Monthly Reflections

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

May 1
“Lord give success to the work of our hands.” Today we remember St. Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of all workers. Joseph was a humble carpenter who diligently took care of Mary and Jesus. His dedication to work and taking care of his family is an inspiration to all. In our daily work, we discover and experience God. “Is he not the carpenter’s son.” “Where did this man get such wisdom.” We gain wisdom from our humble and faithful dedication to our work and embracing the daily moments of our life.
May 2
“Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord, whoever remains in me will bear much fruit. “When we remain in God through much prayer and meditation we send out wisdom and love into the world that positively influences people. St. Athanasius lives in a time of great persecution by people who thought they had the truth about Christianity and those who didn’t agree with them would be persecuted. Athanasius continued his positive influence and dedication to the truth and influenced many people to have a better understanding of God. Your dedication to prayer and meditation will do the same in this 21st century.
May 3
“I am the way and the truth and the life…if you know me, then you will also know my father.” To know God intimately, we must become open and humble and receptive to the many ways God speaks to us throughout the day. Two of the original twelves disciples, Philip and James, did just that. This is who we remember today. To men who got out of their heads and listened to their hearts. They had a profound experience of God in following Jesus. It changed their whole life. Let your life be also changed by listening to what God is telling you. Let Jesus be your way, truth, and life. It will immerse you deeper into God.
May 4
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. I have called you friends because I have told you everything I have heard from my father.” The message of Jesus is always about love and turning toward Him to receive His Love and Wisdom. Also, it is to give love to others by our kind and loving thoughts and actions. Do this, and you will become fully alive and have great peace no matter what is happening around you. No matter what happens in this world, keep loving all and letting God embrace you with God’s ever-present love. It is the way to live and the true treasure of being fully alive. You are always loved by God so keep turning toward God.
May 5
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” When we live the idealism of always loving everyone and doing good to everyone, we can easily upset people. It is what happened to Christ. Loving others can be disarming to everyone, and that is good. But some people are afraid to be disarmed from their emotional prejudices and conflicts. Keep loving them as Christ always keeps loving you. “The Lord is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
May 6
“Whoever is without love, does not know God, for God is love.” Such simple but profound words. When we block love out of our life by holding grudges and resentments towards others, we block God out of our life. The spiritual life is always all about surrender to God and loving others. We surrender by admitting our obstacles and difficulties. We experience God by reaching out to everyone in a loving manner. Sounds easy but it feels so difficult at times. When we embrace this difficulty, we enter into a profound loving relationship with God. “Remain in my love.”
May 7
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home.“ When we profess our faith humbly and honestly, God is always coming into the home of hearts because our heart is open to receiving God. Faith is an invitation and openness to God who always wants to loves us, guides us and draw us into an intimate union with this loving, awesome and all-wise God. Belief and God can live in the home of your heart, and mind and you will experience freedom and peace, love and wisdom.
May 8
I will send to you the spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all the truth. God is always pouring His Spirit into us to guide us and enlighten us in each moment of the day. Tune in to this Spirit of God by taking many pauses throughout the day to listen to this Spirit speaking to you, “pray more, love more, see my presence in everyone and everything.” “When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.”
May 9
“In Him, we live and move and have our being.” We are always in the presence of God, who is all around us and within us in every cell of our body. Appreciate this. Experience this. You are always filled with God. Tune into this awesome loving Presence within you. This Holy Spirit is always guiding us, “to all truth.” Learn to be quiet and discover this truth. “Be still and know that I am God.” When we have a quiet heart and mind, we can experience this guiding presence of God in a very meaningful way.
May 10
Ascension of the Lord: Today we remember the Lord ascending into heaven. It is another reminder that our life doesn’t end on this earth. It never ends, and we will be taken up to heaven as Jesus was to live forever in joy. So, consoling! So loving that God has created us to live forever in joy! We allow this to happen at this very moment by our turning toward God. “Your grief will become joy.”
