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Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality


BarbaraTherese

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Daily Reflection - St Vincent de Paul Society

 
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“The sign of Christ’s love possessing a heart: Liberty of mind, constant awareness of others’ needs and the demands of the apostolate.”
– Mother Suzanne Guillemin, D.C.

 

Revelations of Divine Love
- by Julian of Norwich 
 
Thirteenth Revelation, Chapter 34

 

“All that is speedful for us to learn and to know, full courteously will our Lord shew us”

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God shewed full great pleasance that He hath in all men and women that mightily and meekly and with all their will take the preaching and teaching of Holy Church. For it is His Holy Church: He is the Ground, He is the Substance, He is the Teaching, He is the Teacher, He is the End, He is the Meed for which every kind soul travaileth.

And this [of the Shewing] is [made] known, and shall be known to every soul to which the Holy Ghost declareth it. And I hope truly that all those that seek this, He shall speed: for they seek God.

All this that I have now told, and more that I shall tell after, is comforting against sin. For in the Third Shewing when I saw that God doeth all that is done, I saw no sin: and then I saw that all is well. But when God shewed me for sin, then said He: All SHALL be well.

 

 

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SPIDER

Huntsmen spiders are quite common here in Adelaide.  I have heard they will jump but never seen it - but tonight I had a frightening yet funny experience.  I think it was a Huntsman as it was fairly large, but it chased me around the room before disappearing under the bed in the spare room.   That was a new one for me.:numchucks:  It scared me, but I couldn't help laughing anyway.  Apparently they can bite but are not life threatening.  I do hope he or she found a place away from humans.........meaning me.

 

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On 05/02/2017 at 11:47 PM, BarbaraTherese said:

Thank you Nada. :) She was a real contemporary of ours too.  I could not find anything about her on the internet - do you have a link to her story please? Thank you very much for thinking of me.

Of course, it is not necessary to make private vows to live a life of great holiness.  Some God calls to this vocation, others He may not.  I think too that whom God raises to the altars and whom He may not is within God's Divine Providence for His Church.  We certainly can use more saints proclaimed by The Church who were just ordinary married or - and especially - single lay people.  If, of course, The Lord needs my opinion and advice! :hehe2:It is encouragement that a life in the Laity, either married or single, can indeed be a way of great holiness - as of course it can to logic and reason alone considering the theology of The Church.   This is especially in our day when the state and vocation of the Laity is addressed in Vatican Documents and as an important call and vocation "in the front lines of The Church" Christifideles Laici (Vocation & Mission of The Laity in The Church and in The World)

There is or was talk on the theological level anyway in Rome (although I do not know if it is continuing) of officially defining the single lay vocation as well as giving it a place in Canon Law.  This discussion is or was taking place due to the many in our day who are choosing to remain in the single celibate state.  Apart from that, we do have numerous Vatican Documents (including pre V2)speaking highly of the lay celibate call and vocation. I think too that history reveals that The Holy Spirit is much at work before The Church actually catches up in an officially public and affirming manner.  I am thinking specifically of the days when all religious had to be enclosed in a monastery and those movements that struggled to move out of the monasteries into the general community.  Hence, we nowadays have the distinctions and definitions of "nun" and "religious sister".  The Spirit blows wherever He may. The Apostolate to Follow Christ in Every Vocation (Fr John A Hardon)

Thanks again, Nada! :) 

 

I tried to find something in english, but impossible ! Maybe using google translate you can try to understand this : http://www.la-croix.com/Urbi-et-Orbi/Actualite/Carnet/La-cause-beatification-Leontine-Dolivet-ouverte-dans-diocese-Rennes-2017-02-06-1200822797 or this http://paroisse-stjeanpaul2-35.catholique.fr/notre-paroisse/mademoiselle-leontine-dolivet/article/visite-pastorale-hommage-a-leontine-dolivet

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THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN

 St. Catherine of Siena, from her Dialogues

 

Of the death of sinners, and of their pains in the hour of death.
 
