31th day

31th day

«We discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comment from our readers...

Modern man tells me: "You want to feel alive? Try extreme sports and you'll feel alive". God tells me: "Listen in the silence, go forth towards your neighbour, and you'll feel Life". Life does not exist in a vacuum. It exists as I interact. When I interact with my neighbor, am I really giving life?
-Eric

30th day

30th day

«The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort".»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comment from our readers

It is a miracle worthy of the Gospels: life, like joy, increases and multiplies as it is shared. Here is a miracle that even my minuscule faith allows me to accomplish. Why not today?
-Eric

28th day

28th day

«If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comment from our readers...

One day, at the school where I was teaching, I came across a student who had been thrown out of his classroom because of indiscipline. My colleague was busy with other students who needed assistance, and this particular student looked bored to death, with his forehead head down against the top of his desk.
-What are you doing? I asked him.
-Homework... I don't understand.
-What is it?
-Pronouns!
-Ah! Ok! Look at me: I am a person, (pointing at him) YOU are a person, (pointing at another student) HE is a person, (pointing at everyone around) WE are people...
At that moment, I realized how important it is to pay attention to people above anything else...
-Marie-Monique

27th day

27th day

«As it expands, goodness takes root and develops.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comment from our readers...

For me, this phrase is brimming with hope, and it encourages me to continue to fight against the evil and morbid sensationalism fed by the media. We are surrounded by a sea of fear and disgust, fed by a constant tide of "bad news". Let's quit the drama and become bearers of good news, bringing out the good in the open. Christ assured us that good will triumph over evil! Let us not be afraid to lend a helping hand in the daily struggle to uphold the good.
-Christian

26th day

26th day

«[...] and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comment from our readers...

We only have to let the door of our heart cracked open to let God in, and to experience His mercy for us. Our hearts, our eyes, our hands become free, and the mercy we come to experience ourselves enables us to understand the sufferings of others and to wish them the same joy. We were all created for happiness!
We must not be like the unforgiving servant in the Gospel, who is forgiven of his own dept but turns around and refuses forgiveness to his neighbor who owes him. Rather, every day, we should put into practice Pope Francis' appeal for charity, an honest, real and heartfelt motion towards others.
-Dolène

25th day

25th day

«Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us [...]»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comments from our readers...

This excerpt gives me hope and motivates me to change for the better. It reminds me that every personal journey towards God causes others to follow. I think of Saint Terese of Lisieux who became patron saint of the missions, even though she spent her whole life in a Carmelite convent! She continues to influence people around the world and to obtain conversions!
-Guylaine

24th day

24th day

«[...] if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel

Comments from our readers...

Convey God, His Goodness, His Beauty, His Truth … it sometimes seems that our western societies put a break on our impulses for the sake of secularism. Moreover, do I myself hold back my desire to spread «this Love that gives Life», out of fear of being ridiculed, out of laziness, out of worry and concern?
-Valérie

23th day

23th day

«We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comments from our readers...

I never wanted to be a missionary. I prefered the safety of "hiding" behind the testimony of others. However, God recently put me in a situation where I am forced to go out of my comfort zone, propelled towards those around me. At the same time, I feel the need and the urge to share my faith and my love for God. God transformed me, pushed me beyond myself, and I have never been happier.
-Dominique

22th day

22th day

«Thanks solely to this encounter – or renewed encounter – with God’s love, which blossoms into an enriching friendship, we are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comments from our readers...

Last fall, I came across this phrase Jesus said to Mechtild von Hackeborn and was deeply touched: "Consider how great is my love: If you want to know it well, you will not find it expressed more clearly anywhere than in the Gospel. No one has ever expressed stronger or more tender feelings than these: As my Father has loved me, so have I loved you."
I was struck by the intensity and the profound intimacy of this incommensurate love for us, for me. Jesus loves us AS the Father loves Him; that's a lot being said! I pursued my reflection with this second phrase from the Gospel: "Love one another AS I have loved you". This is the most beautiful, real and true way to live out a relationship. Now that I have had the chance to feel and taste Your presence, it is my turn to offer it to others... AS You love me.
-Dolène

21th day

21th day

«I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

When I was young, like many I was searching for proof of His existence. Experiencing Him as a person, not an idea, or a concept, but a real person with whom we can enter into a relationship, that completely changed my attitude towards the reality of who He is. My quest became certainty that God is in me and present to me throughout my life.
-Marise

20th day

20th day

«Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met. To some extent this is because our "technological society" has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comments from our readers...

