La solitude extérieure crée une ambiance propice, nécessaire pour que se développe une solitude plus parfaite : la solitude intérieure. - En quoi consiste la solitude intérieure ? - Elle consiste en un processus spirituel par lequel la mémoire, l’intelligence et la volonté se détachent petit à petit de tout intérêt et goût pour les choses matérielles. A leur place, Dieu, commence à être perçu comme l’être unique, le seul qui puisse rassasier les profondeurs de l’esprit. Le chartreux devient un authentique contemplatif seulement quand il découvre, dans l’admiration, que Dieu seul peut le combler. Cette découverte procure une telle sensation de liberté intérieure et de joie, qu’il est difficile de l’exprimer avec des mots. - Il semble que vous parliez de votre propre expérience ? - Comme j’aimerais qu’il en soit ainsi ! - La Chartreuse considère-t-elle cette expérience contemplative comme typique et particulière à elle ? - Il s’agit d’un processus spirituel qu’on trouve déjà dans la spiritualité des moines du Désert, par exemple chez Évagre, et, en général, chez les mystiques chrétiens de tous les temps. - Pratiquement, comment le vivez-vous, vous les chartreux ? - Je pense que tout ce processus spirituel pourrait se résumer en un seul mot, un mot très aimé de saint Bruno et des premiers chartreux : ‘quies’, c’est- à-dire le repos spirituel. - Si je comprends bien, cela veut dire que toute l’ambiance de la Chartreuse tend à… - A l’ambiance de solitude, et de ce silence qui élimine le bruit troublant des désirs et des images de la terre. Il s’agit d’une attention tranquille et reposée de l’esprit en Dieu, favorisée par la prière et la lente lecture. On débouche ainsi sur cette ‘quies’ ou repos de l’âme en Dieu. Repos dans la simplicité, divinisé et joyeux, qui fait toucher du doigt au moine, d’une certaine manière, la beauté de la vie divine. - A quel degré de contemplation correspond cet état ? - Je dirais que la ‘quies’, le repos en Dieu, est le but poursuivi par le moine chartreux Source
Exterior solitude creates the propitious atmosphere for a more perfect solitude to be developed, the interior solitude. - What is this interior solitude? - It is a spiritual process through which memory, intellect and will progressively die to every interest and complacence for things. God begins, instead, to be felt as the only one who can satisfy the deep realms of the spirit. It is only when the Carthusian discovers, bathed in admiration, that only God satisfies him that he begins to really be a true contemplative. Feeling that only God can satisfy him produces such a feeling of interior freedom and joy that it is difficult to express it in words. - It seems to me that you are speaking about your own experience. - I wish I was! - Is this contemplative experience something typical of the Charterhouse and restricted to it? - It is a spiritual process that we find already described in the spirituality of the Fathers of the Desert, such as Evagrio and, in general, in the Christian mystics of all ages. - How do you Carthusians resume it? - I think that this whole process could be summed up in a word that was well beloved by Saint Bruno and by the first Carthusians: "quies", that is to say, stillness or spiritual peacefulness. - If I have understood you correctly, you mean that all this Carthusian atmosphere leads to… - The ambience of solitude, the absence of any disturbing noise and of worldly desires and images, the quiet and calm attention of the mind to God, helped by prayer and leisurely reading, flow into that "quies" or "rest" of the soul in God. A simple and joyful rest, full of God, that leads the monk to feel, in some way, the beauty of eternal life. - Which degree of contemplation would this be? - Let's say that "quies" or "quietude" is the coveted goal of Carthusians. Source
Thursday may 24, 2012
...most of the time, they do not know how long a patient will live, but they simply try to connect with them while they are singing. “At the Gosnell House we sing in the hallway and, if a patient doesn’t want to listen to us, they shut their door, but that doesn’t happen very often”. 10:12:03 PM
Monday may 21, 2012
Dr. Victor Goldbloom is being recognized by the Vatican for his lifelong leadership in promoting Catholic-Jewish relations. Announced concurrently was the awarding to Father Irénée Beaubien, 96, the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism founder. The recommendation was approved by the new Catholic Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine and officially announced at a reception held at his residence May 10. Also present were Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte and Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Dowd. “Dr. Victor Goldbloom and Father Irénée Beaubien are two Quebecers, two Canadians, two men of faith who helped shape the open and tolerant society we enjoy today. Every generation that follows owes them a debt of gratitude for their courage, perseverance and unwavering commitment to dialogue as the path to peace and reconciliation.” 8:27:18 PM
Sunday february 26, 2012
Joy and woe are woven fine ...
