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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL PLEASURES

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL PLEASURES

There is this difference, dearly beloved brethren, between the pleasures of the body and the soul.

Bodily pleasures are greatly desired so long as we do not yet enjoy them, but when they are partaken of to the full our liking for them soon turns to disgust.

Spiritual delights, on the contrary, are a matter of indifference and scorn to us when we do not possess them, but when we begin to experience them then we are filled with desire, and the more we enjoy them, the more we desire them.

In the pleasures of the body desire is delightful, fruition disappointing; in the pleasures of the soul desire is poor, fruition very delightful. The former, when indulged in, soon bring disgust; but the latter we can never have too much.

– From a homily by St Gregory the Great. From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (EPHESIANS 1:15-23)

(Week 28 of the year: Saturday)

GOD HAS MADE CHRIST THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY.

Wherefore I also, hearing of your faith that is in the Lord Jesus, and of your love towards all the saints,

Cease not to give thanks for you, making commemoration of you in my prayers,

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation, in the knowledge of him:

The eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what the hope is of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us, who believe according to the operation of the might of his power,

Which he wrought in Christ, raising him up from the dead, and setting him on his right hand in the heavenly places.

Above all principality, and power, and virtue, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.

And he hath subjected all things under his feet, and hath made him head over all the church,

Which is his body, and the fulness of him who is filled all in all.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING II (ROMANS 8:9, 11-13)

IF BY THE SPIRIT YOU PUT AN END TO THE MISDEEDS OF THE BODY YOU WILL LIVE.

Your interests are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him, and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

So then, my brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die, but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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“ANYONE WHO EATS THIS BREAD WILL LIVE FOREVER” (Jn 6:59)

• “The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, together with His Soul and Divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine.

• The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ by the power of God, to whom nothing is impossible or difficult.

• The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ when the words of consecration, ordained by Jesus Christ, are pronounced by the priest in Holy Mass.

• Christ has given himself to be the life and the food of our souls. ‘Whoever eats me will draw life from me’; ‘Anyone who eats this bread will live forever’ (John 6:58, 59).

• Christ is received whole and entire under either kind alone.

• In order to receive the Blessed Sacrament worthily it is required that we be in a state of grace and keep the prescribed fast: water does not break the fast.

• The Blessed Eucharist is not a Sacrament only, it is also a sacrifice.

• The Holy Mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ, who offered himself, a bleeding victim, on the Cross to his heavenly Father, continues to offer himself in an unbloody manner on the altar, through the ministry of his priests.”
– Penny Catechism

 

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“SOMETHING WONDERFUL TAKES PLACE”

“This heart, in tabernacle small, beats for us
and lingers mysteriously hidden there
in that circle, still and white.

That is your royal throne, O Lord, on earth,
visibly for us by you erected.
You are pleased whenever I draw near.

You lower your gaze, full of love, into my eyes,
leaning your ear to my softly spoken words,
and filling with peace the depths of my heart.

But your love remains unsatisfied with this exchange;
we are still left separate,
you heart longing for more.

Each morning, you come to me – my early meal;
your flesh and blood become my food and drink
and something wonderful takes place.

Your body, mysteriously, penetrates mine;
your soul unites itself with mine:
I am no more what once I was.

You come and go, but the seed remains behind,
sown by you for future glory,
hidden in a body of dust.

In the soul, a spark of heaven remains;
in the eyes, a deep radiance that never fades away;
and in the voice, a soaring, lilting tone.

A band remains, that binds us heart-to-heart:
the life stream flowing out from you,
giving life to every member.

How marvellous, the wonders of your love –
surpassing thoughts and words!
Filled with awe, we stammer and fall silent.”
– Edith Stein

 

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“THE GIFT OF A LOVE STRONGER THAN DEATH”

“Everything begins, one might say, from the heart of Christ who, at the Lest Supper, on the eve of His passion, thanked and praised God and by so doing, with the power of His love, transformed the meaning of death which He was on His way to encounter.

The fact that the Sacrament of the Altar acquired the name ‘Eucharist’ – ‘thanksgiving’ – expresses precisely this: that changing the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of Himself, the gift of a Love stronger than death, divine Love which raised Him from the dead. This is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of Life.”
– Pope Benedict XVI

 

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FOUR WORDS WHICH WILL NOT PASS AWAY

“‘This is my body.’ ‘These four words choke me,’ said Luther, in one of those outbursts of frankness combined with rage, which used frequently to escape this too celebrated heresiarch, in the impetuosity of his nature.

And he said truly, for they are there, these four words, at the very beginning of the dogma of the Real Presence, clear, precise, sovereign, defying in their unclouded transparency all ambiguities, all denials, all sophisms.

The more wonderful this institution is, the more did the Master wish that the formula which established it should be convincingly clear.”
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 6:51-58)

MY FLESH IS REAL FOOD AND MY BLOOD IS REAL DRINK.

Jesus said to the Jews:
“I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give
is my flesh, for the life of the world.”

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they said. Jesus replied:

“I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven,
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING II (1 CORINTHIANS 10:16-17)

THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE LOAF MEANS THAT, THOUGH THERE ARE MANY OF US, WE FORM A SINGLE BODY.

The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, though there are many of us, we form a single body because we all have a share in this one loaf.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven, says the Lord.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.
Alleluia!

 

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“THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO MEET US AND KINDLES FAITH IN US”

“On … Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, let us prayerfully reflect on some of the words contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Holy Spirit.

‘The HOLY SPIRIT comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.’ (Section 683).

‘The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these ‘end times’, ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognised and welcomed in a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.’ (section 686)

The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:

• In the Scripture he inspired;

• In the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are already witnesses;

• In the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;

• In the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us in communion with Christ;

• In prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;

• In the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;

• In the signs of apostolic and missionary life;

• In the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation (section 688).”
– From “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris” (June 2014)

 

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