Category Archives: Holiness

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

The Fig Tree

“Behold the fig tree, and all the trees.  When they put forth their buds, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things coming to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near.”  Luke 21: 29-31

The Advent season in an invitation to sanctity.  Yes, we wait “with joyful hope for the coming of our Savior.”  We have hopeful expectations that He will come again in all His glory.  We even look for signs like Jesus told us in Luke’s gospel.  We pour over the signs of our times and wonder if the end is near.  Some of us long for the end of the world with a longing that is so deep in our soul that we fear we will die from the longing.  We ask with the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord?”

There were two meanings in the Gospel on Sunday.  Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Then, He turned to His second coming.  He gives us a reason to be glad for it.  “Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  Luke 21: 28

Finally, He exhorts us to sanctity.  We have to face the fact that only by being holy as the Father is holy will we enter into heaven.  He is the fountain of life and grace; of strength and holiness.  He has already merited everything that serves for our sanctification; His gifts are unnumbered, yet we can not become saints unless we co-operate with Him.

Sanctity is the fullness of grace.  Jesus wills this for all of us.  Then, why are so few of us saints?  Why am I not a saint?

Sanctity is not obtained by our accomplishments or the number of gifts we have received from God.  Rather it is in the degree of sanctifying grace and charity to which our souls have attained by cooperating with His many invitations, inspirations and actual graces.  The gifts of Baptism and the Holy Spirit and all the sacraments should have already increased our treasure trove of grace.  And, yet, we remain slothful, prideful, and stingy.

It didn’t escape my attention that Luke’s chapter 21 begins with the Widow’s mite–extreme charity from extreme poverty.  What a lesson for us to begin this Advent season.  If we are to prove to Jesus that we are sincere about becoming holy, we need to, with His help, be very, very generous.  We need to overcome our selfishness and attachment to things no matter what it costs us.  We need to say a resounding “yes” to Him even when we would rather let our “hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life.”  Luke 21″ 34  We must not grow lazy in our pursuit of sanctity.

“O Jesus, never allow me to oppose and hinder Your actions in my soul.  Pursue me with Your grace until I give myself entirely to you.”

Have a blessed Advent.  Pursue sainthood with fervor!

 

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Filed under Advent, Almsgiving, Catholic, Charity, Faith, Gospel, Holiness

Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Every year for the past 12, I have begun the Consecration according to St Louis Marie de Monfort on November 5 to renew my “vow” on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  It’s a wonderful way to approach Advent.  It’s always refreshing spiritually and I find some new nugget for pondering over and meditating upon each year.

I do not take these 33 days lightly because it is a great devotion for deepening commitment to my baptismal vows and living them faithfully.  This Marian spirituality suits me as I have always had a devotion to the rosary since I received my first one at the age of seven.  The rosary has always been for me a powerful weapon against temptation and evil in my life.

So what’s the Total Consecration about?  It’s divided into four sections.  The first 12 days are for emptying oneself of all attachments to the Spirit of the World.  The second seven days are for growing in our Knowledge of Ourselves.  During the next seven days, we concentrate on getting to know Mary better so that we can better serve Jesus through her.  Finally, in the fourth section, it is time to deepen our relationship with Jesus through her.  Each day contains a reading and prayer.  Some of the prayers are “Veni Creator,” Ave Maris Stella,” “The Magnificat,” “The Litany of the Holy Ghost,” “The Litany of the Blessed Virgin,” and, of course, the Rosary.

To learn more go to My Consecration and order your materials to make your consecration.  The next one begins on November 29 to end on January 1.  You will be glad you did.

Ave, maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper virgo,
Felix coeli porta.

Sumens illud
Ave Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace,
Mutans Evae nomen.

Solve vinyl reis,
Profer lumen caecis,
Mala nostra pelle,
Bona cuncta posce.

Monstra te esse matrem,
Sumat per te preces,
Qui pro nobis natus,
Tulit esse tuus.

Virgo singularis,
Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos
Mites fac et castos.

Vitam praesta puram,
Iter pare tutum;
Ut videntes Jesum,
Semper collaetemur.

Sit laus Deo Patri,
Summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto,
Tribus honor unus. Amen.

