Sunday, 27 January 2013
Although spiritual directors are slim on the ground, one should try and ask a priest for advice on mortifications.
Two months ago, in Ireland, I did just that. The answer was interesting.
The holy priest said he did not suggest standing in cold water or extreme fasting. He said for me my life was a penance.
And so it is for many of us.
For those who live alone, loneliness and isolation, as well as the deprivation of love are part of a huge mortification.
For those who are poor and lack freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want, or to have what they want, poverty is a limiting mortification.
For those who lack status in society and are even looked down upon daily and judged, such things are mortifying.
For the ill, whose activities are limited by pain and inconveniences, mortifications happen daily and the illness itself is mortifying.
That was the priest's point.
For those who have no mortifying circumstances, such sufferings must be sought out.
No pain, no gain.
Simple answer = pride of life.
One of the saddest persons I met years ago, although she did not know she was a sad case, was a woman of moderate wealth, who bragged that God gave her money to decorate her house over and over in order to glorify Him.
I wondered who exactly was her god.
I found it odd that her extravagance was couched in the language of suffering. There was no suffering in her shopping for the best and the latest and the most for her large house. None.
She said it glorified God to have all those those things.
She was stuck in the fear of suffering. As long as we fear suffering, we cannot advance.
So much better if God permits mortifications. I have a list, which I published last year. Paul had a list. Some have a life of the Cross. They are blessed.
Good. I do not have to run after false crosses, but only accept those which are given to me.
Do not make an own goal.
Allow Christ to share the Cross He do desires. And, if you have little or no suffering, you must choose something hard, not easy, but hard.
A must read: from New American--here a snippet, but read the entire excellent article.
The American Founding Fathers, on the other hand, recognized that the armed private citizen is the ultimate check and balance against the centralized monopoly of force which invariably turns tyrannical and deadly. Nagin and People’s World, not surprisingly, side with communist tyrants and deride American commitment to our natural rights enshrined in our Constitution.
“The Second Amendment is obsolete and now has been twisted to threaten the basic safety and security of all Americans,” says Nagin. Nagin, according to the profile provided on Keywiki by Trevor Loudon, has been a member of the CPUSA for several decades and a writer for the People’s World and other communist publications since 1970. He is a member of the Newspaper Guild and the Communications Workers of America as well as a political coordinator for the AFL-CIO in Ohio. In 2012 he was the Democratic Leader in Cleveland Ward 14 and served on the County Democratic Party Executive Committee.
We recognize the totalitarian ideology and objectives of Nagin and other communist propagandists when they advocate disarming of civilians and a total monopoly of force in government. Many of the other people advocating the same gun control policies may not have those totalitarian objectives in mind — but by their support of these policies they would lead us down the same deadly path nonetheless.
Europeans ask me why we want to keep our guns. I say that we do not trust our governments. Then, they ask, "Why?" End of conversation.................
Most of us live relatively unknown lives of ordinariness wherein we work out our salvation in prayers and cooperation with the Holy Spirit of God.
That we are unknown is a great blessing. To be unknown means one has great freedom.
Can your imagine being a celebrity and having to have body guards and agents and secretaries and dog-sitters?
I mean, the famous cannot move around easily in their own home towns.
We unknowns have a great freedom.
There are many, many saints who are unknown-the majority of people who are in heaven are unknown.
This is part of the mystery of the Incarnation.
Christ came almost in disguise. He came to a lowly couple, a young woman and man of the decrepit
House of David. He entered the world at midnight, in a small, insignificant shelter. He became a carpenter.
Here is Christ in Matthew 11 on St. John the Baptist.
Jesus said, “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed[a] blown by the wind? 8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes live in kings’ palaces. 9 So why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. 10 This was written about him:
‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare the way for you.’ Malachi 3:1
The unknown saints have the advantage of being protected from evil and the evil one particularly does not notice insignificance. He missed Christ.
So, too, we are protected in our littleness and obscurity. For those of you who are known, I pray for your protection. From my hiding place, I can see and pray and not desire ever to be known, except by Christ Alone, the Bridegroom.
You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
One of my friends in the north of England is without heat and another in the south of England is without hot water. Both problems are not able to be fixed immediately. They both need a rocket stove, like our ancestors had.