But it is no fragility of your nature which moves you to despair, for there is no pleasure and nothing but intolerable suffering in it. One who despairs despises My mercy, making his sin to be greater than mercy and goodness. Wherefore, if a man fall into this sin, he does not repent, and does not truly grieve for his offense against Me as he should, grieving indeed for his own loss, but not for the offense done to Me, and therefore he receives eternal damnation.
See, therefore, that this sin alone leads him to hell, where he is punished for this and all the other sins which he has committed; whereas had he grieved and repented for the offense done to Me, and hoped in My mercy, he would have found mercy, for, as I have said to you, My mercy is greater without any comparison than all the sins which any creature can commit; wherefore it greatly displeases Me that they should consider their sins to be greater.

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SOME UNFOLDINGS SINCE LAST TIME

The unfoldings since my last chatty type post HERE.

I went to the 80th birthday celebration of our Vinnies member and it was a lovely afternoon.  Previously, I had a phone call from another member and there was no need to take individual gifts as it had been decided to buy a lovely bunch of flowers from our Conference (St Vinnies term for our groups in the parish).  The flowers were indeed impressive.

After next age pension payday on 22nd Feb, or I just might risk it this pay received today, I will be able to post off my grand niece's first birthday present..........belatedly.

I did get around to changing the batteries in my clocks after all - it was a stretch and hit and miss but I managed to do it.

The threatening bipolar episode is now, I think, in its dying stages.  Still just a bit of struggle just now and then, but thanks be to God and those who have prayed, I am quite confident at this point that I have negotiated the threatening episode and got the better of it without a serious psychotic episode.  Deo Gratius!

My foster son caused so many problems as a result of his stay here that he is not coming in future monthly to help me out with jobs I cannot do.  The stress he brought on me because of his stay and his dishonesty with me has caused real tension between us......but not forever.   Rather I have hired a handyman - he is a good worker and his price is very reasonable. It is something that will be a real financial stress and burden, but nevertheless not impossible.  I have halved my funeral insurance and cancelled my contents insurance; however, probably around May, I should be in a better financial position and if so will renew my contents insurance then.  I started out the way of life of Bethany with an old unreliable fridge, a wringer washing machine, a bed and a wardrobe.  I had no floor coverings, only bare untreated floorboards and sheets and blankets on the windows.  I am unafraid of returning to such a position and my trust always is confidently in The Lord.  At times of stress and real difficulty, I may not feel that trust and confidence, but I invest in it nevertheless without any feelings in support.

It is possible to feel nothing whatsoever even feelings to the contrary, to make an act of trust and confidence in The Lord with one's will - and to renew those acts of trustful confidence as one journeys along either lacking feelings in support, or even feelings that are anything but trustful and confident.  Feelings can be funny creatures, very often we do not choose them at all, rather quite to the contrary often, feelings simply are and are hence amoral i.e. neither right nor wrong, good nor bad.  They can arise from many matters beyond conscious control and choice of the will -  matters biological and/or unconscious over which we do not have control.  It is what the will chooses and desires that is the functioning level of our spirituality.............no matter the feeling level.  I just muddle through the difficulty and the feelings in rebellion (everywhere but where I would choose and desire them to be).  I tell The Lord that I do trust confidently in Him and His Will and will do what I can in the situation and muddle my way through it with His Help always, leaving the rest up to Him and His Will, His Decision (advice of St. Mary of The Cross MacKillop - our first Australian saint! - i.e. "do what you can and leave the rest to God")

Despite the fact that my current psychiatrist has been a wonderful help and support to me over many years, her rooms are now so far from where I live and inconvenient to my brother, who takes me there.  Since she is now only consulting two days weekly and from 2 - 4pm (even more inconvenient to my brother), I have located another psychiatrist.  He is very close to where I live, will bulk bill (meaning his consultations are free to me as an age pensioner) and is willing to take on another patient who is a sufferer of bipolar.  I rang his rooms to find out the position.  I see my current psychiatrist again on 16th Feb and will be speaking with her about the latter and obtaining a referral for continuing treatment by this new psychiatrist.  I will then have a couple of appointments to discern if I can work with him or not.  If I can't, I will return to my current psychiatrist......I have discussed it all with my brother and he is quite happy to fit in with whatever I decide, even if my current psychiatrist is inconvenient to him.

