St Thomas Aquinas' Prayer for an Orderly Life

O merciful God, grant that I may desire ardently, search prudently, recognize truly, and bring to perfect completion whatever is pleasing to You for the praise and glory of Your name.

Put my life in order, O my God.

Grant that I may know what You require me to do.

Bestow upon me the power to accomplish Your will, as is necessary and fitting for the salvation of my soul.

Grant to me, O Lord my God, that I may not falter in times of prosperity or adversity, so that I may not be exalted in the former, nor dejected in the latter.

May I not rejoice in anything unless it leads me to You; may I not be saddened by
anything unless it turns me from You.

May I desire to please no one, nor fear to displease anyone, but You.

May all transitory things, O Lord, be worthless to me and may all things eternal be ever cherished by me.

May any joy without You be burdensome for me and may I not desire anything else
besides You.

May all work, O Lord, delight me when done for Your sake and may all repose not
centered in You be ever wearisome for me.

Grant unto me, my God, that I may direct my heart to You and that in my failures I may  ever feel remorse for my sins and never lose the resolve to change.

O Lord my God, make me submissive without protest, poor without discouragement,
chaste without regret, patient without complaint, humble without posturing, cheerful
without frivolity, mature without gloom, and quick-witted without flippancy.

O Lord my God, let me fear You without losing hope, be truthful without guile, do good works without presumption, rebuke my neighbor without haughtiness, and—without hypocrisy—strengthen him by word and example.

Give to me, O Lord God, a watchful heart, which no capricious thought can lure away from You.
Give to me a noble heart, which no unworthy desire can debase.
Give to me a resolute heart, which no evil intention can divert.
Give to me a stalwart heart, which no tribulation can overcome.
Give to me a temperate heart, which no violent passion can enslave.
Give to me, O Lord my God, understanding of You, diligence in seeking You, wisdom in finding You, discourse ever pleasing to You, perseverance in waiting for You, and
confidence in finally embracing You.

Grant that with Your hardships I may be burdened in reparation here, that Your benefits I may use in gratitude upon the way, that in Your joys I may delight by glorifying You in the Kingdom of Heaven.

You Who live and reign, God, world without end. Amen.

LETTER TO DIOGNETUS (Christians in the world)

The Christians in the world 
"Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign. 

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.  

They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred. 

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments. 

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body's hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself. 
From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)  
Father of all holiness,
guide our hearts to you.
Keep in the light of your truth
all those you have freed from the darkness of unbelief.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 
Prepared by the Spiritual Theology Department
of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

God is forever young

Your years last from generation to generation:
in the beginning you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will pass away but you will remain;
all will grow old, like clothing,
and like a cloak you will change them, and they will be changed.
But you are always the same,
your years will never run out.
-- Psalm 102:25-27

St Catherine: I tasted and I saw

From the dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor
I tasted and I saw

     Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.

     I have tasted and seen the depth of your mystery and the beauty of your creation with the light of my understanding. I have clothed myself with your likeness and have seen what I shall be. Eternal Father, you have given me a share in your power and the wisdom that Christ claims as his own, and your Holy Spirit has given me the desire to love you. You are my Creator, eternal Trinity, and I am your creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of your Son, and I know that you are moved with love at the beauty of your creation, for you have enlightened me.

     Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light and causes me to know your truth. By this light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognise that you are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor fathom. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.

     You are the garment which covers our nakedness, and in our hunger you are a satisfying food, for you are sweetness and in you there is no taste of bitterness, O triune God!






Faith illustrated

{1} Once all villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella.
That's FAITH.

{2} When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them.
That's TRUST.

{3} Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up.
That's HOPE.

{4} We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

{5} We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children.
That's LOVE.

{6} On an old man's shirt was written a sentence I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.'

- John Mangun

Confession: prayer, discernment, formation

(Rome Reports) The pope met with dozens of present and future priests who participated in a course about confession. He reminded them that one becomes a good confessor by learning from life lessons. He shared three tips with them on how to do so:

- That they cultivate prayer to be friends of God. In this way, they will realize that they too are sinners, and will not deal harshly with penitents.
- That they be "men of discernment", and not apply the same prescription to everyone.
- That confession is a moment of formation. Give people advice that brings them closer to God.

"The confessor, in fact, is called daily to go to the peripheries of evil and sin - this is an ugly periphery! - and his work represents a true pastoral priority."

Before leaving, the pope asked them to always be available to listen to confessions. Do not be  priests who "only confess” on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays ", but rather every time someone asks for it, whenever it may be.

