Two angels

Every day at dawn God sends two angels to earth.  One angel holds a basket for petitions; the other, for thanksgiving and praise.  Then, at dusk, the two angels return home to heaven.

Which basket do you think is fuller at day’s end?

We always ask and ask without thinking to thank and praise.  Yet it’s this small change in one’s mindset that makes all the difference.

“When we praise the Lord, then increase, abundance, provisions come and God shall bless us” (Gossett, 1974, p. 43).

August 9, 2012

Lord, I put aside my worries, and I rejoice in you!  I praise you for all that you have done for me! (the Word among us, July/August 2012, p. 66).

October 24, 2012

Jesus, you have done so much for me.  I come before you right now with praise and thanksgiving! (the Word among us, October 2012, p. 47).

June 2, 2014

“When you approach God in prayer and praise do you remember just who he is, the creator and sustainer of all things?” (Bible Study Tools).

October 20, 2015

If we spent time each day thanking God, we would hardly be able to get angry at him.  Instead we tend to take for granted the gifts we have.  For these, we should thank God unceasingly (Fr. T. G. Morrow, STD, in Overcoming Sinful Anger).

November 24, 2015

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness (Colossians 2:6-7).


Immaculate Conception Cathedral – Brownsville, TX


Links of interest…  Angels: about (more) / book / servants of Godstories…  Archangels: feast / Michael, Gabriel, St. Raphael / rosary…  Give glory to his praise  Guardian angel: about (more) / badge / chaplet /  eight things to know & share about guardian angels / memorial / prayer…  Little book of holy gratitudelitany of Thanksgiving…  Our Lady, Queen of Angels…  Rosaries & chaplets: collection / maker’s guide / pictures & prayers…  Sacrifice of praise…  Praising & thanking God, now & forever…  Praying & learning with the angels…  There’s dynamite in praise (Gossett, 1974): about / book (more) / miracle healing testimonies…  When did God create angels

WP posts…  Angels all around…  Angels keeping watch…  Faith and prayer…  Prayer and praise…  Prayerful ways…  St. Michael chaplet…  Thanksgiving prayers

Prayer and praise


During the Gulf War Crisis I taught a 4th grade CCE class.

On the last class day, Bennye, an inquisitive little girl with great faith, brought me a book she’d gotten from her uncle.  The cover was half torn, its pages splattered with mud.  The book had accidentally been dropped on the way to class that rainy day.

Bennye had wanted to give me something to remember her by, she said.  Her uncle, in his early twenties, had told her how much he’d enjoyed the book; so she’d asked to have it to give to me.

I was genuinely touched, so I told her I’d treasure it always.

Out of sight, out of mind

When I got home, I placed the book in the top drawer of my bedroom wicker chest.  I figured I’d see the book daily, so I’d get to it once the school year was over.  But, even after I taught summer school, the book remained in limbo.

I felt guilty for a while until I simply ignored the book.  I just wasn’t interested in reading Bennye’s book during that part of my life. 

Timely discovery

Five years passed.  I was unexpectedly faced with such an insurmountable dilemma that something made me see the book.  I thought back to the day Bennye had given it to me when I noticed the top right-hand corner of the inside cover where she’d printed her name.

The more I read the book the more engrossed I became.  I just couldn’t set it down!  I read and re-read the 119-page book many times.  It truly was the “treasure” in the “secret place” to which Isaiah had referred in one of his verses (45:3). 

Lost and found

Thus began my journey with There’s Dynamite in Praise (Gossett, 1974) until, sadly, I lent the book out in 1998 and never got it back.

Then, as I searched for links for our church website last week, I found the title online.  I was thrilled!

Monday I ordered it, and Wednesday— just two days ago— I received the copy along with a most delightful note from GramGramWhite (Margie), the seller in Keystone Height, FL.

Dear Book, go upon your way over mountain, plain, or sea.  God Bless all who speed your flight to where I wish you to be and bless all those beneath the roof where I would bid you rest; but bless even more the one to whom this book is addressed.

DG72308a        DG72308d        DG72308e

Walking in faith

Immediately I emailed a thanks.  I told Margie that I’d waited a long time for this book and wanted to share it with others.  Its simple message— prayer is asking, praising, continually walking in faith— had transformed my thinking!  And my life!

“Amazingly, I discovered greater blessings, more joy and more marvelous things happening as [I] praised the Lord…” (Gossett, p. 16).

So, here’s to unabashedly praising God just because.

May 13, 2015

Prayers of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving will echo throughout heaven for all eternity.  If you really wish to become holy, seek to practice this kind of prayer…  The result will be God’s greater readiness to hear and greater generosity in answering your prayers of petition (Lawrence G. Lovasik).

