Spirito Santo, insegnami a pregare

Spirito Santo, vieni in aiuto alla mia debolezza e insegnami a pregare.
Senza di te, Spirito del Padre, non so cosa devo chiedere, né come chiederlo.
Tu vieni in mio soccorso e prega il Padre per me, con sospiri che nessuna parola può esprimere.
Spirito di Dio, tu conosci il mio cuore: prega in me come il Padre vuole.
Spirito Santo, vieni in aiuto alla mia debolezza e insegnami a pregare.
Amen

le meraviglie del mondo futuro

Matteo 21:15

Ma i sommi sacerdoti e gli scribi, vedendo le meraviglie che faceva e i fanciulli che acclamavano nel tempio: «Osanna al figlio di Davide», si sdegnarono

Mat 21:15 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Luca 13:17

Quando egli diceva queste cose, tutti i suoi avversari si vergognavano, mentre la folla intera esultava per tutte le meraviglie da lui compiute.

Lu 13:17 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Ebrei 6:5

e hanno gustato la buona parola di Dio e le meraviglie del mondo futuro.

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD

Lamentations 3:27  It is good for a man that he should bear The yoke in his youth.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Hebrews 12:9,10  Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? • For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

Psalm 119:67,71  Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. • It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.

Jeremiah 29:11  ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

1 Peter 5:6  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

 

Nessun esempio di virtù è assente dalla croce

Dalle «Conferenze» di san Tommaso d’Aquino, sacerdote

(Conf. sopra il «Credo in Deum»)
Nessun esempio di virtù è assente dalla croce

    Fu necessario che il Figlio di Dio soffrisse per noi? Molto, e possiamo parlare di una duplice necessità: come rimedio contro il peccato e come esempio nell’agire.
    Fu anzitutto un rimedio, perché è nella passione di Cristo che troviamo rimedio contro tutti i mali in cui possiamo incorrere per i nostri peccati.
    Ma non minore è l’utilità che ci viene dal suo esempio. La passione di Cristo infatti è sufficiente per orientare tutta la nostra vita.
    Chiunque vuol vivere in perfezione non faccia altro che disprezzare quello che Cristo disprezzò sulla croce, e desiderare quello che egli desiderò. Nessun esempio di virtù infatti è assente dalla croce.
    Se cerchi un esempio di carità, ricorda: «Nessuno ha un amore più grande di questo: dare la vita per i propri amici» (Gv 15,13).
    Questo ha fatto Cristo sulla croce. E quindi, se egli ha dato la sua vita per noi, non ci deve essere pesante sostenere qualsiasi male per lui.
    Se cerchi un esempio di pazienza, ne trovi uno quanto mai eccellente sulla croce. La pazienza infatti si giudica grande in due circostanze: o quando uno sopporta pazientemente grandi avversità, o quando si sostengono avversità che si potrebbero evitare, ma non si evitano.
    Ora Cristo ci ha dato sulla croce l’esempio dell’una e dell’altra cosa. Infatti «quando soffriva non minacciava» (1 Pt 2,23) e come un agnello fu condotto alla morte e non aprì la sua bocca (cfr. At 8,32). Grande è dunque la pazienza di Cristo sulla croce: «Corriamo con perseveranza nella corsa, tenendo fisso lo sguardo su Gesù, autore e perfezionatore della fede. Egli in cambio della gioia che gli era posta innanzi, si sottopose alla croce, disprezzando l’ignominia» (Eb 12,2).
    Se cerchi un esempio di umiltà, guarda il crocifisso: Dio, infatti, volle essere giudicato sotto Ponzio Pilato e morire.
    Se cerchi un esempio di obbedienza, segui colui che si fece obbediente al Padre fino alla morte: «Come per la disobbedienza di uno solo, cioè di Adamo, tutti sono stati costituiti peccatori, così anche per l’obbedienza di uno solo tutti saranno costituiti giusti» (Rm 5,19).
    Se cerchi un esempio di disprezzo delle cose terrene, segui colui che è il re dei re ed il Signore dei signori, «nel quale sono nascosti tutti i tesori della sapienza e della scienza» (Col 2,3). Egli è nudo sulla croce, schernito, sputacchiato, percosso, coronato di spine, abbeverato con aceto e fiele.
    Non legare dunque il tuo cuore alle vesti ed alle ricchezze, perché «si son divise tra loro le mie vesti» (Gv 19,24); non agli onori, perché ho provato gli oltraggi e le battiture (cfr. Is 53,4); non alle dignità, perché intrecciata una corona di spine, la misero sul mio capo (cfr. Mc 15,17) non ai piaceri, perché «quando avevo sete, mi han dato da bere aceto» (Sal 68,22).