May 11
“But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” Today we remember St. Ignatius of Laconi, a humble Capuchin Brother whose humility, kindness and prayerfulness endeared him to so many. The city of Laconia, Italy began to realize that this humble Capuchin Brother begging for alms was a Saint. People flocked just to see him and talk to him. When we immerse ourselves in God, we send out a loving radiance to the whole world. And we become filled with joy and those around us experience our joy and connection with God.
May 12
“Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” When we are open to God in prayer and meditation, we will receive so much joy and peace. But it is important to take the time to become quiet with God and ask for God’s help. Asking for help when we humbly admit our need for God and embrace our struggles and limitations will always be beneficial. “God is close to the broken hearted and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.” When we humbly ask for help, we receive so much from God.
May 13
“If God so loved us, we also must love one another…if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” Love makes God present in your life and your inner person. Look upon everyone you meet this day in a loving manner. See the goodness in them and quietly send them love. You will experience God and make your day a joyous walk with God. “This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.”
May 14
Feast of St. Matthias, the replacement Apostle. Matthias was chosen to replace Judas who had betrayed Jesus. He died a martyr proclaiming the Good News of God’s Love for all. “I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last…it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.” We are all chosen to go forth and bring God’s Love to everyone by our kind and loving words and actions. This brings great joy to us and everyone in our presence. Yes, God is Love. Love, and you will have a profound experience of God, no matter what happens.
May 15
“I will ask the father, and he will give you another advocate to be with you always.” God has given us his Holy Spirit to inspire us and guide us throughout the day. We are never alone. The Spirit is always with us to help us walk on the right road of love and surrender. Be grateful for this. Know that God is always with you and having His Spirit guide you, heal you and inspire you to do the right thing. Take quiet and meditative time each day to listen to this Holy Spirit who is always guiding you and speaking to you.
May 16
Feast of St. Felix of Cantalice, a Capuchin Brother. This holy Capuchin lived in Rome most of his life going out each day to ask for donations for the Friars and the poor. His prayerfulness and peacefulness so positively influenced other people that St. Philip of Neri and St. Charles Borromeo asked for his help in helping them to reform their Order of Oblates. This simple Brother was known as a man of wisdom and prayerfulness. We receive our wisdom from taking much time to rest in God. "Your word, O Lord is truth. Consecrate us in the truth."
May 17
“You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence the delights at your right-hand forever.” God is always showing us that happiness results and joy results when we remained open to God and connected to God. Do the things this day that cause this to happen. Prayer, meditation and compassion, and love towards everyone. And see the Presence of God in everyone and everything. What a glorious way to live! St. Paschal Baylon, a Franciscan Friar in the 16th century whom we remember today, loved to realize the Presence of God was always with him.
May 18
Jesus after reprimanding Peter who hid out with the other disciples even after the Resurrection, invites Peter again with the words, “Follow me.” These words are continually given to each of us no matter how far we have wandered. True success in life is to listen to those words, "Follow me," and live by these words. To follow Christ is the necessary roadmap for a wonderful life. And He never gives up on giving us the strength and helps to follow Him. Accept it. Turn toward Him and become fully alive.
May 19
Vigil of Pentecost: The day before we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. On this quiet Saturday, we can start to realize the powerful truth that God is sending to us this Spirit of Wisdom and all Truth. It is always happening to us and every day is a Pentecost Sunday where we are given the Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us and inspire us along with giving us the strength to do this. We need to open our hearts and minds to receive this Holy Spirit each day and each minute of our life.
May 20
Feast of Pentecost: The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles is a great reminder for each of us that God is always sending us His Holy Spirit to strengthen us and bring us more joy and peace. The Apostles became strengthened and went out and joyfully proclaimed the Love of God to the whole world. When we become receptive to God, we become filled with God’s Spirit, and we can speak to others about the Love of God in a compassionate and humble manner. “Lord, send out your spirit, and renew the face of the earth.” The Holy Spirit is always renewing us and healing us.
