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33  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Excerpts from The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila on: November 06, 2015, 02:42:16 AM
     It is about prayer that you have asked me to say something to you.

****

Before speaking of the interior life - that is, of prayer - I shall speak of certain things which those who attempt to walk along the way of prayer most of necessity practice. So necessary are these that, even though not greatly given to contemplation, people who have them can advance a long way in the Lord's service, while, unless they have them, they cannot possible be great contemplatives, and, if they think they are, they are much mistaken. May The Lord help me in this task and teach me what I must say, so that it may be to His glory. Amen.

****

There are only three things which I will explain at some length and which are taken from our Constitution itself. It is essential that we should understand how very important they are to us in helping us to preserve that peace, both inward and outward, which The Lord so earnestly
recommended to us. One of these things is love for each other; the second, detachment from all created things; the third, true humility, which, although I put it last, is the most important of the three and embraces all the rest.
34  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life on: November 06, 2015, 02:30:29 AM
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."

35  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Excerpts from Mystical City of God by Ven. Mary of Agreda on: November 06, 2015, 01:39:59 AM
'For Them [Jesus Christ and Blessed Mary] primarily did He create the heaven and earth  with  its  stars  and  elements  and  all  that  is  contained  in  them.  Secondarily  the intention and decree included the creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the Head, and of whom He would be the King; in order that with kingly providence, all the necessary and befitting arrangements might be made beforehand.'

Ven. Mary of Agreda, Mystical City of God, Vol I, 45

This is a lovely thought! Smiley 
36  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life on: November 05, 2015, 03:06:40 AM
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. Cheesy

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. 
37  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Excerpts from The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila on: November 04, 2015, 02:35:29 AM
CHAPTER 4

Exhorts the nuns to keep their Rule and names three things which are important for the spiritual life, Describes the first of these three things, which is love of one's neighbor, and speaks of the harm which can be done by individual friendships.

Now, daughters, you have looked at the great enterprise which we are trying to carry out. What kind of persons shall we have to be if we are not to be considered over-bold in the eyes of God and of the world? It is clear that we need to labour hard and it will be a great help to us if we have sublime thoughts so that we may strive to make our actions sublime also. If we endeavour to observe our Rule and Constitutions in the fullest sense, and with great care, I hope in The Lord that he will grant our requests.  I am not asking anything new of you, my daughters - only that we should hold to our profession, which, as it is our vocation, we are bound to do, although there are many ways of holding to it.
     Our Primitive Rules tells us to pray without ceasing, Provided we do this with all possible care (and it is the most important thing of all) we shall not fail to observe the fasts, disciplines and periods of silence which the Order commands; for, as you know, if prayer is to be genuine it must be reinforced with these things- prayer cannot be accompanied by self indulgence.
38  Forums / Book Study / Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada on: November 04, 2015, 02:19:38 AM
     These are the graces comprehended in the inestimable benefit of justification,  which St. Augustine justly ranks above that of creation. (Super. Joan 72,9). For God created the world by a single act of His will, but to redeem it He shed the last drop of His Blood and expired under the most grievous torments. St. Thomas gives a like opinion in his Summa Theologica.

     Though it is true that no man can be certain of his justification, yet there are signs by which we can form a favorable judgement. The principal of these is a a change of life; as, for example, when a man who hitherto committed innumerable mortal sins without scruple would not now be guilty of a single grave offense against God even to gain the whole world.

*******

The effects produced in the soul by the Holy Ghost do not end here. This Divine Spirit, not content with causing us to enter the path of justice, maintains us therein, strengthening us against all obstacles until we arrive at the haven of salvation. His love will not permit Him to remain idle in a soul which He honors by His presence. He sanctifies her with His virtue, and effects in her and by her all that is necessary to win eternal life. He dwells in the soul as the father in the midst of a family preserving order and peace by his prudent authority; as a master in the midst of his disciples, teaching lessons of Divine wisdom; as a gardener in a garden confided to his intelligent care;  as a king in His kingdom, ruling and directing all; as the sun in the midst of the universe, enlightening and vivifying her, and directing all her movements.
39  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life on: November 04, 2015, 01:58:04 AM
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....
40  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: Uncle Jim on: November 02, 2015, 05:56:58 PM
St. Therese of Lisieux, please pray for Uncle Jim!
Amen.
41  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life on: November 02, 2015, 05:53:48 PM
Here's an aspiration for the day;
"May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace!"


42  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: Have Mercy on the Suffering Souls on: November 02, 2015, 05:50:09 PM
 cross prayer littleprayer cross prayer littleprayer cross prayer littleprayer cross prayer littleprayer
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God,
Rest in peace!

43  Forums / Book Study / Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada on: November 02, 2015, 02:07:43 AM
     Pray, then, with confidence, remembering that your petitions ascend to the Eternal Father in the name of His Son, who is your Head. For His sake they will be heard, and will redound to His honor; for, as is generally admitted, when we ask a favor for the sake of another, it is granted not so much to the one who receives it, as to the one for whose sake it was asked. Fot this reason we are said to serve God when we serve the poor for His sake.