May 17, 2017

Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

March 25, 2020

Following the example of the psalmist, offer your own song of praise, giving thanks for something remarkable in the created order that amazes, pleases, or surprises you; committing to God’s care at least one brokenhearted or downtrodden individual or group; expressing gratitude for a plant or animal that enriches your life; and acknowledging one particular way in which you have experienced God’s love.  Praise the Lord!  Amen (Pittsburg Theological Seminary).

Links of interest…  Basic book of Catholic prayer: How to pray & why: Amazon (more) / Sophia Institute Press (more)…  Being too busy impedes the spiritual life…  Books & friendship with the saints / with Christ Jesus…  Five simple tips on how to make every day holy…  Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik: about / author (more) / quotes…  Friends in disguise: An image of grace from fairy tales…  Jesus asks a question…  Little book of holy gratitudelitany of Thanksgiving…  Listen to the thunder of God’s voice…  Praising & thanking God, now & forever…  There’s dynamite in praise (Gossett, 1974): about / book (more) / miracle healing testimonies…  True meaning of “born again” isn’t what you think…  Ways to praise God in your day…  Why are you a Christian

WP posts…  Angels all around…  Concrete abstraction…  Dear God…  Faith and prayer…  Gifts…  Little gifts…  Making meaning…  Morning exchanges…  On being Christian…  Prayerful ways…  Seven dwelling places…  Simple yet profound…  Soulful…  Timely message…  Two angels


??????????“Life is God’s gift to me; what I do with my life is my gift to God” (Anonymous, n. d.).

Call of service

Creator God, life is your gift to me.  Through Baptism, you invite me to share the gift of my life in service to others.  Be with me as I choose each day to show your presence in our world.  Give me the courage and generosity to respond to your love, to your call.  I pray especially for those who serve you as priests, brothers, sisters, deacons, and lay ministers.  Keep them close to you.  Open the minds and hearts of many other men and women that they may accept your challenge to build the kingdom (Roseann Kasayka, OSF).


Eternal God, from my mother’s womb you have known and loved me more than I can ever know.  I ask for the courage to live a holy life, that your hand guide my decisions and that your mercy be extended when I seek my own glory instead of yours.  I ask for the wisdom to know your will for me and, like our Blessed Mother, I ask for the strength to say yes.  May I find you in every person I meet, and may my life so shine forth your goodness and love that each person may be led to you through Jesus, your son, who is lord forever and ever.  Amen.

O God, you are the one true God.  Thank you for revealing yourself to us through your Spirit and your son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to stay true to who you are, remembering that you are the one who empowers us to better our world with hope, love and authentic service.  In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  Amen (Maureen Lund).

March 1, 2012

Lord, today I surrender everything to you.  I want to do nothing without you.  May all that I do for others be done for love of you— and in the power of your Spirit (the Word among us, Lent 2012, p. 36).

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours” (St. Teresa of Avila).

August 6, 2012

If you want to see your offerings to God multiplied, you have an essential role to play.  You may not be working the miracle yourself, but you do need to get out there and do something!  It’s impossible to know what that “something” is in each situation.  We all have different gifts, different life situations, different opportunities that will present themselves today.  But one thing is sure: Each of us will have an opportunity to do something important for the kingdom of God (the Word among us, July/August 2012, p. 49).

September 18, 2012

Lord, show me what my gifts are, and give me opportunities to use them.  Give me the compassion I need to love your people and the boldness I need to reach out and serve them! (the Word among usSeptember 2012, p. 38).

November 13, 2012

Jesus, thank you for giving me a share in your life.  Now I freely give my life back to you (the Word among us, November 2012, p. 32).

December 29, 2012

Lord, I offer you my life.  All my dreams, plans, hopes, and fears are yours.  Give me the faith to follow you today, knowing that you will work all things together for my good (the Word among us, Advent 2012, p. 55).

January 27, 2013

“Our Lord does not care so much for the importance of our works as for the love with which they are done” (St. Teresa of Avila).

February 7, 2013

Lord, I am ready.  You have given me so much!  Help me to give to others both in my words and my works.  Let me show you my love as I do the work of your kingdom! (the Word among us, Jan/Feb 2012, p. 58).

March 22, 2013

Come, Holy Spirit.  Touch me with the fire of your love.  Show me what a tremendous gift you have given me— the invitation to show to the world that you are still working your miracles today (the Word among us, Lent 2013,
p. 61).

April 4, 2013

Jesus, touch my heart and shape my mind with your word!  Teach me, Lord, so I can stand firm in your truth no matter what happens (the Word among us, April 2013, p. 24).

