MERCY

Jesus is always desiring to come near to us.
We often think He wants to condemn us, but that is a lie.
That is the enemy tricking us.
Jesus says “COME TO ME.”
Jesus wants to love us.
Jesus wants to show us mercy.
He spoke to a lady once:
“I love those who after a first fall come to Me for pardon…. I love them still more when they beg pardon for their second sin, and should this happen again, I do not say a million times, but a million million times, I still love them and pardon them, and I will wash in My Blood their last as fully as their first sin.”

I will wash in My Blood their last as fully as their first sin.

MERCY.
Sung by Allyson Prior, Grace to Love You is a fine example of the FACT that Jesus is more interested in coming near to us than condemning us, especially in the midst of our weak response.

RISE AND GO TO HIS HEART!

Practical Ways to Meditate on the Life of Jesus – The Spiritual Combat, 22.

The Spiritual Combat

The Spiritual Combat, Chapter 22: Practical Ways to Meditate on the Life of Jesus

Great counsel on how to think about Jesus each day.  In anything that I see, let it remind me of an aspect of the life of Jesus.
Some have called it “supernaturalizing the natural.” Others might think of it as a holy game, an exercise of the mind, to relate my experience to the life of Our Lord.  Whatever one calls it, it is a good idea.

But first, one must come to intimately know the life of Our Lord.  How can I relate my life to the life of Jesus if I don’t know His life?  So I must come to know His life.  In particular, his Passion for my freedom.

Examples from the text:

When I see a run down building, remember the stable and manger Jesus was born in.

When I see drops of rain, remember the drops of Blood He lost in the Garden.

When I see rocks, remember the rocks rent asunder at His death.

When dressing, I remember that God put on human flesh for me.

When undressing, I remember that Jesus was stripped for me.

All the objects of His Passion: weapons, cords, scourges, pillars, thorns, reeds, nails, hammers, all can be related to His Passion.

Supernaturalize the natural.

Relate your life to His.

Know His life.

The Spiritual Combat text: here.

___

NEXT:

Chapter 23: Other Ways to Regulate Our Senses

Do You Have a Biblical Worldview?

Your worldview is your guiding principle for life.  It answers the questions: What is most important?  How do I fit into the bigger picture?  What should I devote myself to?

A person can have a number of worldviews, I suppose, but one will rise to the fore as the true rule for life.

Some worldviews include:
Political: democrat, republican, independent…
Secular: this life is all that I have
Parochial: small town; my little life is the most important.
American: greatest country mindset; land of the free.
Religious: denominational identity.

Then there is the real-world worldview, the Biblical Worldview.  This is the worldview that Jesus gives to us, as He reveals the fullness of the truth of God.  “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” (Jn 14:6).

The Biblical Worldview is what brings everything into perspective, since every knee will bow at the name of Jesus.

Here are 21 aspects of the Biblical Worldview (not an exhaustive list):

1) Life is shorter than you think.

2) The path to Life is narrow.

3) Only a few are saved.

4) The things of this world are vain.

5) Everything comes to an end.

6) The time left is uncertain.

7) There will be a strict accounting of your life.

8) The road to Hell is easy.

9) The road to Salvation is hard.

10) You are indebted to God for your creation.

11) You owe God a debt of love.

12) You have wasted most of your life.

13) You deserve punishment.

14) The devil is real.

15) Sin is horrible.

16) There was a great price paid for your salvation.

17) There are consequences for your choices.

18) There will be a judgment.

19) You will go either to Heaven or to Hell.

20) Heaven is better than you can imagine

21) Hell is worse than you can imagine.

Capturing a Noble Spoil – The Spiritual Combat, 21.

The Spiritual Combat

The Spiritual Combat, Chapter 21: Capturing a Noble Spoil – or – Moving from the Creature to the Creator

We love to indulge in sensible delights.  This chapter assists in purifying our indulgence.  In fact, our master teaches us never to indulge in anything for the sake of pleasure alone. Ouch. Hedonistic America won’t hear of it.