I am not too happy with my SD just now, although he just might be unaware of the problem in what he gave me.  He gave me a printed exercise to do of several parts and in the doing, I came across a statement that truly startled me and there I stopped dead, full stop - went no further.  I have sent him an email on the subject and will be moving into the unfoldings as they do unfold.

Just could/might be my journey is about to take a different direction on a couple of fronts.

"All is Grace" St Therese of Lisieux

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum in all things regardless

.............moving on in the journey..............

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...and what I forgot to post......

Reading back a bit and noting the many "I"s and "Me"s in my posts, I decided to simply make note of them and not permit them to shake up my 'apple-cart' bringing about discouragement -  and just move on with the unfoldings without undue concern and ask The Lord to inform and correct me if I am stumbling or off my path, and in falling to grant The Grace to rise again - along with the Grace to be neither startled nor surprised (never discouraged) at my many faults and failings.  I am hoping that writing these posts not only clarifies things in my own mind as nothing else other than writing will really, and that the posts will also communicate my own 'spirituality' (or whatever - i.e. what gets me by in my Faith, Hope & Love journey) and as I journey ........ as a quite ordinary Catholic in every way.  I also find the many spiritual quotes and texts I post helpful to me firstly -  and hopefully to any readers also

Faith, Hope and Love are known as the theological virtues gifted to us at Baptism. Sometimes Faith leads, sometimes Love or Hope - but no matter which virtue is in conscious emphasis, the other two are partnered equally with it.  The object of the theological virtues is always God, The Blessed Trinity, The Lord.  From the astounding Transforming Gift and vocation of our Baptism (with the theological virtues), flow all and any of the other virtues.

Good news is that my electricity account for the quarter arrived in my Inbox this morning and it was opened with no small trepidation.  It is down by $200 on the same time last year.  Gratitude overwhelms me abundantly!  More good news is that this would be the first day I have woken without a terrible feeling of anxiety without knowing the actual why precisely.  That anxiety would persist for most of the day.  It is a sort of free floating anxiety as a (temporary) state of existence most often related to acute (for me) stress.  As the days have unfolded the reasons for that acute stress are now largely dealt with and settled hence no logical reason for the anxiety that has persevered until this morning.  "All is Grace" St Therese of Lisieux

I did forget to post last chat that I went out on last Tuesday on my very first St Vinnies visit as a rostered visitor. My 'partner in crime'  (he has a vehicle) and I chatted and dropped off a parcel of food to a young struggling single mother with 2 children.  With the ironing now out of my way, I am rostered for weekly Tuesday visits as well as an emergency or on-call visitor every Friday if those rostered cannot attend.

Still trying to get my daily prayer routine to fall into place ............ some success..........more failures.  Still trying.

....... try ..........success or failure is The Lord's domain.....

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum in all things regardless

........... the journey.............

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Overcoming Shame Through Faith

http://catholicexchange.com/overcoming-shame-faith?mc_cid=7ba3c34032&mc_eid=365c5a299b

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Excerpt:..........".............Shame would have us remain in a place of stagnancy, wouldn’t it?  Whereas love beckons us to exit our safe cocoons, shame would rather we stay hidden.  If we want to become courageous people of faith, we must turn to what St. John of the Cross called obscure faith in order to overcome the shadows of shame.

Vulnerability through love without conditions is what leads us to obscure faith.  This is the most authentic and pure form of the theological virtue, because, though it is unclear, it remains certain – in a God who provides for every detail of our lives, in a God who will fulfill the work He has begun in us, in a God whose mercy is always available to us.  Obscure faith does not rely upon emotions, whether affirming or shameful.  Instead, it relies solely upon knowing who God is and believing in His love for us..........."..............

 

 

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All quotes are from my previous post: HERE

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 "move on with the unfoldings without undue concern and ask The Lord to inform and correct me if I am stumbling or off my path, and in falling to grant The Grace to rise again - along with the Grace to be neither startled nor surprised (never discouraged) at my many faults and failings." 