 

 

 

Copyright (c) 1997 EWTN Online Services.

 

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Filed under Catholic, Faith, Holiness, Prayer, Uncategorized

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

Corpus Christi – O, How I Love the Eucharist

The Thursday after Trinity Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ.)  For Catholics everywhere this should be a very big deal. Jesus, before His passion, when He knew that He would be separated from His humanity, gave Himself to us in a very intimate way.  He didn’t leave us orphaned.  When He told His apostles that He would be with us to the end of the world, He meant it. He gave us the Eucharist–His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

A long time ago, when I was in the 7th and 8th grade, we had a Corpus Christi procession on the Feast when we walked reverently through the streets of the small city where our church was located.  I dressed in my Sunday best and marched along with several hundred other people with the Blessed Sacrament.  I was allowed to attend with my school friends.  We didn’t need a nun to remind us of the solemnity of the occasion.  We were silent except when singing hymns or praying with the others around us.  What a great memory!  Unfortunately, these were the last of my Corpus Christi processions of my childhood.  Our parish never did them again.

I’ve always loved the Eucharist.  I love the Adoration Chapel.  When the parish instituted perpetual adoration a few years ago, I committed to two hours.  However, this was stopped by one of our pastors a few years ago.  I still go once a week.  Been doing it for years.  My days are busy and so full of distractions; yet, when I walk into the chapel, it’s as if Jesus is asking me to sit with Him and learn from Him that “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”  In the Chapel, it is easy to gaze upon Him and feel myself in His presence much like the disciples were with Him in Galilee.  There is only the two of us.  Worries and distractions are far, far away.  I am at peace.

I fear for my Protestant brothers and sisters who don’t believe in the Real Presence.  I fear for those who call themselves Catholic and don’t believe in the Real Presence.  I especially fear for those who call themselves priests and bishops who don’t believe in the Real Presence or allow abuse of the sacrament.

There’s a prayer that the priest says before consuming the Eucharist at Mass.  It’s a good prayer for all of us to pray.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments and never let me be parted from you.”

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine.  All Praise and All Thanksgiving Be Every Moment Thine.

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Filed under Adoration, Eucharist and Mass, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Sacraments

Our Church is Effeminate!

Notice I didn’t say feminine. I wouldn’t insult those of us who try to be Proverb 31 women; truly feminine in every Godly sense. I’m not comparing our Catholic Church to us. In fact, if she started to act like a true Bride of Christ, things might be different.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately especially in light of certain headlines.

A parish pastor is excoriated for only having male altar servers in the sanctuary.

An archbishop is taken to task because he defends doctrine about homosexuality.

The nuns who believe abortion is okay; sodomite marriage is okay; contraception is okay; are told by the Vatican to carry on, because “we’re okay and you’re okay.”

The Cardinal who thinks that “All are welcome, children, into the light” but only if you are gay and proud and marching in a St. Patrick’s day parade.

Non-Catholics being given the Eucharist during a funeral Mass for an Archbishop.

Three Roman Catholic (sic) priestesses ordained? Yeah! Right!

I think you got my point. Now I want to bring it back to our liturgy.

The Novus Ordo Mass is rife with the female touch and not in a good way. The choir directors are usually women and most of the choir is also. The music is lame. I mean why have great male voices chanting some great Latin when we can have that good old Protestant standby, “Amazing Grace?”

I remember when the only people allowed on the Eastern side of the communion rail were men. I also remember how awestruck I was when I saw Sister Leticia changing the altar cloths one afternoon. She was a Franciscan nun and the sacristan at our parish. I realized then that if I wanted to get that close to the altar, I was going to have to be a nun and become a sacristan. Now, women swarm all over the altar as Eucharistic Ministers, altar girls, lectors and even ushers. Nothing is sacred.

Here’s what I pray. I pray that the masculine will come back to our liturgy. I pray for a priest that will speak about the four last things from the pulpit. I pray for bishops to man-up and stop giving Communion to known pro-aborts. I pray for the day when Catholic men will start being the leaders that God meant them to be in their families, in their Church, and in their communities. Then, maybe women will acting like women.

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