Monthly Reflections

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

January 4
“The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” God’s light and love are always shining on you. Jesus comes to cure every internal ailment within us. He comes to heal our resentments, take away our anger, free us from our addictions and procrastinations. He comes to draw us closer to Himself. But we have to let it happen by admitting where we need help and healing.
January 5
“Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” When our hearts are free from anger, envy and resentments, we become totally open to the powerful and healing Love of God. When our hearts are free from needing people and the world to be perfect, we will then experience God. God is Love. Love is holding nothing against anyone and seeing goodness everywhere. Look and you will see the Goodness and Love of God in everything and everyone.
January 6
“If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is brought to perfection in us.” Always be loving toward everyone. You will experience and realize that God is with you. The humble Holy Cross Brother, St. Andre Bessette from Montreal, Canada did just this and in his humble, loving manner he influenced the whole city. Nearly a million people climbed Mount Royale to come to his funeral in St. Joseph’s Oratory. God’s Love will change the whole world. Let it begin with you.
January 7
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me...He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives...to bring glad tidings to the poor…” This spirit of Jesus is also upon you to make the world a peaceful planet. The spirit is upon you to make your family and community more peaceful by your love and kindness. You may not see it, but you will be bringing the Love of God to all. It is the calling of each of us.
January 8
Jesus cured many. So many people came to him to be healed. “But he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.” If we do not take the time to be quiet with the Lord in meditation, we will burn out and block out God from our lives. If we take the time, we will internally heal many through our prayerful love and humility. Christ has given us the roadmap. Follow it.
January 9
“He must increase, I must decrease.” Such profound words about our journey through life. When our egos decrease, God’s Loving Presence increases. Humility and embracing our failures and mistakes open us up to the Glorious Presence of God. Then we, “have this confidence in him that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” God will always hear us and answer us appropriately and lovingly. I need to decrease to understand this.
January 10
“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” God said this about Christ and consistently is saying this about you. You are a beloved daughter and son of God. We find it so difficult to accept God’s unconditional love and respect for us. It is the eternal message of God. When we begin to accept this and believe this, we start doing the right thing.
January 11
Today we remember Blessed Bernard of Corleone, a humble Capuchin Brother, who wasn’t always so humble and loving. He was a skilled swordsman in the 17th century who woke up from his wandering ways and returned to God and entered the Capuchin Order. He profoundly and positively influenced so many people by his prayer and humility. We all get caught up in so many wandering ways and attachments and can lose our way. Surrender, accept God’s Love and realize that God only wants to love us and bring us internal peace. The Saints understood this glorious journey. Ask for this understanding.
January 12
“Quiet, come out of him” Jesus speaks to the unclean spirit in a man listening to Jesus. He does the same to us, but we first have to admit what the “unclean spirits” of attachments, selfishness and resentments are within us. God will heal us but only if we admit what needs healing. Be humble, open and honest and receive a profound experience of God. Ask for internal healing.
January 13
“Speak, for your servant, is listening.” These are the words and attitude that Samuel finally learned to acquire. So we must acquire this internal attitude of listening to God speak to us throughout each day in the daily events of our life, and in the words that come to us through other people. And we need to take a lot of quiet time to acquire this ability to listen to God. “Rising very early...he went off to a deserted place where he prayed.”
January 14
“People kept coming to him from everywhere.” We need to keep coming to God with an open heart and mind. Christ comes to love us, heal us, save us but God will never force us to surrender to Him. We need to make the effort to receive God’s Love and Amazing Presence in our lives. The effort comes through loving and through quiet times, in each day of life. Then amazing things will happen to us.
January 15
Jesus heals a paralytic who is brought by his friends to Jesus being lowered down from the roof of the home, where Jesus was visiting. When people come together for something good God is always present and always healing. “When two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” Find others with whom you can share your deepest spiritual and emotional feelings.
January 16
Jesus discovers a tax collector, Matthew, and invites him to follow Him. Tax collectors were not very popular with Jews or Romans in the time of Jesus but still he is sought out by Jesus. He keeps seeking each of us so that we will follow him. We don’t have to be perfect, holy or famous. But we do need to admit our mistakes and be humble to we can listen and receive God into our lives. All are called at every moment of life. Surrender and listen to the call.
January 17
“No more shall people call you ‘forsaken’ or your land ‘desolate,’ but you shall be called ‘My Delight...’ For the Lord delights in you.” God cherishes you. God loves you. You are the delight of God. God embraces everyone. It is so hard to realize this. When we do realize this, then no obstacle is too difficult to embrace because we realize that God is always embracing us with His love and Wisdom.
