Lord, the place in which I ought to be at this moment, is not that in which I find myself, but hell, which I have so often merited by my sins. Infernus domus mea est. “Hell is my house.’* St. Peter says, “The Lord waiteth patiently for your sake, not willing that any one should perish, but that all should return to penance” (2 Peter 3:9). Then thou hast had so much patience with me, and hast waited for me because thou wishest me not to be lost, but to return to thee by repentance. My God, I return to thee; I cast myself at thy feet, and supplicate mercy. ”Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.” Lord, to pardon me requires a great and extraordinary act of mercy, because I offended thee after I had been favored with a special light. Other sinners also have offended thee; but they have not received the light which thou gavest to me. But, in spite of all my sinfulness and ingratitude, thou dost command me to repent of my sins, and to hope for pardon. Yes, my Redeemer, I am sorry with my whole heart for having offended thee, and I hope for pardon through the merits of thy passion. Thou, my Jesus, though innocent, hast wished to die like a criminal on a cross, and to shed all thy blood in order to wash away my sins. “O sanguis innocentis, lava culpas poenitentis.” O blood of the Innocent, wash away the sins of a penitent. O eternal Father, pardon me for the sake of Jesus Christ. Hear his prayers, now that he intercedes for me and advocates my cause. But it is not enough to receive pardon; I desire also, O God worthy of infinite love, the grace to love thee; I love thee, O Sovereign Good, and I offer thee henceforth my body, my soul, my liberty, and my will. I wish henceforth to avoid not only grievous, but also venial offenses. I will fly from all evil occasions. Lead us not into temptation. For the love of Jesus Christ, preserve me from the occasions in which I would offend thee. But deliver us from evil. Deliver me from sin, and then chastise me as thou pleasest; I accept all infirmities, pains, and losses, which thou mayst be pleased to send me; it is enough for me not to lose thy grace and thy love. Ask and you shall receive. Thou dost promise to grant whatsoever we ask; I ask these two graces–holy perseverance and the gift of thy love. O Mary, mother of mercy, pray for me; in thee I hope
”My days,” said Job, “have been swifter than a post” (cf Job 9:25). Death runs to meet us more swiftly than a post, and we at every moment run to death. Every step, every breath brings us nearer to our end. “What I write,” says [Saint] Jerome, “is taken away from my life.” During the time I write, I draw near to death. “We all die, and, like the waters that return no more, we fall into the earth” (cf 2 Samuel 14:14). Behold how the stream flows to the sea, and the passing waters never return. Thus, my brother, your days pass by, and you approach to death. Pleasures, amusements, pomps, praises, and acclamations pass away; and what remains? “And only the grave remaineth for me” (cf Job 17:1). We shall be thrown into a grave, and there we shall remain to rot, stripped of all things. At the hour of death, the remembrance of the delights enjoyed, and of all the honors acquired in this life, shall serve only to increase our pain and our diffidence of obtaining eternal salvation. Then the miserable worldling shall say, “My house, my gardens, my fashionable furniture, my pictures, my garments, shall in a little time be no longer mine, ‘and only the grave remaineth for me.’ ”
Ah! At that hour all earthly goods are viewed only with pain by those who have had an attachment for them. And this pain shall serve only to increase the danger of their eternal salvation; for we see by experience, that persons attached to the world wish at death to speak only of their sickness, of the physicians to be called to attend them, and of the remedies which may restore their health. When any one speaks of the state of the soul, they soon grow weary, and beg to be allowed repose. They complain of headache, and say that it pains them to hear any one speak. And if they sometimes answer, they are confused, and know not what to say. It often happens that the confessor gives them absolution, not because he knows that they are disposed for the sacrament, but because it is dangerous to defer it. Such the death of those who think but little of de ( Sent to me by a friend )
“Mary is the sure path to our meeting with Christ. Devotion to the mother of the Lord, when it is genuine, is always an impetus to a life guided by the spirit and values of the Gospel.”
~ St. John Paul II
An interdenominational community does not want to become another church with its own services. No, an interdenominational community is called to bring people together and, through them, their churches. Its role is to help people discover each other more deeply, their beliefs and their beauty, and to help people discover that the things that unite are far deeper than the things that divide. Jean Vanier
You are the one Lord. I believe in you, and I want to follow you. You have every right over me, and I renew my commitment to obey you in all things. What a great gift you have given me! I know you, I am close to you, and I live through your grace. Dear Lord, never let me be separated from you, and help me to bring many others into your friendship…
You have always reached out to all peoples through your Church. Only because of that did the faith make its way to my people, to my nation, and into my life. Thank you for coming to me; thank you for the Church. Guide and protect your Church, Lord, and make me an energetic, faithful, active member within her ranks…
Why do I prefer extraordinary manifestations of your presence in my life and ignore so regularly the normal ways you speak to me – the Church’s teaching, the everyday circumstances of my life, the Scriptures, the sacraments? You have given me so much, and you just keep on giving. Open my eyes, Lord, so that I can see you in all your gifts, and thank you in them, and respond to your love with love
Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Move into the future with hope.
Find creative ways to proclaim the gospel ofJOY
The beauty of human beings lies in their capacity to accept who they are, just as they are; not to live in a world of dreams or illusions, in anger or despair, wanting to be other than they are, or trying to run away from reality. They realize that they have the right to be themselves. And there, they discover that they are loved by god, that they are unique and important for God and that they can do things for others. We may not all be called to do great things that make the headlines, but we are all called to love and be loved, wherever we may be. We are called to be open and to grow in love and thus to communicate life to others, especially to those in need
“And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night-watches over their flocks. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone about them, and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold I bring you tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people. For this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign to you: you shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12 1. Later in His life, when our Lord was preaching on the Kingdom of Heaven, He described the master of the feast as angry with those who had been invited and had refused, and as giving orders that his servants should turn to those in the byways, and should compel them to come in. Such indeed has been His way from the beginning until now; “the poor have the Gospel preached to them”; in the poor rests the true life of the Church; a safe test of the power of the Church in any country is the hold she has upon the poor of that country. And this character of His call was the first He struck on coming into the world. The great and powerful had ignored Him; the busy world had all manner of excuses; so His angels were sent to the shepherds on the hillside, here, as so often afterwards, the first-fruits of His coming. GovertFlinckAngelsAnnouncingTheBirthOfChristToTheShepherdsWGA079282. Nor is it to be by some kind of accident that these shepherds are to be called. They are not to wander down the hill and along the road to Bethlehem, and to find the Child on the way. It is possible that the cave was one in which they had often taken shelter; but that was not to be their guide this night. Another principle God would establish; not only would He show that the poor are His special choice, but He would also show that, when He willed it, He is independent of man for the spreading of His glory. He has His ministering angels, sometimes manifesting themselves to simple souls, more often doing their work in hiddenness, because the souls of men are not simple. It is a true instinct which makes us associate angels with little children; for it is the eyes of simple children that best can see them; it is the minds of children that best can understand them, just as it is little children that seem to come nearest to grasping the reality of the Blessed Sacrament. 3. The shepherds “feared with a great fear” at the sight of the Angel of the Lord who stood by them, and at the brightness of God which shone about them; as who would not? But this implies no doubt; it implies the simplicity of children. So they were reassured; and as children they accepted the reassurance. “Fear not,” said the Angel; this is the third time we have heard the words from an angel’s lips. “Fear not, Mary,” Our Lady was told; “Fear not, Zachary,” was said to the priest; and now “Fear not” is said to the shepherds and “all the people.” No wonder that a master-saint has said that the first operation of an angel of light is to calm the human soul and to remove from it fear and unrest. The rest of his message is full of deep meaning. He brings “tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people.” The message is the news of the birth of the “Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord.” And they are shown how and when they shall find Him. And to this day Christmas remains the season of “great joy to all the peopl Read more: spiritualdirection.com/2014/12/26/the-an...
There is a real danger that these powers of sadness and inner emptiness, and the need to throw ourselves into feverish activity or kinds of entertainment, will control us. We try to forget by keeping busy no matter what. For as soon as we stop, the anguish creeps in and the guilt resurfaces. Many people are able to keep going by doing that. They cannot stop, frequently because stopping seems too dangerous.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..
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