Monthly Reflections

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

September 1
“They left everything and followed Him.” “All belong to you and you to Christ and Christ to God.” When we put God first in everything we do, we start becoming wise because we are becoming totally dependent upon the source of all wisdom and joy. Let God be your everything, and you will discover how to become happy, joyful and free. Simplicity in following God’s Love and Wisdom can be such a freeing experience. So leave all and follow Him.
September 2
“New wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” When we follow God’s will we must be ready for change which will be for the better. Change from busyness to quiet meditation. Change from resentments to loving everyone. Change from negativity to be always being positive and affirming. Change from having a big Ego to humbling allowing God by My God and My All. Change from misery to happiness. God is always new and refreshing, and I must be willing to change to experience this.
September 3
“The Lord is near to all who call upon him.” When I humbly ask for God’s help, I open my heart to invite God in so He can nurture me, guide me and lead me to a safe harbor. God is truly our, “way, our truth and our life.” When this happens, we become much more aware of deepening our connection to God and our surrender to God and see everything as a guide post to coming closer to God rather than worrying about rules, regulations, and sins. “For those who love God, everything works together for the good.”
September 4
“In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.” God becomes our refuge and support in everything when “we leave everything and follow Him.” We need to, “carry our cross,” which means to embrace each moment of life. When we do this, the results are amazing. We experience a resurrection. God becomes very real and personal. We stop using up valuable spiritual and emotional energy fighting what we need to face and embrace. We become strong in embracing our weaknesses because God can now lift us up because we have stopped resisting. “Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit.”
September 5
Today we remember Mother Teresa of Calcutta who became poor to help the poor. She has made a powerful impact on the world by her complete dedication to helping the poor. All her sisters had to immerse themselves daily in prayer which kept them humble, loving and caring. They combined quiet meditation and daily Mass with helping and caring for the poorest of the poor in the slums of India and then throughout the world. Her life can teach us so much how to make the world a better place.
September 6
“The Lord takes delight in his people.” God takes delight in you because he created you to be his daughter or son forever. Your basic DNA is part of God. Appreciate this. Realize your self-worth. You are filled with the Love and Wisdom of God in every cell of your body. Our biggest problem in life is not to realize this and surrender to this awesome, profound truth. “I chose you… may go and bear fruit that will last.” You have so much to bring to the world. Tune into God daily through meditation and contemplation and realizing the Presence of God in everything and in everyone.
September 7
“Rejoice and leap for Joy. Your reward will be great in heaven.” When we are open, broken and humble with God the joy of God will come upon us. When we are receptive in a humble and caring manner to God and to everyone who crosses our path, heaven begins with the peace and joy of God entering deep into our hearts and souls. Our mind then clears up to think correctly and see more clearly.
September 8
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God...” “With delight I rejoice in the Lord.” Today is the birthday of Mary, the woman chosen to be the Mother of Jesus. Her humility and simplicity shows us how to love God and take delight in the Presence of the Lord. It is a simple task of surrendering to God’s will and remaining uncomplicated and saying very simple and clear in responding to God’s ever present and eternal Love.
September 9
To help someone who is suffering frees us from selfishness. Today we remember Peter Claver, a Jesuit missionary to Colombia in the 17th century. He ministered to the African slaves and of course incurred the wrath of the slave owners. He had shown life and kindness to over 10,000 men and women from Africa who suffered being slaves. Forsaken by all, Peter visited the slave ships and ministered to these suffering men and women showing them the love of a compassionate God. Do the same for the poor and downtrodden in your life.
September 10
Make God the strong foundation of your life by daily prayer and meditation and daily acts of kindness and love to everyone. In your quiet time with God, you will be allowing God to pour His love into you. In your acts of kindness and love toward others, you will be plunging yourself into the freedom of the Love of God where resentments and anger disappear and freedom and joy surface.
September 11
God is always coming toward us to help us turn away from the addictions and falsehoods and, “fatted calves of idolatry,” in our lives. We all tend to find something to cling to and worship in place of God. It can be possessions, another person, food, alcohol, or just plain selfishness. God’s strength is always coming to us help us overcome this and discover the peace and serenity of God. He keeps seeking us out like the Good Shepherd searching for the lost sheep or the father looking for his prodigal son with care and compassion. Surrender to God’s Love and forgiveness. He only wants to pour His Love into you at each moment of the day. Let it happen.
September 12
A Roman centurion asks Jesus to heal his slave. Jesus agrees to do this because of the humility and faith of this Roman Centurion. “Lord, do not trouble yourself for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, but say the word and let my servant be healed.” This humility and faith are respected by Jesus, and he heals his servant. Humility and Faith are what we all need in life. And they both are needed if we are to have genuine Faith and if we are to have genuine humility. One doesn’t work without the other.
September 13
Today Christ brings back to life the only son of a widow. It is an example of the compassion of Christ. God is always coming to each of us to bring us back from the dead of our lethargy, procrastination, attachments and addictions. God’s compassion is eternal, and his help and strength are eternal. Surrender now to this Love and stop the misery and unhappiness in your life. Your Loving God is always there to heal your soul and lift you up. It all happens in this present moment.
September 14
Today we honor the Cross of Christ. What were the worst possible death and the most shameful way to die has become a symbol of hope and resurrection. In embracing the Cross and all its’ pain and rejection, Christ taught us that when we embrace our pain and struggles in life, we will rise to a new life at the moment we embrace the pain of the Cross. He didn’t just teach us this. He lived this and showed that the embrace of Cross will always lead to a resurrected life in each moment of our lives. Salvation is simply the grace of God helping us embrace the Cross so we can rise to a new and more peaceful life. But we have to say, “Yes, Lord.” And, “Into your hands or Lord, I commend my spirit.”
September 15
Today we remember the sorrows of Mary. She who was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus was not spared suffering the most intense emotional pain in watching her Son suffer on the Cross. She stayed until the very end. She was so faithful in embracing the pain of the Cross. She was courageous and totally open to God. What a privilege to have her as a model of accepting and embracing the Will of God. Ask for her help in following Christ. She will give you a gentle push toward God.
September 16
There is always, “Good News,” coming to us. This, “Good News,” is that we are sons and daughters of God, and we are always loved by God. God is always coming toward us to help us surrender to His Love and do his Will. God only wants our happiness, peace, and joy. Be still and experience God loving you and pouring His Grace into you to guide you, direct you and fill you with peace and joy. Let it happen. Let go and Let God take over.
September 17
“I will walk in the Presence of the Lord in the light of the living.” We are always surrounded by the presence of God. God’s love and wisdom and ever abiding power are in everyone and everything. Today we remember Robert Bellarmine, a wise Jesuit who influenced people by his wise writings which directed people to focus their energy on God and imitate the journey of Jesus. We should do this. It will bring peace and courage to do what is right.
September 18
“You cannot serve two Master’s…You cannot serve both God and Mammon.” To follow God is to be focused on surrender, love and an admission of our powerlessness. When we do this, we start letting go of our attachments and distractions which block us from experiencing God. Serve only one Master. Let it always be God and He will give you the strength to overcome whatever might block your way to joy and peace.
September 19
“Let your light shine before others.” Christ challenges us to shine our light before others. He simply wants us to light up the world by our Love because Love comes from God and, “He who lives in love, lives in God and God lives in him/her.” Acts of kindness and love light up the world with a sense of hope and a sense of seeing goodness. To have God in our life is always to remain positive.
September 20
“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Christ points out that we are part of his family which is a sign of profound intimacy when we listen to God’s inspirations and God’s word and put this into action. Today we remember the martyrs of Korea who died for their faith in the 17th century. They remained steadfast because they firmly believed in God’s word. When we remain prayerful and loving, we will face whatever comes our way with courage and surrender and enter into a profound intimacy with God.
