Tuesday, August 31, 2010

His Ways

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
~Isaiah 55:8-9

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
~Psalm 103:11-14

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sanctity

“...sanctity does not come all of a sudden...
...In the spiritual as in the natural order, beings grow by dint of self-denial, by the death of the seed that gave them birth, by assiduous care, by abundance of water and light; they never spring forth spontaneously.”
~Henri-Paul Bergeron

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Adversity

“Do with your adversities as the merchant does with his merchandise: Make a profit on ever item. Don't allow the loss of the tiniest fragment of the true cross. It may only be the sting of a horsefly or the prick of a pin that annoys you; it may be a neighbor's little eccentricities, some unintended slight, the insignificant loss of a penny, some small restlessness of a soul, a light pain in your limbs. Make a profit on every item as the grocer does, and you'll soon be wealthy in God.”
~St. Louis de Montfort

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Character

“Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

His Steadfast Love

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I will hope in Him!”

~Lamentations 3:21-24

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bear No Malice

“Bear no malice or evil will to any man living. For either the man is good or wicked. If he is good and I hate him, then I am wicked. If he is wicked, either he will amend and die good and go to God, or live wickedly and die wicked and go to the devil. And then let me remember that if he be saved, he will not fail (if I am saved too as I trust to be) to love me very heartily, and I shall then in like manner love him. And why should I be now, then, an enemy to him with whom I shall in time be coupled in eternal friendship? And on the other side, if he will continue to be wicked and be damned, then there is such outrageous eternal sorrow before him that I may very well think myself a deadly cruel wretch if I would not now rather pity his pain than malign his person.”
~St. Thomas More

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Origins of the Spirituals

“...Most of the time they [Spirituals] had their start in the fervent heat of a backwoods religious meeting. Slaves gathered secretly to encourage one another and to cry out to God for freedom. This activity was against the law, and they knew that a severe beating or even death could face them if they were caught. But the joy and peace that they received from heaven in these meetings made it worth the risk they faced here on earth. The atmosphere in midst of the woods was always charged with emotion. As they mourned their wretched existence, songs would develop spontaneously -- psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. In time, these melodies were memorized and passed along from plantation to plantation.

...‘No, no, no!’ their black preachers told them, ’you are not slaves, you are the apple of God's eye, made in His very own image.’ They learned that it was through a good and benevolent God, who heard the cry of the Hebrew slaves, that freedom came. They realized that they were not inferior to the white man, just as the Hebrews were not inferior to the Egyptians.

The spirituals attested to this and proclaimed the goodness of this God and His ultimate triumph over evil. They would taste freedom, they believed, across the Jordan River of death - and some sweet day in the here and now. Looking forward to that day of freedom, the slaves sang of the ‘Deep River,’ with its mighty waters flowing into distant horizons. As the embers glowed in the fire, in the heart of the forest they would sing:

Deep river -- my home is over Jordan,
Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into campground.
Oh, don't you want to go to that Gospel feast,
That promised land where all is peace?
Walk into heaven, and take a seat,
And cast my crown at Jesus feet.
Deep river, Lord, I want to cross over into campground.”

~Article by Craig von Buseck

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Litany of Resignation to the Will of God

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God the Father, Who hath created me,
Hallowed be Thy will.
God the Son, Who hath redeemed me,
Not my will but Thine be done.
God the Holy Ghost, Who hath offered sanctification,
Blessed be the Most Sweet Will of God.

Thou Who dost know and foresee all things,
Have mercy on us.
Thou Who dost govern and rule all things,
Have mercy on us.
Thou Who, according to Thy inscrutable designs,
dost effect all things in a wonderful manner,
Have mercy on us.
Thou Who dost permit evil in order thence to derive
good for the salvation of the elect,
Have mercy on us.

In all things and in all possible events,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all circumstances and disgraces,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In my state and employment,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In my affairs and occupations,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all my actions,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In my health and strength,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In my body and soul,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In my life and death,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In myself and in those who belong to me,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all men and angels,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all creatures,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
In all parts of the earth,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
At all times,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
For all eternity,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Although weak nature complains,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Although it costs much to self-love and sensuality,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Solely and only through love for Thee and Thy good pleasure,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Because Thou art my Creator ,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Because Thou art the Supreme Lord of all things,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
Because Thou art infinite perfection, therefore do I say,
with all the Saints in Heaven,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
With the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.
With Jesus in the Garden of Olives,
Thy Holy Will be done, O my God.

Pray the Lord’s Prayer.

May the just, most amiable will of God be done in all things.
May it be praised and magnified forever! Amen.

