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Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

My brethren, let us consider how it can happen so often that someone hears something unpleasant and goes away untroubled, as if he had not heard it; and yet sometimes he is disturbed and troubled as soon as he hears such words. What is the cause of this inconsistency? Is there one reason for it or many? I recognize several, but one in particular is the source of all the others. (…) [T]he reason for all disturbance, if we look to its roots, it [sic] that no one finds fault with himself. This is the reason why we become angry and upset, why we sometimes have no peace in our soul. We should not be surprised, since holy men have taught us that there is no other path to peace but this.

-St. Dorotheus of Gaza
Text from Crossroads Initiative

Acknowledgement

By anonimus – [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10822708

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Well, we’ve crossed the threshold into the second month of our national emergency…that is, for those of us who live in the U.S.  For many other places, it’s been longer than that.

And from all indications, we still have a healthy stretch ahead of us.

During this time of quarantine and uncertainty, faith can be a major source of sustenance.

Most people who know me am aware that I (more…)

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EWTN is offering live Eucharistic Adoration, every day from 9 AM to 6 PM ET.

For the link to the video from England’s Tyburn Convent, click here.

Acknowledgement

By Juan de Juanes – [2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23065137

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[People] obtain more joy and recreation in creatures through the dispossession of them.  They cannot rejoice in them if they behold them with possessiveness, for this is a care that, like a trap, holds the spirit to earth and does not allow wideness of heart.

– St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mt. Carmel

Acknowledgement

Spanish anonymous – http://www.cervantesvirtual.com, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8653039

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Okay…let me open with Jack London, who made the following remarks in describing “the Wild” in winter: (more…)

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When assaulted by any vice, we must embrace the practice of the contrary virtue, and refer all the others to it, by which means we shall overcome our enemy, and at the same time advance in all the virtues. (. . .) For as the wild boar, to sharpen his tusks, whets and polishes them with his other teeth, and by this means sharpens all at the same time, so a virtuous man, having undertaken to perfect himself in the virtue of which he stands most in need for his defence, files and polishes it by the exercise of the other virtues, which whilst they help to sharpen that one, make all of them become more excellent and better polished.

– St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

Acknowledgement

By Francisco Bayeu y Subías – [3], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50771068

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Lent came a little later this year, but here it is.  Today, with ashes distributed to remind us of our mortality, we begin our 40-day journey to Easter.

All negative connotations notwithstanding, Lent has an essentially life-giving function.  During these forty days, we take the time to examine our spiritual health and to step away from things that may be keeping us from opening ourselves up to God, to the life He wants to give us.

That’s one of the great mysteries of our faith: God, who is all-powerful and needs nothing outside of Himself, nevertheless loves us and yearns for our friendship.

This being the case, it may be helpful to listen to the following Queen classic, and imagine the words being addressed by God to each one of us.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

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Well, it’s September.

For many of us, it’s back-to-school season.  I am sure of there being more than one teacher — and perhaps an especially astute student or so as well — who can perceive a sort of sick humor in the situation of Labor Day at the beginning of the month.

It’s as if the Genius of the Calendar, not content with (more…)

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St_Maria_Sehnde_Gottesdienst

Someone recently asked me about whether or not one had to pray in a church setting in order to be a good person, as opposed, for example, to private prayer in one’s own home.

My response was that the answer to this question (more…)

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