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Message  Javier le Mer 6 Mar 2019 - 9:52

LENT IN PRACTICE

By RIGHT REV. JOHN J. BURKE, C.S.P.


OUR MOTHER’S MIND

The practice of Lent is not today what it was
in the past. The black fast common in the
day of our fathers and grandfathers, would
seem to our day and generation a burden too heavy
to be borne: the rules of the fast have been lightened
and dispensations are multiplied to fit the
burden to the back of a people less physically strong
than their forbears, living in a time of hurry and
strain. In this the Church has acted as a tender
Mother, solicitous for the bodies as well as the souls
of her children.

But the Church is not alone a tender Mother:
she is first and always a faithful Spouse. The law
of Christ is her law, the words of Christ are her
words; she would not subtract from them one iota,
nor will she ever admit that her children cannot follow
where He has led. Others may say that His
words must not be taken literally; that His law
cannot be rigorously applied in the struggle of our
complex life; that no man can aspire to the Christ
life. Not so, the Spouse of Christ, the Catholic
Church. She knows and she believes that Christ is
the Son of God, the Divine Word: that He is Eternal
Truth Who can neither deceive nor be deceived:
that He is Infinite Wisdom Whose commands are
possible and Whose counsels are delightful. Has
He not said: “Follow Me,” and “I am the Way, the
Truth and the Life”
?

Now the command to do penance was uttered
by her Lord and Master in no uncertain terms:
“Unless you do penance, you shall all likewise perish”
(Luke xiii. 3-5).
And again, after His resurrection,
He built up the faltering faith of His disciples
by asserting the necessity of His Passion and
of the continuance of the work of penance: “It behooved
Christ to suffer and to rise again from the
dead the third day: that penance and remission of
sins should be preached in His Name” (Luke xxiv.
46, 47).
How, then, may we reconcile the mitigation
of the fast and multiplied dispensations with
the Church’s fidelity to the exact teaching of the
Master? To find the answer we must penetrate
more deeply the mind of our Mother; we must
analyze more carefully the meaning of penance
and study its purposes more attentively.

TBC...

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Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Mer 6 Mar 2019 - 9:56

If we look into the mind of our Mother, we will
find her always tender, often indulgent, but never
weak: her aim is not to spoil, but to strengthen: to
build up, not to tear down. What she concedes to
the weakness of the body is not to enervate the soul
but to provide it with a more virile temple, a more
active co-partner in the following of Christ. If the
external circumstances of penance are changed, it is
only to stress more deeply the hidden significance
of the inevitable divine law: “Unless you do penance,
you shall all likewise perish.”
Every year
the Holy Spirit within her invites her children, most
urgently, to turn aside from the busy marts of men
and follow our Lord into the desert. Those whose
strength permits them the privilege of sharing literally
His fast, she warns that “the letter without the
spirit is dead”
; those whose weakness does not permit
them that privilege, she reminds that they are
not thereby excused. For them, too, is the ringing
call of the Master: “Deny thyself, take up thy cross
and follow Me,”
and it may not be evaded: all may
not fast with Christ but all must pray with Him in
the desert, if they would not perish.

Now, then, as never before, perhaps, it becomes
us to take stock of what Lent is to mean to us in
practice, to enter more fully into the self-denials of
prayer and acquire more truly the spirit of penance.

Only thus will we be really in touch with the
mind of our Mother, faithful to the leading of the
Holy Spirit of Love, and obedient to the behest of
our Divine Savior and Model: “Be ye perfect.”
For, as St. Paul reminds us, only “if we be dead
with Him,”
shall we “also live with Him” (2 Tim.
ii. 11).


TBC....

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Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Jeu 7 Mar 2019 - 5:51

THE SPIRIT OF PENANCE

The idea of penance is all too commonly associated
with the external act. This materialistic notion
of penance works one of two evils: its entire
neglect or its unworthy performance. The superficial
are satisfied in the external act of penance;
the self-indulgent find it too burdensome to attempt.
So penance has lost its prestige and our age
has wandered far from its spirit. A confirmation of
this, which needs no commentary, is the dictionary
definition which declares the word obsolete except
as applied to the sacramental penance given by the
priest. This is an index of how almost entirely the
idea of penance is lost outside the Church, and it
would often seem that, even in the minds of the
children of the Church, its practice is frequently restricted
to this sacred obligation lightly performed.

