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12/31/18 8:12 A
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No Peace Without Truth

Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace with out truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the saem time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth. -- Address, March 22, 2013

Reflection: where can you find the truth that can give you peace? Take time to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Make it a New Year's resolution to read just one paragraph each day in the coming year. His truth will bring you peace!

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/28/18 7:40 A
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The Gospel of Life

Feast of the Holy Innocents

[There] is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment. As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols, which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death. --- Homily June 16, 2013

Reflection: In you life, where are you tempted to choose death over life? Where do you choose selfishness over the gift of self? Make it a priority to give of yourself in a true and meaningful way to others this week.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/26/18 8:05 A
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The Blood of the Martyrs

Feast of St. Stephen

"If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together" (1 Corinthians 12:26). This is a law of the Christian life, and in this sense we can say that there is also an ecumenism of suffering, just as the blood of the martyrs was a seed of strength and fertility for the Church, so too the sharing of daily sufferings can become an effective instrument of unity. --- Address, May 10, 2013

Reflection: The martyrs of the Church show us how to embrace suffering for the faith. Where is God calling you to suffer? How can this suffering help you to be unified with others? Find time to hear someone else's struggles, and make a point to pray for them.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/25/18 10:23 A
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God Has A Real Face

After Jesus has come into the world, it is important to act as if we do not know God, or as if he were something that is abstract, empty, a purely nominal reference. No, God has a real face, he has a name: God is mercy. God is faithfulness, he is life which is given to us all. --- Angelus Address, August 11, 2013.

Reflection: What does the gift of Christmas mean to you? How does Jesus' birth make your faith more real and more human? Celebrate the joy of his arrival.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/24/18 7:23 A
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This Is Interesting: God Is Joyful

God is joyful! This is interesting: God is joyful! And what is the joy of God? The joy of God is forgiving, the joy of God is forgiving! The joy of a shepherd who finds his little lamb; the joy of a woman who finds her coin; it is the joy of a father welcoming home the son who was lost; who was as though dead and has come back to life, who has come home. Here is the entire Gospel! Here! The whole Gospel, all of Christianity is here!

But make sure that it is not sentiment; it is not being a "do-gooder! On the contrary, mercy is the true force that can save man and the world from the 'cancer' that is sin, moral evil, spiritual evil. Only love fills the void, the negative chasms that evil opens in hearts and in history. Only love can do this, and this is God's joy! --- Angelus Address, September 15, 2013.

Reflection: God wants to forgive you. He wants you to know his mercy and to give this mercy to others How can your life better reflect this reality? Do you need to go to confession more frequently? Do you need to more readily forgive others? Ask God what he wants you to do with this great gift of mercy.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/23/18 8:26 A
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The Logic of the Gospel

Jesus' disciple renounces all his possessions because in Jesus he has found the greatest Good in which every other good receives its value and meaning: family ties, other relationships, work cultural and economic goods and so forth ....

The Christian detaches him- or herself from all things and rediscovers all things in the logic of the Gospel, the logic of love and of service.

Reflection: Take a moment to think about your own logic of love and service toward family, work and your possessions. Do you value Jesus the most? Do you make the logic of the Gospel a priority?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/22/18 9:24 A
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Mutated Hearts

Love is the greatest power for the transformation of reality because it pulls down the walls of selfishness and fills the ditches that keep us apart. This is the love that comes from a mutated heart, from a heart of stone that has been turned into a heart of flesh, a human heart. --- Address, June 17, 2013

Reflection: Reflect on your on heart. What parts of it are stony what parts are mutated? Where dow you need healing so that you can better love others?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/21/18 7:53 A
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Proof That God Is Not With Him

Humility is what gives assurance that the Lord is there. When someone is self-sufficient, when he has all the answers to every question, it is proof that God is not with him. --- On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century

Reflection: Is. Ignatius of Loyola once said, "Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.:" Where is God calling you to trust more in Him? Where is he calling you to work harder? Ask for the grace to live out this balance.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/20/18 8:41 A
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He Always Makes Himself Heard

Jesus does not always pass in our life with a miracle [even though] ... he always makes himself heard. Always. And when the Lord passes [by], what happened here [the miraculous catch of fish by Peter, James and John] always occurs. He tells us something, he makes us understand something, then he says a word to us which is a promise; he asks something of us in our way of life, he asks us to give up something, to renounce something.

And he then gives us a mission. --- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, September 5, 2013

Reflection: Where is God making himself heard in your life? What i he asking you to give up or renounce? What mission is he calling you on? Re-commit yourself to what he is telling you. Double your efforts to respond to the Lord's call.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/19/18 7:15 A
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To Become Incarnate

[Jesus] seems to show no mercy to those who have taken ... the reality of a God who is close, God who is walking with his people, who became man ... and distilled it along with their many traditions and people. Indeed, Jesus will accuse these people of being proselytizers, of proselytizing. They go halfway around the world to look for someone to proselytize, and then they burden them with all their laws and precepts. They alienate people ...

Jesus taught us another way that going out -- going out to give witness, going out to take a concern for brothers and sisters, going out to share, going out to inquire. To become Incarnate. --- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, September 2, 2012

Reflection: What is the difference between someone who makes Jesus into just an idea versus someone who shares the faith by going out and encountering others? What do their lives look like: How can you avoid making Jesus into a set of rules, and instead let him be as he is, a reality?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/18/18 7:54 A
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May His Mercy Enter

Let us ask Jesus now for the grace toopen our hearts so that his mercy may enter. Let's say, "Yes, Lord, I am a sinner. I am a sinner because of this and because of that. Come, come and justify me before the Father." --- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, September 24, 2011

Reflection: An examination of conscience is a beautiful tradition in the Church. Find a guide to this practice in a book, online, or at your parish, and use it each day this week. See if it helps you draw near to Jesus.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/17/18 8:03 A
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He Has Been Tempted as We Are

How many difficulties are present in the life of every individual, among our people, in our communities'; yet as great as these may seem, God never allows us to be overwhelmed by the. In the face of these moments of discouragement we experience in life, in our efforts to evangelize or to embody our faith as parents within the family, I would like to say forcefully: Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! ]

Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts. --- Homily, World Youth Day, July 24, 2013

Reflection: Where do you feel overwhelmed or discouraged: Scripture says that "we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning: (Hebrews 4:15). Talk to Jesus about the challenges you face, knowing that he went through many trials himself.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/16/18 9:17 A
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Where Is Grace Sold?

Is there any of you who knows what grace costs? Where grace is sold? Where I can purchase grace? No one can answer: no. Do I go to buy it from the parish office: perhaps graces is sold there? Does some priest sell grace?

Listen to this carefully: Graces is neither bought or sold: it is a gift of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives us grace. He is the only one who gives us grace. It is a present: he is offering it to us, to us. Let us accept it. --- Address, June 17, 2103

Reflection: In order to receive God's grace, we must make room for Jesus in our heart, letting him become more as we become less. But how do we accept God's grace? The sacrament are one means -- we receive God's very self in the Eucharist, and we are forgiven by Christ himself in the sacrament of Penance.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/15/18 9:09 P

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Bob, that post really spoke to me! Thank you!

Donna
Gulf Coast Area of Mississippi
Central Time Zone

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison



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12/15/18 9:43 A
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Not Decorating Life with a Little Religion

Jesus says to his disciples: "Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." (Luke 12:51). What does thsi mean? It means that faith is not a decorative or ornamental element: living faith does not mean decorating life with a little religion, as if it were a cake and we were decorating it with cream.. No, this is not faith.

Faith means choosing God as the criterion and basis of life --- and God is not empty, God is not neutral, God is always positive, god is love, and love is positive! --- Angelus address, August 11, 2013

Reflection: In this season of Advent, consider those areas in which you faith is merely ornamental. How can you make God the basis of your life, and not just something decorative? Cut out the things that only distract or take away from your focus on him.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/14/18 7:15 A
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Contemplate Beauty and Goodness

But then we wonder: Is this the world in which we are living? Creation retains its beauty, which fills us with awe, and it remains a good work. But there is also "violence, division, disagreement, war". This occurs when man, the summit of creation, stops contemplating beauty and goodness, and withdraws into his own selfishness. --- Vigil of Prayer for Peace, Sept. 7, 2013

Reflection: Take some time this week to contemplate God's beauty and goodness. Go on a hike. Take a drive in a scenic area. Be filled with awe. Contemplate beauty.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/13/18 8:53 A
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The Highways of Our Lives

This evening I would like a question to resound in the heart of each one of you, and I would like you to answer it honestly. Have I considered which idol lies hidden in my life that prevents me from worshiping the Lord? Worshiping is stripping ourselves of our idols, even the most hidden ones, and choosing the Lord as the center, as the highway of our lives.

Reflection: Take some time to think about Pope Francis; question: Have you considered which idol lies hidden in your life that prevents you from worshiping the Lord?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/12/18 8:09 A
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Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

To pray for the Church will do us good, and it will benefit the Church; it will bring great peace in us; it may not remove our trials, fut it will make us strong. Thus, let us beg for this grace to have the habit of entrusting the Church to the Lord. -- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, April 30, 2013.

Reflection: What can you do to lift up your parish, religious sisters and brothers, your pastor, bishop, and pope in prayer? Can you add them to your intentions each day? Be at peace knowing they are in the Lord's hands.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/11/18 7:39 A
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He Pitched His Tent Among Us

God came out of himself to come among us, he pitched his tent among us to bring to us his mercy that saves and gives hope.Nor must we be satisfied with staying in the pen of the ninety-nine sheep, if we want to follow him and to remain with him; we, too, must "go out" with him to seek the lost sheep, the one that has strayed the furthest. Be suer to remember: coming out of ourselves, just as Jesus, just as God came out of himself in Jesus and Jesus camout out of himself for all of us. -- General Audience, March 27, 2013

Reflection: The Letter to the Philippians speaks of Jesus emptying himself for us and becoming a servant (See Philippians 2:5-8), What can you learn from Christ's example? How is he asking you to come out of yourself for the sake of others?

Let Go and Let God!

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12/10/18 7:46 A
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He Shares In Our Journey

Jesus .. gives himself to us in the Eucharist, shares in our journey, indeed he makes himself food, the true food that sustains our life also in moments when the road becomes hard going and obstacles slow our steps. And in the Eucharist, the Lord, makes us walk on his road, that of service, of sharing, of giving; and if it is shared, that little we have, that little we are, becomes riches, for the power of God -- which is the power of love -- comes down into our poverty to transform it. --- Homily, May 30, 2013

Reflection: Pray in front of the Eucharist for fifteen minutes this week. Ask God to transform you through this great sacrament.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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He Shares In Our Journey

Jesus .. gives himself to us in the Eucharist, shares in our journey, indeed he makes himself food, the true food that sustains our life also in moments when the road becomes hard going and obstacles slow our steps. And in the Eucharist, the Lord, makes us walk on his road, that of service, of sharing, of giving; and if it is shared, that little we have, that little we are, becomes riches, for the power of God -- which is the power of love -- comes down into our poverty to transform it. --- Homily, May 30, 2013

Reflection: Pray in front of the Eucharist for fifteen minutes this week. Ask God to transform you through this great sacrament.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/9/18 9:30 A
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That Is What God Is Like

God does not wait for us to go to him, but it is he who moves toward us, without calculation, without quantification. That is what God is like. He always takes the first step; he comes toward us. -- General Audience, March 27, 2013

Reflection: Where is God calling you to be like him and to take the first step toward others? Do you need to reconcile with someone? Do you need to show an act of kindness to someone in your life?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/8/18 9:48 A
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Mary Knew How To Listen

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Mary knew how to listen to God. Be careful: it was not merely "hearing," a superficial word, but it was "listening," that consists of attention, acceptance, and availability to God. It was not in the distracted way with which we sometimes face the Lord or others: we hear their words, but we do not really listen. Mary is attentive to God. She listens to God. --- Address, May 31, 2013

Reflection: Mary listened attentively to the angel Gabriel when she was asked to be the mother of God. Attentive to the needs of her cousin Elizabeth, she went to her when Elizabeth needed help. She contemplated the events of the Nativity in her heart What can you learn from Mary's witness? How does God want you to live this out this season of Advent?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/7/18 7:51 A
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The Latest Smartphone

Some will say: Joy is born from possessions, so they go in quest of the latest mode of the smartphone, the fastest scooter, the showy car...but I tell you, it truly grieves me to see a priest or a sister with the latest model of a car: but this cant be! It can't be. You think: "So, do we now have to go by bicycle, Father? Bicycles are good! Monsignor Alfred rides a bicycle. He goes by bike.