St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386) on Confession

     The present time is the time for confession. Confess what you have done, whether by words or by actions, whether by day or by night. If you confess at the acceptable time, you will receive the heavenly treasure on the Day of salvation.
     Make yourself pure so that you may be a vessel of more abundant grace. Remission of sins is given equally to everyone but the sharing of the Holy Spirit is given differently to each man, according to the faith of each. If you have expended little labour, you will receive little in the way of reward; if, on the other hand, you have laboured greatly, great will be the reward you receive. It is for your own benefit that you are running this race: run hard, in your own interest.
     If you are holding anything against anyone, forget it, let it go. You have come here to receive forgiveness of sins, so you must first forgive whoever has sinned against you.

--St Cyril of Jerusalem, Instructions to Catechumens



     Tempus præsens est tempus confessiónis. Confitére quæ perpetrásti, sive verbo sive ópere, sive nocte sive die. Confitére in témpore acceptábili, et in die salútis súscipe cæléstem thesáurum.
     Munda vas tuum, ut grátiam cápiat abundantiórem; remíssio enim peccatórum ex æquo datur ómnibus, communicátio vero Spíritus Sancti, secúndum proportiónem uniuscuiúsque fídei concéditur. Si parum laboráveris, parum accípies; si vero multa operátus fúeris, multa erit merces. Tibi ipsi curris, tibi conveniéntia próspice.
     Si quid contra quemquam habes, remítte. Accédis, ut véniam peccatórum accípias: necésse est et te ei qui peccávit condonáre.

--Ex Catechésibus sancti Cyrílli Hierosolymitáni epíscopi

Why Joseph? Because he was a practical man -- Benedict XVI

Di Andrea Gagliarducci CITTÀ DEL VATICANO , 19 marzo, 2015 / 10:30 AM (ACI Stampa).- Perché Dio ha scelto San Giuseppe come padre putativo di suo Figlio? Perché era un uomo pratico, oltre che giusto. La straordinaria, logica, semplice e allo stesso tempo teologicamente fondata spiegazione dalla scelta l’ha data il Papa emerito Benedetto XVI, in una di quelle omelie che – come ha rivelato l’arcivescovo Georg Gaenswein, suo segretario particolare – tiene ogni domenica nella cappella del Monastero Mater Ecclesiae, dove risiede. Un rapporto, quello tra Joseph Ratzinger e il suo santo, strettissimo e vivo. Un rapporto che è bello ricordare nel giorno dell’onomastico del Papa emerito, che per una felice coincidenza coincide con l’anniversario della Messa di Inizio del Ministero Petrino di Papa Francesco. Ogni domenica, alle nove e mezza del mattino, il Papa emerito celebra, l’arcivescovo Gaenswein concelebra vestendo spesso una casula gemella a quella di Benedetto XVI, e assistono alla Messa le quattro Memores Domini e i pochissimi altri che riescono ad entrare nella cappellina, che può contenere massimo 12 persone. Durante la settimana, Benedetto XVI appronta il testo della sua omelia su un quadernetto, a mano, nella sua grafia minutissima e precisa. Ma poi, l’omelia la pronuncia a braccio, con la sua memoria di ferro che è rimasta lucidissima, e piena di idee. E in una di queste memorabili omelie – raccontate ad ACIStampa da chi ha avuto il privilegio di essere presente – tratteggiò proprio la figura di San Giuseppe. Aveva detto Benedetto XVI: “Perché Dio ha scelto Giuseppe? Perché Giuseppe era un uomo giusto, pio. Ma anche perché Giuseppe era un uomo pratico. D’altronde, ci voleva un uomo pratico per organizzare la fuga in Egitto, ma anche per organizzare il viaggio a Betlemme per il censimento, e per provvedere a tutte le necessità pratiche di Gesù”. E’ un tassello che si aggiunge ai tanti riferimenti alla figura di San Giuseppe di chi è stato pieno il pontificato di Benedetto XVI. Il 19 marzo del 2006 era una domenica, e il Papa ricordò la figura del suo santo sottolineando che “la grandezza di San Giuseppe, al pari di quella di Maria, risalta ancor più perché la sua missione si è svolta nell'umiltà e nel nascondimento della casa di Nazaret. Del resto, Dio stesso, nella Persona del suo Figlio incarnato, ha scelto questa via e questo stile - l'umiltà e il nascondimento - nella sua esistenza terrena”. Nei primi Vespri della festa di San Giuseppe del 2009, Benedetto XVI tratteggia quasi con stupore teologico la figura di San Giuseppe. “San Giuseppe – disse Benedetto - manifesta ciò in maniera sorprendente, lui che è padre senza aver esercitato una paternità carnale. Non è il padre biologico di Gesù, del quale Dio solo è il Padre, e tuttavia egli esercita una paternità piena e intera. Essere padre è innanzitutto essere servitore della vita e della crescita. San Giuseppe ha dato prova, in questo senso, di una grande dedizione. Per Cristo ha conosciuto la persecuzione, l’esilio e la povertà che ne deriva. Ha dovuto stabilirsi in luogo diverso dal suo villaggio. La sua sola ricompensa fu quella di essere con Cristo.” Chi era San Giuseppe? Il 19 marzo del 2011, Benedetto XVI spiegò che “san Giuseppe era giusto, era immerso nella Parola di Dio, scritta, trasmessa nella saggezza del suo popolo, e proprio in questo modo era preparato e chiamato a conoscere il Verbo Incarnato - il Verbo venuto tra noi come uomo -, e predestinato a custodire, a proteggere questo Verbo Incarnato; questa rimane la sua missione per sempre: custodire la Santa Chiesa e il Nostro Signore". E nell’omelia del 19 marzo 2009, Benedetto disse: “Giuseppe è, nella storia, l’uomo che ha dato a Dio la più grande prova di fiducia, anche davanti ad un annuncio così stupefacente” Ma la figura di San Giuseppe diventa centrale proprio nel periodo di Natale, quando Giuseppe diventa un personaggio importante nelle scritture. Il 30 dicembre 2012, giorno della Sacra Famiglia, Benedetto XVI chiede che "il silenzio di Giuseppe, uomo giusto (cfr Mt 1,19), e l’esempio di Maria, che custodiva ogni cosa nel suo cuore (cfr Lc 2,51), ci facciano entrare nel mistero pieno di fede e di umanità della Santa Famiglia. Auguro a tutte le famiglie cristiane di vivere alla presenza di Dio con lo stesso amore e con la stessa gioia della famiglia di Gesù, Maria e Giuseppe”. Giuseppe, per Benedetto XVI, è anche una figura da cui imparare. Nell’Angelus del 18 dicembre 2005, alla vigilia del suo primo Natale da Papa, Benedetto XVI invitò i fedeli a “lasciarsi contagiare dal silenzio di San Giuseppe.” “Ne abbiamo tanto bisogno, in un mondo spesso troppo rumoroso, che non favorisce il raccoglimento e l’ascolto della voce di Dio. In questo tempo di preparazione al Natale coltiviamo il raccoglimento interiore, per accogliere e custodire Gesù nella nostra vita”. San Giuseppe, uomo pratico, uomo dell’obbedienza silenziosa, uomo della storia e uomo giusto: sulla sua figura Benedetto XVI ha costruito anche la sua personalità, fedele all’idea che i santi di cui si porta il nome devono essere modello per la vita.