*****

The final benefit of justification is the right which it gives to eternal life. God is infinitely merciful as will as infinitely just, and while He condemns impenitent sinners to eternal misery, He rewards the truly repentant with eternal happiness.

*****

He adopts those whom He pardons, justifies those whom He has adopted, and makes them partakers of the riches and inheritance of his only-begotten Son. It is the hope of this incomparable inheritance which sustains and comforts the just in all their tribulations; for they feel even in the midst of the most cruel adversity that "that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory." (2Cor. 4:17)
44  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Excerpts from The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila on: November 02, 2015, 01:50:19 AM
Oh, Eternal Father! Surely all these scourgings and insults and grievous tortures will not be forgotten. How, then,  my Creator, can a heart so (merciful and) loving as Thine endure than an act which was performed by Thy Son in order to please The the more ( for He loved Thee most deeply and Thou didst command Him to love us)  should be treated as lightly as those heretics treat the Most Holy Sacrament today, in taking it from its resting-place when they destroy the churches?

*****

Was it not enough, Eternal Father, that while he lived He had no place to lay His head and had always to endure so many trials? Must they now deprive Him of the places(20)to which He can invite His friends, seeing how weak we are and knowing that those who have to labour need such food to sustain them? Had He not already more than sufficiently paid for the sin of Adam? Has this most loving Lamb to pay once more whenever we relapse into sin? Permit it not, my Emperor; let Thy Majesty be appeased; look not upon our sins but upon our redemption by Thy Most Sacred Son, upon His merits and upon those of His glorious Mother and of all the saints and martyrs who have died for Thee.
45  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life on: November 02, 2015, 01:33:55 AM
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
     
46  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Joys and Challenges of a Solitary Life on: October 21, 2015, 03:14:52 AM
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.
47  Forums / Book Study / Re: Excerpts from "The Sinner's Guide", Venerable Louis of Granada on: October 21, 2015, 02:35:25 AM
I agree, Shin. the asterisks make things flow better.



The grace of justification delivers us from all these miseries. For God, in His infinite mercy, is not content with effacing our sins and restoring us to His favor; He delivers us from the evils sin has brought upon us, and renews the interior man in his former strength and beauty. Thus He heals our wounds, breaks our bonds, moderates the violence of our passions, restores with true liberty the supernatural beauty of the soul...

***

The beauty, the power, the riches of earth fade into insignificance before the unspeakable beauty of a soul in a state of grace. As far as Heaven is above earth, as far as mind is above matter, so far does the life of grace exceed that of nature, so far does the invisible beauty of a soul exceed the visible beauty of this world. God Himself is enamored with this divine beauty. He adorns such a soul with infused virtues and the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, imparting, at the same time, renewed strength and splendor to all her powers.


***

From these words the Doctors of the Church and between the Holy Spirit and His gifts,  they declare that the soul not only enjoys these gifts, but also the real presence of their Divine Author.

***

Still another more marvelous benefit of justification is that it transforms the soul into a living member of Christ. This, again, is the source of new graces and privileges, for the Son of God, loving and cherishing us as His own members, infuses into us that virtue which is His life, and, as our Head, continually guides and directs us.
48  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Excerpts from The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila on: October 21, 2015, 01:41:46 AM
That is a nice thought, Shin  Smiley I have heard that praying for souls in purgatory assures one they will never know a stranger in eternity. i also like the idea of someone coming up to me ( this is a rough approximation Cheesy of what I think it will be like, I can only hope!) and telling me that they know me because I prayed for them. I heard a talk given by a franciscan monk on such things and it warmed my heart.  Smiley

*** more from "The Way of Perfection"***

And for the love of the Lord I beg you to beseech His Majesty to hear us in this; I, miserable creature though I am, beseech this of His Majesty, since it is for His glory and the good of His Church, which are my only wishes. It seems over-bold of me to think that I can do anything towards obtaining this, But I have confidence, my Lord in these servants of Thine who are here, knowing that they neither desire nor strive after anything but to please Thee.  For Thy sake, they have left the little they possessed, wishing they had more so that they might serve Thee with it, Since Thou, my Creator, art not ungrateful, I do not think Thou wilt fail to do what they beseech of Thee, for when thou wert in the world, Lord, Thou didst not despise women, but always didst help them and show them great compassion. Thou didst find more faith and no less love in them than in men, and one of them was Thy most sacred Mother, from whose merits we derive merit, and whose habit we wear, though our sins make us unworthy to do so. We can do nothing in public that is of any use to Thee, now dare we speak of some of the truths over which we weep in secret lest Thou shouldst not hear this, our just petition.

*****

Hear us not when we ask Thee for honours, endowments, money or anything that has to do with the world; but why shouldst Thou not hear us, Eternal Father, when we ask only for the honour of Thy Son, when we would forfeit a thousand honours and a thousand lives for Thy sake? Not for ourselves, Lord, do we not deserve to be heard, but for the blood of Thy Son and for His merits.
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