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PEOPLE’S OPINIONS WILL PASS AWAY, BUT THE FRIENDSHIP OF GOD WILL REMAIN WITH US

Let all your life, every hour, be a perpetual prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord…irrespective of what the world says about that.

Let us joyfully and cheerfully dig all those little furrows which Providence has entrusted to each of us.

Let us not allow ourselves to be delayed or disturbed by ambitious thoughts which whisper in our ears, “You could do something better;” by the deceitful desires of a false zeal which would persuade us to desert our daily task; by a ridiculous desire to propagate more beautiful flowers than our neighbours.

Let us occupy ourselves with one thing alone – that is, “to do well what is our duty to do, because God requires no more from us.”

Now, this “doing well” may be summed up in four words: “act purely, actively, joyfully, completely.”

 

How do we please God? – By acting purely, actively, joyfully, completely.

But then we may be forgotten, despised, wrongly understood, calumniated, persecuted… What matters it? This contempt, these injuries will pass away, but the friendship of God will remain with us. And we will have merited it by our patience and fidelity.

The friendship of God!

The friendship of God! Oh! who can say all that is contained in it of sweetness, of joy, of strength, of consolation? No human friendship, in its most ardent dreams, has ever even formed the faintest idea of that sweetness of God’s friendship, rendered more sensible by the Eucharistic union in our souls.

I can also understand this expression of a loving soul: “With the prospect of heaven in a short time, and holy communion every day, how can anyone think of complaining?

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

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RECIPE FOR BECOMING ATTRACTIVE

(Does nobody like me? How can I make them love me?)

To be attractive is to possess a charm which attracts us to the hearts of others, and a knot which binds these hearts to ours.

This gives birth to friendship – that sweet virtue which unites the strength of two souls, making them more courageous, more constant, less sensitive to contradictions, and more active in seeking and practising virtue.

BEAUTY

Is it beauty? No, a person who is only pretty or only handsome would be attractive certainly, but only for a short time; and however faint the indication may be, yet when I discover under the charming exterior a cold heart, a deceitful mind, an irritable or vain soul, I am repelle . Something else is necessary to attract the heart.

STYLISH CLOTHING

Is it an elegant toilet? No; though that may charm the eye, if it be fresh, simple, and in good taste; yet if I perceive merely a desire to please for the sake of winning flattery and praise, the charm does not last. Something else is necessary to attract the heart.

KNOWLEDGE AND INTELLECT

Is it knowledge? No, if that exist alone, and especially in a proud, pedantic, or disdainful mind, it repels instead of attracting… compelling us to feel ashamed of our own ignorance. Something more than knowledge is necessary to attract the heart.

IT’S NOT MORAL SUPERIORITY, EITHER

Is it virtue in general? No, particularly if it has not learned, as St Paul recommends, to make itself all things to men. Of course without virtue it is impossible, for any length of time, to be perfectly attractive; but we must not assume from this, that virtue, under whatever form it may present itself, is amiable. If the person with whom I live causes me to say every moment: “Do not be so harsh, have a little more compassion in your heart; be more gentle, more tolerant towards the faults, which I try hard to correct, but which are always rising in rebellion; do not be so quick in discovering what I do wrong, and do not make me feel that I am less virtuous than you are,” she would never attract me to her or God. Something else is necessary to attach the heart.

AS IT IS NONE OF THE ABOVE; WHAT, THEN, IS THE RECIPE FOR ATTRACTING AND RETAINING HEARTS?

Behold the amiable person whom I wish to resemble:

  • She seeks to anticipate my tastes, my intentions, my desires, my repugnances, and in a measure identify herself with me.
  • If I am unreasonable, she smiles sweetly and calmly, waits for a second idea of mine, which is always modified under her sweet influence.
  • She never speaks sharply to me, her tone is never imperious, her words never wound, her reply is never in a cross tone of voice.
  • She never directly contradicts me, and never by a satirical smile gives me to understand that I have said something foolish or committed a blunder.
  • She seeks to please me by devotion in actions more than in words; she protects me, without my knowledge, from the consequences of my negligence and want of thought.
  • She makes order everywhere; she is to all that surround her what spring is to nature; she is to my heart what perfume and sunshine are to the senses.
  • She bears with me without letting me know it; she makes me believe, not that I am perfect, but that I am becoming so.

How can I help loving such a person? Not only does she enrich my existence, but she improves my character, forms my heart, and aids the divine grace in sanctifying my life. – And if, in the depths of my soul, I try to discover in what her attractiveness consists, I find: “True kindness, which makes her thoughtful for others.” – “Love of duty, which makes her devoted.” – “Piety, which sustains and gives her tact.” – “The charity of Jesus Christ, which tells her to love always.”

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

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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FRIENDSHIP IS THE UNION OF SOULS, NOT FOR ENJOYMENT, BUT FOR ADVANCEMENT TOWARDS GOD

Who interests himself for the soul of his friend?

We take an interest in his success, in his fortune.

We pray to God to keep him from misfortune and failure.

We seek to procure for him a position in the world – to make him esteemed; we try to obtain for him everything that we think may be agreeable to him.

We sacrifice our own repose and the well-being we might enjoy in order to spare him trouble.

Oh! all this is beautiful, very beautiful; but what have we done directly for the soul of this friend?

What are we doing for our friend’s soul?

Let us beseech God every day to make that soul humble, pure and indefatigable in performing his duties.

With the same delicacy that we would place some pleasure in his path, let us procure for it a pious book which will really do it good; let us furnish it with some occasion of gaining merit by proposing an alms to it, and also, without its knowledge, some opportunity for an act of self-denial or of slight humiliation.

Some suggestions

Have we the courage to refrain from shielding it from a trial that we know will be good for it? It is hard, you say.

Ah! you do not know what friendship is. Does not God love us? God, nevertheless, permits us to suffer. He does more: He sends suffering on us.

Friendship is the union of souls, not for enjoyment, but for mutual perfection and advancement towards God, and in proportion as we advance we feel the happiness of loving one another.

The spirit of friendship is not tenderness, but strength, devotion, tact, purity, self-denial.

What deceives us in the nature of friendship is that we desire more to be loved than to love.

What makes us cowardly is the fear of being loved less. Let us not forget that “a selfish heart likes to be loved; a Christian heart desires to love… even without return.”

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

 

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“AFTER MOVING HOUSE, HOW DO I SETTLE IN A NEW PARISH? DO I FIT IN WITH THEIR TEA AND COFFEE CROWD?”

“Moving house can be unsettling in various unpredictable ways. We have to get used to new shops and neighbours, as well as finding our way around all the services that we need to use. Becoming part of a new parish where you do not know anybody is a further challenge. People who faithfully attend Mass are generally good people, but of course it takes time to build up the trust and friendship which are the marks of a community.

I would certainly encourage you to call in for the refreshments after Mass because that is an opportunity to meet the more committed parishioners. In your last parish you were active in helping to clean the church and took a role in some of the parish social events; there will be opportunities to help in similar ways in your new parish.

Although it may take time to become known, you will soon get to know the quirks of some of the parish ‘characters’, and find your feet.

Do try to get to some of the extra devotional events in the Church since the life of prayer is at the heart of the parish’s life, and the solidarity which flows from that is the surest foundation for lasting Christian friendship.”

– This article by Fr. Tim Finigan is part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” published in the Catholic Herald magazine, June 26 2015, issue 6716. For subscriptions, please visit their website http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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A PRAYER FOR RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND ENEMIES

A PRAYER FOR RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND ENEMIES

Jesus, Son of Mary, we pray for all who are near and dear to us. We beg You to bring them all into the light of Your truth, or to keep them in Your truth if they already know it, and to keep them in a state of grace, and to give them the gift of perseverance.
Thus we pray for our fathers and our mothers, for our children, for our brothers and sisters, for our friends, for our neighbours, for our superiors and rulers; for those who wish us well, for those who wish us ill; for our enemies; for our rivals; for our injurers and for our slanderers. And not only for the living, but for the dead, who have died in the grace of God, that He may shorten their time of expiation, and admit them into His Presence above.
Amen.
( Bl. John Henry Newman)

 
 

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APPROVAL BY MEN: THAT FATAL POISON THAT CAN CORRUPT OUR BEST ACTIONS

ON BEING A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST BORN IN A STABLE

“Learn from Jesus to humiliate yourself in the sight of the world. He practised this humility by being born in a stable, by appearing to be the son of a carpenter and working for years in a humble village.

He practised humility when the crowds wanted to make Him King and He fled, when He told those He healed to say nothing to anyone, when He entered into festive Jerusalem on a donkey and when He washed the feet of His disciples in the Cenacle.

He put it particularly into practice during His passion, letting Himself be tied up, lashed, mocked and made fun of as a King, and finally by letting Himself be crucified as a malefactor.

Look to the Sacred Heart of Jesus therefore, and be always modest, fleeing any honour, avoiding any vanity, never seeking the approval of men, that fatal poison that can infect and corrupt your best actions.

The saints have always hidden their qualities, would you like to show off qualities you do not have? You will never find Jesus in the things the world applauds or considers important, take the last place and there you will find Him. A little humility is worth more than all the greatness and glory in the universe, and a single humiliation is worth more to His Heart than many prayers and the most splendid initiatives.”
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 

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“FOR PITY’S SAKE,” THEY CRY, “DO NOT MENTION HIS NAME!”

AND YOU, WHERE WILL YOU BE?

“Go into a graveyard; consider all these skeletons, and above all, hear the words which each one addresses to you: ‘See what has happened to me, and learn what shall happen to you.’
Again, give heed to your surroundings; those family portraits, these walls, these rooms, these garments, these beds, all these things which you have inherited, have power to awaken thoughts of your own death, by recalling that of your parents and kindred.

How can you doubt that you have to die? On a certain day you were inscribed on the [register of births]; another day will come, a day already fixed upon by God, when you shall be inscribed on the register of deaths. Today you say, in speaking of your dead relatives: ‘my late father’, ‘my late uncle’, ‘my late brother’; soon those who survive will be speaking in the same way of you. In the past you have often heard [the death of others announced; some day your death will be announced in the same manner – and you shall be in eternity.]

THE GREAT OBLIVION

A man has just died, and the news spreads, ‘He was a man of honour’, says one; another adds: ‘what a loss! He was so amiable, so good!’ Some regret him because he pleased them and was of service to them; others rejoice at his death, because they reap certain advantages from it. At the most, there will soon be no more talk of it; after to-morrow he will begin to sink into oblivion. His nearest relatives will avoid awakening the remembrance of him, for fear of renewing their grief. During the visits of condolence the conversation turns on everything except him who is the occasion of them! And if, per chance, someone is about to introduce him into the conversation: ‘For pity’s sake,’ they cry, ‘do not mention his name!’

No doubt, your family will weep for you at first. But soon the pleasure of dividing your property will banish these tears and grievings; and the very apartment where you have breathed your last sigh, and heard your Final Sentence from the lips of Jesus Christ, will be the scene of family reunions and parties of pleasure. And your soul, where will it be?”
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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