January 18
“To the upright, I will show the saving power of God.” When we remain prayerful and compassionate, we allow the saving Power of God to guide our lives into a peaceful and wise way of living. We begin to let go and let God guide us and direct us. When we do, this life seems to go so much better.
January 19
When we make rules more important than compassion we stifle and block the grace of God from becoming effective in our lives. Jesus challenges people who worry so much about rules and little about compassion and forgiveness. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Rules are guideposts that direct us closer to God. But rules are not an end in themselves. Rules always need to be based on love and compassion and to understand the human person. It is how Jesus lived his life. It is the roadmap he gave us.
January 20
The boy David overcame the giant Goliath. When we allow God to be with us and trust in God, we overcome the giants within us that want to control us and overpower us. These are the giants of living in our heads instead of our hearts and the giants of selfishness and instant gratifications. “Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people.” He comes to cure us and remove the obstacles within us.
January 21
“In God I trust; I shall not fear.” We live too much afraid of God instead of living in the comfort that God loves us so profoundly and unconditionally. We are continually and constantly being healed by God, but our biggest problem comes when we refuse to accept this and run from this awesome power of Divine Love. It will always keep coming toward us.
January 22
Jesus chooses his Apostles in today’s reading. You are one of those disciples that have been chosen to bring the Love of God more warmly and brightly into the world. We are created by God out of nothing to become Lights to the world often caught in darkness. We were created to love and bring the Love of God to everyone. It is the calling of everyone. Accept this calling. It will bring you great joy.
January 23
People thought Jesus was crazy with his message of love and compassion. “His relatives heard of this (his preaching), and they set out to seize him, for they said, 'He is out of his mind.'" People who want peace by always loving others are quite often called idealists, crazy, or just not practical. But those who love all in spite of the obstacles change the world without weapons, anger or hate. Change the world by your unconditional love toward all. It is how God loves us.
January 24
“Your words, O Lord are spirit and life.” Let the word of God be your spirit and life in each moment of your time on this earth. We are all connected to one another because we have all come from God. So treat one another with respect and kindness. We are all part of God’s Love and creation. Christ has come to remind us of this over and over again and to teach us the importance and necessity of loving one another always.
January 25
Today we remember the conversion of St. Paul, who was a man who first persecuted Christians. He then became such an inspiring leader in the early church. No matter where we have wandered, God always seeks us out to bring us back and to fill us with his wisdom and love. Paul reminds us of the powerful love of God for each of us. He is always coming to illuminate us. Let your conversion and surrender begin now.
January 26
Let your light shine so that people will see you know and experience God. Your light shines by your kindness and loving actions. Praise and affirm people. Look for the good in everyone and everything and proclaim this with warmth and joyful words. The more we give to others the more we receive from God. Our capacity to experience God is directly related to our willingness to love others.
January 27
The seed the sower plants will take effect in the ground that is receptive and fertile. Let your life receive God’s word that is continually being planted within your heart and mind. Open your heart and mind by having a compassionate heart and by taking much time today to be quiet and listen to God in prayer and meditation. It is how we become receptive and full of life in God.
January 28
Today we recall St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican priest, who brilliantly combined Aristotle’s thought with classical Christianity and showed how logical it is to be a Christian. He stayed in his heart in his Faith and as a result, his mind took over brilliantly and showed all of us the clarity of thought that can see God in everything and everyone. Simplicity leads us into profound experiences of thought and action and helps all of us to discover the logic of total surrender to God. Thomas Aquinas with his profound intellect was a very simple man. Be simple and you will see things clearly and experience peace.
January 29
We are all sinners. We have all failed in our lives. Today we read about David failing miserably in his life by his is dishonest actions with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. He repented and became a great leader. We all need to be sorry for our mistakes and admit them. It will bring us back into allowing God to embrace us and guide us to a deeper spiritual life based on repentance, humility, prayer, and love. We will then discover the meaning and purpose of our lives.
January 30
Jesus quiets a raging storm ready to sink the boat the apostles were in. He is always coming to quiet the storms in our life caused by our weak faith and fear of surrendering to God. He will calm our inner selves if we allow it to happen. We simply need to admit our mistakes and admit what needs to be healed and quelled. Ask for this calming influence and it will happen.
January 31
Today we read about what love is all about: patient, kind, not jealous, not seeking its interests, not brooding over injury, not rejoicing over wrongdoing and rejoicing in the truth. “Love never fails.” When we love, we will experience God. “Faith, Hope, and Love but the greatest of these is Love.” What a glorious way to love. God is discovered through love. So love and discover God.