Tag Archives: Catholicism

Nurture the Child Jesus in Your Soul

As we approach Advent and Christmas, think about what you need to do to nurture the life of Jesus in your soul. Consider the Annunciation, Visitation, Birth of Jesus, Presentation, and Finding the Child in the Temple. Open your hearts to receive this Jesus in your soul, and nurture His Life in you. Avoid sin that He May flourish in you unharmed and cause you to grow in holiness, in Him, and He in You. When your soul becomes as a proper Temple for His Presence, then you are succeeding in your love for God.

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Spiritual Struggle, Work are Neccessary for Consummation with God

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday, I had an inspiration – an image of little yellow life forms twisting and turning and reaching upward and gaining form as they grew.  This was pleasing to God.  (Now that I recall, I suppose the little yellow life forms were like the “Minions” but in a more primitive state.). The image had a meaning: struggle is necessarily good for all life.

In the midst of our struggles to grow, what if we, a beautiful life form made in the image of God, just decided to quit?  What then? We are meant to live eternally with God.  How can we stop our growing if we must reach for union with God?!  We cannot stop.  It is beneath us to give up in a state of incompletion.  For, Love never stops loving, and we miss our calling if we stop reaching ever upward to God to become capable of realizing the fullness of His Love for us – for ever.  We must reach upward and grow for the sake of obtaining ultimate consummation with our Creator.

I have prayed for the Lord to remove from me my sinful thoughts.  But, He literally tells me that my mind would “rot” if I was not burdened with this personal struggle.  I must struggle in order to grow.  I must be challenged.  I must do work to help perfect Creation, including myself!

We are to be like athletes training for holiness.  I get that, and now I do not worry so much that I have sinful thoughts.  No, that is not the problem.  Indeed, it is very good for me to struggle to overcome them in order that I may build a better habit and a better way of thinking.  I am being perfected because of them.  

But, woe to me if I do not struggle, but choose instead to embrace and rest in these sinful thoughts!  Rotting in sloth, imagine the disgust God would have for me – for you.  

Are you rotting in your sloth?  Or, are you blooming like a cornucopia of continuously-sweet flowers, grains and fruit?  

Baptism of Jesus: Betrothal to Humanity

While praying the Mysteries of Light of the Holy Rosary on the way to work this morning, and meditating on the 1st Mystery of Light, the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan River, I got a distinct inspiration:

Our Lord considered his Baptism as a betrothal of himself to us, in and accepting all of our misery.  In this deeply loving gesture, his Father was very, very pleased.  

What love!  What commitment!  What true integrity!

Suffer to Live!

Jesus Christ King of Joyful SufferingIn suffering to live, we love ourselves, and therefore, imitate Christ who suffered that we might live eternally with Him in Heaven.  Amen.

The LORD said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” [Gospel of Luke 14:27, NAB]

When we accept our bodily sufferings with faith and hope in the redemptive fidelity and promises of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we offer ourselves as a sacrificial offering with that of Jesus Christ. In our struggle to live because we love our very selves, we suffer and we join our own sufferings to that of Jesus Christ crucified. In doing so, we become very good friends with Jesus Christ, becoming like Him, like spouses do over a long, loving marriage. In suffering to live, we join our selves to Jesus Who suffered that we might live forever!

Suffering is temporary; reconciliation, healing and happiness in God are eternal.

Call for New Sacrament of Reconciliation: For Marriage

Holy Matrimony in the Presence of the LORD Jesus Christ Who bestows His Grace on their union.

Holy Matrimony in the Presence of the LORD Jesus Christ Who bestows His Grace on their union.

I propose a new form be added to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but for the help of marriages.

There is the Sacrament of Matrimony in which the husband and wife make a covenant to give themselves to each other for their earthly life and in which Grace is given to help the spouses live out their marriage in accordance with God’s plan.

However, there is absolutely no documented sacramental form or means directly available for the reconciliation and strengthening of that matrimonial bond when it has come under attack leading to the loss of Grace and making possible the deconstruction of a marriage which was meant to prosper and bear earthly fruit for the Kingdom of God.

The Baptized go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for their reconciliation with God and for the healing of their individual souls, but marriages are relegated to the general help of the wisdom and support of other couples (sinners who are not ordained ministers) in the parish community.

CHURCH: WAITING UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE TO HELP THE COUPLE?

Why aren’t waning marriages handled through a Sacrament of Reconciliation for Marriages?

Why does the Church, in some cases, ill-prepare couples and then wait until the “shipwreck” of the marriage, stepping in late in a reactionary way (instead of proactive way) with programs like Retrouvaille and the long and painful process of deconstructing what was thought to be an irrevocable marriage bond through the canonical Annulment process?!  Far too much damage has been done by this time.

Where is the proactive help which works with young, married couples as they build and strengthen their commitments together – throughout their marriages?  Where do couples go to refresh their matrimonial bonds?

LET THE LORD GIVE THE CHURCH A NEW HELP:  SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION AND REJUVENATION OF MARRIAGE

I propose a draft outline for the new Matter/Form the married couple, to be added within the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Rejuvenation of Marriage.  I do not propose a new Sacrament, but a new form for the healing and strengthening of marriages:

Matter

  1. Sins against the gift of marital unity
  2. Sins against the gift of marital fidelity
  3. Sins against the gift of marital fertility

Form

  1. Act of Contrition unique to the Marriage Covenant and what it means for eternal salvation.
  2. Absolution for sins committed.
  3. Mutual recommitment of the couple to their original marriage covenant, witnessed by a priest.
  4. Blessing of the restatement of the marriage covenant.

Means

  1. Grace which strengthens the desire for the gift and attainment of deeper marital unity in which the two indeed become one in Christ.
  2. Grace which heals damage to the gift of the irrevocable marital / conjugal bond.
  3. Grace which strengthens the prudent and temperate desire for the gift of marital fertility.

Credit for picture:  Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals, http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/