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THE COMFORTS OF LIFE ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF OUR WANT OF LOVE OF GOD

THE COMFORTS OF LIFE ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF OUR WANT OF LOVE OF GOD

I must say plainly this, that fanciful though it may appear at first sight, the comforts of life are the main cause of our want of love of God; and, much as we may lament and struggle against it, till we learn to dispense with them in good measure, we shall not overcome it.

Till we, in a certain sense, detach ourselves from our bodies, our minds will not be in a state to receive divine impressions, and to exert heavenly aspirations.

A smooth and easy life, an uninterrupted enjoyment of the goods of Providence, full meals, soft raiment, well-furnished homes, the pleasures of sense, the feeling of security, the consciousness of wealth – these and the like, if we are not careful, choke up all the avenues of the soul.

– Bl. John Henry Newman; The necessity of self-denial; P. S. V, 337

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A PERFECT PICTURE BELOW OF ALL THAT IS ABOVE

A PERFECT PICTURE BELOW OF ALL THAT IS ABOVE

Nature affords no more beautiful picture of the calm and peace that is man’s heritage than a quiet, lonely, pine-fringed lake at sunset.

During the day there may have been breezes that stirred the waters, but as evening comes on, the waters begin to still, and long, vague reflections appear, until at sunset, the wind having died down and the waters stilled, they present a perfect picture below of all that is above.

The soul tossed by anxiety and care of the earth mirrors but poorly the glory of God, but as personal desires lessen, the reflection of Heaven in the soul begins to appear, until at last, the desires all stilled, God is perfectly mirrored, as far as He can be, in the image He has made. (Fr Norman)

 

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NEVER HESITATE TO BEAR HUMILIATION TO GAIN A SOUL FOR JESUS

NEVER HESITATE TO BEAR HUMILIATION TO GAIN A SOUL FOR JESUS

Souls! Souls! I must have souls!

Such is the cry of Jesus, and to obtain souls He died on the cross, and remains till the end of time enclosed in our tabernacles.

Souls! Souls! I must have souls!

Such is the cry of Satan; and to possess souls he scatters gold broadcast, he multiplies pleasures and scandals, inflames the imagination, and bestows glory which intoxicates.

Souls! Souls! Jesus must have souls!

Let this be the cry of all the readers and distributors of Golden Grains, and to gain a soul for Him, let them never hesitate to face fatigue, to incur a little expense, or to bear humiliation and censure.

– From Golden Grains, Sanctification and Happiness for Everyday Life, Eighth Edition, M. H. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

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A SOUL THAT CANNOT SUFFER CANNOT LOVE

A SOUL THAT CANNOT SUFFER CANNOT LOVE

It is related that when St Peter was leaving Rome in the time of persecution, he met our Lord Jesus Christ, who was carrying a heavy cross upon his shoulders. St Peter asked his Lord whither he was going in that sad condition, and our Lord answered him: “I am going to Rome to deliver Myself to be crucified for you, because you refuse to suffer for me.” St Peter, ashamed of his weakness, and penetrated by a lively sorrow, returned to Rome, where, with great courage and joy, he suffered martyrdom for the name and honour of his Divine Master.

We have imitated St Peter in his weakness; when shall we imitate him in his generosity? Alas! how often might our Lord Jesus Christ say to us: I am going to give Myself up again to death for you, because you refuse to bear My cross! We would like to have nothing to suffer; we complain and murmur at the least trouble. The mere sound of the word “sufferings,” nay, even the thought of it, makes us tremble. 

Is this to be a Christian, is this to be a disciple of a God who died for us on the cross? O suffering Saviour, teach us to suffer! sanctify us through our sufferings, united with thine, and receiving all their merit from thine! Let us then be a little more considerate, and instead of bewailing our sufferings, let us praise God who gives us the means, with the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins.

A soul that cannot suffer cannot love. True love only shows itself in suffering. Jesus Christ has planted the cross in order to show us the way to heaven; He holds it before the soul to guide her there.

Many Saints would have been lost without suffering, and many lost souls would have been great saints through suffering. It is better to weep than to sin. Weep now with the penitent, that by and by you may rejoice with the elect.

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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MY SPIRITUAL THERMOMETER

MY SPIRITUAL THERMOMETER

During a visit which we made to a learned and pious friend, writes a religious, we found among the books which lay on his table, “The Glories of Mary,” by St Alphonsus de Liguori, and as we were looking at it, he remarked to us:

“That is my spiritual thermometer. When I am faithful to grace, a page of this book enlightens me, animates me, makes me happy; when I am careless or lukewarm, it scarcely suits me at all; it becomes, as it were, too much for me; it wearies me; I no longer understand it; it is not the brilliancy of the light which has become less, it is rather the eye of my soul which can no longer bear it. I labour then to restore to that eye its purity and its strength, and soon the thermometer rises, or rather my soul mounts and finds itself in unison with the praises of the Blessed Virgin.”

THE PURITY OF THE EYE OF THE SOUL

How precious are these words! Is it not well to be able to discern “where the life of our poor heart is?” These hours of weakness are so long and so alarming.

This we may know through “the love we feel for Mary.” It grows or lessens in proportion as innocence increases or diminishes in our hearts.

As long as we remain pure, there exists a close relation between us and the Blessed Virgin, which manifests itself by a thrill of joy each time that our mind can ponder on her goodness, or our lips murmur a prayer in her honour.

