Monthly Reflections

Read this month's Counselor's Corner by Fred Cavaiani

September 1
Be always ready to receive the inspirations that God is giving you this day. It can be so easy to be distracted by so many superficial things and miss what is important: to experience the Lord your God more deeply throughout the day. Today we remember Giles, a wealthy Greek man in the eighth century who realized that only God could make him happy. This is a wonderful realization that needs to be embraced and practiced with much prayer and meditation.
September 2
It is important to ask ourselves, “What am I doing with all the talents and goodness God has given me.” Do we spend much time in prayer? Do we spend much time in service of others? Two foundations of life are to spend quiet, reflective time with God and to spend time in helping others by our kind words and actions. Are you doing this on a daily basis? It will bring you much peace and joy.
September 3
“My Soul is thirsting for, O Lord my God.” “Be transformed” “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” We all have this great desire for God. Pay attention to this desire. Make this desire your priority in life. Do whatever you can this day to be filled with God. Meditate, read something spiritual. Make time to be quiet and reflect. And make time to be kind and loving to someone this day. Let God be your total fulfillment and direct your life this day.
September 4
Jesus is rejected by his townspeople in Nazareth. They couldn’t accept that goodness and wisdom could come from their town. Sometimes it is difficult for us to accept how God comes to us in such ordinary and human ways. God is always coming to us in many small ways throughout the day. Pay attention and become aware of this loving God who is always coming closer to you in the daily events of life. "He must increase, I must decrease." Get your ego out of the way so you can see and experience God at this very moment.
September 5
Today we remember St. Teresa of Calcutta, who taught us so much about helping the poor and the broken. She spent much time in prayer which gave her the strength to serve others. It was in this service of others where she experienced God. Never tire of spending quiet time with God. It will help you experience God in everyone and everything throughout this day.
September 6
“He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.” Jesus is always trying to heal us. However, we need to present our weakness and powerlessness to the Lord. Sometimes it is difficult to accept how powerless we are and how much we need God in each moment of life. In each moment of life, Jesus is still trying to heal us and brings us into a higher plane of existence with Him. We need to let this happen. He will take away our fever of selfishness and self-centeredness just as he took away the fever of Peter’s mother in law. Let it happen.
September 7
“They left everything and followed Him.” Peter, James, and John, partners in a fishing boat, have just discovered a miracle catch because Jesus tells them where to fish. Never have they caught this many fish before. So this experience of Jesus inspires them to follow Him and leave all behind. We all have these inspirations at times. Our problem is the follow-through in following our Lord and our God. This takes daily prayer and meditation and a daily decision to be caring and compassionate toward all. Today we remember John Duckett and Ralph Corby, two priests who died for their Faith in England. They had great follow through and great prayer and showed compassion towards all.
September 8
“With delight, I rejoice in the Lord.” Today we celebrate the birthday of Mary the Mother of God. She lived these words of experience delight in God and rejoicing in this. She gave birth to the one who was called Emmanuel, which means God with us. Mary helps us understand these most powerful and inspiring words, God with us. God is always with you at every second and every moment of your life.
September 9
“I am the way and the truth and the life." It is important that we realize this. God is our way, truth, and life. God has given us a roadmap through life, Jesus Christ, who has come to show us how to live and have a resurrection to a glorious life by embracing the cross in the daily moments of life. Again, the cross of each moment leads to a resurrection. What a glorious roadmap of life! Peter Claver S.J. the Apostle to slaves in the 17th century taught everyone how to follow this roadmap.
September 10
Sunday: On this day the readings are all about the importance of loving one another and holding nothing against anyone. Resentments toward other people immobilize us in our spiritual journeys. When we remain angry and resentful towards others, we close ourselves off from experiencing the love and peace of God. We are chosen to bring more love, patience, kindness, and gentleness into the world. In doing this, we become open and receptive to the Love and Peace of God.
September 11
“He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.” It is important to realize that our security comes from God. In the most difficult times turn toward the Lord. He will bring you the inner peace that you need to embrace whatever comes your way. Christ heals a man with a withered hand and does this to point out to the Pharisees that Love comes before all laws. They were criticizing him for healing someone on the Sabbath. When we stay connected to God, everything then becomes a stepping stone to a deeper union with God.
September 12
“Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.” God only wants to heal us from our selfishness, our addictions, and our procrastinations. His power is always coming to us to heal us so we can surrender to the Love and Peace of God. "The Lord is gracious and merciful."
September 13
"Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours." We are all asked to be poor which means to be free from all attachments and addictions so that God’s kingdom can be embraced by us. God’s kingdom is the love and peace and joy of God. But we need to turn toward God to receive this kingdom. When we are attached to possessions, obsessions, and resentments, we can become so closed off from the Love of God. Turn to the Lord, and He will strengthen you.
September 14
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross of Christ. It is a special day to celebrate the sacred symbol of the Cross. The meaning of Cross has been changed from the meaning of shame to the meaning of resurrection. To embrace the daily Cross in life is to become transformed into a new and glorious life. Every moment we embrace what is before us, and we rise to a transformed life. And Christ is with us to help us to do this because He has shown us the roadmap.
