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Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality


BarbaraTherese

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VINCENTIAN REFLECTIONS

(Sunday 22nd January 2017)

Gospel - Matthew Chapter 4 Verses 12-23

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 Every encounter with Jesus provokes a response; this gospel shows a response of discipleship that is quick and decisive.  Our own call to discipleship comes at our baptism, but unlike the disciples in the gospel our response isn’t usually so quick and decisive.  We spend our whole life trying to see the great Light that is the Savior of the world.  But we practice the following of Jesus in the simple, everyday things that come our way: the friend who needs a listening ear, the elderly parent who needs a comforting phone call, the sick child who interrupts our sleep.  In all of these instances do we hear Jesus’ refrain: repent? Turn from ourselves toward those in need.  Turn from darkness to light. (Living Liturgy, p.50)

 

“Lord Jesus, teach me by your example. Make me, through the vigor of my efforts, set the world on fire.  I want to give myself to you, body and soul, heart and mind and spirit so that I may always do what gladdens you.  In your mercy, grant me the grace to have you continue in me and through me your saving work.” -St. Vincent de Paul-

(McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p.67)

 

For the grace to “repent,” turning from ourselves toward those in need

            For the grace to respond to the call of discipleship, quickly and decisively,

            For the grace of healing to all who are ill and alone,

                        -Merciful God, hear us!    

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Today's Saint Quote

QUOTATIONS - BLESSED HENRY SUSO

Feastday:  January 23rd.

 

quote-if-your-enemies-see-that-you-grow-

 

 

"I have often repented of having spoken, I have never repented of silence"

 

"Let each look to himself and see what God wants of him and attend to this, leaving all else alone."

 

 

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3722 Early in his life, Suso subjected himself to extreme forms of mortifications; later on he reported that God told him they were unnecessary. During this period, Suso devised for himself several painful devices. Some of these were: an undergarment studded with a hundred and fifty brass nails, a very uncomfortable door to sleep on, and a cross with thirty protruding needles and nails under his body as he slept.

In the autobiographical text in which he reports these, however, he ultimately concludes that they are unnecessary distractions from the love of God.[5]

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The Saints Were, Yes, Funny

 

The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/the-saints-were-yes-funny_b_2057837.html
 

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Excerpt "Francis de Sales also knew how to use a joke to good effect. He was, for example, a great friend of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, a French noblewoman, and together, in 1610, they founded a religious order for women, the Visitation sisters. After Jane had initially decided to follow a strict religious life and remain unmarried after being widowed, she continued to wear low-cut dresses showing off her décolletage.

On the night of their first meeting,

Francis de Sales took a look at her dress quipped, “Madame, those who do not mean to entertain guests should take down their signboard.”

 

 

There is also the story of Pope John XXIII visiting the Hospital of The Holy Spirit.  The superior introduced herself:

"Holy Father, I am the Superior of The Holy Spirit"

"You are blest" said Pope John "I am only the Vicar of Christ".

 

_________________________

 

 

http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/03/wpid-1205_Father_James_Martin_SJ.jpg

Article - Fr James Martin SJ on the Humour of St Teresa of Avila: http://www.carmelites.net/news/the-humor-of-st-teresa-of-avila/

Fr. James' book "Between Heaven and Mirth" (A delightful and very funny read.....enlightening too) http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/joy-to-the-world-in-father-martins-funny-book-on-saints/

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1 hour ago, NadaTeTurbe said:

Thank you for sharing, Nada!   9.56pm here in Adelaide and preparing for bed and probably will still be laughing all the way to crashing out for the night.:like2:  Especially about the cardinal concerned about the Vatican salaries....for one.

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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The behavior that is most perfect is not that which corresponds to the image that we sometimes form for ourselves of perfection, such as a comportment that is impeccable, infallible and spotless. Rather, it is one where there is the most disinterested love of God and the least prideful pursuit of oneself.

From "Searching for and Maintaining Peace: a Small Treatise on Peace of Heart," by Fr. Jacques Philippe. 

I often find it discouraging that I will never be sinless. This quote is comforting in its message that sinlessness is not the point!

I hope  you like it. :) 

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7 hours ago, Lamb said:

From "Searching for and Maintaining Peace: a Small Treatise on Peace of Heart," by Fr. Jacques Philippe. 

I often find it discouraging that I will never be sinless. This quote is comforting in its message that sinlessness is not the point!

