Tag Archives: Sin

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.

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?  

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/

Jesus’ Gift for My Apology – A New Land

alpine-forests
This morning, I sat to pray, but could not because I remembered how I had offended the Lord in my sinfulness. I then opened my book of devotions and prayer, “Prisoner of Love” by Fr. Lasance, and conducted an examination of conscience. In praying, the Lord clearly let me know where I had sinned and offended Him, and I was sorry and apologized in my heart. Later this morning, as I was resting, He gave me a beautiful image of green mountains set against a clear blue sky and hoisted above a plush, green prairie with fresh streams running from one side to the other. The scene, which appeared from nowhere and without any provocation of my own, refreshed my soul and gave me hope for future eternal happiness with the Lord.

When He is with us – in our souls, our lives spill over into His and His into ours. He notices our sins and is offended, though He may not say anything immediately. He is long-suffering and patient. But, He really does become the subject of our actions, good and bad. We must learn this and stay ever-aware of His loving Presence, if He is present (do not presume), and honor Him in all of our actions as if He were our child or our spouse or our beloved parent or our very best friend in all of the world – all of whom we would never want to offend. Even moreso, if we really understood the tender perfection of our Love, our Lord Who we welcome into our hearts, we would do everything not to offend Him.

Love the Lord, your God with all of your heart, and all of your soul, and all of your mind, and with all of your strength. Ask Him into your heart. Examine your conscience often. Apologize to the Lord when you have offended Him. And above all, confess your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, according to the Lord’s direction, so that He may heal you. I will confess my sins to a priest today, as per my apology to my Lord and per His most Holy Will for me.

Truth in Obedience

The Blessed Virgin Mary embodies the loving obedience. Jesus Christ, the God-man, embodies the loving Truth. In Mary’s body, Truth takes flesh. Truth and obedience (Intellect and will) touch and form the God-man, Jesus Christ.

Mary was immaculately conceived for this purpose. Her flesh is immaculate – without the stain of disobedience, that is, the stain of Original Sin.

And so we, too, before receiving the Lord in Holy Communion, should strive to be like Mary, that is, without sin on our soul. We should at least examine our consciences, discover our recent faults and habits, and apologize or repent of our habits. If greater than a venial sin, we must confess it in sacramental confession. Though less perfect with venial sin on our soul, Truth, when received with a contrite and sorrowful heart, will wash away even venial sin from the soul.

How can Truth take root and bloom in our souls if we do not prepare ourselves to receive Him? Truth does not take root in disobedience. No. This can not be. Truth may brush at our souls laden with sin, but not take root because the soul is not yet suitable for the Lord.

Follow Mary’s example. Truth and obedience meet and embrace and hold on to each other. And we bear fruit.

In Spiritual Darkness?

It is very easy to fall into spiritual darkness. Why do we experience this? The darkness comes when we are separated from God. What separates us? Well, Original Sin weakens us in the beginning (we all have it) and then personal sin (that we commit through our own fault) increases our separation and hardens our hearts. When sweetness no longer reigns in our hearts, we become coarse with foul language, gossip, pride, selfishness, lustfulness and the like. It is like having a really bad case of bad breath in the heart – our heart becomes foul and moldy.

Prayer (response to God’s calling us) and repentance (willingness and desire to grow closer to God through obedience to His Love) is what helps bring us out of spiritual darkness.  If we turn to Him and extend our hand even with the slightest sincerity, He will help.  All is HOPE in God.

But we must persevere in this way.  Like an athelete, when we persevere, we finish the race.  Finishing is winning no matter who is first.

And in persevering, we should make use of all of the sacraments which the Church provides us to help us to salvation.  We’re never alone unless we choose to be alone.