Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Offer God a Good Will!

Saint Albert today is saying to me to offer God my good will. St. Albert tells us
that there is nothing more valuable than to offer up our will to do good. Resisting
temptations and although we may fail at times to offer up our good intentions
to do what is pleasing to Him.....

Indeed we can offer God nothing more valuable than a good will, since a
good will in the soul is the source of all good things, and the mother
of all virtues. If any one is beginning to possess that good will, he
undoubtedly has what is necessary for leading a good life.

God bless,

On Cleaving to God: Part 11 of 16

How one should resist temptations and bear trials

Now there is no one who approaches God with a true and upright heart
who is not tested by hardships and temptations. So in all these
temptations see to it that even if you feel them, you do not consent to
them, but bear them patiently and calmly with humility and long
suffering. Even if they are blasphemies and sordid, hold firmly on to
this fact in everything, that you can do nothing better or more
effective against them than to consider all this sort of fantasy as a
nothing. Even if they are the most vile, sordid and horrible
blasphemies, simply take no notice of them, count them as nothing and
despise them. Don't look on them as yours or allow yourself to make
them a matter of conscience. The enemy will certainly take flight if
you treat him and his company with contempt in this way. He is very
proud and cannot bear to be despised and spurned. So the best remedy is
to completely ignore all such temptations, like flies flying around in
front of your eyes against your will. The servant of Jesus Christ must
see to it that he is not so easily forced to withdraw from the face of
the Lord and to be annoyed, murmur and complain over the nuisance of a
single fly, that is, a trivial temptation, suspicion, sadness,
distraction, need or any such adversity, when they can all be put to
flight with no more than the hand of a good will directed up to God.
After all, through a good will a man has God as his defender, and the
holy angels as his guardians and protectors. What is more, any
temptation can be overcome by a good will too, like a fly driven away
from a bald head by one's hand. So peace is for men of good will.
Indeed we can offer God nothing more valuable than a good will, since a
good will in the soul is the source of all good things, and the mother
of all virtues. If any one is beginning to possess that good will, he
undoubtedly has what is necessary for leading a good life. For if you
want what is good, but cannot do it, God will make good the deed. For
it is in accordance with this eternal law that God has established with
irrevocable firmness that deserts should be a matter of the will,
whether in bliss or torment, reward or punishment. Love itself is a
great will to serve God, a sweet desire to please God, and a fervent
wish to experience God. What is more, to be tempted is not a sin, but
the opportunity for exercising virtue, so that temptation can be
greatly to a man's benefit, since it is held that the whole of a man's
life on earth is a testing. (Job 7.1)

Link here to read more of this little book from St. Albert of Jerusalem

Monday, June 29, 2009

Message From A Mom To Her Child

Message From A Mom To Her Child

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can take you to Church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you about alcohol and drugs, but I cannot say "no" for you.
I can tell you about loft goals, but I cannot achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I cannot force you to be gracious.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life... and I will.

Author Unknown

Cleaving To God: Part 10 of 16

That one should not be concerned about feeling tangible devotion so much as
about cleaving to God with one's will

Furthermore you should not be much concerned about tangible devotion,
the experience of sweetness or tears, but rather that you should be
mentally united with God within yourself by a good will in your
intellect. For what pleases God above everything is a mind free from
imaginations, that is images, ideas and the representations of created
things. It befits a monk to be indifferent to everything created so
that he can turn easily and barely to God alone within himself, be
empty for him and cleave to him. For this reason deny yourself so that
you can follow Christ, the Lord your God, in nakedness, who was himself
poor, obedient, chaste, humble and suffering, and in whose life and
death many were scandalised, as is clear from the Gospel accounts.
After all, a soul which is separated from the body pays no attention to
what is done to its abandoned body - whether it is burned, hanged, or
reviled, and is in no way saddened by the afflictions imposed on the
body, but thinks only of the Now of eternity and the One Thing which
the Lord calls necessary in the Gospel. So you too should treat your
body as if you were no longer in the body, but think always of the
eternity of your soul in God, and direct your thoughts carefully to
that One Thing of which Christ said, For one thing is necessary. (Luke
10.42) You will experience because of it great grace, helping you
towards the acquisition of nakedness of mind and simplicity of heart.
Indeed this One Thing is very much present with you if you have made
yourself bare of imaginations and all other entanglements, and you will
soon experience that this is so - namely when you can be empty and
cleave to God with a naked and resolute mind. In this way you will
remain unconquered in whatever may be inflicted on you, like the holy
martyrs, fathers, the elect, and indeed all the saints who despised
everything and only thought of their souls' security and eternity in
God. Armed in this way within, and united to God through a good will,
they spurned everything of the world as if their souls were already
separated from their bodies. Consider from this how much a good will
united with God is capable of, when by means of its pressing towards
God the soul is effectively separated from the body in spirit and looks
on its outward man as it were from a distance, and as not belonging to
it. In this way it despises everything that is inflicted on itself or
on its flesh as if they were happening to someone else, or not to a
human being at all. For He that is united with the Lord is one Spirit,
(1 Corinthians 6.17) that is with him. So you should never dare to
think or imagine anything before the Lord your God that you would blush
to be heard or seen in before men, since your respect for God should be
even greater than for them. It is a matter of justice in fact that all
your thoughts and thinking should be raised to God alone, and the
highest point of your mind should only be directed to him as if nothing
existed but him, and holding to him may enjoy the perfect beginning of
the life to come.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wanting of the Sufferings of Christ

Colossians 1:24.
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:

Ver. 24. And fill up those things....in my flesh for his body, which is the church.[5]
Nothing was wanting in the sufferings or merits of Christ, for a sufficient and
superabundant redemption of mankind, and therefore he adds, for his body, which is the
church, that his sufferings were wanting, and are to be endured by the example of Christ
by the faithful, who are members of a crucified head. See St. John Chrysostom and St.
Augustine. (Witham) --- Wanting. There is no want in the sufferings of Christ himself as
head; but many sufferings are still wanting, or are still to come in his body, the Church,
and his members, the faithful. (Challoner) --- St. John Chrysostom here observes that
Jesus Christ loves us so much, that he is not content merely to suffer in his own person,
but he wishes also to suffer in his members; and thus we fill up what is wanting of the sufferings of Christ. (St. John Chrysostom) --- The wisdom, the will, the justice of Jesus
Christ, requires and ordains that his body and members should be companions of
his sufferings, as they expect to be companions of his glory; that so suffering with him,
and after his example, they may apply to their own wants and to the necessities of others
the merits and satisfaction of Jesus Christ, which application is what is wanting, and
what we are permitted to supply by the sacraments and sacrifice of the new law.