Let us imagine that this will he our last Lent. For one or other of
us this could easily be the case. For all of us, it is at least a
possibility. This space of forty days then will bring us into the
presence of the Lord. Let us live this time in that spirit.
The Israelites were forty years in the desert of Sinai before
entering the promised land. Moses stayed forty days on the mountain
to receive the Law. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to
be tempted for forty days. In our turn we will be tempted. The
desert is no bland, idyllic place, 'idle as a painted ship upon a
painted ocean' (The Ancient Mariner). It is, on the contrary,
vibrant with dense reality. A part of that reality are the divisions
and conflicts within our hearts, the struggle between good and evil
reflecting that which can be observed on the wider canvas of the
contemporary world. The two are not separate. Our interior struggle
derives in part from and has in return a hidden but profound effect
on humanity's course. Let us never forget it. The eternal lot of
someone may depend on your difficult fidelity.
Remember St Anthony. Going into a greater solitude, he was
immediately confronted with all the demons he carried within him:
lust, avarice, anger, vanity, rebellion, pride, despair. Sounds
familiar, doesn't it? Young monks will sometimes take this as an
indication that they are in the wrong place, when in fact it merely
manifests their truth and the purification that needs to be done, if
they are to follow Christ with all their heart. Even those who have
already advanced some way on the road will discover deeper areas of
opacity in themselves, hidden resistance to the total opening of the
heart to God. This is something that occurs in the intimate solitude
of each one. It is in prayer and stillness that the essential work
is done, often beyond our conscious awareness. It is favoured by a
fasting from the superficial and distracting that reflects a hunger
for the essential, a mind that is nourished by silence, an entering
into, a being taken up into the deep pulse of all that is, the
inflowing creative will of God. When we are totally identified with
God's willing of all reality in the mystery of his love, we will
become, in him, source of being to all created reality, animated by
God's own life, giving back what we have received, even God to
himself. This is the Easter we prepare for, the resurrection already
at work in us in faith and hope.
Let me try to capture this hidden presence of life. There are two
liturgical gestures that are highly significant: both occur during
the Mass, and have the added interest of joining the solitary and
the community aspects of our Carthusian life The first is the
gesture of the priest at the altar when he extends his arms in the
form of a cross. In doing so, obviously, he figures Christ, but what
struck me recently, precisely from the position of the priest, is
that the two choirs as it were prolong, almost seem to be, his
outstretched arms. There is, in truth, but one priest, one offering.
The second sign occurs at the communion when we make a circle around
the altar, that is around Christ. It is so visible. We are many in
our solitude and yet we are one Christ, the perfect circle. There is
a solidarity beyond and above all the things that seem to separate
and oppose, a durability beyond the passing presence and role of
each individual. We are and will be for ever one body of Christ. May
this mystery of unity, love and peace be realised in each one of you
and in our community more and more this Lent so that Easter may be
the unveiling of that life which is already ours in Christ. 8:28:07 AM
Thursday december 22, 2011
180movie.com 8:27:10 PM
Wednesday november 16, 2011
This is so sweet. Its nice to know that there are caring people out there willing to take the time to help others and make a childs day.
We don't know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in
the dead letter office of the US postal service.
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed
away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about
how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to
God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I
told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with
you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have
her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with
balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will
know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and
Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address
on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the
envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the
letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the
letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God
had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front
porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith
opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet
Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written
to God in its opened envelope.
On the opposite page was the picture
of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help
and I recognized her right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it
stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need
our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture
in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to
keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping
you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have.
I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day
and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to
find. I am wherever there is love.
Love, God 1:13:32 PM
Saturday august 27, 2011
...the more I live this life, the more I see our job as a community is to simply be faithful to what God has given us. In that way," he concludes, "We will be living, nothing more or less, than the gospel of Jesus Christ." 8:58:06 PM
Monday march 28, 2011
The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the linen burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth (see John 19:38–42, 20:1–9). While studying life-size photographs of the Shroud, Dr. & Mrs. Alan & Mary Whanger (Duke University, Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin) discovered faint images of flowers, thorns (Gundelia tournefortii), and Pistacia fruit (mastic), which they tentatively identified by comparison with illustrations in the Flora Palaestina (Zohary, M. and N. Feinbrun. 1966–1986) using their polarized image overlay technique. While comparing the Shroud with the Pantocrator Icon (550 AD) from St. Catherine’s Monastery and a Justinian II coin (692–695 AD) both of which show outlines of flowers, they found 170 and 145 points of congruence (PC), respectively, indicating that the artists used the Shroud as a model (45–60 PC are used to determine same source in courts of law)..... 1:53:56 PM
Notes Benefits for Both Priests and Penitents
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- There is a pedagogical value to the
sacrament of confession, according to Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this today when he addressed participants in a
five-day course on the internal forum. The seminar, sponsored by the
Apostolic Penitentiary, concluded today.
