RSS

Tag Archives: love of neighbour

INTERCESSION IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

INTERCESSION IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

Every one knows, who has any knowledge of the Gospel, that Prayer is one of its special ordinances; but not every one, perhaps, has noticed what kind of prayer its inspired teachers most carefully enjoin… Yet it is observable, that though prayer for self is the first and plainest of Christian duties, the Apostles especially insist on another kind of prayer; prayer for others, for ourselves with others, for the Church, and the world, that it may be brought into the Church. Intercession is the characteristic of Christian worship.

– St John Henry Newman; In prayer we show our love for others and their needs. P. S. III, 350

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

HOW CAN I BE GOOD?

HOW CAN I BE GOOD?

Dear little souls, God loves, you and your sufferings are not unknown to me; you who so ardently feel the happiness of devoting yourselves to others, but are unable to do so, because the occasions seem to fly from you; you who so often try to devote yourselves, but are suddenly held back by timidity and the fear of not being accepted – it is for you that I have collected these little occupations, which permit you to taste, without coming from under the shadow of silence and obscurity, the joys of a devotion known to God alone, of a benevolence all the sweeter to the heart of him who exercises it because no one thinks of thanking him.

THE SWEET OFFICE OF MEDIATOR

This little occupation consists in never suffering two hearts in a family or community to remain for any length of time at variance.

It seems a most natural thing to extend your hand to a friend who is offended, saying simply, with that friendly smile which brightens the whole countenamce: Let us love each other as we did before.

The wounded heart closes, retires, and shrinks back upon itself, exaggerating the injuries inflicted on it by a friend and its own wrongs, and it remains estranged; it desires to revive the old friendship, but it knows not how to commence.

Oh! if some advance were only made.

Make it, you who accept the sweet office of mediator. Go from one to the other; be the bearer of a simple good morning; tell him who is offended that you have seen his friend sad.

Is there a reparation to be made, a pardon to be asked? Take it upon yourself, arrange an interview, cause a smile, a tear. Do not become weary until you have re-established the union between these two hearts.

And then quietly resume your ordinary life, as if you had done nothing, and await some new occasion of being useful.

Oh! what account will not God take of your steps and your words.

– From: Golden Grains, A Collection of Counsels for the Sanctification And Happiness of Every-Day Life, M. H. Gill & Son, Dublin, 1889

MORE WAYS TO BE GOOD

The Repairer of Neglects

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I AM FED UP! SAVE ME FROM BEING FED UP!

I AM FED UP! SAVE ME FROM BEING FED UP!

I am weary! I am weary! Save me from weariness! Without taste for prayer, without energy for work, without strength for suffering, I am helpless. Save me!

I know an infallible remedy: Put a good action beside your weariness; it will destroy it.

A good action! I am incapable of performing one!

What! you cannot even stand up and walk? Do you not know of some wretched hovel in your village in which some poor invalid lies on his bed of pain? Force yourself to go thither, and, seated by his bedside, remain in his company for a while, soothing his soul with words of consolation and hope.

You who dwell in a city, do you not know the way to the hospital, which our ancestors, in their simple faith, called the restorative for sick hearts? Walk slowly through these halls of sorrow and expiation, listen to the complaints of these poor abandoned people, and, taking them by the hand, say to them, Pray for me.

*     *     *

We have given up the habit of visiting hospitals under the ridiculous pretext of fear of contagion from the pestilential atmosphere, as if the heated air of a theatre or ball-room is not more injurious. A visit to the hospital has seldom caused disease in the body, but it has always elevated the soul, restored serenity of mind, and soothed the heart.

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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SEND A GOOD THOUGHT WHICH WILL TELL OF GOD’S GOODNESS

SEND A GOOD THOUGHT WHICH WILL TELL OF GOD’S GOODNESS

YOU WISH TO PERFORM CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY, BUT…

You wish to visit prisoners and the sick, to console those who weep, to speak of God to little children who do not know Him… but your duty keeps you within the narrow precincts of a cell, a room, or a family; send a good thought which will tell of God’s goodness, which will speak of the happiness and the merit of suffering, and will show how, perhaps in a few days, it is followed by the sweet repose of Paradise… This thought will give birth to hope, to a smile, to some act of love, … and God will be indebted to you for regaining to Himself a soul that perhaps had forgotten Him.

– From: Golden Grains, Little Counsels for the Sanctification and Happiness of Everyday Life, H. M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

WHY, WHEN WE HAVE BEEN HURT, DO WE “LICK OUR WOUNDS” FOR DAYS, EVEN WEEKS?

WHY, WHEN WE HAVE BEEN HURT, DO WE “LICK OUR WOUNDS” FOR DAYS, EVEN WEEKS?

Sensitivity is not a virtue. Unfortunately, many women believe it is, and because they are sensitive, they consider themselves virtuous. Sensitivity may be a charm in social reunions, but it is never a virtue. It often, even, becomes an evil, because it causes neglect of daily duties by favouring laziness, which is so natural to all of us.

A pathway to laziness 

We find it much more easy to abandon ourselves to memories of the past, to shut ourselves up in our room, and to weep at our ease, than to occupy ourselves with the everyday cares of our households.

We find it sweeter to remain in solitude during long hours of inaction, going over in our minds some injustice done to us, or some disagreeable manner manifested towards us, than seeking by a good act to attract the kind regard which has not been shown us, or the thanks which we have omitted.

Self-love in disguise

Sensitivity flatters self-love, giving the reputation of having a good heart. It causes us to confound tenderness, softness, and delicacy with susceptibility, and gives the name of affection to what is often but want of energy, or even self-indulgence.

The difference between a genuine good heart and a sensitive heart

A good heart is always strong; it suffers, but it hides its tears, and seeks consolation by devoting itself to others.

A sensitive heart suffers also, but it gives way; withdrawing and concentrating itself on itself, it has no longer the energy to act.

Putting neighbour before self

A tender heart feels keenly, but carefully refrains from manifesting its sorrow. Praying to God; bending only for a moment, it rises again, smiling and courageous.

A sensitive heart feels as a tender heart, but it seems to require that everybody should suffer with it, and only rises again after long days of suffering and gloomy thought.

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PRAYER FOR REFUGEES

PRAYER FOR REFUGEES

Lord,

no one is a stranger to you

and no one is ever far

from your loving care.

 

In your kindness

watch over the refugees and exiles,

those separated from their loved ones,

young people who are lost,

and those who have left

or run away from home.

 

Bring them back safely

to the place where they long to be,

and help us always to show your kindness

to strangers and those in need.

Amen.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 7, 2015 in Prayers for Today

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

MILK AND SOLIDS: SPIRITUAL ADULTHOOD

A child becomes a man when he stops taking and begins to give

“Psychologists tell us that a child becomes a man when he stops taking and begins to give. A sense of responsibility for others is the basic proof of emotional maturity.

Most of us can illustrate this dictum from our own observation. We know of overprotected children who, as young adults with well paying jobs, spend most of their money on themselves. They still expect dad and mom to provide them with room and board. They may be in their twenties, yet continue to take rather than to give.

This emotional immaturity, this taking rather than giving, can be ruinous to the happiness of a marriage. It characterises the husband (or wife) who seeks primarily his own satisfaction, whether in marital intercourse or in any other area of the partnership.

The essence of love

The essence of love, whether in marriage or in friendship, consists in the giving of self to the one loved. It is almost impossible for the immature person ever really to love another because he knows only how to take. To him, love is a one way street terminating in himself.

We can see this readily enough in the relationship of human to human. Perhaps it has not occurred to us that this also is true of man’s relationship to God. There is such a thing as being spiritually immature. The mark of this immaturity is, once again, the habit of taking rather than giving…

The immature Christian… aims to maintain a cosy You-me relationship with God. [He prays for personal favours, usually for material and worldly things, and expects to draw answers for his requests.] As for his relationships with other people, he keeps them on a strictly practical basis, not on the basis of a brother’s need and his own ability to help. He helps those who can be expected to help him in return. Others must look out for themselves. He is not his brother’s keeper.

There are too many immature Christians… That is why Christ has been so sorely hindered in His efforts to transform the world. That is why, after 2000 years, we still have so much poverty and ignorance, so much hatred and so many wars. Like an inept player on a football team, the immature Christian stands in Christ’s way instead of running interference for Him.

Up to this point we have been talking rather impersonally. The immature Christian is a shadowy person. He is that man or woman across the street, that fellow or girl at the next desk or machine.

Maybe. Also maybe it is that person whom I see in the mirror. There may be an awakening in store for me if I ask myself and answer in complete honesty: ‘In my spiritual life, as I live day by day, am I a giver or a taker?'”

– From: One Step Enough, Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,