Monthly Reflections

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

July 1
“The Lord has remembered His mercy.” Today we hear of Sarah being promised that she will have a son even in her old age. We also see Jesus curing the centurion’s servant. When we trust God and put our Faith in God, amazing things can happen to us. Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan priest became a missionary to Mexico and California when he had already been a priest for twenty years. He started a mission in San Diego when he was fifty-six years old. It is never too late to surrender more to God.
July 2
Jesus tells us today to make sure that God becomes a priority in our life. When this happens, we will be inspired and energized to, “speak of the goodness of the Lord,” to all. When we make God our priority, we find a joyous and animated life. Take up your cross. Follow Jesus. Become renewed, enriched and energized with the Love and Joy of God. What is most important for you in life? Make that God. Follow Jesus the Lord. It means reflection and loving all at each moment of the day.
July 3
Today we remember the doubting Apostle, Thomas. His ego first got in the way. He stayed too much in his head and couldn’t accept that Jesus had risen even though so many people had told him that they had seen the Lord. When we stay too much in our heads we miss so much that is happening around us. Don’t analyze everything. First experience everything. It will deepen your relationship with God.
July 4
Independence Day. Today we celebrate freedom! What is real freedom? In the Gospel today Jesus quells a storm on high seas at the request of his disciples who though they were going to drown. Freedom comes from trusting in God to be there with us in every storm and difficulty in life. Our founding fathers even mentioned God in writing our constitution. True internal freedom comes from an internal surrender to a loving God who will always be there to spiritually draw us into his Love, Peace and Strength. No matter what happens God will always be there for us. Happy 4th of July everyone! “I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in his word.”
July 5
Today we remember Anthony Zaccaria, a young doctor who became a priest in Milan, Italy and founded the religious congregation called the Clerics Regular of St. Paul. Their purpose was to bring people closer to Jesus by their simple preaching and clear explanation of the words of St. Paul. Anthony was the person who started the forty hours of devotion before the Blessed Sacrament. He understood the power of silent reflection of profound prayer and meditation. When we are quiet with the Lord whatever is not good for us we can begin to let go of it and enter into a clear and simple union with God. We begin to turn totally toward the Lord our God. It is the calling we all have in life. Turn toward the Lord your God. Great peace will come over us.
July 6
Jesus cures a paralyzed man today. What paralyzes you from allowing God to be your priority in life? What stops you from being immersed in God throughout the day? We all have blocks. We all can paralyze ourselves spiritually. Ask for an awareness of this and ask for a healing. God will cure your spiritual paralysis if you can admit where you need healing.
July 7
Jesus calls everyone to follow Him in the way to forgiveness, surrender and love. Forgiveness, surrender to God, and love of everyone is opening the door to a joyful and peaceful union with God. To do this we need to take quiet time each day to listen to God guiding us and inspiring us to deeper forgiveness, deeper surrender and deeper love. “Be still and know that I am God.” This God is always loving, gentle, kind and affirmative. God is the perfect Mother and Father of all of us.
July 8
God is always coming toward you in a fresh new manner. There is wisdom and a new experience of God in each moment of life. Today we remember Pier Giogria Frassati, a man born in 1901 who became a great social activist and an inspiring example of devotion and dedication to the poor. He combined contemplation and active ministry to the poor, downtrodden, and sick. He died in 1925 from polio after having served the sick with so much love and kindness. He understood the meaning of life – to be immersed in God and bring this Love of God to the most broken and helpless. What a powerful example of positive spirituality in his short life.
July 9
Today we celebrate the theme that God wants us to come to Him and He will relieve our burdens and give us inner peace and joy. Always think and experience God as total love and total giving to you personally. “The Lord is gracious and merciful.” “The Spirit of God dwells in you.” “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest…and you will find rest for yourselves. Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Turn totally toward God. It will bring you inner peace and joy.
July 10
“In you O God I place my trust.” When we trust God amazing things happen to us. Today Jesus cures a woman in pain and raises a boy from the dead. He does this because people placed their trust in him. Trust more in God an you will discover healing events in your spiritual life. Sr. Veronica Giuliani, a Capuchin nun, was considered one of the greatest mystics in the 18th century. She had totaled surrendered to God and became filled with God’s wisdom. Do the same.