The Holy Father said that the teaching-learning aspect of confession is
not sufficiently considered, despite its spiritual and pastoral
"In what way does the sacrament of penance educate?" he asked. "In what
sense does its celebration have a pedagogical value, first of all, for
To respond to these questions, he suggested starting with the
recognition "that the priestly ministry constitutes a unique and
privileged observation post, from which, daily, we are enabled to
contemplate the splendor of divine mercy."
"Fundamentally," the Holy Father said, "to confess means to assist
in as many 'professiones fidei' as there are penitents, and to
contemplate the action of the merciful God in history, to touch the
salvific effects of the cross and resurrection of Christ, at all times
and for every man."
The Pontiff reflected how in the confessional, the priest in a sense
visits the "abyss of the human heart, also in the dark aspects." And
this, he said, also tests the "humanity and the faith of the priest
"On the other hand," he continued, "it nourishes in him the certainty
that the last word on the evil of man and of history is God's, it is
his mercy, able to make all things new."
From confession, in fact, the priest can learn much, the Pope said,
above all "from exemplary penitents by their spiritual life, by the
seriousness with which they conduct their examinations of conscience,
by the transparency in recognizing their sin and by their docility to
the teaching of the Church and the indications of the confessor."
"From the administration of the sacrament of penance we can receive
profound lessons of humility and faith," he assured. Confession is "a
very strong call for each priest to the awareness of his own identity."
"Never, in the strength of our humanity alone, would we be able to
hear the confessions of brothers," continued the Pope. "If they
approach us, it is only because we are priests, configured to Christ,
High and Eternal Priest, and made capable of acting in his name and in
his person, of rendering really present God who forgives, renews and
In regard to the pedagogical value for penitents, the Holy Father
said that it depends "first of all, on the action of grace and on the
objective effects of the sacrament in the soul of the faithful."
"Sacramental reconciliation is one of the moments in which personal
liberty and self-awareness are called to express themselves in a
particularly evident way," the Pontiff observed. "It is perhaps also
because of this that, in an age of relativism and of consequent
attenuated awareness of one's being, the sacramental practice is also
In this context, the examination of conscience has "an important
pedagogical value" as it "educates to look with sincerity at one's own
existence, to confront it with the truth of the Gospel, and to evaluate
it not just with human parameters, but changed by divine revelation,"
he said. "The comparison with the Commandments, with the Beatitudes
and, above all, with the precept of love, constitutes the first great
Furthermore, Benedict XVI proposed, an integral confession of sins
"educates the penitent in humility, in recognition of his own fragility
and, at the same time, in awareness of the need for God's forgiveness
and trust that divine grace can transform life."
In an age characterized "by noise, distraction and loneliness," said
the Pope, "the penitent's conversation with the confessor can be one of
the few, if not the only occasion to be truly heard and in profundity."
For this reason, the Bishop of Rome asked priests to "give
appropriate space to the exercise of the ministry of penance in the
"To be received and heard is also a human sign of the acceptance and
goodness of God to his children," he said.
Health of souls
In his greeting to the Pope, Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, major
penitentiary, reminded that "every confessor, to carry out his ministry
well and faithfully, must have the necessary learning and prudence for
The cardinal introduced to the Pope the priests of 242 dioceses of
68 nations who are participating in the annual course on the internal
forum, and he confirmed that "the doctrinal preparation of the
confessor is absolutely indispensable."
Following in the footsteps of Pope Pius V -- who said, give me good
confessors and I will renew the whole Church from her foundations --
the penitentiary promotes every year these days of study on the
sacrament, the cardinal noted.
"With intense satisfaction," he said, "we note that the fruits of
these annual meetings have a concrete confirmation in the daily
activity of our dicastery, which is approached with increasing interest
and known for its essential mission in the Church, which is the 'salus
animarum.'" 1:51:27 PM
This passed unnoticed –except by a small of band of thorium enthusiasts
– but it may mark the passage of strategic leadership in energy policy
from an inert and status-quo West to a rising technological power
willing to break the mould.
