Category Archives: Fasting

Have to Get It Right!

Matthew 5:48   “You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Want to know what you need to do (and, if you are anything like me, you’re probably not doing it very well at all.)  Read Matthew Chapter 5.  You know, the one with the beatitudes, plucking out eyes and cutting off hands, and anger, and adultery, and divorce, and swearing, and retaliation, and loving one’s enemies.  One can’t read this Chapter without realizing what little worms we are when it comes to the whole perfection thing.  I read Chapter 5 before and after going to confession.  This and Chapter 25 are all I need to trot myself off to the confessional.  Add the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and I can go all gooey on the inside contemplating my long stay in Purgatory.

And yet. . .

God gives us grace and forgiveness and mercy to help us to prioritize the pursuit of holiness in our lives.  Pursuing holiness begins with having a strong, true, and ardent love for God and for our neighbor.  It means praying and fasting and making each word and act and little daily sacrifice the means of proving our love for our Savior who died on the cross for Love of us.  An effective love can transform a dry, cold heart into a furnace of charity.  Then we can burn with Love of God even while we must live here below.  I hope you, like myself, pursue this ardent charity.

We got to get this right.

“Lord, with your loving care, guide the penance we have begun.  Help us to persevere with love and sincerity.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.”  Liturgy of the Hours: Evening Prayer for the Friday after Ash Wednesday.

 

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Filed under Almsgiving, Beatitudes, Catholic, Charity, Faith, Fasting, Gospel, Holiness, Liturgy of the Hours, Love, New Testament

Righteousness – A Word Study

Just finished reading Chapters 3 and 4 of Matthew’s Gospel.  There is so much there that it would take pages to discuss.  It is about His baptism by John and His temptation in the desert.  Satan was tempting Jesus’ identity as the Son of God.  He wants Him to embrace an earthly and political mission and thus subvert from His real mission of suffering and dying for our salvation.

Unlike us, Jesus could not have sinned at any time during His earthly life.  His “temptations” were entirely the suggestions of the devil and had nothing to do with any kind of inner struggle or disordered desire of a fallen nature.  We, of course, experience temptation because of our fallen nature.  However, just because He couldn’t sin, doesn’t mean that He didn’t show us how the devil should be treated when he comes around with his “suggestions.”

According to St. John Chrysostom, Jesus gives us a perfect example of Christian obedience.  Earthly life is our wilderness.  Our goal is to get to the “land” of heaven.  This life is like a probationary period for us.  God wills that we  overcome temptations (from the world, the flesh, and the devil) through the practice of penance and obedience to God’s word.   We must desire Christ’s humility.  And this is how we can increase the gift of righteousness:  penance, obedience, and humility.

Righteousness is a gift from God.  The word itself is used 7 times in Matthew and 85 times in the rest of the New Testament.  Christ first gives us this gift in Baptism when we are restored in our relationship as an adopted son or daughter of God.  It always means (from the Greek) the uprightness and faithfulness of God and His people.  It is part of the unique covenant vocabulary that runs throughout the old and new testaments.  God’s righteousness is because He is holy and is revealed as He takes care of Israel.  Now, He has demonstrated His righteousness through the saving work of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus wants us to be righteous, like He and His Father, are righteous.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.  Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.”  Jn 4: 7-8, 10

And, I might add, fill you with righteousness.

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Filed under Almsgiving, Catholic, Faith, Fasting, Gospel, Holiness, James, Jesus, Lent, New Testament

Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. (Gn 3: 19)

About three years ago, my husband and I began to read the Gospels, (out loud) two chapters at a time, on Ash Wednesday.  We found that by doing so we could read all four Gospels by Holy Saturday.  The first time, we continued after Easter and read until the end of the NT.  Then we began the New Testament again and read it through 2 chapters a night.  Then, we began to read the Old Testament, the same way.  We are only to the end of Wisdom, so we have set it aside and began the Gospels again tonight.

Everyone else reads other books for their spiritual reading during Lent.  We just stick with the Gospels.  Doing so, we have had great Lents for the past three years.

So after dinner tonight, we began.  Matthew Chapters 1 and 2.  What is Jesus’ ancestry and where was He born?  I especially like the verses about St. Joseph dreaming of angels.  He was such a man of faith!  That we would have just a bit of his faith and humility, we too could dream of angels.

Finally, today’s liturgy is an invitation to penance.  The predominant thought of the day should be that while physical penance is okay, we need spiritual penance–humility, recognition of our faults, a steadfast heart, and the reformation of our lives.  The Lord wants us to be converted to Him with all our hearts, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning.  He wants us to “rend our hearts; not just our garments.”

Lord, protect us in our struggle against evil.  As we begin the discipline of Lent, make this day holy by our self-denial.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  (Liturgy of the Hours for Ash Wednesday-Evening Prayer)

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Filed under 40 Days for Life, Fasting, Gospel, Jesus, Lent, Liturgy of the Hours, New Testament, Old Testament, Sacred Scripture

Insanity plus Idiocy equals Sodomite “Marriage”

Just because Bruce Jenner says he is a woman; just because I say that I am a teacup Chihuahua; and just because 5 senile men on the Supreme Court say that two homosexuals can live together, have sex and call it marriage, doesn’t make it so.

