RSS

Category Archives: Words of Wisdom

HOW CAN WE FOLLOW JESUS MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE?

HOW CAN WE FOLLOW JESUS MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE?

TO FOLLOW JESUS IS MEANS TO IMITATE HIM

In order to be able the better to imitate Jesus Christ, we must look upon Him continually: He is the model, of whom the artisan, who wishes to fashion his soul to His likeness, must not lose sight.

We must meditate on His example, for in this pious meditation the soul will find the necessary sustenance, and the only true nourishment for its piety.

We must remove all obstacles which hinder this imitation, such as:

Sins,

Bad habits,

Evil inclinations.

We must employ the sacraments, and, finally, take courage afresh each day and advance joyfully.

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

ARE THERE EVIL SPIRITS IN THINGS, WHICH TAKE PLEASURE IN SPITING AND THWARTING US?

ARE THERE EVIL SPIRITS IN THINGS, WHICH TAKE PLEASURE IN SPITING AND THWARTING US?

We are tempted to say sometimes that there are evil spirits in things, which take pleasure in spiting us, thwarting our desires, and resisting our wills. The more petulant we show ourselves, the more irritating they become; the more we wish to hasten, the more they persist in remaining hard and rebellious.

The Antidote

Gentleness will cause us to look upon them kindly and touch them delicately; and this regard and this tact will, as it were, restore their good nature.

Who among us has not experienced this?

In the spirit of serene resignation…

Happy are the souls who, living in friendship with the Angel of Resignation, have learned from him to “will what God wills; to turn from an obstacle rather than waste their strength trying to remove it; to yield rather than obstinately persist; to insinuate themselves rather than to enter brusquely; to ask rather than command; in fine, to will with all their hearts what they cannot prevent.”

These souls are strong to bear, pliant to yield, and, above all, kind in forgetting all that has given them pain.

– From: Golden Grains (Sanctification and Happiness of Every-Day Life), H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

CONFIDENCE IN GOD IS AN INESTIMABLE GIFT

CONFIDENCE IN GOD IS AN INESTIMABLE GIFT

Let us endeavour to aspire to two things – great humility, and great confidence in God. We cannot be too humble, and we cannot be too confident. When humility and confidence are found united, confidence sustains humility, and humility purifies confidence. Humility can never be dejected, when it possesses confidence, and confidence can never be presumptuous when it is joined by humility.

Humility and confidence

We can then employ the language of Saint Teresa, who was accustomed to say: What great and good things are those possessed of who have confidence in You, and of how much do those deprive themselves, who have it not!

This inestimable gift of confidence is a grace which God bestows on all those who ask for it; but if, on the one hand, it flows from the Heart of God, and is infused, on the other, it cannot be acquired without our own co-operation.

– Cardinal Manning

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

WITHOUT HUMILITY, LIKENESS TO MARY IS IMPOSSIBLE

WITHOUT HUMILITY, LIKENESS TO MARY IS IMPOSSIBLE

He hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Lk1:48)

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: OUR WARFARE IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

Humility is necessary for that union with Mary upon which the apostolate relies for its supernatural efficacy. It is more essential in Mary’s soldiers than are courage, intelligence and physical fitness in the soldier of worldly armies.

A man may be determined to be a good soldier, to play a worthy part in the battles in which his country’s forces are engaged and, yet, through the absence of the necessary qualities, be unable to do so. A paralysed man may long to walk, but even the most vehement longings will not give him the capacity he does not physically possess.

So it is, the Children of Mary are bound to be rendered ineffective unless they are rooted in true humility. Without this virtue HOLINESS, the source of all apostolic action is impossible. Without it, there can be no real likeness to Mary.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part 1).

 

Tags: , , , ,

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT FALSE ACCUSATIONS?

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT FALSE ACCUSATIONS?

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone (John 8:7)
“ALMOST ALWAYS IT WILL BE A SELFISH SPOUSE WHO ACCUSES HIS OR HER PARTNER OF SELFISHNESS”
NOT OURS TO JUDGE

“Two women were chatting as they stood in line at the checkout counter. ‘The thing I can’t stand about Grace,’ one woman said, ‘is the way she’s always ctiticising other people, always seeing their faults.’ The lady made the remark with a perfectly straight face. She was quite oblivious to the fact that she herself was doing what she pretended to abhor.