Contemplation of God is to be preferred

On Cleaving to God
Part 9
Saint Albert of Jerusalem
How much the contemplation of God is to be preferred to all other exercises

Now since all things other than God are the effect and work of the Creator himself, their having ability and being is a limited power and existence, and being as they are created out of nothing, they are circumscribed by the effects of their nothingness, while their tendency of themselves towards nothingness means that we receive our existence,
preservation and activity moment by moment from the Creator himself, along with whatever other qualities created things may have, just as we receive their insufficiency to any action of themselves, both with regard to themselves and to others, in relation to him whose operation they are, they remain as a nothing before something which exists, and as something finite before what is infinite. For this reason let all our actual contemplation, life and activity take place in him alone, about him, for him and towards him who is able and capable to produce with a single nod of his will things infinitely more perfect than any that exist now. No contemplation and fruition of love, whether
intellectual or affective, is more useful, more perfect and more satisfying than that which is of God himself, the Creator, our supreme and true Good, from whom, through whom and to whom are all things. He is infinitely satisfying both to himself and to all others, who contains within himself in absolute simplicity and from all eternity
the perfection of all things, in whom there is nothing which is not himself, before whom and through whom remain the causes of all things impermanent, and in whom dwell the unchanging origins of all changing things, while even the eternal reasons of all temporal things, rational and irrational, abide in him. He brings everything to completion, and fills all things, in general and in particular, completely and essentially with himself. He is more intimately and more really present to everything by his being than each thing is to itself, for in him all things are united together, and live in him eternally. What is more, if someone, out of weakness or from lack of intellectual practice, is
detained longer in the contemplation of created things, this supreme, true and fruitful contemplation may still be seen as possible for mortal man, so that there may take place an upward leap in all his contemplations and meditations, whether about created things or the Creator, and the appreciation of God the Creator himself, the One and Three, may surge up within so that he come to burn with the fire of divine love and the true life in himself and in others, in such a way as to make him deserving of the joy of eternal life. Even in this one should bear in mind the difference between the contemplation of faithful Catholics and that of pagan philosophers, for the contemplation of the philosophers is for the perfection of the contemplator himself, and consequently it is confined to the intellect
and their aim in it is intellectual knowledge. But the contemplation of the Saints, and of Catholics, is for the love of him, that is of the God they are contemplating. As a result it is not confined in the final analysis to the intellect in knowledge, but crosses over into the will through love.
That is why the Saints in their contemplation have the
love of God as their principal aim, since it is more satisfying to know and possess even the Lord Jesus Christ spiritually through grace than physically or even really but without grace.
Furthermore, while the
soul is withdrawn from everything and is turned within, the eye of contemplation is opened and sets itself up a ladder by which it can pass to the contemplation of God. By this contemplation the soul is set on fire for eternal things by the heavenly and divine good things it experiences, and views all the things of time from a distance and as if they were nothing. Hence when we approach God by the way of negation, we first deny him everything that can be experienced by the body, the senses and the imagination, secondly even things experience able by the intellect, and finally even being itself in so far as it is found in created things. This, so far as the nature of the way is concerned, is the best means of union with God, according to Dionysius. And this is the cloud in which God is said to dwell, which Moses entered, and through this came to the inaccessible light. Certainly, it is not the spiritual which comes first, but the natural, (1 Corinthians 15.46) so one must proceed by the usual order of things, from active work to the quiet of contemplation, and from moral virtues to spiritual and contemplative realities.
Finally, my soul, why are you uselessly
preoccupied with so many things, and always busy with them?
Seek out and love the one supreme good, in which is all that is worth seeking, and that will be enough for you. Unhappy therefore is he who knows and possesses everything other than this, and does not know this. While if he knows everything as well as this, it is not from knowing them that he is better off but because of This. That is why John says, This is eternal life, to know Thee, etc. (John 17.3) and the prophet says, I will be satisfied when your glory becomes manifest. (Psalm 17.15)

Website Link on Saint Albert of Jerusalem

Friday, June 26, 2009

Commentary on The Cleansing of the Leper

8:2. And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord,
if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

8:3. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him,
saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his
leprosy was cleansed.

8:4. And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man: but go,
shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses
commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Ver. 2. As the three evangelists relate the cure of the leper in nearly the same
words, and with the same circumstances, we may conclude they speak of the same
miracles. St. Matthew alone seems to have observed the time and order of this
transaction, viz. after the sermon of the mount; the other two anticipate it. The Bible
de Vence seems to infer, from the connection St. Matthew makes between the
sermon of the mount and the cure of the leper, that it was not the same leper as that
mentioned, Mark i. 40. Luke v. 12. (Bible de Vence) --- Adored him. In St. Mark it is
said, kneeling down, chap. i. 40. In St. Luke, prostrating on his face. It is true, none
of these expressions do always signify the adoration or worship which is due to God
alone, as may appear by several examples in the Old and New Testament; yet this
man, by divine inspiration, might know our blessed Saviour to be both God and man.
(Witham) ---
"Make me clean;" literally, "purify me;" the law treated lepers as impure.
(Bible de Vence) --- The leper, by thus addressing our Saviour acknowledges his
supreme power and authority, and shews his great faith and earnestness, falling on
his knees, as St. Luke relates it. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.)
Our prayer
should be such with great faith and confidence, qualified with profound humility, and
entire diffidence of self.

Ver. 3. Jesus, stretching forth his hand, touched him. By the law of Moses,
whosoever touched a leper, contracted a legal uncleanness: but not by touching in
order to heal him, says Theophylactus. Besides, Christ would teach them that he
was not subject to this law. (Witham) ---
"Touched him." To shew, says St. Cyprian,
that his body being united to the Divinity, had the power of healing and giving life.

Also to shew that the old law, which forbad the
touching of lepers, had no power over
him; and that so far from being defiled by touching him, he even cleansed him who
was defiled with it. (St. Ambrose)
--- When the apostles healed the lame man, they
did not attribute it to their own power, but said to the Jews: Why do you wonder at
But when our Saviour heals the leper, stretching out his hand, to shew he was
going to act of his own power, and independently of the law, he said: "I will. Be thou
clean;" to evince that the cure was effected by the operation of his own divine will.

(St. John Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.)

Ver. 4.
For a testimony to them. That is, when the priest finds thee truly cured, make
that offering which is ordained in the law. (Witham) ---
He did this to give us an
example of humility,
and that the priests, by approving of his miracle, and being
made witnesses to it, might be inexcusable, if they can still call him a transgressor
of the law, and prevaricator. He moreover gives this public testimony to them of his
divine origin. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.) St. John Chrysostom, in his third
book on the priesthood, says:
"the priests of the old law had authority and privilege
only to discern who were healed of leprosy, and to denounce the same to the people;
but the priests of the new law have power to purify, in very deed, the filth of the soul.

Therefore, whoever despiseth them, is more worthy to be punished than the rebel
Dathan and his accomplices." Our Saviour willeth him to go and offer his gift or
sacrifice, according as Moses prescribed in that case, because the other sacrifice,
being the holiest of all holies, viz. his body, was not yet begun. (St. Augustine, lib. ii. &
Evang. ii. 3. & cont. adver. leg. & Proph. lib. i. chap. 19, 20.)