I think that cars are necessary because there is so much work to be done, and also in order to get about .. but choose a more humble car! And if you like the beautiful one, only think of all the children who are dying of hunger. --- Address to Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013

Reflection: Scripture says, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:34). What is your ultimate treasure, and where is your heart right now?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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12/6/18 7:34 A
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You Are Important To Me

Feast of St. Nicholas

True joy does not come from things or from possessing, no! It is born from the encounter, from the relationship with others; it is born from feeling accepted, understood, and loved, and from accepting, from felling understand and from lvoing; and this is not because of a passing fancy but because the other is a person.

Joy is born from the gratuitousness of the encounter! It is hearing someone say :"This is beautiful....And it is these very words that God makes us understand. In calling you, God says to you: "You are important to me, I love you. I am counting on you." Jesus says this to each one of us! Joy is born from that! --- Homily, To Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013


Reflection: In a season of possessions and gifts, how can you give the gift of presence to others? What steps can you take to let others know they are important to you?

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Bob Hook

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Do Not Be Afraid

You were also talking about hte fragility of faith, about how to overcome it. The worst enemy of a fragile faith --- curious, isn't it -- is fear. Do not be afraid! We are frail and we know it, but he is stronger! If you walk with him, there is no problem! A child is very frail -- I have seen many children today --- but if they're with the father, with their mother, they are safe. With the Lord we are safe. -- Address Vigil of Pentecost With the Ecclesial Movements, May 18, 2013

Reflection: What do you fear? What keeps you up at night? Ask God to replace your fears with the joy of knowing his presence.

Let Go and Let God!

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Earthly Pilgrimage

Let us ask the Lord always to direct our minds and hearts to him, as living stones of the Church, so that all that we do , our whole Christian life, may be a luminous witness to his mercy and love. In this way we will make our way toward the goal of our earthly pilgrimage, toward that extremely beautiful shrine, the heavenly Jerusalem. -- Homily, Holy Mass with the Rite of Confirmation, April 28, 2013

Reflection: What path are you walking on? Are others able to see this path -- for good or ill -- through your example?

Let Go and Let God!

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Who Is Against Us

Even though it seems today that death in its various forms prevails, that history is governed by the rule of the strongest (or the cleverest), and that hatred and ambition are the driving forces behind so much human strife, we are also utterly convinced that this sorry situation ultimately can and must change, because "If God is for us, who is against us?" (Romans 8:31) --- Only Love can save us, Letter to the Priests, Religious and Faithful of Buenos Aries, Oct.1, 2012

Reflection: When faced with the attitudes and actions of hatred and ambition, are you tempted to fight back with evil Do you sometimes despair? Talk with God about the times you feel helpless. Reflect on the times in Scripture when situations seemed dire or hopeless. Ask God to see the world through his eyes and in his presence.

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You Don't Need Anything Else

What must we do, Father? Look, read the Beatitudes; that will do you good. If you want to know what you actually have to do, read Matthew, Chapter 25, which is the standard by which we will be judged. With these two things, you have the action plan: the Beatitudes and Matthew 25. You do not need to read anything else. --- Address, World Youth Day, July 25, 2013

Reflection: Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 and the Last Judgment scene in Matthew 25:31-46. Wht stood out o you? What spoke to your life right now? Make a resoltuion to try to live out your insight this month.

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Cultivate the Contemplative Dimension

If we look toward Jesus, we see that prior to any important decision or event he recollected himself in intense and prolonged prayer. Let us cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and heavy duties. And the more the mission calls you to go out to the margins of existence, let your heart be the more closely united to Christ's heart, full of mercy and love. -- Homily, Mass with Seminarians and Novices, July 7, 2013

Reflection: What important decisions are before you right now? How can you draw closer to Jess as you sort things out? Take time as you wake , in your prayer, in your thoughts through the day, and before bed to ask God to guide your path.

Let Go and Let God!

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Don't Be Distracted

I would tell the people of today to seek the experience of entering into the intimacy of their hearts, to know the experience, the face of God. That is why I love what Job says after his difficult experience and the dialogues that did not help him in any way: "By hearsay I have heard of you, but now my eye has seen you" (Job 42:5)

What I tell people is not to know God only by hearing. The Living God is he that you may see with your eyes within your hearts. --- On Heaven and Hearth: Pope Francis of Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century

Reflection: Where have you seen God in the past? How do you experience him today? Find extra time this week to seek the face of God. Perhaps schedule a retreat -- even just an afternoon -- to spend more time with him.

Let Go and Let God!

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Even If We Observe All of His Precepts

If in our heart there is no mercy, no joy of forgiveness, we are not in communion with God, weven if we observe all of his precepts, fo it is love that saves, not the practice of precepts alone. It is love of God and neighbor that brings fulfillment to all the commandments. And this is the love of God, his joy: forgiveness. He waits for us always! Maybe someone has some heaviness in his heart: "But, I did this, I did that..." He expects you! He is your father: he waits for you always! -- Angelus Address, September 15, 2013

Reflection: It is good to do the right thing, but ultimately God wants your heart. Think about the upcoming week. Where is God Calling you not only to do the right thing but to do it with love as well?

Let Go and Let God!

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Not a Cultural Organization

We can do all the social work we like, and people can say; "How good the Church is, what good social wok the Church does!" But if we say we do this because those people are the flesh of Christ, it gives rise to a scandal....

The Church is not a cultural or religious organization, nor is it a social one; it is not this. The Church is the family of Jesus. The Church confesses that Jesus is the Son of God who came in flesh. This is the scandal, and this is why the persecuted Jesus....If we become merely reasonable, social and charitable Christians, what will the consequence be? That we will never have martyrs....

[But when we say] the Son of God Came and became flesh, when we preach the scandal of the Cross, there will be persecution, there will be the Cross. [Do not] be ashamed of living with this scandal of the Cross. --- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, June 1, 2013

Reflection: What is the difference between someone who lives a cultural faith and someone who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God who came in the flesh? How would they talk and live differently? If someone witnessed your life, what would they say about you?

Let Go and Let God!

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Illusion of Happiness

Jesus is all mercy. Jesus is all love: he is God made man. Each of us, each one of us, is that little lost lamb, the coin that was mislaid, such one of us is that son who has squandered his freedom on false idols, illusions of happiness, and has lost everything. But God does not forget us; the Father never abandons us. He is a patient father, always waiting for us! He respects our freedom, but he remains faithful forever.

