Day 1

What “vision” do I have for my life?

What things in my life are taking me away from realising that vision?

What 1 positive step can I take today that will change my life today?

Do I stay in my comfort zone or do I open myself to new experiences to stretch myself out of what’s familiar?

God wants to lead me out of what’s familiar and into new territory. Am I willing to say yes to him?

Do I trust that God has a beautiful plan for me that will make me happy, happier than anything I could come up with myself?

Am I willing to say no to myself so that I can say yes to God and others?

Mark Wahlberg realised that he needs to make some commitment God everyday to stay on the right track. What could you do?

“So many people around me to look to for inspiration” what kind of people around me can I look to for inspiration?

Do I show my gratitude to God, my family and the good things in my life by giving and sharing with others?



“There were ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps...Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." Those virgins were praised, not because they were good but because they were 'wise'. This is the chosen Gospel for the feast of St Edith Stein. She was born of Jewish parents in 1891. By the age of 14 she stopped believing in God: "I consciously decided, of my own volition, to give up praying", she said years later. She made philosophy her life career and became an influential philosopher. She had her first experience of faith when, visiting Frankfurt Cathedral one day, she saw a woman with a shopping basket kneeling for a brief prayer. "This was something totally new to me. In the synagogues and Protestant churches I had visited, people simply went to the services. Here, however, I saw someone coming straight from the busy marketplace into this empty church, as if she was going to have an intimate conversation. It was something I never forgot." God was using these episodes to plant the seed of conversion in her heart. During the summer of 1921 she spent several weeks with a friend and her family. One evening Edith picked up an autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila and read this book all night. "When I had finished the book, I said to myself: This is the truth." She converted, was baptised and a few years later she became a Carmelite nun. Then the Nazis started their persecution. "I felt that those who understood the Cross of Christ should take it upon themselves on everybody's behalf." Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942. Her last words to be heard in the convent were: "Come, we are going for our people." It was probably on 9 August that she died in the gas chamber of Auschwitz. In her words, "things were in God's plan which I had not planned at all. I am coming to the living conviction that...nothing happens by chance and that the whole of my life, down to every detail, has been mapped out in God's divine providence and makes complete and perfect sense in God's all-seeing eyes." Mary, Queen of Martyrs, St Edith Stein, pray for us!


As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him… And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Thank you, Matthew, for your story; because it is you who write your own story. Thank you, because you were a sinner and became an Apostle. And that is very encouraging for me because I’m a sinner and have to become an apostle. Thank you, Matthew, because you were a publican who was lining his pockets with the money of the Jews, but when Jesus called you, you were ready to leave everything and follow Him. Thank you, Matthew, because you could have stayed where you were thinking that it was crazy to leave your job, your money, your plans and your future… but you were brave enough to follow Jesus instead. And I give thanks with you to Jesus because He knew you well and was aware of the great things that you could do. While on that day some of the Jews looked at you with disdain, that Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, passed by your tax office and smiled at you. He stood there, gazing at you with affection, a loving look, the like of which a publican in Palestine had probably never experienced. And you couldn’t look anywhere else. That loving Face of Jesus was inviting you to do something special with your life. You weren’t happy and Jesus offered you Happiness. You were wasting your life and Jesus invited you to do something great with it. You only loved your money but Jesus helped you to expand your heart to love God and others more than yourself. Your talents were wasted in that tax office and millions of souls were waiting for you. Thank you, Matthew, because you said “Yes” to Jesus. Mary, Queen of Apostles, help me to have the courage to say “Yes” to Him as well, and become a saint, like you, like St Matthew.