If China’s dash for thorium power succeeds, it will vastly alter the
global energy landscape and may avert a calamitous conflict over
resources as Asia’s industrial revolutions clash head-on with the
West’s entrenched consumption.
China’s Academy of Sciences said it had chosen a “thorium-based molten
salt reactor system”. The liquid fuel idea was pioneered by US
physicists at Oak Ridge National Lab in the 1960s, but the US has long
since dropped the ball. Further evidence of Barack `Obama’s “Sputnik
moment”, you could say.
Chinese scientists claim that hazardous waste will be a thousand times
less than with uranium. The system is inherently less prone to disaster.
“The reactor has an amazing safety feature,” said Kirk Sorensen, a
former NASA engineer at Teledyne Brown and a thorium expert.
“If it begins to overheat, a little plug melts and the salts drain into
a pan. There is no need for computers, or the sort of electrical pumps
that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor saves itself,” he said.
“They operate at atmospheric pressure so you don’t have the sort of
hydrogen explosions we’ve seen in Japan. One of these reactors would
have come through the tsunami just fine. There would have been no
US physicists in the late 1940s explored thorium fuel for power. It has a higher neutron yield than uranium, a better fission rating, longer fuel cycles, and does not require the extra cost of isotope separation.
The plans were shelved because thorium does not produce plutonium for bombs. As a happy bonus, it can burn up plutonium and toxic waste from old reactors, reducing radio-toxicity and acting as an eco-cleaner.
We should trust ourselves to Christ and His mother, pray often, and say the Rosary. Then, although we have done little, we have done everything. John-Paul II - According to a periodical called Stimme des Glaubens, during a visit to Fulda, Germany, in November of 1980. 7:51:46 AM
Monday february 28, 2011
What is the truth ?
Monday february 21, 2011
"Personally, I think Adoration is the best kept secret," she told them. "I give Him all my problems; He gives me answers. I give Him all my fears; He gives me peace beyond any human understanding. I give Him my tears; He gives me joy. If you're looking for a place to refuel with God's graces to get through another hectic week, then Adoration is the place to be." 3:30:28 PM
Thursday february 17, 2011
Many economists warn that the government’s huge national debt is a looming threat to long-term prosperity. But is it also immoral? 10:24:13 AM
Wednesday february 16, 2011
One day in 1937 a Dutch priest was driving an Irish girl to a Legion of Mary meeting some miles from his mission in Africa. They came to a river in such flood that the bridge across it could not even be seen. He was about to turn back when the girl cried out, "Oh Father, please go on, I'm sure Our Lady will protect us". He was aghast but found he couldn't resist such faith. Some men standing by formed a human chain to see if the bridge was still there.
It was, so he drove on blindly. The water flooded the engine and plugs but the impetus carried the car across and up an incline at the far side. He dried the plugs and tried the starter. The car got going and they were in time for the meeting.The girl was Edel Quinn and the incident typical of her story. In 1936 she had been sent from Dublin to establish the Legion in East and Central Africa. The difficulties were enormous but she met every challenge with unwavering faith and courage. When others faltered her invariable response was, "Why can't we trust Our Lady?" or "Our Lady will see after things". For nearly eight years, her health steadily declining, she worked over the vast territories committed to her. Hundreds of Legion praesidia and many higher councils were set up on an enduring basis. As a result, thousands of Africans are engaged in the Church's work of evangelization. 4:15:01 PM
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." - Thomas Paine 1:31:05 PM
A new app for the iPhone allows sinners to make an instant confession. Note though that you must make your confession eventually in person, to a catholic priest, for your confession to be valid.
The Catholic Church wants to be clear about the new iPhone app meant to assist Catholics with confession — the technology should NOT take the place of a priest.
Following news this week the Church in the U.S. had sanctioned the app aimed at helping Catholics through confession and encouraging lapsed followers back to the faith, media outlets have latched on to the story with zeal.
The Vatican, however, has since come out to emphasize the app (priced at $1.99) is no substitute for the real deal (sacrament of confession).
“It’s essential to understand that the sacrament of penance requires a personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor, and absolution by the confessor who is present,” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters.
“This is something that cannot be replaced by any application. One cannot speak of a ‘confession via iPhone,’” he said.
