Sunday, August 3, 2008

IMITATION OF CHRIST: meditation of the day...

SORROW OF HEART (part one)
IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear (love and respect) of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses, and shun inane silliness. (myhome!!!)Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys. (those I know who deal with suffering have such a special relationship with Christ)

It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life. Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls, but often indulge in empty laughter when we have good reason to weep. No liberty is true and no joy is genuine unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience. (I am grateful that I got to confession yesterday, but I was being uncharitable by dinner time...I need to continue to call on the graces from this amazing sacrament!!!)

Happy is the man who can throw off the weight (trust me I would be very happy) of every care and recollect himself in holy contrition. (purity of intention) Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience. (find a good nightly examination)

Fight like a man. Habit is overcome by habit. If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do. Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others and do not become entangled in the business of your superiors. Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself instead of your friends. (stop comparing yourself with others and wishing you were like them; learn and be inspired by them-than move on and ask for the graces to change)

If you do not enjoy the favor of men, do not let it sadden you; but consider it a serious matter if you do not conduct yourself as well or as carefully as is becoming for a servant of God and a devout religious. (speak with a spiritual advisor if this is a problem)

It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life*, especially comforts of the body. Yet if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction. (I will bring this up with my spiritual advisor..."own fault" is a strong word...sometimes God uses the dry times to help us grow)

*St. Therese of Lisieux: If love were dependent on mere feelings, however, her vocation would have foundered, for as Thérèse wrote, “Do not believe I am swimming in consolations; oh, no, my consolation is to have none on earth.”

Mother Theresa's own struggle: “and she experienced a spiritual darkness that would remain with her until her death” (fifty years later).

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