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Forums => Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion => Topic started by: whiterockdove on May 27, 2015, 09:57:08 AM



Title: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 27, 2015, 09:57:08 AM
I have been discerning living as a hermit for several years, and I know there is a wealth of Saints quotes out there on the topic,
and accounts of their lives and contributions written by other Saints.

I like this quote even though it refers to Carmelites living in Community and not individual hermits. The idea of apartness from and praying for the world as a total service to God is the same.

" we belong to the race of those Holy Fathers of Mount Carmel, who in such deep solitude and renunciation of the world, sought the treasure,
The precious  pearl of which we speak."

St. Theresa of Avila
 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 27, 2015, 11:45:05 AM
Dear Whiterockdove,

Have you ever read St. Benedict's Rule of Life?  I suggest that you read it.  Do you know if any hermit has ever written a Rule of Life?  If so, I would especially recommend that you read such a rule.  I'd like to read such a rule, if one exists.  I have recently reread Bro. Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God and would like to practice all that I read in this book, conversing with God all day, keeping detached from all that is not Him and loving Him deeply with all my heart fixed on Him, doing ALL for Him and nothing for myself, which includes my prayers and sacrifices for the salvation of souls.

God bless you!

Yours in Jesus and Mary,
Therese 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 28, 2015, 11:24:24 AM
It is on my list of things to read!  If its God's will, I still am interested in the Carmelites.
My spiritual director is a Carmelite. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 28, 2015, 11:27:53 AM
"It is of great importance, when we begin to practice prayer, not to let ourselves be frightened by our own thoughts."

-St. Theresa of Avila


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 28, 2015, 11:49:17 AM
It is on my list of things to read!  If its God's will, I still am interested in the Carmelites.
My spiritual director is a Carmelite. 

I love the Carmelite spirituality and have read several of St. John of the Cross' and St. Theresa of Jesus' works.  Yesterday I read some of what St. John of the Cross says about union with God. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 28, 2015, 11:50:01 AM
"It is of great importance, when we begin to practice prayer, not to let ourselves be frightened by our own thoughts."

-St. Theresa of Avila

But what thoughts are scary when we begin to practice prayer?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 28, 2015, 08:05:45 PM
Oh this quote was so comforting to me,  I have a hard time keeping my mind on track and staying collected during prayer.
I can get very anxious  and discouraged. That can be frightening if it leads to a reluctance to persevere.



That's why I read a lot of Theresa of Avila's writings. They are very practical  suggestions.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on May 28, 2015, 08:32:42 PM
AH now that's a very soothing thought from that quote!

A quote that makes prayer easier.. now that is priceless. I had not read this quote before!

I am looking up rules to see if I can find one for hermits, so far I am not finding any! There must not be too many translators interested in these!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 29, 2015, 06:23:57 AM
Oh this quote was so comforting to me,  I have a hard time keeping my mind on track and staying collected during prayer.
I can get very anxious  and discouraged. That can be frightening if it leads to a reluctance to persevere.



That's why I read a lot of Theresa of Avila's writings. They are very practical  suggestions.

Yes, St. Teresa does make very practical suggestions.  The devil is accustomed to use excessive anxiety and discouragement to rob graces from us, once we lose our peace we can not hear the voice of God or receive the graces He wants to send us.  When you get such temptations  rebuke them and place all your trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.     


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 29, 2015, 06:39:28 AM
You are so correct, Therese!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in thee.
Amen.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 29, 2015, 06:50:49 AM
You are so correct, Therese!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in thee.
Amen.

I learned this from what I have read, Whiterockdove,  I owe so much to the Saints and to pious Catholic writers....I owe so much to our Lord, whose wisdom is found in them.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 29, 2015, 06:51:37 AM
" Every one of us, even he who is supposed to live as a private person, exercises the office of shepherd, if, keeping together a multitude of
good actions and pure thoughts, he strives to rule them with due moderation, to feed them with the food of the scriptures, and to preserve them against the snares of the devil."

- Venerable Bede




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 29, 2015, 06:58:46 AM
" Every one of us, even he who is supposed to live as a private person, exercises the office of shepherd, if, keeping together a multitude of
good actions and pure thoughts, he strives to rule them with due moderation, to feed them with the food of the scriptures, and to preserve them against the snares of the devil."

- Venerable Bede




A very good quote!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on May 29, 2015, 07:07:24 AM
Hi Therese! I see you're up and working also! Yes, we are so blessed to have all the  written material inspired by the Holy Spirit
And preserved over the centuries for us to learn from.  When I joined the church, and that was in 2012, part of the driving force was all the writings and prayers of the saints and Doctors of the church.  I knew I was Catholic in my heart long before I was baptized and confirmed because those writings spoke to me and made sense.  

I could sit and read and write all day and into the night, but alas, there is still my household to maintain and husband to care for.  I like the structure that is in the Benedictine spirituality, a time for everything and thus balance between all, hence my last quote  ;D

Speaking of all that, I just discovered a bowl of strawberries in the refrigerator that my husband picked last evening. Looks like its time for me to get to work and clean them up for freezing!

God bless you, I hope you have a good day!



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on May 29, 2015, 07:27:26 AM
Hi Therese! I see you're up and working also! Yes, we are so blessed to have all the  written material inspired by the Holy Spirit
And preserved over the centuries for us to learn from.  When I joined the church, and that was in 2012, part of the driving force was all the writings and prayers of the saints and Doctors of the church.  I knew I was Catholic in my heart long before I was baptized and confirmed because those writings spoke to me and made sense.  

I could sit and read and write all day and into the night, but alas, there is still my household to maintain and husband to care for.  I like the structure that is in the Benedictine spirituality, a time for everything and thus balance between all, hence my last quote  ;D

Speaking of all that, I just discovered a bowl of strawberries in the refrigerator that my husband picked last evening. Looks like its time for me to get to work and clean them up for freezing!

God bless you, I hope you have a good day!


Hi Whiterockdove!  I'm so glad that you have been doing good spiritual reading.  Yes, moderation/balance is necessary in life, as it preserves the other virtues ... and we both know that all things have their season (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  God bless you!




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 01, 2015, 10:49:16 AM
Since the nature of friendship with God is such, that if anyone loves this world, he is an enemy of God, it follows that if anyone wants to be a friend of God and dwell in God's love, he must turn away from  the world and the things which are in the world."

-Didymus the Blind, 313-398  Christian exegete, head of chatechetical school in  Alexandria


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 01, 2015, 01:04:28 PM
We must remain dead to the world and the world must remain dead to us.  God must be our all.  We must do each and everything for God and nothing for ourselves, loving Him, honoring and glorifying Him, with each and every thought, word, deed, and desire we have.  We must conquer self-love once and for all and wholly eliminate it in ourselves.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 02, 2015, 01:18:34 PM
Here is part of "Alma buscarte has en mi"   which is a lovely poem by St Theresa of Avila
Check back, I will post the rest of it tonight or tomorrow.


Soul, you must seek yourself in me
And in yourself must seek for me.

Such is the power of love's impress
Oh soul to engrave you upon my heart,
That any craftsman must confess
He could never have the same success
No matter how superlative his art.

It was by love that you were made
Lovely and beautiful to be;
So if by chance, you should have strayed,
Upon my heart you are portrayed.
Soul you must seek yourself in me.

In her " Interior Castle" this poem refers to
When Jesus was praying for his apostles,
  "That they might be made one with The Father and with Himself."

Nice words to contemplate  :) :flower:











Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 02, 2015, 02:40:25 PM
How beautiful to contemplate!

Thank you whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 03, 2015, 05:29:27 PM
"And in yourself must seek for me."  Why must people look for God everywhere else but within themselves, where the Holy Ghost is indwelling?  Why should I complain if I can not be in a chapel person?  I need only to do God's Will and remain in a state of grace, that's all.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 03, 2015, 11:47:15 PM

Therese, you long to be in the presence of our Lord, I will pray that someday you will be able to
Sit with Him as much as you like.   It just may happen so don't give up praying, Therese!

I think that's nice that you want to be in the chapel.  When we go to Kansas City for doctor appointments,
There is always one lady in particular in the adoration chapel.  i have never spoken to her, but I'm always so glad
To be there with her; the both of us spending time with The Lord.  There is an independent living apartment complex
Attached to the cathedral. She may live there and if she does, she us certainly blessed to be within walking distance of
The Tabernacle.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 04, 2015, 12:01:05 AM
Here is the rest of "Alma, buscarte has en mi" by St. Theresa of Avila.

I apologize for the interruption; typing with one finger on my little browsers makes me cross-eyed after not too long. ::)

For well I know that you will see
Yourself engraved upon my breast-
An image vividly impressed-
Then you will rejoice to be
So safely lodged, so highly blest.

And if by chance, you do not know,
Where to go in quest of me,
Do not go far my face to see,
Searching everywhere, high and low,
But in yourself must seek for me.

For, soul, in you I am confined,
You are my dwelling and my home;
And if one day I chance to find
Fast-closed the portals of your mind
I ask for entrance when I come.

Oh, do not seek me far away,
For, if you would attain to me
You only need my name to say
And I'll be there without delay.
Look in yourself to seek for me.







Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 04, 2015, 12:47:38 PM
Dear Whiterockdove,

This lovely poem confirms that I need only look inside myself to find our Lord and to be with Him.  And if I say but His name He is with me--I needn't be in a chapel to be with our Lord, for His Spirit dwells within me.  What I need is simply to remain in a state of grace, to love God within my soul and to do what pleases Him.  Thank you so much for posting this beautiful poem!

Yours in Jesus and Mary,
Therese


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 05, 2015, 02:37:36 AM
Your welcome! I will still pray for you and I think Jesus is very happy
That you want so badly to be always adoring him! 
   They say St. Therese, The Little Flower  would kick and scream as a little child when she had to leave The Adoration Chapel!

 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 05, 2015, 06:27:46 AM
Your welcome! I will still pray for you and I think Jesus is very happy
That you want so badly to be always adoring him! 
   They say St. Therese, The Little Flower  would kick and scream as a little child when she had to leave The Adoration Chapel!

 

Thank you for your prayers, Whiterockdove.  I never heard that about little Therese.  But I understand how people can really hate to leave chapels where God dwells.  When it is time for me to leave chapel I must remember that our Lord dwells within me spiritually, and that I take Him with me wherever I go; then leaving won't be so bad.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 05, 2015, 01:57:52 PM
'He who bears God in his heart, carries his paradise with him everywhere.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 06, 2015, 04:04:37 PM

You only need my name to say
And I'll be there without delay.
Look in yourself to seek for me.


Yes!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 07, 2015, 02:44:57 AM
The Eremitic Life

 920 Without always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly,
hermits "devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world
through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude
and assiduous prayer." 460

-The Catechism of The Catholic Church



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 08, 2015, 06:52:45 AM
The Eremitic Life  ( cont.)

921. They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is,
personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is
a silent preaching of The Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life, simply because
he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual
battle, the glory of the Crucified One.

-The Catechism of the Catholic Church


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 08, 2015, 07:56:02 PM
I would like to find an anchorite rule if ever I could, now that would be a very interesting book.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 09, 2015, 01:31:12 AM
Yes, it would!  I am reading about an interesting variation of hermits called poustiniks.
They were common in Russia years ago and as with anchorites, a town considered itself very blessed to have a resident poustinik.
The unique thing about this vocation was that they were to be available for any number of services in the community doing odd jobs.
I wonder how they had time to pray!  Anyhow, just starting to read on this topic.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 09, 2015, 06:44:27 AM
Yes, it would!  I am reading about an interesting variation of hermits called poustiniks.
They were common in Russia years ago and as with anchorites, a town considered itself very blessed to have a resident poustinik.
The unique thing about this vocation was that they were to be available for any number of services in the community doing odd jobs.
I wonder how they had time to pray!  Anyhow, just starting to read on this topic.


Hermits pray as they work, making ejaculations and saying vocal prayers in their hearts, singing psalms and hymns, keeping recollected in God, practicing His presence, etc..  They do not separate work from prayer and neither should we, for we can always pray ejaculations and have our heart fixed on God and set on pleasing Him no matter what we are doing, which is a prayer in itself.  Even when we are doing something like hard bookkeeping, which takes all our concentration, we can mix in some ejaculations in our work and do our work for the greater glory of God.  God bless you.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 09, 2015, 08:37:59 PM
Hi Therese :happywave:   I guess that was kind of a silly question on my part!  ::)

Thank you for the reminder on aspirations and ejaculations.  I need to be better about incorporating those in my day. So easy to say, but so hard to remember to say. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 10, 2015, 01:56:02 AM
Of The Several Kinds of Monks

It is well known that there are four kinds of monks.
The first are Cenobites, that is monastic or conventual, living  under a rule or abbot.
The second are Anchorites or hermits, who, not in the first fervor of devotion, but after long probation in the monastic life,
Have learnt to fight against the devil and after being aided  by the comfort and encouragement of others, are now able, by Gods assistance,
To strive hand in hand against the flesh and evil thoughts, and so go fourth from the army of the Brotherhood, to the single combat of the wilderness. The third and worst kind are the Serabites, who have never been tried under any Rule, nor by the experience of a skillful master,
As gold is tried in he furnace, but being soft as lead, and by their works still cleaving to
The world, are known by their tonsure to be disloyal to God.

-The Rule of Our Most Holy Father, St. Benedict


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 10, 2015, 08:35:52 AM
Hi Therese :happywave:   I guess that was kind of a silly question on my part!  ::)

Thank you for the reminder on aspirations and ejaculations.  I need to be better about incorporating those in my day. So easy to say, but so hard to remember to say.  


Hi!  You are very welcome, Whiterockdove. :)  I have read that making ejaculations/aspirations throughout the day is more beneficial in one's spiritual life than one's allotted time in the day for mental prayer and meditation--not that we should neglect or deliberately omit mental prayer and meditation.  Let us both make a resolution today to make more ejaculations/aspirations that ever before.  Let us live this day like it were our last and do all for the glory and love of God, conversing with Him and adoring Him in our hearts, turning to Him before we turn to others for consolations, help, company, etc..  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 10, 2015, 04:24:55 PM
Amen, my Sister in Jesus and Mary!

Your words about  living this day as if it were our last are  very timely,

All for the glory of God!
My husband and I were discussing that concept yesterday, both wanting to
Be more vigilant there. 

God Bless you too!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 10, 2015, 05:45:02 PM
Yes, I can believe that easily, regular short aspirations keep lifting the mind up to its proper place!

So a person can begin to live the supernatural Christian life rather than the natural life.

May God help us to do so!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 11, 2015, 02:21:07 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

"Admirable is the name of God"

-To be said in the spirit of reparation for blasphemy.

As told by Jesus to Sister Marie of St. Peter, OCD



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 11, 2015, 09:11:44 AM
I'll pray this ejaculation today, Whiterockdove, in reparation for blasphemy, one of the sins that offends God the most.  I'd like to spend much time making reparation for sins.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 11, 2015, 09:15:33 AM
Yes, Shin, what you say is true about regular aspirations keeping the mind lifted to where it should be. If we keep our mind and heart where it should be all day long, how greatly glorified our Lord will be!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 11, 2015, 11:08:56 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

"Admirable is the name of God"

-To be said in the spirit of reparation for blasphemy.

As told by Jesus to Sister Marie of St. Peter, OCD


Moses said to God: Lo, I shall go to the children of Israel and say to them: the God of your fathers hath sent me to you. If they should say to me; what is his name? What shall I say to them?
God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said; Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel;
HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you.

Exodus 3: 13-14
   


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 12, 2015, 02:19:15 AM
Admirable is the name of God!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 12, 2015, 07:31:19 AM
I have a special attraction to this reparative ejaculation and had used it many times yesterday.  I'll keep using it, as it is very easy to pray and I'm sure it is very pleasing to our Lord to hear it.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 12, 2015, 11:21:56 AM
Here's an aspiration for  the day;

Very popular and very true.....

"Jesus, I trust in you!"

St. Faustina, pray for us.
Amen.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 12, 2015, 11:37:49 AM
Here are some aspirations particularly fitting for today's Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:  Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love!  All for Thee, Sacred Heart of Jesus!  Sacred Heart of Jesus, I put my trust in Thee!  Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 15, 2015, 01:41:53 AM
Thank you Therese!

Here's a nice Hymn to Mary-

Mary crowned with living light
Temple of The Lord,
Place of peace and holiness,
Shelter of The Word.

Mystery of sinless life,
In our fallen race,
Free from shadow, you reflect
Plenitude of grace.

Virgin-Mother of our God,
Lift us when we fall
Who were named upon the cross
Mother of us all.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Heaven sings your praise,
Mary magnifies your name
Through eternal days.

-this was in the Little  Hours of The Blessed Virgin Mary for  Monday morning




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 15, 2015, 08:26:39 AM
Thanks for sharing that lovely hymn with me, Whiterockdove!  I am reading a very wonderful book about our Lady, the chapters are short meditations that are loaded with the most precious gems about our Lady's love for us and how much we should love her.  I think that everybody every day should read about Mary in books and sing hymns to her (and about her, to our Lord).  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 15, 2015, 01:56:35 PM
I know somebody who just joined a hermitage.  Hopefully, he'll let me know what life as a hermit is like.  I am interested in learning about it.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 15, 2015, 03:22:30 PM
I am looking forwards to hearing about it too!

Love your choice of holy card Therese! :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 15, 2015, 04:29:50 PM
I am looking forwards to hearing about it too!

Love your choice of holy card Therese! :D

I'll certainly let you know if I hear anything from my friend; hopefully he'll respond to my question about what his life is like as a hermit.  Right now I only know that he is a cook at the hermitage and that he has for the longest time wanted to be a contemplative.  Thanks for the compliment about the holy card!  I have the same picture of our Lady of Quito on my prayer shrine; I put it there because she is so beautiful in this image and I wish to have a special devotion to O.L. of Sorrows.  I renew my Marian Consecration every year on Sept. 15th, the feastday of her Dolors.  I am very grateful that you have provided us with this beautiful holy card of our Lady of Quito for our personal selection, Shin!  God bless you!  Oh, and I love your selection of holy card too!  What a beautiful picture of our Lord and St. Joseph!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 18, 2015, 01:01:49 AM
I have heard that living in community usually precedes a request bring granted to one desiring a solitary life; the theory being that lessons and sacrifices that come from living in obedience to an order and its Superior are helpful in a solitary life and a guard against selfishness.

But then again our diocese has a hermitess who never lived in a religious community
But was a Benedictine oblate and followed their rule of life for a number of years. Her husband died and sometime thereafter
She went through the process of preparing to withdraw from the workd and then took her vows with our bishop.
 
  Interesting how there are different paths.   


If one wants to join a religious community there are all kinds of practical considerations like finances, age and health. I have said it before; I am so grateful for the existsnce of third orders, oblates and the like. There are lots of us who can't join a religious community because of poor health or debt. There are also many contemplatives not connected to any order who contribute greatly to the salvation of many by their prayers and penance.  I'm thinking specifically of the widows and those living a solitary life through circumstance necessarily by choice.
These are the folks who quietly live out their faith glorifying The Lord by their charitable works and they are seriously dedicated in their devotions to our Blessed Mother.
  I am floating somewhere along this spectrum wondering what Gods will is for me and living in the current reality of solitude that comes from being a caregiver who rarely leaves home. 
 I know discernment is best done in council with others so I am very grateful for all the posts here. I am also in conversations with my priest and a sister from a nearby congregation. Pray for me and I will also pray for you all! :)
 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 18, 2015, 07:32:23 AM
You are in my prayers, Whiterockdove.  You can strive to be a contemplative who lives in very deep union with God, even if you never choose to become a consecrated hermit.  Have you read the book The Practice of the Presence of God by Bro. Lawrence?  It is a very short book, but a very, VERY good one.  I can send you a link to the audiobook via email, if you wish; it runs a little over an hour.  I very highly recommend that you read or listen to this book if you are seeking the contemplative life or life as a hermit.  I welcome your comments on it.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 18, 2015, 10:43:32 AM
Thank you Therese, you can certainly email me that link!
May God Bless Your Day!

Here's an aspiration for today;
"Holy, mighty, immortal God, have mercy on us!"
Amen


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 18, 2015, 05:14:30 PM
Thank you Therese, you can certainly email me that link!
May God Bless Your Day!

Here's an aspiration for today;
"Holy, mighty, immortal God, have mercy on us!"
Amen


You are very welcome, Whiterockdove!  I'll go ahead and send you the link.  It appears that my favorite aspirations are the sacred Names of Jesus and Mary, which I unite to all the Masses ever said and to all the merits of our Lord and our Lady, for my intentions.  There is a good little booklet written by Fr. O'Sullivan about the sacred Name of Jesus and all its power.  The name of Mary is most powerful as well.  The devils flee immediately at the sound of these holy Names.  I like saying Jesus, Mary and Joseph for my intentions as well.  All three of these aspirations are indulgenced by the Church.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 18, 2015, 11:34:14 PM
Thank you Therese! I received the link and will listen to it when I won't be interrupted which usually means very late at night ;D

Today I had dinner with a fellow parishioner and the priest from whom I took instruction before my baptism and confirmation
Easter vigil of 2012.  It was a great afternoon and brought back lots of good memories of that very special time!  We are a mission diocese so our priests only stay for a few years. I was so fortunate and I am so grateful for the time he and my Godmother/sponsor  took to meet with me
Through that year.  He was a very strict instructor and was raised in an Eastern Rite Church.
Please pray for him as he returns to his home country for vacation.  :crucifix: :crucifix: :crucifix:

St. Christopher, please pray that traveling priests are kept safe and able to
Minister and proclaim the gospel wherever they go.  They may be the only
Gospel that some people have ever encountered.
Amen.
   



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 19, 2015, 08:52:56 AM
He has my prayers, Whiterockdove.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 19, 2015, 10:52:40 AM
 Thank you for your prayers, Therese :)
You'll like this aspiration I picked for today;

"Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!"

Have a great day, everyone. :happywave:



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 19, 2015, 10:55:47 AM
Thank you for your prayers, Therese :)
You'll like this aspiration I picked for today;

"Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!"

Have a great day, everyone. :happywave:



I love this aspiration and pray it.  Have a great day too, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 19, 2015, 02:31:12 PM
I have really benefited a lot from reading some of Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P.'s works.  :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 19, 2015, 03:49:17 PM
I have really benefited a lot from reading some of Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P.'s works.  :D

I too, Shin!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 19, 2015, 03:50:40 PM
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help us! Jesus, Mary and Joseph, save souls!  :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 20, 2015, 01:22:00 AM
I just looked up some of his writings.
Very nice!


That we may learn to bear suffering patiently:

Remember, o most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,  I fly unto thee,
o virgin of virgins, my mother.
To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the word incarnate, in your mercy,
despise not my petitions but hear and answer my prayers
Amen.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 22, 2015, 05:45:18 PM
I am looking forwards to hearing about it too!


My friend might choose to keep his life very private, so who knows if he'll ever answer my question, Shin.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 23, 2015, 12:49:08 AM
Here's a aspiration for your day;

Mary, most sorrowful, mother of Christians,
Pray for us!




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 23, 2015, 07:00:43 AM
Here's a aspiration for your day;

Mary, most sorrowful, mother of Christians,
Pray for us!




Here's another one:

My Mother, my hope!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on June 26, 2015, 05:26:47 AM
Mary, most sorrowful, mother of Christians, pray for us!
My Mother, my hope!

 :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 26, 2015, 09:42:03 AM
Can a part of a prayer also be used as an aspiration?   Like ; Holy Mary, Mother of God"
I don't know much about the tradition of this type of prayer, but I certainly am grateful for whomever started it!

I have a pretty busy brain, lots of " to dos" and things to remember, appointments and my
husbands care always on my mind.

These aspirations are a great thing for staying recollected.  Therese, I think you mentioned this point long ago in one of your posts
And it stuck with me.

Another way to quiet my brain is with litanies and taking the time during my day to pause and recite the hours. I have it on my browser, always in my pocket and with a click, scripture, hymns and psalms are right there; a treasure chest!

It's my own failings that make me hesitate!      

Last evening I was in the new pigeon loft building one of many perches for the birds and the loft's first tenant, a young pigeon just learning to fly, was pecking around my feet, still too heavy ( he is a fat squab ) for his wings  to lift him more than a few feet and squeaking at me to put him back up on his perch because it was dusk and time to get to a safe place. I was with him and he was safe and I was improving his resting place for the night but he was totally wearing himself out insisting that I lift him up now! :D

Hmm... does that remind me of myself and how I insist on getting what I think I need ( and right now!)from God? ::)



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 26, 2015, 04:27:40 PM
Very cute analogy, Whiterockdove!  An aspiration can be any rather short expression of love, praise, reverence, etc. that lifts one's heart and mind up to God; so yes, part of a prayer can be an aspiration.  If making such acts tires one out and makes one feel emptiness as can happen, then the simple keeping company with God within one's soul as though within a prison, while patiently awaiting with expectation our Beloved, will do us great good.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on June 29, 2015, 09:54:22 AM
Here's an aspiration for today:
My sweetest Jesus, be not my judge but my savior!"




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on June 29, 2015, 10:18:11 AM
Here's an aspiration for today:
My sweetest Jesus, be not my judge but my savior!"




A very good aspiration that I will pray!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 09, 2015, 01:28:23 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

My queen! My mother!
Remember that I am Thine own.
 Keep me, guard me as thy property and possession.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 09, 2015, 06:41:22 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

My queen! My mother!
Remember that I am Thine own.
 Keep me, guard me as thy property and possession.

A beautiful aspiration that I must pray!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 09, 2015, 09:47:06 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

My queen! My mother!
Remember that I am Thine own.
 Keep me, guard me as thy property and possession.

Amen amen!  :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 10, 2015, 01:31:59 AM
Here's an aspiration; a prayer, actually, from "The Story of a Soul";


"Jesus,meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine."



Therese  got me started reading "Practicing The Presence of God"  by Brother Lawrence. It is a fabulous collection of conversations and letters by this 27th century Carmelite monk.  I will post some of it here, if that's OK, Shin.

Have a good day of penance and abstinence everyone . :flower:



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 10, 2015, 06:47:13 AM
Here's an aspiration; a prayer, actually, from "The Story of a Soul";


"Jesus,meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine."



Therese  got me started reading "Practicing The Presence of God"  by Brother Lawrence. It is a fabulous collection of conversations and letters by this 27th century Carmelite monk.  I will post some of it here, if that's OK, Shin.

Have a good day of penance and abstinence everyone . :flower:



You too, Whiterockdove!  I do look forward to reading your excerpts from The Practice of the Presence of God!  This is an excellent book!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 12, 2015, 01:41:11 AM
The Practice Of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life;
Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence.

First Conversation

The first time I saw Brother Lawrence was upon the 3rd of August, 1666.  He told me that God had done him a singular favor in his conversion at the age of 18. During that winter, upon seeing a tree stripped of its leaves  and considering that in a little time the leaves would be renewed, and after that, the flowers and fruit appear, Brother Lawrence received a high view of the Providence and Power of God which has never since been effaced from his soul. This view had perfectly set him loose from the world and kindled in him such a love for God, that he could not tell whether it had increased in the forty years that he had lived since.

Brother Lawrence said that he had been a footman to M. Fieubert, the treasurer, and that he was a great awkward fellow that broke everything.  He finally decided to enter a monastery thinking that he would be made there to smart for his awkwardness and the faults he would commit, and so he would sacrifice his life with it's pleasures to God. But Brother Lawrence said that God had surprised him because he met with nothing but satisfaction in that state.


To be continued....


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 12, 2015, 02:45:28 PM
Thanks so much for setting out to post these conversations of Bro. Lawrence, Whiterockdove.  I will enjoy reading them tremendously!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 12, 2015, 03:25:55 PM
Your welcome, Therese!  I may go at a snail's pace but I will keep posting as much as I can. I have it on my kindle ( the best .99 cents I EVER spent) and that makes it easier to transcribe. But still typing and editing  it  ::)on my little browser with one finger. I may as well be dipping a feather quill into an ink well...  It's ok though, no problem to spend extra time with this nice book.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 12, 2015, 03:46:43 PM
Your welcome, Therese!  I may go at a snail's pace but I will keep posting as much as I can. I have it on my kindle ( the best .99 cents I EVER spent) and that makes it easier to transcribe. But still typing and editing  it  ::)on my little browser with one finger. I may as well be dipping a feather quill into an ink well...  It's ok though, no problem to spend extra time with this nice book.

I commend you for all your effort!  No worries, I prefer a snail's pace to any other pace.  Let's let every word of this book soak in, so we can gather from it as much fruit as possible.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 13, 2015, 01:07:47 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life; Being The Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

The First Conversation ( cont.)

Brother Lawrence related that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God's Presence by continually conversing with him. It was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles  and fooleries. We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.

He said we ought to quicken and enliven our faith. It was lamentable we had so little. Instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct, men amused themselves with trivial devotions which changed daily. He said that faith was sufficient to bring us to a high
degree of perfection. We ought to give ourselves up to God with regard to things temporal and spiritual and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of his will.  Whether God led us by suffering or by consolation all would be equal to a soul
truly resigned.

He said that we need fidelity in those disruptions in the ebb and flow of prayer when God tries our love to Him.  This was the time for a complete act of resignation, whereof one act alone could greatly promote our spiritual advancement.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 13, 2015, 01:40:55 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life;
Being the Letters and Conversations of Brother Lawrence

Conclusion of
The First Conversation

He said that as far as the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from
wondering at them, that, on the contrary, he was surprised there were not more considering the malice sinners were capable of.
For his part, he prayed for them. But knowing that God could remedy the mischief they did when He pleased, he gave himself
no further trouble.

Brother Lawrence said to arrive at such resignation as God requires, we should carefully watch over all the passions that mingle in spiritual as well as temporal things. God would give light concerning those passions to those who truly desire to serve Him.

At the end of this conversation, Brother Lawrence said if the purpose for the visit was to sincerely discuss how to Serve God,  I might come to him as often as I pleased and without any fear of being troublesome. If this was not the case, then I ought to visit him no more.

End of First Conversation

 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 13, 2015, 09:18:41 AM
Practicing the presence of God is essential, but I must add that we should converse frequently with our Lady, as she, like no other person can, will bring us to a closer union with her Son Jesus.  We should be practicing the presence of our Lady, who really and truly is present to us in a real and special way.  After God, She should be our end and center--and only she; our Marian consecration to her calls us to be so close to her as to breathe her and to become transformed into her, as her property.  Her "divine" and immaculate heart should become our heart, with which to love Jesus;  and we should ask our Lord Jesus to borrow His heart, with which to love Blessed Mary.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 13, 2015, 11:49:17 AM
Amen to that, my friend!  Yes, when reading this, It is important to remember the context and time in which it was written, and not to " throw the baby out with the bathwater".   Devotions and conversations to and with both Our Lady and all the angels  and Saints are a Christian treasure, they and the sacraments are just a few of the many rungs in our ladder to heaven!
Just from my own experience, they are also necessary, effective tools in our arsenal against evil and the temptations of the flesh that we all struggle with.  Mine can be as simple as not wanting to get out of my comfy bed to pray in the morning. ( I solved that! I got a less comfy bed  ;D. It isn't unhealthy for my back or anything like that, but staying in it upon  awakening is not not a temptation)
The farther I got in this book, the more I saw that he was attending to all pertaining to his rule of life as a Carmelite. This is just his version
Of for example, St. Thesese, of Lisieux's little way.  Thanks for the comment!

I wish someone had say him down and asked him more about his relationship with Our Blessed Mother.


Here's an aspiration for today;   Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst  bear The Lord,  The Creator of The World!"

It's part of " The Little Crown of The Blessed Virgin Mary"  that  I try to say each day.





Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 13, 2015, 11:58:23 AM
Amen to that, my friend!  Yes, when reading this, It is important to remember the context and time in which it was written, and not to " throw the baby out with the bathwater".   Devotions and conversations to and with both Our Lady and all the angels  and Saints are a Christian treasure, they and the sacraments are just a few of the many rungs in our ladder to heaven!
Just from my own experience, they are also necessary, effective tools in our arsenal against evil and the temptations of the flesh that we all struggle with.  Mine can be as simple as not wanting to get out of my comfy bed to pray in the morning. ( I solved that! I got a less comfy bed  ;D. It isn't unhealthy for my back or anything like that, but staying in it upon  awakening is not not a temptation)
The farther I got in this book, the more I saw that he was attending to all pertaining to his rule of life as a Carmelite. This is just his version
Of for example, St. Thesese, of Lisieux's little way.  Thanks for the comment!

I wish someone had say him down and asked him more about his relationship with Our Blessed Mother.


Here's an aspiration for today;   Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst  bear The Lord,  The Creator of The World!"

It's part of " The Little Crown of The Blessed Virgin Mary"  that  I try to say each day.





Does Bro. Lawrence make any mention of our Lady in his book I wonder?  I pray the Crown of the BVM on Saturdays and so I am familiar with this beautiful aspiration for the day.  Thanks for your posts and beautiful ejaculations, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 13, 2015, 12:08:56 PM
I am enjoying reading Bro. Lawrence!!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 13, 2015, 10:12:19 PM
The  practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule For Spiritual Life;
Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

Second Conversation

Brother Lawrence told me he had always been governed by love without selfish views. Since he resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method. He was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.

He said he had been long troubled in mind that he should be damned. All the men in the world could not have persuaded him to the contrary. This trouble of mind had lasted four years during which time he had suffered much.

Finally he reasoned: I did not engage in a religious life but for the love of God.  I have endeavored to act only for him. Whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of God. I shall have this good at least that til death I shall have done all that is in me to love Him.
  From that time on Brother Lawrence lived his life in perfect liberty and continual joy. He placed his sins between himself and God to tell Him that he did not deserve his favors yet God still continued to bestow them in abundance.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 13, 2015, 10:27:17 PM

Second Conversation
(Cont.)

Brother Lawrence  said that in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually and referring all we do to Him, we must first apply to Him with some diligence. Then, after a little care, we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.

He expected after the pleasant days God had given him, he would have his turn of pain and suffering. Yet, he was not uneasy about it. Knowing that, since he could do nothing of himself, God would not fail to give him the strength to bear them.

When an occasion of practicing some virtue was offered, he  addressed himself to God, saying, "Lord, I cannot do this unless Thou enablest me." And then he received strength more than sufficient. When he had failed  in his duty, he only confessed his fault saying to God,  " I shall never do otherwise if You leave me to myself. It is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss." Then, after this, he gave himself no further uneasiness about it.