May we pray for the Great Faith and confidence in Our Lord as the Leper shows us in today's Gospel Reading From Matthew. Jesus is the supreme and Divine Healer of Our Souls if only we step out and ask him.
Lord, if thou wilt you thou can make me clean. And Jesus does will it for each of us. So be bold and courageous in Faith.

Commit to God in all Circumstances

How a religious man should commit himself to God in all circumstances


I am now completely convinced that you will recognise from these
arguments that
the more you strip yourself of the products of your
imagination and all worldly and created things, and are united to God
with your intellect by a good will, the closer you will approach the
state of innocence and perfection.
What could be better? And what could
be more happy and joyful? Above all it is important for you to keep
your mind bare - without imaginations and images and free of any sort
of entanglement, so that you are not concerned about either the world,
friends, prosperity or adversity, or anything present, past or future,
whether in yourself or in others - not even your own sins. But consider
yourself with a certain pure simplicity to be alone with God outside
the world, and as if your mind were already in eternity and separated
from the body so that it will certainly not bother about worldly things
or be concerned about the state of the world, about peace or war, about
good weather or rain, or about anything at all in this world, but with
complete docility will turn to God alone, be empty for him and cleave
to him. So now in this way ignore your body and all created things,
present or future, and direct the high point of your mind and spirit
directly, as best you can, naked and unencumbered on the uncreated
light. And let your spirit be cleansed in this way from all
imaginations, coverings and things obscuring its vision, like an angel
(not) tied to a body, who is not hindered by the works of the flesh nor
tangled in vain and wandering thoughts. Let your spirit therefore arm
itself against all temptations, vexations, and injuries so that it can
persevere steadily in God when attacked by either face of fortune. So
that when some inner disturbance or boredom or mental confusion come
you will not be indignant or dejected because of it, nor run back to
vocal prayers or other forms of consolation, but only to lift yourself
up in your intellect by a good will to hold on to God with your mind
whether the natural inclination of the body wills it or not. The
religious-minded soul should be so united to God and should have or
render its will so conformed to the divine will that it is not occupied
with any created thing or cling to it any more than before it was
created, and as if nothing existed except God and the soul itself. And
in this way it should accept everything confidently and equally, in
general and in particular, from the hand of divine providence, agreeing
in everything with the Lord in patience, peace and silence.
The thing
is that the most important thing of all for a spiritual life is to
strip the mind of all imaginations so that one can be united in one's
intellect to God by a good will, and conformed to him
. Besides, nothing
will then be intermediary between you and God. This is obvious, since
nothing external will stand between you when by the vow of voluntary
poverty you will have removed the possession of anything whatsoever,
and by the vow of chastity you will have abandoned your body, and by
obedience you will have given up your will and your soul itself. And in
this way nothing will be left to stand between you and God. That you
are a religious person is indicated by your profession, your state, and
now your habit and tonsure and such like, but whether you are only a
religious in appearance or a real one, you will find out. Bear in mind
therefore how greatly you have fallen away and sin against the Lord
your God and all his justice if you behave otherwise and cling with
your will and love to what is created rather than to the Creator
himself, putting the created before the Creator.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How the heart should be gathered within itself

How the heart should be gathered within itself

What is more, as is said in the book On the Spirit and the Soul (of St.
to ascend to God means to enter into oneself. He who
entering within and penetrating his inmost nature, goes beyond himself,
he is truly ascending to God. So let us withdraw our hearts from the
distractions of this world, and recall them to the inner joys, so that
we can establish them to some degree in the light of divine
For this is the life and peace of our hearts - to be
established by intent in the love of God, and to be sweetly remade by
his comforting.
But the reason why we are in so many ways hindered in
the practical enjoyment of this matter and are unable to get into it is
clearly because the human mind is so distracted by worries that it
cannot bring its memory to turn within, is so clouded by its
imaginations that it cannot return to itself with its understanding,
and is so drawn away by its desires that it is quite unable to come
back to itself by desire for inner sweetness and spiritual joy. Thus it
is so prostrate among the sense objects presented to it that it cannot
enter into itself as the image of God. It is therefore right and
necessary for the mind to raise itself above itself and everything
created by the abandonment of everything, with humble reverence and
great trust, and to say within itself, He whom I seek, love, thirst for
and desire from everything and more than anything is not a thing of the
senses or the imagination, but is above everything that can be
experienced by the senses and the intellect. He cannot be experienced
by any of the senses, but is completely desirable to my will. He is
moreover not discernable, but is perfectly desirable to my inner
affections. He cannot be comprehended, but can be loved in his fullness
with a pure heart, for he is above all lovable and desirable, and of
infinite goodness and perfection. And then a darkness comes over the
mind and it is raised up into itself and penetrates even deeper. And
the more inward-looking the desire for it, the more powerful this means
of ascent to the mysterious contemplation of the holy Trinity in Unity
and Unity in Trinity in Jesus Christ is, and
the more interior the
yearning, the more productive it is.
Certainly in matters spiritual the
more inward they are the greater they are as spiritual experiences. For
this reason, never give up, never stop until you have tasted some
pledge, as I might say, or foretaste of the future full experience, and
until you have obtained the satisfaction of however small a first
fruits of the divine joy. And do not give up pursuing it and following
its scent until you have seen the God of gods in Sion. Do not stop or
turn back in your spiritual journey and your union and adherence to God
within you until you have achieved what you have been seeking. Take as
a pattern of this the example of those climbing an ordinary mountain.
If our mind is involved by its desires in the things which are going on
below, it is immediately carried away by endless distractions and side
tracks, and being to some extent divided against itself, is weakened
and as it were scattered amongst the things which it seeks with its
desires. The result is ceaseless movement, travel without an arrival,
and labour without rest. If on the other hand our heart and mind can
withdraw itself by its desire and love from the infinite distraction
below of the things beneath it, can learn to be with itself, abandoning
these lower things and gathering itself within itself into the one
unchanging and satisfying good, and can hold to it inseparably with its
will, it is correspondingly more and more gathered together in one and
strengthened, as it is raised up by knowledge and desire. In this way
it will become accustomed to the true supreme good within itself until
it will be made completely immovable and arrive securely at that true
life which is the Lord God himself, so that it can now rest in him
within and in peace without any changeability or vicissitude of time,
perfectly gathered within itself in the secret divine abode in Christ
Jesus who is the way for those who come to him, the truth and life.
Part 7 of "On Cleaving to God" Saint Albert of Jerusalem
Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cleave to God with Naked Undersanding and Will