September 15
Today we remember that Mary suffered many sorrows in life. Being the Mother of Jesus brought many sorrows which she totally embraced. It is the story of everyone’s life. Yesterday and today we are so vividly reminded that a spiritual life doesn’t take us away from suffering. A spiritual life means to embrace suffering and realize that in doing this we are transformed into a deeper union with God. Suffering doesn’t destroy peace. When embraced it increases our inner peace and dependence upon God.
September 16
Build your life on a strong foundation. This strong foundation is daily meditation, realizing the Presence of God in each moment of life, and letting compassion and love be always present. Weak foundations happen when we don’t take silent time with God, we hang on to resentments and judgments about other people, or become too busy and rushed to listen to God. "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him."
September 17
Sunday: The readings today are all about showing love and compassion toward others. We also remember Robert Bellarmine who was a tremendous force in the 16th century showing love and compassion toward all and giving such wisdom to others. He spent three hours in prayer every day. Prayer and compassion are what we all need to do much more. It will change our whole world into a more loving and peaceful planet.
September 18
Jesus cures a centurion’s slave today because of the great faith of this soldier. When we turn toward God and give him our brokenness, our helplessness, and our faith struggles, He will always help us and in fact so willingly wants to help us. But we need to humbly and sincerely turn toward the Lord our God. Consistent prayer and meditation and consistent love and compassion are turning toward God. Our hearts then become wide open to receive the Lord our God. Remember, God wants to help us, but he needs us to believe in Him in the depths of our hearts.
September 19
"I will walk with blameless heart. I will not set before my eyes any base thing." Stay focused on God. What is there in your life that you become so attached to that it seems to put God in a distant place in your life? Let God be your priority, your God and your All. "When the Lord saw her, He was moved with pity for her." He then raised her son from the dead. He wants only to raise us from the deadness of our attachments and addictions. Let it happen. God loves you.
September 20
"Your words Lord are spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life." Make sure you spend a good deal of time today in meditation so you can listen to the words of God. Walk slowly and reflectively throughout this day. Listen to God speaking to you. Read everything slowly and reflectively so you can experience what God is saying. There is great consolation in doing this.
September 21
Jesus asks Matthew the despised tax collector to follow him. Matthew gets up from his desk and immediately follows Jesus. All of us are called to follow Jesus. We are called because we are all so loved by God. Our problem is that we want to stay where we are comfortable and attached in our lives. Take the chance of becoming uncomfortable and spend more time in meditation and contemplation. Take the chance of loving and consciously wishing goodness to everyone you see. You will experience God.
September 22
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs." We become poor in spirit when we generously reach out to others in love and compassion. Thomas of Villanova did this so well in Spain in the 16th century. His life was always about compassion and giving to others. Spend this day in showing kindness and love to others. See what happens to you. Remember, “God is Love and he who lives in Love, lives in God and lives in him (or her).” So live in God today.
September 23
“Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.” Today we remember Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, a Capuchin priest who understood the meaning of joy in remaining in the Presence of God. This prayerful and humble priest became famous throughout the world. He died in 1968 and was declared a Saint in 2002. Joy comes in total surrender to God. What is it in your life that you need to let go of and surrender more deeply to God? God is always there to help us do this, but we must first admit what we need to let go.
September 24
Sunday: We reflect on the importance of basing our whole life upon God. “Seek the Lord. The Lord is near to all who call upon him. For to me, life is Christ...I am generous.” God is always coming toward us to give us more love, more internal peace and more wisdom. Receive it. Accept it. Turn toward this generous and all loving God.
September 25
“Let your light shine before others.” The world, your family, and friends need you to shine your Light of Love upon them. God only wants to shine His Light of Love and Wisdom upon you and have you shine this Light, Love, and Wisdom to the world. It first starts with the next person you see and encounter. Shine your light this day by your acts of love, prayer, and compassion.
September 26
Blessed are they who hear the word of God and observe it.” Hear the word of God this day by spending time in meditation. Observe the word of God by loving acts towards everyone this day. The more we do this, the more we experience ourselves as part of God’s family which is to feel very connected to God.
September 27
“Take nothing for the journey.” Jesus tells his disciples to go and spread Good News to everyone but to not worry about possessions. When we make God our priority we let go of attachments and possessions, and amazing wisdom comes to us, and we can become amazing messengers of the Good News of God’s Love for everyone.
September 28
“The Lord takes delight in his people.” God takes delight in you. You are precious to God. You are so deeply loved by God. You are always loved by God. God sees such goodness in you. You are God’s dearly loved child. Be grateful for your existence. God chose you to exist and experience His love forever. You have been given life, a life that will never end and will always be full of joy. Let it happen. Appreciate where you have come from. Always be grateful.
September 29
Today we remember angels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. They are reminders of God’s ever abiding presence in our lives. No matter where you go, God is always with you asking you to listen to Him. No matter how difficult or how joyful the moment might be in your life, God is with you. God is Emmanuel: God with you. What a consoling thought to know that God is always with me and imparting His love and Wisdom into me.
September 30
“The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards His flock." God is always watching over us and will always give us the strength to embrace and learn from whatever comes our way. Today we remember the great Scripture scholar, St. Jerome. He embraced whatever came his way. But he learned how to do this by spending many hours in prayer so he could have the strength always to be open and receptive to God. Try and do the same. Be always open and receptive. Spend some good time this day in prayer and meditation.