July-August 2023: Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day
July – August 2023

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 July 2023

The Gospel of Jesus is not only about a way of life founded on love and mercy, but above all about the person of Jesus himself. Today he claims a special place in our lives, more important than our dearest ones. Being a disciple is not a marginal aspect of my life, it is central. I ask for the grace to be a real disciple of Jesus, capable of taking up my cross and following him.

At the same time, Jesus assures us that even the smallest gesture of mercy to those in need will not go unnoticed. Let me reflect on the many such gestures that fill my life.


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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
9 July 2023

We all know the times of carrying heavy burdens of failure, pain, loss, shame, guilt, depression, hopelessness. Only in honestly admitting our big needs can we find the rest of soul which we need. A soul at rest can share with many the peace of God.

A saying of Saint Catherine of Siena was ‘Where we see sins, God sees weakness’. She points to the reality that many people try to do their best but find their faults and failings often overcome them. God sees the heart and sees our efforts to do good, even though these efforts do not always succeed. God’s Spirit, given with many gifts and energies for the world, also brings the gift of Divine forgiveness.



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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
16 July 2023

Joy and happiness are two different things, although they are obviously related. There are things in our lives we feel happy doing or experiencing. Watching a good movie makes us feel happy for the time we’re watching it. Happiness is very much in the moment, and it can be good. But joy is a different thing. Joy is a deeper sense than happiness. We feel happy watching a film, but feel joy when we see a good friend who we haven’t seen for awhile. Joy is different. To live lives of joy is not to depend on happiness or temporary experiences. It is to seek out the better path and walk it.

Brendan McManus SJ & Jim Deeds
Finding God in the Mess (Messenger 2023)


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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
23 July 2023 • World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly

Alzheimer’s and dementia leaves people waiting patiently upon events around them, as they are recipients of what happens to them. I met some people in the Nazareth care home in Hammersmith, London, who had families, carers and great achievements. Due to severe dementia, disability and bouts of depression, they are confined, restricted and deprived of the power of mobility. These patients embody a contemplative like silence on their beds, their bodies limp and the palms of their hands are opened in wordless prayer. their posture is one of total dependance. In a way, their beds become altars of offering, where the words ‘this is my body’ evoke a reality of awe.

John Cullen
Our Wounded God – Beyond, Beside and Within us (Messenger 2023)

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
30 July 2023

Life is not about what will happen or what did happen.
It is about what is happening.
Look at the nature around you today. God is in it.
Creation is God’s story.
‘There is treasure in the fields,
there is treasure in the skies,
there is treasure in their meaning
from the soul to the eyes.’

So find God in nature, it will at least slow you down.
And who knows it may give you space to reflect on what will happen
And what did happen.

Grainne Delaney
Occasional Prayers for the School Year (Messenger 2023)

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The Transfiguration of the Lord
6 August 2023

We may never experience anything as powerful as the Transfiguration. But every day in countless and seemingly small ways God does break into our world and our daily lives. Every time we experience a moment of peace, joy, reconciliation or forgiveness, God is with us. Every time that we reach out to help another person is a moment of transfiguration both for ourselves and for those we help. Each time somebody shows care and concern for us is a moment when God is reaches out to us. This week, let us open our hearts so that we may hear Jesus speaking to us. May we slow down and look for moments of small but important times of transfiguration in our own ordinary daily lives.

Michael Moore OMI


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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
13 August 2023

In a house made of thoughts the bricks are paper thin, the roof forever in a state of disrepair as one image replaces another. Which reminds me of the three little pigs building their house of straw. Despite ourselves we can live a lifetime in our prison house of thoughts – of grudges, fears, worries, regrets – and miss out on the fresh air of the ever-present moment.

It’s summer. Look at the bush full of bees on a nectar trip, hear a bird speaking out and feel the breeze on your face. The world is addressing you as friend. Come out play, it says. Wise up, will you. Breathe.

Hugh O’Donnell
Time to Call Home (Veritas)


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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
15 August 2023

The threefold terror of love; a fallen flare
Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.
Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?
What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart’s blood stop
Or strikes a Sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?

W.B. Yeats, The Mother of God

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Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
20 August 2023

The brain prefers nature sounds to man-made or mechanical sounds. So when you go out into nature for some green therapy, it’s best to go to places that are free from traffic, aviation or agricultural noise. The sounds of nature that we most like are water, wind and birdsong so pick the times when birdsong is at its loudest in your environment. When we go into nature and try to listen to its sounds it can be more difficult than appreciating its sights. As a general rule, try to avoid human sounds when renewing yourself in nature. Most of the demands in our lives come from other humans.

Tom Gunning
Nature’s Way – A Guide to Green Therapy  (Beehive Books)

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Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
27 August 2023

Studies show that even natural colours like greens, blues and browns allow us to be more restful and less stressed. The older parts of our brain are more at home in a natural environment. The green of fields, meadows and forest canopies also remind the brain of an abundant food supply. Where there is green there is food, security and order. Albert Einstein put it thus, ‘The most important decision we make is whether we believe in a friendly or hostile universe.’ When we walk through the forest the lush green shadows on the forest floor are supermarket shelves to more archaic systems that sate, reassure and sooth.

Tom Gunning
Nature’s Way – A Guide to Green Therapy  (Beehive Books)