Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘God’

The Final offering of Fulton J Sheen on Asceticism…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 17, 2018

God Love You!

There is a greater potential for sacrifice in the hearts and minds of men now, than at any time in the last 400 years:

[When it comes] to the devotees of Totalitarianism of the last 30 years, the fanaticism, the burning zeal and the blazing devotedness of Communism, [would this have happened had] not that these souls… become sick and tired of the milk and water [of] Liberalism that denied there was a TRUTH worth dying for and therefore one worthy of living for?

[Such as] the sacrifice of soldiers during [war], and at a time when we’re supposed to have softened by luxury and ease, [were it] not because a tremendous reserve for sacrifice was in the depths of their hearts?

The world is fed-up with broad-mindedness which is as cold as a miser’s heart and as spineless as a filet of sole; it wants to catch fire, to feel the burning heat of its passions and above all, to love even to the point of death:

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” ~Jesus of Nazareth, (Luke 12:49-50)

“Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay his life down for his friends”. ~John 15:13

We of the Faith are often frightened away by the sight of ashes and the clinkers in the furnace of the faithless, little suspecting that beneath them are flames that like [of] St Paul could enkindle the world, and like [of] St Magdalen set fire to penitential hearts:

“God and His Holy Mother will raise up saints who will surpass in holiness saints of old; they will fight in PRAYER with one hand and build with the other…over throwing and CRUSHING heresies and heretics…they will rebuild the true ‘temple of Solomon’, the ‘City of God’. They will be ministers [lay and ordained] of the Lord who, like a flaming fire, will enkindle everywhere the fires of Divine Love.” ~St. Louis de Montfort, The True Devotion of Mary, #48, 56

Pray! And the LOVE which you will experience from His (Jesus) nearness will give you the strength to make ready for the Works of Love which you will do in His name… Therefore, my children, love all who do not know my Son, so that through prayer, and the LOVE which comes through prayer, that they might become better. That the goodness in them can win.” Message to Mirjana, June 2nd and July 2, 2017, in part.

What greater proof is there of this, than the fact that when these modern pagans receive the gift of Faith, they often surpass us in self-denial and therefore Love of God.

In some instances, what keeps them back is a want of correspondence on our part between light and heat, or the divorce between our knowledge of Divine Truth and the self-renouncing love which that TRUTH should inspire.

Because the joys of union with God cannot be experienced without sacrifice, and because the modern souls without Faith has a capacity for it, we believe that Divine Truth should be presented to them as the Savior did, namely, by a Summons to Sacrifice, by an appeal to sell the field to gain the pearl of great price, and to leave nets and boats to become fishers of men.

Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. ~Mt 13:45-46

And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. ~Mk 1:17-18

Everyone today is in pain, either mental or physical. Where there are no broken bodies, there are agonized minds, restless, fearful, anxious.

Our generation [BOTH his and ours] may well be the most unhappy that has lived in the history of Christianity. All this adds up to the fact that suffering is universal.

But suffering is not far from sacrifice. There is no quantitative difference between the two, for a toothache in a saint is no different from a toothache in a Stalin.

There is no material difference between a Carmelite fasting from meat and bread, and a fat lady dieting from the same.

What makes the difference [We should ask] between suffering and sacrifice, between fasting and dieting…?


The difference is the LOVE of GOD. Sacrifice without the LOVE of GOD is suffering; suffering WITH the LOVE of GOD, IS SACRIFICE.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1Cor 13:1-3)

The Trappist monk who gets out of bed at two o’clock in the morning to pray for sins of the world is undergoing the same discomfort as the milkman, or baker or the victim of insomnia who gets up to take a stiff drink; but what a difference in the attitude of the soul!

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of Life…” (Phil 2:14-16a)

It may very well be then that modern souls are suffering enough – probably too much; but it is all wasted, either because they do not turn it into merit by knowing God or because they complain with defiance and rebellious protests:

“Why should God do this to me?”

What we have to do is to drive a wedge between their actual pain and their potential sacrifice, by bringing to them some understanding of the Love on Calvary Who suffered the first and everything, THAT MAN MIGHT NEVER SAY:

“He does not know what it is to suffer.”

Here we are, presumed followers of Our Lord and His Mystical Body, the Church, and those who are looking for it, without knowing it.

We are like crude blocks of marble. Over there is our Exemplar Christ, Who models the Christian life which lives only by dying to evil.

We are our own sculptors. With our eyes often on Him, we take the chisel of our will, and cut off in mortification huge hunks of selfishness, envy, jealousy, hate, until finally the image of Our Lord soon begins to reveal itself.

All is well. I take you into My Soul and you are caught up on the Fires of My Sacred Heart. When I return you to your own soul, you are MORE Me than you. So it will be because I have willed it~Jesus to “Anne”, Lay Apostle, Directions for Our Times, Volume 8, p27.