Andrew Greenwell points out that the name of God—YHWH– (Ego sum qui sum, I am who Am) “is found over 6,800 times in the Old Testament. It appears approximately 650 times in the Psalms alone. It first appears in Genesis 2:4. The only books of the Old Testament in which the unutterable name does not appear are Ecclesiastes, the Book of Esther, and Song of Songs.”

The Assumption, the Dormition and John Paul II

The dogma of the Assumption affirms that Mary's body was glorified after her death. (John Paul II, 2 July 1997,

(John Paul II, 25 June 1997,
Some theologians have in fact maintained that the Blessed Virgin did not die and was immediately raised from earthly life to heavenly glory. However, this opinion was unknown until the 17th century, whereas a common tradition actually exists which sees Mary's death as her entry into heavenly glory.

2. Could Mary of Nazareth have experienced the drama of death in her own flesh? Reflecting on Mary's destiny and her relationship with her divine Son, it seems legitimate to answer in the affirmative: since Christ died, it would be difficult to maintain the contrary for his Mother.

The Fathers of the Church, who had no doubts in this regard, reasoned along these lines. One need only quote St Jacob of Sarug (d. 521), who wrote that when the time came for Mary "to walk on the way of all generations", the way, that is, of death, "the group of the Twelve Apostles" gathered to bury "the virginal body of the Blessed One" (Discourse on the burial of the Holy Mother of God, 87-99 in C. Vona, Lateranum 19 [1953], 188). St Modestus of Jerusalem (d. 634), after a lengthy discussion of "the most blessed dormition of the most glorious Mother of God", ends his eulogy by exalting the miraculous intervention of Christ who "raised her from the tomb", to take her up with him in glory (Enc. in dormitionem Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae, nn. 7 and 14: PG 86 bis, 3293; 3311). St John Damascene (d. 704) for his part asks: "Why is it that she who in giving birth surpassed all the limits of nature should now bend to its laws, and her immaculate body be subjected to death?". And he answers: "To be clothed in immortality, it is of course necessary that the mortal part be shed, since even the master of nature did not refuse the experience of death. Indeed, he died according to the flesh and by dying destroyed death; on corruption he bestowed incorruption and made death the source of resurrection" (Panegyric on the Dormition of the Mother of God, n. 10: SC 80, 107).


