Advent: Walk with Mary to Jesus

Posted by: Zealoussheep

The glorious season of Advent is approaching. The superabundance of graces poured forth for us in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ are so vast! We are invited to make ready our hearts and dispose them for his coming. I invite you to consider during the next three weeks some ways to intentionally seek the disposition of heart that will allow Christ’s coming to bear fruit in our souls. Then, come November 30th, I invite you to put those intentional plans into action out of love for your humble Redeemer. Then, as the great drama comes to its pinnacle in the late evening hours of December 24th, not only will you find yourself immersed in festive lights, colors and attire, but you will also find that His LIFE has been born in you in more plentiful ways than ever before.

I will share one of my plans and invite you to journey with me. I intend to walk with Mary to Christmas. Why? Because Mary is the preeminent model of a perfectly disposed heart!

And who was the best disposed for the coming of the Word to earth? Without any doubt, it was the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the moment when the Word came into this world, He found Mary’s heart perfectly prepared, and capable of receiving the Divine riches which He willed to heap upon her. – Christ in His Mysteries, Abbot Marmion, O.S.

I can’t think of anyone better to assist me in preparing my heart than Mary! To facilitate this journey, I plan to reread Walking With Mary by Dr. Edward Sri this Advent.

Walking-with-Mary

This book is one that I can see myself reading over and over again because of its spiritual riches and the light it pours into crevices of Mary’s life I had not previously considered. Join me! Let’s walk together with Mary toward her Son this Advent. May our hearts be tilled soil, readied to receive the Word of Life as Mary did in Nazareth.

Finish the Phrase: If You Can’t Say Something Nice… – The Spiritual Combat, 24.

The Spiritual Combat

Posted by: EvangelicalDisciple

The Spiritual Combat, Chapter 24: Of the Way to Rule the Tongue (text at bottom)

…Then don’t say anything at all.

Our teacher is telling us to be quiet.  The counsel flies in the face of our tendencies today, but let’s hear him out.  If the goal is discourse with God and holiness, let’s see which serves these goals.
Talking or Praying: Talking to another may lead me to my goal, or it may lead me away from my goal.  Praying leads me to my goal.
Talking: It may lead to gossip, slander, immorality, idleness, laziness, avoidance of actual duty, self-indulgence, self-praise, prideful speech, foulness, speaking in vain against God.  If all of that is avoided, talking is good.
Praying and recollected meditation: it leads to discourse with God and holiness.

Our teacher is not against talking, he is against over-talking or mis-talking.  Or, to put it another way: he is for the use of the mouth as God has given it to be used.

Overuse of anything can destroy it (listen to a song over and over and you will become disgusted with it).  Misuse of anything can destroy it (put a plastic container in the oven at 400 for a little while and you will see).  When we overuse or misuse our mouths, we may destroy our interior life with God. 

The mouth is for communication; to let what is in the heart or mind out to be shared with another.  If we use our mouths purely, we will deepen communion with others.

But even that is not enough for our teacher.  He wants our minds and hearts to be always lifted to God.  And so it is not enough that my mouth be used purely.  It actually needs to be closed sometimes, even oftentimes, so that the mind and heart can be lifted to God.  So he pushes us forward into the practice of silence.  And when we do speak, let us speak of the glory of God!

garden4

PRACTICAL IDEAS – plan them and keep them:
one hour a day in blocked off silence. (also known as holy hour)
one morning a week in blocked off silence.
one day a month in blocked off silence. (also known as desert day)
one week a year in blocked off silence. (also known as retreat)

– – – – –

Chapter 24 text:

It is very necessary that the tongue be well bridled and regulated because we are all much inclined to let it run on upon those things which are most pleasing to the senses.

Much speaking springs ordinarily from pride. We persuade ourselves that we know a great deal; we take delight in our own conceits, and endeavor by needless repetitions to impress them on the minds of others, that we may exercise a mastery over them, as though they needed instruction from us.

It is not possible to express in few words the many evils which arise from overmuch speaking.

Talkativeness is the mother of sloth, the sign of ignorance and folly, the door of slander the minister of falsehood, the destroyer of fervent devotion. A multitude of words adds strength to evil passions, by which again the tongue is the more easily led on to indiscreet talking.

Do not indulge in long conversations with those who are unwilling to hear you lest you weary them; nor with those who love to listen to you, lest you exceed the bounds of modesty.

Avoid loud and positive speaking, which is not only odious in itself, but is also a sign of presumption and vanity.

Never speak of thyself or thy doings, nor of thy kindred, except in case of absolute necessity, and then with all possible brevity and reserve. If others seem to speak overmuch of themselves, try to put a favorable construction upon their conduct; but do not imitate it, even though their words seem to tend to self-humiliation and self-accusation.

Speak as little as may be of your neighbor, or of anything concerning him, unless an occasion offers to say something in his praise.

Speak willingly of God, and especially of His love and goodness; but with fear and caution, lest even here you fall into error: rather take pleasure in listening while others speak of Him, treasuring up their words in the depth of your heart.

Let the sound of men’s voices strike only upon your ear; do you meanwhile lift up your heart to God; and if you must needs listen to their discourse in order to understand and reply to it, yet neglect not to cast your eye in thought to heaven, where God dwelleth, and contemplate His loftiness, as He ever beholds your vileness.

Consider well the things which your heart suggests to you before they pass on to your tongue; for you will perceive that many of them would be better suppressed. Nay, I can still farther assure you, that not a few even of those which you will then think it expedient to speak would be far better buried in silence; and so you will perceive, upon reflection, when the opportunity for speaking is past.

Silence is a strong fortress in the spiritual combat, and a sure pledge of victory.

Silence is the friend of him who distrusts himself and trusts in God; it is the guard of holy prayer, and a wonderful aid in the practice of virtue.

In order to acquire the practice of silence, consider frequently the great benefits which arise therefrom, and the evils and dangers of talkativeness. Love this virtue; and in order to acquire the habit of it, keep silence occasionally, even at times when you might lawfully speak, provided this be not to your own prejudice, or to that of others.

And you will be greatly helped to this by withdrawing from the society of men; for in the place of this, you will have the society of angels, saints, and of God Himself.

Lastly, remember the combat which you have in hand, that, seeing you have so much to do, you may the more willingly refrain from all superfluous words.

 

The Spiritual Combat text: here.

___

NEXT:

Chapter 25: To have victory, one needs interior tranquility

Supernaturalizing the Natural – The Spiritual Combat, 23.

The Spiritual Combat

Posted By: EvangelicalDisciple

The Spiritual Combat, Chapter 23: Other Ways to Regulate Our Senses

Sooo good, and sooo practical.

When you see something beautiful, realize that it is ugly compared to the beauty found in Heaven.

When you see the sun, recognize that your soul is more brilliant if it is in God’s grace; if it is not, it is darker than the darkest night.

When you hear the singing of birds, or any other beautiful song, rest assured that the ALLELUIA of the angels will be all the more euphoric.

When you take a step, remember that you are one step closer to your own end.

Anything that you read or hear, let it be the Lord Himself Who speaks to you.

Know that the Saints are examples of the champions.

When you see a church, know that you are a temple of the living God.

 

The Spiritual Combat text: here.

___

NEXT:

Chapter 24: Of the Way to Rule the Tongue

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