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ACCEPT, O LORD, MY MIND

Accept, O Lord, my entire Liberty.

Accept my Memory.

Accept, O Lord, my Mind.

Ah! what deceitful lights have bewildered my understanding. Prayer appeared fatiguing to me, religious duties too absorbing, frequent communion unnecessary, the performance of the duties of my position seemed to be a heavy bondage, and devotion only fit for weak and unloving hearts

Oh! I well knew that all this was not true, and notwithstanding I allowed myself to be half convinced.

But at what time, O my God, have I been more actively employed than when I perfectly fulfilled all my religious duties?

At what time have I been more loving and more mindful of others than when I had the happiness of often receiving Holy Communion?

At what time have I been happier and more free than when I fulfilled all the duties of my state of life?

Accept my understanding, O Lord, and nourish it with the truth.

Teach me that, when dissevered from thee, the pleasures of the senses beget remorse, loathing, weariness and satiety.

The pleasures of the heart cause anxiety, bitterness, anguish, and fears.

The pleasures of the mind are futile and void, producing vanity, jealousies, contradictions, and humiliations.

Teach me that all earthly things are fleeting; that there is nothing true, beautiful, good, and eternal but thee, and thee alone, O my God!

“I give thee all I possess.”

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

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ECCLESIASTES 11:9-12:8)

(Week 25 of the year: Saturday)

REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF YOUR YOUTH, BEFORE THE DUST RETURNS TO THE EARTH, AND THE BREATH TO GOD.

Rejoice therefore, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart be in that which is good in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thy eyes: and know that for all these God will bring thee into judgment.

Remove anger from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh. For youth and pleasure are vain.

Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the time of affliction come, and the years draw nigh of which thou shalt say: They please me not:

Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be darkened, and the clouds return after the rain:

When the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall stagger, and the grinders shall be idle in a small number, and they that look through the holes shall be darkened:

And they shall shut the doors in the street, when the grinder’s voice shall be low, and they shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall grow deaf.

And they shall fear high things, and they shall be afraid in the way, the almond tree shall flourish, the locust shall be made fat, and the caper tree shall be destroyed: because man shall go into the house of his eternity, and the mourners shall go round about in the street.

Before the silver cord be broken, and the golden fillet shrink back, and the pitcher be crushed at the fountain, and the wheel be broken upon the cistern,

And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes, and all things are vanity.

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

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ECCLESIASTES 1:2-11)

(Week 25 of the year: Thursday)

THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.

Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.

What hath a man more of all his labour, that he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth standeth for ever.

The sun riseth, and goeth down, and returneth to his place: and there rising again.

Maketh his round by the south, and turneth again to the north: the spirit goeth forward surveying all places round about, and returneth to his circuits.

All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea doeth not overflow: unto the place from whence the rivers come, they return, to flow again.

All things are hard: man cannot explain them by word. The eye is not filled with seeing, neither is the ear filled with hearing.

What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the same that shall be done.

Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us.

There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance with them that shall be in the latter end.

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

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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“THE FORM OF PRIDE WHICH IS SPIRITUALLY MOST DAMAGING IS INTELLECTUAL PRIDE”

PRIDE HAS MANY FORMS

“Are you a humble person?
You probably will duck that question, sensing a trap. ‘If I say that I am humble,’ you reason, ‘I will appear to be proud.’ Pressed for an answer, you will give an evasive reply, such as, ‘Well, I’m not as humble as I’d like to be.’

That is not a bad answer under any circumstances. However, if you really do think that you are reasonably humble, saying so will not mark you as being a proud person.

A COMMON MISCONCEPTION

This is a misconception which many people have concerning the virtue of humility. It is thought that humility demands that we belittle ourselves, that we pretend to be less than we are.

However, such an attitude is a travesty of humility. Genuine humility is built upon truth. It is insincerity, not humility, to profess that we do not possess a particular virtue or talent which in fact we do possess.

