Category Archives: Virtue

A Warning to Catholic Bloggers and Authors

Fewer words and a bridled tongue,
Peace it will bring to the wiser son.
Our opinions are our own, sometimes overblown;
They get us into trouble when bad seed is sown.

With the end of Scripture, Divine Revelation ceased.
It became, with Tradition, our Faith Deposit’s increase.
What better content to teach and opine gray areas within reason?
To teach obediently both in and out of good season?

Why must we insert ourselves into this mix;
With our own silly blog full of self-serving tricks?
Oh, yes, I say! This is what we do!
It is not enough, but we must sell our books, too!

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On Judgment Day, the Just Judge will say:

“Fewer words and a bridled tongue,
Peace it brought to the wiser son.
But you, my child, to Me you did not listen.
So now stand to the left and to the goats give listen.”

Amen.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.

For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. [Letter of St. James, 3:5-10]

 

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The Meek and Humble Can Do God’s Will

In my prayers at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning, I strained under my obvious weaknesses to ask the Lord to let me know His will that I might obey it.  I asked “What is your will” and I heard, “Nothing.”  I have heard this before, but this time, it bothered me.  I asked, “But Lord, how could it ever be possible that I could not do SOMETHING to obey and serve you for want of loving You?”  And then it dawned on me.

I – me – me alone – can do nothing to serve God’s will.  It is the very Life of Christ in me who makes it possible for us to do God’s will.  I thought back to the Lord saying,

Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. [Jn 6:53-56]

I can not even begin to live without Christ first living in me, much less abide in Him.  The definition of life, to live, is Christ in me.  To do His will, I must accept Him and abide in Him – in a way, see what He does and then do what I see Him doing.  I must become even as St. Paul became, writing to the Galatians:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  [Gal 2:20]

And so God reorients me to what I have not been fully seeking and teaches me a lesson in humility, that to do the will of God, I must do it through and in and with the life of Christ who must live in me.  I must be intimately bound to Him and live because He lives in me.  For he says here, again:

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. [Jn 15:15]

This is what came to me when I reached out to God and complained this morning that I did not know what His will was for me to do.  I was being like an ignorant (or lazy) child because we all have the wherewithal to learn and know His will and how to obtain the ability to live it more fully.  But, we often walk away from Him for a while, don’t we?

It gives me comfort knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ is a good man whose exemplified ambition was in loving and healing and guiding others, not in working and making lots of money and in creating luxurious conditions for Himself.  He taught us to seek after the more important things in life.  And He gives us this comforting exhortation and promise:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [Mt 11:29]

Who doesn’t want rest for their souls?  Who doesn’t like to be around someone who is meek and humble?  It is not too hard to become more like the Lord.  We can do it!

Jesus Christ Meek and Humble

Mary, Aeiparthenos

Theotokos Aeiparthenos with Child Jesus

Yesterday, I met Sister Mary Aeiparthenos, a beautiful (whole person) consecrated religious sister, and we discussed several things that we had in common.  She has been a religious for 8 years and came into the Catholic Church with her Lutheran family after her dad converted to the Faith.  We were both on our ways to see our dads for Fathers Day.

Notwithstanding the mystical wonders of my wife, if I could surround myself with Mary Aeiparthenoses, what a delight it would be, like a bouquet of living roses, perpetually sweet and delightful.  Of course, this is a dream only possible in Heaven with God, but you know what I mean.

Mary Aeiparthenos, perpetual Spring of beauty, whole and intact, consecrated in fidelity and Divine unity, virtue ascending to Virtue, a sweet fragrance consecrated for God alone.

For more information on Sister Mary Aeiparthenos’s mission, go here:  Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara

Divine Lesson in Humility?

As I walk and pray in silence, it is not unusual for me (or others who pray) to hear inaudible words (like a locution), presumably from God.  I believe that it is God Who speaks to me, and to all.  Many do not care to listen for God, or are not able due to spiritual incapacities.  I admit that, due to preoccupations, I do not “hear” God as much or as often as I would like.  I have simply been distracted.  I would like to get much closer again.

Though, recently, I have had time to meditate and pray more.  I have been working to improve my soul and have been reaching out to God to know Him in my heart even more.

This morning, I sensed His Presence in me and I heard “Choose.”  For lack of a prepared response, I hastily prayed, “I choose You as my King and Master, my Lord and Savior.”  And then I looked up in the sky and saw three very large vultures circling over my head about 50 feet up.

Vultures Flying OverheadI thought, “I’m a dead man walking.”  Then, I thought of this verse immediately:

“Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. ” [Matthew 24:28, NAB Holy Bible]

And then I thought to myself, “How proud I am that I should think that I can choose God.  In fact, it is He who has the power to choose me.” Where is my humility before God?  I must have a high opinion of myself.

I continued to walk, and I prayed to God for humility like that of Jesus Christ, that I might emulate Him totally in my life.  I did not pray this without fear.  I mean, to emulate Jesus Christ is a very tall order, and it can (and will?) come with great hardship!   Of course, I would rather be able to be most humble without hardship.  But who am I to know how best to grow in humility?

And then, shortly after my prayers for humility, I heard geese, and then looked up, and there was a flock of geese coming directly toward me and then over me.  They were very loud, too.

canada geese in flight

A flock of Canada geese in formation

That made me feel better, that God had heard my prayer and accepted my request for more humility, like that of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

The goose, as a symbol, means providence  and vigilance.  Providence means “divine guidance and care” and vigilance means “the quality or state of carefully noticing problems or signs of danger.”

So, I think that is affirmation of my recognition of my bumbling into pride and God’s immediate help in exposing where I need improvement.

But why did I hear “Choose.”?

 

 

To Learn Humility = To Change Perspectives

Learn of me. I am meek and humble of heart.

Learn of me. I am meek and humble of heart.

It is sometimes easy for me to lose composure when I allow pride to govern my reactions.  For example, there are times when I present something that I believe is valuable and represents my personal contribution, and therefore, self-worth, but the one receiving it disrespects it, and I get angry and want to come back with an arrogant response.

This has happened to me on a few occasions recently where I work.  By the Grace of God, I believe that my responses have been somewhat muted and controlled, not meting out all that my emotions demand.  I am grateful to God for this.

Interestingly, Grace also allows me to see beyond my pride, and to grasp the idea that I really can do better with what I presented…as if, after the fact, if I choose to moderate my emotions and listen, I am allowed to see as if the dark pride-encrusted lens through which I had been looking had suddenly been wiped clean.

I was praying about pride and humility this morning, and what causes my pride:

Pride is allowed to rule my actions when i measure my self-worth by my own, worldly standard.  “What I have presented is very good because I am smart, and I like it.”

In contrast…

Humility is allowed to rule our actions when we measure our self-worth by God’s holy Providence and Standard.  “I believe that I am here and have a job by the Grace of God.  What I have presented is good only if it satisfies God’s purpose for my being here.  If it does not, He will let me know through the one receiving it, and I will comply.”

So if my boss does not like something, my response should be one of humble happiness in having the opportunity to make it even better.

I desire to be a most humble servant for God, for the benefit of others with whom I come in contact.  I pray that the Lord God will help me.  So be it.  Amen.

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