RSS

Category Archives: Practical Spiritual Advice for Daily Living

KEEP ME, LORD, FROM THE CARES OF THIS LIFE

KEEP ME, LORD, FROM THE CARES OF THIS LIFE

THE EXCELLENCE OF A FREE MIND.

IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF THIS WORLD.

For what a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. (Ga 6:8)

It is the mark of a perfect man, Lord, never to let his mind relax in attention to heavenly things, and to pass through many cares as though he had none; not as an indolent man does, but having by the certain prerogative of a free mind no disorderly affection for any created being.

NO DISORDERLY AFFECTION FOR ANY CREATED BEING

Keep me, I beg You, most merciful God, from the cares of this life, lest I become too much entangled in them. Keep me from many necessities of the body, lest I be ensnared by pleasure. Keep me from all darkness of mind, lest I be broken by troubles and overcome.

I do not ask deliverance from those things which worldly vanity desires so eagerly, but from those miseries which, by the common curse of humankind, oppress the soul of Your servant in punishment and keep him from entering into the liberty of spirit as often as he would.

MY GOD, SWEETNESS BEYOND WORDS

My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self by the sight of some delightful good in the present. Let it not overcome me, my God.

Let not flesh and blood conquer me. Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me up by his craftiness. Give me courage to resist, patience to endure, and constancy to persevere. Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit rather than all the consolations of the world, and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your name.

INSTEAD OF CARNAL LOVE, INFUSE INTO ME THE LOVE OF YOUR NAME, LORD

Behold, eating, drinking, clothing, and other necessities that sustain the body are burdensome to the fervent soul.

Grant me the grace to use such comforts temperately and not become entangled in too great a desire for them. It is not lawful to cast them aside completely for nature must be sustained, but Your holy law forbids us to demand superfluous things and things that are simply for pleasure, else the flesh would rebel against the spirit. In these matters, I beg, let Your hand guide and direct me, so that I may not overstep the law in any way.

– From: The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis [Catholic priest & monk], 1418

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

ALL THE FAITHFUL ARE CALLED TO BE SAINTS

ALL THE FAITHFUL ARE CALLED TO BE SAINTS

I wish to be a saint.

O Mary! thou hast adopted me as thy child; aid me to become a saint!

But I must be patient, humble, allow myself to be looked down on, and even satisfied when I see myself put to one side.

No matter, I am resolved; I wish to become a saint.

But I must never excuse myself, never be impatient, never yield to ill-humour.

Never mind, I am resolved; I wish to become a saint.

But I must constantly do violence to my inclinations, always submit my will to that of my superiors; never dispute and never pout, but continue to the end the work which I have commenced, notwithstanding any disgust or weariness I may feel.

No matter, my determination is fixed; I desire to become a saint.

But I must be very kind to all about me, love them and bear with them, render them some service every day, and be the more pleased according as it costs me the more trouble.

Never mind, I am resolved; I wish to become a saint.

But I must continually resist the impulse of my cowardly, slothful, proud nature. I must separate myself from the pleasures of the world. I must renounce the vanity which urges me to seek the admiration of others, the sensuality which leads to a want of moderation, the antipathy which causes me to avoid speaking to those I do not like.

No matter, I am firmly resolved; I wish to become a saint.

But I shall have long hours of sadness, of weariness, of disgust… I shall feel discouraged and lonely… No matter, I am resolved; I wish to become a saint, because then thou wilt be near me, thou wilt be with me, O my God.

O Mary! O my Mother! give me thy aid; wish to become a saint.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

THE CRUCIFIX IS THE EXPLANATION OF ALL ENIGMAS

THE CRUCIFIX IS THE EXPLANATION OF ALL ENIGMAS

The Crucifix is the explanation of all enigmas, the solution of all doubts, the centre of all beliefs, the source of all hope, the symbol of all love.

It reveals man to himself, and God to man.

It presents a light to time, that it may regard eternity and be reassured.

The Crucifix is sweet to behold in the time of joy; in sorrow, there is no object to compare with it. It gives light in darkness; its silent preaching is always eloquent, and death is life in presence of this grand pledge of eternal life.

– P. Faber

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

WHAT SHALL I DO? – LITTLE OCCUPATIONS: THE SOWER OF PRAYERS

WHAT SHALL I DO? – LITTLE OCCUPATIONS: THE SOWER OF PRAYERS

THE SOWER OF PRAYERS

It was the poor mother of a family who made known to us this little occupation.

As she had a portion of her time at her disposal, she managed to pass several times a day through a street some distance from her work, thus prolonging her walk and increasing her fatigue.

Why, we asked, do you take this useless walk?

“Oh,” she replied, simply, “there is a person sick there who does not wish to be reconciled with God, and I go whenever I can to scatter some Hail Marys before his door.”

“I do not know if I am right, but I imagine that prayers are like drops of perfume sprinkled on the ground, from whence the sweet odour ascends to the chamber above. I believe that my Hail Marys will end by converting this poor soul.

“During two months I did the same before another house, and he who was sick within made his peace with God before his death.”

