Monthly Reflections

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

January 1
Happy New Year Everyone! May this year be one for each of us to say, “Yes,” to God as Mary did. Today as we begin the New Year we remember Mary, the humble and simple maiden who became the Mother of God because she said, “Yes,” to God. As we say yes to God during this year, we bring the Presence of Christ into the world as Mary did. Let God come deeper into your life in 2018.
January 2
“Make straight the way of the Lord.” We do this by taking time to let God enter into our soul and psyche by taking daily time to listen to God speak to us in prayer and meditation. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen did this very well in the 4th century and led the Church on a profound journey to God. These were two men immersed in prayer and compassion. We should do the same; immerse ourselves in prayer and compassion. We will bring a bright Light into the world.
January 3
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” We are the daughters and sons of God. We are loved by a God who loves us even deeper than the best mother or father could ever love us. Each moment of your life is precious to God. Each part of your is precious and loved by God. You never walk alone. The loving presence of God is always with you.
January 4
Today we read that Andrew the brother of Simon Peter came to him and said, "We have found the Christ.” It is the search we are all on: to find Christ and have this be a profound and meaningful relationship. To find God, we must take time to listen to God speaking to us each day in the quiet moments we set aside to listen. The Lord is always coming to you. Open your heart and mind.
January 5
“A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations and adore the Lord. Today a great light has come upon the earth.” Each day is a glorious day because God’s light is shining upon you. The readings this week are all about the disciples finding Christ who gives such profound meaning to their lives. This happens each day to each of us if we allow it to happen. God is always coming to us to bring peace and love and joy and wisdom into our life.
January 6
“And a voice came from the heavens, You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.” You are also a beloved son or daughter of God. God is well pleased with you because you are turning toward him. When you don’t turn toward God, you are still loved by God, but his joy and peace will not reach you because you aren't receptive. When we are receptive to God the delights of God enter us, and we experience ourselves as so deeply loved by God. Let it happen.
January 7
The Epiphany of the Lord. Jesus comes to everyone. This is the meaning of this day. Everyone in the world is pursued by God. Everyone is loved by God. There are no exceptions. So also we must love everyone as God does. The biggest problem in every person’s life is not to receive this Divine Love which is always coming toward us. God never gives up. So don’t give up. Surrender and let God lift you up to new heights of joy and peace.
January 8
“For the Love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.” When we follow the inspirations of God, we walk through life more lightly and more freely. Turn toward God, and you will conquer whatever stops you from being happy, joyful and free. God is always here to help us. At every moment we are being helped and guided by God. Pay attention at this very moment.
January 9
“My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.” God has come to show us how to live. God has come in Jesus Christ to show us how to embrace Cross and rise to a new life. Not only that, Jesus has come to show us how to do this and to give us the strength and help to embrace the daily moments of life which can often be difficult or a cross but when embraced leads to a resurrection...a glorious new life with God.
January 10
“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.” Our life is to do the will of God by attentively taking time to listen and experience God telling us what is important. This happens when we are quiet and listening to God each day in prayer and meditation. “Be still and know that I am God.” To know God is to become fully alive.
January 11
Today we remember Bernard of Corleone, a Capuchin-Franciscan Brother who changed his whole life from a skilled swordsman with a big ego to a humble, prayerful, Capuchin Brother. In this dramatic change, he radiated humility, prayerfulness, and kindness. Many people experienced the Presence of God in Brother Bernard. When we turn toward God, God changes us into much better persons. “Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people.” Jesus comes to cure us of whatever keeps us from turning toward Him.
January 12
“Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” The kindness and goodness of God is always with you. You are consistently being embraced by the Love and Goodness of God. It is so easy to forget this or minimize this. Who loves you the most? Multiply this by a million times, and you will begin to get a glimpse of how deeply God loves you.
January 13
Jesus ate with the lowly and the outcast. People who admitted that they needed help were open to receiving the help of Jesus. Whenever we become open, honest and humble about our limitations and failings, we become open to the power, love, and strength of God. But when our egos stay big and pompous we close ourselves off from receiving God’s help. He is always there, but we aren’t listening. So stay small and listen.
January 14
“Speak, for your servant is listening. Here am I Lord, I come to do your will.” These words of Samuel could be a roadmap for our whole life. Listen to the many ways that God will be speaking to you this day. Some will be in quiet time with God. Some will be in the words of other people. And much will be in the many ways you hear God in each moment by what you see and experience.
January 15
“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” It is so important to read Scripture daily and take time for meditation. It helps us to look deeper into our self and open up to God and embrace our wounds and limitations, then turn them over to God. God can heal us when we feel what is going on inside of us. You can’t heal what you can’t feel. God’s word helps us to feel what we need to feel.
January 16
Today Jesus points out that compassion must come before rules and regulations. He has disciples picking grain on the Sabbath because they were hungry. The Pharisees told him that they are breaking the law of working on the Sabbath. Jesus tells them that compassion and a realistic viewpoint must come first. Live your life with compassion and care, and you will be on a wonderful roadmap which leads to a deeper union with the source of all love – God. God is more concerned about how you love than how you obey every rule. Rules are only to help us love more, but they are not an end itself.