Grant me Thy grace, O Father, that perfect resignation to Thy Holy Will may be with me, and labor with me, and continue with me to the end. Grant me always to desire and will that which is most acceptable to Thee and which pleaseth Thee best. Let Thy will be mine, and let my will always follow Thine and agree perfectly with it. Let me always will and not will the same with Thee; let me not be able to will or not will anything except what Thou willest or willest not. Amen.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Quote & Joke

I sometimes get accused of being too serious. So, here is a fun quote and a joke...

“These are my principles; if you don’t like them, I have others.”
~Groucho Marx

Seamus was about to go on his first date, so he asked his brother, the ladies’ man, for advice. “Give me some tips on how to talk to them.”
“Here’s the secret,” said his brother. “Irish girls like to talk about three things: food, family, and philosophy. If you ask a girl what she likes to eat, it shows you’re interested in her. If you ask her about her family, it shows your intentions are honorable. If you discuss philosophy, it shows you respect her intelligence.”
“Gee, thanks,” said Seamus. “Food, family, philosophy. I can handle that.”
That night as he met the young lady, Seamus blurted out,
“Do you like cabbage?”
“Uh, no,” said the puzzled girl.
“Do you have a brother?” asked Seamus.
“No.”
“Well, if you had a brother, would he like cabbage?”
~Unknown

Well, you can’t say that I didn’t try... Back to the serious stuff tomorrow...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daily Routine

“Ironically, it seems that it is by the means of seemingly perfunctory daily rituals and routines that we enhance the personal relationships that nourish and sustain us. I read recently, in Martin Marty’s newsletter, ‘Context,’ of a study that monitored the habits of married couples in order to determine what made for good marriages. The researchers found that only one activity seemed to make a consistent difference, in terms of the ability to maintain a stable, happy, long-lasting relationship, and that was simple affection, the embracing or kissing of one’s spouse at the beginning and the end of each workday.

Most significantly, as Paul Bosch, the author of the article reports, ‘it didn’t seem to matter whether or not in that moment the partners were fully ‘engaged’ or even sincere! Just a perfunctory peck on the cheek seemed to be enough—enough to make a difference in the quality of the relationship!’ Bosch comments, wisely, that this ‘should not surprise churchgoers. Whatever you do repeatedly,’ he writes, ‘has the power to shape you, has the power to make you over into a different person—even if you’re not totally ‘engaged’ in every minute!’

…I wonder if we might substitute that ‘peck on the cheek’ for some of the prayers that a religious community recites daily…
No human being can pay full attention to the words that he or she is praying every single day, and apparently this is how God would have it. Sometimes, particularly at crisis points in our lives, we feel these words with our whole heart. They seem to burn in our chests, and bring tears to our eyes. We find that we mean them in ways that remain unfathomable, and on rare occasions a new interpretation of a line or image will come to us…

…It is a paradox of human life that in worship, as in human love, it is in the routine and the everyday that we find the possibilities for the greatest transformation.”
~Kathleen Norris

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Silence

“When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings.”
~St. Paul of the Cross

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Like A River Glorious

Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.

Refrain
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Refrain

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Refrain

~Words: Frances Havergal & Music: James Mountain

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fairy Tales

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
~Albert Einstein

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peace

“Peace, says Augustine, is not merely the absence of war. Peace is positive. It is rest in our end. After the stone falls, it is at peace. After the acorn grows into the oak tree, it is at peace in its treehood and does not grow any further. After the animal’s hunger is sated with food, it is at peace. And the human heart? Because ‘Thou hast made us for Thyself’, therefore ‘our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.’ For man peace is another word for God.”
~Peter Kreeft

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy The Home When God Is There

Happy the home when God is there,
And love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
And one their heav’nly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus’ Name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early speak His fame,
And parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard,
And praise each day does rise;
Where parents love the sacred Word
And all its wisdom prize.

Lord, let us in our homes agree
This blessèd peace to gain;
Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
And love to all will reign.

~Words: Hen­ry Ware, Jr. & Music: John B. Dykes

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Justice vs. Mercy

“We need to stop complaining about bad things happening to good people, about injustice. There are no ‘good people’, and the best of us say so the most clearly. Saints agree they are sinners; only sinners think they are saints. Only fools demand justice; for where would we be if we got it? No, mercy is our only hope from God, and our neighbors’ only hope from us as well.”
~Peter Kreeft