Can Love be terrible, my Lord? Can gentleness be stern? “Ah, yes! – intense is LOVE’s desire to PURIFY His Beloved – tis FIRE, a HOLY FIRE to burn. For He must fully perfect thee till in thy likeness all may see the beauty of the Lord”…

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” ~Jesus of Nazareth, (Lk 12:49)

Can Love seem cruel, O my Lord? “Yes, like a sword the cure; He will not spare thee, sin-sick soul, till He hath made thy sickness whole, until thine heart is PURE!” ~ The Shepherd to Grace and Glory, Mountain of Spices, pg 142, emphasis added.

It is not as hard to do this as we think; it is harder to go on living the way we are, unsurrendered, unlovable, unhappy on the inside.

But you say you cannot do this alone – your will is weak; your mind is dark!

How right you are!

We need God’s Grace – God love you!

[And that is the topic of the next chapter of his broadcast and the book I have. However, I only promised this chapter. We will begin the Lenten retreat/reflections starting on Sunday. But Sheen’s words will always be here for you to refer back to when you need encouragement and/or that gentle reminder. But I will leave you with one more tool, a prayer.] 

A Prayer for Abandonment by Charles de Foucauld, (emphasis added)

Father, I abandon myself into Your hands; do with me what You will. Whatever You may do, I thank You: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only Your Will be done in me, and in all Your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into Your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to You with all the Love of my heart, for I love You, Lord, and so need to give myself to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for You ARE my Father.

Need something more? Visit Mark’s page on the 9 Day Novena of Abandonment

It’s powerful! Maybe print out a copy for yourself and for your loved ones?


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Sheen continues… Asceticism

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 15, 2018

God Love You!

Self discipline does not mean giving up anything, for giving up is a loss:

“Fear not! thy TRUST ends not in loss, I’ll not put thee to shame. There is a purpose in thy Cross and no reproach and blame. One day, with glad exultant voice, thou child of sorrow, shall rejoice!” Excerpt, Mountain of Spices, pp 180-81.

Our Lord never asked us to give up anything, but to exchange:

“What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:37).

Exchange is bases on two ideas: What we can get along without, and what we cannot get along without.

[Case in point]: We can get along without a dime, but we cannot get along without a loaf of bread, so we exchange one for the other.

In self-discipline we discover we can get along very well without the agony of the soul that follows from selfishness, alcoholism, sensuality…

…but we cannot get along without the peace of the soul in union with God, so we exchange one for the other.

Mortification [the doing without] is therefore only a means to an end, and the end is the Love of God.

[Now this IS important!] But to be mortified for the sake of being mortified, like sitting on a railroad spike for 20 years IS SILLY EGOTISM.

If it does not increase our love of God it is worthless!

“If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all that i have, and if i deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1Cor 13:1-3)

The man of God will therefore turn his eyes away from what would harm his love of God, as a man will turn his eyes away from [a bright sun that might damage his eyesight]. His tongue will be denied backbiting, slander, gossip because only God knows what goes on in the soul of a neighbor:

“Hear and understand, it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” (Mt 15:10-11)

I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:35-37)

His body will deny itself the extra cigarette, the second cocktail, maybe even the first, lest by giving too much comfort to the body he forgets his soul.

His love of ownership will be tamed by frugality and generosity, that by loving his neighbor for God’s sake, he may love God MORE.

His desire to do things for God’s sake will make him avoid publicity and self-seeking knowing that he must grow less and less and God must become more and more.

“John [the baptist] answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what is given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him… the friend of the bridegroom, who stand and hears Him, rejoices greatly at [His] voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:27-30)

As [the man of God] would not allow garbage served at his table, so he will not allow intellectual filth to be served into his mind, in the form of foolish romances, [empty entertainment and noise], or the like, lest these false ideas pass into [action] and he become as wicked as his thoughts.

As physical life is the sum [force] that resist[S] death, so spiritual life is the result of constant purification of those sinful tendencies that would make us sub-human or abnormal.

Unless we are constantly taking ourselves to the cleaners [Confession], we become victims of the new pseudo-religion: the idolatry of comfort, and become obsessed with the fear of doing anything unpleasant.

As St Thomas [Aquinas] says:

“Men must have pleasures. If they will not have the joys of the spirit, then they will degenerate into pleasures of the body.”

Unless there is some other interest to compensate for the loss of pleasure, minds become cynical and bitter, with an increasing desire to be coddled, respected, honored and made the center of attention.

This ridding of our egotism and the surface loves is not easy, because the modern soul refuses to postpone satisfaction. Over-fed, over-upholstered, double-chinned, it refuses to close doors, to open bridges, and thus misses joy in this life and an eternal life beyond.

To be continued…

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