Then we search for all that recalls Mary to us; the prayers which we prefer are those addressed to Mary; books please us less if they do not speak a little of Mary. The rosary is for us a special source of peace, and the joy of our heart is even manifested in our countenance.

THE WORLD’S CONTAGION

Should we become “less pure”, even though we do not sink into real sin, we feel a coldness towards Mary; we find it very irksome to say our rosary; the pious practices of others who love her more than we do, appear exaggerated; we leave off some of our accustomed prayers – “we no longer have time for them…”

This condition, if we do not relieve our heart of its encumbrances, cannot remain long a state of innocence… The priest trembles when a soul tells him, “I have ceased to say my rosary.” The rosary is the first prayer one abandons.

It is your care or negligence in reciting it which specially serves as a thermometer to indicate the life of the soul.

A 100% RELIABLE SAFEGUARD

The rosary is more even than all this – it is a “safeguard.” As long as you recite it, despite your weariness, your distaste, your occupations, you will never wander entirely away. You will either cease to say it, or you will end by being touched and frightened; you will be LED to the priest in order to make to him the confession of your faults and commence a new life.

Devotion to Mary is like a beacon-light erected on the road which leads to God. It reassures and encourages; withdraw it, and though you know with certainty where God is, and the road which leads to Him, yet you are timid and have no longer the courage to follow that path.

Thus the devotion to Mary is not a “simple ornament or embellishment” of Catholicism, nor even “a help” among many others, of which we may avail ourselves or not, as we will: it is an integral part of our religion. Jesus Christ deigned to come to us only through Mary. It is through her that we should go to Him. As one seeks the heart’s pulsations in order to assure himself that there is life, so in like manner, in order to find if a soul still lives, seek to discover whether the name of the Blessed Virgin thrills it or is heard with indifference.

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

 

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WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE INQUIETUDE OF A SOUL OR OF A FAMILY?

The inquietude of a soul or of a family always comes from the absence of the direct action of God.

Do you wish that life should return to these drooping souls with all its fullness, bringing its clear sky and joyous sun?

Bring back God to them.

 

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

 

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A “SOUL DIAGNOSIS” AND VARIOUS REMEDIES

Have you not sometimes, before the Blessed Sacrament, heard a sweet, penetrating voice murmur softly to your heart, Jesus is there?

Jesus is there!

Oh! how different these words make everything appear. The tabernacle disappears before our gaze, the consecrated Host loses what the Church calls the appearance, and allows me to see the reality – which is Jesus.

Jesus is there!

It is really He, such as my heart represents Him to itself in the days of mortal life; it is He, kind, merciful, and compassionate… He speaks to me at this hour as He spoke to the apostles who stood around Him.

I listen:

– “Thou art very agitated and uneasy, poor soul!”

– “But, Lord, thou dost permit events to occur which fill the entire world with uneasiness and terror; my life and the lives of those that I love are threatened; my future and my position are ruined; I am left in abandonment, isolation, poverty, and perhaps misery… How can I feel otherwise than anxious and desolate?”

– “Thou dost forget, then, my child, that I am thy Father, that I wish thee to be with me for all eternity, and it is for eternity that I prepare thy soul.

Oh! if thou couldn’t see thy soul as I see it. Oh! if thou didst know how its sojourn on earth has sullied it.

It has abandoned itself to affections which have left upon it shameful stains, like the marks of diseases which disfigure the body.

It has nourished passions which have inflamed its desires, and given it the aspect of a body in which the blood is vitiated.

It still has habits which have surrounded it with illusions, and caused it to believe that it was at peace, because it experienced a certain devotional calm.

Oh! if thou couldst see it as I see it, my poor child, thou wouldst say, holding forth thy hands to me and weeping: Cure me.

Well, it is to cure thee that I send sorrow. Sorrow under some form is the only remedy which my providence judges worthy of my justice.”

– “I understand, oh! my Father; an expiation is necessary in order to destroy the evil, burn the wound, and pluck up the deeply-rooted vice… but that which thou sendest upon me is very hard to bear.”

– “It is only hard to bear because it is unusual, because it surprises thee, and because thou hast not thought of having recourse to me.

If, from the first moment, thou hadst known how to raise thy thoughts to my providence; if thou hadst come here to visit me, saying: Thy will be done – the words which strengthened me in the Garden of Olives – oh! how calm thou wouldst have remained, continuing thy daily life in peace.

Listen, my child, if I permit thy possessions to be consumed by fire; a dreadful disease to carry off thy loved ones; long and acute suffering before thy eyes: what wouldst thou do?”

– “Oh Lord! I would weep; I would resign myself and wait.”

– “Then, my child, weep, resign thyself, and wait. I am a Father; dost thou not believe that my loving heart will put an end to misfortune when it is no longer necessary?

Dost thou not believe that when I see thee submissive and faithful, I will give thee something as compensation.

If I take wealth from thee, I will give thee a contended mind, which is satisfied with little.

If I permit thy loved ones to die, I will give thee the assurance that they are in heaven, and I will come soon to bring thee to them.

If I take from thee all support, I will give peace to thy soul, and cause thee to feel my presence more intimately, even as thou dost at this moment… Art thou satisfied?”

– “Yes, Lord, I am; thy will be done, thy will be done, thy will be done…”

Then there was silence… and my soul, filled with strength hitherto unknown, continued to hear the sweet, penetrating voice which continued softly to murmur: Jesus is there.

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

 

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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