That the devout man should cleave to God with naked understanding and will

The more you strip yourself of the products of the imagination and
involvement in external, worldly things and the objects of the senses,
the more your soul will recover its strength and its inner senses so
that it can appreciate the things which are above. So learn to withdraw
from imaginations and the images of physical things, since what pleases
God above everything is a mind bare of those sorts of forms and
objects, for it is his delight to be with the sons of men, that is
those who, at peace from such activities, distractions and passions,
seek him with a pure and simple mind, empty themselves for him, and
cleave to him. Otherwise, if your memory, imagination and thought is
often involved with such things, you must needs be filled with the
thought of new things or memories of old ones, or identified with other
changing objects. As a result, the Holy Spirit withholds itself from
thoughts bereft of understanding. So the true lover of Jesus Christ
should be so united through good will in his understanding with the
divine will and goodness, and be so bare of all imaginations and
passions that he does not even notice whether he is being mocked or
loved, or something is being done to him. For a good will turns
everything to good and is above everything. So if the will is good and
is obedient and united to God with pure understanding, he is not hurt
even if the flesh and the senses and the outer man is moved to evil,
and is slow to good, or even if the inner man is slow to feel devotion,
but should simply cleave to God with faith and good will in naked
understanding. He is doing this if he is conscious of all his own
imperfection and nothingness, recognises his good to consist in his
Creator alone, abandons himself with all his faculties and powers, and
all creatures, and immerses himself wholly and completely in the
Creator, so that he directs all his actions purely and entirely in his
Lord God, and seeks nothing apart from him, in whom he recognises all
good and all joy of perfection to be found. And he is so transformed in
a certain sense into God that he cannot think, understand, love or
remember anything but God himself and the things of God. Other
creatures however and even himself he does not see, except in God, nor
does he love anything except God alone, nor remember anything about
them or himself except in God. This knowledge of the truth always makes
the soul humble, ready to judge itself and not others, while on the
contrary worldly wisdom makes the soul proud, futile, inflated and
puffed up with wind.
So let this be the fundamental spiritual doctrine
leading to the knowledge of God, his service and familiarity with him,
that if you want to truly possess God, you must strip your heart of all
love of things of the senses, not just of certain creatures, so that
you can turn to the Lord your God with a simple and whole heart and
with all your power, freely and without any double-mindedness, care or
anxiety, but with full confidence in his providence alone about

More here from Saint Albert on Cleaving to God
So for today let us all pray: "Father your will be done"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Demons Entering a Herd of Swine

St. John Chrysostom says that our Savior permitted the devils to enter the swine,
not for their own sakes, but for our instruction. 1. That we might know how very
desirous the enemy of our salvation is to bring upon us the greatest evils. 2. That the
devil has not any power, even over swine, without the permission of God. And, 3. That
these cruel fiends would, if the Almighty allowed them, inflict still more grievous
torments on their unhappy slaves. (Hom. xxix.) Jesus Christ here confutes the
Sadducean doctrine, which denies the existence of spirits, good or bad. (Haydock)

Demons Entering a Herd of Swine

8:28. And when he was come on the other side of the water,
into the country of the Gerasens, there met him two that
were possessed with devils, coming out of the sepulchres,
exceeding fierce, so that none could pass by that way.

8:29. And behold they cried out, saying: What have we to do
with thee, Jesus Son of God? art thou come hither to
torment us before the time?

8:30. And there was, not far from them, a herd of many
swine feeding.

8:31. And the devils besought him, saying: If thou cast us
out hence, send us into the herd of swine.

8:32. And he said to them: Go. But they going out went into
the swine, and behold the whole herd ran violently down a
steep place into the sea: and they perished in the waters.

8:33. And they that kept them fled: and coming into the
city, told every thing, and concerning them that had been
possessed by the devils.

8:34. And behold the whole city went out to meet Jesus, and
when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart
from their coast.

Read more of the Commentary Here

Jesus Stilling the Storm

Jesus Stilling the Storm

8:23. And when he entered into the boat, his disciples
followed him:

8:24. And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that
the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep.

8:25. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord,
save us, we perish.

8:26. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of
little faith? Then rising up, he commanded the winds, and
the sea, and there came a great calm.

8:27. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is
this, for the winds and the sea obey him?
Ver. 23. This bark is the Catholic Church. The sea denotes the world, the winds and
tempests shew the attempts of the wicked spirits to overturn the Church. The Lord
seems to sleep, when he permits his Church to suffer persecution and other trials,
which he permits, that he may prove her faith, and reward her virtue and merits. (St.
John Chrysostom, hom. xxiii. in Mat. viii.) The apostles had followed their divine
Master. They were with him, and executing his orders, and it is under these
circumstances they are overtaken with a storm. If their obedience to Jesus Christ, if
his presence did not free them from danger, to what frightful storms do those persons
expose themselves, who undertake the voyage of the present life without him? What
can they expect but to be tossed to and fro for a time, and at last miserably to founder?
Faithful souls ought, from the example here offered them, to rise superior to every
storm and tempest, by invoking the all-powerful and ever ready assistance of heaven,
and by always calling in God to their help before they undertake any thing of moment.

Ver. 25. Should God appear to sleep, with the apostles, we should approach nearer to
him, and awaken him with our repeated prayers, saying: "Lord, save us, or we perish."
(Haydock) --- Had our Saviour been awake, the disciples would have been less afraid,
or less sensible of the want of his assistance: he therefore slept, that they might be
better prepared for the miracle he was about to work. (St. John Chrysostom, hom.

Ver. 26. Why are you fearful, having me with you? Do you suppose that sleep can take
from me the knowledge of your danger, or the power of relieving you? (Haydock) --- He
commanded the winds. Christ shewed himself Lord and Master of the sea and winds.
His words in St. Mark (iv. 39,) demonstrate his authority: Rising up he rebuked the
wind, and said to the sea: Peace, be still. (Witham) --- As before our Lord restored
Peter's mother-in-law on the spot, not only to health, but to her former strength; so here
he shews himself supreme Lord of all things, not only by commanding the winds to
cease, but, moreover, by commanding a perfect calm to succeed. (St. John
Chrysostom, hom. xxiv.) How many times has he preserved his Catholic Church,
when (to all human appearance, and abstracting from his infallible promises) she has
been in the most imminent danger of perishing? How many times by a miracle, or
interposition of his omnipotence, less sensible indeed, but not less real, has he
rescued our souls, on the point of being swallowed up in the infernal abyss?
(Haydock) --- He commands the mute elements to be subservient to his wish. He
commands the sea, and it obeys him; he speaks to the winds and tempests, and they
are hushed; he commands every creature, and they obey. Man, and man only, man
honoured in a special manner by being made after the image and likeness of his
Creator, to whom speech and reason are given, dares to disobey and despise his
Creator. (St. Augustine, hom. in Mat.)
From this allegory of the ship and the storm, we may take occasion to speak of the
various senses in which the words of Scripture may be occasionally taken. ... The
sense of Scripture is twofold, literal and spiritual. The literal is that which the words
immediately signify. The spiritual or mystic sense is that which things expressed by
words mean, as in Genesis xxii, what is literally said of the immolation of Isaac, is
spiritually understood of Christ; and in Colossians ii. 12, by the baptism of Christ, St.
Paul means his burial. The spiritual sense in its various acceptations, is briefly and
accurately given in the following distich:
Littera gesta docet, quid credas allegoria,
Moralis quid agas, quo tendas anagogia.
Jesus Still the Storm