I recently experienced a moment of great joy.  I read a few excerpts from Edith Stein’s works before going to bed one night, among which was The Science of the Cross; I was greatly moved by my readings.  Upon leaving my room the following morning, there was a small gift bag at my doorstep and in it was a magnificent little cross!  A friend of mine had dropped off the small gift bag.  She knows that I am very fond of crosses!  I saw it as a sign of the Holy Sprit for He knows how to organize events at the right moment to comfort and strengthen us.   This event made me reflect; the cross can bring us great joy...
-Valérie

19th day

19th day

«It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lam 3:17, 21-23, 26).»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

It took me years of perseverance before I could enjoy the tranquility of silent trust. The tranquility of His presence. I cannot feel it, but I know that God is at work inside of me and that He is "kneading" me. The world seems in disarray, but I am certain that the seed of Resurrection is blossoming. Every day, we get closer to home.
-Valérie

18th day

18th day

«But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness...»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

What a consolation! This phrase gives me so much hope. I am always surprised to discover what God has in store for me. I feel as though he knows me very intimately, "more intimate to me than I am to myself", as saint Augustine would say. Patienly, He "restores" me, He renews me.
I particularily like to pray bathed by the silence of the morning, when the day is "new". I feel I can then gather the grace specific to that day, like the manna in the desert.
-Sylvie

17th day

17th day

«I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress: My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is...»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

Overcoming extreme sadness often seems well beyond our means. I was once in such a situation, unable to deal with the sadness accompanying the death of both my parents, when I was just 5 years old. A child is helpless when faced with the great tribulations of life. Everyday, from childhood to adolescence, I experienced the pain of being without family, committed to life with strangers. It was an ever present, indescribable sadness, even when I would put up a smiling face. Then, on one Easter vigil, the night when we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, this sadness disappeared and was replaced by a new joy. In the days that followed, I noticed, to my amazement, that my tragic past no longer resurfaced as endlessly as before. "We all have to let the joy of faith slowly awake". Pope Francis invites us to keep  the door of faith open, even during our most difficult times, until these moments of Resurrection arrive, when Life triumphs.
-Marie-Monique

16th day

16th day

«Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

I will never forget the day that, as a nurse, I gave a Miraculous Medal of the Immaculate Conception to one of my cancer patients just a few hours before his death. His son arrived to his bedside approximately 30 minutes after his death. When I told him that I had given his father a Miraculous Medal, he opened his hand to reveal a medal of Saint Joseph he had planned to give to his dying father. What a grace!
-Réjeanne

15th day

15th day

«I realize of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty.»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

I am 40 years old, and in reflecting upon my personal journey that brings me closer to God, I can say that the way in which I experience joy has evolved. When I was younger, I would cherish the joy inside of me, as if it were exclusively mine; this joy was authentic but somewhat self-centered. God progressively teaches me how to redirect this joy back to Him, in a motion of gratitude and to direct it towards my neighbours so that they may also benefit from and be encouraged by it.
- Marc

14th day

14th day

«In the Acts of the Apostles we read that the first Christians “ate their food with glad and generous hearts” (2:46). Why should we not also enter into this great stream of joy?»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

At dinner with friends or family, I try as best as I can to set aside everything that could distract me from His presence... from their presence. In my opinion, it is the perfect moment to offer them my presence and to appreciate each and everyone’s unique qualities. Sometimes, when I manage to leave behind my own worries and interests, I am able to focus and give myself to others and suddenly I experience a simple and delectable joy.  It’s as if, slowly, through the presence and words of others, I am able to experience God’s unconditional love for each and every one of us.
- Suzanne

12th day

12th day

«Jesus insists: "But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you" (Jn 16:22)»

-Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel

Comment from our readers...

This joy that comes from inside us, which comes from the Holy Spirit, the joy of knowing that God loves us, that an eternal joy awaits us, that the saints and the angels are there to help us, this joy; no one can take it away from us.
-Marise

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