Do I feel any of the above? Nope, not one iota of any word of it do I actually feel on the feeling level.  I simply choose (will) to believe it and invest in what I will to believe.  To me, it is an investment in what Faith tells me.

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quite ordinary Catholic in every way

When I realised that I had no call nor vocation to religious life and that I had a quite serious mental illness that indications were would persevere and probably for life - at least a mental illness at times***, I was also then living in a very poor suburb of endless social problems and crime.  I wasn't there by choice, it was where the government housing authority offered me at last a roof over my head and one I could afford on the disability pension.   I was no longer a respected and valued parishioner as prior to the onset of bipolar. My marriage was finished, my then husband divorcing me.  My children had been taken from me.   I was no longer living in a quite affluent suburb but now in a poor suburb, I then heard the call to remain where I was among the very poor and rejected, marginalised, and to remain there trustfully.  From that point, the lifestyle I call "Bethany" unfolded although the seed of that lifestyle had been planted before I actually found myself among the very poor etc.  To my way of thought back then, that seed seemed to plant itself quite accidentally.  I have left it that way without much reflection at all, while Faith tells me that nothing is accidental nor coincidental.

***Probably a great source of confusion to others where bipolar is concerned is that the sufferer might have periods of complete normality in every way along with excellent coping skills.  Then suddenly they are gone and a psychotic bipolar state takes over.  This did lead many in my instance (and I am not alone) to conclude that I just needed to pull myself together.  There was even talk that my episodes of serious bipolar were simply an attention getter to be completely ignored (I am not alone either in those conclusions by others).

Quote

Good news is that my electricity account for the quarter arrived in my Inbox this morning and it was opened with no small trepidation.  It is down by $200 on the same time last year.  Gratitude overwhelms me abundantly!  More good news is that this would be the first day I have woken without a terrible feeling of anxiety without knowing the actual why precisely.  That anxiety would persist for most of the day

More on the good news front.  I have just realised that from now until March 2017 our state government is sending out payments of $100 to those on low incomes to assist with living expenses.  I checked and I am on the list for that payment.

The other good news absolutely is that I am no longer waking up with that terrible felling of anxiety without really knowing the precise why of it logically.  I am very confident that probably the threatening episode of bipolar is now no longer a threat at all and I have returned to a quite normal state of existence.  Begs the question: "What IS normalcy?"

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum in all things regardless

...........tomorrow can look after itself...........

"Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."  Matthew Chapter 6

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider “not spiritual work”
I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave,
when in truth it is the interest and exciting,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
… Amy Carmichael (Beware the religious or spiritual ego trip! God is present in all situations, and loving service in union with God is always possible.)

 

 

 

Are Christians called to win?   CATHOLIC EXCHANGE

 

 

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Daily Reflection - St Vincent de Paul Society

14th February 2017

 

Writing to encourage establishment of conferences in Siena:

“........how strengthening to enervated hearts to show them the poor; that is,

to show them Jesus Christ

not only in images painted by the great masters,

but to show them Jesus Christ in the persons of the poor.”
– Bl. Frederic Ozanam

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TO BOAST OR NOT TO BOAST

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General Audience, February 1st 2017 / © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Even if growing up our parents said not to boast, there are times it’s permissible, affirmed Pope Francis during the General Audience of February 15, 2017.

Continuing his catecheses on Christian hope, the Pope meditated on how Saint Paul mentions two times it is ok to do so, which do not disrespect, but remind of God’s love.

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https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-reflecting-on-hope-pope-tells-when-boasting-is-ok/

Pope Francis :.............

......... "Dear Brothers and Sisters: As children we were always taught that it is not good to boast. For when we boast about who we are or what we have, we disrespect those who are less fortunate.

Yet, Saint Paul surprises us by twice telling us to boast. First, he tells us to boast of the abundant grace we receive in Jesus Christ through the gift of faith. God has created all things as a gift of love, through which he makes known his plan of salvation fulfilled in Jesus. He invites us to make this grace the cause of all our praise and joy. When we do this, we know God’s peace, which flows into our lives and relationships.

