Phil 4:4 – 9
Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Mt 18:1 – 5
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”
In Conversation with God:
It gives us great confidence in carrying out apostolate to consider frequently that the teaching, the message which we have to communicate, has in its own right an infinite effectiveness which comes not from us, but from Christ…
… the opportunities God gives us do not wait. They come and they go. The word of life does not tarry; if we do not catch hold o fit, the devil will bear it away. The devil is not lazy; rather does he always have his eyes open, and be ever ready to spring, and to snatch away the gift that you do not use…. Resistance to grace produces the same effect in the soul as hail beating on a tree in blossom which gave hopes of bearing much fruit; a blossom is spoilt and the fruit does not ripe… We cannot keep count of all the times the Holy Spirit grants us the grace to avoid deliberate venial sin and all those faults which, without properly being sins, are displeasing to God. The saints are the people who have responded with the greatest sensitivity to that supernatural help. Neither can we keep count of all the graces we receive to help us sanctify the actions of our ordinary life, carrying them out with determination, with perfection and purity of intention, for supernatural reasons as well as for noble human ones… Everything is very different when we do it with love and for Love…
Grace, like nature, normally acts gradually. We cannot, properly speaking, move ahead of grace…
Souls have to be encouraged to aim very high… Lead them to the highest goals… But remember that sanctity is not primarily worked out with one’s own hands. Grace normally takes its time, and is not normally inclined to act with violence or irresistible force.
Encourage your holy impatience, but do not lose your patience…
When we hear St. Paul telling the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord, we can hear it two ways: that we should rejoice always, but also, that we should rejoice all ways. Every action in every moment should be pervaded by Christian joy.
We might hear that we ought to be kind to all because the Lord is near, as if he were watching over our shoulder to catch us if we should be unkind, but this is not what St. Paul means. The Lord is near; He is in that person with whom we are called to interact.
What does it mean to be kind? To be kind meant to recognize someone as family, as one’s own flesh and blood; to be kind meant to see in another one’s own self.
… meet me in chicago down by the water line step across the gold coast to my heart and to your wine maybe cincinnati with a trip in the morning light step across the branches i will follow you over the rhine…