aPRIL 16 Monday
Daniel, Chapter 10, Verse 11-14
11“Daniel, beloved,” he said to me, “Understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12“Do not fear, Daniel,” he continued; “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, 13but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, 14and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the last days; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.”
When I read this verse I hear the Lord saying this to us all-Stay with me-do not be afraid. Today go to the Blessed Sacrament and spend some time with the Lord. There our Lord will pull us to Himself and transform us into warriors and conquerors. Daniel’s vision charges him with engaging him is spiritual warfare; as are we by Christ. Daniel learns the lessons every leader who confronts evil in the world must master.
1. Spiritual leaders lead not only God’s family, but God’s army.
2. Prayer ignites spiritual warfare invisible to us.
3. Both spiritual kingdoms seem to have princes.
4. Spiritual warfare can delay victories.
5. We must not fear spiritual warfare.
6. Understanding warfare enables us to cooperate with God’s purposes.
Wisely face an invisible spiritual world around you. Draw near to Christ and He will transform your disenchantment with the world and help you along the road to holiness and sainthood.
Our lives are songs; God writes the words and we set them to music at pleasure; and the song grows glad, or sweet or sad, as we choose to fashion the measure. Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
More Alive, More Human
Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self. To depend on God, sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity. We see this in Saint Josephine Bakhita: “Abducted and sold into slavery at the tender age of seven, she suffered much at the hands of cruel masters. But she came to understand the profound truth that God, and not man, is the true Master of every human being, of every human life. This experience became a source of great wisdom for this humble daughter of Africa”. To the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. The bishops of West Africa have observed that “we are being called in the spirit of the New Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the empowering of all you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of the world wherever you find yourselves”. Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.
Marie Bernarde ('Bernadette') Soubirous was the eldest child of an impoverished miller. At the age of fourteen she was ailing and undersized, sensitive and of pleasant disposition but accounted backward and slow. Between 11 February and 16 July 1858, in a shallow cave on the bank of the river Gave, she had a series of remarkable experiences. On eighteen occasions she saw a very young and beautiful lady, who made various requests and communications to her, pointing out a forgotten spring of water and enjoining prayer and penitence. The lady eventually identified herself as the Virgin Mary, under the title of 'the Immaculate Conception'. Some of these happenings took place in the presence of many people, but no one besides Bernadette claimed to see or hear 'the Lady', and there was no disorder or emotional extravagance. After the appearances ceased, however, there was an epidemic of false visionaries and morbid religiosity in the district, which increased the reserved attitude of the church authorities towards Bernadette's experiences. For some years she suffered greatly from the suspicious disbelief of some and the tactless enthusiasm and insensitive attentions of others; these trials she bore with impressive patience and dignity. In 1866 she was admitted to the convent of the Sisters of Charity at Nevers. Here she was more sheltered from trying publicity, but not from the 'stuffiness' of the convent superiors nor from the tightening grip of asthma. 'I am getting on with my job,' she would say. 'What is that?' someone asked. 'Being ill,' was the reply. Thus she lived out her self-effacing life, dying at the age of thirty-five. The events of 1858 resulted in Lourdes becoming one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in the history of Christendom. But St Bernadette took no part in these developments; nor was it for her visions that she was canonized, but for the humble simplicity and religious trustingness that characterized her whole life.
Patron: Bodily ills; illness; Lourdes, France; people ridiculed for their piety; poverty; shepherdesses; shepherds; sick people; sickness.
· Manhood of the Master-Day 2 week 12
· Please pray for me and this ministry
 John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible.