Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for September, 2008

A Personal Post…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 27, 2008

I hope the series on Reconciliation has help some of my readers who have experienced fear and/or doubt when considering such an important Sacrament.  Especially when the connection between the Holy Eucharist and the complimentary power between the two is seen and understood.  But now I think it’s time to get back to a more personal nature… at least until God directs me to write about another important issue. 🙂

For the last week and a half, my friend Carol and I have been stripping wallpaper in her dining room, making it ready for painting, discovering that wallpaper is not the best idea for any room! Holy smokes!!!  The amount of work it has taken to get this paper off the walls has been unbelievable!  Thankfully, at the suggestion of my mom, we found an enzyme spray that helps to eat away at the glue behind the paper.  Just in case you need a visual, we will have gone through almost three spray bottles (32oz ea) of the stuff!

But the time spent together has been priceless! With Carol moving two hours away, and with my move to Louisiana now canceled, things are gonna get kind of lonely around here.   So, as much time as us two dear friends can spend together, the better!

Plus, I have the privilege of continuing to watch her son, Andrew, develop into a very active and intelligent little boy.  The most exciting thing, the Child has finally agreed to use the “Big Boy Potty”!  Now, for those of you who are parents of little boys, you appreciate what I’m typing.  For those of you who do not have little boys, allow me to direct you to a routine done by Bill Cosby:

“My wife said to me, ‘You know, little boys are harder to potty train then little girls.’  Now to me, that sounds like a female-chauvinist-pig remark.  But my son says, ‘What mommy says is true.’  The boy’s three years old, I remember when my girls were 36months they didn’t like it.  They’d come into the room, “Oooo, oooo, ooo…’ and we’d say, ‘Oh gosh!’ pick them up and get ’em into the toilet, head first…we didn’t care, so long as they were in there.

“My son is three years old and hasn’t said anything yet.  Just walks around the house, carrying that duct he’s got, 300 flies following him wherever he goes.  And you never know nothin’ until he passes you by… ‘Uh, son.  You got a load?’  ‘Yeah, but it’s in the diaper.'”

Well, that was Andrew until just a couple weeks ago.  Except his diaper had graduated to a Pull-up, and as any parent knows, the Pull-up is not for containing large amounts of fluid, and certainly doesn’t work for solids!  There were so many instances when the Pull-up was so full of fluid, it overflowed and went down his leg!  Now, if we were at Carol’s house, no big deal.  But how often did that occur?  NEVER! 🙂

He’s also beginning to really speak intelligently.  Now this often is a good thing, but as an parent knows, “kids got to test their limits”, else how would then know how far they can go?  Sometimes the phrases and attitude that come from his mouth cause us both to do a double-take and say, “What did he say?!” His imagination has also begun to develop.  It’s really entertaining to hear him playing.  He has only a few sticks, or some plastic toys, and somehow he’s conquering evil kingdoms or fighting bad ghosts, or saving Daniel and placing the bad-guys in the lions den.

Soon he’ll be out of his taking afternoon naps – Lord help us!  Soon he will begin to really think on his own, keeping both Carol and her husband – and myself whenever I happen to be around – on our toes!  Soon he’ll be into his own-thing, rapidly becoming a young man, and the adults in his life will wonder, “Where did the time go?”

In Closing:  So for all you home owners out there, AVOID WALLPAPER AT ALL COSTS!  Keep your garage door in good shape, someday you may have to paint it!  Remember, you may not always be in the same house.  Be kind to those who will come in after you…fix those cracks before they become a problem. 🙂

To all you parents: Enjoy your children as much as you can while they are still small!  Have fun with bath-time, I highly recommend cleaning bubble-bath, cuts your wash time in half and they’re LOTS OF FUN! The one I found smells like bubble-gum! Yum!

When your child wants you to play with them, try to take just 20 minutes and PLAY.  Pretty soon they’re not going to ask.

Watch what you say and do…THEY PICK UP EVERYTHING! Nothing more embarrassing than having them repeat something you didn’t know they heard to a complete stranger as you’re shopping in the grocery store.

Be firm but loving…you are the parent, they are the child, a lifetime of discipline begins young and can never be reclaimed if missed.  And finally…

Have a wonderful rest of September!  Fall is definitely on its way!!!  I highly recommend taking yourself (and your family if you have one) out for a drive in a wooded area to see the changing leaves take on their splendid fall colors!  God is DEFINITELY an artist. 🙂

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Reconciliation & the Eucharist…Part III

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 23, 2008

A Brief Recap:

Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: “All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly.” ~ CCC§1456; Council of Trent; cf Ex 20:17; Mt 5:28 (emphasis added).

Matthew 5:23-26

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.

When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.” ~ CCC§1456; St. Jerome, In Eccl. 10, 11(emphasis added).

It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly. ~ CCC§1851; cf Jn 14:30

Instituted by Christ, the Sacrament of Reconciliation works very closely with Christ.  As we said in the last Post, the priest/bishop stands in for the person of Christ – He works through His minister.  So, if Christ is directly connected to this Sacrament just by those two established TRUTHS, how much more so is He connected to His very Eucharistic Presence?

Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins. ~ CCC§1436; Council of Trent

This is why St. Paul teaches in 1 Cor 11:27-32, Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (emphasis added)

This is for all you out there who have questioned the rational of Bishops refusing communion to politicians who support the Killing of Children in the womb.  Murder is a mortal sin, and therefore, unless that person has truly repented, and no longer supports this type of murder, they are eating and drinking judgment on themselves. Would it not be better for them to repent instead of being condemned along with the world ?

The Church further teaches: According to the Church’s command, after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time. ~ CCC§1457; Council of Trent

Actually, this pertains to all of us, not just politicians.  If you’ve given money to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that promote and support the murder of children in the womb (let’s call it was is), then you too are in need of repentanceEspecially if you’ve been receiving our Lord in the Eucharist!

For the Eucharist – which IS the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our crucified AND risen Lord, Jesus Christ – can have a very powerful affect on the life of the person whose soul is receptive to the efficacious grace that comes from the Sacrament.  We are told that:

The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners.  The angel announced to Joseph: You shall call [His] name Jesus, for [He] will save [His] people from their sins. The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: This is my  blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. ~ CCC§1846; cf Lk 15; Mt 1:21; Mt 26:28

And so:

Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is given up for us, and the blood we drink shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins. For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:

For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy. ~ St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4, 6, 28; cf 1Cor11:26

Yet none of this will be possible if we are already separated from God by our sins!

Sin is an offense against God: Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight. Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it.  Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become like gods, knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus love of oneself even to contempt of God. In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation. ~CCC§1850; Ps 51:4 ; Gen 3:5; St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 28: PL 41, 436; Phil 2:6-9

It is to be rightly understood:

The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins – that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation…

It is only…

By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins.

So long as…

…we share the life of Christ and progress in [His] friendship,…

Then…

the more difficult it is [for each of us] to break away from [Him] by mortal sin.

This is why…

The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church. ~CCC§1395 (emphasis added).

Any questions?  Have you attended to your insides lately?

Food for Thought: When you are dead in life and you die in that state, you will plant yourself in the land of the dead.

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