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LITTLE GOOD WORKS: THE SEEKER OF EXCUSES FOR OTHERS

LITTLE GOOD WORKS: THE SEEKER OF EXCUSES FOR OTHERS

TO EXCUSE, SUSTAIN, AND PROTECT; IS THAT NOT WHAT JESUS WOULD DO IN YOUR PLACE?

What a useful and delightful occupation!

What a useful and delightful occupation is this! Have you never seen the embarrassment and terror of a child, a servant, a brother, or a sister, who has committed a fault, and who is reprimanded rather sharply, perhaps even a little unjustly?

Let you, who possess a good heart, not leave them under the weight of reproach and shame.

Human justice always furnishes to prisoners accused of crimes a counsellor, whose office is to defend them.

Assume, then, this paternal – I would almost say divine – mission.

An almost divine mission

In order to mitigate a punishment, or to shorten a painful separation, can you not plead the frivolity due to the person’s age, the thoughtlessness of his character, the ardour of his temperament, the devotion displayed by him in the past, the affection so many times manifested, the efforts towards reformation made with such constancy, the heartfelt tears which you have seen him shed, the fear which prevented his submission?

Peace-maker

Ask pardon for him, insist, promise, guarantee fidelity for the future; and, when you see that the person who had to reprimand is moved, go to the culprit, speak to him some of those affectionate words which certainly do not encourage his fault, but tend to renew his courage; bring before his mind the pain which he has caused those he loves, and lead him back repentant.

I know it is often necessary to scold and to punish, but those on whom God has imposed this duty are very much to be pitied.

Let you who have it not, excuse, sustain, and protect; is that not what Jesus would do in your place?

You require tact; your heart will give it to you. You require constancy; prayer will sustain you. You require courage – you who want it on almost all occasions; affection will strengthen you, and you will be astonished at the bravery which you will exhibit.

A father of a family once said: “If I wish to scold any one, I must do so in the absence of my daughter; she always finds excuses for others.”

Oh! if that could be said of you.

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

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Posted by on November 15, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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GIVE FREELY WHAT THE HELPFUL ANGEL ASKS YOU TO GIVE

To be in this world but not of this world.

Therefore, let us not sleep as others do; but let us watch, and be sober (1Thess5:6)

My child, said a priest to a young girl whom he blessed as she was about to enter the world after years of pious convent education; my child, you will find all through life, at almost every step, an angel of God, who will present himself to you under a thousand forms, offering you true happiness, but always asking something from you in return.

He is called the angel of sacrifice.

Do not refuse him what he will ask from you.

God has put into his hands immense treasures of pure joy, from which he will return a hundredfold all that you give him.

From you, who are still young, he will demand but little: a glance which would only serve to gratify your curiosity; an object of no real value, to which you are too strongly attached; a reading [or viewing] which might have fostered your self-indulgence; some word, some arrangement of your appearance, the only object of which is to please.

My child, do not deny him what he asks of you.

If you refuse him once, you will lose your strength to grant him later what he will grant imperiously.

You will hardly believe me, perhaps, but my experience is this: When we accustom ourselves to give, we become so infatuated with giving that we can never cease.

And whilst we are always giving, he gives also, and his are godly gifts, if we but learn it.

O my child! the more sacrifices we make on earth, the happier we become.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889 (headings in bold added)

 

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (GALATIANS 5:18-25)

(Week 28 of the year: Wednesday)

YOU CANNOT BELONG TO CHRIST UNLESS YOU CRUCIFY ALL SELF-INDULGENT PASSIONS AND DESIRES.

But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury,

Idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects,

Envies, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity,

Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law.

And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences.

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 
 

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THE SECRET OF ATTAINING INTERIOR PEACE AND SERENITY EXPLAINED STEP BY STEP

“TO KNOW ONESELF IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF ALL KNOWLEDGE”

÷ HIGHER SPIRITUALITY ÷

÷ THE KEY TO INTERIOR PEACE ÷

÷ THE KNOWLEDGE OF ALL KNOWLEDGE ÷

“To know oneself is the knowledge of all knowledge and there are two cognitions which help the soul to know itself: the first is active, the second is passive. That which is active is the consideration of one’s nothingness before creation: one is to consider that they are worse than nothing due to their past and present sins. That which is passive is inspired by divine illustrations from the Lord, and this is the awareness of His divine Being, which absorbs into Itself our being.

O HOLY AND SACROSANCT HUMILITY!