"Father Lombardi said the new application could be useful in helping people make an examination of conscience, the Catholic News Service reports. In the past, he noted, Catholics would sometimes use written questions and answers to prepare for confession, and that’s something that could be done today with the aid of a digital device."
“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” is the first iPhone app to receive an “imprimatur,” signifying the official approval from a Catholic bishop – in this case, Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind. Although this step seems unusual, Kreager considers it in keeping with Catholic tradition. 10:18:45 AM
Les membres de la Commission spéciale sur la question de mourir dans la dignité achèvent d'entendre les citoyennes et citoyens du Québec et rédigeront bientôt leur rapport à l'intention du Gouvernement. Pour éviter que l'euthanasie et le suicide assisté n'entrent clandestinement dans le système de santé public :
The members of the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity are almost done hearing the citizens of Quebec and will soon be preparing their report for the Government. In order to prevent euthanasia and assisted suicide from being smuggled into our public health system disguised as a medical treatment, support the Living with Dignity network :
They called a time of death on Jeff. Then, his doctor heard the Lord say, 'Pray for him.'
Monday january 31, 2011
Bell Canada et les autres grandes entreprises de télécommunication sont maintenant libres d'imposer la facturation à l'utilisation aux Fournisseurs d'Accès Internet indépendants, ainsi qu'à VOUS. ...Dans un avenir rapproché, les fournisseurs factureront à l'octet, comme c'est présentement le cas avec les téléphones intelligents. Si nous les laissons faire, les Canadiens n'auront d'autre choix que de payer plus pour moins d'Internet. Signez la pétition (français)... car ceci va passer au Parlement canadien prochainement (anglais)
Try finding a trash can anywhere inside the Oxford train station, in England. There isn't one. Not one. In order to dispose of that paper cup, you'd need to actually step outside the building, walk across the passenger-unloading terrace, and then trek to the far end of the taxi stand to find the nearest bin. I asked the budding barista who served me my espresso why this was so. Why? They're bomb hazards, silly. 10:37:20 AM
A pathocracy is a social movement, society, nation, or empire wherein a small pathological minority takes control over a society of normal people. The pathological minority habitually perpetrates evil deeds on its people and/or other people. 10:27:04 AM
Thursday january 27, 2011
Six and one half years before my Mother died, she sustained severe injuries while undergoing cardiac by-pass surgery. Air was inadvertently allowed into her bloodstream... 10:00:27 AM
"Would you like me to teach you how to grow from virtue to virtue and how, if you are already recollected at prayer, you can be even more attentive next time, and so give God more pleasing worship? Listen, and I will tell you. If a tiny spark of God's love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out. Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat and grow cold. In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can. Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter." -- From a sermon given during the last synod he (St. Charles Borromeo) attended. 7:12:19 AM
Thursday november 4, 2010
On Marguerite d'Oingt
"The God-Love That Reveals Himself in Christ Fascinated Her"
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 3, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the weekly general audience, held in Paul VI Hall. - Source
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
With Marguerite d'Oingt, of whom I would like to speak to you today, we are introduced to Carthusian spirituality, which is inspired in the evangelical synthesis lived and proposed by St. Bruno. We do not know her date of birth, although some place it around 1240. Marguerite came from a powerful family of the old nobility of Lyonnais, the Oingt. We know that her mother was also called Marguerite, that she had two brothers -- Giscard and Louis -- and three sisters: Catherine, Elizabeth and Agnes. The latter followed her to the Carthusian monastery, succeeding her as prioress.
We have no information on her childhood, but through her writings we can intuit that she spent it peacefully, in an affectionate family environment. In fact, to express God's unbounded love, she valued images linked to the family, with particular reference to the figures of the father and mother. In one of her meditations she prays thus: "Very sweet Lord, when I think of the special graces that you have given me by your solicitude: first of all, how you took care of me since my childhood, and how you removed me from danger and called me to dedicate myself to your holy service, and how you provided everything that was necessary for me to eat, drink, dress and wear, (and you did so) in such a way that I had no occasion to think of these things but of your great mercy" (Marguerite d'Oingt, "Scritti Spirituali," Meditazione V, 100, Cinisello Balsamo, 1997, p. 74).
We always intuit in her meditations that she entered the Carthusian monastery of Poleteins in response to the Lord's call, leaving everything behind and accepting the severe Carthusian Rule, to belong totally to the Lord, to be with him always. She wrote: "Sweet Lord, I left my father and my mother and my siblings and all the things of this world for love of you; but this is very little, because the riches of this world are but thorns that prick; and the more they are possessed the more unfortunate one is. And because of this it seems to me that I left nothing other than misery and poverty; but you know, sweet Lord, that if I possessed thousands of worlds and could dispose of them as I pleased, I would abandon everything for your love; and even if you gave me everything that you possess in heaven and on earth, I would not consider myself satiated until I had you, because you are the life of my soul, I do not have and do not want to have a father and mother outside of you" (Ibid., Meditazione II, 32, p. 59).
We also have little data on her life in the Carthusian monastery. We know that in 1288 she became its fourth prioress, a post she kept until her death, which took place on Feb. 11, 1310. From her writings, however, we do not deduce particular turns in her spiritual itinerary. She conceives the entirety of life as a journey of purification up to full configuration with Christ. He is the book that is written, which daily influences her heart and life, in particular his saving Passion. In the work "Speculum," referring to herself in the third person, Marguerite stresses that by the Lord's grace "she had engraved in her heart the holy life that Jesus Christ God led on earth, his good examples and his good doctrine. She had placed the sweet Jesus Christ so well in her heart, that it even seemed to her that he was present and that he had a closed book in his hand, to instruct her" (Ibid., I, 2-3, p. 81). "In this book she found written the life that Jesus Christ led on earth, from his birth to his ascension into heaven" (Ibid., I, 12, p. 83). Every day, beginning in the morning, Marguerite dedicated herself to the study of this book. And, when she had looked at it well, she began to read the book in her own conscience, which showed the falsehoods and lies of her own life (cf. Ibid., I, 6-7, p. 82); she wrote about herself to help others and to fix more deeply in her heart the grace of the presence of God, that is, to make her life every day marked by confrontation with the words and actions of Jesus, with the Book of his life. And she did this so that Christ's life would be imprinted in her soul in a stable and profound way, until she was able to see the Book in her interior, that is, until contemplating the mystery of God Trinity (cf. Ibid., II, 14-22; III, 23-40, p. 84-90).
Through her writings, Marguerite gives us some traces of her spirituality, enabling us to understand some features of her personality and of her gifts of governance. She was a very learned woman; she usually wrote in Latin, the language of the erudite, but she also wrote in Provençal French, and this too is a rarity: thus her writings are the first of those known to be written in that language. She lived a life rich in mystical experiences, described with simplicity, allowing one to intuit the ineffable mystery of God, stressing the limits of the mind to apprehend it and the inadequacy of the human language to express it. She had a lineal personality, simple, open, of gentle affectivity, great balance and acute discernment, able to enter into the depth of the human spirit, discovering its limits, its ambiguities, but also its aspirations, the soul's tensions toward God. She showed outstanding aptitude for governance, combining her profound mystical spiritual life with service to her sisters and to the community. Significant in this connection is a passage of a letter to her father. She wrote: "My sweet father, I let you know that I am very occupied because of the needs of our house, so that it is not possible for me to apply my spirit to good thoughts; in fact, I have so much to do I do not know which way to turn. We have not gathered wheat in the seventh month of the year and our vineyards were destroyed by the storm. Moreover, our church is in such poor conditions that we are obliged to reconstruct it in part" (Ibid., Lettere, III, 14, p. 127).
A Carthusian nun thus describes the figure of Marguerite: "Revealed through her work is a fascinating personality, of lively intelligence, oriented to speculation and at the same time favored by mystical graces: in a word, a holy and wise woman who is able to express with a certain humor an affectivity altogether spiritual" (Una Monaca Certosina, Certosine, in Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione, Rome, 1975, col. 777). In the dynamism of mystical life, Marguerite values the experience of natural affections, purified by grace, as privileged means to understand more profoundly and to second divine action with greater alacrity and ardor. The reason lies in the fact that the human person is created in the image of God, and because of this is called to build with God a wonderful history of love, allowing himself to be totally involved in his initiative.