July 8, 2013

Lord, show me how I can touch people with your love and mercy.  But, first, fill me with your peace so that I can be your peaceful presence in this troubled world  (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 27).

July 16, 2013

“Holy Spirit, open my eyes to your ongoing call and training in my life” (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 35).

July 29, 2013

“Father, thank you for giving me a calling that is fitted to my own gifts and personality!” (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 48).

August 15, 2013

Jesus, help me to say “yes” to you today.  Do your will in me so that the world can know you more (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 65).

August 22, 2013

Lord, I want to be your witness in the world today!  Purify my heart, and give me the strength always to put service before self! (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 72).

August 31, 2013

Lord, help me find joy in the gifts you have given me.  Teach me how to use these gifts in a way that brings you and me— and everyone around me— great joy (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 81).

September 18, 2013

Father, great are your works in and through me.  Thank you for your goodness and kindness, today and always! (the Word among us, September 2013, p. 37).

October 13, 2013

There is no one who, with a little bit of thought, cannot but discover many reasons for being grateful to God….  Once we have come to an appreciation of all he has given to us, we will have abundant cause to give thanks continually (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

November 8, 2013

Lord, help me recognize all the goodness and knowledge that you have already given me.  Help me use these gifts to grow into the person that you want me to become (the Word among us, November 2013, p. 29).

December 22, 2013

Thank you, Jesus, for the miracle of new life that you have begun in me.  May your presence flow into every part of my life so that others will hope in you as they encounter me (the Word among us, Advent 2013, p. 40).

April 29, 2014

“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!” (St. Catherine of Siena).

October 30, 2014

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant” (Robert Louis Stevenson).

November 4, 2014

“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God, we must begin every day of our life with new eagerness” (St. Charles Borromeo).

December 2, 2014

“If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in sweetness, patience, humility, and charity”
(St. Philip Neri).

December 3, 2014

“No one can ever excel in great things who does not first excel in small” (St. Francis Xavier).

December 22, 2014

“If you want to be of use to others, begin by taking pains with yourself; the fire that is to enkindle others should be lighted at home” (St. Ignatius of Loyola).

January 1, 2015

One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it.  But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief… is a fate more terrible than dying (St. Joan of Arc).

January 19, 2015

“Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet” (St. Augustine).

March 8, 2015

“Labor without intermission to do all the good work in your power while time is allowed you” (St. John of God).

March 21, 2015

“Your heart to God and your hands to work” (St. Mary Joseph Rossello).

April 27, 2015

“The only happiness here below is to strive to always be content with what Jesus gives us” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

August 26, 2015

“Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, and in all of them we see people who achieved sanctity by fulfilling their obligations well” St. Anthony Mary Claret).

September 2, 2015

God is truly humble.  He comes down and uses instruments as weak and imperfect as we are.  He deigns to work through us… to use you and me for his great work (David Scott in The Love that Made Mother Teresa).

September 3, 2015

“Don’t be anxious about what you have but about what you are!” (Pope St. Gregory the Great).

October 27, 2015

A precious crown is reserved in heaven for those who perform all their actions with all the diligence of which they are capable; for it is not sufficient to do our part well; it must be done more than well (St. Ignatius of Loyola).

December 14, 2015

What does it profit you to give God one thing if he asks of you another?  Consider what it is God wants and then do it (St. John of the Cross).

December 29, 2015

“Give all of yourself and God will give you all of himself” (St. Anthony of Padua).

January 11, 2016

“Man cannot fully find himself, except through a sincere gift of himself” (St. John Paul II).

March 9, 2016

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whomever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it” (St. John Paul II).

May 26, 2016

“The joy that God takes in every man, the magnanimity with which he sets him free, should teach us; for God has granted us the privilege of being his image” (Romano Guardini in Learning the Virtues).

May 30, 2016

“Act, and God will act” (St. Joan of Arc).

June 7, 2016

“The proper aim of giving is to put the recipients in a state where they no longer need
our gifts” (C. S. Lewis).

June 15, 2016

All things upon which you set your trust are yours.  Do but expect much of God, and he will be much for you.  Expect but little, and he will do little (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

June 27, 2016

No matter our state in life, each of us is called to use our gifts in ways that benefit our loved ones, our community, and our world.  Even the most mundane task is a gift if it is done well and in a loving manner.  Today, share your gifts, your talents, and yourself with our world (Monday Message by Sister Kristine Anne Harpenau, OSB: “The deans of the monastery –
RB 21

February 10, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for giving me a voice and a hope and a purpose, as well as blessings to proclaim.  Thank you for the whisper and the shout and the simple, obedient statement, all of which are mine to sound out and are designed by your hand (Colleen C. Mitchell in Who Does He Say You Are?).

