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IT IS GOOD FOR US TO HAVE OTHERS KNOW OUR FAULTS AND REBUKE THEM, FOR IT GIVES US GREATER HUMILITY

IT IS GOOD FOR US TO HAVE OTHERS KNOW OUR FAULTS AND REBUKE THEM, FOR IT GIVES US GREATER HUMILITY

Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. (Mt11:29)

HUMILITY

Be not troubled about those who are with you or against you, but take care that God be with you in everything you do.

Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to suffer in silence, you will undoubtedly experience God’s help. He knows when and how to deliver you; therefore place yourself in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men and free them from all distress.

It is often good for us to have others know our faults and rebuke them, for it gives us greater humility. When a man humbles himself because of his faults, he easily placates those about him and readily appeases those who are angry with him.

It is the humble man whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble whom He loves and consoles. To the humble He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation He may raise them up to glory. He reveals His secrets to the humble, and with kind invitation bids them to come to Him. Thus, the humble man enjoys peace in the midst of many vexations, because his trust is in God, not in the world. Hence, you must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to others.

– From: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

 

 

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THE DEGREE OF GRACE OFFERED TO ANY SOUL IS GOD’S SECRET

THE DEGREE OF GRACE OFFERED TO ANY SOUL IS GOD’S SECRET

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: ZEAL FOR SOULS IS SIMPLY LOVE IN ACTION

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

In working for souls, the Child of Mary is constantly aware that he is working for Christ. The secret of his influence over others is simply his own love of God overflowing upon them. His is no apostolate of mere philanthropy or natural pity for the unfortunate ones of the world. Written on his heart are the words of the Master: “So long as you did it unto one of these my least brethren, you did it to Me.

In this light, he sees all mankind, even the most repulsive, the thankless, the despised, the ungrateful, the selfish, the stupid, the afflicted, the vicious. To one and all, as to the least of Christ’s brethren, he strives to render a princely and reverential service. In each of them, he sees neither an equal nor an inferior, but one as superior to himself as is Christ. He approaches each one as he would Christ Himself, humbly, respectfully, reverently. Never does he deliver a lecture or ask a multitude of questions. He enters the cottage of the poorest in exactly the same spirit as he would enter the palace of the greatest.

Through the exercise of supernatural charity, his one aim is to sow the seeds of that eventual intimacy which will, one day, open the floodgates of grace. He regards it to be the special glory of charity to understand others. When they are deliberately rude to him, he submits meekly, remembering that such conduct often springs from a sense of neglect which most people suffer. He is never critical; he never sits in judgment on those for whom he works; he never sets up his own standards of conduct as those to which all must conform. When some differ from him, oppose him or refuse to receive him, he remembers his obligation to love and banishes the thought that they are necessarily less worthy than he. Even when he comes across lives that are unsightly with sin, he remembers that God alone can see the heart and judge as to its real position. The degree of grace offered to any soul is God’s secret and none will be asked for any return save that which has been given to him.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part I).

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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DO YOU WISH TO LIVE IN PEACE WITH THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY?

Following Jesus Christ in word and deed

Do you wish to live in peace with the members of your family, particularly with those who have a right to exercise authority over you? If so, employ the means which a certain pious woman, obliged to live with a person disagreeable in her disposition, relates as follows: I fulfil all my duties with good humour, betraying none of the weariness which they occasion me; I do everything I can to please her; I bear patiently all that I find disagreeable; I ask her opinion upon many things about which I know more than she does.

Do you wish to live in peace with the rest of the world? If so, put into practice this maxim of an influential man, who, having been asked after the [French] Revolution, how he managed to escape the guillotine, replied: I remained humble and preserved silence.

Do you wish to live in peace with your conscience and with God? If so, let your Guardian Angel find you engaged every moment during the day, in one of these four things which formed the rule of life of a holy person: I pray, I work, I try to do what is right, I remain patient.

Do you wish to become a great saint? If so, practise, in addition to the actions which we have just mentioned, the following virtues: Order, the spirit of faith, spiritual combat, and perseverance.

Finally, do you desire that others should be always kind to you? – If so, take pleasure in offering little services, and then you need not fear to ask them. By offering little services you advance a step towards making a friend; by asking a favour you show a mark of confidence which flatters a friend. The result of this interchange of favours is a habit of mutual kindness, and a fear of disobliging in matters of greater importance.

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

 

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FRIENDSHIP IS THE UNION OF SOULS, NOT FOR ENJOYMENT, BUT FOR ADVANCEMENT TOWARDS GOD

Who interests himself for the soul of his friend?

We take an interest in his success, in his fortune.

We pray to God to keep him from misfortune and failure.

We seek to procure for him a position in the world – to make him esteemed; we try to obtain for him everything that we think may be agreeable to him.

We sacrifice our own repose and the well-being we might enjoy in order to spare him trouble.

Oh! all this is beautiful, very beautiful; but what have we done directly for the soul of this friend?

What are we doing for our friend’s soul?

Let us beseech God every day to make that soul humble, pure and indefatigable in performing his duties.

With the same delicacy that we would place some pleasure in his path, let us procure for it a pious book which will really do it good; let us furnish it with some occasion of gaining merit by proposing an alms to it, and also, without its knowledge, some opportunity for an act of self-denial or of slight humiliation.

Some suggestions

Have we the courage to refrain from shielding it from a trial that we know will be good for it? It is hard, you say.

Ah! you do not know what friendship is. Does not God love us? God, nevertheless, permits us to suffer. He does more: He sends suffering on us.

Friendship is the union of souls, not for enjoyment, but for mutual perfection and advancement towards God, and in proportion as we advance we feel the happiness of loving one another.

The spirit of friendship is not tenderness, but strength, devotion, tact, purity, self-denial.

What deceives us in the nature of friendship is that we desire more to be loved than to love.

What makes us cowardly is the fear of being loved less. Let us not forget that “a selfish heart likes to be loved; a Christian heart desires to love… even without return.”

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

 

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“ALMOST ALWAYS IT WILL BE A SELFISH SPOUSE WHO ACCUSES HIS OR HER PARTNER OF SELFISHNESS”

NOT OURS TO JUDGE

by Fr Leo J. Trese

“Two women were chatting as they stood in line at the checkout counter. ‘The thing I can’t stand about Grace,’ one woman said, ‘is the way she’s always ctiticising other people, always seeing their faults.’ The lady made the remark with a perfectly straight face. She was quite oblivious to the fact that she herself was doing what she pretended to abhor.

THE LORD’S TREATMENT OF THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF ADULTERY

One of the most touching incidents in our Lord’s life surely was His treatment of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Frightened and shamed, she was dragged before Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees as He sat teaching in the Temple courtyard. The woman’s accusers posed what they thought was an inescapable dilemma to Jesus: should the woman be stoned to death as the Law of Moses prescribed?

If Jesus said, ‘No, let her go,’ He would convict Himself of contempt for the Law, held sacred by the Jews. If He said, ‘Yes, stone her,’ His reputation of compassion for sinners would be destroyed. ‘What dost thou say?’ the Pharisees urged.

CASTING THE FIRST STONE

Seeming to ignore their question, Jesus leaned over and wrote in the dust with His finger. What He wrote has remained a secret for twenty centuries. Were His markings an aimless tracing, or did He begin to spell out the sins of the men who stood before Him? In any event, as He continued to write He directed the accusers, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.’

One by one they slunk away until the pitiable woman stood alone before Jesus. Only then did He look up with merciful eyes to say, ‘Go thy way, and from now on sin no more.’

Christ’s admonition, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone,’ should be graven deeply in the heart of each of us. A saint will weep for sinners and pray for sinners, but it takes someone much less than a saint to condemn a sinner.

Almost always it will be a selfish spouse who accuses his or her partner of selfishness. It will be a self-seeker who censures a fellow employee for toadying to the boss. There will be a basic streak of covetousness in the person who imputes dishonesty to another. It will be a fundamentally proud or ambitious person who points to pride or ambition in his neighbour.

FACING OUR HIDDEN WEAKNESSES SQUARELY

Psychologists have a name for this habit of fault-finding or of criticising others. They call it ‘projection’. It is a defence mechanism by which we try to still our uneasiness concerning our own unacknowledged and perhaps unrecognised weaknesses. Subconsciously we try to get rid of our unworthy feelings and desires by projecting them onto someone else. For example, the self-righteous woman who shows most scorn for a prostitute or an unwed mother, is trying desperately to keep the lid on her own suppressed sexual urges.

Projection is a very unhealthy form of personality adjustment. It would be much more salutary to drag our hidden weaknesses out into the daylight and to face them squarely.

We ARE human. We possess all the defects to which fallen human nature is subject. There is no sin in the book of which we are not essentially capable. If we have not erred grievously, it is no great credit to ourselves. It is God’s grace which has won our victories for us, plus perhaps the good fortune of a truly Christian upbringing and a protected environment – which themselves ate gifts of God.

LIVING A CHRISTLIKE LIFE

This matter of forbearance toward others, of patience with their mistakes and compassion for their sins, is enormously important for the living of a Christlike life. In fact, there IS no genuine Christian life without it.

Probably few of us ever will become totally perfect in our effort to leave all judgment to God. There will be moments of resentment or of pique when we forget our resolve. However, such moments will be few if, as accusatory words rise to our lips, we summon up the vision of Jesus writing in the sand and hear the challenge of His invitation, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone.'”

 

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“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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NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING COUPLES: “POSTPONING INTERCOURSE VOLUNTARILY PROMOTES GREATER SEXUAL FULFILMENT”

EASY, CHEAP, AND RELIABLE

“Natural family planning (N.F.P.) is easy, cheap and reliable, which is why users are numerous from New Zealand to the Philippines, through Europe from Poland to Ireland, down from Canada to South America. On moral grounds, nature’s way is acceptable to all creeds and so attracts not only Roman Catholics but Christians of other denominations, Hindus and various back-to-nature communities.”

PERIODS OF ABSTINENCE

“What bothers some couples contemplating natural methods is the problem of coping with periods of abstinence. They feel that frustration is inevitable. Surprisingly, however, people seem to be engaging in potentially frustrating activities all the time, giving up smoking, saving for a mortgage, sticking to a diet, training for Saturday’s match.

The answer seems to lie in how important the result is for you. A need to regulate one’s family size, combined with a concern for healthy living or just a dislike of [unnatural] contraceptive intercourse [and dislike of swallowing chemicals that are tested on animals / contributing to pollution of the environment / not wanting to contribute to Rainforest-deforestation for rubber plantations etc.] can easily motivate a couple [also non-Christians] to accept these regular phases of going without. Perhaps one should ask, ‘Am I a person who easily gets frustrated and, if so, why? What are the important values in life which merit some sacrifice?’

SPONTANEITY

A further anxiety is voiced by those who consider that all spontaneity of sexual expression in their marriage would be lost through the practice of periodic abstinence. Couples agree that N.F.P. does require personal control and co-operation between husband and wife; but when two people have promised to share their lives together, these are qualities worth cultivating.

IN LIFE, THERE ARE MANY TIMES WHEN ONE IS REQUIRED TO RESTRAIN AN URGE

Spontaneity can be a great joy to a couple; it is to be hoped that they will use the infertile times to express their love freely and fully, but in a loving relationship tenderness, consideration and responsibility must also hold a high place. There will inevitably be times in a marriage, during pregnancy, illness, sadness or strain, where expressing love through intercourse would be inappropriate. Indeed there are many occasions in life when one is required to restrain a physical or emotional urge, to control one’s anger, stifle an unkind word or curb a tendency to greed.

GREATER SEXUAL FULFILMENT, MORE LOVING ATTENTION, MORE TENDERNESS

Paradoxically, couples have reported that their appreciation of sexual intercourse is heightened by periodic abstinence. Postponing intercourse voluntarily can promote greater sexual fulfilment; a case perhaps of quality rather than quantity! For the successful use of N.F.P. some adaptation of a couple’s sexual habits will be needed to adjust the phases of fertility and infertility in their shared life. Where intercourse has been the main expression of love and closeness, then they will need, during the fertile phases, to look for other ways of conveying their feelings, through acts of thoughtfulness, signs of affection and intimacies other than intercourse.

This is perhaps more of a challenge than a threat for it should be the ideal of all couples to strengthen their bond of love through sharing, caring, talking things out and looking imaginatively for ways of expressing affection.”
– J. Johnson

 
 

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