From a sermon by Pope Saint Leo the Great
Dear friends, at every moment the earth is full of the mercy of God, and nature itself is a lesson for all the faithful in the worship of God. The heavens, the sea and all that is in them bear witness to the goodness and omnipotence of their Creator, and the marvelous beauty of the elements as they obey him, demands from the intelligent creation a fitting expression of its gratitude.
But with the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit.READ MORE
Based on the teachings of The Institute for Priestly Formation
Acknowledge: become aware of, pay attention to, notice, and name my thoughts, feelings, and desires
The single most important conviction I want to share with you is that Prayer is a Personal Response to God's Presence.
May I try to explain this?
Either you and I are more important than God, or God is more important than we are. The answer is obvious, isn't it? He is more important than we are. Further if what God wants and does is more important than what we want or do, then more of our attention should be focused on what God is and does. Again, what God wants to say to us is more important for us than anything we may have to say to Him. And God does want tospeak and communicate Himself to us.READ MORE
Excerpt from the treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice
No one who is in love with himself is capable of loving God. The man who loves God is the one who mortifies his self-love for the sake of the immeasurable blessings of divine love. Such a man never seeks his own glory but only the glory of God. If a person loves himself he seeks his own glory, but the man who loves God loves the glory of his Creator. Anyone alive to the love of God can be recognized from the way he constantly strives to glorify him by fulfilling all his commandments and by delighting in his own abasement. Because of his great majesty it is fitting that God should receive glory, but if he hopes to win God's favor it becomes man to be humble. If we possess this love for God, we too will rejoice in his glory as Saint John the Baptist did, and we shall never stop repeating: His fame must increase, but mine must diminish.READ MORE
St. Francis de Sales' most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin's book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpts from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. Today's bulletin letter is the fifth and final part of a series about "Overcoming Sin" from Fulfillment of All Desire.
To nourish affection for venial sin, Francis points out, weakens the powers of our spirit, stands in the way of God's consolations, and opens the door to temptations. At the same time, Francis doesn't want to engender a morbid scrupulosity about the myriad temptations and sometimes inadvertent venial sins that are part of life in this world. He assures us that inadvertent venial sins and faults are "not a matter of any great moment" if as soon as they occur we reject them, and refuse to entertain any affection for them.READ MORE
St. Francis de Sales' most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin's book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpt s from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. Today's bulletin letter is the fourth part of a series about "Overcoming Sin" from Fulfillment of All Desire. Next week's bulletin will feature the fifth and final excerpt.
Francis knows that as long as we're alive in this body the wounds of original sin and our past actual sins will cause affection for sin to spring up again and again. But it's our response to this bent of our nature towards sin that is determinative of the progress we make on the spiritual journey. We need to grow in our hatred for sin so we can resist it when it makes its appeals. Catherine of Siena talks of the two-edged sword with which we fight the spiritual battle: one side is hatred for sin, the other is love for virtue. Bernard speaks of how miserable it is to turn back to the slavery of our disordered passions once having tasted the grace of God. Such a person is doomed to continual frustration, as the things of the world simply can't satisfy our hunger and "ravenous curiosity"since the forms of this world are passing away. He bemoans the fate of the soul "who once fed so delicately now lies groveling on the dunghill (Lam. 4: 5)."READ MORE
St. Francis de Sales’ most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin’s book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpt s from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. For the next several weeks, this bulletin letter will feature a series about “Overcoming Sin” from Fulfillment of All Desire.
One of Francis's most helpful insights is his teaching on the affection for sin. He points out that oftentimes we might turn away from serious sins in our life and try hard not to commit them, but still nurture affection for such sin, which greatly slows down our spiritual progress and disposes us to future falls. He points out that although the Israelites left Egypt in effect, many did not leave it in affection; and the same is true for many of us. We leave sin in effect, but reluctantly, and look back at it fondly, as did Lot's wife when she looked back on the doomed city of Sodom.READ MORE
St. Francis de Sales’ most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin’s book, Fulfillment of A ll Desire, gives excerpts from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. For the next several weeks, this bulletin letter will feature a series about “Overcoming Sin” from Fulfillment of All Desire.
Obviously, turning away from serious sin is one of the first things that needs to happen in true conversion. As Francis writes: What is your state of soul with respect to mortal sin? Are you firmly resolved never to commit it for any reason whatsoever? …In this resolution consists the foundation of the spiritual life. Francis recommends that a person in such a situation—coming back to the Lord from a life that included serious sin—consider the possibility of making a "general confession." This entails making an appointment with a trusted confessor and going over one's whole life as a way of making a fresh start. Francis acknowledges that this is not absolutely necessary, but he strongly advises it.READ MORE
The Feast of St. Francis de Sales was this past Tuesday, January 24th. The most notable of Francis de Sales' writings is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin's book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpts from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. For the next several weeks, this bulletin letter will feature a series about "Overcoming Sin" from Fulfillment of All Desire.
Francis states his purpose very clearly: Almost all those who have hitherto written about devotion have been concerned with instructing persons wholly withdrawn from the world or have at least taught a kind of devotion that leads to such complete retirement. My purpose is to instruct those who live in town, within families, or at court, and by their state of life are obliged to live an ordinary life as to outward appearances.READ MORE
These past few years have been tough for me. I was diagnosed with adult ADHD, my marriage andmy family were falling apart, my finances were just out of control. I was stressed at work, and life justseemed pretty gloomy. I was stuck in depression, which lead to weight gain, unhealthy relationships,and hopelessness.As you canimagine,I was constantly ina state of fear.
The fears that haunted me affected the important roles I play in life. The fear I faced as a wife was how can my husband truly love me for me with all the mess I've made in our marriage. As a mother, I feared not leaving good human beings in our world. The fear I faced as a daughter was about how I carry myself and not bringing shame to my parents and for them to be proud to call me their daughter. I am the third oldest of eight girls, so the fear of being unreliable in meeting their needs would haunt me. And last, as a friend, the fear of not being honest at appropriate times and not being honorable.READ MORE
Epiphany is the end of the Christmas season. The world has celebrated the fact that God hasbecome human, the Word made flesh, the Light that has come into the darkness. We know webelieve this, but do we know, or have even considered, why God would become human? Wemight desire that others who don’t believe in such a personal God (or in God at all) would cometo believe, but can we articulate to others the reason God would become human? The Catechismof the Catholic Church in paragraphs 456-460 provide the answer. I encourage you to pray andreflect about how relevant these four reasons are in your own life. Put each of them to memoryin your own words so that you can share this truth with those who might not know the personallove of God or who aren’t striving for holiness and sharing in the divine life in their own lives.Jesus Christ is alive and active. It is up to us to share why and to reveal how seeking God andliving daily in the divine life are relevant in our lives.READ MORE
From a homily, In Praise of the Virgin Mother by Saint Bernard
You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him toreturn to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; thesentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.
The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. Inthe eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we areto be remade in order to be recalled to life.READ MORE