February 20, 2017

God can redeem our past.  It is quite mysterious how he can take any terrible thing and make something far more beautiful out of it than we ever could have imagined (Julie Onderko in Discover Your Next Mission from God).

July 7, 2017

“One of the great ironies of life is this: he or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served” (Gordon B. Hinckley).

August 4, 2017

What is God showing you that you are to do with your life?  However small or great that is, it must be yours and not someone else’s.  What a stripping, for example, is sickness or aging, or the loss of loved ones, or ultimately the stripping that is the embrace of Sister Death.

The important thing is to give humbly and honestly of what God asks you to give.  In the end you are the gift God wants; in the meantime each person struggles to know what God wants and whether or not one is really giving the gift of one’s self to God (Murray Bodo, OFM in Enter Assisi: An Invitation to Franciscan Spirituality).

August 9, 2017

God created us out of love for himself and out of love for His creatures….  He did not create us out of necessity; he did not need us.  He did not create us out of justice; he owed us nothing.  No, it is to his sheer love that we owe our existence (Fr. Jean C. J. D’Elbee in I Believe in Love.).

August 26, 2017

Everyone, young or old, strong or weak, can love.  But in this world, love is bound up with giving; it entails sacrifice.  The highest kind of love means self-offering (Fr. Killian J. Healy, O. Carm in Awakening Your Soul to the Presence of God).

September 4, 2017

During my first three years in the seminary I worked for a pastor who was fond of saying, “Manual labor is good for the soul.”  While I didn’t initially appreciate the wisdom of his maxim— especially while polishing brass, waxing floors, and pulling weeds— I gradually came to appreciate the perfective power of human labor.  Men and women were not created to be idle, but to work with creation on its journey to completeness (Fr. Gary Caster in Joseph, the Man Who Raised Jesus).

September 14, 2017

Lord, take me where you want me to go.  Let me meet who you want me to meet.  Tell me what you want me to say.  And keep me out of your way.  Amen (Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM).

October 6, 2017

When we exist in a world of gift, in which we ourselves are given, then our own labors must be gifts to those around us.  To refuse that possibility is to refuse the thanksgiving to which we are properly called.  Or, to put it another way, if we are not willing to see our lives and the creation as gifts, then we are not able to properly acknowledge our debts.  Being so free, we then feel as though it is in our right to say that others owe us.  Thus we can easily sell our labors without any sense of obligation that, perhaps, we really owe them.  That some should give their labors freely is then, properly, the response of those who owe what cannot be repaid— which includes us all (Ragan Sutterfield in Wendell Berry and the Given Life).

November 20, 2017

When you take the full measure of yourself in Christ, you, too, know your infinite value to the rest of the world, even if the world never knows or sees one thing about you.  Every hair on your head is numbered.  You are worth more than you know because you have lusts and longings and desires.  Unto death and out of love, you consent to hold the tension of the conflict.  And your infinite value doesn’t cease when you die.  It lives on, into eternity (Heather King in Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between).

December 2, 2017

Saint Francis could have become a carnival sideshow all by himself if he had failed to foster an attitude of humility.  Whatever good we accomplish is due much more to God’s grace and mercy than to our talents and cleverness.  This spirit prompted Francis to keep his stigmata a secret as best he could.  Many people probably would have given Francis too much credit and God too little credit for this unique gift.

Every spiritual gift is given in order to build up the Body of Christ.  Refer every blessing back to God and pray to use it for God’s glory and for building up the Body of Christ (Pat McCloskey, OFM in Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi).

June 19, 2018

In Christ, even our failures become a source of grace when we accept them in imitation of his humility and courage; even our anxieties become a path to holiness when we ally them with his sufferings.  All that we do and say, if it is done and said in Christ, is done and said well, for true wellness is life in Christ (Clayton C. Barbeau in The Father of the Family.

July 29, 2018

What Jesus wants for you and me has very little to do with whether we sit or stand, serve the supper or contemplate at his feet.  What he wants for us is to be so keenly aware of his divine presence with us that whatever we do takes on the nature of the extraordinary, and we live in a sense of wild gratitude (Colleen C. Mitchell in Who Does He Say You Are?: Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels).

July 4, 2018

“God gives us everything we need to carry out his mission, including enough time, and… God is revealing himself to us, that he is concretely present with us, in that time” (Katherine Infantine in “The Sacramentality of Time”).