On Purity of Heart

On purity of heart which is to be sought above all things

If your desire and aim is to reach the destination of the path and home
of true happiness, of grace and glory, by a straight and safe way then
earnestly apply your mind to seek constant purity of heart, clarity of
mind and calm of the senses. Gather up your heart's desire and fix it
continually on the Lord God above. To do so you must withdraw yourself
so far as you can from friends and from everyone else, and from the
activities that hinder you from such a purpose. Grasp every opportunity
when you can find the place, time and means to devote yourself to
silence and contemplation, and gathering the secret fruits of silence,
so that you can escape the shipwreck of this present age and avoid the
restless agitation of the noisy world. For this reason apply yourself
at all times to purity, clarity and peace of heart above all things, so
that, so far as possible, you can keep the doors of your heart
resolutely barred to the forms and images of the physical senses and
worldly imaginations by shutting off the doors of the physical senses
and turning within yourself. After all, purity of heart is recognized
as the most important thing among all spiritual practices, as its final
aim, and the reward for all the labors that a spiritual-minded person
and true religious may undertake in this life. For this reason you
should with all care, intelligence and effort free your heart, senses
and desires from everything that can hinder their liberty, and above
all from everything in the world that could possibly bind and overcome
you. So struggle in this way to draw together all the distractions of
your heart and desires of your mind into one true, simple and supreme
good, to keep them gathered within yourself in one place, and by this
means to remain always joined to things divine and to God in your mind,
to abandon the unreliable things of earth, and be able to translate
your mind continually to the things above within yourself in Jesus
Christ. To which end, if you have begun to strip and purify yourself of
images and imaginations and to simplify and still your heart and mind
in the Lord God so that you can draw and taste the well of divine grace
in everything within yourself, and so that you are united to God in
your mind by a good will, then this itself is enough for you in place
of all study and reading of holy scripture, and as demonstration of
love of God and neighbour, as devotion itself testifies. So simplify
your heart with all care, diligence and effort so that still and at
peace from the products of the imagination you can turn round and
remain always in the Lord within yourself, as if your mind were already
in the now of eternity, that is of the godhead. In this way you will be
able to renounce yourself through love of Jesus Christ, with a pure
heart, clean conscience and unfeigned faith, and commit yourself
completely and fully to God in all difficulties and eventualities, and
be willing to submit yourself patiently to his will and good pleasure
at all times. For this to come about you must repeatedly retreat into
your heart and remain there, keeping yourself free from everything, so
far as is possible. You must always keep the eye of your mind clear and
still. You must guard your understanding from daydreams and thoughts of
earthly things. You must completely free the inclination of your will
from worldly cares and cling with all your being to the supreme true
good with fervent love. You must keep your memory always lifted up and
firmly anchored in that same true supreme good and only uncreated
reality. In just this way your whole mind gathered up with all its
powers and faculties in God, may become one spirit with him, in whom
the supreme perfection of life is known to consist. This is the true
union of spirit and love by which a man is made compliant to all the
impulses of the supreme and eternal will, so that he becomes by grace
what God is by nature. At the same time it should be noted that in the
very moment in which one is able, by God's help, to overcome one's own
will, that is to cast away from oneself inordinate love or strong
feeling, in other words so as to dare simply to trust God completely in
all one's needs, by this very fact one becomes so pleasing to God that
his grace is imparted to one, and through that very grace one
experiences that true love and devotion which drives out all
uncertainty and fear and has full confidence in God. What is more,
there can be no greater happiness than to place one's all in him who
lacks nothing. So why do you still remain in yourself where you cannot
stay. Cast yourself, all of yourself, with confidence into God and he
will sustain you, heal you and make you safe. If you dwell on these
things faithfully within, they will do more to confer a happy life on
you than all riches, pleasures and honours, and above all the wisdom
and knowledge of this present deceitful world and its life, even if you
were to excel in them all that ever lived.
St. Albert of Jerusalem

Monday, June 22, 2009

Purely in the Intellect

How man's activity should be purely in the intellect and not in the senses

Happy therefore is the person who by continual removal of fantasies and
images, by turning within, and raising the mind to God, finally manages
to dispense with the products of the imagination, and by so doing works
within, nakedly and simply, and with a pure understanding and will, on
the the simplest of all objects, God. So eliminate from your mind all
fantasies, objects, images and shapes of all things other than God, so
that, with just naked understanding, intent and will, your practice
will be concerned with God himself within you. For this is the end of
all spiritual exercises - to turn the mind to the Lord God and rest in
him with a completely pure understanding and a completely devoted will,
without the entanglements and fantasies of the imagination. This sort
of exercise is not practised by fleshly organs nor by the exterior
senses, but by that by which one is indeed a man. For a man is
precisely understanding and will. For that reason, in so far as a man
is still playing with the products of the imagination and the senses,
and holds to them, it is obvious that he has not yet emerged from the
motivation and limitations of his animal nature, that is of that which
he shares in common with the animals. For these know and feel objects
by means of recognised shapes and sense impressions and no more, since
they do not possess the higher powers of the soul. But it is different
with man, who is created in the image and likeness of God with
understanding, will, and free choice, through which he should be
directly, purely and nakedly impressed and united with God, and firmly
adhere to him. For this reason the Devil tries eagerly and with all his
power to hinder this practice so far as he can, being envious of this
in man, since it is a sort of prelude and initiation of eternal life.
So he is always trying to draw man's mind away from the Lord God, now
by temptations or passions, now by superfluous worries and pointless
cares, now by restlessness and distracting conversation and senseless
curiosity, now by the study of subtle books, irrelevant discussion,
gossip and news, now by hardships, now by opposition, etc. Such matters
may seem trivial enough and hardly sinful, but they are a great
hindrance to this holy exercise and practice. Therefore, even if they
may appear useful and necessary, they should be rejected, whether great
or small, as harmful and dangerous, and put out of our minds. Above all
therefore it is necessary that things heard, seen, done and said, and
other such things, must be received without adding things from the
imagination, without mental associations and without emotional
involvement, and one should not let past or future associations,
implications or constructs of the imagination form and grow. For when
constructs of the imagination are not allowed to enter the memory and
mind, a man is not hindered, whether he be engaged in prayer,
meditation, or reciting psalms, or in any other practice or spiritual
exercise, nor will they recur again. So commit yourself confidently and
without hesitation, all that you are, and everything else, individually
and in general, to the unfailing and totally reliable providence of
God, in silence and in peace, and he will fight for you. He will
liberate you and comfort you more fully, more effectively and more
satisfactorily than if you were to dream about it all the time, day and
night, and were to cast around frantically all over the place with the
futile and confused thoughts of your mind in bondage, nor will you wear
out your mind and body, wasting your time, and stupidly and pointlessly
exhausting your strength. So accept everything, separately and in
general, wherever it comes from and whatever its origin, in silence and
peace, and with an equal mind, as coming to you from a father's hand
and his divine providence. So render your imagination bare of the
images of all physical things as is appropriate to your state and
profession, so that you can cling to him with a bare and undivided
mind, as you have so often and so completely vowed to do, without
anything whatever being able to come between your soul and him, so that
you can pass purely and unwaveringly from the wounds of his humanity
into the light of his divinity.
St. Albert
Cleaving to God, Ch 4

Friday, June 19, 2009

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


I, __________, give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being save to honor, love, and glorify the Sacred Heart.