To be continued...


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 13, 2015, 10:39:46 PM
Quote
He said that as far as the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from
wondering at them, that, on the contrary, he was surprised there were not more considering the malice sinners were capable of.

'I once heard a spiritual man say that he was not so much astonished at the things done by a soul in mortal sin as at the things not done by it. May God, in his mercy, deliver us from such great evil, for there is nothing in the whole of our lives that so thoroughly deserves to be called evil as this, since it brings endless and eternal evils in its train.'

St. Teresa of Jesus

 :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 14, 2015, 09:36:21 AM
Quote
He said that as far as the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from
wondering at them, that, on the contrary, he was surprised there were not more considering the malice sinners were capable of.

''I once heard a spiritual man say that he was not so much astonished at the things done by a soul in mortal sin as at the things not done by it. May God, in his mercy, deliver us from such great evil, for there is nothing in the whole of our lives that so thoroughly deserves to be called evil as this, since it brings endless and eternal evils in its train.

St. Teresa of Jesus

 :D

I don't get what is being said here ... there is nothing in the whole of our lives that so thoroughly deserves to be called evil as what?  Is there some typo or something?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 14, 2015, 09:40:53 AM
'As this' which is referring to 'mortal sin'. Not anything specific just 'mortal sin'.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 14, 2015, 09:45:07 AM
'As this' which is referring to 'mortal sin'. Not anything specific just 'mortal sin'.

Ah, yes, so true!  Sin (mortal and venial) is the only real evil that exists.  The other "evils" can sanctify and prevent sins, so they are blessings and not really evils.  Thanks, Shin!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 14, 2015, 03:46:36 PM
Thanks for the Saintly anchor Shin! 
Yes, saints quotes will be helpful in this thread.

I am enjoying writing this out and mulling it over but in the end, what do I know :shrug:

It is one Brother's spiritual practice within a Carmelite community.  And there are many communities all with their own
Charism and spiritual practice.

We're all trying to become holy...



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 16, 2015, 02:35:33 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule Of Holy Life; Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

Second Conversation.
( cont.)

He said he had lately been sent into Burgandy to buy the provision of wine for the community. This was a very unwelcome task because for him because he had no turn for business and because he was lame and could  not go about the boat but by rolling himself over the casks. Yet  he gave himself no uneasiness about it, nor about the purchase of the wine. He said to God, it was His business he was about and that afterwards found it very well performed. He mentioned that it had turned out the same way the year before when he was sent to Auvergne.

So, likewise, in his business in the kitchen ( to which he had naturally a great aversion), having accustomed himself to do everything there for the love of God and asking His grace to do his work well, he had found everything easy during the fifteen years he had been employed there. He was very well pleased with the post he was now in . Yet he was as ready to quit that as the former, since he tried to please God by doing little things for the love of Him in any work he did. With him the set times of prayer were not different from other times. He retired to pray according to the directions of his superior, but be did not need such retirement nor ask for it because his greatest business did not divert him from God.

Since he knew his obligation to love God in all things, and as he endeavored to do so, he had no need of a director to advise him but he greatly needed a confessor to absolve him. He said he was very sensible about his faults but not discouraged by them. He confessed them to God and made no excuses. Then he peaceably resumed his usual practice of love and adoration.

In his trouble of mind, Brother Lawrence had consulted no one. Knowing only by the light of faith that God was present, he contented himself with directing all his actions to Him. He did everything with a desire to please Him and let what would come of it.

He said that useless thoughts spoil all - that the mischief began there. We ought to reject them as soon as we perceived their impertenance and return to our communion with God. In the beginning he had often passed his time appointed for prayer in rejecting wandering thoughts and falling right back into them. He could never regulate  his devotion by certain methods as some do. Nevertheless, at first he had meditated for some time, but afterwards that went off in a manner that he could give no account of.  Brother Lawrence emphasized that all bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless unless they serve to arrive at the union with God by love.
He had well considered this. He found that the shortest way to go straight to God was by a continual exercise of love and doing all things for His sake.

To be continued...

Here is an aspiration for today:
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, help us learn to pray!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 16, 2015, 02:59:39 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, help us learn to pray!





Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 16, 2015, 11:50:19 AM
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, help us learn to pray!  Help us to be saints!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 25, 2015, 01:26:28 AM
The Practice of the Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life; Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

Second Conversation:
( cont.)

He noted that there was a great difference between the acts of the intellect and those of the will. Acts of the intellect were comparatively of little value. Acts of the will were all important. Our only business was to love and delight ourselves in God. All possible kinds of mortification,
If they were void of the love of God, could not efface a single sin. Instead, we ought, without anxiety, to expect the pardon of our sins from the blood of Jesus Christ only endeavoring to love Him with all our hearts.  And he noted that God seemed to have granted the greatest favors to
the greatest sinners as more signal monuments of His mercy.

Brother Lawrence said the greatest pains or pleasures of this world were not to be compared with what he had experienced of both kinds in a spiritual state. As a result he feared nothing, desiring only one thing of God - that he might not offend Him. He said he carried no guilt.
    "When I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to do so. I shall never do otherwise if I am left to myself. If I fail not, I give God thanks acknowledging that it comes from Him."

End of Second Conversation.

Third Conversation:

Brother Lawrence told me that the foundation of the spiritual life in him had been a high notion and esteem of God in faith. When he had once well established his faith he had no other care but to reject every other thought so he might perform all his actions for the love of God. He said when sometimes he had not thought of God for a good while he did not disquiet himself for it. Having acknowledged his wretchedness to God he simply returned to Him with so much the greater trust in Him.

To be continued...

Here's an aspiration for today;

Ave Maria!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 25, 2015, 11:24:52 AM

Brother Lawrence said the greatest pains or pleasures of this world were not to be compared with what he had experienced of both kinds in a spiritual state. As a result he feared nothing, desiring only one thing of God - that he might not offend Him. He said carried no guilt. "When I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to do so. I shall never do otherwise if I am left to myself. If I fail not, I give God thanks acknowledging that it comes from Him."

End of Second Conversation.

Here's an aspiration for today;

Ave Maria!

Ave Maria!  What should the bold-faced text mean?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 25, 2015, 12:48:01 PM
I don't really know, he talks about many feelings and its hard to understand what's behind them without
Knowing more about the whole culture in which this man lived. Not to mention his own life experiences.

A beautifully composed story about searching for God.



That's why I'm reading about monastic life  from that period, it helps put this into some context, I'm learning some interesting things but
I'm still pretty poor at writing what I might think  is an explanation.  :-\

Poche has a lot of knowledge, look at his postings about Theresa of Avila's " Way of Perfection"
You will get an idea of the difficulties one encountered while trying to become holy within a religious community.

Maybe he didn't have the time or energy to carry guilt  over his sins because he was always carrying all those wine casks! :D
He was poor and lame, he went from a unsuccessful stint in the military into the monastery as a self-imposed type of penance.
 He might have been treated differently and maybe not as well as one with money, connections and better health.




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 25, 2015, 02:13:56 PM
But the bold-faced sentence doesn't make sense to me, as though there were a word missing in it or something.  Is there a word missing in it, Whiterockdove?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 26, 2015, 12:01:32 AM
Oh!  I see it now  ;D.  Oops! Just a typo on my part.
And you got a long answer about nothing.... ::)
 The sentence should read: " He said he carried no guilt."
Thanks Therese, I will fix that.  Please continue to check my work,
I go thru it but often miss things. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 26, 2015, 01:06:47 AM
"The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life; being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence"

Third Conversation:

(Cont.)

He said the trust we put in God honors Him much and draws down great graces. Also, that it was impossible not only that God should deceive but that He should long let a soul suffer which is perfectly resigned to Him and resolved to endure everything  for His sake.

Brother Lawrence often experienced the succors of Divine Grace.  And because of his experience of grace, when he had business to do, he did not think of it beforehand. When it was time to do it, he found in God, as in a clear mirror, all that was fit for him to do.  When outward business diverted him a little from the thought of God a fresh remembrance coming from God invested his soul and so inflamed and transported him that it was difficult for him to contain himself. He said he was more united to God in his outward employments than when he left them for devotion in retirement.

Brother Lawrence said that the worst thing that could happen to him was to lose that sense of God which he had enjoyed so long. Yet the goodness of God assured him He would not forsake him utterly and that He would give him strength to bear whatever evil He permitted to happen to him. Brother Lawrence, therefore, said he feared nothing.  He had no occasion to consult with anybody about his state. In the past, when he had attempted to do it, he had always come away more perplexed. Since Brother Lawrence was ready to lay down his life for the love of God, he had no apprehension of danger.

To be continued... 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 26, 2015, 01:27:23 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

I am all thine and all that I have is thine!
O Blessed Virgin above all things!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 26, 2015, 02:30:34 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

I am all thine and all that I have is thine!
O Blessed Virgin above all things!

Beautiful!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 26, 2015, 02:35:13 PM
Oh!  I see it now  ;D.  Oops! Just a typo on my part.
And you got a long answer about nothing.... ::)
 The sentence should read: " He said he carried no guilt."
Thanks Therese, I will fix that.  Please continue to check my work,
I go thru it but often miss things. 


Thanks, Whiterockdove!  I give you credit for all your work and effort on this thread ... one finger typing is quite a task!  Because this book is excellent I am so glad that you are posting it!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 27, 2015, 02:06:15 AM
Reading this gives me more hope of living a peaceful life without anxiety.  :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 27, 2015, 11:35:29 AM
My Hermit friend lives pretty much by himself at the hermitage, but since he does the cooking he is also in the "main house" and so gets to interact with other Hermits when duty or charity requires.  He says it is quiet there at the hermitage, except for the songs of praise from the many birds.  I can not keep you posted on his life at the hermitage (if I were ever to learn more) because I don't think my friend would appreciate me talking about his life to the whole world via internet.  God bless you!  


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 28, 2015, 02:29:57 AM
The Practice of the Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life;
Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence.

Conclusion of Third Conversation:

He said that perfect resignation to God was a sure way to heaven, a way in which we have always sufficient light for our conduct. In the beginning of the spiritual life we ought to be faithful in doing our duty and denying ourselves and then, after a time, unspeakable pleasures followed. In difficulties we need only have recourse to Jesus Christ and beg his grace with which everything became easy.

Brother Lawrence said that many do not advance in the Christian progress because they stick in penances and particular exercises while they neglect the love of God which is the end. This appeared plainly in their works and was the reason why we see so little solid virtue. He said there needed neither art nor science for going to God, but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him and to love Him only.

End of Third Conversation

To be continued....


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 29, 2015, 09:59:40 PM
Perfect resignation.. one must pray for it!  :crucifix:


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 30, 2015, 01:07:44 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life; Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother  Lawrence

Fourth Conversation:

Brother Lawrence spoke 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. We might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him with freedom and in simplicity. We need only to recognize God intimately present with us and address ourselves to Him every moment. We need to 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 completed them.

To be continued...


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on July 30, 2015, 01:15:49 AM
Here's an aspiration for today, it is part of Luke1:45

Blessed are you who believed!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on July 30, 2015, 01:16:50 AM
Yes.. time to remember the blessings of God to be grateful and appreciate! :D

Thank you whiterockdove!!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on July 30, 2015, 12:45:44 PM
Here's an aspiration for today, it is part of Luke1:45

Blessed are you who believed!

O Mary most faithful, blessed are you who believed!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 01, 2015, 03:28:27 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life; Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence.

Fourth Conversation:
Cont.

In our conversation with God, we should also engage in praising, adoring, and loving Him incessantly for His infinite goodness and perfection. 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. Brother Lawrence said that God never failed offering us his grace at each action.  It never failed  except when Brother Lawrence's thoughts had wandered from a sense of God's presence or he forgot to ask His assistance.  He said that God always gave us light in our doubts when we had no other design but to please him.

To be continued.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 02, 2015, 02:25:54 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life;
Being the Letters and Conversations of Brother Lawrence

Fourth Conversation:
Cont.

Our sanctification did not depend on changing our works. Instead, it depended on doing that for God's sake which we commonly do for our own. He thought 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. The most excellent method he had found for going to God was that of
Doing our common business without any view of pleasing men but purely for the love of God.

Brother Lawrence thought it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times. We are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action, as by prayer in its season. His own prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of God, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine Love. 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. Thus he passed his life in continual joy. Yet, he hoped that God would give him somewhat to suffer when he grew stronger.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 02, 2015, 03:09:01 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life;
Being the Letters and Conversations of Brother Lawrence

Fourth Conversation:
Cont.

Our sanctification did not depend on changing our works. Instead, it depended on doing that for God's sake which we commonly do for our own. He thought 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. The most excellent method he had found for going to God was that of
Doing our common business without any view of pleasing men but purely for the love of God.

Brother Lawrence thought it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times. We are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action, as by prayer in its season. His own prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of God, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine Love. 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. Thus he passed his life in continual joy. Yet, he hoped that God would give him somewhat to suffer when he grew stronger.

This passage from Mystical City of God relates well to The Practice of the Presence of God.

'She [Blessed Mary] taught them [the Apostles] how to pray mentally, insisting on the excellence and necessity of that kind of prayer; how the principal duty and the most noble occupation of the rational creature was to raise itself, by understanding and the will, above all that is created to the knowledge and love of God; and that no other object or occupation should ever be preferred or should ever interrupt this duty, so as not to deprive the soul of this supreme benefit, the beginning of eternal life and happiness.'

Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol. IV, 49


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 05, 2015, 12:33:54 AM
Yes, it does!  Brother Lawrence, like St. Therese of Lisieux were both relegated to the most menial work but because they were trying so hard to always be in the presence of God.
 using their gifts of reasoning and perserverence they  brought beauty and nobility to that work.

  So there was no drudgery, they were no different than those who were writing icons or copying scripture.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 05, 2015, 02:18:45 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Please bless the work of my hands.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 05, 2015, 06:10:00 AM
Yes, it does!  Brother Lawrence, like St. Therese of Lisieux were both relegated to the most menial work but because they were trying so hard to always be in the presence of God.
 using their gifts of reasoning and perserverence they  brought beauty and nobility to that work.

  So there was no drudgery, they were no different than those who were writing icons or copying scripture.

Ah, where there is love there is no drudgery!  May charity burn ardently within our hearts and make all things light for us!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 05, 2015, 06:10:25 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Please bless the work of my hands.

Another good one!  Thanks!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 06, 2015, 02:09:42 AM
Here's an aspiration for the day;

Holy, Holy,Holy!
Lord God almighty!
Who was, who is, and
Who is to come!

The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule of Holy Life;
Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence   

Fourth Conversation:
Cont.

Brother Lawrence said we ought, once and for all, heartily put our whole trust in God, and make a total surrender of ourselves to Him, secure that He would not deceive us. We ought not 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. We should not wonder if, in the beginning,  we often failed in our endeavors, but that at least we should gain a habit which will naturally produce its acts in us without our care and to our exceeding great delight.

The whole substance of religion was faith, hope and charity. In the practice of these, we become united to the will of God. Everything else is indifferent and to be used as a means that we may arrive at our end and then be swallowed up by faith and charity. All things are possible to him who believes. 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 virtues. The end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshippers of God we can possibly be, and as we hope to be through all eternity.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 06, 2015, 09:39:23 AM
A most beautiful aspiration, Whitetockdove!  Thanks for sharing it!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 06, 2015, 07:18:33 PM
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Please bless the work of my hands.

I think this may become a mainstay of mine!  :D Thank you whiterockdove!

Holy, Holy,Holy!
Lord God almighty!
Who was, who is, and
Who is to come!

Quote
The whole substance of religion was faith, hope and charity. In the practice of these, we become united to the will of God.

And faith, hope, and charity, are supernatural virtues, which we cannot have if we are not given them by God. Only we of the Catholic Church may have these. So we must ask for them and constantly seek to have Him increase them in our life. The amount of grace we have in our lives is not all the same, the amount of sanctifying grace in our souls is not, nor the amount of virtue, natural or supernatural, we must ask for these things.. we must seek and petition and beg and do what is necessary so that receiving them they are part of our lives and not left to wilt or, asked for by us, but refused by us after being received by our habits..

The more we live in faith hope and charity. . . .



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 07, 2015, 01:17:20 AM
Very well put!   


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 17, 2015, 04:02:30 PM
Finally back home to silence, nature and solitude after a hiatus of cancer care in "the big city".
There are challenges and joys both here and there. It's all about climbing the same mountain  :thumbsup:

The Practice of the Presence of God;The Best Rule for Spiritual Life:Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

Forth Conversation;
cont.

We must, from time to time, honestly consider and thoroughly examine ourselves. We will, then, realize that we are worthy of great contempt.
Brother Lawrence noted that when we directly confront ourselves in this manner, we will realize why we are subject to changes and fluctuations in our health,  mental outlook and dispositions. And we will, indeed, recognize that we deserve all the pain and labors God sends to humble us.

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

Being questioned by one of his own community  (to whom he was obliged to open himself) by what means he had attained such a habitual sense of God, Brother Lawrence 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.

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

to be continued.....

here is an aspiration for the rest of the day;

Hear, O heavens and listen, O earth,
   for The Lord Speaks!




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 17, 2015, 05:08:07 PM
I love these posts, Whiterockdove.  And I love today's aspiration.  I'm so glad that you now have a keyboard to type with!  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 18, 2015, 04:20:22 AM
I too!

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

Let us impress ourselves with the reality of God! 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 18, 2015, 11:56:56 PM
So glad you are enjoying them,  Therese gets all the credit!   
she was the one who told me about this wonderful little book and had the idea about aspirations.
 I'm just the worker bee ;D

The Practice of The Presence of God; The Best Rule for Holy Life; Being the Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence

Conclusion of Fourth Conversation:


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 then the cook for the community). There, having first considered severally the things his office required, and when and how each was to be done, he spent all the intervals of his time, both before and after his work, in prayer.

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 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 actions.

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 set his mind right again. He then 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 Brother Lawrence had found such an advantage in walking in the presence of God, it was natural for him to recommend it earnestly to others. More strikingly, his example was a stronger inducement than any arguments he could propose.His very countenance was edifying with such a sweet and calm devotion appearing that he could not but affect the beholders.

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 it's season with an even uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit. "The time of business." said he, "does not differ from the time of prayer. 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 tranquility as if i were upon my knees at the Blessed Supper."

End of Fourth Conversation.

*I seem to recall that last phrase referring to being "Before The Blessed  Sacrament" in another translation or maybe in the audio book.
I am trying to not get too bogged down in comparing different editions and presentations of this book. *

here's an aspiration to carry us through the night;

"And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 19, 2015, 08:09:15 AM
I'm afraid that some translations of this book are Protestant--and we know what the Protestants have done to the Holy Bible, changing and adding words to suit their own teaching and omitting entire books!  Thanks for pointing out the true translation, Whiterockdove!  Some Catholic companies sell The Practice of the Presence of God, the true, Catholic version of the book. 

Another beautiful aspiration!  Thanks so much, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 20, 2015, 12:09:32 PM
Thanks Therese!  Do you have another source that I may be able to put on my Kindle?
Then I could just go on as I have been, copying it from there.

Here is an aspiration for today; a little different, but inspired from our very bright starry sky at night. 

(He) numbers all the stars,
   Calls each one of them by name!

Psalm 147


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 20, 2015, 08:24:15 PM
Thanks Therese!  Do you have another source that I may be able to put on my Kindle?
Then I could just go on as I have been, copying it from there.

Here is an aspiration for today; a little different, but inspired from our very bright starry sky at night. 

(He) numbers all the stars,
   Calls each one of them by name!

Psalm 147

I know that EWTN sells the good version of the book, Whiterockdove, but I don't know about a good kindle version.  How I wish we could find you a good kindle version!  Beautiful aspiration!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 20, 2015, 09:07:52 PM
Let's see, let me look. . .

I see there's a free Amazon kindle edition right now that uses the term 'Blessed Sacrament', if you look up 'practice of the presence' and sort by price there it is. . .

There are also other free etexts of it online that are not kindle versions.. I see there are so many editions published it's hard to tell what's what but there the term is there.  :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 20, 2015, 09:08:54 PM
(He) numbers all the stars,
   Calls each one of them by name!

All ye holy saints pray for us!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 20, 2015, 09:24:43 PM
Quote
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 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 actions.

A prayer to remember!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 20, 2015, 10:46:18 PM
So glad you are enjoying them,  Therese gets all the credit!   
she was the one who told me about this wonderful little book and had the idea about aspirations.
 I'm just the worker bee ;D


I'm so grateful for this work! :D

I should find a bee smilie for this board!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 21, 2015, 09:55:14 AM
Let's see, let me look. . .

I see there's a free Amazon kindle edition right now that uses the term 'Blessed Sacrament', if you look up 'practice of the presence' and sort by price there it is. . .

There are also other free etexts of it online that are not kindle versions.. I see there are so many editions published it's hard to tell what's what but there the term is there.  :D

If this kindle edition has the term "Blessed Sacrament" in it, then it must be a Catholic version.  It would be most prudent to follow a Catholic edition and not any Protestant editions.  Thanks so much, Whiterockdove, for offering to buy the Catholic kindle edition of this work! We Catholics really shouldn't have anything to do with Protestant books and translations.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 22, 2015, 01:04:30 AM
I agree, Therese, we need to alwsys protect The Blessed Sacrament, including in the written word.

Thanks Shin, its time to go shopping on my kindle! 



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 22, 2015, 03:17:47 PM
I agree, Therese, we need to alwsys protect The Blessed Sacrament, including in the written word.

Thanks Shin, its time to go shopping on my kindle! 



What I had meant, dear Whiterockdove, is that we most certainly must protect our precious souls and keep our faith intact.  Of course, we must also never profane the Blessed Sacrament.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 23, 2015, 01:29:06 AM
Oh bless you,  Therese, you are so patient with me.... :)

Thanks for finding the other edition, Shin, I got it and am copying from it now.

Now, we are onto The Letters of Brother Lawrence from
The Practice of The Presence of God

FIRST LETTER

     Since you desire so earnestly that I should communicate to you the method by which I arrived at that habitual sense ofGOD'S Presence, which our LORD, of His mercy, has been pleased to vouch-safe to me, I must tell you that it is with great difficulty that I am prevailed on by your importunities; and now I do it only upon the terms that you show my letter to nobody. If I knew that you should let it be seen, all the desire that I have for your advancement would not be able to determine me to it. The account I can give you is:
Having found in many books different methods of going to GOD, and diverse practices of the spiritual life, I thought this would serve rather to puzzle me than facilitate what I sought after, which was nothing but how to become wholly GOD'S. This made me resolve to give the all for the all;so after having given myself to GOD, that he might take away my sin, I renounced, for the love of HIM, everything that was not He; and I began to live as if there were none but He and I in the world. Sometimes I  considered myself before him as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge; at other times I beheld Him in my heart at my FATHER, as my GOD: I worshipped him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in HIS holy Presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wandered from Him. I found no small pain in this exercise, and yet I continued it notwithstanding all the difficulties that occurred, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily.

to be continued...


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 23, 2015, 03:18:17 AM
Thanks so much, Whiterockdove, for obtaining the Catholic edition of this most excellent work!  I will say some special prayers for you in thanksgiving to God for the good service you are doing for us all.  And I'll say some special prayers for Shin in thanksgiving to God for the good service he is doing for us all by keeping his website operating.  God bless you both!  And again, thanks so much, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 23, 2015, 03:30:22 AM
Thanks so much, Whiterockdove, for obtaining the Catholic edition of this most excellent work!  I will say some special prayers for you in thanksgiving to God for the good service you are doing for us all.  And I'll say some special prayers for Shin in thanksgiving to God for the good service he is doing for us all by keeping his website operating.  God bless you both!  And again, thanks so much, Whiterockdove!

Ho ho, yes thank you whiterockdove!!

Ho ho, just being a custodian for the place is a gift, it's His and the Saints, and it's all ours, for their sake. I try to keep it sacred, let's all try to keep it so forever. In these times where there is so little love of purity and the sacred, let's try to keep this place pure and white as snow. The aesthetics of the place show this too. And folks who help out and volunteer their time to provide more of the writings of the saints. . . how thankful everyone must be to see the priceless works. How thankful!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 23, 2015, 03:31:00 AM
Quote
I renounced, for the love of HIM, everything that was not He; and I began to live as if there were none but He and I in the world


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 24, 2015, 07:44:31 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Conclusion of First Letter;

I made this my business as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of GOD.

Such has been my common practice ever since I entered in religion; and though I have done it very imperfectly, yet I have found great advantages by it. These, I well know, are to be imputed to the mere mercy and goodness of GOD, because we can do nothing without Him; and I still, less than any. But when we are careful to keep ourselves in His holy presence, and set Him always before us, this not only hinders our offending him, and doing anything that may displease Him, at least willfully,  but it also begets in us a holy freedom, and , if I may so speak, a familiarity with GOD, wherewith we ask, and that successfully, the graces we stand in need of. In  time, by often repeating these acts, they become habitual and the presence of GOD rendered as it were natural to us give him thanks, if you please, with me, for His great goodness towards me, which I can never sufficiently admire, for the many favors He has done to so miserable a sinner as I am. May all things praise Him. Amen.

I am, in our LORD, yours & c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 25, 2015, 01:02:26 AM
May God please grant us this holy closeness to His sacred self!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 25, 2015, 06:52:50 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Second Letter:

To the Reverend-
     Not finding my manner of life in books, although I have no difficulty about it, yet, for greater security, I shall be glad to know your thoughts concerning it.
     In a conversation some days since with a person of piety, he told me the spiritual life was a life of grace, which begins of servile fear, which is increased by hope of eternal life, and which is consummated by pure love. That each of these states had different stages, by which one arrives at last at that blessed consummation.
     I have not followed all these methods. On the contrary, from I know not what instincts, I found they discouraged me. This was the reason why, at my entrance into religion, I took a resolution to give myself up to GOD, as the best return I could make for His love; and, for the love of Him, to renounce all besides.
     For the first year I commonly employed myself during the time set apart for devotion with the thought of death, judgement, heaven, hell, and my sins, Thus continued some years, applying my mind carefully the rest of the day and even in the midst of my business, to the presence ofGOD, whom I considered always as with me often asin me.
     At length I came insensibly to do the same thing during my set time of prayer, which caused me great delight and consolation. This practice produced in me so high an esteem for GOD, that faithalone was capable to satisfy me in that point.

to be continued.....


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 26, 2015, 10:34:42 PM
The Practice of the Presence of God

Second Letter;
cont.

Such was my beginning; and yet I must tell you that for the first ten years I suffered much: the apprehension that I was not devoted to GOD as I wished to be, my past sins always present to my mind and the great unmerited favors which GOD did me, were the matter and source of my sufferings. During this time I fell often, and rose again presently. It seemed to me that all creatures, reason and GOD Himself were against me; and faith alone for me. I was troubled sometimes with thoughts that to beleive I had received such favors was an effect of my presumption, which pretended to be at once where others arrive with difficulty; at other  times that it was a willful delusion, and that there was no salvation for me.
     When I thought of nothing but to end my days in these troubles (which did not diminish the trust I had in GOD, and which served only to increase my faith), I found myself changed all at once; and my soul, which till that time, was in trouble, felt a profound inward peace, as if she were in her centre and place of rest.
     Ever since that time, I walk before GOD simply, in faith, with humility and with love; and I apply myself diligently to do nothing and think nothing which may displease Him. I hope that when I have done what I can, He will do with me what he pleases.
     As for what passes in me at present, I cannot express it. i have no pain or difficulty about my staate, because I have no will but that of GOD, which I endeavor to accomplish in all things, and to which I am so resigned that I would not take up a straw from the groundagainst His order, or from any other motive than purely that of love to Him.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 27, 2015, 12:26:38 AM
PSALM 134

Exhortation to the Night Watch to Bless God


1A song of ascents

Come, bless the LORD,
   all you servants of the LORD
Who stand in the house of the LORD
    through the long hours of night.
Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary,
    and bless the LORD.
3 May the LORD who made heaven and earth
       bless you from Zion.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 27, 2015, 02:32:49 AM
Paved in troubles!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 28, 2015, 03:34:48 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Jesus, I trust in you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 29, 2015, 12:56:16 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Second Letter:
cont.

     I have quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me.
And I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to GOD, which I may call an actual presence of GOD; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent and secret conversation of the soul with GOD, which often causes me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great, that I am forced to use means to moderate them and prevent their appearance to others.
     I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King; touched with a sensible regret, I confess to him all my wickedness, I ask his forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands that He may do what He pleases with me. The king, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasure; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 29, 2015, 01:43:17 AM
Here's an aspiration for the day;

"They have no wine"



Words from the mouth of Our Blessed Mother and Queen to ponder  :) :crucifix:


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 29, 2015, 09:07:09 AM
Here is another aspiration for today;

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 29, 2015, 11:25:18 AM
Here's an aspiration for the day;

"They have no wine"



Words from the mouth of Our Blessed Mother and Queen to ponder  :) :crucifix:


Very good for meditation!  Thanks, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 29, 2015, 11:27:03 AM
Here is another aspiration for today;

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High!

St. John the Baptist, prophet of the Most High, pray for us!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on August 29, 2015, 10:56:10 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Second Letter;
cont.

     My most useful manner is this simple attention and such a passionate regard to GOD; to whom I find myself often attached with greater sweetness and delight than that of an infant at the mother's breast; so that, if i dare use the expression, I should choose to call this state the bosom of GOD, for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there.
     If sometimes my thoughts wander form it by necessity or infirmity, I am presently recalled by inward motions so charming and delicious that I am ashamed to mention them. I desire your reverence to reflect rather upon my great wretchedness of which you are fully informed than upon the great favors which GOD does me, all unworthy and ungrateful as I am.
     As for my set hours of prayer, they are only a continuation of the same exercise. Sometimes I consider myself as a stone before a carver, whereof he is to make a statue; presenting myself thus before GOD, I desire him to form His perfect image in my soul, and make me entirely like Himself.
     At other times, when I apply myself to prayer, I feel all my spirit and all my soul lift itself up without any care or effort of mine, and it continues as it were suspended and firmly fixed in GOD, as in it's centre and place of rest.

to be continued.....


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 30, 2015, 05:57:53 AM
Dear Whiterockdove,

Have you been able to compare your two different versions of The Practice of the Presence of God?  Besides the first version not mentioning the Most Blessed Sacrament, was there any other discrepancy you've noticed?  I wonder how many conversations we have covered using the Protestant version?  I wish the moderator would permit you to go back to the non-Catholic version chapters to doctor them up.  Thanks for all the hard work you've been putting into typing this excellent work!  I benefit so much by reading this wonderful work!  God bless you!

Yours in Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Queen,
Therese


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on August 30, 2015, 06:43:34 AM
There's a quite long time period of direct editing for folks for posts, but after that it has to be requested and I have to do it manually myself I can't enable it again for just the individual.

I'll look over the past passages myself with the copy of the text I have.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on August 30, 2015, 02:35:54 PM
Ah, I did not realize that you, too, have a copy of the Catholic version of The Practice of the Presence of God.  How blessed are you as well!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 01, 2015, 12:43:34 AM

Therese, you do such meticulous work, bless you for your patience with me. I'm working to improve in that area but I have a long way to go.
I can be a bit dingy with all this typing and there is usually a very loud TV in the background ::)
I'm just glad I have the correct copy now. I looked over my old copy before i took it off my kindle and didn't see any glaring
Discrepancies, I suppose anyone following this thread will know by now that it got off to a rough start but is better now. :D
 but when I got to the part where it said " blessed supper" my antennae went up.  Sure glad Shin found a better translation.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 01, 2015, 02:02:09 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Conclusion of  The Second Letter;

     I know that some charge this state with inactivity, delusion and self-love. I confess that it is a holy inactivity, and would be a happy self-love, if the soul in that state were capable of it; because in effect, while she is in this repose, she cannot be disturbed by such acts as she was formerly accustomed to, and which were then her support, but which would now rather hinder than assist her.
     Yet I cannot bear that this should be called delusion; because the soul which thus enjoys GOD desires herein nothing but Him. If this be delusion in me, it belongs to GOD to remedy it. Let Him do what He pleases with me; I desire only Him, and to be wholly devoted to Him. You will, however, oblige me in sending me your opinion, to which I always pay great deference, for I have a singular esteem for your reverence, and am in our LORD,
Yours, &c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 01, 2015, 03:49:26 AM

Therese, you do such meticulous work, bless you for your patience with me. I'm working to improve in that area but I have a long way to go.
I can be a bit dingy with all this typing and there is usually a very loud TV in the background ::)
I'm just glad I have the correct copy now. I looked over my old copy before i took it off my kindle and didn't see any glaring
Discrepancies, I suppose anyone following this thread will know by now that it got off to a rough start but is better now. :D
 but when I got to the part where it said " blessed supper" my antennae went up.  Sure glad Shin found a better translation.



Unfortunately, I have not been doing meticulous work with my Mystical City of God excerpts.  Sigh!  I'm so glad for those antennas of yours! :)


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 01, 2015, 07:00:25 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Mary! present me to
The Lord Most High!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 01, 2015, 07:45:35 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Mary! present me to
The Lord Most High!

So lovely an aspiration!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 02, 2015, 07:53:44 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Mary! present me to
The Lord Most High!

Amen amen.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 04, 2015, 12:13:25 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Third Letter;

     We have a God who is infinitely gracious and knows all our wants. I always thought that He would reduce you to extremity. He will come in His own time and when you least expect it. Hope in Him more than ever, thank Him with me for the favors He does you, particularly for the fortitude and patience which He gives you in your afflictions. It is a plain mark of the care He takes of you. Comfort yourself, then, with Him, and give thanks for all.
     I admire  also the fortitude and bravery of Mr.-----. God has given him a good disposition and a good will; but there is in him still a little of the world, and a great deal of youth. I hope the affliction which GOD has sent him will prove a wholesome remedy to him, and make him enter into himself. It is an accident which should engage him to put his trust in Him who accompanies him everywhere. Let him think of Him as often as he can, especially in the greatest dangers. A little lifting up of the heart suffices. A little remembrance of GOD, one act of inward worship, though upon a march, and a sword in hand, are prayers, which, however short, are nevertheless very acceptable to GOD; and far from lessening a soldier's courage in occasions of danger, they best serve to fortify it.
     Let him then think of GOD the most he can. Let him accustom himself, by degree, to this small but holy exercise. No one will notice it, and nothing is easier than to repeat often in the day these little internal adorations.  Recommend to him, if you please, that he think of GOD the most he can, in the manner here directed. It is very fit and the most necessary for a soldier, who is daily exposed to the dangers of life. I hope that GOD will assist him and all the family, to whom I present my service, being theirs and yours, &c.

End of Third Letter.

Forth Letter

     I have taken this opportunity to communicate to you the sentiments of one of our society, concerning the admirable effects and continual assistances which he receives from the presence of  GOD. Let you and me both profit by them.
     You must know his continual care has been, for about forty years past that he has spent in religion, to be always with GOD,  and to do nothing, say nothing, and think nothing which may displease Him; and this without any other view than purely for the love of Him, and because he deserves infinitely more.
     He is now so accustomed to that Divine Presence, that he receives from it continual succors upon all occasions. For about thirty years, his soul has been filled with joys so continual, and sometimes so great, that he is forced to use means to moderate them, and to hinder their appearing outwardly.

to be continued.....



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 06, 2015, 01:58:27 AM
Here's an aspiration for today:
 
"The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you."
Mark 4:11


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 06, 2015, 03:00:24 PM
Here's an aspiration for today:
 
"The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you."
Mark 4:11

Nice aspiration!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 07, 2015, 10:53:32 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Fourth Letter;
cont.

     If sometimes he is a little too much absent from that Divine Presence, GOD presently makes Himself to be felt in his soul to recall him, which often happens when he is most engaged in his outward business. He answers with exact fidelity to these inward drawings, either by an elevation of his heart towards GOD, or by a meek and fond regard to Him, or by such words as love forms upon these occasions, as for instance, My God, here I am all devoted to Thee: LORD, make me according to Thy heart.And then it seems to him (as in effect he feels it) that this GOD of love, satisfied with such few words, reposes again, and rests in the fund and centre of his soul.  The experience of these things gives him such an assurance that GOD is always in the fund or bottom of his soul, that it renders him incapable of doubting it upon any account whatever. 
     Judge by this what content and satisfaction he enjoys while he continually finds in himself so great a treasure. He is no longer in an anxious search after it, but has it open before him, and may take what he pleases of it.
     He complains much of our blindness, and cries often that we are to be pitied who content ourselves with so little. GOD, saith he, has infinite treasure to bestow, and we take up with a little sensible devotion, which passes in a moment. Blind as we are, we hinder GOD, and stop the current of His graces. But when he finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith, He pours into it His graces and favors plentifully: there they flow like a torrent, which, after being forcible stopped against its ordinary course, when it has found a passage, spreads itself with impetuosity and abundance.
     Yes, we often stop this torrent by the little value we set upon it. But let us stop this no more; let us enter into ourselves and break down the bank which hinders it. Let us make way for grace; let us redeem the lost time, for perhaps we have but little left. Death follows us close; let us be well prepared for it: for we die once, and a miscarriage there is irretrievable.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 08, 2015, 12:00:03 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Mary Immaculate, Star of The Morning,
Chosen before the creation began!




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 08, 2015, 12:09:17 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Mary Immaculate, Star of The Morning,
Chosen before the creation began!




Lovely!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 09, 2015, 11:16:24 AM
Here's an aspiration for the day;

" Let us adore The Lord, for it is He who made us!"


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 09, 2015, 11:44:43 AM
Thanks, Whiterockdove, for the new aspiration!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 10, 2015, 11:53:01 PM
Your welcome, Therese!  I'm glad you like them.

The Practice of The Presence of God

     I say again, let us enter into ourselves. The time presses. There is no room for delay; our souls are at stake. I believe you have taken such effectual measures that you will not be surprised. I commend you for it; it is the one thing necessary. We must, nevertheless, always work at it, because not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back. But those who have the gale of the HOLY SPIRIT go forward even in sleep. If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms, let us awake the LORD, who reposes in it, and He will quickly calm the sea.
     I have taken the liberty to impart to you these good sentiments, that you may compare them with your own. It will serve again to kindle and inflame them, if by misfortune (which GOD forbid, for it would be indeed a great misfortune) they should be, though never so little cooled. Let us then both recall our first fervors. Let us profit by the example and the sentiments of this brother, who is little known of the world, but known of GOD, and extremely caressed by Him. I will pray for you; do you pray instantly for me, who am, in our LORD.
     Yours, &c.

End of The Fourth Letter


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 11, 2015, 01:55:05 AM
Here's an aspiration for this day of penance and abstinence;

My Mother,
my hope!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 11, 2015, 10:05:08 AM
Here's an aspiration for this day of penance and abstinence;

My Mother,
my hope!

The above aspiration is indulgenced and has been a favorite of mine, so too is the following aspiration:  "Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!"  God bless you Whiterockdove!  Keep those beautiful aspirations coming!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 11, 2015, 10:08:12 PM
Quote
We must, nevertheless, always work at it, because not to advance in the spiritual life is to be back.

I have heard this before!

This reminds me of some of the wonderful prayers before sleep I have read.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 11, 2015, 11:34:12 PM
oops! I just fixed that phrase, Shin. Thanks!

The Practice of The Presence of God

Fifth Letter;

I received this day two books and a letter from Sister ---- , who is preparing to make her profession, and upon that account desires the prayers of your holy society, and yours in particular. I perceive that she reckons much upon them; pray do not disappoint her. Beg of GOD that she  may make her sacrifice in the view of His love alone, and with a firm resolution to be wholly devoted to Him. I will send you one of these books which treat of the presence of  GOD; a subject which, in my opinion, contains the whole spiritual life; and it seems to me that whoever duly practices it will soon become spiritual. I know that for the right practice of it, the heart must be empty of all other things; because GOD will possess the heart alone; and as He cannot possess it alone without emptying it of all besides, so neither can He act there, and do in it what He pleases, unless it be left vacant to Him.
     There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with GOD. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from the principle of love, and because GOD would have us.
     Were I a preacher, I should, above all things, preach the practice of the presence of
GOD; and, were I a director, I should advise all the world to do it, so necessary do I think it, and so easy too. 
     Ah! knew we but the want we have of the grace and assistance of GOD, we should never lose sight of Him, no, not for a moment. Believe me; make immediately a holy and firm resolution never more willfully to forget Him, and to  spend the rest of your days in His sacred presence, deprived for the love of Him, if He thinks  fit, of all consolations.


to be continued.....







Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 12, 2015, 03:06:45 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 12, 2015, 05:08:51 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!




I love this aspiration and recognize it--it is taken from the "Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary" prayers.  Here is another aspiration for today's Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary--I could easily repeat it all day!  It is:  Mary! Mary! Mary!

What sweetness is found in this sweet name!  What comfort and strength comes from repeating this holy name with faith, confidence and love!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 12, 2015, 07:15:34 PM
Thy virtues, O Virgin, surpass the stars in number.
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary;
Rejoice a thousand times!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 12, 2015, 10:49:35 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Fifth Letter;
cont.

Set  heartily about this work, and if you do it as you ought, be assured that you will soon find the effects of it. I will assist you with my prayers, poor as they are. I recommend myself earnestly to yours and those of your holy society being theirs, and more particularly
Yours & c.

End of Fifth Letter.

Sixth Letter;

To the Same.
     I have received from Mrs.---, the things which you gave her for me. I wonder that you have not given me your thoughts of the little book I sent to you, and which you must have received.  Pray set heartily about the practice of it in your old age: it is bette late than never.
    I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of GOD. For my part, I keep myself retired with Him in the fund or centre of my soul as much as I can; and while I am so with Him I fear nothing, but the least turning from Him is insupportable.
     This exercise does not much fatigue the body; it is, however proper to deprive it sometimes, nay often, of many little pleasures which are innocent and lawful, for GOD will not permit that a soul which desires to be devoted entirely to Him should take other pleasures than with
Him: that is more than reasonable.
     I do not say that therefore we must put any violent constraint upon ourselves. No, we must serve GOD in holy freedom; we must do our business faithfully; without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to GOD mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from Him.

to be continued.....


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 14, 2015, 12:06:54 PM
Here's an aspiration for today:

We adore You and we praise You!
Because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 14, 2015, 12:30:52 PM
We pray this aspiration during the Stations of the Cross:

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee!
Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 15, 2015, 12:25:18 PM
Yes! We say it also at my parish for stations.
 When I say it, it makes think of lent.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 15, 2015, 12:29:33 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

O Thou Mother!
Fount of Love!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 15, 2015, 02:31:25 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;

O Thou Mother!
Fount of Love!

And this beautiful aspiration is part of the "Stabat Mater" hymn that we sing during the Stations of the Cross.  The verse goes like this:

O thou Mother! font of Love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with thine accord.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 15, 2015, 03:33:16 PM
 :principalities: :principalities: :principalities: :+: :littleprayer:
Beautiful!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 19, 2015, 09:50:42 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Sixth Letter;
cont.

It is, however, necessary to put our whole trust in GOD, laying aside all other cares, and even some particular forms of devotion, though very good in themselves, yet such as one often engages in unreasonably, because these devotions are only means to attain to the end, So when by this exercise of the presence of GOD we are with Him who is our end, it is then useless to return to the means; but we may continue with Him our commerce of love, persevering in His holy presence, one while by an act of praise, of adoration or of desire; one while by an act of resignation or thanksgiving; and in all the ways which our spirit can invent.
     Be not discouraged by the repugnance which you may find in it from nature, you must do yourself violence. At the first, one often thinks it lost time, but you must go on, and resolve to persevere in it to death, notwithstanding all the difficulties that may occur, I recommend myself to the prayers of your holy society, and yours in particular, I am, in our LORD,
Yours &c.

End of Sixth Letter.

Seventh Letter;

I pity you much, It will be of great importance if you can leave the care of your affairs to ---, and spend the remainder of your holy life only in worshiping GOD. He requires no great matters of us; a little remembrance of Him from time to time; a little adoration; sometimes to pray for Hid grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, and sometimes to return Him thanks for the favors he has given you, and still gives you, in the midst of your troubles, and to console yourself to him, the oftenest you can. Lift up your heart to Him,sometimes even at your meals, and when you are in company, the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to HIm. You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we are aware of.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 20, 2015, 07:23:16 PM
Quote
So when by this exercise of the presence of GOD we are with Him who is our end, it is then useless to return to the means;

This is something I will have to remember!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 20, 2015, 08:36:30 PM
Quote
So when by this exercise of the presence of GOD we are with Him who is our end, it is then useless to return to the means;

This is something I will have to remember!

The above passage had struck me as well.  It is most helpful during meditation and should be a guide outside of meditation.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 21, 2015, 01:36:15 AM
Here is an aspiration for today:

Sun of Justice!
The Immaculate Virgin
was the white dawn
announcing your rising!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 21, 2015, 02:45:07 AM
Ah this one is really ardent, I love it!

Sun of Justice!
The Immaculate Virgin
was the white dawn
announcing your rising!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 21, 2015, 07:31:00 AM
Beautiful aspiration!  Where did you find it, Whiterockdove?  It sounds familiar.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 21, 2015, 02:17:49 PM
It is pretty, isn't it!  It was part of the intercessions from The Little Office (Monday morning).

I just took a bit of the whole phrase, trying not to make the aspiration too long.
Yes, the whole of the intercessions were very ardent, Shin!

 Another phrase that I almost did ( I couldn't decide);

" She will crush your head."  Now that's a powerful one!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 21, 2015, 02:25:51 PM
I heard a sermon once that mentioned that piece of scripture and then a parallel to it, one of the lesser types of the Blessed Virgin in the Old Testament -- Judith, who slew the enemy general (who represented the devil) by chopping off his head and so saved Israel (which represents the Church).

'Loe the head of Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God struck him by the hand of a woman. But the same our Lord liveth, that his Angel hath kept me, both going hence, and abiding there, and from thence returning hither: and our Lord hath not suffered me his handmaid to be defiled, but without pollution of sin he hath called me back to you, rejoicing in this victory, in my escape, and in your delivery. Confess ye all to him, because he is good, because his mercy is for ever.'

Judith 13:19-21


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 21, 2015, 02:59:28 PM
It is pretty, isn't it!  It was part of the intercessions from The Little Office (Monday morning).

I just took a bit of the whole phrase, trying not to make the aspiration too long.
Yes, the whole of the intercessions were very ardent, Shin!

 Another phrase that I almost did ( I couldn't decide);

" She will crush your head."  Now that's a powerful one!

Ah, that's where it's from!--and, yes, it is very pretty!  "She will crush your head" is a very good aspiration too-- a very powerful one indeed!  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 22, 2015, 12:59:37 AM
It's almost midnight central time in the US, a little early but anyhow, here's an aspiration for today;

She will crush your head.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 22, 2015, 01:03:54 AM
I heard a sermon once that mentioned that piece of scripture and then a parallel to it, one of the lesser types of the Blessed Virgin in the Old Testament -- Judith, who slew the enemy general (who represented the devil) by chopping off his head and so saved Israel (which represents the Church).

'Loe the head of Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God struck him by the hand of a woman. But the same our Lord liveth, that his Angel hath kept me, both going hence, and abiding there, and from thence returning hither: and our Lord hath not suffered me his handmaid to be defiled, but without pollution of sin he hath called me back to you, rejoicing in this victory, in my escape, and in your delivery. Confess ye all to him, because he is good, because his mercy is for ever.'

Judith 13:19-21

Thank you Shin! This is a very nice passage and good information.
Thank you for the instruction. ( I don't know much yet about Lesser Types)


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 22, 2015, 01:55:35 AM
The Practice of The Presence of God

 Conclusion of The Seventh Letter;


It is not necessary for being with God to be always at church: we may make an oratory of our hearts wherein to retire from time to time to converse with Him in meekness, humility and love. Everyone is capable of such familiar conversation with GOD, some more, some less: He knows what we can do. Let us begin, then. Perhaps He expects but one generous resolution in our part. Have courage. We have but little time to live; you are near sixty-four and I am almost eighty. Let us live and die with GOD. Sufferings will be sweet and pleasant to us while we are with Him; and the greatest pleasures will be, without Him, a cruel punishment to us. May He be blessed for all.
Amen.
     Accustom yourself, then, by degree thus to worship Him, to beg His grace, to offer Him your heart from time to time in the midst of your business, even every moment, if you can. Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotion, but act with a general confidence in GOD, with love and humility. You may assure ----- of my poor prayers, and that I am their servant, and particularly
Yours in our LORD &c.

End of Seventh Letter


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 22, 2015, 09:23:10 AM
It's almost midnight central time in the US, a little early but anyhow, here's an aspiration for today;

She will crush your head.



This aspiration will be most powerful to combat discouragement, anxiety, etc. coming from the devil.  It is a very good aspiration to pray while living in spiritual combat.  Thanks for posting it!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 23, 2015, 08:16:06 PM
I agree, it is powerful!   i would imagine satan really hates this aspiration.

Well, we are up to the Eighth Letter in this little book and there are fifteen letters. I have to admit I'm getting rather attached to this Sweet Old Monk!  What a blessing it must have been to have known him. 


The Practice of the Presence of God

Eighth Letter;

     (Concerning wandering thoughts in Prayer
     You tell me nothing new; you are not the only one that is troubled with wandering thoughts. Our mind is extremely roving; but, as the will is mistress of all faculties, she must recall them, and carry them to GOD as their last end.
     When the mind, for want of being sufficiently reduced by recollection at our first engaging in devotion, has contracted certain bad habits of wandering and dissipation, they are difficult to overcome, and commonly draw us, even against our wills, to the things of the earth.
     I believe one remedy for this is to confess our faults and to humble ourselves before GOD. I do not advise you to use multiplicity of words in prayer: many words and long discourses being often the occasion of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before GOD like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man's gate. Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the LORD. If it sometimes wander and withdraw itself from Him, do not much disquiet yourself for that: trouble and disquiet serve rather to distract the mind than to re-collect it: the will must bring back in tranquility. If you persevere in this manner, GOD will have pity on you.
     One way to re-collect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times: you should keep it strictly in the presence of GOD; and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from it's wanderings.
     I have told you already at large, in my former letters, of the advantage we may draw from this practice of the presence of GOD: let us set about it seriously, and pray for one another.
Yours & c.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 23, 2015, 08:50:25 PM
This work is a real treasure, Whiterockdove.  Bro. Lawrence was quite a holy monk.   


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 24, 2015, 01:26:26 AM
Here is an aspiration for today: a little background first;

It is from an  Eastern Orthodox Hymn to Mary.
I hope that's ok,  there are some beautiful Marian  hymns and prayers  from the Eastern Orthodox Church.
This one has multiple verses, its so nice I had a hard time choosing just part of it.  I can post the whole thing if folks would like
Me to do so.


The aspiration for today is from one of the responses after the priest says;

" we see The Holy Virgin as a brilliant luminary brightening those who live in darkness;
for having kindled the immaterial light she leads men to the knowledge of God and fills their minds with radiance,
so she is worthily praised in these words:"

choose your aspiration from one of the responses I picked; these were my favorites;

"Hail, O Beam of The Mystical Son;
Hail O Radiance of the Light Without Setting!"

"Hail, Lightning Flash that brightens the souls;
Hail, Thunderclap that strikes down foes!"

"Hail, for You have raised the Many Lighted Star;
 Hail, for you have opened the Many Coursed Stream!"


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 24, 2015, 07:17:40 AM
I've got an aspiration, Whiterockdove:

Draw us after thee, holy Mother.

Do you remember what St. Therese of the Child Jesus said about the prayer: Draw us after thee?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 24, 2015, 11:06:18 AM
Oh! That is an indulged prayer!
What a nice thread those would make.

God Bless You, Therese!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on September 24, 2015, 11:49:06 AM
Actually that's from the Eastern Catholics. :D

Much of the prayers, hymns, litanies, etc. are the same between the Eastern Catholics and the schismatic "Orthodox". If it's Eastern Catholic it's good! If it's not, then forget it! :D

That's from the Akathist hymn! That's pre-schism, very ancient!

Those are some beautiful aspirations!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 24, 2015, 07:59:57 PM


The ancient prayers are indeed beautiful, they are rich and earthy in how they describe the sacred.




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 25, 2015, 04:20:05 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Ninth Letter;

     The enclosed is an answer to that which I received from --; pray deliver it to her. She seems to me full of good will, but she would go faster than grace. One does not become holy all at once. I recommend her to you: we ought to help one another by our advice, and yet more by our good examples. You will oblige me to let me hear of her from time to time, and whether she be very fervent and very obedient.
     Let us thus think often that our only business in this life is to please GOD, and that all besides is but folly and vanity. You and I have lived about forty years in religion (i.e., a monastic life.) Have we employed them in loving and serving GOD, who by His mercy has called us to ths state and to that end? I am filled with shame and confusion when I reflect in one hand upon the great favors which GOD has done, and incessantly continues to do to me; and on the other, upon the ill use I have made of them, and  my small advancement in the way of perfection.
     Since by his mercy He gives us still a little time, let us return with a full assurance to that FATHER of mercies, who is always ready to receive us  affectionately. Let us renounce,  let us generously renounce, for the love of Him, all that is not Himself; He deserves infinitely more. Let us think of Him perpetually. Let us put all our trust in Him. I doubt not but we shall soon find the effects of it  in receiving the abundance of His grace, with which we can do all things, and without which we can do nothing but sin.
     We cannot escape the dangers which abound in life without the actual and continual help of GOD: let us pray to Him for it continually. How can we pray to Him without being with Him? How can we be with Him but in thinking of Him often? And how can we think of Him, but by a holy habit which we should form if it? You will tell me that I am always saying the same thing. It is true, for this is the best and easiest method I know; and as I use no other, I advise all the world to do it. We must know before we can love. In order to know GOD, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure. This is an argument which well deserves your consideration.
     I am, yours, &c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 25, 2015, 06:04:09 PM
Actually that's from the Eastern Catholics. :D

Much of the prayers, hymns, litanies, etc. are the same between the Eastern Catholics and the schismatic "Orthodox". If it's Eastern Catholic it's good! If it's not, then forget it! :D

That's from the Akathist hymn! That's pre-schism, very ancient!

Those are some beautiful aspirations!

I'm glad to hear this.  I wouldn't pray any aspiration that came from a schismatic sect. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 25, 2015, 06:04:55 PM
Oh! That is an indulged prayer!
What a nice thread those would make.

God Bless You, Therese!

Yes, it's indulgenced, Whiterockdove.  God bless you too!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 25, 2015, 06:19:13 PM
I truly love this little book!  Bro. Lawrence knows the importance of not only knowing God and loving Him, but of serving Him.  How can a person really love God without serving Him?  Some people would like to contemplate God all day, but contemplation combined with loving acts done for His sake would be more meritorious.  Just making an oblation or a sacrifice and offering it up to God in union with His Son's sufferings, for souls, is service.  Prayer mixed with acts of oblation or sacrifice is very pleasing to God and the way to go.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 26, 2015, 02:12:29 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;


Draw us after Thee, Holy Mother!

Thanks Therese,  may God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on September 26, 2015, 07:06:31 AM
You are welcome, Whiterockdove!  God bless you too!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on September 29, 2015, 11:56:21 PM
I apologize for the lateness, i would have had the aspiration for today be;

St. Michael, The  Archangel of God, defend us in battle! 


The Practice of The Presence of God

Tenth Letter;

     I have had a great deal of difficulty to bring myself to write to Mr.---, and  I do it now purely  because you and Madam ---desire me. Pray write the directions and send it to him. I am very well pleased with the trust which you have in GOD: I wish that He may increase it in you more and more. We cannot have too much in so good and faithful a Friend, who will never fail us in this world nor in the next.
     If Mr.---makes his advantage of the loss he has had, and puts all his confidence in GOD, He will soon give him another friend, more powerful and more inclined to serve him. He disposes of hearts as He pleases. Perhaps Mr.-- was too much attached to him he has lost. We ought to love our friends, but without encroaching upon the love due to GOD, which must be the principal.
     Pray remember what I have recommended to you, which is, to think often on GOD, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you: leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you: why then must GOD be neglected? Do not then forget Him, but think on Him often, adore Him continually, live and die with Him; this is the glorious employment of a Christian. In a word, this is our profession; if we do not know it, we must learn it. I will endeavor to help you with my prayers, and am, in our LORD, Yours &c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on October 03, 2015, 11:05:00 AM
Too much attached to him, yes we must give over all to God. . . See all for God's sake. . .



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 05, 2015, 11:57:05 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Eleventh Letter;

     I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains, but I pray GOD earnestly that He would give you strength and  patience to bear them as long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross. He will loose you when He thinks fit. Happy those who suffer with Him: accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He shall judge to be necessary for you. The men of the world do not comprehend these truths, nor is it to be wondered at, since they suffer like what they are, and not like Christians. The consider sickness as a pain to nature, and not as a favor from GOD; and seeing it only in that light, they find nothing in it but grief and distress. But those who consider sickness as coming from the hand of GOD, as the effect of His mercy, and the means which He employs for their salvation--such, commonly find in it great sweetness and sensible consolation.
     I wish you could convince yourself that GOD is often (in some sense) nearer to us, and more effectually present with us, in sickness than in health. Rely upon no other Physician; for, according to my apprehension, He reserves your cure to Himself, Put, then, all your trust in Him, and you will soon find the effects of it in your recovery, which we often retard by putting greater confidence in physic than in GOD.
          Whatever remedies you make use of, they will succees only so far as He permits. When pains come from GOD, He only can cure them, He often sends disease of the body to cure those of the Soul. Comfort yourself with the sovereign Physician both of the soul and body.
     Be satisfied with the condition in which GOD places you: however happy you may think me, I envy you. Pains and sufferings would be a paradise to me while I should suffer with my GOD; and the greatest pleasures would be hell to me if I could relish them without Him. All my consolation would be to suffer something for his sake.
     I must, in a little time, go to GOD. What comforts me in this life is, that I now see Him by faith; and I see Him in such a manner as might make me say sometimes, I believe no more, but I see. I feel what faith teaches us, and in that assurance and that practice of faith, I will live and die with Him.
     Continue then always with GOD: it is the only support and comfort for your affliction, I shall beseech Him to be with you. I present my service.
Yours, &c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on October 06, 2015, 09:08:04 PM
Quote
  I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains, but I pray GOD earnestly that He would give you strength and  patience to bear them as long as He pleases

There have been times in my life when I have been pained, and prayed for relief, and not finding it, then prayed to suffer it well, and found it.. though the relief was a bit different than one might expect.

I think this is a very important kind of prayer.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 12, 2015, 11:31:06 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Twelfth Letter;

     If we were well accustomed to the exercise of the presence of GOD, all bodily diseases would be alleviated thereby. GOD often permits that we should suffer a little to purify our souls and oblige us to continue with Him.
     Take courage: offer Him your pains incessantly: pray to Him for strength to endure them. Above all, get a habit of entertaining yourself often with GOD, and forget Him the least you can. Adore Him in your infirmities, offer yourself to Him from time to time and in the height of your sufferings, beseech Him humbly and affectionately (as a child his father) to make you conformable to His holy-will. I shall endeavor to assist you with my poor prayers.
     GOD has many ways of drawing us to Himself. He sometimes hides Himself from us, but faith alone, which will not fail us in time of need, ought to be our support, and the foundation of our confidence, which must be all in GOD.
     I know not how GOD will dispose of me. I am always happy. All the world suffer; and I, who deserve the severest discipline, feel joys so continual and so great that I can scarcely contain them..
     I would willingly ask of GOD a part of your sufferings, but I know my weakness, which is so great, that if He left me one moment to myself I should be the most wretched man alive. And yet I know not how He can leave me alone, because faith gives me as strong a conviction as sense can do, that He never forsakes us until we have first forsaken Him. Let us fear to leave Him. Let us be always with Him. Let us love and die in His presence. Do you pray for me, as I for you.
I am, Yours, &c.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 13, 2015, 12:49:13 AM
Here is an aspiration for the day, ( Tuesday Oct. 13th)

"Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a Kingdom"
 (Luke 12:32)


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on October 14, 2015, 10:51:56 PM
Here is an aspiration for the day, ( Tuesday Oct. 13th)

"Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a Kingdom"
 (Luke 12:32)

I find this aspiration really inspiring!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 15, 2015, 04:07:21 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Thirteenth Letter;

To the Same.
     I am in pain to see you suffer so long. What gives me some ease and sweetens the feelings I have for your grief is, that they are proofs of GOD's love toward you. See them in that view and you will bear them more easily. As your case is, it is my opinion that you should leave off human remedies, and resign yourself entirely to the providence of GOD: perhaps He stays only for that resignation and a perfect trust in Him to cure you. Since, notwithstanding all your cares, physic has hitherto proved unsuccessful, and your malady still increases, it will not be tempting GOD to abandon yourself in His hands, and expect all from Him.
     I told you in my last that He sometimes permits bodily diseases to cure the distempers of the soul. Have courage then: make a virtue of necessity. Ask of GOD, not deliverance from your pains, but strength to bear resolutely, for the love of Him, all that He should please, and as long as He shall please.
     Such prayers, indeed, are a little hard to nature, but most acceptable to GOD, and sweet to those that love Him. Love sweetens pains; and when one loves GOD, one suffers for His sake with joy and courage. Do you so, I beseech you: comfort yourself with Him, who is the only Physician of all our maladies. He is the FATHER of the afflicted, always ready to help us, He loves us infinitely more than we imagine. Love Him, then, and seek no consolation elsewhere. I will help you with my prayers, poor as they are, and shall always be,
in our LORD Yours, &c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 16, 2015, 01:30:42 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

 Sweet Heart of Mary,
be my salvation!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 17, 2015, 02:54:13 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;


Return to me
And I will return to you,
Says The Lord of Hosts."


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on October 17, 2015, 01:37:18 PM
Amen amen!

Holy resignation to God's will!

The secret to relief, peace and happiness!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on October 20, 2015, 11:14:52 PM
Here's an aspiration for Wed, Oct. 21st;

     "Let your heart hold fast to my words
  keep my commands, that you may live!"

Proverbs, Chapter 4


We're almost to the end of "The Practice of The Presence of God", just a few more chapters.  There are a few notations at the end of the last chapter,  The other chapters did not have any notes. 

The Practice of The Presence of God

Fourteenth Letter;

To the Same.
     I render thanks to our LORD for having relieved you a little, according to your desire. I have been often near expiring, but I never was so much satisfied as then. Accordingly, I did not pray for any  relief, but i prayed for strength to suffer with courage, humility and love. Ah, how sweet it is to suffer with GOD! However great the sufferings may be, receive them with love. It is paradise to suffer and be with Him; so that if in this life we would enjoy the peace of paradise we must accustom ourselves to a familiar, humble, affectionate conversation with Him. We must hinder our spirits wandering from Him upon any occasion. We must make our heart a spiritual temple, wherein to adore Him incessantly. We must watch continually over ourselves, that we may not do, nor say, nor think anything that may displease Him. When our minds are thus employed about GOD, suffering will become full of unction and consolation.
     I know that to arrive at this state the beginning is very difficult, for we must act purely in faith. But though it is difficult, we know also that we can do all things with the grace of GOD, which He never refuses to them who ask it earnestly. Knock, persevere in knocking, and I answer for it that He will open to you in His due time, and grant you all at once what He has deferred during many years. Adieu!  Pray to Him for me, as I pray to Him for you.
I hope to see him quickly.
I am, Yours,&c.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on October 23, 2015, 03:48:47 AM
Quote
We must make our heart a spiritual temple, wherein to adore Him incessantly. We must watch continually over ourselves, that we may not do, nor say, nor think anything that may displease Him. When our minds are thus employed about GOD, suffering will become full of unction and consolation.

Our very thoughts must become holy and virtuous and in the Lord.  :D What a beautiful way to live!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 01, 2015, 09:33:55 PM
The Practice of The Presence of God

Fifteenth Letter

To the Same.
GOD knoweth best what is needful for us, and all that He does is for our good. If we knew how much He loves is, we should always be ready to receive equally and with indifference from His Hand the sweet and the bitter: all would please that came from Him. The sorest afflictions never appear intolerable, except when we see them in the wrong light. When we see them as dispensed by the hand of GOD, when we know that it is our loving FATHER who abases and distresses us, our sufferings will lose their bitterness, and become even matter of consolation.                Let all our employment be to know GOD: the more one knows Him, the more one desires to know Him. And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love: and if our love of GOD were great, we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures.
     Let us not content ourselves with loving GOD for the mere sensible favors, how elevated soever, which he has sone, or may do us. Such favors, though never so great, cannot bring us so near to Him as faith does in one simple act. Let us seekHim often by faith. He is within us: seek Him not elsewhere. If we do love Him alone, are we not rude, and so we not deserve blame, if we busy ourselves about trifles which so not please and perhaps offend Him. It is feared these trifles will one day cost us dear. Let us begin to be devoted to Him in good earnest. Let us cast everything besides out of our hearts. He would possess them alone. Beg this favor of Him. If we do what we can on our parts, we shall soon see that change wrought in us which we aspire after. I cannot thank Him sufficiently for the relaxation He has vouchsafed you. I hope from His mercy the favor to see Him within a few days. (4) Let us pray for one another.
I am, in our LORD, Yours, &c.
NOTES:
(1: Gal.i, 10; Eph. vi, 5,6)
(2: The particulars which follow are collected from other accounts of Brother Lawrence.)
(3: I suppose he means that all distinct notions he could form of GOD, were unsatisfactory, because he perceived them to be unworthy of GOD; and therefore his mind was not to be satisfied but by the views of faith, which apprehend GOD as infinite and incomprehensible, as He is in Himself, and not as He can be conceived by human ideas.)
(4: He took to his bed two days after, and died within the week.)

THE END of
The Practice of The Presence of God; The Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence
     


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 02, 2015, 01:53:48 PM
Here's an aspiration for the day;
"May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace!"




Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 02, 2015, 02:57:01 PM
Great aspiration, especially for for All Souls Day!  God bless you, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on November 03, 2015, 04:17:56 AM
May the Precious Blood of Christ grant relief to the holy souls!

Quote
GOD knoweth best what is needful for us, and all that He does is for our good. If we knew how much He loves is, we should always be ready to receive equally and with indifference from His Hand the sweet and the bitter: all would please that came from Him.

May the Lord grant us this grace. :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 03, 2015, 09:58:04 PM
amen! great aspiration!   yes, anyone feel free to jump in here,
an aspiration  a day keeps the blues away.......  :harp: :boxing:


I heard of another short prayer referring to The Precious Blood, I think it went something like;

Protect me Jesus and cover me with thy precious blood. 

anyone know if this is right?


I am finishing up "The Story of A Soul"  recommended reading from our Priest.  I thought I would write out some excerpts from the end of the book. These are recollections from the women who lived with her, mainly the novices in her charge.   So  regarding  St. Therese of Lisieux, here are some memories of things she said and did;

COUNSELS AND REMINISCENSES OF SOEUR THERESE, THE LITTLE FLOWER OF JESUS

     Most of what follows has been gathered from the conversations of Soeur Therese with her novices. Her advice cannot but prove helpful to souls within the cloister, and likewise to many in the world who may be attracted by her simple and easy -little way- to God.

******

One of her novices, greatly discouraged at the thought of her imperfection, tells us that her mistress spoke to her as follows:

You make me think of a little child that is learning to stand but does not yet know how to walk.  In his desire to reach the top of the stairs to find his mother, he lifts his little foot to climb the first step. It is all in vain and at each renewed effort he falls. Well, be like that little child. Always keep lifting your foot to climb the ladder of holiness, and do not imagine that you can mount even the first step. All God asks of you is good will.
From the top of the ladder he looks lovingly upon you, and soon, touched by your fruitless efforts, He will Himself some down, and, taking you in His Arms, will carry you to His kingdom never again to leave Him. But should you cease to raise your foot, you will be left for long on the earth."

******

"The only way to advance rapidly in the path of love is to remain always very little. That is what I did, and now I can sing with our holy Father, St. John of the Cross:
"Then I abased myself so low, so very low, That  I ascended to such heights, such heights indeed, That I did overtake the prey I chased!"

*******
to be continued....


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 04, 2015, 07:43:44 PM
I love this thread, Whiterockdove!  First, The Practice of the Presence of God, one of my favorite works; now, this material about St. Therese!  How wonderful!  I love this saint and her words so much!  Thank you for your posts and God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 04, 2015, 11:06:40 PM
Thank you! I just wish Brother Lawrence's  fine work
Could have been done in the book section. I hadn't intended to
Write it all out, it just ended up that way. :D

St.Therese of Lisieux has been suggested reading from our priest. He's really big on the saints.
Much credit goes to parents, now saints themselves!  Her upbringing led to
A well-cultivated soul. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 04, 2015, 11:44:14 PM
St. Therese had such a privileged background filled with a great abundance of graces.  Her family life couldn't be beat.  What a beautiful family life she had!  St. Therese was properly brought up and yes, Whiterockdove, her soul was well-cultivated.

St. Therese, pray for us!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on November 05, 2015, 08:22:11 AM
This has all been such fine reading whiterockdove!

Thank you for the writings of Brother Lawrence!  :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 05, 2015, 10:30:29 PM
I enjoyed working on "The Practice of The Presence of God" very much!  I really value exchanges like his, just letters of advice to his fellow Carmelites.  I  have heard grumblings that he has not yet been made a saint, but perhaps it suits his legacy more to not be a saint recognized by The Church. 

An account on the exhumation of St. Therese of Lisieux said although there was speculation that she would be found to be incorruptible, it was not the case. There were only bones. It didn't matter, though. There was a procession and veneration of her very mortal and humble remains. It was what she had hoped for. She wanted to remain "little" and nothing special. 


Here is an aspiration for Friday, Nov. 6th as we all get ready for the cold weather, work to get to mass, struggle with long commutes and endure the hazards of being out and about.
I am going to a funeral for one of our parishioners. May her soul rest in peace! Phyllis raised 13 children and farmed with her husband. And canned food from the garden, worked in the school lunchroom, worked in a senior citizen lunchroom.  A busy busy lady, and always cheerful and nice to the people like me who carried her groceries to the car when she shopped at the local supermarket where I worked.
Not everyone is friendly to the blue collar, service  workers like me but she always was. Eternal rest, grant unto her, O lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her!
 
And the aspiration is:
O Lord, you have been our refuge,
from generation to generation....

...Give success to the work of our hands.
O give success to the work of our hands.

Counsels & Reminiscenses of Soeur Therese, The Little Flower of Jesus

Under a temptation which seemed to me irresistible, I said to her: "This time, I cannot surmount it." She replied: "Why seek to surmount it? Rather pass beneath. It is all well for great souls to soar above the clouds when the storm rages; we have simply to suffer the showers. What does it matter if we get wet? We shall dry ourselves in the sunshine of love."

It recalls a little incident of my childhood. One day a horse was standing in front of the garden gate. My companions talked to him and tried to make him move off, but while they were talking I quietly slipped between his legs....Such is the advantage of remaining small.

*****

Our Lord said to the mother of the sons of Zebedee: "To sit on mu right or left hand is for them for whom it is prepared by my Father." (1) I imagine that these chosen places, which have been refused alike to great Saints and Martyrs, will be reserved for little children; and did not
David foretell it when he said, that 'the little Benjamin will preside amidst the assemblies(2)of the Saints."

*******

"You are wrong to find fault with this thing and with that, or to try to make everyone see things as you see them. We desire to be "as little children." and little children do not know what is best: to them all seems right. Let us imitate their ways, Besides, there is no merit in doing what reason dictates."



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 06, 2015, 06:47:49 AM
I am presently rereading St. Therese's last conversations.   She knew that she would not die in-corrupt.  I love quotes from her and learn a lot from them.  I only wish that she had read Mystical City of God, so that all her quotes about our Lady would be influenced by the true life of our Lady.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 06, 2015, 06:56:40 AM
Good aspiration, Whiterockdove.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 08, 2015, 12:56:25 AM
I am presently rereading St. Therese's last conversations.   She knew that she would not die in-corrupt.  I love quotes from her and learn a lot from them.  I only wish that she had read Mystical City of God, so that all her quotes about our Lady would be influenced by the true life of our Lady.

Yes, especially since she had such healing come from Our Lady.   :)

I'm referring to the time in her life when she was having an episode of some sort of illness, spiritual, mental  or otherwise with being bed bound and unable to recognize people, etc. This went on for a long time and one day she was lifted out of this state for good after she saw the smile of Mary in a vision (this  may not be the right term)

Of course she later started having symptoms of tuberculosis, but this respite from all her distress was a blessing in her short life.


Here are  some more quotes and recollections  from " The Story of a Soul"

"My patrons and my special favourites in Heaven are those who, so to speak, stole it, such as the Holy Innocents and the Good Thief.
The great Saints won it by their works; I wish to be like the thieves and win it by stratagem -a stratagem of  love which will open it's bates both to me and to poor sinners. In the Book of Proverbs the Holy Ghost encourages me for He says: 'Come to me, little one, to learn subtlety!"

*****
" What would you do if you could begin over again your religious life?"

"I think I should do as I have already done."

"Then you do not share the feeling of the hermit who said: 'While a quarter of an hour or even a breath of life still remains ito me, I shall fear the fires of hell even though I should have spent years in penance'?"

"No, I do not share that fear; I am too small.Little children are not damned."

"You are ever seeking to be as little children are, but tell us what must be done to obtain that childlike spirit. 'Remaining little'--what does it mean?"

"Remaining little' means--to recognize one's nothingness, to await everything from the Goodness of God, to avoid being too much troubled at our faults; finally not to worry over amassing spiritual riches, not to be solicitous about anything. Even amongst the poor, while a child is still small, he is given what is necessary; but, once he is grown up,  his father will no longer feed him and tells him to seek work and support himself. Well, it was to avoid hearing this, that i have never wished to grow up, for I feel incapable of earning my livelihood, which is Life Eternal!"

to be continued.


*******

Here is an aspiration for Sunday, Nov. 8th:   

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on November 08, 2015, 04:38:27 AM
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."

'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. By "the poor in spirit" is meant those who are poor in earthly desires, and desire nothing but God. These are poor in desires, but not without affection, because they live contented even in this life; and, therefore, the Lord does not say, "Theirs will be the kingdom of heaven," but "theirs is," because even in this life they are rich in spiritual blessings which they receive from God; and thus, however poor they are in temporal goods, they live content with their condition. They are different from the rich in earthly desires, who, in the present life, whatever riches they possess, are always poor, and live discontented; for the good things of this life do not satisfy our thirst, however much they are increased; wherefore, these persons are never contented, never attaining to the acquisition of what they desire.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 17, 2015, 04:58:49 PM
Here is an aspiration for Wed., Nov. 18th;

You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God,
Who lightens my darkness.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 17, 2015, 06:35:43 PM
Hi Whiterockdove!  I didn't receive a notification of your penultimate post but today received a notification of your last post.  Thanks for posting these quotes of St. Therese and the aspirations!  It is good for me to remember the Little Way of St. Therese, so I don't make my spiritual life more complicated than it has to be.  Devotion to Blessed Mary and Spiritual childhood are both very key in the spiritual life, no?  With the Blessed Mother and the Little Way to help us we should be very happy.  Thanks for reminding me with the St. Therese quotes that salvation can be more easily attained by means of spiritual childhood.  I need to always remember that Blessed Mary, abandonment to divine Providence and spiritual childhood will certainly help me get to heaven.  We all must focus on Blessed Mary, on being conformed to the divine Will and on being little, so that our salvation will be more easily attained.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 18, 2015, 10:49:36 AM
You are so welcome, Therese :)
I will continue to post, although  in a rather sporadic way.  Its hard to get time on the keyboard ;D
We only have one and I encourage my husband to use it whenever he wants.
Its good for him to do these things; keeping his brain engaged and active!
Prayers for you, always, my friend! :happywave:


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 18, 2015, 10:50:33 AM
"The little way is one of spiritual childhood, of confidence and complete self abandonment."
--St. Therese of the Child Jesus


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 18, 2015, 10:54:16 AM
You are so welcome, Therese :)
I will continue to post, although  in a rather sporadic way.  Its hard to get time on the keyboard ;D
We only have one and I encourage my husband to use it whenever he wants.
Its good for him to do these things; keeping his brain engaged and active!
Prayers for you, always, my friend! :happywave:

Please know that I am praying for you and your husband, and for your Aunt Peggy.  I pray for a happy ending to Peggy's life, one of saving grace and salvation.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 18, 2015, 02:03:54 PM
Thank you, Therese. Here is a prayer off a lovely old holy card I found in the free box of a church somewhere.  It is of St. Joseph as an old man holding the Baby Jesus.

PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH

Father,
when You are ready to lead me through death to eternal life,
be with me as You were
with Your people of old.
As the last breath
of life pours from me,
take away all fear and
let me embrace You with joy.
Give me the grace to die,
as did St. Joseph,
with Jesus and Mary at my side.
Amen.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 18, 2015, 04:10:04 PM
Thank you, Therese. Here is a prayer off a lovely old holy card I found in the free box of a church somewhere.  It is of St. Joseph as an old man holding the Baby Jesus.

PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH

Father,
when You are ready to lead me through death to eternal life,
be with me as You were
with Your people of old.
As the last breath
of life pours from me,
take away all fear and
let me embrace You with joy.
Give me the grace to die,
as did St. Joseph,
with Jesus and Mary at my side.
Amen.


Beautiful prayer!  Thanks for sharing it, Whiterockdove!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 29, 2015, 03:00:33 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Tell us, are you the One
Who is to come?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 29, 2015, 09:15:50 PM
Here's a nice Advent hymn:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessings in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of Kings. Yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads it's vanguard on the way
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the power of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry,

Alleluia, Alleluia,
Alleluia, Lord Most High!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 29, 2015, 09:34:41 PM
One of my favorites, Whiterockdove!  But I believe it is a French Christmas hymn.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on November 29, 2015, 10:35:49 PM
I had to edit my last post.

Here is a beautiful saying of St. John of the Cross:

"Love to be unknown both by yourself and by others.  Never look at the good or evil of others."

I wish there were some commentary that would tell me exactly what it means to love to be unknown to oneself, given that self-knowledge is supposed to bring one to a greater knowledge of God.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on November 29, 2015, 11:06:59 PM
Let all mortal flesh keep silence!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on November 30, 2015, 12:14:14 PM


Here's an aspiration for today;

"O Lord, I have heard your renown,
And feared, O Lord, your work."


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on November 30, 2015, 03:42:39 PM
What a beautiful aspiration!

I shall say it throughout the day! :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on December 01, 2015, 04:03:56 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

Mother of Christ
Hear, Thou, Thy people's cry!



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 06, 2015, 11:56:13 PM
Here is a passage from St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier on Pryaer, from her 'Conferences and Instructions' on Saints' Books (http://saintsbooks.net).

'God, says St Teresa, only bestows His favours on a soul when she humbles herself and applies herself to recollection, considering herself as nothing. This great saint, raised to the highest degree of contemplation, possessed deep humility, proportionate to the great favours bestowed on her by God. By the light she received in prayer, her smallest imperfections were clear to her, so that she believed she was always accumulating ingratitude upon ingratitude, sin upon sin, and she complained to Our Lord that He punished her infidelities only by new graces. It is true, however, that during more than fifteen years she suffered from such desolation in prayer that it would, she said, have cost her less to go to martyrdom than to recollect herself for meditation. She found the time of prayer so long that she often shook the hourglass beside her. Sometimes she found herself, instead of praying, counting the panes of glass in the windows, and examining the tiles on the chapel floor, and worse than all this, the devil persuaded her that she was too great a sinner to meditate, and that it was sufficient for her to recite the office and pray vocally. So when the hour for meditation arrived, she sometimes went and hid herself at the bottom of the garden, to thus escape from Our Lord, yet feeling withal great sorrow at being at a distance from the Beloved of her soul. She finally spoke to her confessor of the temptation, who pointed out to her the snare which the spirit of evil had laid for her ruin. She listened to his holy counsels and resolved never to abandon the exercise of meditation, but to be faithful to it till death at any cost. In times of dryness she often said to God: "Lord, the more Thou hidest Thyself from me, the more will I seek Thee; the more Thou dost fly from me, the more will I hasten after Thee." Sometimes she had recourse to a book and found relief.

You must do likewise, my dear daughters; the more Our Lord appears to retire from you, the more should you seek Him with affectionate persever ance, without yielding to negligence or sleep, but making holy aspirations from your heart as our Spiritual Directory suggests, following the attraction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, making use also of the good books and of the excellent methods taught you. Moreover, you will find by experience that we only learn to meditate well by meditating. For this reason when the disciples of St. John of the Cross requested him to instruct them how to meditate, he usually replied: "Meditate. Go and make a meditation." As for myself, I, too, feel inclined to say the same when I am questioned on the point.

Prayer is a private audience granted to us by God in which He manifests Himself to us to shower His graces upon us; but believe me, my dear daughters, no one can initiate you into this secret communing of the soul with God, no one can teach you this secret converse of the creature with its Creator. To you it belongs to beg God with all earnestness that He wrould teach you to converse with Him, and it is to you to strive to make your selves worthy to receive this grace. Prepare your self constantly for prayer by great fidelity to your duties, then in all simplicity present yourself be fore our Divine Saviour. Hearken to His voice when He speaks to your heart and when He tells you to correct certain faults or suggests certain sacrifices. Ask His pardon for your faults, thank Him for His innumerable benefits, beg new graces for yourself, for your neighbour, for your sisters labouring in our missions. Exercise your understanding, memory and will, as much as possible, and above all excite in your heart sentiments of love, gratitude and generosity. In a word, your prayer should be a prayer of zeal, of abnegation and of sacrifice; a prayer as fervent and persevering when God leaves you in dryness, as when He consoles you with His ineffable spiritual consolations.'


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 07, 2015, 05:05:50 AM
Without daily mental prayer how could one's days be considered good?


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 07, 2015, 06:19:15 AM
Some words of Bl. Marcellin Champagnat to help us:

"[Ingratitude] is the enemy of piety and leads to tepidity. One sees so many religious who perform all their duties poorly because they are not at all happy in religious life, and draw no consolation from their exercises of piety! Everywhere -- during meditation, examen, Holy Mass -- their heart is covered by a veil which cannot be pierced by either the example of their brothers, the splendor of the ceremonies, or even the spirit of God. God's blessings are as burdensome for such souls as His chastisements are for others. For them, prayer is a penance, confession a torture, Communion a real torment. God's blessings irritate them like a burning wound. The graces He showers on them upset them and make them nervous, instead of bringing them peace and happiness. What is the real cause of all that? Ask such religious what they think of God, ask them if they have thanked Him regularly, and you will learn the real secret of their sad condition. For them, God has been nothing but a hard, severe master, not a father. They almost never thought of thanking Him. The vice of in gratitude is at the root of their whole life. They fear God, or rather His punishments, and do not love Him. They beg Him to deliver them from hell, and do not think of praising Him and thanking Him for His gifts. They are filled with a servile spirit and have never known the filial spirit. There you have the cause of their dryness, the reason for their tepidity. These religious are ungrateful, they do not know the spirit of gratitude, and ingratitude has fasten them in the pillory of imperfection; they will never make a single step towards progress so long as they have that detestable spirit of servility. What a wicked vice ingratitude is! How God detests it! 'It is very true,' as St. Bernard says, 'that this vice dries up the wellsprings of grace, dries up all the good sentiments of the soul, goes against its best interests, and directly attacks its salvation.'" (Bl. Champagnat, Opinions, Conferences, Sayings and Instructions, pp. 127-128. New York: IVE Press, 2010.)


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 07, 2015, 06:52:26 PM
I am often saying, "Gratitude is the secret to happiness!"  :D

Reading this, it makes me think, "Ingratitude is the secret reason for unhappiness!"

Thank you Therese for this! :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 07, 2015, 08:30:33 PM
I am often saying, "Gratitude is the secret to happiness!"  :D

Reading this, it makes me think, "Ingratitude is the secret reason for unhappiness!"

Thank you Therese for this! :D

I knew you'd like this quote, Shin.  I still remember your post a while back about gratitude being the secret to happiness.  I know that it truly is after what I've read about it and ingratitude.  We receive a lot less graces from God when He sees that we are ungrateful.  I agree with you wholeheartedly when you say "Ingratitude is the secret reason for unhappiness!"!  I learned from the Mystical City of God to keep a tender remembrance of all the sufferings Jesus and Mary went through for the love of us to redeem us--and to thank them daily for it.  Remember the passage about our Lady feeling incensed?  Wasn't it over men's ingratitude in relation to Her Son's sufferings for them and even her sufferings for them?  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 10, 2015, 02:32:44 PM
May we love God and serve Him to the best of our ability.

Here is an inscription in an old Cathedral in Germany, city of Lubeck:
  
"You call Me Master and obey me not,
You call Me Light and see Me not,
You call Me Way and walk Me not,
You call Me Life and desire Me not,
You call Me wise and follow Me not,
You call Me fair and love Me not,
You call Me rich and ask Me not,
You call Me eternal and seek Me not,
You call Me gracious and trust Me not,
You call Me noble and serve Me not,
You call Me mighty and honor Me not,
You call Me just and fear Me not,
If I condemn you, blame Me not."

May we please God and be found worthy of Heaven.  

Mary Immaculate, intercede for us and help us to love and serve our Lord more and more each day.  Amen.





Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 10, 2015, 10:35:30 PM
Here's one way of summing up the spiritual life:

We must do what God wants and want what God does.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 11, 2015, 01:54:13 AM
May we love God and serve Him to the best of our ability.