I’m not that concerned that these old and stupid Justices shredded the Constitution to find a faux right for sodomite marriage.  The Constitution has been in the shredder for over a century.  A Constitution is only as good as the people it governs.  Since we have been sliding to perdition for a long, long time, America is no longer a moral or virtuous country.  Hence, the Constitution is not worth the paper upon that it is written.  I know this is a cliche but let’s face it, folks.  Look around you.  There’s not much cause for celebrating the good old USA.  (The discussion going on in our house for the coming weekend, is if we will fly the flag.  But, I digress.)

We got the government we deserve.  I’m reminded of Israel clamoring for a king to rule over them when God and His prophets should have been enough.  And God gave them Saul.  Except for a few notable exceptions like David, these kings did what was evil in God’s sight, and it was all downhill to the exile to Babylon.  Then, it became one pagan ruler after another.  America is not much different.  Our “chastisement” or “exile” is coming and it will not be pretty.  Usually, when an empire or kingdom falls it is taken over by an “ism” of some sort.  Facism in the form of Communism or even Islam, anyone?

Make no mistake about it.  We, Christians, will be persecuted.  It is only a matter of when and how.  The homosexual agenda has NEVER been about equality or marriage.  It has always been about silencing those voices who will not accept this abomination as natural.  Are you prepared?  It might be going to jail, “re-education” camps, mental institutions, or maybe even martyrdom.

When my daughter called on Friday to discuss the decision with me, I told her what I planned on doing.  First, I’m not afraid.  I know that Jesus saw all of this from the cross!  I trust Him.  Second, I will continue to read my Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Third, I will avail myself of the Sacramental graces of frequent Confession and Communion.  Eucharistic adoration is a good thing, too.  Fourth, I will pray and fast.  Some demons can’t be subdued any other way.  Finally, I will pray the Rosary daily and the Memorare often throughout the day.  It’s time for all of us to get serious about being saints!

“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to they protection, implored they 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, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.  Amen.”

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Filed under Adoration, Dignitas personae, Fasting, Holiness, homosexual, Jesus, sodomite marriage

Jesus and Temptation

Jesus was tempted because He willed it.  Wow!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way for us.  Because of concupiscence, we are constantly tempted.  In fact, if we aren’t being tempted we’re probably dead.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the devil doesn’t exist.  He still goes about the world like a roaring lion devouring souls.  Jesus showed us how to do battle with the devil, however.

Jesus had been fasting rigorously for 40 days when the devil showed up.  So Jesus was very, very hungry and the devil wanted Him to turn some stones into bread.  Jesus responds with something that we quote all the time in our house.  “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  I love this, because here is the Word of God; the bread of life really sending a smashing volley back to Lucifer.  So Jesus shows us that immersion in His Word and partaking of His Body and Blood at frequent Holy Communion, is a good offense against the devil during times of temptation.

The devil wasn’t finished yet.  Unable to tempt Him with bread; he tempts Him with power.  This fails, too.  Jesus knows that a miracle such as being borne on the hands of angels if He cast Himself down from the high place, would win the admiration and the enthusiasm of the people; but that is not to be the Way for Jesus.  His Way will be the way of the Cross, so he very resolutely rejects this temptation to pride.  Jesus shows us that the way to conquer temptations to pride and vanity is by choosing what humiliates us in the sight of others.

Finally, the devil, undaunted by this second failed attempt, offers the King of Kings the whole world with all its riches, if He would just bow down and worship him (the devil.)  Jesus replies “The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve.”  Smack down!  Jesus: 3.  The devil: 0.  Jesus is showing us that a heart that is firmly anchored in God will not be drawn away from His service by attraction to or envy of worldly goods.

What’s the final lesson?  The devil exists; however we have weapons for combat.  First, remember that our virtue does not consist of being exempt from temptations, but in being able to overcome them.  Second, we must have great confidence in God.  We must entrust everything to Him:  our whole life and everything in it.  Thirdly, and finally, turn to God with prayer and fasting and use faithfully the grace that God always gives when we are being tempted.  He won’t let us be tempted beyond our strength to resist especially if we trust in Him and His love and mercy.

Remember, He has commanded His angels to watch over all our paths, and they will bear us up in their hands lest our feet strike against a stone.”   What more can we ask for?

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Filed under Catholic, Christian, Faith, Fasting, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Lent, Love, Prayer, Sacraments, temptation, Uncategorized

Baby Burning?

I found this so distressing and repugnant.  I hope you do, too.

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/03/britains-baby-burning

Jesus Mourns the Little Child

Jesus Mourns the Little Child

There was one thing that surprised me, though.  There are 190,000 abortions a year in England.  There are more than a million a year in the US.  Ponder that, please.  I think that it will go better for Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than it will for those of us who live in the US and do not fight to end this abominable killing.

 

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Filed under #Gosnell, Catholic, Fasting, Jesus, Lent, Prayer

A General Confession

I’m still having a little trouble typing on the computer without my one finger.  It takes me a very long time and I make a lot of mistakes so I’d rather not do it until the stitches come out on Monday.  Soooo looking forward to that!!!

However, I found this article and just had to share it with all of you.  I’m going to “confess” that I have on occasion been a “coucher of words” because of my pride and this was just the reminder that I needed to really examine my motives with regard to my sins.

Enjoy!

http://catholicstand.com/general-confession-slamming-door-satan-lent/

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Filed under Catholic, Fasting, Holy Spirit, Lent, reconciliation