There is a massive difference between 1) indulging in created goods for pleasure alone and 2) directing all of our pleasures to the contemplation of God,  A massive difference, with a massively different outcome.  One leads to bondage; the other to freedom.

The appetite in man (that interior craving for bodily or created pleasures) will always move toward the passing satisfaction of temporary satiety.  It is our job to train this appetite, to master our bodies, to make our appetite work at the service of the Divine.  So, we are to stop letting our senses stray freely, seeking for pleasure alone.  Our intellect must direct our senses so that they look for what is useful, or what is necessary, or what has a true good as its end.

RECAP:
Senses will seek for pleasure alone.
The intellect must direct the senses to go for:
1) something useful.
2) something necessary.
3) something with a true good as its goal.

The first movement is to recognize the Creator who has established all of these created realities, which would be a movement towards thanks and praise.

But our master takes us further.  He invites us not only to acknowledge the Creator as we enjoy the creature, but to pass from the enjoyment of the creature to the thought of how much more enjoyable is the source who created this creaturely pleasure.

Regulate the senses,
so that they may gather a noble spoil from each passing object,
and bring it home to the soul,
that she may rise with a steadier flight towards heaven
to the contemplation of God.

For those who enjoy nature, how much more wonderful is the LIFE who has brought this life to be.

For those who love animals, how much more wonderful is the FIRST MOVER who moves all things.

For those whose eyes rush to beauty, how much more beautiful is the FOUNTAIN from which these drops of beauty come.

For those who see virtue and goodness in others, how much more virtuous and good is the DIVINE TREASURE-HOUSE.

And when a person goes to do any action, to reflect first that God has brought me to this moment and He is making use of me.

When a meal is delightful, how much more delightful is the One who brings true contentment to the soul.

When a sweet smell is noticed, remember that all sweetness flows from God.

When a beautiful harmony of music comes to the ear, think about how much more harmonious will be the choirs of angels in Heaven.

 

 

The Spiritual Combat text: here.

___

NEXT:

Chapter 22: Moving from Created Things to Meditation on the Incarnate Word

How to Combat Sloth – The Spiritual Combat, 20.

The Spiritual Combat

The Spiritual Combat, Chapter 20: How to Combat Sloth

“I don’t care.” We don’t need to say it to live it.  In any area of my life where I live this ‘I don’t care-ness’, sloth has moved in.  And, as it is opposed to my walk with Jesus, it is very dangerous.  Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul. Not part, and not simply when you feel like it.

Three main points of counsel to battle against sloth / laziness / apathy / “later” attitude:

1) Stay focused on what pertains to your life, to your good, to your perfection.

2) Obey God when He inspires you, in a timely way and in the way He wants. (this also includes obeying your legitimate superiors, be it a parent, a boss, a government)

3) Don’t delay.  “I’ll do it later” isn’t an option.  Grace is always in the present, and reward is also in the present.

A few more tips and warnings regarding sloth:

Sloth gives you a lazy heart and a cloudy mind.

We must do our work not just timely, but also with quality.

Haste is a subtle form of sloth. (I work quickly, and poorly, so I can then be idle and lazy.)

Recognize the value of your work, and you will do it well.  Value before God; value for sanctification.

All our work is preparing reward in Heaven.

the slothful are losing Heaven.

When things seem too much, or too hard, remember: one at a time.

If “pray always” seems too much, remember: pray now, and you will pray always.

Both in work and prayer, breaks are okay so as to refocus the effort, but don’t break too long.

Sloth will spread and attack all virtues.

Your life is preparation for a wedding feast; don’t forget what you are preparing for.

REMEMBER:
He who gives you the morning doesn’t promise you the evening.
He who promises you the evening doesn’t promise you the morrow.

REMEMBER:
He who gives you the morning doesn’t promise you the evening.
He who promises you the evening doesn’t promise you the morrow.

Spend each hour as if it might be your last.

A busy day is a lost day, if it does not increase your holiness or your thankfulness to God.

The Spiritual Combat text: here.

___

NEXT:

Chapter 21: Moving from Exterior Senses to the Contemplation of the Divine

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