You mean that I can’t hold onto my ulterior motives? I can’t remain partisan? I can’t retain my prejudices? I can’t be self-righteous and pass judgment upon all those who cross my path? The answer is “no:” Plain and simple! When you do these things you stunt your own growth. In our humanity, we are all quick to judge others by how a person looks, speaks and acts. It is very difficult to stay objective and refrain from passing judgment. Yet that is exactly what we are all called to do.
When our actions are based on ulterior motives… Read more…
Disinterestedness is one of the least known virtues. I have to admit, until I had read Father Romano Guardini’s book, Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God, I had never heard of it. So let’s start with a definition. Look in any dictionary and you will find definitions such as an absence of interest; objectivity; unbiased. So how does that make disinterestedness a virtue? Father Romano Guardini shows how:
The more we seek to gain our own ends, the more the other person closes up and is put on the defensive. But the more clearly he perceives that… Read more…
The nuns in St Bernadette’s convent were praying a novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary when the little saint was noticed offering her petitions in the chapel of St Joseph.
“But you are mistaken sister” she was told.
“Oh,” Bernadette smiled “In heaven no one is jealous.”
Of course the Lourdes visionary was right but if the heavenly angels were ever to be envious I suspect it would not be of their captains St Michael and St Gabriel but of these guys-
“Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him“ (Matthew 4:11)
“And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him” (Luke 22:43)
To serve the suffering and sorrowful Jesus in the desert or in the garden where He experienced such agony of spirit is surely a great privilege. Think what a joy it must be to know that the lesser has comforted the greater, that the almost nothing has brought strength to the author of all, the recipient of love has shared that love with its divine author and so brought Him relief in His sorrows. St Thérèse of Lisieux said “disinterested love is for us to console Jesus, not for Him to console us” and those angels who have chosen to serve God exist only for the purpose of disinterested love- “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). It therefore seems that those fortunate, those blessed angels who ministered to our Lord after His forty day fast and before His Passion fulfilled their role in a way which no other angels could ever equal or surpass….click here to read more
Jesus is the quintessential model for obedience. We see the first example of obedience in Luke 2:49, where we read, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus had an awareness of the Father’s will and was obedient to the calling to discuss scripture with the learned men in the Temple. Yet, on the heels of this statement, in verse 51, we also see that Jesus was obedient to his step-father, St. Joseph and his mother Mary, when once reunited with His parents. Luke tells us, “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).
We see another example of Jesus’ obedience to the Father in the passages of the Temptation of Jesus… Read more…
Obedience, what does it really entail? Everyone always wants to know just how much we can get away with before we are deemed disobedient. Instead, how about giving some thought to what it means to truly obey God, with our free will fully exercised? Does that concept sound daunting? Well, Peter Kreeft offers an excellent definition of obedience to God while fully exercising our free will, and this quote gives me hope that I can be obedient to God:
Since our highest freedom means freedom to be ourselves, we are most free when we are most obedient to God’s will,… Read more…
I created it: I know its weakness.
These words spoken by my little boy have me pondering them in relation to our humanity and our creator.
It brings to mind the Tenet “Essence before Existence”; the teaching that each and every one of us was in the Heart and Mind of God before the world was created. Everyone who has come before us and each one who will come after us was with Him before he set forth the heavens and the earth.
He knows each of us so intimately, that He created our weaknesses for our benefit.
I know I have fallen into thinking, my weaknesses are my own doing. From the “I’m just not good at that” to the disappointment/despair we feel when we just don’t seem to measure up to someone else’s standards/expectations or the standards/expectations we hold for ourselves.
If our God-given weaknesses were created for our benefit then our weaknesses take on a whole new meaning. Continue Reading
In my opinion, the Pharisees are important to consider in this day and age in the Church. I don’t say that to use the group as an epithet, nor to use an ad hominem to target bloggers I disagree with. I think we need to consider them because they did have an attitude towards religion that seemed right from a human perspective, but ultimately that attitude fell short in the eyes of God.
Briefly, the view of the Pharisee was (seeking to avoid pejorative terms) that one was faithful to God by keeping His laws. In doing so, they offered their interpretation of how the Law was best followed. People who did not follow that interpretation were considered sinners. In contrast, because they followed the Law in accordance with their interpretation, they believed they were holy. It strikes me as being an “either-or” fallacy. Either one followed their interpretation of the Law and were holy, or they did not follow their interpretation of the Law, and were corrupted. The problem is, the either-or fallacy overlooks the possibility of there being more than two options—in this case, the fact that it was not enough to follow the observance of the Law. Jesus did not fault the Pharisees for keeping the Law. He faulted them for failing to love God and neighbor while keeping the law (Matthew 23:23).
I remember the day I met my first truly holy person. Now, she would tell you she is anything BUT holy. She was to give a talk at the conclusion of our first Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat. She was speaking on the topic of God’s Abundant Mercy and Forgiveness. I thought this was an excellent choice given the flavor of the weekend. I digress, the point is, when she crossed the threshold, a sense of serenity filled the room. A calm that was physically felt, everyone in the room visibly relaxed and became more open and she hadn’t spoken a word, I imagine Mother Teresa would be the same way. Continue Reading
Do you cringe when you hear the word? Does simply hearing the word make you assess how obedient you are in this life; whether it be at work, at home, but most importantly in following Christ’s teachings? I think everyone could easily come to the conclusion that when it comes to being obedient, we could all improve.
There is this natural tension within us to want to rebel; to do things our own way, especially in our ever-growing secular, relativistic society. Being obedient requires us to follow certain laws, or rules, set forth by governing bodies. There are four… Read more…
Meet my guest, Cathy Gilmore, a children’s book writer in her own right. Cathy lends her voice to the blog tour in opining about my new book, Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity – Finding Patience.
Virginia’s story portrays a family in the midst of a move; with the challenges of a new home, new neighbors, and new schools. The refreshing surprise is the way her characters cope. Difficulties are handled with prayer. Children are pictured generously praying for each other, demonstrating trust in Divine providence. Guided by wise, loving parents, the siblings don’t just ask God to fix their problems, they pray for God to bless them with the virtue, in this case… patience; their need for strength in the midst of trial.
Virginia’s way of personifying virtues, … Read more…