September 21
Jesus walks by a hated tax collectors booth and says to this man, “Follow me.” Matthew leaves everything and follows Jesus. Everyone is called to follow Jesus even the most rejected and the most unlikeable. Once this call has accepted the faults and craziness of the past will fall away, and God will do amazing things with us. Matthew whom we remember today went from being a tax collector to a Gospel writer. His Gospel of St. Matthew gives us tremendous insights into Jesus and the kingdom of God. God wants to do amazing, inspiring things with you. “Let it be done to me according to your will.” Let it happen. He is calling you at this very moment.
September 22
“And he kept trying to see him.” Herod was curious about Christ and wanted to see him. At times we can feel inspired to follow Christ in a deeper manner. Our problem can be like Herod’s. We get inspired but then don’t act on the inspiration and continue on the same journey we had been on because we are afraid of making changes into prayer, meditation, compassion, and humility. But these are what we called to do. These are the genuine inspirations that God keeps pouring into us. We need to listen and pay attention. We need not just be curious. We need to experience and surrender to Christ so he can truly become, “My God and My All.”
September 23
Today we remember St. Pius of Pietrelcina, “Padre Pio” the 20th century Capuchin who taught us to be loving and prayerful and surrender to the will of God. He was often called into the question by the authorities as to the genuineness of his holiness. This didn’t bother him a bit. He continued hearing confessions, saying Mass and bringing love and compassion to all he met. Padre Pio was a 20th century Saint who reminds us all to stay simple, prayerful and loving.
September 24
Jesus says to his disciples, "Pay attention to what I am telling you." How well do you pay attention to God’s inspirations? God is always telling us how to become closer to Him and how to experience Him in a deeper way. God is always trying to tell us something new and refreshing about God. We need to pay attention. When we are reflectively quiet and gently loving others, we know we are paying attention to God. “In every age O Lord, you have been our refuge.”
September 25
Today we remember the poor beggar Lazarus who was ignored by the rich man who noticed him each day but did not help him. When we refuse to love others, we put a big wall between God and us. Without showing love and compassion to others, we make ourselves very miserable. When we put our egos aside and humbly love others by our words and actions, we open the door of our hearts to God who is Love. Open the door of your heart to God by acts of love. Do something kind for someone today.
September 26
When things do not go well for us; God is still with us. He will be with us in pain and sorrow as He was with Job who had everything bad happen to him but kept his faith in God. The whole message of Christianity is to embrace the Cross and depend on totally upon God regardless what life might bring us. When we do this, we rise to a higher plane of existence and union with God. This is called Resurrection. It is what Christ did and taught us to do. Every moment of life is a Cross and Resurrection.
September 27
Sometimes we want to use religion as a way of beating down others or condemning others as in the Gospel today James and John wanted Jesus to call down fire on a Samaritan village who didn’t accept Jesus. He rebuked them for their judgmental attitude. When we are condemning and Judgmental and vengeful we are not following the way of Christ which is always love and forgiveness and a willingness to fight hatred and rejection with love. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Always be loving and forgiving and give up all resentments and you will be amazed at a depth of joy you will experience. Don’t use your religion as a weapon to condemn and judge others.
September 28
Finish what you start. Let your actions speak louder than your words. Let your actions back up your words. Jesus wants us to follow Him more in actions than in pious words. Whenever we talk about God and spirituality we should always back up our words with positive actions and an honest admission when we are not putting spiritual principles into concrete actions. “I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.” Follow the Lord. It is the way to live joyfully and peacefully. Everything else is secondary.
September 29
Today we remember angels, especially Michael the Archangel. Angels remind us that God is always with us and looking on us with Love and positive direction. Angels are messengers of God who represent God always coming to us with care and protection and wisdom and love. We are never alone. God will always be with us. Thanks be to God for this day and this very moment. “The Lord is with you.”
September 30
Today we remember Jerome, a dedicated, angry man who became a Saint. Jerome was immersed in Scripture and could be quite harsh with other people who disagreed with him or had other belief systems. His persistence in prayer and his immersion in Scripture taught him how to be humble and open to God. Get beneath your anger and find the humility of God which is within you. Then you will experience God in the correct manner.