And yet penance is an essential for everlasting life.
And why?

Because all true penance is in its nature sacramental:
it is an outward sign of inward grace. Its
action is twofold: it is not only a turning away from
sin but a re-turning unto God. Indeed the closer
union of the soul with God is the primary purpose
of penance and it fails of its purpose when it fails
in this. Man was made for God; sin frustrated this
purpose; the Passion and Death of the Man-God
alone was capable of restoring the union severed by
sin: of admitting mankind again to the state of
grace; only the application of the merits of Jesus
Christ to the individual soul enables it to
“bring
forth fruits worthy of penance.”
In other words,
outside of the state of grace, no act, however good
in itself, is efficacious for expiation. This fact
shows that penance indicates a state of grace: sorrow
for sin and a certain union with Christ, and
implies a strong motion towards closer union with
Him. This interior and necessary quality of penance
cannot be too strongly accentuated. Without
it a lifetime spent in good works is waste; with it
every simplest thought, word or deed enriches the
soul with the infinite treasures of Divine Love and
gives immense glory to God:
“In this is My Father
glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and
become My disciples” (John xv. 8 ).


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Jeu 7 Mar 2019 - 5:56

Truly, therefore, the external act is but a means
to an end, and that end is not the self-satisfaction
of having expiated personal sin but the impulse of
love to remove all that is obnoxious to the Beloved,
that withdraws the soul from His embrace. It is
but the body giving effect to the will of the spirit
which vivifies and impels it. The external act of
penance is good, even necessary, as the tangible and
visible expression of the soul’s purpose to remove
every obstacle that impedes its progress towards
God, but lacking the true spirit, it resolves itself
into dust.


This interior purpose shines through every penance
prescribed by the Church. During the seasons
of penance, and most especially during Lent, she
urges us to turn aside, not only from sinful pursuits
but even from those harmless and legitimate, in
order to have more time for God: to enter more
fully into the life of Christ; to participate in His
Passion as willing disciples and explore the depths
of His love. We frustrate this purpose when we
compromise with this spirit and find ready excuse
for frequenting entertainments, not evil to be sure,
but time consuming and fatiguing, leaving less time
and taste for prayer, an inability to rise for early
Mass, an unreadiness for Holy Communion. The
prescription of the marriage ceremony, the counsel
to continence has in view the purification and uplifting
of the bond of human love. In withdrawal
the soul sees in better perspective the divine purposes
of matrimony and its holy responsibilities:
abstinence cultivates strength in unselfishness and
subordinates lust to reason and will. The very
mitigations of the law of fast and abstinence in regard
of food, prove that the law was not fashioned
as an end in itself, but to cultivate temperance and
force home the purpose of appetite: to preserve
life; and to enforce the spiritual truth that we must
come to God empty, if we would be filled.


It thus becomes evident that weakness of body
neither excuses nor debars from penance. The
spirit of the law is open to all. And in the practical
cultivation of this spirit, the letter of the law
will acquire new meaning and attraction. Far
from wishing to elude it, many will seek to fulfill
it in larger measure.

What we will make of Lent in practice depends
upon ourselves. The opportunities are large and
the grace of God sufficient.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Ven 8 Mar 2019 - 6:51

THE POWER OF GOD

St. Paul, beset and exhausted by temptation,
cried out to the Lord to remove it. For answer he
received this encouraging word which we must take
to ourselves at the very outset of Lent: “My grace
is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in
infirmity.”
All will be well with us in our practice
of Lent, if, sincerely and humbly, we make response
with the great Apostle: “Gladly therefore will I
glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
may dwell in me” (2 Cor. xii. 9).
Here we have the
complete matter of penance: our infirmities driving
us into the very arms of Christ. We turn from self
and draw closer to Him through the recognition of
our weakness.


