Monthly Archives: December 2016

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.
(Matthew 11:29)

Lord, if I am yoked to you, then you pull beside me. You are all-powerful; so my burden is light if I lean on you. Without you, I cannot stand. “If you, O Lord, will observe iniquities, Lord, who shall stand?” But you have atoned for my sins. You have forgiven me.

The law of men is heavy, filled with minute observances and impossible restrictions. You teach us that if we love you and our neighbor as ourselves, all the other commandments will follow. Difficult as it may be at times to ac with love, you show us how. We must die to ourselves, but when we do, you carry us. Once we give ourselves to you, we are never alone.

Please help me to accept gratefully whatever is asked of me today, knowing you are here.

In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones will be lost.
(Matthew 18:14)

It is you, Lord, who will leave the ninety-nine sheep and go after the lost one. How often I have been lost, waiting, crying for you to find me. Or, at times, I did not know that I was lost. I had followed some distraction, some sound or sight or longing that hinted at unknown pleasure. Not until the excitement abated did I realize that I was alone and hungry, thirsty, and tired. It was then that you carried me back.

In what areas am I lost now? What isolates me from you and from the rest of the flock? How can I be more connected?

Today, I had several phone calls and visitors. I was happy to be with my neighbors, and yet I needed some quiet time afterwards. When I finally had it, loud voices interrupted. How can I stop letting external circumstances distract me so much? I need more balance between action and contemplation. Help me to take advantage of every opportunity you provide. You are in control. I trust in you.

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
(Luke 5:24)

The crowd accused you of blasphemy, my Jesus, when you said to the determined men who had lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof, “Your sins are forgiven.” In order to prove your authority, you heal the man. Your mission is not only to heal, but, even more importantly, to forgive. You heal our souls first. Ultimately, you not only forgive, but you atone for our sins and redeem us all.

Sometimes I feel paralyzed by guilt and fear. I need to heed your words, pick myself up, and come home to you. I am free. I believe.

I thank you for the friends who have supported me, whose faith and ingenuity have brought me to you. Please help me to affirm those with whom I interact.

I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
(Matthew 3:11)

Water is for repentance, Lord. The Holy Spirit is for wisdom. Perhaps the fire is for zeal. Until we acknowledge our sins and atone for them, we cannot know you. Until we know you, we cannot burn with love for you nor work for your glory. John’s baptism, then, was a preparation for life in you.

You were born, my Jesus, so that we could be reborn. At my baptism, I became your child. Now, as I remember your coming as an infant and look forward to your coming again, please help me to remember my baptismal promises and renew them daily.

At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to the disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for the harvest.”
(Matthew 9:36-37)

Take pity on us, Lord, when we feel abandoned by our society and troubled by the lack of leadership. Heal us first, that we may go into your vineyard and heal others. It is your Word that heals.

How can I proclaim your word to those I will encounter today? How can I encourage my neighbors who are lonely and disillusioned? I can offer suggestions without expectations, trusting that if what I say is true, helpful and necessary, you will let them grow. I can listen patiently, without judging. I can remember to thank those who assist me, especially those who take me to Mass, the Priest who celebrates it, the choir that puts prayer into song, and all who participate. Help me to forget myself so that you can work through me.

When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?’ “Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
(Matthew 9:28)

My Jesus, I know that you can heal me. My faith tells me that you will give me whatever is good, and that you want me to ask. My mink knows, but does my heart trust? “I don’t deserve it,” I tell myself, and yet I can earn nothing. It is your love that gives, lavishly and indiscriminately. You want only that I return your love, and how could I refuse?

Later in this passage, you admonish the men to keep their cure secret, and yet they broadcast it “through all the land.” You must have known they would do so. Your will is done, even when we are contrary.

Heal my blindness during this Advent season when we long for your light. Help me to see your will in all things. Today, like the blind men, I will seek you, follow you into whatever house you enter, beg for your mercy and profess your power.

Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
(Matthew 7:24)

It is not enough to listen, Lord. We have to act on your words. How can I do your will today?

I feel rushed, but there was time, at least, to encourage a few of my neighbors and to plan for Communion Service this afternoon. Please help me now to spend a few quiet minutes waiting for you, the Word made Flesh. Come into my heart, you, the rock on which I long to live. Unite us in you.

He said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
(Matthew 4:19)

Lord, your disciples left “at once.” Have I ever responded to anything so suddenly? Even when I made my decision to enter religious life, I did not leave immediately. I received my acceptance letter on July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Entrance day was September 8. Before leaving my home and my possessions, I graduated from college, shopped for items from the list we were given, got fitted for the postulant dresses made by one of the sisters, and said goodbye to my family and friends. I don’t remember feeling that I was giving anything up, other than the prospect of marriage and children. I knew that I would be clothed, sheltered and fed, and that I would teach children. There was no risk, like that of the disciples who would not have known where they were going or how they would live. I was excited, but not afraid.

What if you were to invite me now to walk away from my home, my friends and family, and my possessions? How would I dispose of them? Could I really give up the things I take for granted, like constant communication and news? Just a few hours ago, I almost cried in frustration when my router stopped working. I wasn’t willing to give up my connection, even for a day. Will I ever learn to let go?

Please, Lord, now that it is Advent and I feel closer to your coming, teach me to detach myself. Only then can I fully attach myself to you. Only you are enough.

This journey looks impossible, but you will make straight the way. Let me surrender to your will.

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.”
(Luke 10:21)

Spirit of God, I, too, rejoice in your wisdom, which you bestow on the innocent who open their hearts and minds to you. Please help me to trust you as children trust those who lead them. Father, I thank you. My Jesus, let me follow you, give thanks with you, and rely on you.

How can I show my trust today? I will let my life unfold, step by step, looking not for logic or the approval of my peers, but only for your loving will. As I sift through the clutter that surrounds me, let me exhale whatever is cluttering my soul, that I may see and know you with childlike humility and faith.

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”
(Matthew 8:8)

Lord, as Creator, you spoke and the universe came to be. As Spirit, you came to Mary, and the Word became Flesh. As our Savior, you say the word and we are healed.

You are the Creator, the Word and the Flesh. Your will is done. Unworthy as I am, I come to you in hope, knowing that you are omniscient and omnipotent. My faith will be rewarded.

As I make my petitions today, please heal those for whom I pray and bring us all together in your heavenly banquet.