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Tag Archives: heart

“CONFORMITY WITH JESUS CHRIST” – COUNSELS FOR A CHRISTIAN LIFE

“These counsels which I am offering to you here, are those of a mother – the testament of her Christian heart; she wished to draw up herself a line of conduct, which would keep her beloved children in the path of duty, and assure their eternal salvation.

• IN CONDUCT: Uniformity, uprightness, moderation, prudence, gentleness, firmness.

• IN CONVERSATION: Gaiety without dissipation, reserve in language, forgetfulness of self, few confidences.

• IN FAULTS: Humble and sincere acknowledgement; deep sorrow without despondency; recourse to God; abandonment to His mercy.

• IN THE FREQUENTATION OF THE SACRAMENTS: Purity of heart, and of intention; lively faith, detachment, practical fervour.

• WITH GOD: Filial confidence, the study of His will, peaceful waiting for His time; prompt, generous, unqualified obedience.

• WITH OUR NEIGHBOUR: Cordiality, thoughtfulness, tolerance, compliance without meanness, deference without flattery, condescension without human respect.

• WITH OURSELVES: Strict justice, genuine and constant self-denial, patience in every trial.

• FOR THE MIND: Wise mistrust of its own enlightenment, blissful ignorance of its merit, holy employment of its talents.

• FOR THE IMAGINATION: Unalterable tranquillity in its flights, disregard of its phantoms, turning aside from its importunity.

• FOR THE HEART: Fidelity in banishing from it every kind of anxiety, watchfulness over all its motions, sacrifice of all that is opposed to the good pleasure of God.

• A LIFE OF FAITH: That is, entire conformity with Jesus Christ, in speech, thought, sentiment, and works: and continual dependence on His Spirit, in all things.”
– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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THE TRUE METHOD OF LIFE: PUT ETERNITY INTO EVERYTHING YOU DO

SURSUM CORDA!

LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS!

“Yes, surely, on this day (Ascension) more than ever, let us lift up our hearts! Let them rise to heaven, as if drawn after our Saviour. But let them not ascend merely to enjoy for a few hours the spectacle of His glory. The Church wishes our ascension to be permanent; she wishes that our souls should MAKE FOR THEMSELVES A DWELLING IN HEAVEN, that our earthly life should be a search after celestial treasures.

Let us make this divine consummation the true object of our lives, the vision of our souls, the goal of all our desires and efforts. Let us place our hearts so high that no seduction can reach them. Put eternity into everything that you do; it is the true method of life.”
– Apostolat de la Jeunesse

 

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THE PATH TO GENUINE PEACE OF HEART

PEACE OF HEART MUST HAVE A SPIRITUAL BASIS

“‘Peace and quiet.’ We often associate the two words as though there were a necessary connection between them. The truth is that genuine peace – tranquillity of heart and mind – has little to do with the absence of noise. A person can be in the midst of clanking machinery or honking horns. A person can suffer inner torment in the solitude of an empty building.

A PRECIOUS POSSESSION

Peace of heart is a precious possession. It is a wonderful thing to be able to face each new day without undue fear or anxiety; to go through the day with a feeling of satisfaction in our work and our surroundings, to feel confident that whatever crisis or emergency may arise, it will in the end have a happy issue.

GOD IS IN ULTIMATE CONTROL

Such peace of heart must, of course, have a spiritual basis. It can be built only on the conviction that God is in ultimate control of the world and that the world with all its happenings is moving toward the destiny God has in mind for it. Doing our best to identify our own will with God’s, insofar as we can discern it, we know that we too, with each day’s activities, are moving toward God’s objective. We are moving in the right direction.

WE ARE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

There are persons who, because of a personality disorder such as a severe neurosis, are presently incapable of preserving peace of heart. There are others who may be deprived temporarily of peace of heart by some sudden personal catastrophe. But for most of us it is true that, if we lack peace of heart, the fault is our own.

LIFE IS LITERALLY SHORT IN THE CUL-DE-SAC OF SIN

It is obvious that peace of heart cannot coexist with sin. Sin by definition is a rejection of God’s will. As long as a person retains any traces of religious faith, he never can convince himself, really, that he is smarter than God. Whatever pleasure or profit he may now be finding in his self-will, the sinner knows that he is on a dead-end street which can lead only to the bitter failure of a wasted life.

SOME WALK WITH RELUCTANCE

This is not to say that every virtuous person enjoys peace of heart. Some who walk with God do so with reluctance. They keep God’s commandments, they do what they must, but they nourish a (perhaps unrecognised) resentment against God. They feel that God has treated them unfairly in placing them in their present circumstances and that He asks more than He really has a right to ask.

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF INNER CONFLICT

An unpeaceful heart may be caused, not only by conflict with God, but also by conflict with ourselves. In this event, to re-establish peace we have to discover the source of our inner conflict. What is it that is frustrating us? What is it that we want so badly and cannot have?

SOMETHING WE CAN CHANGE?

Sometimes we shall find that the source of our discontent is a condition which, with courage and determination, we can alter. Perhaps all that is required is a change of jobs, a change of environment (school, neighbourhood or climate), the acquisition of more education or some other not-impossible goal.

MAKING THE MOST OF OUR TALENTS

Adhering to God’s will does not mean the surrender of all initiative. It is a part of our vocation to seek, by trial and error if need be, what God’s will may be for us. So long as we operate within the framework of His law, God actually encourages us to try to bend circumstances to our needs and to make the most of our talents. He will positively help us to that end with His guidance and His grace.

ENTRUSTING EVERY STEP TO GOD

To achieve peace of heart, then, there are two essential steps which we must take (beyond the conquest of sin). On the one hand we must stop feeling sorry for ourselves and take active steps to eliminate whatever it is that is frustrating us.

GOD’S WILL FOR US

On the other hand, when we find ourselves in a bind from which there simply is no escape, then we know that this IS God’s will for us, however impossible it may be to see the reason for it. We accept His will. More, we embrace His will. So doing, we find peace.

THE SECRET OF PEACE OF HEART

There is an ancient prayer which beautifully summarises the secret of peace of heart: ‘God grant me the courage to change the things I can change; the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; and the wisdom to know the difference.'”
– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

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“LORD, IN THIS TIME OF WAITING YOU ARE ALSO WAITING”

ADVENT PRAYER TO BUILD UP THE BODY OF CHRIST:

O Lord Jesus,
sometimes I become impatient
while waiting for the coming of Your grace,
the coming of Your peace,
the coming of Your justice,
the coming of Your love.
I forget that You are also waiting –
for my efforts
to build up Your Body in the world.

It is true, O Lord,
that unless You build the house
all who labour will come to nought.
But it is also true that
unless I join all people
in working for the coming of Your Kingdom,
that Kingdom of justice, love, and peace
will delay in coming.

Help me to realise
that You need my poor efforts,
and let me apply myself
with body, heart, and mind
to whatever task You may give me.
Amen.

 
 

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9th JULY, RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 16)

R. As for me, in my justice I shall see your face.

1. Lord, hear a cause that is just,
pay heed to my cry.
Turn your ear to my prayer:
no deceit is on my lips. (R.)

2. From you may my judgement come forth.
Your eyes discern the truth.
You search my heart, you visit me by night.
You test me and you find in me no wrong. (R.)

3. I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my words.
Display your great love, you whose right hand saves
your friends from those who rebel against them. (R.)

4. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
As for me, in my justice I shall see your face
and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.
Alleluia!

 

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TODAY’S RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 25)

R. Your love, O Lord, is before my eyes.

1. Examine me, Lord, and try me;
O test my heart and my mind,
for your love is before my eyes
and I walk according to your truth. (R.)

2. Do not sweep me away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men
in whose hands are evil plots,
whose right hands are filled with gold. (R.)

3. As for me, I walk the path of perfection.
Redeem me and show me your mercy.
My foot stands on level ground:
I will bless the Lord in the assembly. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
He sends out his word to the earth.
Alleluia!

 

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TODAY’S RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALM 127)

R. Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.

1. O blessed are those who fear the Lord
and walk in his ways! (R.)

2. By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be happy and prosper;
your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive,
around your table. (R.)

3. Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
all the days of your life! (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
Alleluia!

 

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