Tag Archives: Catholic

A step towards holiness

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Three Crosses
drypoint and burin on paper (III/IV), 1653 Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The other [criminal]… said in reply, “…indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.
Luke 23:40-43

Every day brings many challenges that require me to choose appropriate words, actions, and behaviors. When I ask the Lord to remember me, I am acknowledging my need for the Lord’s constant guidance so that I may reflect God’s love, peace, and kindness in all my interactions.

Love, peace, and kindness help make heaven on earth a reality. Today I will remember that taking responsibility for my words, actions, and behaviors is a step towards holiness.

Filled with the joy of kindness

[Jesus said to her,] “Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.” John 8:10-11

I am often tempted to judge and condemn myself and others. But this temptation is not of God.

Today I will remember God’s great mercy and kindness. I will reject fear. I will ask God to fill me with God’s love, peace, compassion, and joy.

God answers

(Hans) Sebald Beham (1500-1550)
Die Geschichte des verlorenen Sohnes/
The Prodigal Son, 1538
Private Collection

When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. Psalm 34:7

God is present. God hears me when I call out. God saves me from distress by blessing me with courage and strength to bear a burden, by showing me what to do in a difficult situation, by giving me the right words at the right moment, by removing my resentments, by helping me to grieve, and through the kindness and compassion of other people.

Today I will call on God for all my needs. I will trust that my prayer will be answered and stay alert to receive the help God provides.

Cultivate kindness and compassion

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Le vigneron et le figuier,
between 1886 and 1894
gouache over graphite
on gray wove paper
Brooklyn Museum

The Lord is kind and merciful. Psalm 103:8a

Kind words and actions and a compassionate presence do more to build up the kingdom of heaven than harshness, impatience, and an unforgiving attitude.

Lord, show me how to be more like you. Fill me with your kindness, peace, and compassion. May my words and actions reflect your infinite patience and love.

Pray for peace and healing

Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. Luke 9:28b

A mountain of anxiety, distress, dis-ease, and grief fills our world. May I have the courage to go with the Lord up the mountain to pray for peace and healing for all people everywhere.

Today I will remember that prayer puts me in conscious contact with the presence of the Lord.

Lord, lead me on the path of love and goodness. Fill me with your compassion and kindness.

Choose kindness and gentleness

Jesus among the teachers
Art in the Christian Tradition,
a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48280
[retrieved December 26, 2021].
Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr

Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:12-14

There are many, many attributes I can develop so that I live out the Lord’s command to love my neighbor.

Today I will be kindness, gentleness, and patience in all my interactions.

Blessed Are We

The Visitation
Fresco, ca.1000
St. Sophia of Kyiv

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1:45

The Lord has spoken a vision of love to us: love of God, neighbor, and self.

Today I will ask the Lord to fill me with God’s own love, peace, and joy so that I may practice what I believe. I will collaborate in the work of love by treating all people with respect, kindness, and compassion.

God in our midst

The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals. Zephaniah 3:17-18a

Today I will remember I am never alone. I am always in the presence of the Lord who delights in me, loves and encourages me, and helps me in every way.

With joy

Jacques Callot (1592-1635)
S. Jean Baptiste, June 24th, from Les Images De Tous Les Saints et Saintes de L’Année, 1636
Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

Today I will prepare the way of the Lord by letting my heart be filled with God’s love, peace, kindness, and joy. I will release that love, peace, kindness, and joy to bless everyone I encounter.

A wider, deeper heart

Tree of Jesse Icon, 17th c.

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all. 1 Thessalonians 3:12

My capacity to give and receive love dips and rises and mostly seems to plateau at a level that feels most comfortable for me. What would it feel like to continually increase in love, to greet the world and everyone in it with an abundance of joy, compassion, kindness, respect, encouragement, and delight?

Today I will ask God to widen and deepen my heart to increase my capacity for love.