O holy and sacrosanct humility! Blessed, and a thousand times blessed, that soul, which is adorned with this virtue: she is a true delight of God. But, O God! How rare is this humility and in how few does she dwell, because when we say true humility, we say also true ‘stripping’ of self love, destruction of pride and – in its stead – love of sufferings, scorn, injuries and disgrace; there is no scorn nor suffering which the humble soul does not desire, if she is truly humble.

WE ARE NOTHING

Basing our foundations on this great truth, revealed to us by our holy faith, that is, that we are nothing, that we are worthless, that we can do nothing and that at every moment we can be reduced to nothing if God sustains us not; and if, by chance, there is something good in us, it is not ours, but God’s, which in His goodness He grants to us.

THE KEY TO INTERIOR PEACE

Upon this truth understood well and practised on every occasion, we will live continuously in a great interior peace: because nothingness never resents, nor responds; rather it permits itself to be trampled upon, pushed around, insulted all the time, on every occasion, in every place, by all and by each one individually, not only by those who are superior to us but by those who are inferior, according to their inclination and when they please.

ALL THE SANCTITY OF A SOUL

Upon this truth well understood and better still practised, God bases all the sanctity of a soul. Solitude, silence, recollection help us to know ourselves and our wretchedness very well: we will therefore never spend time uselessly, so that we will be able diligently to attain such a great treasure, loving all the occasions of contempt, both interior and exterior.

ENTERING IMMEDIATELY INTO THE MOST BLESSED KINGDOM

By interior I mean: when the Lord leaves the soul so arid and desolate, that it knows not where to turn, full of wearisomeness and of regrets, surrounded by diabolical temptations, which it generously resists, but it fears within itself that it will not do what it must and is obliged to do; it experiences such a general nausea of all things, that it is necessary to do violence to itself in order to fulfil them, and this is followed by many other sufferings and afflictions, that only he who suffers in this way would know their number and measure. These are the obscure ways in which divine Wisdom places predilect souls in order to purify them as the purest of gold in the crucible of the fire of many sufferings, so that purified, they may be able, at the point of death, to enter immediately into the most blessed kingdom; indeed, they will not wait for the Lord until their death, because after having purged them in His own way, He unites them to Himself in such an intimate manner that they experience an anticipation of Paradise on earth.

The exterior occasions are abandonment by creatures, in being despised by them, bodily pains and infirmities and every misery that the human life obliges us to suffer. Even these things help us to know the stuff of which we are made and for this reason we love them and value their great worth.

GROUND YOURSELF IN YOUR NOTHINGNESS AND NOTHING ELSE

I would like, then, for you to consider yourself to be useless at all things, being amazed at being asked to fulfil some obedience, because in reality, you are good for nothing. Believe this and understand very well this truth: ground yourself in your nothingness and nothing else. Desire nothing in religion except to be forgotten and left in a corner. Present yourself to the Lord thus annihilated and He will welcome you as His dearest daughter and will present you to His divine Father, saying these most sweet words: ‘Volo, Pater, ut ubi ego sum sint et ancillae meae,’ that is: ‘I want, O Father, that where I am, there will be also these my servants, who here upon earth have been hidden from all creatures, almost as if they were nothing; here in Heaven, I want them to be loved and known.’ And turning to the blessed spirits it seems as if He says to them: ‘You see there, in that small corner of the earth, these my faithful servants sequestered and buried in the most humble estimation of themselves; they are very dear to me, however, because they are imitators of the hidden life which I lived upon earth. Love them, therefore, because they love Me and set them here amongst us on a noble throne.’ Thus says the Lord and it seems that the humble soul hears it and in a certain way can doubt it not; and therefore it desires to hide itself still more, finding in this hiddenness, its Paradise.”
– Bl. Mary Magdalene Martinengo. This article was published under the title “The knowledge of all knowledge” in “De Vita Contemplativa” (Monthly magazine for monasteries), Year VII – Number 6, June 2013.

 
 

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“MAY THE GOD OF PEACE MAKE US PERFECT AND HOLY” – INTERCESSIONS

God dwells with the crushed and dejected in spirit. For them, let us pray:

R. Lord, hear the cry of the poor.

For those who suffer chronic illness:
– grant them patient endurance. (R.)

For those who suffer mental or emotional illness:
– grant them peace of mind. (R.)

For those who suffer terminal illness:
– grant them hope as they approach you. (R.)

For all who love and care for the sick:
– grant them the reward of your love. (R.)

(Personal intentions)

Our Father…

May the God of peace make us perfect and holy; and may we all be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul, and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (c.f. 1 Th 5:23)

 

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“NO ONE WINS BY HIMSELF, NOT ON THE FIELD OR IN LIFE!

