Tag Archives: health


  • When did you make your last confession? Was it a good one? Did you conceal a mortal sin? Did you perform your penance?
  • 1st Commandment: Have you since neglected your morning, evening, or meal prayers? Often? Have you said them with wilful distraction? Have you doubted in matters of faith? Were you ashamed to fulfil your religious duties? Have you exposed your faith to danger, for instance, by going to heretical churches, reading heretical books, etc.? Did you deny your religion?
  • 2nd Commandment: Have you taken the name of God in vain? Have you spoken irreverently or mockingly of holy things? Have you cursed yourself or others? Have you sworn falsely, rashly, or in trivial matters? Have you broken your vows?
  • 3rd Commandment: Did you on Sundays or Holy days stay away from Mass wilfully? Did you come too late? How often? Have you done or commanded servile work on such days without necessity? Have you been irreverent in Church?
  • 4th Commandment: (Children): Have you been disobedient towards your parents or disrespectful otherwise? Have you grieved them, neglected to assist them when in need? (Parents): Have you neglected to teach your children their prayers, to send them to church and to a Catholic school? Have you given them scandal by cursing, quarreling, etc., in their presence? Neglected to watch over them: the company they keep, the books they read, etc.?
  • 5th Commandment: Have you struck or wounded others? Did you injure your health by excessive drink, etc.? Did you bear hatred? How long? Did you desire revenge, refuse to forgive? Did you wish others harm? Have you led others into sin? What sins? How many persons? Have you given others bad books to read; shown them bad pictures; taken them to bad places; helped them to steal, etc.?
  • 6th and 9th Commandments: Have you wilfully entertained impure thoughts? desires? How often? Have you recalled with pleasure to mind former sins of impurity? What sins? Did you expose yourself to danger of committing sins of impurity by keeping bad company, reading lewd books, frequenting bad places, dangerous dances, theatres, etc.? Did you wilfully give ear to, or take part in impure conversations, sing immodest songs, boast of immodest actions, etc.? Did you wilfully look at immodest pictures, or cast immodest looks upon yourself or others? Did you sin by immodest touch or action? Was it with yourself or with others? How often? Was it with relatives, perhaps, or with a married person? Did you wilfully desire to commit such sins? Did you lead others to any sins of immodesty?
  • 7th and 10th Commandments: Did you steal? What was it worth? Have you cheated anyone? Have you done or caused damage? To what amount? Did you neglect to make restitution in former cases? Neglect to pay your debts? Retain things found or stolen? Did you have a desire to steal?
  • 8th Commandment: Did you tell lies? Did you make known the hidden faults of your neighbour? Did you, through envy or hatred, tell lies about others? Have you injured them thereby? Have you judged others rashly?
  • Precepts of the Church: Have you gone to confession within the last year? Have you fulfilled your Easter duty by receiving Holy Communion during Easter-time? Did you eat flesh-meat on forbidden days, wilfully? Did you neglect to fast on the days prescribed, without cause? Do you belong to any society forbidden by the Church?
  • The Seven Capital Sins: Have you been proud and thought yourself better than others? Have you been jealous or envious? Have you the habit of drinking to excess? Have you given way to anger?

– From St John’s Sunday Missal, 1952

Please see also: “I would like to have my sins forgiven properly, but I shy away from Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession”, please click here.


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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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Our dead

Our dead are not all in the churchyards, entombed under the shadow of the cross, beneath mounds upon which roses bloom.

There are others whom no visible monument reminds us of; they have existed only in the heart, where, alas! they have found a tomb.

Calm reigns about me to-day, and in my solitary room, face to face with my crucifix, I wish to summon you forth. Arise then from the tomb, my beloved dead!

The first to present themselves…

The first to present themselves to me are the sweet years of my childhood, so fresh, so joyous, so innocent.

There were composed of caresses received, of recompenses lavished, of confidence without fear; words of trouble, of danger, or of worry were unknown. They brought me calm joys, pleasures without remorse… and asked in return only a little obedience.

Alas! they are dead… and with them they have borne away many things. What voids have they not left!

Frankness, gaiety, simplicity; I no longer find you in my soul.

Family joys, so true, so expansive, so easy; I find you no more.

Happiness of the fireside, recompense so well earned by days of application, maternal reprimands, so frankly asked and so generously granted, sincere promises to be good so joyously received… are all these for ever at an end, and shall I find them no more?

Shall I find them no more?

And the shade which follows is my simple, confiding faith.

It appeared to me under the form of an angel, covering me with his white wings, pointing God out to me everywhere and in everything.

God who, each morning, prepared for me my daily bread.

God, who prevented my mother from falling ill, and healed her when she suffered.

God, who kept me from harm when I was very good.

God, who saw all, who knew all, who could do all things, and whom I loved with all my heart.

Alas! this simple and confiding faith is dead; it could not live without innocence.

