Please watch this. It is important and moving. I cannot put the video on the blog, so use the link. Begging you to watch this....
Monday 22 July 2013
One more thought on this Monday from St. Catherine: remember, as written several times in the perfection series, one must be orthodox, that is, faithful to all the teachings of the Catholic Church, in order to pursue perfection. The love of true doctrine indicates a love of the Church and love for Christ Himself. Link here.
How this devout soul, thanking God for His explanation of the above-mentioned states of tears, makes three petitions.
Then this soul, eager with the greatness of her desire, through the sweetness of the explanation and satisfaction which she had received from the Truth, concerning the state of tears, said as one enamored—“Thanks, thanks be to You, Supreme and Eternal Father, Satisfier of holy desires, and Lover of our Salvation, who, through Your Love, gave us Love Himself, in the time of our warfare with You, in the person of Your only-begotten Son. By this abyss of Your fiery Love, I beg of You grace and mercy that I may come to You truly in the light, and not flee far in darkness away from Your doctrine, of which You have clearly demonstrated to me the truth, so that, by the light thereof, I perceive two other points, concerning which I fear that they are, or may become, stumbling-blocks to me. I beg, Eternal Father, that, before I leave the subject of these states of tears, You would explain these points also to me. The first is—when a person desirous of serving You, comes to me, or to some other servant of Yours to ask for counsel, how should I teach him? I know, Sweet and Eternal God, that You replied above to this question—‘I am He who takes delight in few words and many deeds.’ Nevertheless, if it please Your Goodness to grant me a few more words on the subject, it will cause me the greatest pleasure. And also, if on some occasion, when I am praying for Your creatures, and in particular for Your servants, and I seem to see the subjects of my prayer, in one I find (in the course of my prayer) a well-disposed mind, a soul rejoicing in You; and in another, as it might seem to me, a mind full of darkness; have I the right, O Eternal Father, to judge the one soul to be in light, and the other in darkness? Or, supposing I should see that the one lives in great penance, and the other does not, should I be right to judge that he who does the greater penance has the higher perfection? I pray You, so that I may not be deceived through my limited vision, that You would declare to me in detail, what You have already said in general on this matter. The second request I have to make is, that You will explain further to me about the sign which You said the soul received on being visited by You—the sign which revealed Your Presence. If I remember well, oh, Eternal Truth, You said that the soul remained in joy and courageous virtue. I would gladly know whether this joy can consist with the delusion of the passion of spiritual self-love; for if it were so, I would humbly confine myself to the sign of virtue. These are the things which I beg You to tell me, so that I may serve You and my neighbor in truth, and not fall into false judgment concerning Your creatures and servants. For it seems to me that the habit of judging keeps the soul far from You, so I do not wish to fall into this snare.”
“I say that this tree has seven branches drooping to the earth, on which grow the flowers and leaves in the way I have told you. These branches are the seven mortal sins which are full of many and diverse wickednesses, contained in the roots and trunk of self-love and of pride, which first made both branches and flowers of many thoughts, the leaves of words, and the fruits of wicked deeds. They stand drooping to the earth because the branches of mortal sin can turn no other way than to the earth, the fragile disordinate substance of the world. Do not marvel, they can turn no way but that in which they can be fed by the earth; for their hunger is insatiable, and the earth is unable to satisfy them. They are insatiable and unbearable to themselves, and it is conformable to their state that they should always be unquiet, longing and desiring that thing which they have to satiety. This is the reason why such satiety cannot content them, because they (who are infinite in their being) are always desiring something finite; because their being will never end, though their life to grace ends when they commit mortal sin.
“Man is placed above all creatures, and not beneath them, and he cannot be satisfied or content except in something greater than himself. Greater than himself there is nothing but Myself, the Eternal God. Therefore I alone can satisfy him, and, because he is deprived of this satisfaction by his guilt, he remains in continual torment and pain. Weeping follows pain, and when he begins to weep the wind strikes the tree of self-love, which he has made the principle of all his being.” from the Dialogues found here.
Beyond all doubt, sin leads to more sin, just as repentance leads to more holiness and purity. Those who are living in sin desire goodness, but look in the wrong places for love and freedom. Today, too many people have decided for themselves what love is and fall into self-love, the love in the mirror. Only God's love can satisfy the hearts of all men and all women.
|Raphael Tapestry: Stoning of St. Stephen. See Paul with Cloaks|
A brief section from Catherine's Dialogues seems appropriate today. Remembrance is also a theme today. Christ spoke to Catherine about the stages of repentance and holiness. Here is one part; my boldface for emphasis. Note hat St. Stephen prayed for those who were stoning him. St. Stephen's prayers for St. Paul were answered.
Of the fruit of worldly men’s tears.
“It remains for Me to tell you of the fruit produced by tears shed with desire, and received into the soul. But first will I speak to you of that first class of men whom I mentioned at the beginning of this My discourse; those, that is, who live miserably in the world, making a god of created things and of their own sensuality, from which comes damage to their body and soul. I said to you that every tear proceeded from the heart, and this is the truth, for the heart grieves in proportion to the love it feels. So worldly men weep when their heart feels pain, that is, when they are deprived of something which they loved.
“But many and diverse are their complainings. Do you know how many? There are as many as there exist different loves. And inasmuch as the root of self-love is corrupt, everything that grows from it is corrupt also. Self-love is a tree on which grow nothing but fruits of death, putrid flowers, stained leaves, branches bowed down, and struck by various winds. This is the tree of the soul. For you are all trees of love, and without love you cannot live, for you have been made by Me for love. The soul who lives virtuously, places the root of her tree in the valley of true humility; but those who live thus miserably are planted on the mountain of pride, whence it follows that since the root of the tree is badly planted, the tree can bear no fruits of life but only of death. Their fruits are their actions, which are all poisoned by many and diverse kinds of sin, and if they should produce some good fruit among their actions, even it will be spoiled by the foulness of its root, for no good actions done by a soul in mortal sin are of value for eternal life, for they are not done in grace. Let not, however, such a soul abandon on this account its good works, for every good deed is rewarded, and every evil deed punished. A good action performed out of a state of grace is not sufficient to merit eternal life, as has been said, but My Justice, My Divine Goodness, grants an incomplete reward, imperfect as the action which obtains it. Often such a man is rewarded in temporal matters; sometimes I give him more time in which to repent, as I have already said to you in another place. This also will I sometimes do, I grant him the life of grace by means of My servants who are pleasing and acceptable to Me. I acted in this way with My glorious apostle Paul, who abandoned his infidelity, and the persecutions he directed against the Christians, at the prayer of St. Stephen. See truly, therefore, that, in whatever state a man may be, he should never stop doing good. Link here.
For fear is nothing else but a yielding up of the succours from thought. Wisdom 17:11 DR
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don't feel so bad
Like the popular words, from The Song of Music, remembering what our favourite things are can chase away fear.
When the dog bitesWhen the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don't feel so bad
But, for those pursuing God, the favourite things are the words of Scripture.
The Psalms are full of remembrances.
and my God. My soul is troubled within myself : therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan and Hermoniim, from the little hill. Ps. 42:6 DR
If I have remembered thee upon my bed, I will meditate on thee in the morning...Ps. 63:6 DR
One understands that one no longer loves someone once loved if that person is forgotten in memory.
Those one loves, one remembers, again, and again, and again.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Ps. 136:5 DR
St. David is the man who had the heart of God. He is a type of Christ; prophet, king, priest.
His words resound in remembrance of his great love for God. Here is more of Psalm 136, some say written by David as a prophecy for Jeremiah.
 Upon the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept: when we remembered Sion:  On the willows in the midst thereof we hung up our instruments.  For there they that led us into captivity required of us the words of songs. And they that carried us away, said: Sing ye to us a hymn of the songs of Sion.  How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land?  If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten.  Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee: If I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy.
To be grateful, is to remember.
To be continued...
 For they were examined for the remembrance of thy words, and were quickly healed, lest falling into deep forgetfulness, they might not be able to use thy help.  For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaster that healed them, but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things.  For it is thou, O Lord, that hast power of life and death, and leadest down to the gates of death, and bringest back again:  A man indeed killeth through malice, and when the spirit is gone forth, it shall not return, neither shall he call back the soul that is received:  But it is impossible to escape thy hand. Wisdom 19, DR
Remembrance of the past makes us the People of the Book, the Bible. Remembrance forms the soul of the Holy Mass. In remembrance, the reality of the Blood and Wine becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.
In remembrance, we are healed, helped through the Word of God, through Christ Himself.
We are living in a time of forgetfulness The young have never been taught the past. They no longer know or understand the history of their family, their tribe, their civilization. In remembrance is life, but in forgetfulness is death.
When one forgets to eat and drink, one dies. When one does not study, one's mind dies. When one forgets to pray, the soul dies.
The yearly remembering of the Passover enkindled love and identity for the Jews. Identity is not only found in one's own person, but in one's DNA, one's ancestors, one's own history and the history passed down.
Life is passed down from history. One forgets that the name of Moses' Pharaoh is usually not remembered, but the great prophet is. Moses is alive to us, and in fact, at the Transfiguation, Moses and Elijah appeared with the Christ, all three very much alive. Christ overcame death, and we recall the Resurrection, as well as the Passion, daily.
Death is only overcome by the remembrance of the Church's Teaching and sacramental life. Death is overcome by love. There is only one Man, Who is God, Who has power over death and give life. That Person is Jesus Christ, a God-Man who entered into history and became part of our remembrance, our history.
Remembrance allows for reflection, the daily Lectio Divina we all should do. Remembrance allows for gratitude and, therefore, for humility. Remembrance is part of who we are and who we shall be.
To be continued....
Labels: catholic teaching