And when we come back to him, he welcomes us like children into his house, for he never ceases, not for one instant, to wait for us with love. And his heart rejoices over every child who returns. He is celebrating because he is joy. God has this joy, when on of us sinners goes to him and asks his forgiveness. -- Angelus Address, September 5, 2013

Reflection: Consider the times that God has rescued you from your sin -- in your childhood, in your adolescence, in your adulthood. Thank him for the grace you have received, and think about the aspects of your life that still need to return to him.

Let Go and Let God!

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He Asked for Nothing

God thinks like the Samaritan who did not pass by the unfortunate man, pitying him or looking at him from the other side of the road, but helped him without asking for anything in return, without asking whether he was a Jew, a pagan, or a Samaritan, whether he was rich or poor; he asked for nothing. He went to help him: God is like this. God thinks like the shepherd who lays down his life in order to defend and save his sheep. -- General Assembly, March 27, 2013

Reflection: How does God exceed our understanding of love and forgiveness> In what ways have you seen him go above and beyond your expectations to help you? How can you live out this model of mercy?

Let Go and Let God!

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Absurd Dichotomy

The great Paul VI said: It is an absurd dichotomy to wish to live with Jesus but without the Church, to follow Jesus but without the Church, to love Jesus but without the Church (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, n. 16). And that Mother Church, who gives us Jesus also gives us an identity which is not simply a rubber stamp: it is membership. Identity means membership, belonging. Belonging to the Church: this is beautiful! --- Homily, April 23, 2013

Reflection: Jesus established the Kingdom of God here on earth in the form of the Church (see Matthew 16:12-20). How does believing in both Jesus and his Church shape your life What does it mean for you to belong to this Church, this Kingdom?

Let Go and Let God!

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Proclaim the Gospel - This Includes You

Jesus did not say: "Go if you would like to, if you have the time." but he said: "Go and make disciples of all nations." Sharing the experience of faith, bearing witness to the faith, proclaiming the Gospel: this is the command that the Lord entrusts to the whole Church, and that includes you. -- Homily, World Youth Day, Closing Mass, July 28, 2013

Reflection: What excuses do you make in order to avoid sharing your faith with others? How is the Lord calling you to make disciples?

Let Go and Let God!

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How Can We Let Jesus Out?

But ask yourselves this question:How often is Jesus inside and knocking at the door to be let out, to come out: And we do not let him out because of our own need for security, because so often we are locked into ephemeral structures that serve solely to make us slaves and not children of God. --- Address, Vigil of Pentecost with the Ecclesial Movements, May 18, 2013

Reflection: Where do you turn for comfort? How can you move beyond comfort to seek out the plan Jesus has for you? How can you let Jesus out?

Let Go and Let God!

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Parresia

We must pray with parresia -- with courage, boldness, and confidence. We cannot sit still afgter having prayed once. True Christian intercession consists of insisting to the very end.--- Only Love Can Save Us, letter to Priests and Religious, July 29, 2007

Reflection: What are you praying for right now? Take up the pope's challenge and pray with greater boldness and consistency.

Let Go and Let God!

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The God-Money Idol

God did not want an idol to be at the center of the world but man, men and women who would keep the world going with their work. Yet now, in this system devoid of ethics, at the center there is an idol, and the world has become an idolater of this "god-money". Moeny is in command! Money lays down the law! It orders all these things that are useful to it, this idol.

And what happens? To defend this idol, all crowd to the center, and those on the margins are done down, the elderly fall away, because there is not room for them in this world! --- Address, Meeting with workers, Sept 22, 2013

Reflection: Where do you see this "god-money" as an idol in our culture? How does it become an idol in your own life? What's one practical step you can take to fight against this idol during the upcoming week?

Let Go and Let God!

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Communion of Saints

Be aware of the companionship of the whole Church and also the communion of the saints on this mission. When we face challenges together, then we are strong; we discover resources we did not know we had, Jesus did not call the apostles to live in isolation; he called them to form a group, a community. --- Homily, World Youth Day, Closing Mass, July 28, 2013

Reflection: Have you chosen a saint to be a friend, patron, model and intercessor for you? Learn more about that saint this week, and ask him or her to help you with specific challenges your're facing now.

Let Go and Let God!

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Always Destruction

The devil is ... a being that opted not to accept the plan of God ... Jesus defines him as the Father of Lies ... Hist fruits are always destruction: division,hate, and slander. And in my personal experience, I feel him every time that I am tempted to do something that is not what God wants me to do.

I believe that the devil exists. Maybe his greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe that he does not exist. --- On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century.

Reflection: Do you believe that the devil exists? In what area of your life is he trying to tempt you? How are you fighting this temptation? Trust in God that he will help you to choose his plan over the devil's.

Let Go and Let God!

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Always Destruction

The devil is ... a being that opted not to accept the plan of God ... Jesus defines him as the Father of Lies ... Hist fruits are always destruction: division,hate, and slander. And in my personal experience, I feel him every time that I am tempted to do something that is not what God wants me to do.

I believe that the devil exists. Maybe his greatest achievement in these times has been to make us believe that he does not exist. --- On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the 21st Century.

Reflection: Do you believe that the devil exists? In what area of your life is he trying to tempt you? How are you fighting this temptation? Trust in God that he will help you to choose his plan over the devil's.

Let Go and Let God!

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How Beautiful It Is

There is no time to be lost in gossip, there is no need to wait for everyone's concensus; what is necessary is to go out and proclaim. To all people you bring the peace of Christ, and if they do not welcome it, you go ahead just the same. To the sick you bring healing, because God wants to heal ma of every evil.

How many missionaries do this! They sow life, health, comfort to the outskirts of the world. How beautiful it is! Do not life for yourselves, do not live for yourselves, but live to go forth and do good! --- Angelus address, July 7, 2013

Reflection: On a practical level, what does it look like in your everyday life when you live for others and not for yourself? Where are you moving forward in regard to leaving selfishness behind? Don't let anything hold you back --- bring the Gospel to others.

Let Go and Let God!

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Lord of Consolation

Do not be afraid, because the Lord is the Lord of consolation, he is the Lord of tenderness. The Lord is a Father, and he says that he will be for us like a mother with her baby, with a mother's tenderness. Do not be afraid of the consolations of the Lord. --- Homily, June 29, 2013

Reflection: Where do you need to be consoled? Talk to God about the trials and difficulties in your life.

Let Go and Let God!

