very existence, the life you breathed into me, my being.

With all my mind: my thoughts, my intelligence, my receptiveness to your Word and your Spirit, my insights, whatever my senses show me.

With all my strength: my actions, my energy, my endurance, my stamina.

If I love you, I love what you created in your image, myself and my neighbor equally, for your love makes us one.

Today, Lord, let me love you. Thy will be done.

Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
(Luke 11:17-18)

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
(Luke 11:23)

Good morning, Lord. This will be a busy day, but I rose very early; so there is time for everything, even if I am doing it in my sleep.

Am I with you, Lord? There is no middle ground. Please help me to overcome whatever obstacles hold me back. I need you to guide my thoughts and actions. Enlighten me; energize me; prod me. You can topple the strong man with your finger. I trust in you. Knock me over if that is what I need, but then pick me up and set me back in your path. Thy will be done.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

Holy Spirit, guide my pen. My mind does not know what it wants to say, but maybe if I start writing, you will direct me. Please help me to discover whatever is holding me back. Is it unfinished business that I forgot about? An attitude I need to shake? Real, physical indisposition, or common laziness? I do not know, but you will use me somehow. I will listen now and pray.

Then Abraham said, “If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.”
(Luke 16:31)

They who run after nothing become nothing.
(Pope Francis)

Riches, comfort, fame, human respect, luxuries, feasts, shelter, clothing, jewelry – what are these? What is their purpose except to distract us from what we really crave, your love, Lord, and your will?

Please help me to share more of what you have given me and to focus only on your will. Work through me and permit me to participate in your Passion. Thy will be done.

Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
(Mark 9:7)

Lord, the cloud terrifies us. We stumble in its shadow. Yet your voice speaks words of light and life. Help us to listen to your Son.

The planning for the 2015 Adams Wendel family reunion has begun! Comment below if you have any ideas or want more details. It will be either the weekend of June 13th or June 20th.

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Heavenly Father, for he makes his sun to rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and unjust.
(Matthew 5:44)

We are all your children, Lord, and you give us all whatever we need. Let us not, then, squabble like jealous siblings, but cooperate as family, happy that you care for us all.

If someone gossips about me, resents, slanders or attacks me, let me pray that you will reconcile us. Let me release myself by forgiving, and by praying that you forgive them – and me.

Remind us that we belong to you and to one another. What is best for our neighbors, is best for us. Wheat and weeds benefit equally from your sunshine and rain. You can make us all productive. You give us time to turn towards you before separating us. If we judge, we turn our friends into enemies. Let us wait patiently together. Thy will be done.

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

(Matthew 5:23-24)

Lord, please help me to know whom I have offended, whether deliberately or by ignorance. Tomorrow, at last, I will go to your altar again. If there is someone to whom I need to apologize, help me to remember. For those I have insulted, even only in my own mind, I ask your forgiveness. Reconcile me with those I have annoyed or injured. Make me contrite and humble. Thy will be done.