THE LORD’S TREATMENT OF THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF ADULTERY

One of the most touching incidents in our Lord’s life surely was His treatment of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Frightened and shamed, she was dragged before Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees as He sat teaching in the Temple courtyard. The woman’s accusers posed what they thought was an inescapable dilemma to Jesus: should the woman be stoned to death as the Law of Moses prescribed?

If Jesus said, ‘No, let her go,’ He would convict Himself of contempt for the Law, held sacred by the Jews. If He said, ‘Yes, stone her,’ His reputation of compassion for sinners would be destroyed. ‘What dost thou say?’ the Pharisees urged.

CASTING THE FIRST STONE

Seeming to ignore their question, Jesus leaned over and wrote in the dust with His finger. What He wrote has remained a secret for twenty centuries. Were His markings an aimless tracing, or did He begin to spell out the sins of the men who stood before Him? In any event, as He continued to write He directed the accusers, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.’

One by one they slunk away until the pitiable woman stood alone before Jesus. Only then did He look up with merciful eyes to say, ‘Go thy way, and from now on sin no more.’

Christ’s admonition, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone,’ should be graven deeply in the heart of each of us. A saint will weep for sinners and pray for sinners, but it takes someone much less than a saint to condemn a sinner.

Almost always it will be a selfish spouse who accuses his or her partner of selfishness. It will be a self-seeker who censures a fellow employee for toadying to the boss. There will be a basic streak of covetousness in the person who imputes dishonesty to another. It will be a fundamentally proud or ambitious person who points to pride or ambition in his neighbour.

FACING OUR HIDDEN WEAKNESSES SQUARELY

Psychologists have a name for this habit of fault-finding or of criticising others. They call it ‘projection’. It is a defence mechanism by which we try to still our uneasiness concerning our own unacknowledged and perhaps unrecognised weaknesses. Subconsciously we try to get rid of our unworthy feelings and desires by projecting them onto someone else. For example, the self-righteous woman who shows most scorn for a prostitute or an unwed mother, is trying desperately to keep the lid on her own suppressed sexual urges.

Projection is a very unhealthy form of personality adjustment. It would be much more salutary to drag our hidden weaknesses out into the daylight and to face them squarely.

We ARE human. We possess all the defects to which fallen human nature is subject. There is no sin in the book of which we are not essentially capable. If we have not erred grievously, it is no great credit to ourselves. It is God’s grace which has won our victories for us, plus perhaps the good fortune of a truly Christian upbringing and a protected environment – which themselves ate gifts of God.

LIVING A CHRISTLIKE LIFE

This matter of forbearance toward others, of patience with their mistakes and compassion for their sins, is enormously important for the living of a Christlike life. In fact, there IS no genuine Christian life without it.

Probably few of us ever will become totally perfect in our effort to leave all judgment to God. There will be moments of resentment or of pique when we forget our resolve. However, such moments will be few if, as accusatory words rise to our lips, we summon up the vision of Jesus writing in the sand and hear the challenge of His invitation, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone.’

– Fr Leo Trese

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , ,

AT THE HOUR OF DEATH YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF SURROUNDED BY EVIL SPIRITS

AT THE HOUR OF DEATH YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF SURROUNDED BY EVIL SPIRITS

Jesus Christ said, ‘I will come as a thief, unseen and in secret.

Jesus Christ said, ‘I will come as a thief, unseen and in secret.’ Your merciful Saviour warns you in season, for He desires that you may be saved. Do what God desires of you, profit by the warning, prepare yourself to die well before death itself comes. ‘Be ready,’ for when there is no more time for preparation, it is necessary to be already prepared. (Examine here your besetting sins.)

It is certain that you must die. The drama of this world must close for you, and you know not when. Who knows whether you will live a year, a month, or even till to-morrow? Jesus! enlighten me and pardon me. (Arouse your soul to contrition, and make a firm resolution.)

Consider how you will lie, at the hour of death, stretched upon a bed, surrounded by your weeping friends, a priest by your side to assist your soul; a crucifix at your head, the lighted taper at your feet; in fine, already just at the entrance of eternity. Dreadful pains afflict your distracted head, it grows dark around you, your tongue is parched, your breath is short, your breast is burdened, your blood chilled, your flesh shrunken, your heart rent with anguish, all you have is gliding from you, and, poor and naked, you will be thrown into a grave to rot. There worms and insects will gnaw your flesh, and nothing of you will be left but the crumbling bones and a little dust. Open some grave and look! what has become of that rich, that avaricious man, that vain and worldly woman?

