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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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WOLVES IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING (Mt 7:15-21)

WOLVES IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING (Mt 7:15-21)

For the text of this Bible passage, please see the previous post.

All men are known by their works

The Lord warns us that we must measure the worth of fair words and seeming meekness by the fruit of works. That is, we should look not so much to what a man says of himself, as to what he does; for there are many who hide the ravening of a wolf under sheep’s clothing.

As, then, thorns do not bear grapes, nor do thistles produce figs, and evil trees do not bring forth good fruits, so, the Lord teaches, neither do evil men bring forth good works. Therefore, all men are to be known by their works. Words alone will not win the kingdom of heaven, nor will he ever inherit it who says only: “Lord, Lord.”

– St Hilary, Bishop, Commentary on Matthew, can. 6, from: An Approved Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 (bold emphasis added)

 

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BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS (MATTHEW 7:15-23)

BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS (MATTHEW 7:15-23)

WOLVES IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?

And I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

 
 

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BIBLE READING II (2 THESSALONIANS 3:7-12); NOVEMBER 13

BIBLE READING II (2 THESSALONIANS 3:7-12); NOVEMBER 13

Week 33 of Year C, Sunday

We don’t get any nearer to perfection… simply by sitting and waiting.

You know how you are supposed to imitate us: now we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we ever have our meals at anyone’s table without paying for them; no, we worked night and day, slaving and straining, so as not to be a burden on any of you. This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves an example for you to follow.

We gave you a rule when we were with you: not to let anyone have any food if he refused to do any work. Now we hear that there are some of you who are living in idleness, doing no work themselves but interfering with everyone else’s. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we order and call on people of this kind to go on quietly working and earning the food that they eat.

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

 

 
 

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THE FALLACITY OF “IF I GAVE REALLY AMPLY TO THE NEEDY, I’D HAVE NOTHING LEFT FOR MYSELF”

THE FALLACITY OF “IF I GAVE REALLY AMPLY TO THE NEEDY, I’D HAVE NOTHING LEFT FOR MYSELF”

It is especially when I fear a misfortune that the power of my alms is manifested.

Every misfortune is either a trial or a punishment, I think. In the first case my strength increases to such a degree that the trial which I dreaded finds me quite joyful, and I would be pained if it did not come upon me; I feel no longer its weight, but only its merit. In the second case, the punishment never comes… In the greater number of cases does not a fine imposed by a magistrate exempt from corporal punishment? It always does when imposed by God – I know it by experience.

Do you not fear too great expense?

But do you not fear too great expense? – Should I fear expense which procures me peace, cheerfulness, and resignation? What is the use of money, if it does not serve to make me happy?

Ah! if the happiness which I “buy” from God were sold in the shops instead of vanities and superfluities, would you reproach me with spending too much, if I bought it?

And, moreover, I have never felt so forcibly the truth of these words, until I began giving [properly and decently] to the needy: Alms-giving never makes one poor.

Perhaps my wants diminish, perhaps my desires are less ambitious – I do not know; but one thing is certain: I am never without money.

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

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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LIVING THE GOSPEL: LITTLE GOOD WORKS OF LOVE FOR CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS (I)

LIVING THE GOSPEL: LITTLE GOOD WORKS OF LOVE FOR CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS (I)

LITTLE OCCUPATIONS

The Repairer of Neglects

Even persons of most generous dispositions and quick perceptions, in the midst of the unceasing occupations of a family, will often forget a number of those minute details, insignificant in themselves, but the deprivation of which is a real trial to certain temperaments. The details of family life are like the small screws which bind together the different parts of a piece of furniture: withdraw one or two of them, and the piece of furniture loses its shape; it becomes disjointed.

It is thus, also, in a family; its harmony is oftentimes only to be ascribed to the care taken not to neglect one of those trifling nothings of politeness, punctuality, or habit, to all of which we should pay almost as much attention as we give to greater duties.

Doing one’s bit for love: happiness, harmony and emotional security in the family 

Each member of a family, especially if he is advanced in years, has his little peculiarities, which render him happy in some way or other.

Perhaps it is a garment made to a special pattern.

Or a newspaper brought at a particular hour.

Or a game played in such a place.

Or a visit expected at some precise moment.

Or the expression of congratulations at a particular hour.

Or a desire scarcely manifested, but often experienced…

Watch all these little things. Take it upon yourself to visit every morning the corners where the members of the family like to find everything that may be useful during the day. Go first to the apartment where they all assemble; remove everything that might displease them; perfect all the arrangements which have been carelessly made.

But do it all without noise, and unostentatiously. Enjoy only the happiness which it affords you. Oh! how God will repay you in heaven.

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

 

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I DO NOT ASK TO BE LOVED BY PEOPLE, BUT ONLY THAT I MAY HAVE THE POWER OF LOVING

One of the greatest punishments which God can inflict upon a soul is to take from it “the means of doing good.” This punishment God inflicts “for a time” in His mercy on those from whom much can be expected and who are not faithful. To-day, for example, you have not encountered a single destitute one in your path. It was God who prevented them from appearing.

It was God who prevented them from appearing

You felt moved at the sight of a mendicant who appealed to you, but found that you had not a single piece of money. It was God who had caused you to forget the money which you wished to give.

Search your heart; “perhaps to-day you were not worthy to give alms.”

These words may bring a smile, perhaps, even on the lips of pious people, but the profoundly Catholic souls to whom I address myself will understand me. The giving of alms is a grace which the good God does not bestow on everyone.

The giving of alms is a grace which the good God does not bestow on everyone

Your entire day passes without your having found an occasion to render even the most trifling service, without your being able to visit the Blessed Sacrament for even a few minutes’ meditation, without your having thought of praying for anyone…

It was God who left you an entirely useless day – what a void!

It was God who left you an entirely useless day, as a corrective punishment perhaps, for having yesterday abandoned your heart too much to creatures.

What a void in a life is a day without devotion, without some special prayer, without some charitable action for God’s sake!

To have no one to make happy – what a nightmare!

God also inflicts this punishment, and, alas! for a long period, upon those who in their youth have wasted in vague reveries the affection which filled their hearts.

Poor souls, what an expiation is this!

To have no one to make happy – no aged father to care for, no true friend to share our affection or our riches, no afflicted person to console, no child or ignorant person to instruct, no blessing to ask of heaven for one dearer to us than ourselves…

To have nothing but self… always self… the only object of our thoughts, of our efforts, of our labours – how hard, how sad is this!

To have nothing but self, always self, self… how sad is this!

“Charity flies from me,” said the good man who was bitterly expiating a youth passed far from God. “Charity flies from me. I feel the desire of giving, of devoting myself, but I cannot; I do not know how; I hesitate; I try, but I am unkind, and give ungraciously… The good God wishes nothing of me. Oh! how great is this punishment!”

Oh! my God, punish me in some other way, but leave me some one to whom I may devote myself. I do not ask from thee that I may be loved, but only that I may have the power of loving. I do not ask that my devotion may be known, but only that I may have the grace of devoting myself. As long as I can devote myself to others it will seem, at least, that thou hast not entirely abandoned me.

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

 

 

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