John Paul II
August 15, 2000

1. Mary, Mother of God, your death was entirely free from whatever might make death bitter: attachment to the world, remorse for sins and the uncertainty of salvation. Rather, your death was accompanied by three graces that made it precious and full of joy. You died as you had lived, entirely detached from the things of the world, you died in the most perfect peace and in the certainty of eternal glory.

Your Son, though He was Life itself, did not exempt Himself from death. So, as daughter of Adam you submitted to the sentence passed in the garden of Eden. You died of no infirmity. Little by little the links between your body and soul were dissolved by the resistless force of love. Intense love for the Infinite God withdrew your soul from this earthly life, and caused you death.

Mary, My Mother, though your body was separated from your soul in death, your soul was reunited in your incorrupt body, and you were taken up into heaven by angels. The bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul. But God has willed that you should be exempted from this general rule because, by an entirely singular privilege, you completely overcame sin by your Immaculate Conception. Corruption is a consequence of sin, but you were sinless. You did not have to wait until the end of time for the resurrection of your body. As the body of your Divine Son was preserved from the corruption of the grave, so you, from whom He took flesh, were also free from the power of earthly decay. Your body, which was the living tabernacle of the Eternal God and the temple of the Adorable Trinity, was not meant to crumble into dust.

2. Mary, Mother of God, I believe that it is a divinely revealed dogma that you, Immaculate Mother of God, having completed the course of your earthly life, were assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Jesus ascended to Heaven by His own power as Lord and Creator, accompanied by angels who paid Him homage. You were taken to Heaven by the power of God, accompanied and upheld by the angels, raised aloft by grace, not by nature. Jesus ascended to Heaven before you not only that He might prepare a throne for you in that Kingdom, but also that He might Himself accompany you with all the blessed spirits and thus render your entry into Heaven more glorious and worthy of His Mother. At the Annunciation you received Jesus on earth; it was proper that He should receive you in Heaven. Having deigned to come down to you, He wished to raise you up to Himself in order that you might enter into glory.

Mary, My Mother, the day of your Assumption was the great day of your triumph. After the triumph of your Divine Son on the day of His Ascension, there never was, and there never will be, a triumph like that which you enjoyed on this day. When He had finished the work of our Redemption by His labors, suffering and death, the Eternal Word, clothed in our nature, entered into His glory and was seated on the right hand of the Eternal Father. He became Sovereign Master of the universe and Supreme Judge of the living and the dead. In your triumph, as the Mother of the same Word Incarnate, having perfectly followed out the great designs of God upon you, having acquired immense merits by the practice of all the virtues, and having reached the highest holiness, you were assumed body and soul, into Heaven. Angels came to escort you. You were borne aloft to the palace of your Beloved.

You passed amid the different choirs of the blessed, above all the heavenly spirits, and approached the throne of light prepared for you. Your loving Son welcomed you with joy. What songs of gladness by the elect as you were crowned by the Blessed Trinity and made Queen of heaven, advocate of the human race and dispenser of the graces of the Redemption!

3. Mary, Mother of God, you reign in splendor for all eternity with your Divine Son. Your kingdom, like His, is a kingdom of imperishable glory, because yours is a throne of clemency, mercy and pardon. All your trials and sufferings are now transformed into jewels that decorate your triumphal throne in Heaven. In God there are no disappointments, no false promises. Eternity is real; Heaven is eternal happiness, the final reward for loyalty to God. Through you my own goal becomes more real, more attainable, for the lessons of your life are the doors to eternal peace and happiness.

I can only faintly imagine with what tenderness the Eternal Father received you, His loving daughter the Divine Son, His chosen Mother; and the Holy Spirit, His immaculate Bride. The Father crowned you by making you a sharer in His power, the Son by making you partaker of His wisdom; the Holy Spirit, by making you partaker of His love. The three Divine Persons declared you Queen of heaven and earth and assigned to you a place at the right hand of Jesus. You received from the Adorable Trinity the crown and sceptre, which made you Queen of all the angels and saints and the all-powerful Mediatrix between God and men. You became the treasurer of God's graces, the channel through which He dispenses His gifts upon earth.