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He Sees His Son From Afar

I am always struck when I reread the parable of the merciful Father (Luke 15:11-32)... And the Father/ Had he forgotten the son? No, never. He is there, he sees the son from afar, he was waiting for him every hour of every day; the son was always in his father's heart, even though he had left him, even though he had squandered his whole inheritance, his freedom.

The Father, with patience, love hope, and mercy, had never for a second stopped thinking about him, and as soon as he sees him still far off, he runs out to meet him and embraces him with tenderness. -- Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013

Reflection: Think about a time you committed a sin. How do you thin God look upon you in that moment? How does this compare to the image in the parable of the merciful Father? How does this perspective change the way you ask for mercy and forgiveness?

Let Go and Let God!

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The Lethargy of Good People

Some might say: "But, Father, how can we bring love to a global civilization, which amid its many contradictions, seems to be set on an apocalyptic course? How can we care for life from beginning to end?" The great Pope Pius XI once said something very challenging: "t is not the negative forces of civilization that are the great problem of our time, but rather the lethargy of its good people." -- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 2011

Reflection: In what situations are you lethargic? What kees yo from acting? Take a step toward making a difference in this area today

Let Go and Let God!

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The Righteous Man Ponders

Instead of thinking about what others may owe us, let's think about what we owe to others. This adds to a person's dignity: the righteous man ponders how he can be even more just. He does so without anyone forcing him. He does it for the honor and the pleasure that comes from being righteous, from giving back what is not his, from offering reparation to those whom he has cheated. --- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, August 7, 2011

Reflection: The virtue of justice is centered on what we owe others. What do you owe others at home, at work, and in our community? Where are you currently fulfilling your obligations? Where can you improve?

Let Go and Let God!

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Listening Attentively

Listening is not simply hearing. Listening is being attentive. Listening is the desire to understand, to value, to respect, and to save. We must find the means to listen attentively so that each person may speak and find the means to listen attentively so that each person may speak and so that we are aware of what each person wishes to say. --- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, August 7, 2006

Reflection: Practice truly listening to people. Try to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do. Start by attentively listening to God in prayer ad trying to understand what he says to you.

Let Go and Let God!

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The Road We Have Traveled

To remember what God has done and Continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have traveled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives. -- Homily, Easter Vigil,March 30, 2013

Reflection: Recall what God has done throughout your life. Keep this in mind as you talk to God about his plans for your future.

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A Race

Man's life on earth is warfare; Job says it, meaning that people are constantly put to the test; that is to say, a test to overcome a situation and overcome oneself. St. Paul took it and applied it to athletes that compete in an arena and who must deny themselves may things in order to achieve success.

The Christian life is also a sort of sport, a struggle, a race where on has to detach oneself from the things that separate us form God. --- On Heaven and Earth; Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the 21st Century

Reflection: In the First letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul compares the Christians to an athlete competing for a prize (see 1 Cor 9:24-27). What goal are you running toward? Where do you need self-control? How hard are you running?

Let Go and Let God!

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Sterile and Incomplete Prayer

In our Christian life, too, dear brothers and sisters, may prayer and action always be deeply united. A prayer that does not lead you to practical action for your brother -- the poor, the sick, those in need of help, a brother in difficulty -- is a sterile and incomplete prayer.

But, in the same way, when ecclesial service is attentive only to doing, things gain in importance, functions, structures, and we forget the centrality of Christ. When time is not set aside for dialogue with him in prayer, we risk service ourselves and not God present in our needy brother and sister.

Reflection: Does your prayer involve both dialogue and practical action? Talk to Jesus. Listen to him. Write down what he is asking you to do, and then live it out.

Let Go and Let God!

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The Only One Who Can Make Something New

Jesus has the power, through the power of his Spirit, to renew hearts. We need to be confident of this. If we do not trust in Jesus; power as the only means of salvation. If we do not trust that he is the only one who can make something new, we are false Christians We are not truly Christians. --- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, February 189, 2012

Reflection: Do you trust in Jesus' power? Do you think he can really renew your heart? Do you believe he is the only means of salvation? Ask Jesus to give you faith..

Let Go and Let God!

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Devotions, But No Jesus

[Today] we encounter many Christians without Jesus Christ. For example, those like the Pharisees, Christians who put heir faith, their religiosity, their Christianity, in laws: I must do this, I must do that. They are Christians out of habit...[They] seek out only devotions, but no Jesus.

There is something missing, my bother! Jesus is missing If your devotions lead you to Jesus, then they are good. But if they leave you where you are, then something is wrong. --- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, September 7, 2013

Reflection: Ask yourself: "Is my faith primarily a matter of laws and habit What can I do to mre decisively put Jesus at the center of my devotions, and my time at Mass?" Consciously re-center all of your activities on Jesus.

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Never Lose Hope

All Soul's Day

May conflict that sows death make room for encounter and reconciliation that bring life. To all who are suffering I say forcefully: Never lose hope! The Church is beside you, accompanies you, and sustains you! -- Address, June 20, 2013

Reflection: Pray for the people in your life who have passed away, remembering with gratitude any good examples they set for you. Pray for those throughout the world who have died with no one to care about or pray for them.

Let Go and Let God!

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From Sinners to Saints

If we -- all of us -- accept the grace of Jesus Christ, he changes our heart and from sinners make us saints. To become holy, we do not need to turn our eyes away and look somewhere else, or have, as it were, the face on a holy card! No, no, that is not necessary.

To become saints, only one thing is necessary: to accept the grace which the Father gives us in Jesus Christ. --- Address, June 17, 2013

Reflection: Fro you, what does it mean to be a saint? Do you think it is possible for you to be a saint here on earth? Pray about those areas that hold you back from that goal, and ask for God's grace to help you.

Let Go and Let God!

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Closest to His Heart

For God, we are not numbers, we are important, indeed we are the most important thing to him; even if we are sinners, we are what is closest to his heart.

Reflection: Jesus said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-8). In prayer, open yourself to the intimate relationship God wants to have with you.

Let Go and Let God!

