Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jan. 21, 2016 Thursday: St. Agnes

Jan. 21, 2016 Thursday: St. Agnes

When David and Saul approached (on David’s return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. The women played and sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David. (1 Sam 18:6-9)

Reflection: We often get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. Sometimes we compare ourselves to our detriment: we are not as beautiful, not as smart, not as rich, not as kind, not as faith-filled, not as compassionate. Sometimes we compare ourselves to our benefit: we do more, give more, pray more, volunteer more, spend more time with our families.

Whenever we get busy looking at others to try to define ourselves, however, we are usually at a point of low self-esteem. We think the way others behave will provide us with what we need to feel good about ourselves. When we let go of comparing ourselves to others and bring the focus back to our own selves, we find our way to self-acceptance.

Padre Pio's Words of Assurance:
“Do not give too much importance to what the enemy and your imagination suggest to you. . . .”
“Do you know what religion is? It is the academy of perfection in which each soul must learn to allow itself to be handled, planed, and smoothed by the divine Spirit, when he also acts as a doctor of our souls so that, having been well-planed and smoothed, they can be united and joined to the will of God. “Religion is a hospital for the spiritually ill who wish to be cured, and in order to achieve this, they submit themselves to . . . some probing, surgical instruments, fire, and all the pains of medicine.” -Padre Pio

Ponder: When do I compare myself to others?

Prayer: Lord, you are good and merciful. In your compassion, heal my need to compare myself to others.