“We are now coming into the last week of the football [soccer] World Cup in Brazil. Many of us will be disappointed that England did not get through to the knockout stage, but some of you might be very happy that the team from your home country is still in with a chance of winning the World Cup.

Pope Francis sent a video message to Brazil and this was shown on Brazilian television preceding the opening ceremony of the World Cup. Here are some of the Pope’s words.

‘It is with great joy that I address you, lovers of football, on the occasion of the opening of the 2014 World Cup. I would like to send a cordial greeting to the organisers and the participants; to every athlete and every fan, as well as to all the spectators who will follow the event in the stadiums and on television, the radio and internet, an event which crosses language, cultural and national barriers…

Think of loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing, and solidarity. There are, in fact, many values and attitudes which football promotes and which prove to be important not only on the field but in all fields of existence, and specifically in building peace. Sport is a school of peace, it teaches us how to build peace. In this sense, I would like to point out three lessons for practising sports, three fundamental attitudes for the cause of peace: the need to ‘train’, fair play, and respect for the opponent…

The lesson for sports which bears the fruit of peace is the respect deserved by our opponents. The secret to winning on the field, and also in life, is to respect my teammates and also my opponent. No one wins by himself, not on the field or in life!…

And if it is true that in the end of the tournament only one national team will win the Cup, likewise, it is also true that, by learning the lessons that sports teach us, we will all be winners, strengthening the bonds that tie us together.”
– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris/July 2014

 

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“HE’D ONCE SAID TO HER THAT IF EVERY RELIGION HAD CONFESSION MOST PSYCHIATRISTS WOULD BE OUT OF A JOB”

“… I must try to explain something that is basic to the understanding of our Catholic faith, namely, that it is Christ himself who is the chief operator in each of the sacraments. Although it is the priest who says ‘I baptise you’ or ‘I absolve you’ or ‘This is my body’ it is Our Lord himself who effects the sacramental change that takes place.

St Augustine (354-430) had to argue with some people who said that baptisms done by heretics were not valid. The saint replied that they did not understand how the sacraments work. ‘When Peter baptises’, he said, ‘it is Christ who baptises. When Paul baptises, it is Christ who baptises. When Judas baptises, it is Christ who baptises.’

So you can have Our Lord in one confessional, and any priest you like in the next one, even one leading a bad life or who’s even lost the faith. The advice they give to the penitent would of course be different, but the effect in the penitent’s soul when they say, “And now I absolve you from your sins’ would be the same in each case. Why? Because in each case it would be Our Lord himself acting on their souls.

If the efficacy of the sacraments depended on the holiness of the priest, we could be caught up in a turmoil of anxiety and rash judging. As it is, we look beyond the actual priest, who anyhow is a sinner like ourselves and himself needs to go to confession. We look to Christ. Whoever the priest may be, when we hear those comforting words, ‘I absolve you’, it is Jesus who has touched our souls.

The wounds left in us by sin, by original sin and by our own sins, go very deep. No psychologist can know just where they are or how deep they go. Only God knows. And in this sacrament he touches those wounds with his healing hands.

GOD’S HEALING HANDS

I once knew a woman whose husband was a psychiatrist. He wasn’t a Catholic, but she told me he’d once said to her that if every religion had confession most psychiatrists would be out of a job.

Our stomach is made for food. It needs food. If it’s empty – well, we all know how wretched we feel. So too, our soul is made for God. We have a void in us that only God can fill. When we were baptised, he entered our soul. If we drive him out by serious sin, we soon feel the wretched emptiness.

We may distract ourselves and try to forget our hunger for God. We may seek to comfort our souls with creatures. But they cannot quell our hunger. Only God can. It’s like when men at sea, dying of thirst, try to forget their thirst by drinking seawater; it only makes matters worse. Fresh water is what they need, and our souls need God. ‘You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in you,’ as St Augustine said, when he’d turned away from his sins and found God.

So when people come to me in trouble, I always first try to find out how they stand with God. Are they trying to live close to him? And if they’re Catholics, what about their sacramental life? This is the first thing to check up on. It’s the same if my car slows down and stops. The first thing I ask myself is ‘Have I run out of petrol?’ If there’s petrol in the tank, then it must be something else.

Our soul’s dependence on God is the central thing in our nature. It’s our soul’s most insistent need. A man may be as clever as you like, but if he’s estranged from God his heart will not be at peace…”
– Fr Hugh S. Thwaites

 

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