I hope  you like it. :) 

Hi Lamb - Thanks heaps for the recommendation, it has some good reviews.  It is available on Amazon Kindle.

 Sounds as if it might be along the lines of the theology of St Therese of Lisieux and also Abandonment to Divine Providence (Jean Pierre de Caussade).   I found a couple of online texts of Fr Philippe's work for download, but both came up as cannot display.  The book apparently is quite small and under $15 (plus any delivery costs).

I will be downloading a Kindle copy today.  Thank you again.

Sometimes the Love of God is more connected to a love of The Consolations of God.  I read somewhere (it might have been in The Cloud of Unknowing "seek the God of Consolations and not the consolations of God".  Disinterested love embraces whatever God either directly wills equally with whatever God might permit (Doctrine of Divine Providence CCC #302 onwards) and disinterested love establishes Peace of mind, heart and soul.  When God withdraws consolation altogether and at all times, it can be a rough sort of ride on the human level initially - but it can be gifted by God alone and therefore a holy state (while experiencing what is the 'unholy' it could be said :smile4:. This should challenge many concepts of what holiness actually is)  Withdrawal by God of all His Consolations at all times is a process and journey of detaching- and attaching.

I also have a little book here "The Love that Keeps Us Sane" (living the Little Way of St Therese of Lisieux) and another good read.  It is also available on Amazon Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Love-That-Keeps-Sane-Illuminationbooks/dp/0809140020

There is also "The Spirituality of Imperfection" from Eldridge Carmel: ...........quote:  "Despite stories of her "angelic eyes" and otherworldly holiness, Thérèse best exemplifies the presence of God to human life in its seemingly unholy details"...............  ONLINE TEXT http://carmelitesofeldridge.org/vilma5.html

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PART 2 of 9

(Part 1 HERE)

 

Ignatius Press "Today's Disciples"  - Leader's Guide $22.06 - http://www.ignatius.com/IProducts/22907/todays-disciples-leaders-guide.aspx

The Role of the Lay Faithful in the Church

The Church’s teaching on the laity is one of the most unknown pieces of good news in the world. By “laity” the Church means the following:

Laity—“all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.”

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Many of the common understandings of laity are mistaken because they are often defined by what we are not. This is misguided because it is an entirely negative definition and focuses strictly on what laypeople are not. They aren’t priests. They aren’t religious. Therefore many assume they don’t have a vocation, that they don’t have a mission.

 

The Church defines laity by what we are:

• sharers in Christ’s office of priest, prophet, and king,

• holders of an important vocation, and

• critical participants in fulfilling the mission of the Church.

In short, the lay vocation is an office, not a vacuum. Because of this, it is a huge mistake to consider that only those called to religious or clerical life have a vocation.

Laity’s mission and vocation is derived from our Baptism.

It is critical to realize that, according to the Church itself, our vocation and mission as laypeople derives from our Baptism and is strengthened through Confirmation. In other words,

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our place and work in the body of Christ is given to us directly, by the Holy Spirit, not indirectly through the ordained office.

“[The laity] are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself. They are consecrated for the royal priesthood and the holy people not only that they may offer spiritual sacrifices in everything they do, but also that they may witness to Christ throughout the world.”1

 

 

Each of us has been called by God to our own specific vocation and mission.

As laity, we are called to share in the mission of Christ’s Church by living in the midst of the world and addressing all its problems and concerns with the divine message of salvation.

__________________

All formatting is mine

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Laughter is Good Medicine

A man suffered a serious heart attack and had an open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital.  As he was recovering, a nun asked him questions regarding how he was going to pay for his treatment. She asked if he had health insurance. He replied, in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."

The nun asked if he had money in the bank. He replied, "No money in the bank."

The nun asked, "Do you have a relative who could help you?" He said, "I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God." 

    
                                                    The patient replied, "Send the bill to my Brother-in-law."

https://www.fisheaters.com/jokes.html      

 

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Feast St Francis de Sales

Tuesday 24th January 2017

(the first day of the rest of my life)

"Introduction to The Devout Life" by St Francis de Sales.  Our universally acclaimed

classical spiritual text on the spiritual life and way of holiness for the very ordinary lay person.  It is available online:http://www.ccel.org/d/desales/devout_life

 

  1. Here you will find the Contents of "Introduction to The Devout Life" and Francis's response to probably every problem or quandary one could come across in one's journey. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/desales/devout_life.ii.html
  2. The letters between St Francis and St Jane de Chantal are also available in book form: "Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal: Letters of Spiritual Direction"

 

Stay with the following video below, it does go into St Francis and his concern for the holiness and sanctification of the quite ordinary and everyday type of lay person as not separate from their ordinary daily life, but intrinsic to it.  St Francis was the most gentle of saints and also as a spiritual author.  He is the patron saint of writers and journalists.

