24 October 2014

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You guide and encourage us as we face any issues before us.

Simcha Fisher on Discernment

"This year, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to give a decision over to God -- how to discern what God wants us to do, when we have a choice before us. It's one of the more widely misunderstood areas of our practical spiritual life, and I'm still figuring out what it means to live this way. Here are a few things I've figured out about what to expect when I pray for guidance in a decision:

"It doesn't mean: You're no longer responsible for your behavior or your behavior's consequences. Prayer is not divination, where you split open the dove before the battle, and then become enemies with Athena if you lose. When we pray about something, that doesn't absolve us from using our brains to figure out what makes the most sense, and it doesn't mean that we don't have to do any mop-up afterwards, if we do make a mess. Sometimes, the biggest struggle comes after the thing that we originally thought was the major event; and that means you need to keep on praying.

"It does mean: The Holy Spirit works kind of like MSG, enhancing and heightening the 'flavor' of the virtues that you've already worked to develop -- virtues like self-control, prudence, mercy, and self-sacrifice.  After you pray for guidance, you're probably not going to find yourself doing something utterly foreign to your normal nature or inclinations; but you may find that you have deeper reserves of patience than you expected, for instance, or a temporary ability to work harder than you're normally able to work.

"Or it may occasionally mean that God just swoops in and does something amazing and unpredictable, something you really can't give yourself credit for at all.  Sometimes He does that -- who knows how He decides to choose when! -- and all you can do is give Him thanks, and credit."

In a recent commentary, writer Simcha Fisher reflected on what one may expect to happen when he/she asks for God's help in making a decision.

To access her complete post, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Discernment: What It Does and Doesn't Mean (21 OCT 14)

Reflection Starter from Fulton Sheen

"Criticism of others is . . . an oblique form of self-commendation. We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbors that all his pictures are crooked.” - Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

23 October 2014

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the distinctive scents that come with each season - fall, winter, spring, and summer.

Fr. James Schall, S.J., on Extraterrestrials and the Fundamental Question

"Recently I watched a pretty good local television program in which the possibility and probability of intelligent life in other locales in the universe besides our own were discussed. In addition, I read a very good essay by Brad Miner on The Catholic Thing website titled 'Godless Space' on why God appears so seldom in the many novels and discussions about space travel and space warfare. The status of man in the universe is a subject that has long fascinated me. In my first book, Redeeming the Time (Sheed and Ward, 1968), there is a chapter entitled 'The Cosmos and Christianity.'

"No doubt the apparent size and multiplicity of stars, and presumably planets, in the universe is so large that it is easy, by the laws of probability, to conjecture that there must be many other planets in the cosmos that are fit for the habitation of creatures like ourselves. We do not actually know of any, but we cannot or will not accept the proposition that we are possibly the only 'rational' and still-physical beings in the universe. It seems odd to many that we might, in fact, be alone in the universe. Whether only one human race or many exist in the universe presents the same issue in either case: How did 'they' come to be at all? What is 'their' purpose for being rather than not being?

"In Christian theology, at least, the cosmos itself did not 'need' to exist. God would not become more 'godlike' whether he created or did not create. God was not so internally deficient, as many ancient thinkers seemed to think, that he 'needed' the world to complete himself. Christian theology and philosophy have tended to see the cosmos in terms of play or abundance, rather than in terms of necessity. The universe cannot have 'caused' itself. The existence of life on this planet, in fact, seems to require cosmic laws so precise and exact that the only explanation for our existence is that it was the result of an intelligence itself outside the physical universe, a cause that is not itself part of the same universe."

In a recent commentary, Father James V. Schall, S.J., professor emeritus of Georgetown University, reflected on the potential for extraterrestrial life and on what its origin would be.

To access Fr. Schall's complete post, please visit:

Catholic Pulse: Extraterrestrials and the Fundamental Question (10 OCT 14)

Reflection Starter from C. S. Lewis

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." - C. S. Lewis