This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him.

I therefore take Thee, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.

Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God Thy Father, and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in Thee, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty; but I hope for all things from Thy goodness and bounty.

Do Thou consume in me all that can displease Thee or resist Thy holy will. Let Thy pure love imprint Thee so deeply upon my heart that I shall nevermore be able to forget Thee or to be separated from Thee. May I obtain from all Thy loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Thee, for in Thee I desire to place all my happiness and all my glory, living and dying in true bondage to Thee.

Happy Feast Day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


May the grace and blessing of the Sacred Heart be with you, the peace of the Sacred Heart encompass you! May the merits of the Sacred Heart plead for you, the love of the Sacred Heart inflame you! May the sorrows of the Sacred Heart console you, the zeal of the Sacred Heart animate you, the virtues of the Sacred Heart shine forth in your every word and work! And may the joys of the Beatific Vision be your eternal recompense!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some Assembly Required!

Have you every tried too put together something without the directions. Christmas time is a good example. All those toys for the kids and you decide you can do it without directions. I think we all do this as Christians too. We think we can do it on our own without any help. One day you are so confused and puzzled with life. We need to pull out those directions again.

Today's Gospel reading is about Jesus giving us those directions. It is written and in our souls but do we really read His Word, His directions?

He tells us in Matthew 6: 7-15,
In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

This is how you are to pray:
"Our Father who are in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from Evil.

Now the next few lines are the really tricky part and so need too pull out those directions .......
"If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive other, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

Now I don't know about you all, but that last verse you better pull out those tools, because the some assembly required is going to take a lot of work. It is going to take prayer, sweat, tears, dirty knees and yes we need to take out the directions, the Word Jesus.

Okay so now next time to see those words "Some Assembly Required" I hope you remember to pull out the directions, and that takes humility too!
God bless you,

Pure Evil!

Just read this on my friend Jennifer's Blog. Please read about what is happening now in the Pro Life Agenda. I tell you this is pure evil.

I will send more later on.


Monday, June 15, 2009

This is my body: Eminent writers of the first five centuries

This is my body.
Matthew 26 Commentary

To shew how these words have been interpreted by the primitive Church, we shall here subjoin some few extracts from the works of some of the most eminent writers of the first five centuries.

First Century.

St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who was a disciple and contemporary with some of the apostles, and died a martyr, at Rome, in a very advanced age, An. 107, speaking of certain heretics of those times, says: "They abstain from the Eucharist and from oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins." See epis. genuin. ad Smyrn├Žos. --- He calls the Eucharist the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, by which we always live in Christ. --- In another part he writes: "I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and for drink, his blood." Again: "use one Eucharist; for the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ is one, and the cup is one in the unity of his blood. There is one altar, as there is one bishop with the college of the priesthood," &c.

Second Century.

St. Justin, the philosopher, in an apology for the Christians, which he addressed to the emperor and senate of Rome, about the year 150, says of the blessed Eucharist: "No one is allowed to partake of this food, but he that believes our doctrines are true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught. For we take not these as common bread, and common drink, but in the same manner as Jesus Christ, our Saviour, being incarnate by the word of God, hath both flesh and blood for our salvation; so we are taught that this food, by which our flesh and blood are nourished, over which thanks have been given by the prayers in his own words, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus." Apology ii. in fin. he calls it, Panem eucharistisatum Greek: ton arton eucharistethenta, the bread blessed by giving thanks, as he blessed and miraculously multiplied the loaves, Greek: eulogsen autous.

Third Century.

St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who suffered martyrdom in 258, says: "the bread which our Lord delivered to his disciples, was changed not in appearance, but in nature, being made flesh by the Almighty power of the divine word."

Fourth Century.

St. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, who was born in the commencement of the 4th century, and died in 386, explaining the mystery of the blessed Eucharist to the newly baptized, says: "Do not look upon the bread and wine as bare and common elements, for they are the body and blood of Christ; as our Lord assures us. Although thy senses suggest this to thee, let faith make thee firm and sure. Judge not of the thing by the taste, but be certain from faith that thou has been honoured with the gift of Christ's body and blood. When he has pronounced and said of the bread, this is my body, who will after this dare to doubt? And when he has assured, and said, this is my blood, who can ever hesitate, saying it in not his blood? He changed water into wine at Cana; and shall we not him worthy of our belief, when he changed wine into blood? Wherefore, let us receive them with an entire belief, as Christ's body and blood; for under the figure of bread, is given to thee his body, and under the figure of wine, his blood; that when thou hast received Christ's body and blood, thou be made one body and blood with him; for so we carry him about in us, his body and blood being distributed though our bodies." (St. Cyril, cathech.) --- St. Ambrose, one of the greatest doctors of the Latin Church, and bishop of Milan, who died in 396, proving that the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is really possible to God, and really take place in the blessed Eucharist, uses these words: "Will not the words of Christ have power enough to change the species of the elements? Shall not the words of Christ, which could make out of nothing things which did not exist, be able to change that, which already exists, into what it was not? It is not a less exertion of power to give a new nature to things, than to change their natures. Let us propose examples from himself and assert the truth of this mystery from the incarnation. Was it according to the course of nature, that our Lord Jesus Christ should be born of the Virgin Mary? It is evident that it was contrary to the course of nature for a virgin to bring forth. Not this body, which we produce, was born of the virgin. Who dost thou seek for the order of nature in the body of Christ, when our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. (St. Ambrose, lib. de initiandis, chap. ix)

Fifth Century.

St. John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, who died in 407, does not speak less clearly on this subject. "He," (i.e. Jesus Christ,) says the holy doctor, hom. l. in Matt. "has given us himself to eat, and has set himself in the place of a victim sacrificed for us." And in hom. lxxxiii.: "How many now say they could wish to see his form, his garments, &c.; you wish to see his garments, but he gives you himself not only to be seen, but to be touched, to be eaten, to be received within you. Than what beam of the sun ought not that hand to be purer, which divides this flesh! That mouth, which is filled with this spiritual fire! That tongue, which is purpled with this adorable blood! The angels beholding it tremble, and dare not look thereon through awe and fear, on account of the rays, which dart from that, wherewith we are nourished, with which we are mingled, being made one body, one flesh with Christ. What shepherd ever fed his sheep with his own limbs? Nay, many mothers turn over their children to mercenary nurses; whereas he feeds us with his own blood!" --- On another occasion, to inspire us with a dread of profaning the sacred body of Christ, he says: "When you see Him exposed before you, say to yourself: this body was pierced with nails; this body which was scourged, death did not destroy; this body was nailed to a cross, at which spectacle the sun withdrew his rays; this body the Magi venerated." --- "There is as much difference between the loaves of proposition and the body of Christ, as between a shadow and a body, between a picture and the reality." Thus St. Jerome upon the epistle to Titus, chap. i. See more authorities in the notes on St. Mark's Gospel, chap. xiv, ver. 22, on the real presence, and also in the following verses and alibi passim.

Practice of the Presence of God

Brother Lawrence

The manner of going to God. * Hearty renunciation. * Prayer and
praise prevent discouragement. * Sanctification in common business.
* Prayer and the presence of God. * The whole substance of religion.
* Self-estimation * Further personal experience.

He discoursed with me very frequently, and with great openness of
heart, concerning his manner of going to GOD, whereof some part is
related already.

He told me, that all consists in one hearty renunciation of everything
which we are sensible does not lead to GOD; that we might accustom
ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in
sim- plicity. That we need only to recognize GOD intimately present
with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, that we may beg His
assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly
performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them
to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done.

That in this conversation with GOD, we are also employed in praising,
adoring, and loving him incessantly, for His infinite goodness and

That, without being discouraged on account of our sins, we should pray
for His grace with a perfect confidence, as relying upon the infinite
merits of our LORD. That GOD never failed offering us His grace at each
action; that he distinctly perceived it, and never failed of it, unless
when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of GOD's Presence, or he
had forgot to ask His assistance.

That GOD always gave us light in our doubts, when we had no other
design but to please Him.

That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in
doing that for GOD's sake, which we commonly do for our own. That it
was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end,
addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very
imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards.

That the most excellent method he had found of going to GOD, was that
of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, [Gal. i.
10; Eph. vi. 5, 6.] and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love
of GOD.

That it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to
differ from other times. that we are as strictly obliged to adhere to
GOD by action in the time of action, as by prayer in its season.

That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD,
his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love:
and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no
difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing
Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy;
yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should
grow stronger.

That we ought, once for all, heartily to put our whole trust in GOD,
and make a total surrender of ourselves to Him, secure that He would
not deceive us.

That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of
GOD, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which
it is performed. That we should not wonder if, in the beginning, we
often failed in our endeavours, but that at last we should gain a
habit, which will naturally produce its acts in us, without our care,
and to our exceeding great delight.

That the whole substance of religion was faith, hope, and charity; by
the practice of which we become united to the will of GOD: that all
beside is indifferent and to be used as a means, that we may arrive at
our end, and be swallowed up therein, by faith and charity.

That all things are possible to him who believes, that they are less
difficult to him who hopes, they are more easy to him who loves, and
still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three

That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this
life, the most perfect worshippers of GOD we can possibly be, as we
hope to be through all eternity.

That when we enter upon the spiritual we should consider, and examine
to the bottom, what we are. And then we should find ourselves worthy of
all contempt, and such as do not deserve the name of Christians,
subject to all kinds of misery, and numberless accidents, which trouble
us, and cause perpetual vicissitudes in our health, in our humours, in
our internal and external dispositions: in fine, persons whom GOD would
humble by many pains and labours, as well within as without. After
this, we should not wonder that troubles, temptations, oppositions and
contradictions, happen to us from men. We ought, on the contrary, to
submit ourselves to them, and bear them as long as GOD pleases, as
things highly advantageous to us.

That the greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it
is upon Divine grace.

Being questioned by one of his own society (to whom he was obliged to
open himself) by what means he had attained such an habitual sense of
GOD? he told him that, since his first coming to the monastery, he had
considered GOD as the end of all his thoughts and desires, as the mark
to which they should tend, and in which they should terminate.

That in the beginning of his novitiate he spent the hours appointed for
private prayer in thinking of GOD, so as to convince his mind of, and
to impress deeply upon his heart, the Divine existence, rather by
devout sentiments, and submission to the lights of faith, than by
studied reasonings and elaborate meditations. That by this short and
sure method, he exercised himself in the knowledge and love of GOD,
resolving to use his utmost endeavour to live in a continual sense of
His Presence, and, if possible, never to forget Him more.

That when he had thus in prayer filled his mind with great sentiments
of that infinite Being, he went to his work appointed in the kitchen
(for he was cook to the society); there having first considered
severally the things his office required, and when and how each thing
was to be done, he spent all the intervals of his time, as well before
as after his work, in prayer.

That, when he began his business, he said to GOD, with a filial trust
in Him, "O my GOD, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience
to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee
to grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and to this end do
Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess
all my affections."

As he proceeded in his work, he continued his familiar conversation
with his Maker, imploring His grace, and offering to Him all his

When he had finished, he examined himself how he had discharged his
duty; if he found well, he returned thanks to GOD; if otherwise, he
asked pardon; and without being discouraged, he set his mind right
again, and continued his exercise of the presence of GOD, as if he had
never deviated from it. "Thus," said he, "by rising after my falls, and
by frequently renewed acts of faith and love, I am come to a state,
wherein it would be as difficult for me not to think of GOD, as it was
at first to accustom myself to it."

As Bro. Lawrence had found such an advantage in walking in the presence
of GOD, it was natural for him to recommend it earnestly to others; but
his example was a stronger inducement than any arguments he could
propose. His very countenance was edifying; such a sweet and calm
devotion appearing in it, as could not but affect the beholders. And it
was observed, that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen, he
still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never
hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its season, with an even
uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit. "The time of
business," said he, "does not with me differ from the time of prayer;
and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are
at the same time calling for different things, I possess GOD in as
great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed


Spiritual Communication

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux States:

So whenever you hear or read that the Word and the soul converse together, and contemplate each other, do not imagine them speaking with human voices nor appearing in bodily form. Listen, this is rather what you must think about it: The Word is a spirit (Jn 4:24), the soul is a spirit; and they possess their own mode of speech and mode of presence in accord with their nature. The speech of the Word is loving kindness, that of the soul, the fervor of devotion..... When the Word therefore tells the soul, "You are beautiful," and calls it friend (Son 1:14), he infuses into it the power of love, and to know it is loved in return.... The speech of the Word is an infusion of grace, the soul's response is wonder and thanksgiving."

