Monday, March 23, 2015

How Determined Are You?

Catholics who want to live the authentic spiritual life are up against terrible odds today as society continues to tear down anything good and virtuous. The below excerpt taken from 'The Soul of the Apostolate' gives us an idea of what it is going to take to live according to God's purpose. 

A man who is determined to acquire an interior life must take, for his ideal, unremitting domination of self and complete control over his environment, in order to act in all things solely for the glory of God. To achieve this aim, he must strive, under all circumstances, to keep united with Jesus Christ and thus to keep his eye on the end he has in view, and to evaluate everything according to the standard of the Gospel. Quo vadam, et ad quid? he keeps saying, with St. Ignatius. And so, everything in him, intelligence and will, as well as memory, feelings, imagination, and senses, depends on principle. But to achieve this result, what an effort it will cost him!

Whether he is mortifying himself or permitting himself some legitimate enjoyment, whether he is thinking or acting, at work or at rest, loving what is good or turning away in repugnance from what is evil, whether he is moved by desire or by fear, joy or sorrow, fear or hope, whether he feels indignation or is calm; in all things, and always, he endeavors to keep his course dead ahead, in the direction of God’s good pleasure. At prayer, and especially before the Blessed Sacrament, he isolates himself more completely than ever from all visible things, that he may come to converse with the invisible God as if he saw Him. Even in the midst of his apostolic labors he will manage to realize this ideal, which St. Paul admired in Moses.

Neither the troubles of life, nor the storms aroused by passion, will succeed in turning him aside from the line of conduct, he has laid down for himself. But on the other hand, if he does weaken for a moment, he pulls himself together at once, and presses forward with even more determination than before.

What a job! And yet it is not hard to understand how God rewards, even here below,
with special joys, those who do not flinch at the effort which this work demands.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Soul of the Apostolate- A Necessary Book to be Read.

If you have not read the book 'The Soul of the Apostolate' , it should be next on your spiritual reading list. You can read it for free at the online link above or get it from TAN. The "Heresy of Good Works" is more prominent now than ever. If there is no solidly formed spiritual life where one spends immense time in prayer and meditation, their works are worth absolutely nothing!

HERESY IN GOOD WORKS! Feverish activity taking the place of God; grace ignored; human pride trying to thrust Jesus from His throne; supernatural life, the power of prayer, the economy of our redemption relegated,at least in practice, to the realm of pure theory: all this portrays no merely imaginary situation, but one which the diagnosis of souls shows to be very common though in various degrees, in this age of naturalism, when men judge, above all, by appearances, and act as though success were primarily a matter of skillful organization....

To tell the truth, to hear these mighty men of works talking about their exploits, one might imagine that God Almighty, to Whom it is child’s play to create worlds, and before
Whom the universe is dust and nothingness, cannot get along without their cooperation. Imperceptibly, a number of the faithful, and even of priests and religious, follow this cult
of action to the point of making it a kind of dogma which inspires their attitude and all their actions, and leads them to throw themselves without restraint into a life of extroversion. “The Church, the diocese, the parish, the congregation, the work has need of me,” we can almost hear them say, “God finds me pretty useful.” And if no one dares come right out with such a piece of stupidity, nevertheless there exists, deep down in the heart, the presumption on which it is based and the lack of faith which fomented it....

Full steam ahead! And while the helmsman is admiring the rapidity of his progress, God sees that, since the pilot does not know his job, the ship is off the course and is in danger of being wrecked. What Our Lord is looking for, above all, is adorers in spirit and in truth. But these activistic heretics, for their part, imagine that they are giving greater glory to God in aiming above all at external results....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How Far Gone Are We? Catholic Missions?

As we go through Lent we see some Catholic parish missions here and there, but there is something lacking. What is a Catholic parish mission supposed to look like? I ran across an old catechism that had parish mission pamphlets and cards in it by the Vincentian and Redemptorist Fathers. I went to the first evening of a mission at a typical Novus Ordo parish a couple of weeks ago, and while it was not a terrible evening of heresy, it surely did not resonate with the same message as these cards do. I scanned them so you can see how far we have fallen off the mark today in our typical Catholic parish. We are not even practicing the same religion as they were in 1924. (Click on each picture to make it larger)