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Tag Archives: love of neighbour

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.

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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

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in Prayers for Today

 

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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

 

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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AS CHRISTIANS, DO WE HAVE TO GIVE ANY NOSY PERSON TRUTHFUL INFORMATION ABOUT OTHERS WHEN THEY ASK?

The noble gift of speech

(by Fr. Leo J. Trese)

“It is a wonderful gift, this power of speech – this ability to communicate with our fellow men and especially with those whom we love. Sight and hearing are precious gifts, too. Yet, neither blindness nor deafness isolate us from others as much as does dumbness.

Perhaps we have encountered someone who has suffered a blood clot in the part of the brain which controls speech. If so, we know how pitiful it is to witness the frustration of such a person as he tries so hard to express what is in his mind, yet cannot.

As it is true of all God’s gifts, our power of speech must be used for God’s purposes. It must be used for good and not for evil.

Using the power of speech for good, not for evil

The noblest use to which our tongue can be put is to address God in prayer. It is a mean return we make to God for His gift if we seldom speak to Him, perhaps only on Sunday or when in need. We convict ourselves of ingratitude if we let a day pass without directing to God some words of love, praise, gratitude and repentance.

Our day may be a crowded one with no time for lengthy conversation with God. However, even the busiest day can be peppered through with brief salutations such as ‘Blessed be God,’ ‘My Jesus I love You,’ ‘Holy Spirit, guide me,’ or ‘All for You, God.’

After prayer, the most fruitful output of our vocal chords will be words spoken in charity. One of the greatest desecrations of our gift of speech is to indulge in malicious gossip and unkind criticism. It is especially offensive to God if we create unhappiness in our own home with angry, sarcastic or belittling words.

Mere absence of uncharitable speech is not enough

Mere abstinence from uncharitable speech is not enough. God expects us to use our lingual ability in positive acts of charity. We do so, for example, when we speak out in defence of someone whose character is being attacked. We do so when we cheer another with encouraging words or with words of honest praise. We do so when we give helpful guidance or instruction to another. Any dedicated teacher (especially a teacher of religion) is an outstanding example of speech well used.

The obligation to speak truthfully

After prayer and charity, the third duty which our gift of speech imposes on us is the obligation to speak truthfully. The virtue of veracity demands that there be agreement between what is in our mind and what is on our lips. We badly tarnish our Christian image if we make a lie (‘little lies,’ we say?) our standard tool for getting out of scrapes and for avoiding embarrassment or inconvenience. By our lies we make our gift of speech into a weapon to be turned against God, instead of an instrument to be used for His work.

A conflict between truth and charity?

It may seem at times that there is a conflict between our obligation to be truthful and our obligation to practice justice or charity. We may encounter a prying individual who asks questions about matters which we are not at liberty to reveal. These may be professional confidences, such as those of a priest, doctor or lawyer; or they may be matters which would be seriously harmful to another or to ourselves if revealed.

However, when questions are asked by someone who has no right to the information he seeks, the conflict between justice or charity and veracity is only a seeming conflict. Actually it is not a lie to say to the inquisitor, ‘I do not know.’ That is, ‘I do not know’ as far as this particular person is concerned.

Mental reservation

Theologians give this type of answer the name of ‘mental reservation.’ The purpose is not to deceive but simply to protect justice or charity. If there is any deception involved, it is the inquisitive person who deceives himself. If he has any intelligence, he should know that the answer means only, ‘Whether I know it or not, I cannot tell you.’

Prayerfulness, charitableness and truthfulness. If our talk always exemplifies these virtues, we shall be able to give God a good account of our stewardship. He will have no cause to regret having endowed us with the gift of speech.”

– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

 

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“NO MAN’S CROSS IS LAID UPON HIM FOR HIMSELF ALONE, BUT FOR THE HEALING OF THE WHOLE WORLD”

“Look at this cross, so much bigger than the man whose body will be stretched to fit it. So much higher than the height of the man who will be lifted up above the earth on it and who, being lifted up, will draw all peoples to himself. Christ receives it with joy because he knows that this is the dead weight that must have crushed humankind had he not lifted it from their backs. This is the dead wood which at his touch is transformed to a living tree. At his touch, the hewn tree takes root again, and the roots thrust down into the earth, and the tree breaks into flower…

THE TREE BREAKS INTO FLOWER

Because Christ is to be stretched to the size of the cross, those who love him will grow to the size of it, not only to the size of man’s suffering, which is bigger than man, but to the size of Christ’s love that is bigger than all suffering. Because Christ is to be lifted up on the cross, all those who love him will be lifted up above the world by the world’s sorrow. He, being lifted up, will draw all men to himself.

CHRIST CHANGED SUFFERING TO REDEMPTION

Because Christ has changed death to life, and suffering to redemption, the suffering of those who love him will be a communion between them. All that hidden daily suffering that seems insignificant will be redeeming the world, it will be healing the wounds of the world. The acceptance of pain, of old age, of the fear of death, and of death will be our gift of Christ’s love to one another; our gift of Christ’s life to one another.

JOY AND SUPERNATURAL LIFE

No man’s cross is laid upon him for himself alone, but for the healing of the whole world, for the mutual comforting and sweetening of sorrow, for the giving of joy and supernatural life to one another. For Christ receives our cross that we may receive his. Receiving his cross, the cross of the whole world made his, we receive him. He gives us his hands to take hold of, his power to make it a redeeming thing, a blessed thing, his life to cause it to flower, his heart to enable us to rejoice in accepting our own and one another’s burdens.”
– Caryll Houselander

 

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