Song of Songs

Vol II Sermon 45

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cleaving To God: Saint Albert

Chapter 2
How one can cling to and seek Christ alone, disdaining everything else

Certainly, anyone who desires and aims to arrive at and remain in such
a state must needs above all have eyes and senses closed and not be
inwardly involved or worried about anything, nor concerned or occupied
with anything, but should completely reject all such things as
irrelevant, harmful and dangerous. Then he should withdraw himself
totally within himself and not pay any attention to any object entering
the mind except Jesus Christ, the wounded one, alone, and so he should
turn his attention with care and determination through him into him -
that is, though the man into God, through the wounds of his humanity
into the inmost reality of his divinity. Here he can commit himself and
all that he has, individually and as a whole, promptly, securely and
without discussion, to God's unwearying providence, in accordance with
the words of Peter, cast all your care upon him (1 Peter 5.7), who can
do everything. And again, In nothing be anxious (Philippians 4.6), or
what is more, Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you.
(Psalm 55.22) Or again, It is good for me to hold fast to God, (Ps.
73.28) and I have always set up God before me. (Psalm 16.8) The bride
too in the Song of Songs says, I have found him whom my soul loves,
(Canticle 3.4) and again, All good things came to me along with her.
(Wisdom 7.11) This, after all, is the hidden heavenly treasure, none
other than the pearl of great price, which must be sought with
resolution, esteeming it in humble faithfulness, eager diligence, and
calm silence before all things, and preferring it even above physical
comfort, or honour and renown. For what good does it do a religious if
he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul? Or what is
the benefit of his state of life, the holiness of his profession, the
virtue of his habit and tonsure, or the outer circumstances of his way
of life if he is without a life of spiritual humility and truth in
which Christ abides through a faith created by love. This is what Luke
means by, the Kingdom of God (that is, Jesus Christ) is within you.
(Luke 17.21)

Why we pray so intensely

We must train ourselves a great deal in prayer and penance, because the world has a great need of souls who pray, of spirits who are given to sacrifice, of hearts who are committed, valiant, prudent and full of love. Our prayer must be total and sincere, not in hoping for delights, congratulations or rewards. If we take faith for our companion all the rest is insignificant. It is useful and necessary to possess and love faithfully. In faith we know we possess God who is loved by the will, reaffirmed by the mind, and witnessed to by our actions. We must not be preoccupied with the tribulations, the dryness, the dark nights of the soul. These trials we all must pass through. God dwells in the hidden, dark nights. We must work tirelessly, even in the obscurity of these trials, because this is our sanctification, our purification.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The compassion of Jesus

The compassion of Jesus.

Earthly parents, father and mother,
in our flesh, are wont to feel great compassion and sympathy for their
offspring; and if they find them afflicted with pain of any kind, or
any bodily inconvenience, are ready enough to spend both themselves and
their fortunes, should reason so require, for their children's recovery
to ease and soundness. Ofttimes, too, many dumb animals even do not
shrink from facing death itself for their young; and only too willingly
go to meet it, that their offspring may escape it, Whence, now, comes
this to man and to the brute? Whence comes this natural sympathy, but
from Him who is the Father of sympathy and compassion; who wills not
that any should perish, and rejoices not in the destruction of them
that die? Our Creator, therefore, the Fountain of compassion, the
Fountain of mercy, when He sees us His children stained with any sinful
contagion, or hurt well nigh to death with the many and deep wounds
that crime has made, displays towards us greater devotion in curing our
sins, in healing our sickness, in cleansing away the leprosy and filth
of our misdeeds, in wiping out the soils of our vain thoughts, than
does earthly father for his children, or reasonless brute for its
young. Nor is it enough for Him simply to cure our sicknesses, and so
dismiss us; when we are healed, He makes us His own close familiars,
and afterwards folds us tenderly in His arms as His own dearest
children; ay, He embraces us and kisses us, and then soothes and
consoles away all our infirmities, and all the sinful leprosy we had
contracted by our folly, and entirely forgets all the injuries we once
did Him by spurning Him in His consolations. He clothes us with honour
in this present life, and crowns us with glory in the next; He makes us
kings; and, as to our soul, her He makes a queen, whence He admonishes
us as kings, already made so in the psalm: And now, O ye kings,
understand; receive instruction, you that judge the earth' (Ps. ii.
10). For we then are kings indeed, when we rule our inordinate motions,
and reduce them to reason and the will of our Creator; we receive
instruction when we judge the earth, that is to say, when, if we see
that our heart desires earthly things, we compel it to contemn the
earthly and to love the heavenly. Our soul becomes a queen; for arrayed
in varied robes--that is to say, adorned with divers virtuous
gifts--she is wedded in mind's continuous act and habit to Christ her
Spouse who is in heaven, even whilst she sojourns here on earth. It was
not enough for our Creator to create us, and to govern us when created,
and to send angels, as often as need was, to defend us; but He in His
own Person, taking our form to Him, taking our nature to Him, out of
pity for the work of His hands, came down to us, looked carefully at
our wounds, touched them, felt them; and, moved with pity for the
misery which He saw enthralled us, grieved over us, and sighed in His
inmost soul. He pitied, grieved, and sighed for us; and then of that
very Flesh which He had assumed for our sake, made as it were a healing
ointment, and applied it to our griefs, and restored us from our
sickness back to perfect health. And, that He might in this mystery
show how much He loved us, He gave us that very Flesh which He had
assumed for us, that we might eat It; and onwards to this day fails not
to administer It to us in the sacrifice of His altar.

Thou, then, my soul, consoled and animated by the sweet recollection of
all these mercies, pray to thy Lord, pray to thy Creator; invoke all
His saints to thy assistance, that, aided and consoled by their
intercession, thou mayest gain of Him who made thee grace so to live in
this thy present state, so to purge away thy iniquities by true
repentance and confession, as that, thy transitory passage run, thou
mayest merit to mount up to joys eternal; by His help who liveth and
reigneth God to eternal ages. Amen.

Book of Meditations and Prayers.

Uniformity With God's Will

Uniformity With God’s Will
Saint Alphonsus de Liguor

“Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: ‘Charity is the bond of perfection;’
and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s.”

St. Alphonsus

Excellence of this Virtue
Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: “Charity is the bond
of perfection [2] ;” and perfect love of God means the complete union
of our will with God’s: “The principal effect of love is so to unite
the wills of those who love each other as to make them will the same
things [3] .” It follows then, that the more one unites his will with
the divine will, the greater will be his love of God. Mortification,
meditation, receiving Holy Communion, acts of fraternal charity are all
certainly pleasing to God—but only when they are in accordance with his
will. When they do not accord with God’s will, he not only finds no
pleasure in them, but he even rejects them utterly and punishes them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is my hope

From the Confessions of Saint Augustine

"Lord, you know me. Let me know you. Let me come to know you even as I am known. You are the strength of my soul; enter it and make it a place suitable for your dwelling, a possession without spot or blemish. This is my hope and the reason I speak. In this hope I rejoice, when I rejoice rightly. As for the other things of this life, the lamented; and the more they deserve tears, the less likely will men sorrow for them. For behold, you have loved the truth, because the one who does what is true enters into the truth, because the one who does what is true enters into the light. I wish to do this truth before you alone by praising you, and before a multitude of witnesses by writing of you."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

God secretly teaches the Soul

God has an immense desire to work in your soul, to lead you to sanctity and to union with Himself, provided we commit ourselves into His hands. The Lord Jesus comes to our assistance with purifying trials in order to empty us of self, to detach us from creatures, and to immerse ourselves in true humility. God secretly teaches the soul and instructs it in the perfection of love.

I have been studying lately the Doctors of the Church. And well it all comes down to one thing, pray and study the Word of God. The more we meditate on Scripture the more God works in our souls.

Coming soon I am working on a website on the Doctors of the Catholic Church. I have many, many, homilies from the great Saints. A treat that will be coming soon.
But if you want a sneak peak then go here. I have more coming this weekend.

God bless,