RESPONSORIO        Sap 7,7-8; 9,17

 Pregai, e mi fu elargita la prudenza; implorai, e venne in me lo spirito della sapienza. * L’ho preferita agli onori e al potere: nulla è la ricchezza al suo confronto.
 Chi conosce il tuo pensiero, se tu non gli concedi la sapienza e non gli mandi il tuo Santo Spirito dall’alto?
 L’ho preferita agli onori e al potere: nulla è la ricchezza al suo confronto.

Tuesday (January 29): “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister”

Daily Reading & Meditation

 Tuesday (January 29): “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister”

Scripture:  Mark 3:31-35

31 And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Meditation: Who do you love and cherish the most? God did not intend for us to be alone, but to be with others. He gives us many opportunities for developing relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Why did Jesus, on this occasion, seem to ignore his own relatives when they pressed to see him? His love and respect for his mother and his relatives was unquestionable. Jesus never lost an opportunity to teach his disciples a spiritual lesson and truth about the kingdom of God. On this occasion when many gathered to hear Jesus he pointed to another higher reality of relationships, namely our relationship with God and with those who belong to God.

What kind of relationship does God want with us?
What is the essence of being a Christian? It is certainly more than doctrine, precepts, and commandments. It is first and foremost a relationship – a relationship of trust, affection, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, mercy, helpfulness, encouragement, support, strength, protection, and so many other qualities that bind people together in mutual love and unity. God offers us the greatest of relationships – union of heart, mind, and spirit with himself, the very author and source of love (1 John 4:8,16). 

What is the true nature of God’s love?
God’s love never fails, never forgets, never compromises, never lies, never lets us down nor disappoints us. His love is consistent, unwavering, unconditional, and unstoppable. We may choose to separate ourselves from him, but nothing will make him ignore us, leave us, or treat us unkindly. He will pursue us, love us, and call us to return to him no matter what might stand in the way. It is his nature to love. That is why he created us – to be united with him and to share in his love and unity of persons (1 John 3:1). God is a trinity of persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and a community of love. That is why Jesus challenged his followers and even his own earthly relatives to recognize that God is the true source of all relationships. God wants all of our relationships to be rooted in his love.

The Lord Jesus offers each one of us a personal relationship with himself
Jesus is God’s love incarnate – God’s love made visible in human flesh (1 John 4:9-10). That is why Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep and the shepherd who seeks out the sheep who have strayed and lost their way. God is like the father who yearns for his prodigal son to return home and then throws a great party for his son when he has a change of heart and comes back (Luke 15:11-32). Jesus offered up his life on the cross for our sake, so that we could be forgiven and restored to unity and friendship with God. It is through Jesus that we become the adopted children of God – his own sons and daughters. That is why Jesus told his disciples that they would have many new friends and family relationships in his kingdom. Whoever does the will of God is a friend of God and a member of his family – his sons and daughters who have been ransomed by the precious blood of Christ.

The Lord wants to transform all of our relationships so we can love as he loves
An early Christian martyr once said that “a Christian’s only relatives are the saints” – namely those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and adopted as sons and daughters of God. Those who have been baptized into Jesus Christ and who live as his disciples enter into a new family, a family of “saints” here on earth and in heaven. Jesus changes the order of relationships and shows that true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood. Our adoption as sons and daughters of God transforms all of our relationships and requires a new order of loyalty to God first and to his kingdom of righteousness and peace. Do you want to grow in love and friendship? Allow God’s Holy Spirit to transform your heart, mind, and will to enable you to love freely and generously as he loves.

“Heavenly Father, you are the source of all true friendship and love. In all my relationships, may your love be my constant guide for choosing what is good and for rejecting what is contrary to your will.”

Psalm 24:7-10

7 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors!  that the King of glory may come in. 
8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! 
9 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors!  that the King of glory may come in. 
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The cross of Christ as victory, by Augustine of Hippo, 430-543 A.D.

“[Mary] did the Father’s will. It was this in her that the Lord magnified, not merely that her flesh gave birth to flesh… When he said, ‘Blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it’ (Luke 11:28), he was in effect saying: ‘My mother whom you have called blessed is blessed for the reason that she keeps the Word of God, not that the Word was made flesh in her and dwelt among us (John 1:14), but that she keeps the very Word of God through which she was made and which was made flesh in her.” (excerpt from TRACTATE ON JOHN 10.3.2)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

 

Monday (January 28): Jesus frees us from Satan’s power

Daily Reading & Meditation

 Monday (January 28): Jesus frees us from Satan’s power

Scripture:  Mark 3:22-30  

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house. 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Meditation: When danger lurks what kind of protection do you seek? Jesus came to free us from the greatest danger of all – the corrupting force of evil which destroys us from within and makes us slaves to sin and Satan (John 8:34). Evil is not an impersonal force that just happens. It has a name and a face and it seeks to master every heart and soul on the face of the earth (1 Peter 5:8-9). Scripture identifies the Evil One by many names, ‘Satan’, ‘Beelzebul – the prince of demons’, the ‘Devil’, the ‘Deceiver’, the ‘Father of Lies’, and ‘Lucifier’, the fallen angel who broke rank with God and established his own army and kingdom in opposition to God. 

The Lord Jesus frees us from Satan’s power
Jesus declared that he came to overthrow the power of Satan and his kingdom (John 12:31). Jesus’ numerous exorcisms brought freedom to many who were troubled and oppressed by the work of evil spirits. Jesus himself encountered personal opposition and battle with Satan when he was put to the test in the wilderness just before his public ministry (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1). He overcame the Evil One through his obedience to the will of his Father.

Some of the Jewish leaders reacted vehemently to Jesus’ healings and exorcisms and they opposed him with malicious slander. How could Jesus get the power and authority to release individuals from Satan’s influence and control? They assumed that he had to be in league with Satan. They attributed his power to Satan rather than to God. Jesus asserts that no kingdom divided against itself can survive for long. We have witnessed enough civil wars in our own time to prove the destructive force at work here for the annihilation of whole peoples and their land. If Satan lends his power against his own forces then he is finished. Cyril of Alexandria, a 5th century church father explains the force of Jesus’ argument:

Kingdoms are established by the fidelity of subjects and the obedience of those under the royal scepter. Houses are established when those who belong to them in no way whatsoever thwart one another but, on the contrary, agree in will and deed. I suppose it would establish the kingdom too of Beelzebub, had he determined to abstain from everything contrary to himself. How then does Satan cast out Satan? It follows then that devils do not depart from people on their own accord but retire unwillingly. “Satan,” he says, “does not fight with himself.” He does not rebuke his own servants. He does not permit himself to injure his own armor bearers. On the contrary, he helps his kingdom. “It remains for you to understand that I crush Satan by divine power.” [Commentary on Luke, Homily 80]

Jesus asserted his authority to cast out demons as a clear demonstration of the reign of God. God’s power is clearly at work in the exorcisms which Jesus performed and they give evidence that God’s kingdom has come.

Being clothed in God’s strength
What kind of spiritual danger or harm should we avoid at all costs? Jesus used the illustration of a strong man whose house and possessions were kept secure. How could such a person be overtaken and robbed of his goods except by someone who is stronger than himself? Satan, who is our foe and the arch-enemy of God, is stronger than us. Unless we are clothed in God’s strength, we cannot withstand Satan with our own human strength. What does Satan wish to take from us – our faith and confidence in God and our readiness to follow God’s commandments. Satan is a rebel and a liar. Satan can only have power or dominion over us if we listen to his lies and succumb to his will which is contrary to the will of God. Jesus makes it clear that there are no neutral parties in this world. We are either for Jesus or against him, for the kingdom of God or opposed to it. 