January 17
David overcomes the giant Philistine. It is like a little boy overcoming a giant. With God’s help, we can overcome anything. God is always giving us the strength to overcome the obstacles in our life. With God nothing is impossible. He does everything to help us so we will surrender more to Him. Remember that God is always with you to help you overcome and embrace whatever comes your way today.
January 18
King Saul becomes jealous because David becomes more popular than him. Pride can get in the way of each of us experiencing peace in our life. The unclean spirit of pride or ego (edging God out) can take hold of each of us at times. God is always coming to heal us and cure he leprosy of pride we can often experience within ourselves. “In God I trust; I shall not fear.”
January 19
“Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.” Mercy is Gods forgiving and energizing and strengthening Love coming upon us. Receive this Love and be changed and energized to go forward in peace and joy. “...for in you, I take refuge. In the shadow of your wings, I take refuge, till harm pass by.” Always take refuge in God by daily prayer, meditation, and reading of Scripture. And do all this very slowly and reflectively. It will change your life.
January 20
“Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.” When we take time to look at God in daily reflection and meditation we, “see the face of the Lord,” and in this quiet time, we become saved from our selfishness and procrastination. We became blessed and energized in the Presence and Love of God. It is the way of a positive and meaningful life.
January 21
“Teach me your ways, O Lord.” We go to Church on this day, Sunday, to be taught the ways of the Lord and discover more deeply a good roadmap in life. The Apostles are called, and they follow Jesus today. You are also called. So follow the Lord this day. It will bring you great peace and joy. Each moment of this day is an invitation to follow the Lord.
January 22
The famous unforgivable sin is mentioned today in the Gospel. This unforgivable sin simply means that at times we do not let ourselves realize that God is always loving us and forgiving us. Love and forgiveness must be accepted by us. To accept this, we must admit and accept that we need this. If we deny this, we refuse the help and love of God. Life to be meaningful must always be a humble turning toward God. You are so cherished by God. But believe this, humbly accept it and turn toward the Lord your God.
January 23
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” When we stay small and humble, we open our hearts to the wisdom of God. God can give us so much when we are humbly receptive to receive His love and Wisdom. Have always a humble and open heart and mind. Be a little one, and amazing things will happen to you.
January 24
Be fertile ground for God’s word. Be receptive to His word. He is always planting his word with you to help you and guide you. Do not be distracted by addictions, possessions, and inner judgments because it blocks God’s word from taking root in you. Have a humble, open and broken heart, and you will become fertile ground for the seed/word God is planting within you. He never gives up on you.
January 25
Today we remember the conversion of St. Paul. His story of being a prideful, rigorous, rule enforcing Jewish man who was persecuting the followers of Christ and then being changed into an energized, humble and loving follower of Christ is so inspiring. It is the story of all of us. Paul finally started listening to God in his heart. And he continued to do this for the rest of his life. When we listen with our hearts, we can make great changes.
January 26
“The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” The more caring and compassionate you are to others in word and action and thoughts, the more you open yourself up to God’s Love, and you then become very receptive to the Love and Strength and Joy of God. Be always caring and giving to everyone in your life.
January 27
Jesus is on a ship napping. A big storm hits the ship. Everyone is scared except Jesus. He lets all know that they are safe with Him and not to fear. We are always safe with the Lord. No matter what happens to us, we will be given the strength to embrace it with courage and peace. God will give us the strength to go forward with an inner peace that only God can give us. Everything will work together for our benefit.
January 28
Today we remember St. Thomas Aquinas, a humble Dominican priest who has been one of the great lights of the Church in clear teaching over so many centuries. He was a great philosopher and theologian, but he knew the wisdom of staying in his heart. Then his brilliant mind could take over and make sense of things. Start with your heart and your surrender to God. It will cause you to have a powerful influence on people. “The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light.” When you turn your heart over to God, you will see a great light of wisdom enter your life.
January 29
Jesus cures a man possessed by a devil. Jesus is always coming to cure us of the devil of selfishness and addictions that can occur in our life. He has the power to cure us and change us. Let it happen. Turn toward the Lord your God this day in prayer and meditation and honest admission of where you need help.
January 30
”Listen to Lord and answer me.” God is always listening to us and always answering us. But often we aren’t listening carefully or becoming receptive to God’s help. Power is always going out from God to help us. We must become receptive to this Power. So take much time for prayer and meditation this day, and you will become aware and receptive to this Loving Power of God which comes to heal you and make you a better person.
January 31
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” Sheep are gentle and humble. Be the same, and you will be able to follow the Lord into a loving and peaceful journey through life. He will always be your kind and loving Shepherd who will consistently look after you and care for you with tender love and affection. You will never be alone or lost because you are allowing God to guide you and lovingly care for you.