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Don’t worry September 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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From The Imitiation of Christ, by Thomas a’ Kempis:

What does that worry about future events bring thee but only sorrow upon sorrow?  “Sufficient for the day is the day is the evil therof [Matt 6:24]”

It is a vain and unprofitable thing to conceive either grief or joy for future things, which perhaps will never happen.

But it is human to be deluded with such imaginations; and a sign of a soul that is yet weak to be so easily drawn away by the suggestions of the enemy.

For he ares not whether it be with things true or false that he abuses and deceives thee, whetehr he overthrow thee with the love of things present or the fear of things to come.

“Let not, therefore, thy heart be troubled and let it not be afraid [John 14:27]”

Believe in Me and trust in My mercy.

When thou thinkest I am far from thee, I am often nearest to thee.

All is not lost when anything falls out otherwise than thou would like to have it.

Thou must not judge according to thy present feeling, nor give thyself up in such manner to any trouble, however it comes, nor take it as though all hope were gone of being delivered out of it.

Think not thyself wholly foresaken, although for a time I have sent thee some tribulations, or withdrawn from thee the comfrot which thou desirest; for this is the way to the kingdom of heaven.

And without doubt it is more expedient for thee, and for the rest of my servants, that thou be exercised by adversities than that thou shouldst have all things according to thy inclination.

I know thy secret thoughts, I know that it is very expedient for thy soul that thou shouldst sometimes be left without consolation, lest thou shouldst be puffed up with much success and shouldst take a complacence in thyself, imagining thyself to be what thou art not.

What I have given I can justly take away and restore it again when I please.

Sometimes it is very hard to not get our way.  Sometimes it is hard to see how God’s good may be acting when things turn against us.  Try to remember that everything that occurs is for our good and an occasion to grow closer to God through His Son Jesus Christ.  Do as St. Padre Pio said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

It’s almost time September 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness.
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It’s almost time.  The very best time of the year!  My strength will be severely tested, as I have no TV this year.  I think this is a pretty big penance for a huge college football fan.  I’ll see if I can make it through the season without getting the cable hooked back up. 

Hook ’em!

St. Alphonsus Ligouri on Confession September 3, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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St. Alphonsus Liguori founded the Redemptorist order.  Two of the primary charisms of this order were to instruct, through the holding of conferences and retreats, and to bring people back into the life of grace through the Sacrament of Confession.  St. Alphonsus was also a great writer, he wrote more than almost any Doctor of the Church.  Of course, he wrote a great deal on the subject of Confession.  With regard to this Sacrament, St. Alphonsus instruced the Redemptorists to observe the following principles:

1.  The primary purpose is to eradicate sin.
2. Priests must get the penitent to remove occasions of sin
3. Priests should insure perserverence in living in Grace and laying the foundation of a genuine Christian life

St. Alphonsus stated that:

the deeper a soul has fallen into sin, the more it is bound down by the powers of Hell [I understand this – ED], the greater should be the kindness of the confessor in order to win it to repentance, to snatch it from the devil, and to bring it to the arms of Jesus Christ.  If all preachers and confessors would discharge their duties as they should, the whole world would be holy!  Bad preachers and bad confessors are the ruin of the world; and every preacher and every confessor is bad who is not devoted to his office, who does not study to improve himself in it, who does not fulfill it to the very best of his ability.

I think St. Alphonsus’ words to priests are very well said.  However, the converse is also true – it is incumbent on the laity to give a good confession, to try to do as serious an examination of conscience as possible to reveal all the possible sins we have committed.  I have found that through frequent confession, there are whole layers of sin that sort  of peal back and reveal themselves as I examine my conscience more and more.  Also, as I have tried to grow in Faith, I have found that while certain more obvious sins may tend to recede, others become more apparent and need to be addressed.  It’s all a part of the process of growing in Faith – frequent confession is a huge part of this growth in Faith. 

St. Teresa of Avila was a very demanding penitent.  She fired a number of confessors/spiritual directors for not giving her the kind of direction she felt she needed.  And she did not have trifling confessors – St. John of the Cross was one of her favorites, even though he was relatively young.  St. Teresa stressed repeatedly in her writing just how important a good confessor was to spiritual growth.  Again, that also means that making a good confession is also important to spiritual growth. 

I am very thankful that we have some parishes in the area that are having more time for Confession.  I pray that more people will take advantage of the availability of this great Sacrament and use it fully to help themselves draw closer to God!  We should always have very long lines at Confession!  It is so necessary for our growth.