His main distinguishing idea was that holiness is within and integral to our ordinary everyday lives, not separate from it.  St Francis was 400 years ahead of his times i.e. 400 years before Vatican II and the declaration that laity have a very specific and vital Vocation and Mission in The Church, probably for the first time officially and firmly defining the Laity as a vocational state in life in quite positive terms.

 

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2 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

 I also have a little book here "The Love that Keeps Us Sane" (living the Little Way of St Therese of Lisieux) and another good read.  It is also available on Amazon Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Love-That-Keeps-Sane-Illuminationbooks/dp/0809140020

There is also "The Spirituality of Imperfection" from Eldridge Carmel: ...........quote:  "Despite stories of her "angelic eyes" and otherworldly holiness, Thérèse best exemplifies the presence of God to human life in its seemingly unholy details"...............  ONLINE TEXT http://carmelitesofeldridge.org/vilma5.html

Thanks for the recommendations! St. Therese has definitely been showing up in all my spiritual reading lately. 

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1 hour ago, Lamb said:

Thanks for the recommendations! St. Therese has definitely been showing up in all my spiritual reading lately. 

Lamb, you have hit upon my clearly overt obsessive obsession i.e. St Therese of Lisieux! :rolleyes:

St Therese said that after she died, she would send forth a legion of little souls....and that she would spend her Heaven doing good upon earth.... she will send forth not great souls, capable by God's Gifts and called to great things, but little souls who, through God's Gifts, are neither capable of, nor called to such wonders - and wonders for which we give thanks: Deo Gratius

 Jeremiah Ch29: "For I know the plans that I have for you," declares The Lord "plans for your welfare not for your destruction - to give you a future and a hope". 

I think that once St Therese has laid her eyes (as it were) upon a little soul and attracts that soul, she hangs on and pursues all the way throughout the journey, not letting go for anything at all.  She is not pushy and very often in the background beyond one's consciousness.  She petitions for, embraces, guides and directs that soul along her Little Way until one day that little soul wakes up....Goodness me! I thing just I might be stumbling along that path of the" Little Way of Love in all things" of St Therese of Lisieux.

"True Charity consists in bearing with all the defects of our neighbour, in not being surprised at his failings, and in being edified by his least virtues; Charity must not remain shut up in the depths of the heart, for no man lights a candle and puts it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. (Cf. Matthew 5:15). It seems to me that this candle represents the Charity which ought to enlighten and make joyful, not only those who are dearest to me, but all who are in the house."

Story of A Soul, Chapter IX

We could substitute "all who are in the house" (St Therese's Carmelite Monastery in Lisieux) with "in our environment each day."  St Therese's theology (she is a Doctor of The Church) is profound, but she does not declare at all that she always followed it perfectly and without any failures: "“It is impossible for me to become great, so I must bear with myself and my many imperfections.” -St. Therese of Lisieux 

St Therese  writes in her life story about bearing imperfections and failures with Peace of Soul using examples from her own life and journey.  She does not claim at all to be a soul of the classical idea of holiness.  And that was her genius.  She is the saint of the very ordinary lived in an extraordinary way.

Edit: In imitation St Therese is somewhat like Our Lady in Mary's own life.  We know so little really about Our Lady and her life here on earth.  Both Our Lady and St Therese lived inconspicuously. 

St Therese in her own life and journey lived a hidden life in her monastery.  Her fellow sisters thought of her as a rather good nun, but nothing special.  The extraordinary hidden interior spiritual life of Therese is not known until after her death and her autobiography becomes known.

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Feast St Francis de Sales

Office Readings Tuesday 24th Jan 2017 

                                                                                                                                                                                            -

Quote

 

Second Reading HERE - copied and pasted from Universalis.com

 

From The Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop

Devotion must be practised in different ways
When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.
  I say that devotion must be practised in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.
  Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbour. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganised and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfils all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.
  The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.
  Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its colour, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.
  It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.
  Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

 

 
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