Minute Meditations

Saint Teresa of Avila on Righteousness

“May God give you fortitude so that you remain steadfast in righteousness, even if you find yourself surrounded by great danger. Blessed are trials when, however heavy, they do not make one turn aside in the least from righteousness.”

—from the book Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith 

Blessed Are You

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Blessed Are You—Now

I often speak about the female saints to Catholic women’s groups, and two things tug at my heart. The first is the little boxes we try to put these holy women in. They weren’t perfect, folks, and they would have been the first to tell you about their struggles with the loss of loved ones, their health, their dignity. The faith and confidence they had in the Lord make them bigger than those little boxes. That brings us to the second thing: Like them, you are blessed. Not tomorrow, not when the kids go off to college, not when you get that next promotion. Now. Today. How do I know that? Because Jesus told us. Note the Beatitudes are not in the future tense, or the past, for that matter. You are blessed now, today and always. Believe it.

—from the book Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith 

Blessed Are You

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Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

We find our own spiritual poverty in many different ways: in humbling ourselves and working and living simply; in stripping ourselves of all the titles and possessions that give us pride; in finding the faith to set aside all the fears and paranoia that give us anxiety. For God to fill us up, we must first empty ourselves of all the stuff that stands between him and us. If we are strong enough to do that—to accept spiritual poverty, to understand that all we need is God and when we have God we have all we need—we begin to see the kingdom of heaven.

—from the book Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith 

Blessed Are You

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The Eucharist Intensifies God’s Indwelling

It was that very Jesus who became for Francis, and all his followers, the closeness of God. For Jesus was and is the closeness of God. He is God become one of us, like us in everything but sin. He is the mystery of the incarnation of God, and that mystery was deepened for Francis with the knowledge that this Incarnate God can become present in us through the sacramental grace of the mystery of the Holy Eucharist wherein we eat the body and drink the blood of Christ whose effect is to intensify the indwelling of God in us.

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

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Jesus Is with You

How often does Love have to ask us: “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness…and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life. Welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid. Trust him, be confident that he is close to you. He is with you, and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.

—from the book Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

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God Is with All of Creation

It was the very closeness of God that moved Francis to the depths of his being. He was no longer alone. God was with him and with the whole world. God was in him and God was in every creature, and all was blessing.

—from the book Surrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

Seven Teachings from Saint Francis

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Learn to Say, ‘I’m Sorry’

Let us learn to acknowledge our mistakes and to ask for forgiveness: “Forgive me if today I raised my voice.” “I’m sorry if I passed without greeting you.” “Excuse me if I was late…if this week I was very silent…if I spoke too much without ever listening.” “Excuse me; I forgot.” “I’m sorry I was angry and I took it out on you.”… Don’t let a day end without asking forgiveness, without peace returning to our home, to our family.

—from Believe in Love: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis

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