Your Assumption was for you not only the crowning of a holy life, but also a cause of joy and triumph for the human race. Just as the patriarchs in Limbo had beheld your birth as the breaking of that dawn which announced to them their near deliverance, so, too, your Assumption, together with the Ascension of Jesus, became for mortal man a sure pledge of resurrection and immortality.

Mary, My Mother, I wish to recall this triumph and to share in your greatness and glory.

If the honor of parents descends upon their children, what glory and joy for all of us, your children, to see you raised to such heights of glory! Confidence fills my soul, for you were raised to this glory not for your own advantage only, but for that of your children also, in order to make us feel the effects of your powerful protection and intercession. One of your greatest delights is to lavish these treasures upon your faithful children. With your arms outstretched—those arms in which the Eternal God delighted to rest when He became our Brother—plead our cause. Pray to Him for us, your children, that in our exile we may resemble you, His most devoted follower, and at last may glorify Him in union with you forever.

Pope Francis, on getting angry

 "I get angry, but I do not bite! Sometimes I get angry when someone does something that is not good, it makes me a little '... But it helps me to stop and think about the times that I have angered others. And I think, and I wonder: Have I angered others? Yes, many times. Then you have no right to be angry. But he this did ... Yes, but if he did something that is bad, that is not good, call him and talk to him like a brother, like brother and sister talk, talk, talk. But without getting angry, because anger is poisonous, it poisons the soul. So often I have seen children frightened. Why? Because parents, or at school, scold them. And when one is angry and scolds it hurts, it hurts: scolding another is like stabbing the soul, it is not good. You got it right? I get angry, yes, sometimes I get angry, but it helps me to think about the times in which I have made others angry, this reassures me a bit ', it clams me a little. Getting angry is something that hurts not only the other person, it hurts you too, it poisons you. And there are people, that you surely know, who have a bitter soul, always bitter, angry. It’s as if they washed their teeth each morning with vinegar they are so angry! People who are like this ... it's a disease. Of course, if there's something I do not like, I get angry a bit '. But this, the habit of getting angry, the habit of shouting, the habit of scolding the other, this is poison! I ask you, to ask yourselves this each in your own language and answer: Was the soul of Jesus, sweet or bitter? [Reply: 'Sweet!']. It was sweet, why? Because when he got angry it did not enter his soul, it was only to correct, and then he returned to peace. 'What are your resolutions for the new year?'. I made one, when I took a bit 'of time to make a retreat: To pray more. Because I realized that the bishops and priests - I am a bishop - must govern the people of God above all with prayer, it is our first service".

--Pope Francis, on 31 Dec 2015, with Pueri Cantores,-but-do-not-bite-and-%E2%80%9Cif-I-sing-I-sound-like-an-ass-36289.html

Hope: the bridge between liberals and conservatives

For liberals emphasize love, often at the expense of faith, and conservatives emphasize faith, often at the expense of love. Hope builds bridges between the two other theological virtues, thus between liberals and conservatives. If you start with love, hope prods you into faith, for if you love someone, you want the dogmatic, glorious, supernatural truths of the faith about human destiny to be true. And if you start with faith, hope prods you into love, for if you believe what the Church teaches about human destiny, your love for God must become also love for his image in your neighbor, who is destined to share divine life. Hope builds bridges between faith and love, between conservatives and liberals, between present and future, between earth and heaven. --Peter Kreeft

Do I listen to my guardian angel?

“Ask yourself this question today: How is my relationship with my guardian angel? Do I listen to him? Do I say good morning to him in the morning? Do I ask him: Watch over me when I sleep?’ Do I speak with him? Do I ask his advice?” ...

“If anyone believes that they can walk on their own, they would be greatly mistaken,” said the pontiff, adding that such people would fall “into that terrible trap of arrogance: Believing we are great, and fully self-sufficient.”

— Pope Francis, Homily, October 2, 2015

Holiness in homely gestures

   HOLINESS is always tied to LITTLE GESTURES. ... These little gestures are those we LEARN AT HOME, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different.

   They are the QUIET THINGS done by MOTHERS and GRANDMOTHERS, by FATHERS and GRANDFATHERS, by CHILDREN. They are LITTLE SIGNS of tenderness, affection and compassion. Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. HOMELY GESTURES. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by LITTLE THINGS, by attention to SMALL DAILY SIGNS which make us feel at home.

   Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith.

-- POPE FRANCIS in Philadelphia, 27 Sept 2015