True friendship

And this other phantom is the friendship of my early years.

Friendship of my childhood, friendship of my youth, which afforded me such pious, frank enjoyment, which initiated me to the joys of devotion, which accustomed me to deny myself in order to give pleasure [Mk 8:34; Mt 7:13-14; Mt 5:44-48; Mt 6:19-34; etc.], which destroyed selfishness in my heart by making me feel the desire of living for others.

Friendship of my childhood, friendship of my youth, upon which I relied when I was told of the troubles of life, of the isolation of the heart, of the sinking of the soul… you too are among the dead. An involuntary coolness, an unfounded suspicion which we had not the courage to clear up, an evil report to which we listened… killed this daughter of heaven. I knew that she was delicate, I watched over her, but I did not believe that she was so feeble.

Oh! how very long is the list of the dead who have found a tomb in my heart.

The remedy

You who are still young, upon whom God has lavished all these gifts which I have lost – candour, simplicity, innocence, friendship, devotion… guard these treasures well; and, lest they die, place them under the protection of prayer.

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

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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Words of Wisdom


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David’s faith and hope in God.

The psalm of David before he was anointed.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?

Whilst the wicked draw near against me, to eat my flesh.

My enemies that trouble me, have themselves been weakened, and have fallen.

If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear. If a battle should rise up against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple.

For he hath hidden me in his tabernacle; in the day of evils, he hath protected me in the secret place of his tabernacle.

He hath exalted me upon a rock: and now he hath lifted up my head above my enemies.

I have gone round, and have offered up in his tabernacle a sacrifice of jubilation: I will sing, and recite a psalm to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to thee: have mercy on me and hear me.

My heart hath said to thee: My face hath sought thee: thy face, O Lord, will I still seek.

Turn not away thy face from me; decline not in thy wrath from thy servant.

Be thou my helper, forsake me not; do not thou despise me, O God my Saviour.

For my father and my mother have left me: but the Lord hath taken me up.

Set me, O Lord, a law in thy way, and guide me in the right path, because of my enemies.

Deliver me not over to the will of them that trouble me; for unjust witnesses have risen up against me; and iniquity hath lied to itself.

I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

Expect the Lord, do manfully, and let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord.


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Previous: Silence of self love


Step 8: Silence of the mind

Silence useless thoughts, pleasing and natural thoughts; truly these only damage the silence of the mind and not the thought in itself which cannot cease to exist. Our mind wants the truth and we give it falsehood! Now the essential Truth is God. God is sufficient for His Divine Intelligence and is not sufficient for poor human intelligence!

A contemplation of God which is sustained and immediate, is impossible in the infirmity of the flesh, without a particular gift of the Divine Goodness; but silence in one’s own exercises of the mind is, with respect to the Faith, to content oneself with its obscure light.

Silence to the subtle reasoning which weakens the will and makes love become arid. Silence in one’s intention: purity, simplicity; silence to self-seeking; in meditations, silence to curiosity; in prayer, silence in one’s own dealings, they do nothing but hinder the work of God. Silence to pride which seeks itself in everything, everywhere and always, that wants that which is beautiful, good and sublime; it is the silence of holy simplicity, of total dispossession, of rectitude. A mind that fights against such enemies is similar to those Angels who see the face of God without interruption. The Lord raises up this intelligence to Himself, always in silence.

Next chapter

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplemento am.n. 2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”



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Psalm 12 [Psalm 13]

A prayer in tribulation.

Unto the end, a psalm for David.

How long, O Lord, wilt thou forget me unto the end? how long dost thou turn away thy face from me?

How long shall I take counsels in my soul, sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider, and hear me, O Lord, my God.

Enlighten my eyes, that I never sleep in death: lest at any time my enemy say: I have prevailed against him.

They that trouble me, will rejoice when I am moved: but I have trusted in thy mercy.

My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation: I will sing to the Lord, who giveth me good things: yea I will sing to the name of the Lord the most high.


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Previous: Silence of the heart


Step 7: Silence of self love

Silence in the sight of one’s own corruption, of one’s own incapacity, silence of the soul which takes pleasure in its own lowliness. Silence to praises, to esteem. Silence in the face of contempt, preferences and complaints: it is the silence of sweetness and of humility. Silence of human nature in the face of joys and pleasures.

The flower blossoms in silence and its perfume praises the Creator in silence

The flower blossoms in silence and its perfume praises the Creator in silence: the interior soul must do the same. Silence of human nature in sufferings and contradictions. Silence in fasting, in watching, in labours, in cold and in heat. Silence in health, in sickness, in privation of everything: it is the eloquent silence of true poverty and of penance: it is the most loving silence of death to all that which is created and human

It is the silence of the human ego which passes to the Divine Will. The shudders of human nature are not able to disturb this silence because it is above human nature.

Next chapter: Silence of the mind

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplemento am.n. 2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”


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