I've been reading from In Conversation with God every weekday, and today's theme is "To Drink of the Lord's Chalice."I just get so much from this series; it's really wonderful.
A few excerpts for today that I found edifying and underlined:
"James and John ask for a place of honor in the new kingdom, and Jesus talks to them about redemption. He asks them if they are ready to suffer with him. He uses the familiar Hebrew image of a chalice, which symbolizes the will of God for an individual."
"Christian life cannot exist without sacrifice...We cannot follow Christ if we do not recognize him as our Savior, if we do not honor him in the mystery of the Cross...The Lord turned suffering into a means of redemption."
"What previously was meaningless now makes sense in Christ."
"Penance is knowing how to reconcile your duties to God, to others, and to yourself, by making demands on yourself so that you find enough time for each of your tasks. You are practicing penance when you lovingly keep to your schedule of prayer, despite feeling worn out, listless or cold."
"Penance means being very charitable at all times toward those around you, starting with the members of your own family. It is to be full of tenderness and kindness towards the suffering, the sick and the infirm. It is to give patient answers to people who are boring and annoying. It means interrupting our work or changing our plans, when circumstances make this necessary, above all when the just and rightful needs of others are involved."
"A spirit of penance keeps us from becoming too attached to the vast imaginative blueprints we have made for our future projects...What joy we give to God when we are happy to lay aside our third-rate painting efforts and let him put in the features and colors of his choice."