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Tag Archives: Spirituality

YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU ARE A STRANGER AND A PILGRIM WHEREVER YOU MAY BE

You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.

GIVE BUT A PASSING GLANCE TO EARTHLY THINGS

If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

CHRIST WAS LEFT BY FRIENDS, HE HAD ENEMIES AND DEFAMERS 

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends in the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

SPIRITUAL PEACE

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ (15th century)

 

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DO NOT FORGET THAT LOST TIME NEVER RETURNS

DO NOT FORGET THAT LOST TIME NEVER RETURNS

ALL IN ALL

When a man reaches a point where he seeks no solace from any creature, then he begins to relish God perfectly. Then also he will be content no matter what may happen to him. He will neither rejoice over great things nor grieve over small ones, but will place himself entirely and confidently in the hands of God, Who for him is all in all, to Whom nothing ever perishes or dies, for Whom all things live, and Whom they serve as He desires.

ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR END

Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns. Without care and diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to grow lukewarm, you are falling into the beginning of evil; but if you give yourself to fervour, you will find peace and will experience less hardship because of God’s grace and the love of virtue.

IT IS GREATER WORK TO RESIST VICES AND PASSIONS THAN TO SWEAT IN PHYSICAL TOIL

A fervent and diligent man is ready for all things. It is greater work to resist vices and passions than to sweat in physical toil. He who does not overcome small faults, shall fall little by little into greater ones.

WATCH OVER YOURSELF

If you have spent the day profitably, you will always be happy at eventide. Watch over yourself, arouse yourself, warn yourself, and regardless of what becomes of others, do not neglect yourself. The more violence you do to yourself [the more you work on yourself], the more progress you will make.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ

 

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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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WHEN SHE WAS COME INTO YORK, SHE WENT TO AN ANCHORESS…

WHEN SHE WAS COME INTO YORK, SHE WENT TO AN ANCHORESS…

“When she was come into York, she went to an anchoress who had loved her well ere she went to Jerusalem, to have knowledge of her ghostly increase, also desiring, for more ghostly communication, to eat with the anchoress that day nothing else but bread and water, for it was on Our Lady’s Eve.

And the anchoress would not receive her, because she had heard so much evil told of her, so she went forth to other strange folk, and they made her right good cheer for Our Lord’s love.

On a day, as she sat in a church in York, Our Lord Jesus Christ said to her soul: “Daughter, there is much tribulation thee-ward.” She was somewhat gloomy and abashed there-of, and therefore she, sitting still, answered not. Then said Our Blessed Lord again: “What! Daughter, art thou evil paid to suffer more tribulation for My love? If thou wilt suffer no more, I shall take it away from thee.” Then she answered: “Nay, Good Lord, let me be at thy will, and make me mighty and strong to suffer all that ever thou wilt that I suffer, and grant me meekness and patience there-with.”

So, from that time forward, as she knew that it was Our Lord’s will that she should suffer more tribulation, she received it goodly when Our Lord would send it, and thanked Him highly There-of, being right glad and merry the day that she suffered any discomfort. And in process of time, that day on which she suffered no tribulation, she was not merry nor glad as the day on which she suffered tribulation.

Afterwards, as she was in the Minster of York aforesaid, a clerk came to her, saying: “Damsel, how long will ye abide here?” – “Sir, I propose to abide these fourteen days.” And so she did.

In that time many good men and women prayed her to meat, and made her right good cheer, and were right glad to hear her dalliance, having great marvel of her speech, for it was fruitful.

Also she had many enemies who slandered her, scorned her, and despised her, of whom one man came to her while she was in the said Minster, and taking her by the collar of her gown, said to her: “Thou wolf! What is this cloth that thou hast on?” She stood still and would not answer in her own cause. Children of the monastery going beside, said to the man: “Sir, it is wool.” The man was annoyed because she would not answer, and began to swear many great oaths.

Then she began to speak for God’s cause; she was not afraid. She said: “Sir, ye should keep the commandments of God and not swear as negligently as ye do.” The man asked her who kept the commandments. She said: “Sir, they that keep them.” Then said he: “Keepest thou them?” She answered: “Sir, it is my will to keep them, for I am bound there-to, and so are ye, and every man that will be saved at the last.” When he had long jangled with her, he went away privily ere she was aware, so that she knew not where he went.”

– The Book of Margery Kempe (modernised text 1936)

 

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 24:37-44)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 24:37-44)

First Sunday of Advent, Year A

Stay awake so that you may be ready.

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it be when the Son of Man comes. For in those days before the Flood people were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and they suspected nothing till the Flood came and swept all away. It will be like this when the Son of Man comes. Then of two men in the fields one is taken, one left; of two women at the millstone grinding, one is taken, one left.

‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming. You may be quite sure of this that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house. Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

V. The Gospel of the Lord. R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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“THOU SHALT NOT KILL”: TO FULFIL THIS COMMANDMENT, IT IS NOT ENOUGH JUST TO REFRAIN FROM PHYSICALLY MURDERING SOMEONE

“THOU SHALT NOT KILL”: TO FULFIL THIS COMMANDMENT, IT IS NOT ENOUGH JUST TO REFRAIN FROM PHYSICALLY MURDERING SOMEONE

For I tell you, if your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:20)

The righteousness of the Pharisees is that they shall not kill; the righteousness of those who are destined to enter into the kingdom of heaven is that they shall not be angry without cause. Not to kill is, therefore, the least commandment; and whoever shall break that shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever shall fulfil that commandment not to kill will not necessarily be great and fit for the kingdom of heaven; but yet he has ascended to a certain degree. He will be made perfect, however, if he refrains from anger without cause; and if he shall do this, he will be removed much further from the guilt of murder. And, therefore, he who teaches that we should not be angry, does not destroy the law which forbids us to kill, but rather completes it; so that we preserve our innocence both outwardly when we do not kill, and in the heart when we refrain from anger.

– From: St Augustine, Bishop, Book 1 on the Sermon of the Lord on the Mount, Ch. 9, from An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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NEW WEBSITE: “THE ART OF DYING WELL”

NEW WEBSITE: “THE ART OF DYING WELL”

This new website has been set up by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Sections include: What is dying well? Talking about death. Facing death personally. Losing a loved one. Caring for the dying. The address of this new website is http://www.artofdyingwell.org (external link).

 

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ZEAL FOR SOULS IS SIMPLY LOVE IN ACTION

ZEAL FOR SOULS IS SIMPLY LOVE IN ACTION

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: HE KNOWS THAT, FOR EVEN THE MOST SERIOUS EVILS, THERE IS A REMEDY, AND ONE ONLY WHICH GOD WILLS HIM TO EMPLOY

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

The love of God is the heart of sanctity. Training in the love of God is, therefore, the principal task of the Child of Mary. Everything is designed to make the flame of Divine Love burn brighter: His every act is made to converge towards God, the supreme Object of his love.

In mind, will and heart, he is united with God and assimilated to Him. Thus seeking God, he relishes and lives the great Truths of his Faith, receiving eventually indomitable strength to overcome every obstacle and perform even heroic acts of virtue. The Holy Spirit comes into his soul with fire and love, making it one with Mary’s love and with Mary’s will to save the world.

Then, the love aflame there bursts forth from soul to soul pressing on daily towards the final objective, the setting of the whole world alight with the Divine Fire. The love of God expresses itself particularly in the exercise of the supernatural love of all men for God’s sake; in other words, in zeal for souls. His whole life is made one long exercise of zeal and, therefore, of love: for ZEAL is simply LOVE in action. Thus, he merits all the graces, privileges and power attached to the ceaseless practice of Divine Charity.

– 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 15, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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A MAN OUGHT TO ROOT HIMSELF SO FIRMLY IN GOD THAT HE WILL NOT NEED THE CONSOLATIONS OF MEN

A MAN OUGHT TO ROOT HIMSELF SO FIRMLY IN GOD THAT HE WILL NOT NEED THE CONSOLATIONS OF MEN

We are cast down, but we perish not: Always bearing in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our body. (2Co4:9b,10)

THE VALUE OF ADVERSITY

It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.

When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realises clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good. Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays. He wearies of living longer and wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ. Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.

– From: The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HE KNOWS THAT, FOR EVEN THE MOST SERIOUS EVILS, THERE IS A REMEDY, AND ONE ONLY WHICH GOD WILLS HIM TO EMPLOY

HE KNOWS THAT, FOR EVEN THE MOST SERIOUS EVILS, THERE IS A REMEDY, AND ONE ONLY WHICH GOD WILLS HIM TO EMPLOY

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: IT IS EVER GOD’S WAY TO PERFECT HIS GREATEST PROJECTS WITH INADEQUATE INSTRUMENTS

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

There is no room for timidity in the work of a Child of Mary who trusts fully in God and the might of His Grace. What the world calls heroism is mere formality and, if persevered in, has an electrifying effect upon the accepted standards of a community.

As for difficulties and dangers, a little courage, nurtured on supernatural trust, shows that they resemble a forest which, at a distance appears solid and impenetrable, but when approached is found easy on entry.

In fact, he is trained for this difficult work and his vocation is to penetrate to the utmost depths his search for the lost sheep, to establish personal contact with every member of underprivileged groups, to reach each of the lapsed and uplift all of the most wretched and dejected of the population. So great is his trust in God, through Jesus and Mary, that he pursues his search for souls to the bitter end with far more zeal and earnestness than those who search for the rare and precious things of the earth.

[Enemies not of flesh and blood, but principalities and powers: the rulers of this world of darkness (Ep6:12)]

[THE ARMOUR OF GOD: ]

No matter how long and drawn-out the battle, how toilsome the labours, how severe the rebuffs, how hardened the cases, how hopeless the prospect, the Child of Mary is buoyed up with unfailing confidence in the omnipotence of grace. He knows that for even the most serious evils, there is a remedy, and ONE only, which God wills him to employ: the intense and patient application of the whole religious system of the Catholic Church.

– 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 13, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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