Dying to self = killing your ego and living in the perfect imitation of Christ and Mary.......
-- When you are forgotten or neglected and you don't hurt with the insult, but your heart is happy -- that is dying to self
-- When your advice is disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, and take it all in patient, loving silence -- that is dying to self
-- When you lovingly and patiently bear disorder, irregularity, tardiness, and annoyance... and endure it as Jesus endured it -- that is dying to self
-- When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or record your own good works, or itch for praise after an accomplishment, when you can truly love to be unknown... that is dying to self
-- When you can see your brother or sister prosper and can honestly rejoice with him, and feel no envy even though your needs are greater -- that is dying to self
-- When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, or any society -- that is dying to self
-- When you can take correction, when you can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, with no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart -- that is dying to self.”
Today let us resolve to accept the huge amount of graces that God is raining down on us. We have his biblical promise in Romans 5:20 that "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more". There is NO doubt that sin is increasing today everywhere we look, so we KNOW that there is an abundance of grace raining down from heaven on each and every one of us as well. But our sins and our pride act as umbrellas to keep the graces away from our soul. So let's pray for the grace to accept the graces!
Let us consider briefly the subtle tactics of Satan, and see ways in which he manipulates many who do not realize they are being manipulated. Because of his great intelligence, he can suggest subtle different interpretations of the Scriptures, and of theology, that distort revealed truth. He will seek to persuade one to be broad-minded in moral matters, his object being a gradual weakening of one’s moral fiber, and a further deepening of his tendency to wishful thinking. Knowing from experience how powerless he is against the humble and the obedient, he seeks to encourage a spirit of independence, and of rebellion against lawful authority. Knowing how the Holy Spirit guides the Church in the way of truth, this "father of lies" seeks to bring us to doubt the teaching of the Church, and to call into question its dogmas and moral teaching. Knowing the power of prayer to obtain grace, he seeks to instill in us the idea of self-sufficiency, that we don’t need prayer . . . we can manage our own life. In countless ways the devil can deceive us with half truths, as Pope Paul says, "undermining man’s moral equilibrium with his sophistry." In some mysterious way he can bring suggestions before us that are so appealing to our pleasure-seeking, glory-seeking and freedom- seeking nature. These are a few examples:
I need to be free of those telling me what to do, in order to attain my real fulfillment.
If I suppress my sensual impulses and urges, I may do harm to my natural development.
I am a mature person. I can read whatever I wish, or watch whatever kind of TV program or movies I wish. It doesn’t affect me at all.
If I always say no to others in regard to sex, or drugs, or alcohol,—I will never be accepted by others. I will never have any friends.
I don’t need confession. I haven’t any grave sins. And besides, if I stay away more there will be less danger of routine confessions.
My prayers don’t seem to be answered . . . so what is the use of praying.
My conscience is the only guide I need. As long as I am at peace with my conscience, I need not worry - even if some of my acts and decisions are not always in line with the teachings of the Church . . . etc. etc.
(And so on without end . . . is the cleverness of the Evil One in exploiting our weaknesses, our likes and dislikes.)
-- By Father Paul A. Duffner, O.P.
STRENGTH AGAINST SLANDER, THE VOICE OF CHRIST
MY CHILD, do not take it to heart if some people think badly of you and say unpleasant things about you. You ought to think worse things of yourself and to believe that no one is weaker than yourself. Moreover, if you walk in the spirit you will pay little heed to fleeting words. It is no small prudence to remain silent in evil times, to turn inwardly to Me, and not to be disturbed by human opinions. ***Do not let your peace depend on the words of men.*** Their thinking well or badly of you does not make you different from what you are. Where are true peace and glory? Are they not in Me? He who neither cares to please men nor fears to displease them will enjoy great peace, for all unrest and distraction of the senses arise out of disorderly love and vain fear.
--Jesus to Thomas A. Kempis, from The Twenty-Eighth Chapter of The Imitation of Christ
"Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God."
"This brings us to our second point: namely, why the Blessed Mother, in the 20th century, should have revealed herself in the significant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as Our Lady of Fatima. Since nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details, I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as Our Lady of Fatima as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her divine Son too. Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he live to Fatima. Thus, the very place where our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed."
-- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Today let us resolve to concentrate on the words of the HAIL MARY prayer, and remember that the center of this prayer is JESUS, the fruit of her womb, according to Elizabeth. Gabriel, a messenger of God, told Mary that she was full of grace, and used the royal term "HAIL" to greet her. Paul says in Romans 6:14 - "For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." What this means for us who are sinful is that we can be saved from our sins by the grace of God. What it means for Mary, who was full of grace BEFORE the incarnation, is that sin does not exist in her, because there is simply no room for it, and therefore sin has no dominion over her. We see this in Revelation 12, where the devil is trying to get her, but God saves her. In Revelation 12:17, we learn that we are her children as well if we keep the commandments of God AND, AND, AND, bear testimony to Jesus.
And when we say our rosary and meditate on the Presentation of Jesus to God the Father in the Temple, let's also remember that the other young boys there at that time being presented to God would soon be slaughtered by Herod, a forerunner of Planned Parenthood today. So let's ask Mary to shut down Planned Parenthood in honor of the Holy Innocents.
And let us pray Mary presents us to Jesus upon our death, the way she presented Jesus to God the Father upon His birth.
"All generations to come SHALL CALL ME BLESSED", according to THEE WORD OF GOD in Luke 1:48
So let us resolve today to imitate St. Gabriel and to obey God and do this every day, with reverence and love. AVE MARIA, GRATIA PLENA, DOMINUS TECUM!
"NO MARY, NO JESUS....KNOW MARY, KNOW JESUS!"
"Behold the heart which has so much loved men that it has spared nothing, even exhausting and consuming itself in testimony of its love. Instead of gratitude I receive from most only indifference, by irreverence and sacrilege and the coldness and scorn that men have for Me in the sacrament of love."
-- Quote to St. Margaret Mary from Jesus
1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their homes.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.
5. I will bestow a large blessing on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the first Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
--Promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Sacred Heart as given to St. Margaret Mary
It is a great mistake to think that only priests and religious and those who have withdrawn from the turmoil of the world are supposed to meditate upon the truths of our Faith and the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ. If priests and religious have an obligation to meditate on the great truths of our holy religion in order to live up to their vocation worthily, the same obligation, then, is just as much incumbent upon the laity----because of the fact that every day they meet with spiritual dangers which might make them lose their souls. Therefore they should arm themselves with the frequent meditation on the life, virtues and sufferings of Our Blessed Lord----which are so beautifully contained in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
-- St. Louis de Montfort, "The Secret of the Rosary"
Mary Forms Jesus in Us A Living Mold of God
16. St. Augustine calls Mary the living "mold of God," and that indeed she is; for it was in her alone that God was made a true man without losing any feature of the Godhead, and it is also in her alone that man can be truly formed Into God, in so far as that is possible for human nature, by the grace of Jesus Christ.
A sculptor has two ways of making a lifelike statue or figure: He may carve the figure out of some hard, shapeless material, using for this purpose his professional skill and knowledge, his strength and the necessary instruments, or he may cast it in a mold. The first manner is long and difficult and subject to many mishaps; a single blow of the hammer or the chisel, awkwardly given, may spoil the whole work. The second is short, easy and smooth; it requires but little work and slight expense, provided the mold be perfect and made to reproduce the figure exactly; provided, moreover, the material used offer no resistance to the hand of the artist.
A Perfect Mold
17. Mary is the great mold of God, made by the Holy Ghost to form a true God-Man by the Hypostatic Union and to form also a man-God by grace. In that mold none of the features of the Godhead is wanting. Whoever is cast in it, and allows himself to be molded, receives all the features of Jesus Christ, true God. The work is done gently, in a manner proportioned to human weakness, without much pain or labor, in a sure manner, free from all illusion, for where Mary is the devil has never had and never will have access; finally, it is done in a holy and spotless manner, without a shadow of the least stain of sin.