September 4, 2018

God is truly humble.  He comes down and uses instruments as weak and imperfect as we are.  He deigns to work through us… to use you and me for his great work (St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta in The Love that Made Mother Teresa).

September 7, 2018

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

September 14, 2018

“We must not lose sight of holiness as we grow, for holiness only means that Jesus is more to us than anyone or anything else in the world” (Mother Angelica’s Guide to Practical Holiness).

December 11, 2018

God in his goodness has arranged things perfectly so that, with our gifts, we can help each other and, with our faults, we can be humbled by each other.  For every person has some gifts; but everyone also has some faults which one must struggle to overcome (St. Paisios of Mount Athos).

December 12, 2018

“Life is a gift; and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more” (Anthony Robbins).

January 31, 2019

To attribute what we have to God, where the credit belongs; to say ‘God is good’ when we are praised; to use our talents and abilities not for our own glory but for the glory of God: this is the positive practice of humility (Fr. Philip E. Dion in The Handbook of Spiritual Perfection).

June 12, 2019

We, in and of ourselves, may be limited in what we can do to fulfill our purpose in life.  But God isn’t limited in his ability to accomplish his will in and through us, if we allow him to lead us (Fr. Maurice Emelu in Our Journey to God: An African Priest Explores the Power of Faith from Abraham to You).

August 29, 2019

“The human intellect is a gift from God, and it must be used as he intended— to glorify him” (Fr. George W. Rutler in Grace and Truth: Twenty Steps to Embracing Virtue and Saving Civilization).

March 5, 2020

“To know God and experience God’s love is the ultimate benefit of prayer” (Pat Marrin).

July 7, 2020

The moment we awaken is the time to greet our Lord and thank him for the gift of a new day.  We offer him all our actions and our entire lives (Fr. John Portavella in The Little Manual for Spiritual Growth).

July 8, 2020

Are we so foolish as to think that God is dependent on our puny efforts to achieve any success?  All he wants is our loving service, the efforts of our heart and soul to please him.  If we give him that, there is no failure possible, as long as we are doing his will, no matter what the material results of our work may be (Fr. Philip Dion in The Handbook of Spiritual Perfection).

July 17, 2020

You and I are created by God and have been placed in a testing ground— that’s what life is, a big testing ground— to prepare us for a place in the Kingdom.  That’s why we were created: to cooperate with God (Mother Angelica in What is Heaven?).

July 22, 2020

“The love of Christ impels us so that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5: 14-15).

August 4, 2020

“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to him and if they were to allow his grace to mold them accordingly” (St. Ignatius of Loyola).

August 7, 2020

Everyone, young or old, strong or weak, can love. But in this world, love is bound up with giving; it entails sacrifice.  The highest kind of love means self-offering (Fr. Killian J. Healy, O. Carm, in Awakening Your Soul to the Presence of God).

September 5, 2020

“No matter how misguided our search for the truth or how ugly our past, when we turn to God and offer him our broken lives, he works miracles” (Julie Onderko in Discover Your Next Mission from God).

October 8, 2020

“When we exist in a world of gift in which we ourselves are given, then our own labors must be gifts to those around us” (Ragen Sutterfield).

October 28, 2020

“We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves” (Thomas Merton).

January 5, 2021

There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling.  It’s why you were born.  And how you become most truly alive (Oprah Winfrey).


Links of interest…  Accepting our own gifts in order to serve God…  Art for God’s sake…  Birthday blessing…  Celebration articles (free)…  Character counts…  Charity of cheerfulness…  Discovering the true self in God with Merton’s guidance…  Finding your vocation…  For what can a man give in return for his life…  Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM: fire chaplainhero / memories of September 11…  Go for the gold…  God is Inviting You (blog: Sister Kristine Anne Harpenau, OSB)…  Gratefulness…  Hans Urs von Balthasar…  Having a true fear of the Lord…  Hearts: gratitude & service…  Here I am, Lord (YouTube)…  I can only imagine (song)…  If you are looking for God, God will find you…  Instilling a caring attitude…  Let Christ impart life to you…  Magnanimity…  Making an altar of one’s work…  Mary, help of Christians (book)…  Not so freely chosen…  Prayers: single person / vocations…  Quotes: Hans Urs von Balthasar…  Slough of despond…  Small, happy life…  St. Bernard of Clairvaux: about / prayersquotes…  What were you put on this earth to do: 4 tips to help you find your calling…  the Word among us…  You raise me up

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Dear God…  Forever grateful…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  Heart of hearts…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Making meaning…  On being Christian…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Prayerful ways…  Santo Niño…  Seven dwelling places…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  Soulful…  Sweet Jesus…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret