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YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU ARE A STRANGER AND A PILGRIM WHEREVER YOU MAY BE

You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.

GIVE BUT A PASSING GLANCE TO EARTHLY THINGS

If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

CHRIST WAS LEFT BY FRIENDS, HE HAD ENEMIES AND DEFAMERS 

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends in the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

SPIRITUAL PEACE

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ (15th century)

 

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I CRY THEE MERCY, LORD, FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE TEMPTED BY THEIR GHOSTLY ENEMIES

I CRY THEE MERCY, LORD, FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE TEMPTED BY THEIR GHOSTLY ENEMIES

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all false heretics, and for all mis-believers, for all false tithepayers, thieves, adulterers, and all common women, and for all mischievous livers. Lord, for thy mercy, have mercy upon them, if it be thy will, and bring them out of their misbehaviour the sooner for my prayers.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all those that are tempted and vexed by their ghostly enemies, that thou, of thy mercy, will give them grace to withstand their temptations, and deliver them there-of, when it most pleaseth thee.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all my ghostly fathers, that thou vouchsafe to spread as much grace in their souls as I would that thou didst in mine.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all my children, ghostly and bodily, and for all the people in the world, that thou make their sins to me by true contrition, as it were my own sins, and forgive them as I would that thou forgive me.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all my friends and all mine enemies, for all that are sick, especially for all lepers, for all bedridden men and women, for all that are in prison, and for all creatures that, in this world, have spoken of me either good or ill, or shall do so unto the world’s end.

Have mercy upon them, and be gracious to their souls as I would that thou wert to mine.

– The Book of Margery Kempe (modernised text 1936)

 

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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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