On the first Sunday of Lent the Church sets before
us that great mystery of Christ’s love: His
temptation. A love that induced the Son of God to
submit to the ignominy of temptation for our sakes,
is incomprehensible to us. We can only worship
and return thanks to the divine Goodness for this
ineffable condescension of love, so full of instruction
and consolation for His would-be disciples.
Jesus, Infinite Purity, the Son of the living God,
subjected to temptation from the devil is a divine
Witness to the truth that temptation is not sin, unless
we yield to it; that, on the contrary, it is a
fruitful opportunity for God, if in all humility and
holy fear, we invoke the power of God against the
wiles of Satan. It affords us, moreover, a consolation
and source of strength which, without it, we
would never have dared to hope for: that Jesus, in
Whom we “can do all things,” is our Companion
even in moments of temptation. Without this assurance
we would surely falter and fail.
To be
sure, the temptations of our Lord were purely from
without: He was tempted by the devil not, as we are
also, by that “darkness of the understanding, weakness
of the will and propensity to evil,”
left in the
soul as the effect of original sin and against which
every son and daughter of Adam and Eve must
struggle from birth to death. These subjective
temptations that come from ourselves. Our Blessed
Lord could not know, but the objective temptations
He permitted the devil to present to Him were none
the less real, and, in His Providence, were destined
not only for our encouragement, but to afford us
Example in every field of temptation.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Sam 9 Mar 2019 - 5:27

In the first temptation our Lord was urged to
yield to the necessities of the body. His answer
teaches us how to meet every temptation that would
pander to the importunities or weariness of the
flesh. Truly “not in bread alone does man live but
by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of
God” (Matt. iv. 4)
. This example is warranted to
gird us against every inclination to sloth and sensuality;
to weigh the material food against the spiritual
and find it wanting. By the strength of it the
saints have risen to unapproachable heights of mortification
and self-denial. To such heights we may
not be called, yet daily in little things and big we
must prefer the spiritual to the material food.
Under
this head falls even the temptation not to rise
for Mass because we are tired, or to sit up late and
talk with some loved companion instead of foreseeing
and forestalling the fatigue of the day to come.
Not for one moment is the sweet food of human
society to be preferred to that privileged intercourse
with the Divine Wisdom in Holy Communion.
This giving the higher place to the nourishment of
the Word of God, alone can munition us against the
myriad temptations that will assault our resolution
to accept the Lenten invitation of Mother Church
to turn aside and go into the desert with Christ.

The second temptation of our Lord gives us
example how to meet the insiduous temptation to
presumption on God’s care and mercy: of spiritual
sloth
. Confidence in the power of God must never
degenerate into an easy-going presumption ; it must
never excuse inanition or supplant personal effort
to the limit of ability. “Thou shalt not tempt the
Lord thy God”
to save you from the consequences
of your own sins of omission or commission. It is
a sin of presumption to take chances in dress and
conduct; to court the doubtful and expect to be preserved
from insult and from sin. God’s power must
not be invoked to save us trouble—physical, mental
or spiritual. God’s power is always ready to sustain
effort, to give it efficacy: to do for us what we cannot
do for ourselves of ourselves. Let us enter into
the practice of Lent with earnest industry
; in it
let us deny ourselves daring and questionable acts
unbecoming children of God and followers of Jesus
Christ.

The third temptation of our Lord warns us
against the pride of life; the desire for power, esteem;
the spirit that takes credit to self and covets
adulation and recognition. It seeks us out in a
thousand shapes, drawing us further and further
from the worship and service of God. Honesty is
sacrificed to business policy, social advantage is preferred
to religious education, popularity to principle,
personal adornment leaves no time for prayer,
the little word that might be spoken for God and
truth is left unspoken for fear of ridicule, the influence
that might be exerted for souls is neglected
as too troublesome, and so the sinuous serpent of
worldliness winds its way into our lives holding us
fast in its coils and poisoning our spiritual life. We
worship the golden serpent rather than the Cross of
Christ. We must be armored in the world of our
Lord if we would escape the slow poison;
“The
Lord, thy God thou shalt adore and Him only shalt
thou serve” (Matt. iv. 10).


To meet and to vanquish, by the power of God
these temptations, that is the practice of true penance.
They will assail us on every side in our practice
of Lent. To do battle with the obstacles that
impede our way to God, the Church invites us in
this holy season, and to encourage us in the fight,
she holds out to us promises of such astounding
beauty as to lure us to scale the very heights of Calvary.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Lun 11 Mar 2019 - 6:12

THE PERPETUATION OF CALVARY

Every day upon our altars Calvary is perpetuated:
“from the rising of the sun even to the going
down . . . there is offered a clean oblation” (Mai.
i. 11).
Infinite Purity to Infinite Majesty. Daily,
hourly Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God
“empties Himself” not only of every suggestion of
His Divinity, but of every semblance of His Manhood.
For our sakes He becomes utter Sacrifice.
This inconceivable Self-Sacrifice of Divine Love
takes place at our very doors, day in and day out,
and most frequently we ignore It. A thousand
petty reasons of comfort or convenience hold us excused
from accepting the invitations lavished upon
us by our Mother, the Church, to come to the
Mount of Calvary and be drawn to Him Who is
“lifted up” for us in the Holy Sacrifice. Or perhaps
we come so full of self, so wrapped in preoccupations
that Christ comes and goes because He finds
no place for Him within our hearts. This is the
most enormous of all daily tragedies.


To gauge the immensity of this waste of opportunity,
we need only explore the liturgy of the Mass.
There we find invitations so pressing and promises
so vast that our minds seem too small and our
hearts too narrow to grasp them. Yet they are the
inspired words of God, Who is Truth. Day by day
the Church sets them before us as if to lure us to
the mount of Sacrifice with the sweets of divine
love. Nowhere is this purpose more patent than in
the season of Lent. At the very outset she says to
us so solemnly: “Thus saith the Lord: Be converted
to Me with all your heart, in fasting and in
weeping and in mourning. And rend your hearts
and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your
God, for He is gracious and merciful, patient and
rich in mercy. ... I will send you corn and wine and
oil and you shall be filled” (Joel ii).
Plainly stating
the need for conversion accompanied by external
penance, she accentuates the deep truth that
it is the heart that must be broken open to the influences
of God, and sets before it a picture of that
God calculated to melt a heart of stone—a gracious
God waiting to fill in plentiful measure the heart
rent to admit Him.

Again, as if she would forestall the possible
temptation to consider or protect self, she urges:
“Cast thy care upon the Lord and He shall sustain
thee” (Psalm liv.).
Dost thou fear to pay too
great a penalty of fatigue for going to the mount of
Sacrifice; art thou troubled about the cares of life,
or fearful to abandon self to God lest He ask too
much? Cast thy care upon the Lord, for “thus
saith the Lord: I have heard thy prayer and have
seen thy tears; behold I will add to thy days.” “I
will come and heal.”
Or she exacts the practical
exercise of Christian charity: “Love your enemies,
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them
that persecute and calumniate you; that you may
be the children of your Father,”
and sums it up in
that tremendous command: “Be you perfect as also
your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. v. 28)
,
buoying us to effort by the promise of reward from
the All-seeing Father.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Mar 12 Mar 2019 - 12:20

In Holy Mass the Passion and Death of our
Lord is not a memory but a fact.
No wonder that
the Church is lavish of invitations to draw us into
this holy way ; that she counts attendance at Mass
as the first and most important step in the practice
of Lent. Nowhere as here will the humility of
Christ so shame our pride; the immensity of His
Sacrifice so stimulate our zeal ; nowhere else will we
find His teaching more vivid. His example more
palpitating. If we have not heeded His invitation
hitherto, let us come to Him now, and make daily
Mass our practice for Lent. If it is already our
blessed habit to do so, we may still find ample practice
for penance in increase of punctuality, in intensified
fervor. We have never assisted at Mass
so well, that we may not do so better. There is always
room for great self-denial in our mode of
prayer: of reaching out to closer cooperation with
the ends and aims of our Divine Victim Who offers
Himself for the glory of God, for the salvation of all
souls, in thanksgiving for God’s gifts, in atonement
for man’s many sins.

For if in our manner of hearing Mass we endeavor
more and more to realize it as the perpetuation
of Calvary, fervor will inevitably put forth
new leaves and our whole being will begin to grow
“unto the measure of Christ.” Self will not loom
so large and obstruct our view of the heavens. A
practical step in this direction is to follow the Mass
word for word in the missal : to feed our minds with
the divine word as well as our souls with the divine
Presence. Unconsciously minds and hearts brought
thus in touch with the mind and Heart of Christ
continue to echo His sentiments, to fashion themselves
by His example when acted upon by the influences
and inducements of the world.

“We exhort you that you receive not the grace
of God in vain,”
says St. Paul, “behold now is the
acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation.”

If we make the effort that in us lies to brush
aside difficulties, to surmount obstacles that must
surely be met in the following of Christ to the
mount of Sacrifice in Holy Mass, we will not struggle
alone. The Church promises that “the Lord will
overshadow thee with His shoulders and under His
wings thou shalt trust: His truth shall compass thee
with a shield” (Psalm xc.).
How wonderfully
close God is to us at Mass: there He shares our
humanity that we may be made “partakers of His
divinity”:
there He is Jesus Christ, the Man-God.

Come, then, and “dwell in the house of the
Lord”
and “the Lord will fill thy soul with brightness,
and thou shalt be like a watered garden and
like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail”
(Isaiah Iviii.).


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Jeu 14 Mar 2019 - 15:50

THE BREAD OF LIFE

Man must eat to live. God created him under
this necessity: it is a law of physical life. To make
sweet the burden and light the yoke of maintaining
life, God gave appetite, or desire for food, and taste
to find it agreeable. Loss of taste begets loss of appetite;
loss of appetite indicates ill-health. Or we
may have a morbid appetite and a perverted taste,
craving certain things out of proportion, or things
injurious to life. We call this condition morbid, because
it is opposed to life; it makes for disease and
death: it is opposed to law. Man must eat to live,
man does not live to eat.
There is much food for
penance in subjecting appetite and taste to law and
order ; in using these gifts of God according to His
will: to maintain life in full health and efficiency,
in so far as in us lies, for His service. How may we
tonic our souls for such penance?

Food is no less a necessity in the spiritual life;
spiritually man must eat to live: “Except you eat
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood
you shall not have life in you” (John vi. 54).
For,
our Lord solemnly asserts, “My flesh is meat indeed
and My blood is drink indeed” (John vi. 56).

That, in the order of grace, appetite and taste for
this heavenly food, the Bread of Life, are given to
us, is no less certain, for Our Blessed Lord assures
us that He came to give us “abundant” life; He
urges us to “come” unto Him; to “taste and see that
the Lord is sweet.”
If we have no appetite for the
Bread of Life, our souls are sick; if we have no
taste for It, it is because it is cloyed with material
things. Spiritually this is a morbid, a wrong condition
of soul. We are too apt to think appetite
and taste for God are unnatural, extraordinary:
They are supernatural, to be sure—above nature,
but they are not unnatural—against nature, for
God made man for Himself, and Jesus Christ, the
God-Man was “lifted up” to “draw all men unto
Him.”
By every wile and device of love He has
poured Himself out to fill and to satisfy our every
want and craving. We must indeed be unnatural
ingrates, if we are devoid of some measure of desire
for Him. If a strong appetite for the heavenly
Bread be extraordinary, it is not because God wills
it so, but rather because we have “gone aside into
our own way”
: because we do not eat to live.

For is it conceivable that Jesus Christ should
have so “emptied Himself” as we have seen in the
Holy Sacrifice; that He should assume the appearance
of bread and wine and dwell with us day and
night in order to nourish our souls, and then not
give us the ability to desire and to seek Him?
Would He stay there if He wished us to stay away?

No. Frequent, daily Communion should be the
complement of daily Mass in our practice of Lent.
If this is already our practice, we may still cultivate
a stronger appetite, a greater taste. Asking
the Holy Spirit to give us a “love and relish” for
the Bread of Life, our devotion should increase,
until we find this heavenly banquet more savory
than all the feasts of earth. Our soul will be filled
with “brightness,” the “Brightness of His Glory”
(Heb. i. 3)
, and we shall indeed be “a fountain of
water whose waters shall not fail.” “I live, not I,
but Christ Jesus liveth in me,”
exclaimed St. Paul.
This is the Catholic life: for this Christ came into
the world.

How may we attain to it? By feeding and feeding
again; by overcoming all obstacles that would
hold us from this perfect Communion of our whole
selves, body and soul, with Jesus Christ, whole and
entire. Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It will cost
something to wash oneself cleaner and cleaner in
the sacrament of penance; to adorn ourselves more
and more with true charity, for our Lord said if
we came to the altar and our brother had something
against us, we must go back first and be reconciled
to our brother. We will have the humility to go to
Him in spite of our unworthiness, because of our
absolute necessity. We will have the courage to
let Him shape our thoughts by His thoughts, to look
at ourselves by His effulgent Light, yet not to die of
shame; to seek His glory, not our satisfaction.

In the strength of this Bread we will be able to
mortify the false appetites and tastes of the flesh,
to mold our wills to the divine will ; in its strength
we will walk unto the mountain of God and speak
with Him heart to Heart.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Lun 25 Mar 2019 - 11:22

CONVERSE WITH GOD

Some people are good talkers; others are good
listeners; some are both, and others are neither.
To speak enough and not to monopolize conversation;
to listen attentively, not apparently; these
are the arts that make a wise and a full man. The
man who monopolizes conversation is full only of
himself, and he learns nothing from others. The
man who listens inattentively may be more unselfish,
more polite, but he is scarcely more wise. Conversation
implies a give and take: it means to
speak with a person, not merely to him.

Many people make their prayer a constant murmur
of petition: they talk to God, they do not converse
with Him. They are so full of their own concerns
that they have no time to listen, they must
pour it all out, and then rush back to be again
“troubled with many things.” They have faith
that God will hear them but they have no faith that
they can hear Him. This is why prayer is not more
effective
; why so many souls never grow to the
“full measure of Christ.”


God can and does speak to the soul in many
ways.
He speaks in the voice of conscience that
urges to do or warns us not to do this or that; He
speaks in inspirations that come to the soul at
Mass, after Holy Communion, in silent prayer when
we cease our babble and stop to listen ; He speaks
in incentive to “approve the better things,” to
raise our standard, to deny self something, to have
time for something better. As truly as Jesus Christ,
the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is present
in the Blessed Sacrament to be our spiritual
food, so truly is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person
of the Blessed Trinity, in every soul that is in a
state of grace:
“the kingdom of God is within you.”
Nor is He inactive. God is Life and life is activity.
We may not see Him, we may not hear Him, but
He is there, the Living, All-powerful God Who
“breatheth where He will,” there to make us holy
—if we will but let Him, for He is the Sanctifier.

Whatever aspiration we have toward God;
whatever we accomplish in His service are evidences
of the abiding presence and the fruitful processes
of the Holy Spirit.
Under this same Spirit
of Divine Love, the Son of God humbled Himself
and became man: and through that same Spirit
was His human life fulfilled and His human mission
accomplished. Only through Jesus Christ can we
know and possess the Holy Spirit Who is God but
through Him we have received the Spirit of God.
Every sacrament He has given us either bestows,
restores or increases the life of the Holy Spirit within
us; and we may know and realize Him there more
and more, if we will. Here again is matter in abundance
for the practice of Lent.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 3067
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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Message  Javier le Mer 27 Mar 2019 - 12:21

For if we would learn to hearken and understand
the Voice that speaks truly, yet not in words,
we must cultivate the more unselfish prayer of
thanksgiving and adoration; we must read and ponder
what we read; we must meditate the life of our
Lord, especially His Passion and Death; we must,
if God so leads us “lift up bur hearts” to the heavens
where dwells the Triune God in glorious harmony
and incomparable beauty; we must catch in every
created beauty suggestion of the Beauty increate;
we must find His Voice in the pages of Holy Writ,
in the Church’s liturgy, in obedience to authority
we must seek Him in the silence of the soul, content
to be with Him, even though He speak not nor
make His Presence felt; we must be true to the suggestions
and inspirations that come at such times,
humbly obedient to them; we must not lose faith
if they do not come, but work confidently by what
light we have, begging His blessing and guidance.
For the Holy Spirit will guide us, even in little
things, if we trust Him more than we do ourselves:
if we do our best and leave all in His Hands.


These things are of the very stuff of penance.
To do them we must stand ready to deny self and
to take up the cross. Charity will glow within us
and spread like a flame to all about us. In the
cross that God’s Hand makes over us we learn to
find His blessing.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 3067
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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Message  Javier le Ven 29 Mar 2019 - 8:48

THE OLD MAN

Nature is forever renewing itself. The leaves
fall and are replaced by other leaves. The tissues
of the body are forever giving place to new tissues.
We put off the old to be clothed with the new. The
process of living is a process of change. Our Lord
expressed this law of mutation in words intelligible
to the crowd of His own day and of all time: “Unless
the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,
itself remaineth alone” (John xii. 24).
The outer
husk must yield to the influences of the soil, burst
open and decay to free the germ of life that shoots
upward to the sun. Growth is transformation.