Here is an inscription in an old Cathedral in Germany, city of Lubeck:
  
"You call Me Master and obey me not,
You call Me Light and see Me not,
You call Me Way and walk Me not,
You call Me Life and desire Me not,
You call Me wise and follow Me not,
You call Me fair and love Me not,
You call Me rich and ask Me not,
You call Me eternal and seek Me not,
You call Me gracious and trust Me not,
You call Me noble and serve Me not,
You call Me mighty and honor Me not,
You call Me just and fear Me not,
If I condemn you, blame Me not."

May we please God and be found worthy of Heaven.  

Mary Immaculate, intercede for us and help us to love and serve our Lord more and more each day.  Amen.


These are striking words to read and keep ahold of!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 11, 2015, 02:00:05 AM
'Father, we should not wait for a call to the world from Rome on the part of the Holy Father to do penance. Nor should we wait for a call for penance to come from the Bishops in our Dioceses, nor from our Religious Congregations. No, Our Lord has often used these means, and the world has not paid heed. So, now each one of us must begin to reform himself spiritually. Each one has to save not only his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed on his pathway.'

Sr. Lucy of Fatima [According to an interview with Fr. Augustin Fuentes]

'"Father, the Blessed Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but I understood this for three reasons:

"The first is because she told me that the Devil is engaging in a battle with the Virgin, a decisive battle. It is a final battle where one party will be victorious and the other will suffer defeat. So, from now on, we are either with God or we are with the Devil; there is no middle ground.

"The second reason is because she told me, as well as my cousins, that God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And, being the last remedies, that is to say, they are the final ones, means that there will be no others.

"And the third, because in the plans of the Divine Providence, when God is going to chastise the world He always first exhausts all other remedies. When He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever, then, as we say in our imperfect way of talking, with a certain fear He presents us the last means of salvation, His Blessed Mother.

"If we despise and reject this last means, Heaven will no longer pardon us, because we will have committed a sin that the Gospel calls a sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists in openly rejecting – with full knowledge and will – the salvation that is put in our hands.

“Also, since Our Lord is a very good Son, He will not permit that we offend and despise His Blessed Mother. We have as obvious testimony the history of different centuries where Our Lord has shown us with terrible examples how He has always defended the honor of His Blessed Mother.

“Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world. As for the Holy Rosary, Father, in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary. This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is - be it temporal or above all spiritual - in the spiritual life of each of us or the lives of our families, be they our families in the world or Religious Communities, or even in the lives of peoples and nations.

“I repeat, there is no problem, as difficult as it may be, that we cannot resolve at this time by praying the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves, sanctify ourselves, console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.

“Then, there is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, holding her as the seat of mercy, goodness and pardon and the sure door to enter Heaven. This is the first part of the Message referring to Our Lady of Fatima, and the second part, which is briefer but no less important, refers to the Holy Father.”'

Sr. Lucy of Fatima [According to an interview with Fr. Augustin Fuentes]


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 11, 2015, 02:14:48 AM
I want to note I added 'according to an interview' to that last text as there might be some controversy about it, I do not know all the details.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 11, 2015, 08:09:39 AM
The Modernists try hard to discredit that interview, Shin, but the interview between Sr. Lucia and Fr. Fuentes was very authentic and very good.  I've read much on Fatima, including Fr. Paul Kramer's book The Devil's Final Battle.  The Sr. Lucia impersonator that came on the scene after the Fuentes interview is what is not authentic and good.  Sr. Lucia's impostor contradicts the real Sr. Lucia and has very different facial features/structures than Sr. Lucia, as pictures of comparison make clearly evident.

I love Fatima quotes!  Thanks for posting them!  I was already familiar with these Fatima quotes, but needed to be reminded that every problem can be solved by the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary.  I tell others I meet that every problem can be solved by praying the Most Holy Rosary, but needed somebody to tell this to me! :D


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 12, 2015, 11:44:58 PM
You're welcome. I know how that feels, to need to hear from someone else what you often say yourself. :D

My thought today was perhaps this time we live in is not much different than the time of Noah's Ark.

All ye holy saints pray for us!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on December 27, 2015, 11:07:05 PM
How nice to see these quotes and the responses! Thanks for posting them Therese!

Hi Shin!  so glad you made it home safe, hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

All is well here, I'll resume these excerpts from "Story of a Soul"  These are the recollections of St. Therese from the young women for whom she was a spiritual director.

*****

In imitation of our saintly Mistress i also wished never to grow up; she called me therefore "the little one," and during a retreat she wrote to me the following notes:

"Do not fear to tell Jesus that you love him, even though you may not feel that love, In this way you will compel Him to come to your aid, and to carry you like a little child who is too weak to walk.
   
"It is indeed a great source of trial, when everything looks black, but this does not depend entirely on yourself.  Do all in your power to detach your heart from earthly cares, especially from creatures; then be assured our Lord will  do the rest, He could not permit you to fall into the abyss. Be comforted, little one! In Heaven everything will no longer look black, but dazzling white, There all will be clothed in the Divine radiance of Our Spouse--the Lily of the Valley. Together we will follow Him whithersoever He goeth. Meantime we must make good use of this life's brief day. Let us give Our Lord pleasure, let us by self-sacrifice give Him souls! Above all, let us be little-so little that everyone might tread us underfoot without our even seeming to suffer pain.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 27, 2015, 11:45:03 PM
You are always very welcome, Whiterockdove!  Thanks so much for posting the St. Therese quotes!  I LOVE her and her little way!  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 28, 2015, 12:41:46 AM
You're welcome. I know how that feels, to need to hear from someone else what you often say yourself. :D

My thought today was perhaps this time we live in is not much different than the time of Noah's Ark.

All ye holy saints pray for us!


Yes, Shin, and we are living in times much like Sodom and Gomorrah too.  A holy missionary bishop (Bishop Donald Sanborn) says something truly important for us all to learn from, in one of his sermons about Sodom and Gomorrah.  He says that not all the inhabitants of these ancient cities were Sodomites and impure--some inhabitants were Sodomites and impure and all the rest went along with the sodomy and impurity, except Lot and his family, who were the only ones spared from God's wrath and vengeance.  Think of how many people go along with their relatives' and friends' cohabitation, divorce and remarriage, etc., cooperating in these sins as an accessory.  

There are 9 Ways of Being an Accessory to Another's Sin.
  a.  Have I knowingly caused others to sin?
  b.  Have I cooperated in the sins of others:

1. By counsel  2. By command  3. By consent 4. By provocation 5. By praise or flattery  6. By concealment  7.  By partaking  8. By silence  9. By defense of the ill done?

I hope that my SDF friends are not attending weddings that they should not be attending, so as not to show approval of another's sin and so as not to affirm another in their sin.  To visit a cohabitating or divorced and remarried couple in their home is a sign of approval/consent of their cohabitating/d&r and so should not be done; it is to treat a very sinful relationships like it is a valid marriage, which it isn't at all.  It is to hurt the couple by affirming them in their sinful relationship.  True charity is solicitous of the sinner's precious immortal soul and would in charity shun the sinning couple rather than offer misguided compassion to them.  Misguided compassion affirms another in their dangerous sin and is not charity but hatred for the other person's soul; it leaves the sinner in his/her place of hell with an I'm okay--you're okay attitude.  May we not sin by human respect in our dealings with others.

 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on December 29, 2015, 09:49:09 PM
More from "The Story of a Soul"

"I am not surprised at the failures of the little one; she forgets that in her role of missionary and warrior she ought to forgo all childish consolations. It is wrong to pass one's time in fretting, instead of sleeping on the Heart of Jesus.

Should the little one fear the dark of the night or complain at not seeing Him who carries her, let her shut her eyes. It is the one sacrifice God asks. By remaining thus, the dark will cease to terrify, because she will not see it, and before long, peace--if not joy--will re-enter her soul."

*******

To help me accept a humiliation she confided to me what follows:

"If I had not been received into the Carmel, I would have entered a Refuge, and lived there unknown and despised among the poor 'penitents'. My joy would have been to pass for one, and I would have become an apostle among my companions, telling them my thoughts on the Infinite Mercy of God."

"But how could you have hidden your innocence from your Confessor?"

"I would have told him that while still in the world I made a general confession, and that it was forbidden me to repeat it."

*****
"Oh! When I think of all I have to acquire!"

"Or rather to lose!  It is Jesus Who takes upon Himself to fill your soul according as you rid it of imperfections. I see clearly that you are mistaking the road, and that you will never arrive at the end of your journey. You want to climb the mountain, whereas God wishes you to descend it. He is awaiting you in the fruitful valley of humility."

******


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on December 30, 2015, 12:49:16 PM
Here's an aspiration for today;


" Come you nations and adore The Lord!"


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 30, 2015, 01:09:05 PM
Dear Whiterockdove,

My aspirations are directed from my heart to our Lord and to our Lady (and St. Joseph) and are addressed to them.  I do not address others, such as the nations, etc. when I make aspirations.  God bless you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on December 30, 2015, 10:22:00 PM
Quote
It is wrong to pass one's time in fretting, instead of sleeping on the Heart of Jesus.

A soothing thought!

It reminds me of a quote from St. Padre Pio!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 30, 2015, 10:45:37 PM
I don't understand what St. Therese meant about the general confession business, seeing she wouldn't go telling lies.  If somebody knows what she meant, then please enlighten me. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on December 30, 2015, 10:47:01 PM
Quote
It is wrong to pass one's time in fretting, instead of sleeping on the Heart of Jesus.

A soothing thought!

It reminds me of a quote from St. Padre Pio!


Indeed, worry is useless.  Now praying and hoping are two things we could use a lot of!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on January 02, 2016, 10:13:14 PM
Therese, I wondered about that same passage when I was writing it!  It seems there are a lot of paradoxes in "The Story of A Soul"
I don't know the answers but I like the book.  I guess it's important to remember that although she is a Doctor of the Church, she was very young when she wrote these things.
Just think if she would have lived to be an old woman!  Who knows how different her writings would have been.
God Bless you, my sister in Christ  :)


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 03, 2016, 08:00:53 AM
Therese, I wondered about that same passage when I was writing it!  It seems there are a lot of paradoxes in "The Story of A Soul"
I don't know the answers but I like the book.  I guess it's important to remember that although she is a Doctor of the Church, she was very young when she wrote these things.
Just think if she would have lived to be an old woman!  Who knows how different her writings would have been.
God Bless you, my sister in Christ  :)

I'm sure that this passage in question leaves others with questions too, Whiterockdove.  Because St. Therese was a saint growing up I believe that her statement about general confession had to have been true somehow.  It is my guess that St. Therese would have remained her child-like self up until a ripe old age, if she had died older.  What do you think?  I say this because it is as though she were destined to remain everybody's "Little Therese," as she was called by others--everything about her life seemed to mold her into "Little Therese."  And her little way would have certainly kept her in spiritual childhood.  How I love this saint!  Thanks so much for posting quotes of hers, Whiterockdove!  I'm nearly all finished re-reading her Last Conversations.  This is a good book about her at the end of her life.  I have several good books about St. Therese.  God bless you, too, dear Whiterockdove!  


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on January 04, 2016, 09:53:12 PM
You are so welcome, Therese!

Heres some more from "Story of A Soul":

"To me it seems that humility is truth. I do not know whether I am humble, but I do know that I see truth in all things."

********

"Indeed you are a Saint!"

"No, I am not a Saint, I have never wrought the works of a Saint. I am but a tiny soul whom Almighty God has loaded with His favours."

"The truth of what I say will be made known to you in Heaven."

But have you not always been faithful to those favors?"

"Yes, from the age of three I have never refused our our Good God anything. Still I cannot glorify myself. See how this evening the tree-tops are gilded by the setting sun. So likewise my soul appears to you all shining and golden because it is exposed to the rays of Love. But should the Divine Sun no longer shine thereon, it would instantly be sunk in gloom."






Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 04, 2016, 10:12:55 PM
St. Therese was so very humble, her humility is a key component of her little way of spiritual childhood.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: whiterockdove on January 05, 2016, 02:32:40 AM
Here's an aspiration for today;

In your laws I take delight.
I will never forget your word.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 05, 2016, 02:20:47 PM
Here is another one:

Jesus, have mercy on me, help me!  Mary, intercede for me!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 06, 2016, 01:01:02 AM
Splendid aspirations!

Here is another!

Loosen for me: all the bonds of sin:
My Lord Jesus Christ: help me.



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 06, 2016, 04:35:53 AM
I like it, Shin, for it shoots like a dart from my heart to the heart of my Lord (uniting the two), which is what an ejaculation/aspiration is supposed to do.  Yours is nice, Whiterockdove and I just prayed it again.  My aspiration came from St. Alphonsus.  He has some beautiful aspirations found in the back of his book, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ.  I think I found this aspiration I posted somewhere in one of the chapters of his book and not at the end of it.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 06, 2016, 11:35:39 AM
Deo gratias et Mariae semper Virgini!

The True Spouse of Jesus Christ is one of my most loved books Therese. Whiterockdove, if you have not read this book, put it on the top of your list, it is precious.

To take delight in the Lord's laws, what a wonderful thing. :D



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 06, 2016, 01:43:37 PM
Deo gratias et Mariae semper Virgini!

The True Spouse of Jesus Christ is one of my most loved books Therese. Whiterockdove, if you have not read this book, put it on the top of your list, it is precious.

To take delight in the Lord's laws, what a wonderful thing. :D



The True Spouse of Jesus Christ is most excellent! A former spiritual director of mine once told me to make it my book, and so I did.  I've re-read it a number of times and have always gotten so much out of it.  Yes, Shin, Whiterockdove should read it. 


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 06, 2016, 05:03:37 PM
I am truly so happy with the aspirations we have been sharing too.

Let's keep sharing them!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 06, 2016, 06:55:16 PM
Alright, Shin, I'll try to contribute some good ones that I really like, one's that shoot up like fiery darts straight from my heart up to Heaven.

Here is one:

My Jesus, mercy!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 06, 2016, 07:06:13 PM
Here is another one:

Jesus, my Love, come to me!

And another:

Speak, Lord, your servant heareth.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 08, 2016, 06:50:25 AM
St. Therese was very humble and humility is the truth.  St. Therese in her humility knew that she was a saint, as the following passage from St. Therese: Her Last Conversations reveals:

During the month of August, 1897, about six weeks before her death, I [Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart (her sister Marie)] was at her bedside with Mother Agnes of Jesus [her sister Pauline] and Sr. Genevieve [her sister Celine].  Suddenly without any provocation, she looked at us with a heavenly air and said very distinctly:
       "You know well that you are taking care of a little saint."
When she was asked in the process of beatification, whether the Servant of God had given any explanation or correction to this statement, Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart answered:
       "I was very much moved by these words as though I had heard a saint predict what would happen after her death.  Under the influence of this emotion, I withdrew a short distance from the infirmary, and I don't remember having heard anything else."


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 08, 2016, 06:59:45 AM
Here's another aspiration:

Lord, make me a saint, for all is possible with you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 08, 2016, 09:21:10 AM
Here is another one:

Jesus, my Love, come to me!


I would like to point out to you all that the aspiration above is a short Spiritual Communion.  It is very good to make short Spiritual Communions frequently throughout the day.  Short Spiritual Communions are very easy to say and please our Lord very much!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 08, 2016, 09:34:14 AM
Splendid! :D

 :+: :principalities: :angelbell: :seraphim: :flower: :seraphim: :angelbell: :principalities: :+:


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 08, 2016, 11:39:32 AM
Dear Shin,

You quoted St. Alphonsus on your "Quote for the Day" or "Quote for the Night" thread and the quote was about exactly what I had sought out to do in my spiritual life--and on the very same day that I sought out to do it.  Neat!  The quote was a good confirmation, seeing a Novus Ordo priest I ran into that day in his bookstore tried to dissuade me from my goal, a goal, by the way, that came from the instruction of our Lady in the Mystical City of God.  I have all confidence in our Lady's instruction and in St. Alphonsus' and so didn't really need any confirmation.  But it was nice getting one!  God bless you and thank you!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 08, 2016, 02:02:47 PM
It is so refreshing isn't it, to find a quote like this from the saints.   :D



Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 08, 2016, 03:57:57 PM
It is so refreshing isn't it, to find a quote like this from the saints.   :D



Yes, Shin. :D  The saints truly knew how to live--they are the experts on the spiritual life, I can trust them to lead me down the right path.  Especially Blessed Mary!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 18, 2016, 11:43:16 PM
'From this valley of tears, turn your gaze continually to God, ever awaiting the moment when you will be united to Him in heaven. Often contemplate heaven, and fervently exclaim: What a beautiful abode there is above! It is destined for us! Sigh longingly after its possession. Sometimes say, while your eyes are moist with tears: Nothing in this world pleases me; I no longer care for anything but my God. Yes, I hope, yes, I wish to possess Him, and I hope this of the mercy of God, through the merits of my Saviour's Passion and the dolors of my good Mother Mary.'

St. Paul of the Cross


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 21, 2016, 06:57:08 PM
Here are a couple of aspirations for you all to pray if you'd like:

My Jesus, Thou alone art sufficient for me.

                        and

My Love, do not permit me to separate myself from Thee.


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Shin on January 21, 2016, 07:48:32 PM
I like them together!


Title: Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life
Post by: Therese on January 21, 2016, 10:37:36 PM
Yes, they do work well together, don't they?!  Good night and God bless you, Shin!