But Saint Paul also tells us to boast of our afflictions. For God’s peace is not the absence of fears, disappointments, or suffering. Rather, it reminds us that God loves us and is always with us. This peace, Saint Paul says, bears patience, for even in the most difficult moments, we know that the mercy and goodness of the Lord remain with us, that nothing can separate us from God.

Christian hope then is not based on who we are or what we are capable of, but on God’s love for each one of us. May we be instruments of hope, so that our greatest boast will be of a Father who excludes no one, but opens his home to all. And may we be a people who sustain one another with this message of Christian hope.".......

(all formatting is mine)

 

 

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On ‎12‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 1:21 PM, BarbaraTherese said:

I then heard the call to remain where I was among the very poor and rejected, marginalised, and to remain there trustfully

Re the above, I did not actually hear anything at all of course as "hear" is understood in the normal course.  What happened is that it clicked into place for me about the Doctrine of Divine Providence and that I was where I was in a very poor crime riddled suburb for God's totally mysterious and hidden reasons.  That same Doctrine informed me that I could trust fully and confidently that God had very good reasons for where I found myself.  Much later, very much later, I was able to realise that much as a religious might be shifted from one community to another, and as a priest from one parish to another, I had been shifted from one experience of life into another totally different experience. Religious Life specifically (and as the state of perfection) can speak to all of us in the laity ... with a bit of creative thinking and without removing us from the temporal and secular which is our own particular call and vocation, mission.  I did not experience any of that as an actual consolation, rather as what seemed to me logical reasons I could understand at that time, rather than what I had initially experienced......i.e. that life can indeed be totally absurd and I was experiencing the absurdity of it.

Eventually I also grasped for myself that God's good reasons were both good for me and mysteriously good for all others at the very same time.  I began, I guess, to formulate for myself what I call "God's Economy" which, for me, means that when God acts for one person, in a most mysterious manner indeed, He is acting for the Good of The Universal Church on earth including mankind generally as well.  Baptism!  The Doctrine of The Mystical Body of Christ began to 'speak' to me - and of course not in terms of 'speak' as it is understood in the normal course.  The Doctrine began to have real meaning for me as I lived out my very ordinary day to day life of adjustment into a very poor community and suburb indeed and in every way - and as I began the journey of getting over feeling sorry for myself and my eyes began to open, as it were, to opportunity.  I needed to get over the notion that God was punishing me - and justly so.......which is an entirely negative outlook and in one aspect, totally unkind, unjust and false to a God who is Our Loving Father. I did think, mind you, that God had quite just reasons for any punishment, but I also felt that there had to be something positive in it all even perhaps simply to spare me some Purgatory (or even Hell itself) in the hereafter.  What my experience of mental illness, and the destruction that came in the wake of it, did reveal to me was that God indeed alone was stable and reliable in life, including in any and all negative experiences that life can possibly chuck at one, as it were.  

In all the above, which occurred to me as I journeyed along (hearing, reading, reflecting) began to take on a totally positive outlook..........opportunity.  Nothing occurred to me in a blinding flash of light as it were, quite the opposite in fact.  In many ways, perhaps even in all ways, it has been and is a journey of integrating what my Catholic Faith tells me into my day to day living.  On the one hand, there are the Doctrines and Dogmas of Faith and on the other hand, and at the very same time, are the attempts to allow them to speak and influence my attitudes and perspectives in my journey -  and in the Spirit and Way of Jesus and His Gospel in which they are rooted and from which they flow.

As all the above was very slowly taking place, I was also living eventually a way of life.  A way of life that just unfolded in the days due to presenting circumstances.  I lived it with total imperfection, stumbling along through success and failure, ups and downs, understanding and non understanding.  Formulating it into an actual way of life for myself I came to call "Bethany" was still a way ahead of me somewhere or other.

My particular gift has never been my actual journey, it has been a certain ability to put it into words - at times spot on, at other times a little or a lot off the mark.

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum in all things regardless.

.........God gifts and He takes away...........All is Grace (St Therese of Lisieux)...............

 

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