Monthly Reflections

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

November 1
On this Feast of All Saints, we remember Father Solanus Casey OFM Cap. who will be recognized as Blessed at Ford Field on November 18. Fr. Solanus knew the power of embracing the present moment. He said, “We must remain faithful to the present moment, or we will frustrate the plan of God for our lives.” He realized that God is always experienced in the present moment, but we need to pay attention to it. Reflect upon this right now because it is where we will experience God. For this month, we will reflect on Fr. Solanus’ sayings, which will teach us so much about love and gratitude.
November 2
On this Feast of All Souls, remember the words of Fr. Solanus, “Many are the rainbows, the sunburst, the gentle breezes and the hailstorms-we are liable to meet before, by the grace of God, we shall be able to tumble into our graves with the confidence of tired children into their places of slumber.” He reminds us that our lives are to be lived in total surrender to God so that when our final breath comes, it will be a grateful, “Into Your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit.” We gratefully enter into eternal rest with the loving God who has always been with us.
November 3
Fr. Solanus was filled with gratitude. Two powerful statements of his are, “Blessed be God in all His designs. Thanks to you, God in all your designs.” The love and the presence of God are in everyone and everything. Solanus realized that we are always surrounded by God’s presence and knew how to be grateful in each moment and see God in everything and everyone.
November 4
Fr. Solanus said, “We are continually immersed in God’s merciful grace like the air that permeates us.” He teaches us that God’s Love is always surrounding us and embracing us. Picture yourself as always being embrace by God’s love. It will help you turn toward God in each moment and surrender more deeply to this Loving God and appreciate being bathed in his glorious Presence. God is truly all around us like the air we breathe. We are always immersed in God. Let it happen as Solanus did.
November 5
“Gratitude is the first sign of a thinking, rational creature.” (Father Solanus Casey, OFM Cap.) To be fully human and come alive we need to have an attitude of gratitude. It frees us and helps us to be our best human selves because we are giving God credit and thanking Him for our existence. We are seeing the good in everything and truly seeing the meaning of Father Solanus Casey’s statement, “Blessed be God in all His designs.” It keeps us in a positive attitude and a hopeful attitude.
November 6
“Its heaven begun, for the grateful on earth,” says Fr. Solanus. When we are grateful, there are no times to be depressed or negative. Gratitude lifts our hearts up to God. Gratitude opens us up to experience the Love, Peace, and Joy of God. Gratitude does bring us an internal heaven within us. This simple Capuchin knew how to be always grateful. Do the same in your life.
November 8
“Worry is a weakness from which very few of us are entirely free. We must be on guard against this most insidious enemy of the soul. Instead let us foster confidence in god, and thank ahead of time for whatever he chooses to send us,” (Father Solanus). When we are grateful for everything, we dispel worry in our lives. Life is a gift. Each day is a gift. Each moment is a gift. Be grateful. It will free you from worry. Right now thank God for this very moment.
November 9
“Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks,” (Father Solanus). This humble statement tells us to humbly ask God for help in the daily moments of life and help, and the power to do well will be given us. “When I am weak, I am strong.” God is close to the brokenhearted. Be humble and be open to your limitations and ask for help. It will be given to you.
November 10
“Let us thank God for the privilege of being made to resemble his divine majesty,” (Father Solanus). This holy man had a profound realization that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Thanks God that you are a daughter or son of God and have divine DNA within you. You come from God. You are so precious. Appreciate this. Be grateful for this.
November 11
“Thanks be to the Good God for all things. His ways like all His works are so deep, so divine,” (Father Solanus). Fr. Solanus teaches us that God is always with us profoundly guiding us through life. Our role is to listen to this guidance and loving direction and be grateful for this Loving God who is always with us. Be grateful for being born and for God who is always with you to bring you into an internal safe harbor of God’s Love.
November 12
“Thank God for faith, fostered wherever real religion is found,” (Father Solanus). To believe in God is a gift that God will always give us but we need to ask for this faith to be deepened every day and in every moment. Each of us is always thirsting for God in the depths of our hearts, but often we don’t pay attention to this. Be ready at every moment to receive this loving God who is coming to you.
November 13
“Confidence is the very soul of prayer,” (Father Solanus). When we pray or turn toward God, it is important to realize that God is always listening and is always wanting to help us become closer to Him in thought, word, and deed. “His ways are not our ways.” This is the difficulty for each of us. We want to be God Jrs. Thinking we know what is best. When we take a leap of faith into God as we pray we receive that confidence that all will be well.
November 14
“Shake off anxiety. Last year it was something that you now smile about. Tomorrow, it’s about something that will not be serious,” (Father Solanus). It is always about living in the present moment. When we worry we are trying to control things, which stops us from surrendering to a most loving and compassionate God. Be simple like Solanus and surrender to this awesome, loving God. Stay simple. Don’t complicate things.
November 15
"Raise your heart to God and thank him for whatever comes,” (Father Solanus). When we become grateful for each moment of life and become aware of being grateful, we can appreciate the goodness of God and experience God in whatever comes our way and whoever comes our way. Gratitude opens our hearts so wide to the presence of God. It creates such a positive attitude within us.
November 16
“My pain was excruciating, and though I tried to thank God for it, my principal prayer was, God help me,” (Father Solanus). Solanus realized that at times we could feel so powerless and helpless that all we can do is say, “God help me.” When we do this, it is again the beginning of a deeper surrender to God. There will always be the pain in our life, but we need to embrace the pain directly and ask for God’s help. God will always help us and will draw us closer to him. Pain, when embraced, will lead to a resurrection.