There are ultimately only two kingdoms in opposition to one another – the kingdom of God’s light and truth and the kingdom of darkness and deception under the rule of Satan. If we disobey God’s word, we open the door to the power of sin and Satan’s influence in our lives. If we want to live in true freedom from the power of sin and Satan, then our “house” – our mind and heart and whatever we allow to control our appetites and desires – must be occupied and ruled by Jesus Christ where he is enthroned as Lord and Savior. Do you know the peace and security of a life submitted to God and to his Word?

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
What is the unforgivable sin which Jesus warns us to avoid? Jesus knows that his disciples will be tested and he assures them that the Holy Spirit will give them whatever grace and help they need in their time of adversity. He warns them, however, that it’s possible to spurn the grace of God and to fall into apostasy (giving up the faith) out of cowardice or disbelief. Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit reprehensible? Blasphemy consists in uttering against God, inwardly or outwardly, words of hatred, reproach, or defiance. It’s contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. Jesus speaks of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin. 

Jesus spoke about this sin immediately after the scribes and Pharisees had attributed his miracles to the work of the devil instead of to God. A sin can only be unforgivable if repentance is impossible. If people repeatedly closes their eyes to God, shuts their ears to his voice, and reject his word, they bring themselves to a point where they can no longer recognize God when he can be seen and heard. They become spiritually blind-sighted and speak of “evil as good and good as evil” (Isaiah 5:20).

The Holy Spirit heals and transforms us
To fear such a state of sin and spiritual blindness, however, signals that one is not dead to God and is conscious of the need for God’s grace, mercy, and help. There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who refuses to acknowledge and confess their sins and to ask God for forgiveness, spurns God’s generous offer of mercy, pardon, grace, and healing. Through their own stubborn pride and willfulness, they reject God, refuse his grace and help to turn away from sin, and reject the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to heal and restore them to wholeness. God always gives sufficient grace and help to all who humbly call upon him. Giving up on God and refusing to turn away from sin and disbelief results from pride and the loss of hope in God.

What is the basis of our hope and confidence in God? Through Jesus’ death on the cross and his victory over the grave when he rose again on the third day, Satan has been defeated and death has been overcome. We now share in Christ’s victory over sin and Satan and receive adoption as God’s sons and daughters. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord enables us to live a new life of love and freedom from slavery to sin. The Lord Jesus is our refuge and strength because he makes his home with us (John 15:4) and gives us the power and help of the Holy Spirit. Do you take refuge in the Lord and allow him to be the Ruler of your life?

“Lord Jesus, you are my hope and salvation. Be the ruler of my heart and the master of my home. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your lordship.”

Psalm 89:19-21,24-25

19 Of old you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:  “I have set the crown upon one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people. 
20 I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him; 
21 my hand shall always remain with him; my arm also shall strengthen him. 
24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 
25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The cross of Christ as victory, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

“It is not difficult, therefore, to see how the devil was conquered when he, who was slain by him, rose again. But there is something greater and more profound of comprehension: to see how the devil was conquered precisely when he was thought to be conquering, namely, when Christ was crucified. For at that moment the blood of him who had no sin at all, was shed for the remission of our sins (Matthew 26:28, 1 John 3:5). The devil deservedly held those whom he had bound by sin to the condition of death. So it happened that One who was guilty of no sin freed them justly from this condemnation (Hebrews 2:14). The strong man was conquered by this paradoxical justice and bound by this chain, that his vessels [booty] might be taken away. Those vessels which had been vessels of wrath were turned into vessels of mercy (Romans 9:22-23).” (excerpt ON THE TRINITY 13.15.19)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

 

Preghiera di Papa Francesco alla Santa Famiglia

Gesù, Maria e Giuseppe,
a voi, Santa Famiglia di Nazareth,
oggi, volgiamo lo sguardo
con ammirazione e confidenza;
in voi contempliamo
la bellezza della comunione nell’amore vero;
a voi raccomandiamo
tutte le nostre famiglie.

