Life in a small town

Patience … All Is Gratuitous Gift …

This has been a summer full of frustration, fear, uncertainty and doubt, a summer of discontent. Future prospects are obscured in a cloudy haze of local and international political and economic issues. Locally, business has been terrible because of local construction which has severely restricted access to my business premises. This summer we are down 50% in sales. Contrary to the phone company advertising, the future is decidedly not friendly.

And so I am trying hard to work on exercising patience, every day, with all the little trials, annoyances, inconveniences and disappointments which we all experience every day, and in keeping in mind that “All Is Gratuitous Gift” … I am just going to quote from Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “The Mystical City of Godfor the rest of this post.  Written by Venerable María de Jesus de Agreda, a 17th century Spanish nun, after years of private revelations from God the Father and Most Holy Mary, Mística Ciudad de Dios (The Mystical City of God) is a marvelous and life-changing narrative of most wonderful and hidden mysteries about the life of Most Holy Mary and her Son Jesus Our Lord that has been enthralling readers for centuries.

Composed of the Conception, Incarnation, Transfixion and Coronation, this magnificent narrative takes the reader through the various stages of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, plus it reveals all sorts of facts about our entire salvation history. Pope Innocent XI and Pope Alexander VIII in 1690 expressly declared that the City of God may be read by all the faithful. Pope Clement XI and Benedict XIV gave like decisions. Here then is the quote for my trials this summer and beyond:

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Mystical City Of God,

“In all the difficulties, … I never lost sight of one consideration, which I desire thee always to keep in mind. It is this: that thou ponder in thy heart and in thy soul the truths, which I saw, so that thou mayest form a correct judgment of all things, giving to each that esteem and value which is its due. In regard to this the children of Adam are ordinarily full of error and blindness, but I desire that thou, my daughter, share it not with them.

357. As soon as I was born into the world and made aware of the light, which shone upon me, I felt the effects of the elements, the influence of the planets and of the stars, of the earth which sustained me, of the nourishments which preserved me, and of all the other things of this life.

I gave thanks to the Author of all things, acknowledging his works as benefits freely bestowed upon me, and not as dues, which He owed to me. Therefore, when anything was wanting of the necessaries of life I remained in peace and contentedness and deemed it all perfectly reasonable and proper in my regard, since I had merited none of the gifts and could justly be deprived of all of them.

Hence, if I acknowledged this, thereby merely asserting a truth which the human reason cannot ignore nor deny, where have mortals their intellect, or what use do they make of their understanding when, at the refusal of things which they desire and of which perhaps they do not even profit, they begin to get sad and lash themselves into fury one against the other, and even against their God, as if they were suffering some injury at his hands?

Let them inquire what treasures and riches they did possess before they came into life? What services had they rendered unto God in order to merit them? And if out of nothing there cannot arise anything, and if they could not merit the being which they have received, what obligation is there on the part of God to preserve out of justice, what was given to them entirely gratuitously?

That God created man was of no benefit to Himself; but to man it was a benefit, and one as great as the being given to him, and as high as the object for which it was given. And if in his creation man becomes indebted so much that he never can pay his debt, tell me what right can he invoke at present for his preservation? Has he not received his being without merit and many times forfeited it? How can he claim the guarantee and pledge of unfailing plenty?

358. If the first transaction and operation was a mortgage and a debt by which man binds himself, how can he with such impatience demand favors? And if in spite of all this, the supreme goodness of the Creator furnishes him graciously with what is necessary, why should he be agitated by the want of superfluities. O my daughter, what an execrable disorder and what a despicable blindness of mortals is this?

For that, which the Lord gives them gratuitously, they do not thank Him, or even give Him acknowledgment, and for that which He denies them justly and sometimes most mercifully, they are restless and proudly desirous, and they try to procure it by unjust and forbidden means, throwing themselves into the very destruction which flies from them.

The first sin alone, committed by man, was sufficient to cancel man’s right to the friendly service of all the other creatures; and if the Lord himself would not restrain them, they would turn in vengeance upon man and refuse to render any service or help for sustaining his life. The heavens would deny them their light and benign influences, the fire would refuse its heat, the air would cease to serve for respiration, and all the other things would in their particular way refuse their services, since they would in justice be bound to refuse them.

Then when the earth would deny its fruits, and the elements their moderation and their assistance, and all the other creatures would arm themselves to avenge the wrongs of their Creator (Sap. S, 18), perhaps disgraced man would humiliate himself in his vileness and would not heap up the wrath of the Lord for the unerring day of accountance, when all his dreadful guilt will be exposed.

Recent picture of Venerable Mary of Agreda, (1602-1665) Incorruptible

359. But thou, my dear friend, fly from such base ingratitude, and humbly acknowledge that thou hast received thy being and life gratuitously, and that, gratuitously, its Author preserves it for thee. Freely dost thou receive all the other benefits, without any merit of thine; and thus, receiving much and repaying little, thou makest thyself daily less worthy of favors, while the liberality of the Most High grows continually with thy indebtedness.

Let this thought be uppermost in thee always, in order that it awaken and move thee to many acts of virtue. If any of the irrational creatures fail thee, I desire thee to rejoice in the Lord and give thanks to his Majesty, and bless them for their obedience to the Creator. If the rational creatures persecute thee, love them with all thy heart and regard them as the instruments of divine justice, which afford thee some opportunity of rendering satisfaction for thy deficiency.

Rather strengthen and console thyself in labors, adversities and tribulations, not only considering them as fully deserved by the faults committed, but deeming them ornaments of the soul and most rich jewels given thee by thy Spouse.”  (Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations . Veritatis Splendor Publications. [pp 356-359])

Cheers

Joe

Naked came I into the world and naked will I leave it. Thy Will be done, O Lord, Thy Will be done.

 

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Fulton Sheen quotes … the masses, and coat-tails again

Albert J. Knock

Albert J. Knock

I am thinking again of Albert J. Knock’s essay which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936 under the title “Isaiah’s Job”.

article found at:  http://mises.org/library/isaiahs-job

Again, I quote (since I could not do better) :

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As the word masses is commonly used, (especially today in the early 21st century) it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority.

The mass man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses.

The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.”

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And Archbishop Fulton Sheen had some thoughts in a similar vein, seeing the masses and reality with a clarity I find refreshing. It’s not just me. This truly is “the Never ending Story”. Anyway, here are some quotes which are more understandable and more credible in light of Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “The Mystical City Of God” visions

So … quotes by Sheen – taken from various sources, including Facebook, and  http://motheofgod.com/threads/archbishop-fulton-sheen-1895-1979-prophetic-quotes.11156/

Archbishop Fulton Sheen and St. John Paul II, 1979

Archbishop Fulton Sheen and St. John Paul II, 1979

“It is characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unaware of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.

Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated?

Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.” Fulton Sheen

Yes, man, created to be full of grace and faith and fallen so far. I found another site which seems to hold Fulton Sheen in as high opinion as do I. There are a collection of quotes in a post from August 2917 …

“I am amazed at how clear a vision Archbishop Sheen had of both his time and of the future. How would the Vatican view him if he were alive today? Here are a few selected quotes from “AZQUOTES.COM” for us to ponder:

Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.Fulton Sheen

And another 24 good ones are here.

Happy Good Sunday Morning.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

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