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Will Bless My God

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
~Psalm 63:1-4

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Remembrance of Past Mercies

“...Let us thankfully commemorate the many mercies He has vouchsafed to us in time past, the many sins He has not remembered, the many dangers He has averted, the many prayers He has answered, the many mistakes He has corrected, the many warnings, the many lessons, the much light, the abounding comfort which He has from time to time given. Let us dwell upon times and seasons, times of trouble, times of joy, times of trial, times of refreshment. How did He cherish us as children! How did He guide us in that dangerous time when the mind began to think for itself, and the heart to open to the world! How did He with his sweet discipline restrain our passions, mortify our hopes, calm our fears, enliven our heavinesses, sweeten our desolateness, and strengthen our infirmities! How did He gently guide us towards the strait gate! How did He allure us along His everlasting way, in spite of its strictness, in spite of its loneliness, in spite of the dim twilight in which it lay! He has been all things to us. He has been, as He was to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our God, our shield, and great reward, promising and performing, day by day. ‘Hitherto hath He helped us.’ ‘He hath been mindful of us, and He will bless us.’ He has not made us for nought; He has brought us thus far, in order to bring us further, in order to bring us on to the end. He will never leave us nor forsake us; so that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ We may ‘cast all our care upon Him, who careth for us.’ What is it to us how our future path lies, if it be but His path? What is it to us whither it leads us, so that in the end it leads to Him?...”
~John Henry Newman

Friday, August 6, 2010

Living as in the Presence of God

“…Though He [Christ] had still submitted Himself by an incomprehensible condescension to the death on the cross at length, yet why did He from the first so spurn this world, when He was not atoning for its sins? He might at least have had the blessedness of brethren who believed in Him; He might have been happy and revered at home; He might have had honour in His own country; He might have submitted but at last to what He chose from the first; He might have delayed His voluntary sufferings till that hour when His Father's and His own will made Him the sacrifice for sin.

But He did otherwise; and thus He becomes a lesson to us who are His disciples. He, who was so separate from the world, so present with the Father even in the days of His flesh, calls upon us, His brethren, as we are in Him and He in the Father, to show that we really are what we have been made, by renouncing the world while in the world, and living as in the presence of God.”
~John Henry Newman

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hid In Him

“He [Christ] came into the world, and He speedily left the world; as if to teach us how little He Himself, how little we His followers, have to do with the world. He, the Eternal Ever-living Word of God, did not outlive Methuselah's years, nay, did not even exhaust the common age of man; but He came and He went, before men knew that He had come, like the lightning shining from one side of heaven unto the other, as being the beginning of a new and invisible creation, and having no part in the old Adam. He was in the world, but not of the world; and while He was here, He, the Son of man, was still in heaven: and as well might fire feed upon water, or the wind be subjected to man's bidding, as the Only-begotten Son really be portion and member of that perishable system in which He condescended to move. He could not rest or tarry upon earth; He did but do His work in it; He could but come and go.

And while He was here, since He could not acquiesce or pleasure Himself in the earth, so He would none of its vaunted goods. When He humbled himself unto His own sinful creation, He would not let that creation minister to Him of its best, as if disdaining to receive offering or tribute from a fallen world. It is only nature regenerate which may venture to serve the Holy One. He would not accept lodging or entertainment, acknowledgment, or blandishment, from the kingdom of darkness. He would not be made a king; He would not be called, Good Master; He would not accept where He might lay His head. His life lay not in man's breath, or man's smile; it was hid in Him from whom He came and to whom He returned.

‘The Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.’”
~John Henry Newman

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lead Me To Calvary

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain

Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Refrain

Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.

Refrain

May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.

Refrain

~Words: Jennie Hussey & Music: William Kirkpatrick

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Envy

“…There is another distinctively modern form of envy, which is collective rather than individual. It is our secular society’s unconscious envy of Eden, of Paradise, of divine perfection. It is our attempt to sneak under the seraphim’s flaming sword back into Eden by making a Heaven on earth, by rebuilding the Tower of Babel, by finding salvation and happiness in the City of the World rather than in the City of God.

Nietzsche revealed the psychological origin of this demand when he wrote, ‘A man can endure almost any how if only he has a why.’ He meant that we can endure very imperfect circumstances, even great suffering, if only we have a meaning, a purpose for it all. The corollary of this truth is that if we do not have a why, a deeply felt and lived purpose—that is, if we are typically modern—then we will not endure any how, any world that is even mildly upsetting. We will demand a degree of comfort, security, and control undreamed of by any other society. And we will find the technological and political means to create it even if it kills us. And it will.

God has pulled the teeth of envy by the Incarnation. There is no longer any reason to envy a God who is crowned with thorns and suffers the pains of Hell itself on the Cross. And there is no reason to envy Adam and Eden when we are promised Christ and Heaven.”
~Peter Kreeft

Monday, August 2, 2010

Being Human

"O human race, born to fly upward,
Why at a little wind do you so fall?"
~Dante

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dawn Sprinkles All The East With Light

Dawn sprinkles all the east with light;
Day o’er the earth is gliding bright;
Morn’s glittering rays their course begin;
Farewell to darkness and to sin.

Each phantom of the night depart,
Each thought of guilt forsake the heart:
Let every ill that darkness brought
Beneath its shade, now come to nought.

So that last morning, dread and great,
Which we with trembling hope await,
With blessed light for us shall glow
Who chant the song we sang below.

All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, eternal Son, to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.

~St. Ambrose