July 11
Today we remember St. Benedict, founder of the Benedictine Order. Because he simply wanted to deepen his experience with God through prayer and meditation many people came and followed him. His Religious Order has had such a positive influence on the Church in bringing the Church into an awareness of prayer and contemplation and showing hospitality. St. Benedict is the patron of Europe. “I shall behold your face O Lord.” When we take much quiet time to experience God like St. Benedict did we see the face of God and become filled with God.
July 12
Jesus picks out his disciples today, they were flawed and simple men. They wanted to follow Him because they experienced a sense of God when they met Jesus. No matter how flawed we are, God is always coming toward us to embrace us and invite us to follow Jesus. With this invitation also comes the grace and strength to follow the Lord. Accept the invitation. It will change your whole life. “Lord let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”
July 13
Jesus tells us followers today to live simply, carry the message of Love to all, and do not become attached to possessions. Just be loving and prayerful. Everything will be fine. Always be loving and forgiving so you can have internal freedom. Joseph who was sold to Egyptians by his brothers forgives his brothers. He had become the right hand person of the Pharaoh. Instead of bitterness toward his brothers, he treated them with compassion and forgiveness during a time of famine. What great compassion! What Love. Joseph was an example of what Jesus would do. You do the same. Become free by holding nothing against anyone.
July 14
Today we remember Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, who was a Mohawk Native American and also part Algonquin. Her mother was a Christian. Kateri had been disfigured by small pox. She kept her Christian faith even though she was ridiculed and persecuted. No matter what happened to her she stayed the course of believing in Christ. She lived with a joyful and generous spirit. When we stay committed to God an inner peace will envelop us that nothing or no one can take away from us.
July 15
Today we remember St. Bonaventure the Franciscan Saint who was called the, Seraphic Doctor, because his writing were so full of love. He joined the Franciscans while St. Francis was still alive. He was a friend of St. Thomas Aquinas, the famous Dominican. St. Bonaventure became the minister general of the Franciscan Order. He had a simple message: Love the Lord and love one another. Though he was very educated he stayed very prayerful, simple, humble and loving in his way of life. Wisdom comes in love and simplicity and humility. Bonaventure excelled in these qualities. We should also. Stay simple, humble, prayerful and loving. It is the roadmap to joy.
July 16
Sunday: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time and Feast of our Lady of Mt Carmel: The theme for today is being good seed for God to plant his wisdom and energy. Be always receptive to the inspirations of God. We become receptive when we take time for daily meditation and prayer. We become receptive to God when we realize the many different ways God is coming to us. Remembering Mary, the Mother of Jesus is an excellent way of becoming like her – totally receptive to the inspirations of God. “Let it be done to me according to your word. “The seed that fell on good ground will yield a bountiful harvest.” “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Be humble, open and receptive.
July 17
“Whoever finds his life, will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it.” When God is our priority we thrive no matter what we might have to suffer. When we open our hearts in love to everyone we become fully alive. “Our help is in the name of the Lord.” God is always with you. Let God guide you and direct your life.
July 18
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Keep your heart and mind open to God’s word and God’s inspiration. It will bring you much joy and peace. An angry and resentful heart is not open to God. A humble and open heart admits when they are wrong and turns this over to God. “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you shall live.” We need God and show this need when we can admit we are wrong about something. God will always be there to welcome us and draw us closer.
July 19
“The Lord is kind and merciful.” “You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to the childlike.” Stay humble and childlike to allow God’s wisdom to take possession of you. It is the humble, and those can admit they are broken, that can open their hearts and minds to God. Part of this is to humbly reserve time each day to meditate and listen to the Lord our God, Our God and Our All speak to us in the silence and in the daily experiences of life. Today we remember Peter ToRot a dedicated man in New Guinea during WWII. He was killed by the Japanese police because he would not give up his faith. He remained simple, loving, and kind in spite of many obstacles.
July 20
God is always coming to us to give us rest. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Turn toward God. Admit your struggles and worries and failures. He will be there to help you. But first take the time to be quiet and listen and turn all of yourself over to God. We don’t have to perfect. We just have to admit and surrender and turn toward the Lord our God.