November 17
Again the words of Fr. Solanus, “Blessed be God in all His designs,” clearly give us insight into the fundamental principal that God is in everything and everyone with his glorious wisdom, His Love and His power. Look around you today, and you will experience God much like Fr. Solanus did and much like St. Francis did. Solanus was such a faithful follower of St. Francis. What a beautiful example of humility, simplicity, compassion and total awareness of God in everything and everyone. This is the Franciscan spirit and ideal.
November 18
The Beatification of Father Solanus Casey, OFM Cap. will take place today at Ford Field in Detroit. This field will be filled with over 60,000 people, all coming to pay tribute to a very humble Capuchin Franciscan friar who died in 1957. This man so totally gave himself over to God in such a humble manner. What an impact he has had on the world. Fr. Solanus is known so well here in Michigan, but he now is known throughout the world as a humble healer! May we all become humble healers by our love and compassion towards others. Fr. Solanus listened to many people in such a humble and healing manner. Souls are healed when love is present, and sometimes bodies are healed. Make Love present in your interactions with everyone.
November 19
“Remain in me as I remain in you, says the lord. Whoever remains in me bears much fruit,” (John 15:4a, 5b). When we stay immersed in prayer, we become immersed in God, and throughout the day we will make better decisions and radiate God’s Love to the world.
November 20
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows Me will have the light of life,” (John 8:12). When we turn toward the Lord, we discover light and wisdom. It is so simple to turn toward God in prayer and meditation. We so often complicate this and make excuses for why we are too busy to turn more deeply toward God in prayer and meditation. Say simple, open and receptive to God and make an abundant time for God in prayer and meditation. Let God shine His light into the deepest part of your heart, mind, and soul.
November 21
“The Lord upholds me,” (Psalm 3). God is your ground and your being. God is always upholding you. God is your true foundation and stability. When we turn from possessions, addictions attachments to God, we begin to find true security. The strong foundation for a well live and genuine life is to have God be your stronghold and strength. Let God be your anchor. He will always hold you closely and keep secure in His loving presence. Let your internal life be grounded in God.
November 22
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord,” (Jn. 15:16). We have been chosen by God to bring more love into the world. Yes, we have been chose, called, picked out to be messengers of love to the whole world. Seek only to love others well this day. And love yourself well by spending time in prayer and meditation. You have been chosen. Yes, you are chosen to make this world more loving by your prayerfulness, your gentleness and your kindness. Send out God’s loving energy into the world by your kindness and your profound prayer life.
November 23
“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts,” (psalm 95). God is always speaking to us. We need to keep our hearts wife open. When we harden them by hanging on to resentments we block God out. When we keep bemoaning the evils of the world and become preoccupied with this we also block God out. Stay prayerful and loving throughout this day and you will see much goodness throughout this day. Keep your heart soft and loving.
November 24
“My sheep hear My voice, says the Lord; I know then, and they follow Me.” Sheep are humble. So must we be so we can really hear God’s voice. We will follow God when we remain humble and open and become willing to listen to God speaking to us. And God is always telling us to love more. So love more. Spend more time in prayer and meditation. You will then clearly hear the voice of God.
November 25
Sometimes we try to trick the Lord like the Sadducees’ did in the Gospel reading today. We do this because we stay in our heads so we do not have to become vulnerable and feel things. Become vulnerable and feel your pain and your joy. It will increase your Faith. “He must increase, I must decrease.” God comes to save me from my own selfishness and my own resistance to God. Let this happen. Turn your struggles over to God. Give God your selfishness and God will turn it into selflessness.
November 26
The feast of Christ the King! “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want,”(Psalm 23). When we turn toward God we discover that our desires for material things decrease and our desires for spiritual things increase. Let God be the King of your heart by immersing yourself in loving acts of kindness towards everyone. “I was hungry and you gave me food.” Religion will be nothing if we becomes judgmental and selfish. Share what you are and what you have with others and you will discover a most loving King over your heart and your whole life.
November 27
“Stay awake! For you do not know when the son of man will come,” (Matt 24:42). We stay away and listen to God when we are both prayerful and loving. Both are absolutely necessary. If we don’t have both then the one we might be practicing will start disappearing. Love must be back by prayer and meditation. Prayer and meditation must be back by love. They are two basic foundations of the spiritual life. If you practice one you will be inspired to practice the other. If you neglect one, you will start neglecting the other.
November 28
Even in the midst of catastrophes and tragedies in life, God is still with us. He is close to all of us and asks us to come closer even in the midst of struggles, pain and worries. “Cast you cares upon the Lord and He will sustain you.” God is always there to help us and be our security. We are always totally embraced by God. So don’t worry. Whatever comes your way you will embrace it and deal with it appropriately. Just live in this moment with God and you will deal with the next moment that comes in a realistic manner.
November 29
“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life,” (Rev 2:10). Life will not always be easy. We all have struggles. Not everyone will always like us. It is part of everyday life. God simply wants us to remain faithful in keeping our hearts and minds open and loving. In doing this we receive the Crown Of Life both now in the present moment and then in all eternity when we pass into the next life with no limitations. But we need to start now accepting this Crown of Life with open hearts, souls and minds.
November 30
“Your words are spirit and life.” Today we remember St. Andrew one of the first Apostles, the brother of Peter, who immediately follow Jesus. He had that sense that Jesus was spirit and life so he left all and followed Him. Listen to the stirring in your heart today. These stirrings are inspirations from God. Pay attention and act on them. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” When we turn toward God we are lifted from our miseries into an abundance of love and peace with God. Keep turning toward God throughout this day.