Thus ends this earthly pilgrimage

Thus ends life. At the hour of death you will find yourself surrounded by evil spirits, who will bring up before you all the sins you have committed from your childhood. Now the devil conceals and excuses your sins, that he may lead you into sin; he says to you, This vanity, this pleasure, this dangerous company, this inclination is no great sin; you have no bad intention in this acquaintance; but at the hour of death he will show you all the enormity of your sins. (Examine yourself thoroughly as to your besetting sin.) By the light of that eternity into which you are just entering, you will then see what an evil it was to have offended an infinite God. Now, while there is yet time, while you can do it, remedy the evil, for then it will be too late. (Awaken your contrition, and make a firm resolution.)

Consider that death is a moment upon which a whole eternity depends. Behold! here lies a man just dying, and therefore near to both eternities: near an eternity of happiness, or an eternity of misery. See, his fate for eternity depends upon his last breath, after which his soul will be forever happy or forever lost.

The moment on which eternity depends

Oh, the end of life! the last breath! that last moment, on which eternity depends – an eternity of glory or of pain – of happiness or of misery; of joy, or of despair; an eternity of every good, or an eternity of every evil; an eternity in heaven, or an eternity in hell! For, if in that last moment you are saved, you will have nothing more to suffer, you will be forever happy and blessed; but if you die in sin, and are damned, you will be wretched, and in despair, so long as God is God. In death, you will see what mean those words, heaven, hell, sin, an offended God, contempt of the divine Law, sins hidden in confession, good of others not restored. ‘O, miserable being that I am,’ the dying man will exclaim, ‘I must now, in a few moments, appear in the presence of God! Who knows what judgment will meet me there? Whither am I going, to heaven or to hell? Shall I rejoice forever with the angels, or shall I burn eternally with the damned? Shall I be a child of God, or a slave of the devil? Alas! soon, too soon, I shall know, and where I find myself the first moment, there shall I remain through eternity.

Ah! what will become of me in a few hours, in a few moments? What will become of me when I can no longer repair that scandal? when I cannot restore those ill-gotten goods? when I cannot pardon my enemies from my heart? when I cannot any longer make good that confession?’ (Examine yourself as to your principal sin.) Then will you curse a thousand times that day in which you sinned; you will curse that pleasure, that revenge which you have taken, but too late, and without avail, because you will do it then only from the fear of punishment, and not from love of God! Ah! Lord, behold – now, at this very moment, I turn to thee; I will not wait for death; now, and always, I will love thee; I embrace thee, and in thy embrace will I die! My Mother, Mary, let me die under thy protecting mantle; help me in my death! Amen. (Awaken your contrition, and make a firm resolution.)

– St Alphonsus

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , ,

WHY WAS JESUS CONCEIVED OF A BETROTHED VIRGIN, RATHER THAN OF ONE WHO WAS FREE?

WHY WAS JESUS CONCEIVED OF A BETROTHED VIRGIN, RATHER THAN OF ONE WHO WAS FREE?

HOMILY OF ST JEROME, PRIEST

(Book 1 of Commentary on Matthew, Ch.1)

Why was he conceived of a betrothed virgin, rather than of one who was free? First, that through the genealogy of Joseph, the lineage of Mary might be shown. Secondly, lest she should be stoned by the Jews as an adulteress. Thirdly, that she might have a comforter when fleeing into Egypt. The Martyr Ignatius even added a fourth reason why he should have been conceived of a betrothed virgin: “That his birth,” he says, “might be concealed from the devil, since he would suppose that he had been born, not of a virgin, but of a married woman.

Joseph kept silence about the mystery he did not understand

But Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wishing to expose her to reproach, was minded to put her away privately. If anyone is joined to an adulteress, he becomes one body with her, and according to the Law, not only those who commit such sin but also those who have knowledge of it, are held guilty. How then could Joseph be described as just if he had concealed the sin of his wife?

But it is a testimony to Mary that Joseph, knowing her chastity, yet wondering what had happened, kept silence about the mystery he did not understand.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , ,