""I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love."
-- Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Immaculata


"The Immaculata can turn even our weaknesses to greater good.
This is my only consolation."

-St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, MI

Degrees of Perfection and Other Counsels - St. John of the Cross

Degrees of Perfection:
  1. Do not commit a mortal sin for all there is in the world, or any deliberate venial sin, or any known imperfection.
  1. Endeavor to remain always in the presence of God, either real, imaginative, or unitive insofar as is permitted by your works.
  1. Do nothing nor say any notable word that Christ would not have done or said were He in the state I am, as old as I, and with the same kind of health.
  1. Strive for the greater honor and glory of God in all things.
  1. Do not omit mental prayer for any occupation, for it is the sustenance of your soul.
  1. Do not omit examination of conscience because of any of your occupations, and for every fault do some penance.
  1. Be deeply sorry for any time that is lost or that passes without your loving God.
  1. In all things, both high and low, let God be your goal, for in no other way will you grow in merit and perfection.
  1. Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.
  1. In heaven and on earth, always the lowest and the last place and office.
  1. Never interfere in what you are not ordered to do, nor be obstinate about anything, even though you may be right. And if, as the saying goes, they give you an inch, do not take a mile. Some deceive themselves in such matters and think they have an obligation of doing that which – if they reflect upon it will – in no way obliges them.
  1. Pay no attention to the affairs of others, whether they be good or bad, for besides the danger of sin, this is a cause of distractions and the lack of spirit.
  1. Strive always to confess your sins with a deep knowledge of your own wretchedness and with clarity and purity.
  1. Even though your obligations and duties are difficult and disagreeable to you, you should not become dismayed, for this will not always be so. And God, Who proves the soul by a precept under the guise of a trial, will after a time accord it the experience of its own blessing and gain.
  1. Remember always that everything that happens to you whether prosperous or adverse, comes from God, so that you neither become puffed up in prosperity nor discouraged in adversity.
  1. Remember always that you came here for no other reason than to be a saint; thus let nothing reign in your soul which does not lead you to sanctity.
  1. Always be more disposed toward giving to others than giving to yourself, and thus you will not be envious of nor selfish toward your neighbor. This is to be understood form the viewpoint of perfection, for God is angered with those who do not give precedence to His good pleasure over that of men.

Other Counsels:

  1. The further you withdraw from earthly things the closer you approach heavenly things and the more you find in God.
  1. Whoever knows how to die in all will have life in all.
  1. Abandon evil, do good, and seek peace.
  1. Anyone who complains or grumbles is not perfect, nor is he even a good Christian.
  1. He is humble who hides his own nothingness and knows how to abandon himself to God.
  1. He is meek who knows how to suffer his neighbor and himself.
  1. If you desire to be perfect, sell your will, give it to the poor in spirit, come to Christ in meekness and humility, and follow Him to Calvary and the sepulcher.
  1. Anyone who trusts himself is worse than the devil.
  1. Anyone who does not love his neighbor abhors God.
  1. Anyone who is lukewarm in his work is close to falling.
  1. Whoever flees prayer flees all that is good.
  1. Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water.
  1. Suffering for God is better than working miracles.
  2. Oh, what blessings we will enjoy in the vision of the Most Blessed Trinity!

Degrees of Perfection and Other Counsels

Take from The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

Translated by: Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.

ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite Studies Washington, D.C. © 1979

Pages 680 – 682

Monday, August 14, 2006

Happy Feast Day: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

“All hell will remain powerless, for satan flies and hell trembles with terror when I say Hail Mary. Lastly, we will not fear men, for according to the words of the Holy Ghost, the Most Holy Virgin is ‘Strong as an army set in battle array.’ Oh, if we give ourselves over completely to her, if we often say to her: ‘O my Queen, I place the defence of my cause in your hands, I place myself under your protection,’ our sleep with be certainly more tranquil, our days happier; our life, in one word, will be a real heaven.

"It is said of Mary that 'Every good comes with her.' If then, we have Mary with us, we have everything; everything is wanting to us if she is absent. If Mary protects us, we are saved; if she abandons us, we are lost. It is not I but the saints who speak thus."

- From the book entitled: Saint Gabriel, Passionist by: Father Camillus, C.P.
New York, P.J. Kenedy & Sons
(Publishers of the Holy Apostolic See) (C) 1923
Pages: 178 - 179

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Thank you for today

Lettuce rejoice and be glad for this is the day the Lord has made :) Deo gratias!

Thanks Hannah and Claire for meeting up with me first, to spend time with Our Lord at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and second, for your company and good laughs over breakfast. It was a pleasure to see you both again and God willing I hope that it will not be the last.

Thanks also to our guest star appearances by Sean Duncan and Brian (I hope I got his name right - I'm horrible with names). I also thoroughly enjoyed your company over breakfast and thank you for your prayers.

Thanks also to Bing for that "corny" pun that was relayed through Claire and the manly handshake from Cowie :)

I would like to let you all know that I have offered up an extra rosary for all of you and your families tonight and for all those who read this blog. Thank you for your company, your support, your prayers, the jokes we shared, and most of all thank you for your friendship. It means so much to me. May the almighty God bless you all and may Our Blessed Mother keep you closely protected under her mantle.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pun contest!

This one sounds like me!

"There was a man who entered a local newspaper's pun contest.

He sent in ten different puns, in the hope that at least one of the puns would win.

Unfortunately, no pun in ten did."

(This pun has been brought to you by www.punoftheday.com)

If you would like you may post a comment with a pun, so that we can all have more pun, then please do so. A pun a day keeps the frowns away!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Countdown has begun!

As of today, August 6th, 2006 Anno Domini on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, there are 19 days until my departure for California. I will be arriving there in the evening on that day and staying at my grandma's house until the next day where I am to be at St. Michael's Abbey at 4 p.m. Postualancy begins the next day on the Feast of St. Augustine (August 28th).

I am sorry to inform you that I was wrong on some information I have told some of you. For those who persevere past postulancy and recieve the habit and a change of name (on Christmas Eve) - this is not open to the public. However, when they take first vows (which is after novitiate - two years time), this is open to the public. Sorry to mislead you all and thank you for your patience. Take care and God bless!

Pun of Today...

Police were called in to a child daycare center because a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

I found this one on http://www.punoftheday.com - I gave it a quick overview and it has some good ones. I didn't see any puns that were inapropriate. It looks like I could have found a new source of inspiration and joy! Oh what pun!

Maxims on love

I would love to put all 80 maxims on love that I copied from the collected works of St. John of the Cross, but here are some of my favorite (they are in no particular order):

Be hostile to admitting into your soul things that of themselves have no spiritual substance, lest they make you lose your liking for devotion and recollection.

Have great love for trials and think of them as but a small way of pleasing your Spouse, Who did not hesitate to die for you.

Be interiorly detached from all things and do not seek pleasure in any temporal thing, and your soul will concentrate on goods you do not know.

The soul that walks in love neither rests nor grows tired.

The Father spoke one Word, which was His Son, and this Word He always speaks in eternal silence, and in silence must It be heard by the soul.

We must adjust our trials to ourselves, and not ourselves to our trials.

He who seeks not the cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ.

Frequent combing gives the hair more luster and makes it easier to comb; a soul that frequently examines its thoughts, words, and deeds, which are its hair, doing all things for the love of God, will have lustrous hair. Then the Spouse will look upon the neck of the bride and thereby be captivated, and will be wounded by one of her eyes, that is, by the purity of intention she has in all she does. If in combing hair one wants it to have luster, one begins from the crown. All our works must begin from the crown (the love of God) if we wish them to be pure and lustrous.

Love consists not in feeling great things but in having great detachment and in suffering for the Beloved.

Not all the faculties and sense have to be employed in things, but only those which are required; as for the others leave them unoccupied for God.

Oh, how sweet Your presence will be to me, You Who are the supreme good! I must draw near You in silence and uncover my feet before You that You may be pleased to unite me to You in marriage [Ru. 3:7], and I will not rest until I rejoice in Your arms. Now I ask You, Lord, do not abandon me at any time in my recollection, for I am a squanderer of my soul.

The purest suffering produces the purest understanding.

My Beloved, all that is rugged and toilsome I desire for myself, and all that is sweet and delightful I desire for You.

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetites and our tongue, for the language He best hears is silent love.

Look at that infinite knowledge and that hidden secret. What peace, what love, what silence is in that divine bosom! How lofty the science God teaches there, which is what we call the anagogical acts that so enkindle the heart.

Strive always to keep God present and to preserve within yourself the purity He teaches you.

Do not excuse yourself or refuse to be corrected by all; listen to every reproof with a serene countenance; think that God utters it.

Live as though only God and yourself were in this world so that your heart may not be detained by anything human.

Consider it the mercy of God that someone occasionally speak a good word to you, for you deserve none.

Never listen to talk about the faults of others, and if someone complains of another, you can tell him humbly to say nothing of it to you.

Do not refuse work even though it seems that you cannot do it. Let all find compassion in you.

Strive to preserve your heart in peace and let no event of this world disturb it. Reflect that all must come to an end.

Take neither great nor little notice of who is with you or against you and try always to please God. Ask Him that His will be done in you. Love Him intensely, as He deserves to be loved.

Seek in reading and you will find in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation.

- St. John of the Cross - pray for us!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Make us saints...

"It does not require much time to make us saints. It requires only much love." - Bishop Fulton J. Sheen from Life is Worth Living

It's so true! Like St. Therese of Lisieux would say - do small things with great love.

All that is fitting...

"All that is fitting to God by nature is fitting to Mary by grace" - St. Louis De Montfort quoting the saints from True Devotion to Mary

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

After working out at a house I do yard work at and reflecting on nature a bit while staying busy... I noticed that since I was going to have to cut down some trees I would ask the Most Holy (tree-nity) Trinity to watch OVER me (like the trees that are over me) and make sure I don't get hit with something that has a bark worse than its bite. However, St. Francis De Sales really is the master of virtues and really relates them to nature in an exquisite way. I've read it twice, but I think I might have to pick it up again. It always amazes me how the Saints are able to look at nature and be in deep contemplation, because they see the work of the creator and ponder on how or what this reveals about God, heaven, or other holy thoughts. Gerard Manley Hopkins, although he is not a declaired saint by Holy Mother Church, really wrote up some nice work on nature and relates it to God so beautifuly.

In any case, today was the 26th wedding anniversary of my parents. The kids and I fried halibit, potatoes, and zucchini, and served up some broccoli with cheese for dinner. Although the dinner was a bit heavy on the greesey side because most of the food was fried it was some of the best fried food any of us had ever eaten. We have our own mini frier, which works great. When I was cooking with it I thought, "hey, wow, look we can hire a friar to work the frier" - badoooom psh! I also put on my suit and tie and put a little white towl around my arm and acted as waiter for my parents while they ate. I tried my best French accent while speaking English to make zzz mood how you say more magnific, no? Then after dinner settled in our stomachs I made a last minute card online and printed it out for Mom and Dad and had all the kids sign it just in time - phew. All in all I was very blessed, not only because I almost lost my eye at work today a couple of times (silly branches), but most of all because I have two loving parents who have given so much of themselves and have kept true to their commitment of marriage vows. It's so wonderful to see the grace of God working in their marriage, for what God has bound let no man seperate.