ACKNOWLEDGING THE SOURCE OF OUR HUMILITY

The essence of humility is found, not in downgrading ourselves, but in recognising that whatever we are, by grace or by nature, we are through the bounty of God. Whatever claim we may have to distinction, we know that we can take no credit for it. All credit must go to God.

Consequently we do not dare to look down upon anyone else, be he sinner, pauper or fool. If God has seen fit to bestow on us, for His own reasons, more graces or advantages than He has accorded another, this gives us no right to congratulate ourselves. We have not lifted ourselves by our own bootstraps.

‘SINNERS, PAUPERS AND FOOLS’

In theory we do admit, of course, that God is the source of all our spiritual and human assets. In practice, however, we too often surrender to feelings of superiority. Unless we are vigilant, we may find ourselves harbouring feelings of disdain toward another because of his poverty or because of his lack of education or of social grace.

The word ‘pride’ is often used inexactly. We speak of proud parents, for example, when we really mean pleased and happy parents. We speak of taking pride in our work, when we really mean that we are conscientious in our work. It is when we feel that we are e s s e n t i a l l y better than someone else, that we become guilty of pride.

THE MANY FORMS OF PRIDE

There are many forms of pride: pride of nationality, of race, of religion (we Catholics have sinned here!), of social position or of wealth. The form of pride which is spiritually most damaging, however, is intellectual pride. This is a state of mind in which a person considers his own judgements to be infallible. It is the kind of pride which is exhibited by the self-righteous person who weighs other individuals on his own scale of values – and usually finds the other wanting.

THE DANGERS

Intellectual pride also is the outstanding weakness of extremists, whether they be extremists of the right or of the left. To the extremist of the right, all who disagree with him are Communists, fools or heretics. To the extremist of the left, all other men are Fascists, tools of Wall Street or reactionaries.

THE ‘IF I CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT, THEN IT ISN’T SO’-ATTITUDE

Intellectual pride can rise to such heights as to set itself up in judgment over God. There are individuals whose attitude is, ‘If I can’t understand it, then it isn’t so.’ Such persons feel quite competent to comprehend everything that is in God’s mind. This is the kind of pride by which Lucifer and his cohorts sinned. It was this kind of pride which hardened the hearts of the Pharisees and blinded them to Christ’s miracles. It is a pride manifested by many modern ‘thinkers’, and sometimes by common folk such as you and I.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRIDE AND SIMPLE VANITY

There is a big difference between pride and simple vanity. A desire to be noticed and admired is standard human equipment. We can be quite convinced that all our gifts originate in God, and still be hurt by a slight or criticism, still be pleased at being elected president of the Garden Club or at being seated at the speaker’s table.

Vanity, even excessive vanity, lacks the radical malice of pride which is basically an assault upon the rights of God. However, whether proud or merely vain, we shall be wise to heed our Lord’s warning, ‘Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.'”
– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

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WHEN WE SEEK HUMAN PRAISE, WE CUT OFF THE FLOWERS OF VIRTUE FOR THEM TO WILT

÷ SEEKING HUMAN PRAISE AND SPIRITUAL LIFE ARE INCOMPATIBLE ÷

HIDDENNESS

“MARY: Do you know what is the real cause of the life and the beauty of a flower? … You see its brilliant shades, smell its delicate fragrance and yet you don’t recognise that all of this buds forth from those humble roots which are hidden in the barren and often muddy earth. It is the humble earth that secures the vital part of a flower and in it that the roots are hidden and these cannot give life to the bloom if they are not hidden! Virtue is always born from an intimate and profound hiddenness! Flowers must certainly be seen for Jesus says: ‘Let your good deeds be seen by others’, but the seeds from which they bud, the LIFE OF THE HEART must remain concealed and hidden.

THE DANGERS OF SEEKING APPROVAL FROM OTHERS

How many times do you not love to appear virtuous before those who see you and seek the vain praise of others? Then you remove the root from being hidden, it unhappily dries up and also the flower wilts and dies. The paid gardener cuts the flower and ties it to an artificial stem so that it may be admired… but in doing this he kills it! When you seek human praise, you cut the flower of virtue and you place it on an artificial stem… After empty praise it is nothing more than a mass of withered leaves. Therefore love hiddenness and desire that only God sees you and reads the secret of your heart.

HUMILITY OF HEART

THE SOUL: O Mary, open your humble Heart to me as a refuge so that I may hide myself in it! Human praise disturbs me, agitates me, makes me so ugly and I recognise that I get worse after praise. I’m full of pride and I can’t free myself of it except by hiding myself in God! O Mary, give me the strength to flee human praise and my vanity!

ASPIRATION: O Mary, give me humility of heart.
LITTLE WORK: When something redounds to your praise, don’t say it for the love of holy humility.”
– Don Dolindo Ruotolo

 

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LET’S LET GO OF PRIDE AND OF CONSUMERISM WHILE WE STILL CAN

“Listen! We hear that they are blessed and prosperous before God who are humble and gentle in the world. Listen! We then understand with the prophets that they are wretched and wicked before God who are proud and envious here in the world. Of all sins this is the one most hateful and displeasing to God, because humankind was first pushed down into hell through envy. But then through mercy and humility they were released from there out of the devil’s slavery.

OPENING OUR EARS AND HEARTS TO THE GOSPEL

Lo, listen! It is necessary for us to open our ears and hearts to the teaching of the Gospel, which is often read to us and our teachers preach and narrate to us. Listen! Now we adorn ourselves in idle boasting with gold and with jewels and bless ourselves and are glad, since we expect that we will never give them up and too seldom remember our Lord and the need of our souls, which must enter eternity after this life, with souls and with bodies in whatever state as we deserve here and now.

CHANGING OUR WAYS BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

May we have good repentance from our sins! Even if it happens that one of us sins against another in word or in deed, remedy is then best for it, because one is never so sinful that remedy is not always allowed for him.

Therefore let us now hasten to God before death seizes us – for it is approaching very near! And let us be wise and truthful and merciful and generous and righteous and charitable and pure and kind and God-fearing and studious and willing to serve and obedient to God and our lords and patient with God’s will. And he will then give us as a reward that eternal kingdom that was prepared for us from the beginning.

Let us now hasten to him as long as we still may determine our course in life.
– English Vercelli Homilies (10th century)

 

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SPIRITUAL EXERCISES FOR THIS WEEK

(These suggested acts are grouped together, so that one can choose the ones which best answer one’s needs, and whichever one is most able to put into practice.)

• Try to find out, through prayer, what the Heart of Jesus desires for you, and do not delay in fulfilling His request, even if it is costly [or inconvenient] for you. Devoutly carry out the Way of the Cross in order to receive from the infinite mercy of the Sacred Heart, for those who loved Jesus and then betrayed that love, the possibility of returning to Him.

• In order to imitate the zeal and divine glory that are present within the Sacred Heart of Jesus do not embark on any action without first putting it before the Lord, renewing, as often as these words are long, your pure intention by repeating, “Everything for you my God, everything for you”. Recite the Creed five times during the day, and make five offerings for the conversion of the millions who do not yet know Jesus Christ.

• Do a visible act of humility, that virtue so loved by the Sacred Heart, [such as kissing the Church floor or the earth], serving the poor, or showing your defects. Choose to do [the tasks] you least like to do. Do every action of the day as if it were done in the presence of gentle Jesus.

• Suffer peacefully an affront done to you, a disparaging event or incident, or any type of humiliation, for the sake of the Heart of Jesus that was so humiliated for you. Take any ornament off your clothes that is a sign of worldly importance and make a sacrifice for Jesus.

• Show that you are not attached to what you think about yourself: do not defend yourself in front of others, even if you are being falsely accused. Do not speak about yourself or of that which can turn to your advantage. The important thing is to be humble of heart because that is what the Sacred Heart desires for you.
– From: Mons. N. Tafuri

 

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