The God-Trinity, the God-love that reveals himself in Christ fascinated her, and Marguerite lived a relationship of profound love for the Lord and, in contrast, sees human ingratitude to the point of vileness, to the paradox of the cross. She says that the cross of Christ is similar to giving birth. Jesus' pain is compared with that of a mother. She wrote: "The mother who carried me in her womb suffered greatly in giving birth to me, during a day or a night, but you, most sweet Lord, were tormented for me not one night or one day, but for more than 30 years! [...] How bitterly you suffered because of me during your whole life! And when the moment of birth arrived, your work was so painful that your holy sweat became as drops of blood, which were shed over all your body to the ground" (Ibid., Meditazione I, 33, p. 59). Evoking the accounts of the Passion, Marguerite contemplated these sorrows with profound compassion. She said: "You were placed on the hard bed of the cross, so that you could not move or turn or wave your limbs as a man usually does when suffering great pain, because you were completely stretched and you were pierced with the nails [...] and [...] all your muscles and veins were lacerated. [...] But all these pains [....] were still not sufficient for you, so much so that you desired that your side be pierced so cruelly by the lance that your docile body should be totally ploughed and torn and your blood spurted with such violence that it formed a long path, almost as if it were a current." Referring to Mary, she said: It was no wonder that the sword that destroyed your body also penetrated the heart of your glorious Mother who so wanted to support you [...] because your love was higher than all other loves" (Ibid., Meditazione II, 36-39.42, p. 60f).
Dear friends, Marguerite d'Oingt invites us to meditate daily on the life of sorrow and love of Jesus and of his mother, Mary. Here is our hope, the meaning of our existence. From contemplation of Christ's love for us are born the strength and joy to respond with the same love, placing our life at the service of God and of others. With Marguerite we also say: "Sweet Lord, all that you did, for love of me and of the whole human race, leads me to love you, but the remembrance of your most holy Passion gives unequaled vigor to my power of affection to love you. That is why it seems to me that [...] I have found what I so much desired: not to love anything other than you or in you or for love of you" (Ibid., Meditazione II, 46, p. 62).
At first glance this figure of a Medieval Carthusian nun, as well as her life and her thought, seems distant from us, from our life, from our way of thinking and acting. But if we look at the essential aspect of this life, we see that it also affects us and that it would also be the essential aspect of our own existence.
We have heard that Marguerite considered the Lord as a book, she fixed her gaze on the Lord, she considered him a mirror in which her own conscience also appeared. And from this mirror light entered her soul: She allowed the word to come in, the life of Christ in her own being and thus she was transformed; her conscience was enlightened, she found criteria, light and was cleansed. It is precisely this that we also need: to let the words, life and light of Christ enter our conscience so that it is enlightened, understands what is true and good and what is wrong; may our conscience be enlightened and cleansed. Rubbish is not only on different streets of the world. There is rubbish also in our consciences and in our souls. Only the light of the Lord, his strength and his love is what cleanses us, purifies us, showing us the right path. Therefore, let us follow holy Marguerite in this look toward Jesus. Let us read the book of his life, let us allow ourselves to be enlightened and cleansed, to learn the true life. Thank you.
Thursday october 14, 2010
The one thing necessary - The interior life ... is something far more profound and more necessary in us than intellectual life or the cultivation of the sciences, than artistic or literary life, than social or political life. Unfortunately, some great scholars, mathematicians, physicists, and astronomers have no interior life, so to speak, but devote themselves to the study of their science as if God did not exist. In their moments of solitude they have no intimate conversation with Him. Their life appears to be in certain respects the search for the true and the good in a more or less definite and restricted domain, but it is so tainted with self-love and intellectual pride that we may legitimately question whether it will bear fruit for eternity. Many artists, literary men, and statesmen never rise above this level of purely human activity which is, in short, quite exterior. Do the depths of their souls live by God? It would seem not.
This shows that the interior life, or the life of the soul with God, well deserves to be called the one thing necessary, since by it we tend to our last end and assure our salvation. This last must not be too widely separated from progressive sanctification, for it is the very way of salvation.
Tuesday october 5, 2010
Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it. Being busy and active, we want to earn our bread by making a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer. Fr. Henri Nouwen 7:56:07 AM
....all too often we become enamored with the ways of the Dictatorship of Relativism (Pope Benedict XVI’s revealing term,) by obtaining ever greater numbers of personal possessions and engaging in a hedonistic lifestyle that encourages that every sexual whim and feeling be obeyed. Sadly all of this is occurring, while too many of the clergy have become enamored with being accepted and liked by the new cultural elite.
These elites often go hand in hand with today’s new social activists who claim to be in alliance with the Church’s mission. However, in reality they have always hated the Church and always will, because in their heart of hearts they are rebellious to the ways of God. The elite media’s treatment of Pope Benedict XVI is one such example. Before he became pontiff, he was hailed for his role in stopping the evil Abuse Scandal. However, once he used term the “Dictatorship of Relativism,” and was given the “keys” he immediately became a target for their vitriol and hate.
One of the common ploys of these elites is to appeal to their inflated sense of ego and intelligence, as if their intellect could save themselves and the world. This is a common ploy used to attack the likes of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. However this is nothing new, Adam and Eve were duped into thinking they would be as smart as God if they would simply eat the apple. In the New Testament, Judas seemed to have no problem letting everyone know that he fancied himself quite a scholar and leader. We see where that got him. All too often this path of hubris leads to disaster which is why William F Buckley wryly noted that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty.
Thankfully, there is good news as many dioceses are heeding the message of the Blessed Mother and once again obeying the teachings of her Son, Jesus the Christ who with His Apostles, Saints, Early Church Fathers and Popes have given us sound teaching and the authority to go with it. While mainline liberal Protestant churches are in a statistical free fall due to a desire for their theology to coincide with the secular world, Evangelical Churches and the Catholic Church continues to grow.
For Catholics, all of this is made manifest in ordination numbers. 64 to 6 and 14 to 4 stand out. What does this mean? In 2006 when writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I noted that even though the Diocese of Rochester had more Catholics than the dioceses of Lincoln and Omaha combined, Rochester had 6 men studying for the priesthood while Lincoln and Omaha had 64. That same year of 2006 Denver had 14 young men ordained to the priesthood (eleven in May and three earlier in the academic year) while Los Angeles had four; a staggering statistic when one considers that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has 4,300,000 Catholic residents compared to 385,000 Catholics for the Archdiocese of Denver.
While liberal convents are strapped for cash because they haven’t had a postulant in years, more conservative orders like the Sister of Mary in Ann Arbor, Michigan are running out of room due to the large number of young professional women coming their way. They are not the only conservative order growing; the Nashville Dominicans among others are also experiencing growing pains.
Monday august 23, 2010
Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart. - Saint Rose of Lima
Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven. - Rose of Lima
Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven.” When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemd to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: “Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul.” “If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men.” - from the writings of Saint Rose of Lima
This is a powerful story about the power of the sacraments! The following comes from In God's Company 2:
In the beginning of May 2010, an Italian family from Naples arrived at Medjugorje in a state of profound distress: on a spiritual level they had no peace, on a physical level they were carrying a heavy cross: not only was their 5 year old almost completely deaf since birth, but their 8 year old son, Antonio, suffered from epilepsy. His seizures multiplied day by day and occurred more and more frequently. His parents couldn’t bear to see him suffer like this anymore! One evening, they were able to go with the other pilgrims to pray on Apparition Hill with Ivan, and they recited the Rosary under the stars as they awaited the coming of Our Lady. There, they placed everything into Her motherly hands. They hoped for a powerful, heavenly assistance during this pilgrimage. The next day, the father went to share with the responsible of their group the painful situation of his family, hoping for a comforting word from her part. But she simply said to him, "Go to confession!" Surprised by this seemingly harsh word, the man made a solid examination of conscience. Actually, he was living in sin and had not been to confession in years! Seeing within that word an invitation to make his peace with God, he decided to make a good confession and he sincerely renounced his sins. To everyone's amazement, his son Antonio (ignorant of this confession) had no longer any seizures since then! As for the little 5 year old girl, upon returning from the pilgrimage, she began to speak, pronouncing intelligible words for the first time... The father concludes his beautiful testimony in this way: "I am changed! My wife and I see life with different eyes. It is a great comfort for me to have found peace again, and to rediscover the optimism of my wife. Since that confession at Medjugorje, I can touch with my own hands the benefits of a life lived in the light of God." Yes, the Blessed Mother knows why she asks for monthly Confession. "When there is sin”, she says, “there is no peace". "Monthly Confession shall be a remedy for the Church of the West". (1982) “I desire to lead all of you to my Son, your Savior. You are not aware that without Him you do not have joy and peace, nor a future or eternal life. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time of joyful prayer and surrender.” (07/25/2010) “I ask of you to sincerely look into your hearts and to see how much you love Him (the Father). Is He the last to be loved? Surrounded by material goods, how many times have you betrayed, denied and forgotten Him? My children, do not deceive yourselves with worldly goods. Think of your soul because it is more important than the body: cleanse it. Invoke the Father, He is waiting for you.” (11/2/2009)