May 21
Jesus comes down the mountain and finds his disciples in a dispute with a man who son seems to be possessed by a devil. The disciples couldn’t do anything to help this poor boy who was shouting and screaming uncontrollably. Jesus healed him but told his disciples to do this; you must be a man or woman of prayer, meaning that to genuinely help another person you must be immersed in God and have inner integrity with yourself. Healing others can happen when we have humbly opened our whole psyche up to God in profound prayer and meditation. Jesus was an amazing healer and counselor because He was so open to His Father. We must do the same and be open to God, and we will help the world become a more loving planet.
May 22
“So submit yourselves to God. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” When we humbly submit to God, we are lifted up to new horizons of spirituality because we can now admit and allow God to guide us and take possession of our life. Our ego has begun to get out of the way. “Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.” The disciples again argue about who will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus quickly tells them to become humble and simple like little children. Stay humble and simple. Never see yourself as better than others. Life is to be a constant surrender of our ego to God. It is what brings inner peace and joy and humble wisdom.
May 23
“I am the way and the truth and the life.” Are these words true in your life? Sometimes we can forget the importance of these words and fail to actualize them in our own life. Let God be your way, truth, and life. When you spend quiet time with God each day in meditation and contemplation, these words start becoming a reality.
May 24
The readings for this week are all telling us not to be addicted or attached to things that stifle our experience of God. Money, drugs, possessions, unhealthy attachments to people, places and things all will stifle our spiritual energies if we are not grounded in prayer and love. It can be so easy to neglect this. When we do we become very susceptible to all sort of attachments which keep us stifled from experiencing God in a more energized and consoling manner. Ground yourself in prayer and meditation today. Look upon everyone with an attitude of love and compassion. And you will feel free.
May 25
Today we remember St. Bede, the English monk who was known for his wisdom and love of Scripture. His message for us today is to learn to be quiet with God and let the word of God positively influence our life. “Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth. The Lord is kind and merciful.” We discover the goodness and love of God when we become immersed in his Word. Read the Scriptures today with the attitude that everything is about how God loves you. We are never far from God, but we can think we are at times because of the many distractions that we invest in. Invest totally in God today.
May 26
“You have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.” When we humbly open ourselves up to God in daily prayer and meditation, we begin to experience the mysteries of wisdom, peace, and love. It is because we are becoming receptive to God a reducing the size of our ego and pride. Stay humble and receptive and become peaceful and loving. Let the child in you come out and open up more to God.
May 27
Today we celebrate the realization of a sacred truth about God: three persons in one God. Reflect on the powerful energy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All of that energy and love is in everything and everyone. Tune in to it throughout this day. “And behold, I am with you always until the end of the age.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always with you embracing you and drawing you into their life of Powerful Love and Energy and Wisdom.
May 28
Today the rich young man could not leave all and follow Jesus: “At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” It isn’t how much we have; it is how much we are attached to in life that keeps us from following Jesus. We can all be rich in hanging on to what we want to possess instead of following the will and love of God in our life. What do you have in possessions that are preventing you from following Jesus better? In simple terms, what is your basic priority in life? Jesus says to all of us, “Come Follow me.” It means more quiet time with God and more love for everyone.
May 29
Today we are reminded that when we follow the Lord totally, we receive so much joy. When we make decisions that are based on a positive relationship with God we discover more joy and peace in life. Tension begins to leave us. We receive that “hundredfold” of peace and joy and meaning in this life. We discover that when we live a genuine spiritual life, we will experience a joy and peace that is so amazing and so lasting.
May 30
Even toward the end His life, James, and John are still asking Jesus how in following him they can become famous and sit on his right hand and his left hand. What pride can get into us is so many subtle ways. We worry too much about how other people will see us. Jesus tells us to forget about this and stay humble, open and broken. We learn how to do this by serving other people in acts of love and kindness. It is the way Jesus lived and the roadmap he has given to us.
May 31
On this day we remember Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. A simple human gesture of helping out her pregnant cousin who lived quite a distance from Nazareth. Two women pregnant with children who were going to change the world, John and Jesus. It is at this meeting that the wonderful prayer, the Magnificat began. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…the Almighty has done great things for me.” God is always doing great things for us. We need to be lowly and humble of heart to realize this. “He has lifted up the lowly.” Be prayerful, humble and lowly, and you will be filled with the abundance of God.