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 1 
 on: Yesterday at 06:27:25 PM 
Started by martin - Last post by CyrilSebastian
When Columba entered the monastery of Clonard, he imbibed the traditions of the Welsh Church.

 2 
 on: Yesterday at 06:17:53 PM 
Started by Benedict - Last post by Benedict
Chapter 8 reflection part 4
Undivided Trinity, Supreme Unity, All-Holy One Who surpasses all, and transcends all thought and comprehension, be gracious to us and shine Thy Light upon our hearts and minds and souls that we may ascend to Thee.
The holy catholic and apostolic Church, then, teaches the existence at once of One God the Father Almighty: and of One Lord Jesus Christ His Only-begotten Son, who is the Word of God born of the Father before all ages.
The Son was born prior to the creation of the universe and thus we say that it He is eternally begotten and thus always existed with the Father being without time and without flux and without passion.
Truly in an unspeakable mystery and in a manner incomprehensible and perceived by the God of the universe alone:
the Word of God was generated without delay by the Supreme Mind and uttered without delay by the Supreme Voice
The eye recognises the existence at once of fire and the light which proceeds from it: and the hand cannot see the fire but feels the warmth which proceeds from the fire
for there is not first fire and thereafter light, nor is there fire and thereafter heat but they exist together as one reality, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And just as light is ever the product of fire, and ever is in it and at no time is separate from it, so in like manner also the Son is begotten of the Father and is never in any way separate from Him, but ever is in Him.
But whereas the light which is produced from fire without separation, and abides ever in it, has no proper person of its own distinct from that of fire (for it is a natural quality of fire to produce light),
Our Lord Jesus Christ the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father without separation and difference and ever abiding in Him, has a proper subsistence of its own distinct from that of the Father.
For the Son has received all from the Father except that of being the Father and thus the Father and the Son are distinct in their persons but united in will and essence.

 3 
 on: Yesterday at 06:01:39 PM 
Started by Benedict - Last post by Benedict
The Twelfth Chapter

The Value of Adversity

It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing.
It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well.
These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory.
When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts.
Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.
When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realizes clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good.
Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays.
He wearies of living longer and wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ.
Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.

 4 
 on: Yesterday at 05:40:17 PM 
Started by Benedict - Last post by Benedict
3. Grace means, in the first place, that benevolent love which a superior entertains for an inferior,
 for instance, a master for his servant, a sovereign for his subject, and in our condition, God for His rational creature,
 especially when this love is united to the pleasure and complacency which the former takes in the good qualities and good deeds of the latter.
 At the same time, however, we apply the word grace also to the effect of that love and to the object or the cause of that pleasure.
 Thus we say that we ask a grace of God or of man when we ask Him to grant us a favor on account of the condescending, benevolent love He bears us.
 Holy Scripture, likewise, applies the name grace to that beauty, goodness, and loveliness which render us worthy of the pleasure and love of God:
 "Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee forever."6
 But we must add another distinction of importance, viz., that we receive a twofold favor and grace from a superior person;
 first, a certain general, ordinary, merited, and necessary grace; and then, a very special, extraordinary, undeserved, and gratuitous grace;
 and this latter alone is, strictly and properly speaking, grace.
 Let us illustrate this by the conduct of a good and noble sovereign.
 He will truly love all his subjects,though they are inferior to him, or rather on that very account, because they are his subjects,
and all will share his favor and goodness according to their relative position and merit.
If he does no more than this, he fulfils only his duty and obligation, and he may be called gracious and kind,
but he will not be said to receive anyone unto special favor.
This will be the case, then, only when he loves all or some of his subjects in a greater degree and bestows upon them greater gifts than he is in duty obliged,
and their position or services are entitled to claim.
Especially, then, will he be gracious, when of his own free will he embraces his subjects with the full love that he bears his own children and himself;
when in his kindness he condescends to associate with them as with his friends, thereby elevating them from their lowliness and surrounding them with royal honors;
when he, in consequence, raises them above their original condition and makes them, as far as possible, equal to himself and his children.
Let us apply this example to the grace of God, of which royal favor is but a faint shadow.
God is the highest King of Heaven and of earth, because He has created all, because all things are His and are destined for His service and glory.
As He has created all things out of love, so He loves all His creatures ineffably and with most gracious condescension,
but He naturally loves the rational more than the irrational, because they are His image and are capable of knowing and loving Him.
His Divine complacency rests upon them, because He has created them good,
as long as they do not offend Him by mortal sin and remain worthy of His first love by faithful observance of His commandments.
In a certain sense, then, the rational creature can, by its nature already and its natural good works, merit the favor and love of God.
For the same reason we may, according to the opinion of St. Augustine, call every natural good and gift of God a grace,
since God was not obliged to create us and has given us all these natural goods out of gratuitous love.
But when once He has created us, He must, as a good and wise Creator, love us as His creatures, and grant us all those things that are indispensably necessary to attain to our natural destiny.
That favor and grace, then, which we have just mentioned, is grace not in a particular and strict sense, but only in a general sense of the word.
Nor is it the Christian grace, which Christ has brought into this world and which His Gospel, His Apostles, the holy Fathers, and Holy Church proclaim.
This is grace in the highest and strictest sense of the word: a very particular, gratuitous, condescending, and full grace of God, which makes us His particular favorites.
By the first kind of grace God loves us, as we deserve it on account of our nature and our natural good works.
By the latter grace, however, He loves us in a very particular manner, in a supernatural manner, infinitely more than we would deserve according to our nature.
From pure and spontaneous love He descends from the height of His royal throne to our lowliness, in order to elevate us infinitely above our nature.
He loves us with an unbounded and overflowing love, as much, so to speak, as is in His power; He loves us as Himself and as His only begotten Son;
He assumes, therefore, our soul as His child, His friend, His spouse, makes it the associate of His own glory and happiness, and gives Himself to the soul for eternal possession and enjoyment.
As we now, in a perfect and in the Christian sense, call only this supernatural love of God for us grace,
so we in the same sense designate only those gifts of God as graces, that are entirely supernatural and precious above others and proceed from that supernatural love of God.
In the same manner, not every pleasure that God may take in His rational creature is grace in the Christian sense,
but that pleasure alone by which He delights in our soul on account of the supernatural beauty and loveliness it has received from Him by His supernatural love.

The Glories of Divine Grace by Matthias Joseph Scheeben

 5 
 on: Yesterday at 05:32:28 PM 
Started by Benedict - Last post by Benedict
"The essential element in Christian faith, however, is God's descent towards his creatures, particularly towards the humblest, those who are weakest and least gifted according to the values of the "world".
There are spiritual techniques which it is useful to learn, but God is able to by-pass them or do without them.
A Christian's "method of getting closer to God is not based on any technique in the strict sense of the word.
That would contradict the spirit of childhood called for by the Gospel.
The heart of genuine Christian mysticism is not technique: it is always a gift of God; and the one who benefits from it knows himself to be unworthy".(Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Orationis Formas, 23. )

For Christians, conversion is turning back to the Father, through the Son, in docility to the power of the Holy Spirit.
The more people progress in their relationship with God - which is always and in every way a free gift -
the more acute is the need to be converted from sin, spiritual myopia and self-infatuation,
all of which obstruct a trusting self-abandonment to God and openness to other men and women.

All meditation techniques need to be purged of presumption and pretentiousness.
Christian prayer is not an exercise in self-contemplation, stillness and self-emptying,
but a dialogue of love, one which "implies an attitude of conversion,
 a flight from 'self' to the 'You' of God".(Ibid.,3. See the sections on meditation and contemplative prayer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, §§. 2705-2719. )
It leads to an increasingly complete surrender to God's will, whereby we are invited to a deep, genuine solidarity with our brothers and sisters.(Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Orationis Formas, 13. )"
Source:
Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the "New Age"
by Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue

 6 
 on: Yesterday at 05:21:20 AM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'It is absolutely necessary, both for our advancement and the salvation of others, to follow always and in all things the beautiful light of faith.'

St. Vincent de Paul

 7 
 on: June 23, 2021, 06:10:45 PM 
Started by CyrilSebastian - Last post by CyrilSebastian
On February 22, 896 Pope Formosus led King Arnulf into the church of St. Peter, anoited and crowned him as emperor, and saluted him as Augustus.

 8 
 on: June 23, 2021, 01:08:09 PM 
Started by Shin - Last post by eschator83
I found this thread today when I opened the forum thinking about asking for prayer for a certain level of what I suppose I could call spiritual dry-ness.  I'm having a considerable trouble posting both in my Meditation thread and also in the threads on Saints feasts, Lectio Divina, and the Cloud of Unknowing.  I was surprised I could not recall this post , but my primary thought was how my family was spared most of the calamity of covid, even though we both got it as did several other members of the family and other close friends. 
It seems a remarkable coincidence (perhaps not quite amazing) that just a few minutes ago I was reading on another site that the English poet/philosopher? had professed his faith/hope? that in God's Grand Plan the Universe is perfect and our fate is predetermined.
My best prayer, I think, is to accept God's will and hope in His Mercy.  I continue to struggle to understand the goal of mystic contemplation and withdrawal from the world, and ask for your prayers and those of My Guardian Angel, St William, and our Holy Mother Mary.

 9 
 on: June 23, 2021, 05:05:03 AM 
Started by Shin - Last post by Shin
'Do not neglect the practice of the virtues; if you do, your spiritual knowledge will decrease, and when famine occurs you will go down into Egypt (cf. Gen. 41:57; 46:6).'

St. Thalassios the Libyan

 10 
 on: June 22, 2021, 08:59:46 PM 
Started by Benedict - Last post by Benedict
2. This sweet and sublime mystery is too little known even among Christians, although the teachings of Holy Scripture and the Holy Church sufficiently enlighten us about it, and the lack of this knowledge is the more lamentable, as the knowledge of the doctrine of grace alone can lead us to understand and appreciate our exalted dignity, our great hopes, and the inexhaustible wealth of the merits of Christ. At the mention of the grace of God, we often represent to ourselves nothing but the restoration of God's favor, lost by sin, or such gifts of Divine love as will assist our weak nature in avoiding sin and in the practice of virtue. Certainly, forgiveness of sins and this protection and assistance must also be accounted effects of God's grace, but these effects alone do not constitute its highest value and its innermost nature. Forgiveness of sin is a grace on the part of God and restores to us that benevolent love which God bestowed upon us before sin. But we must ask: Which love did God bear us previous to our sin; was it a love equal only to the worth of our human nature, or was it a greater, an ampler love, that gave additional beauty to our nature, and elevated it to the heart of God unto a fraternal union with His Divine Son? Grace strengthens our weakened nature against the temptation to evil and in the performance of good works; it facilitates the fulfilment of our duties and the attainment of our last end. But here again the question presents itself: Does grace unite itself with man in his natural condition, and, by cooperating with his inborn virtue, assist and strengthen nature, does grace only temper nature—or does it elevate and transform it, and communicate to it a new nature, a new force, a new life, and new laws of life? A correct solution to these questions is of primary importance, and we can arrive at it easily by a clear and distinct definition of the term "Christian Grace:"

Matthias Joseph Scheeben The Glories of Divine Grace

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