Quite a revelation

These simple words were quite a revelation. To sprinkle prayers about souls in order to embalm and to preserve them from corruption!

To sprinkle prayers over souls, that they may be purified and opened to receive the grace of God.

Who is there so weak, so little gifted, so convinced of his uselessness, as to be incapable of filling this little occupation in his family, in the street, or beside the beds of the sick?

– From: Golden Grains

 

Tags: , , , , ,

PROMPTED BY THE ATTACKS ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SHE LOOKED INTO THE CHURCH AND SUBSEQUENTLY BECAME A CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN – ELIZABETH LESEUR

PROMPTED BY THE ATTACKS ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SHE LOOKED INTO THE CHURCH AND SUBSEQUENTLY BECAME A CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN – ELIZABETH LESEUR

“This Tuesday, 3rd May, is the anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Leseur who died in 1914 at the age of 47. Elizabeth was born in Paris to a wealthy family. She had hepatitis as a child and this recurred throughout Elizabeth’s life, with varying severity.

AN EDITOR OF AN ANTI-CATHOLIC MAGAZINE

Elizabeth met Dr Felix Leseur, who had renounced his Catholic Faith, and they were married in 1889. In fact Felix was the editor of an anti-Catholic magazine in Paris.

Prompted by the attacks on the Catholic Church by her husband and others, Elizabeth began to look into the Church and soon found herself undergoing a religious conversion, this being completed at the age of 32.

A MAJOR TASK

One of the major tasks from then on was for Elizabeth to pray that her husband would also convert to Catholicism. Elizabeth worked on charitable projects for poor families, which was largely unknown to her husband. Her health deteriorated in 1907 to the extent that she was unable to go out. In 1911 Elizabeth underwent surgery and radiation for a malignant tumour. She recovered slightly but was bedridden by 1913. Elizabeth died from generalised cancer in 1914.

A DISCIPLINED PATTERN OF PRAYER, MEDITATION, SACRAMENTAL PRACTICES AND SPIRITUAL WRITING

After her conversion to the Catholic Church, Elizabeth organised her spiritual life around a disciplined pattern of prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, sacramental practices and spiritual writing.

After her death, Elizabeth’s husband found a note by her addressed to him prophesying that he would also be converted to Catholicism and then be ordained a priest.

OUR LADY OF LOURDES

Felix, who laughed at this prophesy, later went to Our Lady’s Shrine at Lourdes in order to write against the ‘superstitious’ nature of the place and to report the healings there as fake.

However, at Our Lady’s Grotto Felix experienced a religious conversion. He later became Catholic and then in 1919 he joined the Dominican Order. Felix was, as his wife prophesied, then ordained a priest in 1923 and he spent the rest of his life speaking publicly about his wife Elizabeth and of her spiritual insights. He was instrumental in opening the cause of Elizabeth’s beatification in 1934.

“I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT IN THE HOURS OF TRIAL CERTAIN GRACES ARE OBTAINED”

Elizabeth Leseur wrote about her agonising sufferings and the intense pain she felt from hepatitis and cancer in the following spiritual words.

“I know all that suffering means, the fine and mysterious power it possesses, what it obtains and what it accomplishes. When God’s providence prefers to work by means of suffering, we should not complain too much. Then we can be sure that the work will be done and not mixed up with all the misery of egoism and pride which sometimes spoil so much of our outward activity. I know by experience that in the hours of trial certain graces are obtained for others which all our efforts had not previously obtained. I have thus concluded that suffering is the higher form of action, the best expression in the wonderful communion of saints. In suffering one is sure not to make mistakes, sure to be useful to others and to the great causes one longs to serve … Suffering helps Christ to save the world and souls.”

– From: “Spiritual Thought From Fr Chris” 5/2016

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

BE FAITHFUL TO THE CROSS

BE FAITHFUL TO THE CROSS

“The Eternal Father has designed the crosses of His adopted children from all eternity, as He designed that of His only Son; hence the importance of schooling ourselves to bear them faithfully.

Many souls accept them tranquilly at first, for they are prepared for them by the grace of prayers, and have often desired them in the sweetness of loving fervour.

But, because they are but ill formed in the school of crucified love, listening too readily to nature and the senses, which cry out, as the Jews did to our Saviour, to descend from the cross, they seek, later on, some means of escaping from it.

They bear it unwillingly giving way to interior murmurings which render them unworthy of the favour of heaven, and deprive them of the sweet fruit of this tree of life.

This misfortune is often the result of paying too much attention to our sufferings, and thinking too much of ourselves.

Happy is the crucified soul, who only contemplates his crosses in God, whence they derive their beauty, and whose ears are opened only to the voice of the Beloved, who sends them!”
– St Alphonsus Liguori

 

Tags: , , , , ,

MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

God gave three counsels to St. Catherine of Genoa which, faithfully followed, would make family life very sweet:

  • “My daughter, never be heard to say, I wish, or I do not wish.
  • “Never make an excuse when thou art asked to perform a work of charity.”
  • “Endeavour always to do the will of others.”

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,