The Inner Struggle

Boundless Hope …

“An Taiseirl (The Resurection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)

Our hope in God can never be exaggerated because it stems from God’s mercy which is infinite. If we sincerely try to do everything we can to please God we should not doubt or fear that our hope in Him can be too great.

Detach oneself from reliance in our own power, our own plans; detach oneself from every created thing and throw ourselves entirely into the arms of God, trusting totally in His infinite mercy and goodness. We are essentially powerless and any belief otherwise is just another manifestation of pride and self worship. Without Him we can do nothing.

Trust entirely in God’s power.  His power and desire for our good exceed our greatest hopes infinitely. As John of The Cross says, “The more the soul hopes, the more it attains.”  The more wretched and powerless we find ourselves,  when The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, / Gang aft agley,” (from “To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough” by Robert Burns), the more we should hope in God.

We cannot, and should not, expect to reach sanctity under our own steam and by our own effort; our own work is worthless without trust in God. But we should hope to reach sanctity through the omnipotent strength of Him who loves to bend over souls as a parent bends over a stumbling child, aware of their frailty, who loves, in the words of the Blessed Virgin, “to exalt the humble and to fill the hungry with good things“.

The sure knowledge of our weakness and powerlessness, as evidenced daily in all the frustrations, unrealized dreams, unexpected trials, and the plentiful vicissitudes of inter-personal relationships where we interact with everyone else’s plans, hopes, and dreams, should make us constantly aware of our need for God, God’s guidance, and God’s omnipotence. Our plans and our hopes in ourselves are simply temporal evidence of our attachment to ourselves, our self love and self worship.

“A soul that endeavors to apply itself with all the strength of its will to the practice of the virtues and the fulfillment of every duty, a soul that is determined to refuse nothing to Our Lord, should strive to maintain itself in an attitude of total trust in Him, in spite of inevitable falls. Yes, we should have complete confidence that God will come to sanctify us, regardless of our past faults, our present miseries, the aridity of our soul, the repugnance of nature, or the state of weariness and depression in which we may find ourselves.” fromDivine Intimacy“, by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. , Copyright 1953 Monastero S. Guiseppe – Carmelitane Scalze, (Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Rome), 2014 edition. day 249, Boundless Hope, pp 723 first paragraph.

I can’t say enough good aboutDivine Intimacy“,  it is available at Baronius Press https://www.baroniuspress.com/book.php?wid=56&bid=48#tab=tab-1. Read it daily. Save your soul.

Perhaps even save your life. This fasting diet which I have been following since January of this year has its roots in my decision to fast for spiritual reasons prompted and spurred on by this book. Who can say how God works in one’s life and how he makes his will known in the lives of his people. But it is for sure dead certain that listening to and accepting and following the guidance, the guidelines, of human authorities with all the attendant self interest and corruption leads to certain death.

And while it is true that everyone dies, it is very much up to each one of us how we die, and why we die, and whether we die in our soul or only in our body.

Cheers

Joe

 

empty oneself of every trace of belief in one’s “goodness”

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The Inner Struggle

Pilgrimage 3 …

The notion that this life is simply a preparation for some future existence, rests on the presupposition that the supernatural exists. I have gone to some lengths to explain why I believe our culture, our society, has chosen to disregard the obvious indicators that the supernatural exists.

For those inclined to believe, there remains a rather obvious analogy, that of a progression through an earthly educational process of discovery and development of spiritual awareness, self control, and struggle to overcome our propensity to do evil, in preparation for graduation to a supernatural realm, hopefully on the side of the angels.

Staying focused on life as pilgrimage allows one to stay centered when the chaos of modern secular life threatens to overwhelm you. It allows one to re-establish right priorities no matter what the world is screaming about. Having right priorities reduces daily stress dramatically.

If we can eventually attain enough self control to trust God for everything then very many, if not most, of our earthly trials simply cease to exist. But to stop making and executing our own plans without recourse to God is a difficult path fraught with temptation and failure on every side.

One aid which I have found helpful in this process is the “Prayer of the Examine“. I add my own caveat that at first it is very difficult if not impossible unless one breaks up the daily process into much smaller, more frequent periods so that one makes the examen often, such as at rising, breakfast, coffee break, lunch, coffee break, supper, evening and bedtime.

After significant practice one might be able to reduce the number of periods of prayer if one desires, but at the beginning I have found that the sheer magnitude of the task mitigates against successful praying the examin only once a day, in the evening for example.

Cheers

Joe

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Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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