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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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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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THE TRUE MARKS OF LOVE FOR GOD

THE TRUE MARKS OF LOVE FOR GOD

ST ANTHONY’S LOVE OF GOD

The true marks of love for God are – first, to be willing to do or to sacrifice anything, whatever it may be, for the love of God; and, second, to think frequently of Him with real joy, to speak of Him, or with Him, in prayer; for “where thy treasure is there is thy heart also.” 

We find these true marks of love for God in Saint Anthony. 

For love of God, at the early age of fifteen, he bade farewell to his parents and all that high rank and worldly fortune offered him, and entered a monastery in order to make a complete sacrifice of his liberty and his will to God. Yet even this did not satisfy his ardent love.

After he had entered the Franciscans, his greatest desire was to be sent as a missionary to preach the Gospel in Africa, where he hoped to lay down his life for the faith. After long and earnest entreaty, he obtained the desired petition. But God had decreed he should be led by another way. He had barely set foot on the soil of Africa than he was seized with a severe illness, which left him so weak that there was nothing for him but to return to Spain. Here again God’s providence interposed; the ship in which he had embarked was within a few miles of Spain, when a sudden wind drove it on the coast of Sickly. On landing at Messina he learned that St Francis was holding a Chapter at Assisi, whither he repaired, despite his great weakness, in order to receive the holy founder’s blessing.

The love of God, as we said above, is manifested by the frequent thought of God; it was in this way that this virtue was particularly manifested in Saint Anthony. There are probably few saints with so deep and tender a love for God, or who have been favoured with so many special proofs of God’s love in return. It is almost incredible –  the number of conversions wrought and the many souls brought back to the faith by St Anthony, in a life of less than thirty-six years, and, despite weak health, rendered weaker by the practice of severe austerities.

Imitating the zeal of the Apostles, he went through all Italy, and his preaching, inflamed with divine love, drew all hearts and all minds to God, and was therefore blessed with the richest fruits. His efficacious love of God was rewarded by high graces of prayer, great lights and divine manifestations on the part of God.

– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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ARE THERE EVIL SPIRITS IN THINGS, WHICH TAKE PLEASURE IN SPITING AND THWARTING US?

ARE THERE EVIL SPIRITS IN THINGS, WHICH TAKE PLEASURE IN SPITING AND THWARTING US?

We are tempted to say sometimes that there are evil spirits in things, which take pleasure in spiting us, thwarting our desires, and resisting our wills. The more petulant we show ourselves, the more irritating they become; the more we wish to hasten, the more they persist in remaining hard and rebellious.

The Antidote

Gentleness will cause us to look upon them kindly and touch them delicately; and this regard and this tact will, as it were, restore their good nature.

Who among us has not experienced this?

In the spirit of serene resignation…

Happy are the souls who, living in friendship with the Angel of Resignation, have learned from him to “will what God wills; to turn from an obstacle rather than waste their strength trying to remove it; to yield rather than obstinately persist; to insinuate themselves rather than to enter brusquely; to ask rather than command; in fine, to will with all their hearts what they cannot prevent.”

These souls are strong to bear, pliant to yield, and, above all, kind in forgetting all that has given them pain.

– From: Golden Grains (Sanctification and Happiness of Every-Day Life), H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TO NEGLECT OUR DUTY IS TO COMPLAIN OF GOD, OR TO MURMUR AGAINST HIS WILL

TO NEGLECT OUR DUTY IS TO COMPLAIN OF GOD, OR TO MURMUR AGAINST HIS WILL

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job1:21b)

A courageous woman was surprised, with her eyes full of tears, by one of her nieces who had brought a joyous band of children to visit her in order to amuse them.

What is the matter, aunt?

Affectionately embracing her niece, she replied: The weight on my heart is the blow which killed my son on such a day as this.

Oh, aunt! is to-day, then, the anniversary of his death? If you had told us so, we should not have worried you with our gaiety.

God forbid that I should make you bear the burden which oppresses me! That would be unjust. Poor children; is it because I am sad that you must not amuse yourselves?

And can you spend a day like this engaged in your ordinary occupations?

But, my child, is not fulfilling the duties of my state the best means of submitting my will to God, and thus securing a little consolation?

Know, my child, that when God sends us a cross, He wishes that we should bear it without neglecting on its account any of our duties, no matter how trifling they may be.

To neglect our duty is to complain of God, or to murmur against his will.

– From: Golden Grains, Little Counsels for the Sanctification and Happiness of Every-Day Life, H. M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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BEAR THIS IN MIND WHEN “THE GOING GETS TOUGH”

BEAR THIS IN MIND WHEN “THE GOING GETS TOUGH”

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

We cannot love suffering for itself, but, aided by grace, we can love the will of God sufficiently to remain attached to it, even when it causes suffering.

God alone knows the sorrow which will result from His Will, for each one, until he sees the face of God.

Nevertheless, without knowing anything of it, without even wishing for such a knowledge, one can accept everything in advance, and love everything by considering it under this sovereign and beautiful form of the “holy will of God”.

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

God gave three counsels to St. Catherine of Genoa which, faithfully followed, would make family life very sweet:

  • “My daughter, never be heard to say, I wish, or I do not wish.
  • “Never make an excuse when thou art asked to perform a work of charity.”
  • “Endeavour always to do the will of others.”

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

 

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