Developing Interior Strength Amidst the Difficulties of Life
Goal of the Week: Discover God’s Promise- "I will give you everything you need to reach eternity"
Our Response: Deeper Faith, Deeper Trust
Quote: "You have given yourself entirely to Our Lord and He has taken you at your word. It is not a small thing to give oneself unconditionally to Our Lord. He sees right down to the bottom of our heart. So, have courage! I tell you that you are on the right path, and that in suffering with patience, and love, you are glorifying our Lord, and doing His holy Will at present." Suffering with Christ.
Response: Write down all the things that take away your peace. If we seek peace "as the world gives it", then it is certain that we will never know peace, but trust in the enduring peace that Jesus gives us. "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage! I have conquered the world" (John 16:33).
Quote: "Consider the workings of Divine Providence and think that the refusal you meet with now is only God's strategy to increase your faith and fervor. Remember how He acted towards the Canaanite woman, treating her harshly and refusing to see or listen to her. He seems to be irritated by her importunity but in reality he admired it and was delighted with her trust and humility." Magnificat Reflection
Response: The first obstacle is that, as long as we have not experienced concretely the fidelity of Divine Providence to provide for our essential needs, we have difficulty believing in it. We cannot experience this support from God unless we leave Him the necessary space in which He can express Himself. Unless a person with a parachute does not jump out into the void, he cannot feel the cords of the parachute support him. - Fr. Jacques Philippe Interior Peace
Quote: "Don't strain to make things perfect. Life in the present order will never be perfect, so don't stretch to put everything right, to order all persons and things once and for all. Life is about living in the balance of the unbalanced, the imperfect, the never finished, the never totally secure, never quite happily ever after. We have to learn to live with the mess." This Blessed Mess - Patricia Livingston.
Response: "If I am not capable of doing great things, I will not become discouraged, but I will do the small things. Sometimes, because we are unable to do great things, heroic acts, we neglect the small things that are available to us and which are, moreover, so fruitful for our spiritual progress and are such a source of joy." Fr. Jacques Philippe.
Quote: "It is a simple fact of life: there will be difficulties, setbacks and disappointments. For some people, there will be rejection; for others, there will be tragic losses. For still others there will be inexplicable suffering. No one is immune from pain; it is part of the package that comes with life." Gordon T. Smith
Response: "This pain is the offering we lay on the altar "My sacrifice is this broken spirit, you will not scorn this crushed and broken heart" (Psalm 51:17) God understands and is tender with our broken hearts. He is the perfect parent who wraps His arms around us and never let’s go as we weep. Crying caused by deep emotion releases different chemicals and is one way our bodies dispose of toxins, cleansing us from tension and distress. God intends for us to cry as a way to heal our pain." Mary Ann Froehlich
Quote: Do not hesitate to love deeply. You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love even more fruitful. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide not to love again or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds. The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. Thus, the pain of rejection can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply, the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear. Henri Nouwen Inner Voice of Love.
Response: "More often that we think, God may be asking a question in the midst of a day's strain and irritations. "Will you lay down your life for me?" If we do not realize that He waits for our answer even in small sacrifices, we soon forfeit the path towards a deeper love for God." Contemplative Hunger - Fr. Donald Haggerty
Quote: "You wonder what to do when you feel attacked on all sides by seemingly irresistible forces. Waves that cover you and want to sweep you off your feet. Sometimes those waves consist of feeling rejected, forgotten, misunderstood. Sometimes they consist of anger, resentment, or even the desire for revenge and sometimes of self-pity and self-rejection. These waves make you feel like a powerless child abandoned by your parents. What are you to do? Make the conscious decision to move the attention of your anxious heart away from these waves and direct it to the One who walk on them and says, 'It's me! Do not be afraid!' Keep turning your eyes to Him and go on trusting that He will bring peace to your heart". Henri Nouwen - Inner Voice of Love.
Response: The most common reason for which we could lose our sense of peace is a fear of certain situations which touch us personally and in which we feel threatened, apprehension in the face of present or future difficulties, fear of lacking something important, of not succeeding, and so forth. To preserve peace there is only one solution, we must rely not on human securities, but on God alone. Look at him and say, "God of peace, I rest in you!" Have confidence that He is very close to you and will put your soul at rest.
Quote: "God is not an employer. God does not work in our lives to make us more productive but to bring us closer to Him. God is more concerned with who we are than with what we do. He is our Father, not our boss. Effective business managers remove obstacles from their employee's paths so they can be more productive and accomplish the most possible. God is a different kind of leader. He often puts obstacles in our path so that we learn to trust Him." Mary Ann Froehlich
"The cross is where we learn to love. It is the source of life. Mary draws us to the cross, which gives life." Fr. Juan Pablo Duran.
"It is often out of the brokenness of our lives that God reveals his choicest beauty and blessings. He makes of our thorns a crown, and of our dark nights a path upon which his love shines with an uncommon radiance." Henry Gariepy
Response: "Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I'm just glad that thorns have roses." (Marteau). "Think about the roses that God sent you through a difficult season of your life. When have you been a rose in a troubled person's life?" Mary Ann Froehlich "God comforts us not to make us comfortable but to make us comforters." John Henry Jowett.
Who have you comforted because of the comfort you have received from the Father of compassion?