July 21
Today we remember Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin priest in the 16th and 17th century. Lawrence was very smart and spoke many different languages but his simple message of Love, and making God our priority in life, caused him to be known throughout Europe. When God is our priority we simplify our language, become humble and have a simple message no matter what is happening around us. The message is always about reflection with God and Love of everyone. Be always simple, prayerful, humble and loving.
July 22
Mary Magdalene is the woman we remember today. After encountering Jesus who expelled seven devils out of her, she became a faithful follower of Jesus. No matter how far we have strayed from God, this loving God still seeks us out to draw us into a union of holiness and peace with the Source of everything. We all have our devils, attachments, and failings. The secret of a holy life is to admit them and humbly ask for help. “His mercy endures forever.” “Many people followed him and he cured them all.” When we follow Jesus we are cured from our devils: selfishness, pride and addictions. We are given the power to overcome by depending totally upon God who gives us the strength to overcome.
July 23
Sunday: Use this day to realize how good and forgiving God is to you. All God wants is your “Yes” and He will give you the strength and help to lead an amazing life. You will be the good seed that will blossom and bring a sweet aroma of love to everyone. Life will always be about becoming loving and kind to everyone and realizing that God is always with you, embracing you and surrounding you with His Love.
July 24
The wisdom of God is so inspiring and energizing. Let God’s wisdom come to you this day by sitting quietly, listening and reading the scriptures, and experiencing what God is telling you. Look at the daily readings of the Liturgy for today and read them so very slowly and experience every work in a very gentle and thoughtful manner. Don’t rush. Just experience the words. You will be surprised at what happens to you.
July 25
“Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.” Whatever struggle comes your way today, embrace it. Don’t fight it. This embrace of your struggles and pain will bring you into a deep union with God. Today we celebrate the feast of St. James the Apostle, the first Apostle to die a martyr’s death. This man who had a first been somewhat arrogant became very humble and embraced everything that came his way, even death. He brought many people into the community of believers. His love and humility and dedication taught so many people about the Love of God. Know how deeply you are loved by God at every moment of your life. Be open to this amazing truth.
July 26
“And the Holy Spirit rested upon them.” God is always resting upon you helping you to make good decisions, love everyone gently and kindly. If you have children, God is always helping you to love them even more realistically and meaningfully as the years go on. Today we celebrate the parents of Mary, Joachim and Anne. Remember all parents today. It is an awesome and brave decision to bring children into the world and raise them with a sense of God in their lives. Deepen your own sense of God in your personal life – right now.
July 27
“You have revealed to little one the mysteries of the kingdom.” When we remain humble and open we become a little one and the wisdom of God can reach us and fill us. The more time you spend in prayer and meditation and in compassionate listening to those around you, the more you will be receptive to the wisdom of God which is always coming to you. Listen and Love.
July 28
“Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.” It is important to hear these words of everlasting life daily. Pay attention to the seed of God which is being implanted into you throughout the day. Nurture this by prayer and meditation. Nurture this by kind actions to everyone, nurture this by humble admission of your failures and imperfections. This makes you fertile and receptive ground for the energizing word of God. You will become fully alive with God’s Love, Wisdom and Energy.
July 29
Today we remember Martha, the busy and direct woman who learned to slow down and listen to God. This woman whose love language was all action learned that she also needs to be quiet and listen to God in prayer and meditation. Action is good but if there is no quiet time, then action will become meaningless. We all need quiet and we all need action in our lives. But for both, we need to practice both every day. Not just for a few minutes but for a good length of time we should be quiet and prayerful. Then when action is needed we will be right there with no excuses.
July 30
Sunday again: What is the kingdom of heaven for you? Hopefully it is the personal realization and experience of the Love of God for you. “The revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple.” “Be still and know that I am God.” God is always attempting to give you His wisdom. Listen, be quiet, and receive His wisdom. “All things work for good for those who love God” Let it happen. The promises of God are so awesome!
July 31
Today we remember the 60th anniversary of the death of Father Solanus Casey, OFM Cap. His humility and simplicity disarmed so many people and brought them to a deeper union with God. His simple warmth and kindness expressed God's Love for everyone. In humility and surrender we can positively influence so many people.