Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
I will note one area where I'm not living up to the public image I present. Then I will offer up a decade of the rosary to overcome that vice or weakness.
Lord, before I can produce anything lasting in my life, I
need to be united to you in prayer. Aware of my weakness and inclination to sin, I trust all the
more in your forgiveness and mercy. I believe in your presence in the Eucharist. It gives me the
assurances that you really are with your Church until the end of
Lord, help me to improve one point of my life that has been
1. Lord, Lord:
"Faith without works is useless" (James 2:20). Witnessing
to our faith through our works is crucial. It's not enough to go to Mass on Sunday, to have the
Bible on the shelf, to hang a rosary on the rearview mirror. Faith in Christ means daily conversion,
changing our lives in conformity to his will. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter
the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
Doing the will of the Father means works of charity, of patience, of disinterested service. Real
expressions of our faith demand that we give of ourselves. Real faith doesn't leave us feeling smug.
Do I ever feel self-righteous because "I'm with the Pope"? Because I "never got caught" doing
something wrong? Does my faith in Christ leave me complacent? Or does it drive me to works of
2. Rock Solid:
Listening to and following Christ means living as we
should. There is a truth about our being human that demands a response. To know, love and serve God
in this world, and to be happy with him forever in the next, sums up the purpose of our lives (see
Catechism, No. 1). When we sin, we break not only with Christ but with ourselves. We feel divided
interiorly by our passions, our anger, our vanity, our greed. Christ invites us to "come home," to
be what we were meant to be. That is the surest foundation we can have when a crisis strikes. Where
am I "building on sand"? Is my prayer life weak? Am I stingy with my possessions? Hardhearted toward
a family member?
We can surmise that the house built on sand looked
sturdy -- that is why no one thought to test its strength before the big storm arrived. Our lives
can be the same way. In a time of calm everything seems OK. No cares, no fears. Everything looks
good on the outside, like those old Hollywood movie sets: all façade, but no depth. Beneath the
surface, however, there might lie decay, chronic problems, issues that aren't resolved, emptiness --
all because Christ isn't the center of our lives. Are there areas of my life where I'm living
superficially? Am I just putting up appearances for the neighbors? My parents? My spouse? My
sweetheart? My pastor? What problems do I need to weed out of my life?
Lord, you love me too much to stand by and let me live my life on the surface. You
know it is difficult for me to give up my mask, because it is never easy for me to face my
weaknesses. Give me the strength to confront what I need to change in my
I will note one area where I'm not living up to the public image
I present. Then I will offer up a decade of the rosary to overcome that vice or