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Faith is Strengthened by Proclamation

Are we capable of bringing the Word of God into the environment in which we live? Do we know how to speak of Christ, of what he represents for us, in our families, among the people who form part of our daily lives? Faith is born from listening and is strengthened by proclamation. --- Homily, April 14, 2013

Reflection: Do yo know how to speak of Christ? To proclaim the Gospel with actions and words? Who in your life can help you learn to proclaim Christ to others?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Hide My Sins in Your Wounds

In my own life, I have so often seen God's merciful countenance, his patience; I have also seen so many people find the courage to enter the wounds of Jesus by saying to him: Lord, I am here, accept my poverty, hide my sin in your wounds, wash it away with your blood. And I have always seen that God did just this -- he accepted them, consoled them, cleansed them, loved them. --- Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013

Reflection: You sins are not too big for God's mercy. Trust in him. Ask him for forgiveness. Ask him to make you clean. Take part in the sacrament of Penance.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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What does it mean to worship God?

What does it mean, then, to worship God? It means learning to be with him, it means that we stop trying to dialogue with him, and it means sensing that his presence is the most true, the most good, the most important thing of all. --- Homily, April 14, 2013

Reflection: Begin your time in prayer by asking God to be present to you. Spend at least 5 minutes in silence, meditating on his presence.

Let Go and Let God!

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As a Family, as Church

Let us ask ourselves today: How much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel part of the family of the Church? What do I do to ensure that she is a community in which each one feels welcome and understood, feel the mercy and love of God who renews life?

Faith is a gift and an act which concern us personally, but God calls us to live with our faith together, as a family, as Church

Reflection: Sometimes our Church can be hard to love. Do you have an issue with a teaching of the Church? Try to learn more about it. Do you have a problem with a specific person within the Church? Work on forgiving him or her.

Let Go and Let God!

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A Church With a Few Accidents

Jesus tells us: "Go into all the world! Go! Preach! Bear witness to the Gospel!" (cf. Mark 16:15). But what happens if we step outside ourselves? The same as can happen to anyone who comes out of the house and onto the street: an accident. But I tell you I far prefer a Church that has had a few accidents to a Church that has fallen sick from being closed. -- Address, Vigil of Pentecost with the Ecclesial Movements, May 18, 2013

Reflection: Do you feel vulnerable when your share your faith with others? Maybe you become nervous about what others will think of how they might react. But eternity is worth the awkwardness. Be courageous in sharing your faith with others.

Let Go and Let God!

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Professing Christ Crucified

My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord with the Lord's Cross; to build the Church on the Lord's blood, which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward. --- Homily, March 4, 2013

Reflection: The message of the Cross is one of love and sacrifice How can you courageously profess this message to others in the routine actions of your life?

Let Go and Let God!

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Our True Treasure

Dear friends, let us keep the faith we have received and which is our true treasure; let us renew our faithfulness to the Lord, even in the midst of obstacles and misunderstanding. God will never let us lack strength and calmness. -- Homily, May 12, 2013

Reflection: What trials do you face that test your faith? How can you invite God into these situations? Where do you need strength?

Let Go and Let God!

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Wonder and Contemplation

Cultivating and caring for creation is an instruction of God which he gave not only at the beginning of history, but has also given to each one of us; ... Instead we are often guided by the pride of dominating, possessing, manipulating, and exploiting, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a freely given gifts to look after.

We are losing our attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation.... Why does this happen? Why do we think and live horizontally? We have drifted away from God; we no longer read his signs.

Reflection: In your life, when do you tend to dominate, posses, manipulate, or exploit? How could wonder and contemplation help you in these areas?

Let Go and Let God!

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The Law of Love

What is the law of the People of God? It is the law of love, love for God and love for neighbor, according to thenew commandment that the Lord left for us (cf. John 13:34).It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, but the acknowledgment of God as the one Lord of life and, at the same time, the acceptance of the other as my true brother, overcoming division, rivalry, misunderstanding selfishness; these tow things go together. Oh, how much more of the journey do we have to make in order to actually live the new law. --- General Audience , June 12, 2013

Reflection: What do you struggle with more --- loving God or loving your neighbor? Take time to work on any weakness in these areas this month. What is God calling you to do?

Let Go and Let God!

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Listening to our Daily Reality

This is also true in our daily life: Listening to God, who speaks o us, and listening also to daily reality, paying attention to people, to events, because the Lord is at the door of our life and knocks in many ways, he puts signs on our path: he gives us the ability to see them. -- Address, May 31, 2013.

Reflection: Use your time in prayer to reflect on your week. What signs is God putting in your path? What is he trying to tell you through the events, people, and places in your life?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Understood and Loved

Throughout the Gospels, we see how Jesus by his words and actions bring the transforming life of God. This was the experience of the woman who anointed the feet of the Lord with ointment: she felt understood, loved and she responded by a gesture of love: she let herself be touched by God's mercy, she obtained forgiveness, and she started a new life. God, the Living One, is merciful. Do you agree? --- Homily, June 16, 2013

Reflection: Where do you need transformation? Where do you need forgiveness and new life? Will you let God's mercy change you?

Let Go and Let God!

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A Soaking Wet Blanket

Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus

There is no holiness in sadness: there isn't any! St. Teresa...said:"A saint who is sad is a sad saint." It is not worth much...

When you see a seminarian, a priest , a sister, or a novice with a long face, gloomy, who seems to have thrown a soaking wet blanket over their life, one of those heavy blankets ... which pulls one down.... Something has gone wrong! But please: never any sisters, never any priests with faces like "chilis pickled in vinegar! -- Never! ---Address to Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013

Reflection: What is the relationship between holiness and joy If you wish to have more joy, draw closer to our Lord. Put on joy, especially when others are wet blankets.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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It is to Your Advantage

Let us try asking ourselves: Am I open to the action of the Holy Spirit? Do I pray to him to give me illumination to make me more sensitive to God;s things?

This is a prayer we must pray every day: "Holy Spirit, make my heart open to the Word of God, make my heart open to goodness, make my heart open to the beauty of God every day." --- General Audience, May 1, 2013

Reflection: Jesus said, "It is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7). I invite the Holy Spirit to reign in your hearts, in your mind, and in your Life today and every day.


Let Go and Let God!

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New Leaven

Crossing the threshold of faith means trusting and acting in the power of the Holy Spirit, who is present in the Church and manifests himself in the signs of the times. It means joining in the constant flow and history without succumbing to the paralyzing defeatism that views past times as better. It is an urgency to think in new ways, offer new suggestions, and create new things, kneading life with the new leaven of "sincerity and truth". (1 Cor 5:8). --- Only Love can save us, Letter to the Priests, Religious, and Faithful of Buenos Aires, October 1, 2012

Reflection: Have you ever caught yourself living in the past? How is God calling you to move on? How can you embrace the new opportunities that God presents to you?



Let Go and Let God!

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The Fullness of Truth

As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit guides us"into all the truth": (John 16:19) not only does he guide us to the encounter with Jesus, the fullness of the Truth, but he also guides us "into" the truth ---that is, he make us enter into an ever deeper communion with Jesus, giving us knowledge of all the things of God. And we cannot achieve this by our own efforts.

Unless God enlightens us from within our Christian existence will be superficial. ----General Audience, My 15, 2013


Reflerction: Try reading one paragraph from the Catechism each day this week. See what you can learn about the truth of God.

Let Go and Let God!

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What has God Given You?

A Christian who withdraws into himself , who hides everything that the Lord has given hime, is a Christian who ...he is not a Christian! He is a Christian who does not thank God for everything God has given him! General Audience, April 24,2013

Reflection: Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. What talents has God given you Are you using them or hiding tehm? Thank God by using the gifts he has given you.

Let Go and Let God!

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What has God Given You?

A Christian who withdraws into himself , who hides everything that the Lord has given hime, is a Christian who ...he is not a Christian! He is a Christian who does not thank God for everything God has given him! General Audience, April 24,2013

Reflection: Read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. What talents has God given you Are you using them or hiding tehm? Thank God by using the gifts he has given you.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Let Us Say "Yes"

The Living God sets us free! Let us say "yes" to lovae not selfishness. Let us say "yes" o life and not death. Let us say "yes" to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time. In a word, let us say "yes" to the God who is love, life, and freedom, and who never disappoints. --- Homily, June 16, 2013

Reflection How cn you reject selfishness, idols, and death and say "yes" to God today? What do ou have to say "no" to today to make this "Yes" possible!

Let Go and Let God!

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Save us for, being a Gnostic Church

The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the Living God and Saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and self-referential, closed in on herself; he impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. --- Homily, Mass with the Ecclesial Movements on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013.

Reflection: Do you communicate the joy of the faith, or do you project an air of anxiety or harshness or negativity? Fearlessly ask the Lord to help you see yourself as others see you, and to correct those things that hinder your witness.




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10/4/18 8:57 A
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Give Us This Merciful Heart

Feast of St. Faustina

God always wants mercy and does not condemn it in anyone. He wants heartfelt mercy because he is merciful and can understand well our misery, our difficulties, and also our sins. He gives all of us this merciful heart of his! -- Angelus Address, July 14, 2013

Reflection: Jesus said, :"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you sill not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven: (Luke 6:37). God establishes a relationship between our willingness to give mercy to others and the mercy he gives to us. Who in your life needs forgiveness instead of judgment and condemnation?

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Embracing the Suffering Body of Christ

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

The young Francis abandoned riches and comfort in order to become a poor man among the poor.He understood that true joy and riches do not come form the idols of this world --- material things and the possession of them --- but are to be found only in following Christ and serving others.

Less well known, perhaps, is the moment when this understanding took concrete form in his own life. It was when Francis embraced a leper. This suffering brother was the "Mediator of light ... for St. Francis of Assisi (Lumen Fidei, n. 57) because in every suffering brother and sister that we embrace, we embrace the suffering Body of Christ. --- Address, World Youth Day, July 24, 2013

Reflection: Why is St. Francis' example important to us today? What does it mean for you to abandon your comfort and to embrace others?

Let Go and Let God!

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10/2/18 9:47 A
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Guardian Angels

On the journey and in the trials of life, we are not alone: we are accompanied and sustained by the angels of Gd, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome the many dangers, to be able to fly above those realities that can make our lives difficult or drag us down. - Address, July 5, 2013

Reflection: What role do angels play in your faith life? Catholics believe that each person has a guardian angel. Have you ever prayed to ours? Ask your guardian angel for help, protection, and guidance!

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10/1/18 10:39 A
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Father

It is the Spirit himself, who we received in Baptism, who teaches us, who spurs us to say to God: "Father" or, rather "Abba" --- which means "Papa" or ["dad"]. Our God is like this: he is a dad to us...God treats us as children, he understands us, he forgives us, he embraces us, he loves us even when we err. --- General Audience, April 10,2013

Reflection: We are chiidlren of the God of the universe, the one who is all-powerful and yet all-loving too. Does that fact make any difference to you as you go about your day-to-day life?

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9/30/18 9:36 A
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Common Sanctity

I see the holiness ... in the patience of the People of God; a woman who is raising children, a man who works to bring home the bread, the sick, the elderly priests who have so many wounds but have a smile on their faces because they served the Lord, the sisters who work hard and live a hidden sanctity This is for me the common sanctity.

I often associate sanctity with patience; not only patience as hypomane (The New Testament Greek word] taking charge of the events and circustances of life, but also as a constancy in going forward, day by day. --- Interview with Pope Francis, America magazine, Sept. 30, 2013

Reflection: Where is God calling you to be patient? How can you look to the Lord to find hope, meaning, and strength in times of routine or hand work? Trust in God, and allow him to move you forward.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/29/18 10:34 A
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Who Is Like God?

Feasts of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Michael -- which means: "Who is like God?" -- is the champion of the primacy of God, of his transcendence and power. Michael fights o reestablish diving justice; he defends the People of God from their enemies and above all from the archenemy par excellence, the devil. And St, Michael triumphs because in him it is God who acts. This [St. Michael] sculpture reminds us, therefore, that evil is vanquished, the accuser is unmasked, his head is crushed, because salvation was fulfilled once and for all by the blood of Christ.

Even if the devil is always trying to scratch the face of the archangel and the face of man. God is stronger; his is the victory, and his salvation is offered to every human being.

Reflection: Do you call upon St. Michael to defend you in you battle against evil? And do you allow God to go before you in all you do, helping you to fight and to stand firm when you are in trouble? Make the choice to fight alongside him.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/28/18 9:54 A
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Justice and the Spirit of Evil

If we live according to the law "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," we will never escape from the spiral of evil. The evil one is clever, and deludes us into thinking that our human justice we can save ourselves and save the world! In reality, only the justice of God can save us! Ant the justice of God is revealed in the Cross: the Cross is the judgment of God on us and on this world.

But how does God judge us? By giving his life for us! Here is the supreme act of justice that defeated the prince of this world once and for all; and this supreme act of justice is the supreme act of justice.is the supreme act of mercy. Jesus calls us to follow this path: "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:36).