So St. Paul says we must “put off the old man”
before we can “put on the new.” Throughout our
practice of Lent we have been conscious of the twofold
action involved in penance of leaving self to
draw near to God, even to being clothed with Him.
If we have been faithful in attendance at Mass,
drawing daily closer to the foot of the cross; if we
have fed our souls there with the Bread of Life
until Christ rather than ourselves lived in us; if we
have sought the Holy Spirit more and more in
prayer, good reading, meditation, contemplation,
we have had to mortify ourselves in a thousand
ways.
It has cost us something to put off the old
man and to put on Christ. The words: “Deny thyself,
take up thy cross and follow Me”
have taken
on new meaning. What we have done lightly before,
now affords a scruple. The soul seeks to
purify self more completely in confession. A
greater charity, the “charity of God,” hovers over
the relations of life. Duties of children to parents,
of parents to children ; of husband to wife and wife
to husband ; of employer to employee and employee
to employer take on new meaning, as we realize
more and more that we are one body in Christ and
members one of another. Our bodies steeped in the
Precious Blood of Christ, fresh from the altar of
Sacrifice command a new reverence; we protect
them more surely from the profane gaze of immodesty;
we make them not less attractive but more so
by adorning them with reticence. We discern as
use all that accords with God’s purpose in creation;
as abuse all that controverts it. Our language becomes
more temperate and considered. Our daily
work, whatever it may be, opens up new avenues of
service: “whatsoever ye do, ye do all to the glory
of God.”
The thought goads us to more honest
service, lends an added touch of care to our tasks,
a stronger ambition for their perfection. We have
fitted to ourselves in intercourse with others something
of the “charity of God and the patience of
Christ” (2 Thess. iii. 5).
We are less unwilling to
be alone, less dependent on diversion. Annoyances
and interruptions find us more peaceful. We
are less boisterous but more joyful.

TBC...
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 3067
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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Message  Javier le Dim 31 Mar 2019 - 5:33

This is what it means to “put off the old man”:
to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” As in all the
works of God, the transformation will be slow: for
a long time it may hardly be perceptible. But if
our practice of Lent has been sincere: if we have
tried to throw ourselves generously into the rich
soil of God's grace
in Holy Mass and Holy Communion
and in prayer: if we have rent our hearts and
cast off the husk of self-love, some growth is inevitable.

For “as Christ is risen from the dead, by
the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness
of life. For if we have been planted together
in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the
likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that
our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of
sin may be destroyed, to the end that we serve sin
no longer. . . . Now if we be dead with Christ, we
believe that we shall live also together with Christ:
Knowing that Christ rising again from the dead,
dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion
over Him. For in that He died to sin. He died
once; but in that He liveth. He liveth unto God:
so do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but
alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans
vi. 4-11).


TBC....
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 3067
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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Message  Javier le Lun 1 Avr 2019 - 9:31

RISEN WITH CHRIST

The aeronaut gains new confidence with each
experience in the air. Every trip bears him higher
and higher, finding his element more and more in
the great spaces of the universe. His horizon is
boundless, the firmament is his home.

So too with us. If we “be risen with Christ”
we will “seek the things that are above.” Lent
will not have been an interlude, an episode, but
rather a trial trip in which we have gained experience
and confidence for greater flights. We have
tasted the fruits as well as the fears of penance.

We will not hesitate as before to leave earth behind
and rise, borne on the strong winds of grace,
into the boundless spaces of God.
Not that we
deny difficulties and dangers. We know only too
well that the lightest carelessness of self-confidence
will dash us to earth, perhaps fatally.
Our confidence
rests in the powerful means of God’s grace.
We soar on the merits of Christ, not our own.
The
strong winds of prayer and humility bear us up
where the Spirit bloweth and carries us where It
will. We are at home with God: “the Lord is our
firmament.”


This is the meaning of Lent in practice : the following
of our Lord Jesus Christ into the desert and
up to Calvary, the welding of our wills to His in the
mastery of love. Then will the Resurrection dawn
find us at His feet crying joyously: “Rabboni.”


THE END
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 3067
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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