-- St. Louis de Montfort, "The Secret of Mary"
Be resolved then, dear Friends of the Cross, to suffer every kind of cross without excepting or choosing any: all poverty, all injustice, all temporal loss, all illness, all humiliation, all contradiction all calumny, all spiritual dryness, all desolation, all interior and exterior trials. Keep saying: "My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready" (Ps. 56, 8). Be ready to be forsaken by men and angels and, seemingly, by God Himself. Be ready to be persecuted, envied, betrayed, calumniated, discredited and forsaken by everyone. Be ready to undergo hunger, thirst, poverty, nakedness, exile, imprisonment, the gallows and all kinds of torture, even though you are innocent of everything with which you may be charged. What if you were cast out of your own home like Job and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary; thrown, like this saint, into the mire; or dragged upon a manure pile like Job, malodorous and covered with ulcers, without anyone to bandage your wounds, without a morsel of bread, never refused to a horse or a dog? Add to these dreadful misfortunes all the temptations with which God allows the devil to prey upon you, without pouring into your soul the least feeling of consolation.
Firmly believe that this is the summit of divine glory and real happiness for a true, perfect Friend of the Cross.
-- St. Louis de Montfort, "Friends of the Cross"
1184 On an earlier occasion
In the evening, I saw the Lord Jesus upon the cross. From His hands, feet and side, the Most Sacred Blood was flowing. After some time, Jesus said to me, All this is for the salvation of souls. Consider well, My daughter, what you are doing for their salvation. I answered, "Jesus, when I look at Your suffering, I see that I am doing next to nothing for the salvation of souls." And the Lord said to me, Know, My daughter, that your silent day-to-day martyrdom in complete submission to My will ushers many souls into heaven. And when it seems to you that your suffering exceeds your strength, contemplate My wounds, and you will rise above human scorn and judgment. Meditation on My Passion will help you rise above all things. I understood many things I had been unable to comprehend before.
-- From the Diary of St. Faustina on Divine Mercy
Today let us resolve to be the light of the world. A light, even a small one, allows one to see in total darkness, which our culture seems to love so much today. So let us shine as brightly as we can so we keep others from falling into the pit.
A light gives off warmth as well, so let us be be warm and loving toward all today. Let us all be transfigured by the Word and the Eucharist and the Rosary, so that others will be dazzled by our light through our words and our deeds, in humility.
Father Keller of the Christopher's used to come on late night TV right before the test pattern came on back in the 1960's, with the message that "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." As the world we live in gets darker by the minute with its embrace of so-called "homosexual marriage", embryonic stem cell research, abortion, assisted suicide, human cloning, genetically modified food, pornography, blasphemy, fornication, adultery, etc., let us start lighting candles by the thousands through increased numbers of rosaries said, more Eucharistic Adoration, more humility, more sacrificial giving, more daily Masses, more prayer, more physical contact with the poor, etc. The Bible says that satan can come disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and this wicked deception (2 Thessalonians 2:10) fostered by Washington, Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street is happening before our very eyes. Today is the day, this is the place, to quit cursing the darkness and fighting back by lighting our own candles so that we can reflect the light of Christ. Remember - Satan can outwit us every time if we just use our intellect, because he has a superior intellect and sees and hears everything we do, while we cannot see him. But we beat him EVERY time we use our hearts and love, because he does not have a heart and knows not how to love anybody or anything except himself.
"You say you see no reason why we should pray to the Saints since God can hear us and help us just as well, and will do so gladly, as any Saint in Heaven. Well, then, what need, I ask, do you have to ask any physician to help your fever, or to ask and pay any surgeon to heal your sore leg? For God can both hear you and help you as well as the best of doctors. He loves you more than they do, and He can help you sooner. Besides-----His poultices are cheaper and He will give you more for your words alone than they will for your money!"
-- St. Thomas More
Today let us try to be the salt of the earth, as Jesus called his followers. Salt flavors bland food, so let us liven up bland unbelievers with our words and our deeds. Salt preserves food, so let us resolve today to preserve life and love in the world, and not let the devil spoil it all. Salt raises blood pressure, so let us resolve to be bold in our evangelizing, EVEN if it upsets our family members and non-Christians and causes them to become angry.
You know, like St. Paul and all of our brother and sister saints did before us!
Why we need a magesterium to interpret scripture...
The Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus to guide the Church in truth (John 16:13).
The Church is the Pillar of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
Private interpretation of scripture is forbidden by the bible itself (2 Peter 1:20).
Some people misinterpret scripture to their own condemnation (2 Peter 3:16).
After almost 2000 years, the Church has pretty much figured it all out for us. A 50 year old person arguing with a 2000 year old mother Church is like a 1 year old arguing with his 40 year old mother.
We have had great minds like the Early Church Fathers, Augustine, Aquinas, Pope John Paul II, Scott Hahn, etc., who have studied the scriptures for us and written it all down. I'm pretty sure we're not smarter or more inspired than they are.
Unless we know Hebrew and Greek, our 21rst Century English speaking minds cannot understand the verbiage and nuances of those languages from centuries ago.
Language changes over time - A "hard drive" used to mean that a baseball player hit a baseball really hard into the outfield, but today it means a computer memory bank. Yahoo used to mean a cowboy's holler, now it means a search engine.
And if I said the following - "I never said to take the bat down yesterday", would that mean I wrote it down, not said it? Somebody else said, not me? I said it the day before yesterday instead? Are we talking about a baseball bat or a flying rodent? It is impossible to determine the exact meaning of that statement without knowing the original intent and what I had in mind, exactly. Since the Church was actually there 2000 years ago, that problem of original intent is solved for us.
The Church uses the Bible like a University uses a textbook. No one reads a book on nuclear physics by themselves and then gets a degree from a University; Rather, they have to attend classes taught by a professor knowledgeable in nuclear physics accredited by that University. How stupid would it be for someone to say that an atom is really a molecule, or vice versa, because that's what he believes, and therefore we should believe it because that's what we want to believe? Not very smart, but that's exactly what I see on TBN when I watch it!
- Do you remember that you went to a ball on such-and-such occasion?
- Yes, I remember.
- Do you remember that at a certain moment a handsome young man entered the ballroom. He was quite elegant, appeared very upright and danced with several young ladies?
- Yes, I do.
- Do you recall that you had a great desire to dance with him?
- I recall that.
- Do you recollect that you became sad because he didn’t ask you to dance?
- Yes, I do.
- Do you remember that by chance you looked down at his feet and saw a strange blue light coming from them?
- Yes. I remember.
- That young man was none other than the devil who had taken that shape to tempt several of the young women there. He was unable to approach you because you are a Daughter of Mary protected by her, and you were wearing the Miraculous Medal.
-- St. John Vianney, a conservation he had with a penitent because of his gift of discernment
Always remember that the Blessed Virgin Mary is like the full moon, which fully reflects the light of the sun onto the very dark earth at night, so that it's easier to see in the darkness and not stumble and fall. Mary has no light of her own, but according to 1 Corinthians 6:17, she is one spirit with the Lord. Mary fully reflects the light of her Son onto the very dark earth today and every day ("My soul MAGNIFIES the Lord"- Luke 1:46). Maybe that's why Revelation 12 says that the moon is under her feet. Let us resolve to try to also reflect as much of her Son's light onto a very dark world so that others may see The Truth of Jesus and not stumble and fall into hell. Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 that WE are the light of the world, so let us quit being new moons that reflect no light due to mortal sin, and at least strive to be a crescent moon, that partially reflects the light of Thee Son.
Jesus did NOT tell his apostles to write everything down in a Bible, make sure everyone gets a copy, have them figure out everything for themselves, and whatever they come up with is OK, even if it's dead wrong.
What Jesus did do is to create His Church (Matthew 16:18), which has His authority to bind and loose anything on earth, which in turn will be bound and loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19). The Truth of the faith has been given primarily to the leaders of the Church (Ephesians 3:5), who, with Christ, form the foundation of the Church (Ephesians 2:20). The Church has been guided by the Holy Spirit, who protects this teaching from corruption (John 14:25-26, 16:13).
Luke 10:16: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
1 Timothy 3:15: if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
God has always worked through humans, whether it was Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Mary, or Peter. And what was true in the Bible is still true today. "Me and Jesus" or "Me and the Bible" is NOT BIBLICAL.
Want to give the devil power over you? Then be like him! Be prideful! Never forgive anyone, especially those close to you! Hate people like he does! Teach everyone a lesson for screwing you over, like he does!
On the other hand, if you want to give God power in your life, then be like Him! Be meek and humble! Forgive everyone, right away! Love everyone, like He does!
Your mind, your body, your soul, and your emotional state will then be healed, if you choose the latter, while they will all suffer mightily if you choose the former...