I now ask of you one thing. In silence, let's all think ... everyone think of a person with whom we are annoyed, with whom we are angry, someone we do not like. Let us think of that person and in silence, at this moment, let us pray for this person, and let us become merciful with this person. --- Angelus address, September 15, 2013

Reflection: Take some time in silence to act upon the Holy Father's request, above.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/27/18 9:38 A
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This is Providence!

Jesus senses our problems, he senses our weaknesses, he senses our needs. Looking at those five loaves, Jesus thinks: This is Providence! From this small amount, God can make it suffice for everyone, Jesus trusts in the heavenly Father without reserve; he knows that for him everything is possible. --- Angelus address, June 2, 2013

Reflection: What are your weaknesses and needs: How do you think God is using these in his divine plan? Entrust your will to God's plan, however mysterious it may seem.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/26/18 10:24 A
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God Never Tires! Let Us Never Tire!

Let us not forget this word: God never tires of forgiving us! "Well Father, what is the problem?" Well, the problem is that we ourselves tire, we do not want to ask, we grow weary of asking for forgiveness He never tires of forgiving, but at time we get tired of asking for forgiveness. Let us never tire; let us never tire!


He is the loving Father who always pardons, who has that heart of mercy for us all. And let us, too, learn to be merciful to everyone. -- Angelus address, March 17, 2013

Reflection: Do you grow weary of asking for forgiveness and of confessing the same sins? Let's accept the Lord's continual forgiveness, and let's continually forgive those who repeatedly offend us.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/25/18 10:08 A
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Grace

Of course, we must always have clearly in mind that we are justified, we are saved through grace, through an act of freely given love by God, who always goes before us; on our own, we can do nothing.

Faith is, first of all, a gift we received. But in order to bear fruit, God's grace always deands our openness to him, our free and tangible response.

Reflection: What grace has God been offering you lately? Where is he working and moving in your life? How can you open yourself up to this grace, in your heart, with your thoughts, and in your actions?

Let Go and Let God!

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Welcome His Victory

Christ has fully triumphed over evil once and for all, but it is up to us, to the people of every epoch, to welcome this victory into our life and into the actual situations of history and society.
--- Regina Caeli address, April 1, 2013

Reflection: In your trials, sufferings, and disappointments, remember Christ;s victory. Invite the reality of Jesus' triumph into your life.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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9/23/18 8:41 A
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Jesus' Voice Is Unique

Jesus wants to establish with his friends a relationship which mirrors his own relationship with the Father: a relationship of reciprocal belonging in full trust, in intimate communion. To express this profound understanding, this relationship of friendship, Jesus uses the image of the shepherd with his sheep; he calls them and they recognize his voice; they respond to his call and follow him.

This parable is very beautiful!...Jesus' voice is unique! If we learn to distinguish it, he guides us on the path of life, a path that goes beyond even the abyss of death. --- Regina Caeli address, April 14, 2013

Reflection: How do you hear the shepherd's voice? What other voices distract and deceive you in our world? In prayer, you can learn to distinguish the authentic voice of Jesus.


Let Go and Let God!

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9/22/18 7:41 A
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To give others a few blows

Gentleness is a somewhat forgotten virtue: being gentle, making room for others. There are so many enemies of gentleness, aren't there? Starting with gossip. When people prefer to tell tales, to gossip about others to give others a few blows. These are daily events that happen to everyone, and to me too.... They are temptations of the evil one, who does not want the Spirit to create this gentleness in Christian communities. --- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, April 9, 2013

Reflection: Once we gossip, our words are out there, never to be collected again. Take some time to examine your conscience and recall the times you have spoken poorly of others. Resolve to root out this temptation of the evil one and grow in the virtue of gentleness.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/21/18 6:29 A
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Profound War Against Evil

It is the firm and courageous decision to renounce evil and its enticements and to choose the good, ready to pay in person: this is following Christ; this is what taking up our cross means!

This profound war against evil What is the use of waging war, so many wars, if you aren't capable of waging this profound war against evil It is pointless! It doesn't work. --- Angelus address, September 8, 2013

Reflection: If someone witnessed your day to day life, would they witness a battle against evil? What courageous actions would they see?

Let Go and Let God!

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9/20/18 6:40 A
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The Image of Christ and His Church

The Church is the bride. In the Gospel, [Jesus] returns many times in the images of the wise virgins waiting for the bridegroom with burning lamps and the feast that the father throws for the wedding of his son...

The Lord shows us that the relationship between him and the Church is matrimonial. This is the deepest reason why the Church guards the sacrament of Marriage. And it is called a great sacrament because it is precisely the image of the kind of union that Christ has with the Church. --- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, September 6, 2013

Reflection: Throughout Scripture, God refers to his relationship with the People of God as matrimonial. In light of this, what is your love like for the Lord? Do you consider him the love of your life? Have you made a lifelong commitment to him?

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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9/19/18 9:01 A
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Money

Money has to serve, not to rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ's name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. --- Address, May 16, 2013

Reflection: When have you let the love of money overshadow your love of God? When have you let your love of God overshadow your love of money? Ask God to help you use your resources to server others.

Let Go and Let God!

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9/18/18 8:56 A
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Not An Enemy

My wish is that the dialogue between us should help us build bridges connecting all people, in such a way that everyone can see in the other not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced! -- Address, March 22, 2013

Reflection: Whom do you view as an enemy or rival? How can you change your attitude? What action can you take this week to help you view this individual as a brother or sister?

Let Go and Let God!

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Rebel Against the Culture

Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion. Is it out of fashion? In a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of "enjoying" the moment. They say that it is not worth making a lifelong commitment, making a definitive decision, "forever," because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. --- Homily, World Youth Day, July 23, 2013

Reflection: What commitments have you made to your family, parish, vocation, and friends? Make a firm resolution to stick to the commitments regardless of the cost, and ask God for the strength to do so.

Let Go and Let God!

Bob Hook

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Unearthing Hidden Idols

I am sure none of us stands before a tree to worship it as an idol... none of us keeps statues to adore at home. [But] idolatry is subtle; we have our hidden idols, and the road through life to arrive at the Kingdom of God...entails unearthing hidden idols. --- Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, June 6, 2013

Reflection: What idols do you need to unearth on your joyney to the Kingdom of God? Pride? Wealth? Attention? What's one step or sacrifice you can make this week to separate yourself from your idols?

Let Go and Let God!

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