Santa Famiglia di Nazareth,
scuola attraente del santo Vangelo:
insegnaci a imitare le tue virtù
con una saggia disciplina spirituale,
donaci lo sguardo limpido
che sa riconoscere l’opera della Provvidenza
nelle realtà quotidiane della vita.

Santa Famiglia di Nazareth,
custode fedele del mistero della salvezza:
fa’ rinascere in noi la stima del silenzio,
rendi le nostre famiglie cenacoli di preghiera
e trasformale in piccole Chiese domestiche,
rinnova il desiderio della santità,
sostieni la nobile fatica
del lavoro, dell’educazione,
dell’ascolto, della reciproca comprensione
e del perdono.

Santa Famiglia di Nazareth,
ridesta nella nostra società la consapevolezza
del carattere sacro e inviolabile della famiglia,
bene inestimabile e insostituibile.
Ogni famiglia sia dimora accogliente
di bontà e di pace
per i bambini e per gli anziani,
per chi è malato e solo,
per chi è povero e bisognoso.

Gesù, Maria e Giuseppe
voi con fiducia preghiamo,
a voi con gioia ci affidiamo.

Lodate il Signore, invocate il suo nome

Siracide 18:5

Non c’è nulla da togliere e nulla da aggiungere;
non è possibile indagare le meraviglie del Signore.

Sir 18:5 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Siracide 31:9

Chi è costui? noi lo proclameremo beato:
difatti egli ha compiuto meraviglie in mezzo al suo popolo.

Sir 31:9 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Siracide 36:7

Affretta il tempo e ricòrdati del giuramento;
si narrino le tue meraviglie.

Sir 36:7 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Siracide 38:6

Dio ha dato agli uomini la scienza
perché potessero gloriarsi delle sue meraviglie.

Sir 38:6 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Siracide 42:17

Neppure i santi del Signore sono in grado
di narrare tutte le sue meraviglie,
ciò che il Signore onnipotente ha stabilito
perché l’universo stesse saldo a sua gloria.

Sir 42:17 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Siracide 42:21

Ha ordinato le meraviglie della sua sapienza,
poiché egli è da sempre e per sempre.
Nulla può essergli aggiunto e nulla tolto,
non ha bisogno di alcun consigliere.

Sir 42:21 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Isaia 12:4

In quel giorno direte:
«Lodate il Signore, invocate il suo nome;
manifestate tra i popoli le sue meraviglie,
proclamate che il suo nome è sublime.

Is 12:4 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Isaia 29:14

perciò, eccomi, continuerò
a operare meraviglie e prodigi con questo popolo;
perirà la sapienza dei suoi sapienti
e si eclisserà l’intelligenza dei suoi intelligenti».

Is 29:14 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Daniele 3:99

M’è parso opportuno rendervi noti i prodigi e le meraviglie che il Dio altissimo ha fatto per me.

Da 3:99 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Daniele 3:100

Quanto sono grandi i suoi prodigi
e quanto straordinarie le sue meraviglie!
Il suo regno è un regno eterno
e il suo dominio di generazione in generazione.

Da 3:100 in tutte le versioni Mostra capitolo

Gioele 2:26

Mangerete in abbondanza, a sazietà,
e loderete il nome del Signore vostro Dio,
che in mezzo a voi ha fatto meraviglie.

For here we do not have a lasting city

Hebrews 13:13,14  So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. • For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

1 Peter 4:12,13  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; • but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

2 Corinthians 1:7  and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

1 Peter 4:14  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Acts 5:41  So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Hebrews 11:25,26  choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, • considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

 

Da ricco che eri, Signore Gesù

Signore Gesù, da grande e ricco che eri, ti sei fatto piccolo e povero. Tu hai scelto di nascere fuori di casa in una stalla, di essere fasciato in poveri panni, di essere deposto in una mangiatoia tra un bue e un asinello. Abbraccia l’anima mia, quel divino presepio, premi le labbra sui piedini di Gesù. Baciali tutti e due. Medita le veglie dei pastori, contempla il coro degli Angeli e canta insieme a loro con la bocca e con il cuore: «Gloria a Dio nell’alto dei cieli e pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà».