Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘kingdom’

The Spiritual Desert…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 31, 2017

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil… Ps 23:4

Republished: 7/31/17

The Lord has told me I have more that He wants me to write, but I need to cut off all distractions. So I’m looking for that retreat He wants me to take and in the mean time, finding myself entering into a prepatory stage by entering into the Spiritual Desert. Wanna know more? Read on, dear friend, read on…

Updated: 8/16/11  Today I found in my e-mail a wonderful surprise, AND I discovered I can add it directly to this page!  It’s a wonderful confirmation of all this post says: We must do all things in LOVE as we hope to obtain holiness and peace.  The good with the not so good, the triumphs AND the trials.  God IS with us, He will NEVER abandon us.  Embrace His LIFE, His DEATH, and receive HIS RESURRECTION!  You can also go HERE to Recalibrate your Heart…

In my last two writings I’ve made reference to my recent journey into the Spiritual Desert.   In this post, I hope to address what the Spiritual Desert is, it’s purpose, and it’s effect thus far on me in the hopes of helping others who might also be experiencing their own desert wanderings.  In doing so, I also want to refer periodically to this month’s Monthly Message from the Lay Apostleship as it applies brilliantly to my recent desert excursion.

Purification by desert is nothing new to the Christian Life.  Abraham (Gen 12) went through it, Moses (Exodus 2:15 ) went through it, as did many prophets,  and of course Jesus Christ, Himself (Mt 4; Lk 4; Mk 1: 12-13).  And though the afore mentioned desert journeys were merely prefigurations of  Christ’s own desert time, they all had the same theme: PURIFICATION and PREPARATION for greater things to come.  Just think about that…

Father Abraham


Abram, in his wanderings, came to Trust in God so much that God made a holy covenant with him and ALL his descendants right to this very day.  But He was only able to do so by PREPARING Abram to become Abraham, the father of a Great Nation.

Moses

Similarly, Moses had to experience a separation from the world in which he grew up – among the courts of Pharaoh.  In taking Moses out of Egypt God prepared him to return years later to carry out God’s plan of bringing the Hebrew nation back into the land God had promised to Abraham and his descendants. 

Prophet Isaiah


And in all the wanderings of the prophets and their successors, God prepared them to speak to a stiff necked people, and call them back to Himself; but first He had to purify them by separating them from their brethren.

40 Days in the Desert

God did nothing less for Himself.  Retreating to the desert, the second Person in the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, sought after the communion He has with His Father so to give witness AND example to those who would follow after Him.  They, too, would come to understand they have a Father in Heaven that they can have communion with because of the Son; which is why He taught us to say, “Our Father who art in Heaven…” And that’s what this journey is all about: COMMUNION with the FATHER through the SON by guidance from the HOLY SPIRIT and a PURIFICATION and PREPARATION for the greater things to come!

MY DAYS IN THE SPIRITUAL DESERT

If I speak in the tongues of men and of 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. ~1 Cor 13: 1-3

Did you know that piety and pious actions can get in the way of holiness? 

HUH?  WHAT?…!

Let me explain…prayer, chaplets, novenas…all these are WELL and GOOD in themselves and have GREAT efficacious graces attached to them…BUT if the person determined to do these does them WITHOUT LOVE and with only a sense of obligation, they have become, “A noisy gong or a clanging symbol.”  Their outward appearance seems very spirit-filled, but their hearts are truly empty because they have NOT LOVE with which to fill them up.

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine…

In the Spiritual Desert, one is brought to that point where LOVE is the only thing that will sustain them.  Prayers, novenas, chaplets become meaningless and difficult to pray so the soul CRIES OUT for the only ONE who can give them life by His LOVE.

But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8

Thus the total relying on Christ becomes the WATER and FOOD during this desert journey, and the times of quiet and solitude are crucial.  It is here where cunning old Satan plans out his attacks by giving the soul not food and water but DISTRACTIONS…!

 

rumors…earthquakes…plagues…nation against nation…

The world is constantly changing, now more so than ever before, but the concern of the servant of Christ is NOT for this changing world BUT for our CHANGING SELVES as we desire more and more to grow in holiness…

Do not be distracted by events around you. Do not be drawn into thinking that many events or big events mean that you can take your eyes off of the process of becoming holier. ~Monthly Message, August 1, 2011.

Daily activities then become the focus.  By this I mean everything I would do during my day I did with LOVE and a clear CONSCIOUS INTENTION of doing, which oddly enough, brought me back in line with the work God is doing in me.  Why?  Because I was DOING HIS WILL without reservation, I was not allowing outside distractions of money, unemployment, anarchy, etc, etc…to get in the way of pursuing the holiness God has called me to…

I speak gravely when I say to you that you must concentrate seriously on becoming holier because your holiness and your commitment to holiness is a crucial part of My plan to bring comfort to others.  Allow Me to see to the world. ~Ibid…

So even though I am aware – very much aware – of the events unfolding daily as I have chosen NOT to bury my head in the sand, and yet at the same time, I have NOT allowed these things to OVERTAKE me and become my soul-focus… Yes, pun intended…

For Christ told us these things would happen…

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place…For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places; all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death…for My name’s sake… many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another…false prophets will arise and lead many astray.  And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. ~Mt 24: 6, 7-8, 9, 10, 11-12

So these things are unavoidable – some sins will not be remitted – and ALL mankind must reap the punishment due for our actions.  But for the individual PERSON seeking out HOLINESS, their endeavor is to focus on the LOVE of CHRIST as found in themselves from birth and SEALED by their BAPTISM having been created in the image and likeness of God (cf Gen 1:26), through their daily activities to which God has called them to.

 

FATHER OF LIES TRIES AGAIN…

Because we are created in God’s image and likeness, it is only NATURAL that we should desire a more complete union with our Creator in Whom we share so much; and yet, satan is ever cunning and watching for those “chinks in the armor” of human LOVE for the divine so he tries yet another tactic – personal failure… This is where my greatest weakness lies, PATIENCE, or rather the lack of patience with myself and patience with God.  Which is why, when this month’s message came to me, I was deeply humbled as all that God had tried to achieve in me came to mind as well as where I had prevented His change because of my impatience.

Perhaps you identify My teachings as good but you feel frustrated because you see that you fall short on some days. This is when you must be truly patient and trust that I AM bringing you along as quickly as is needed.

Remember that you may see very little progress on some days, but your decision to remain with Me in the process of becoming holier creates a disposition for heaven that keeps the light where it should be, that is, on the need to examine yourself for failure…

Yes, patience is necessary, both with oneself and with others. I, Jesus, am patient with you. And so you must be patient with yourself. And then you must be patient with others. ~Monthly Message, August, 2011.

TALK ABOUT A KICK IN THE HEAD!

Knowing that I must rely entirely on LOVE because the task of praying became exactly that, a task.  No LOVE was behind my decision to pray for I did it out of a sense of obligation.  Satan used this- quite brilliantly I might add – in an attempted to make me seem UNFAITHFUL to God or a HYPOCRITE in the living of the Christian Life.  Here’s a little of what ol’ red-boots had to say to me:  You’re not praying in the traditional manner, you’ve set aside all your lofty deeds, you can’t do anything righteous or for the good of mankind…God does not love you.

As someone recently said to me, “If satan spends that much energy attacking you, then you’re on the right path doing EXACTLY what God would want you to do.”  Which is true, satan doesn’t attack those who are NOT following God’s Will for if he did he would essentially attack himself! What would the point of that be?

If you see daily to the condition of your soul and if you love others then you will have fulfilled My plan for you. ~Ibid

Being able to accept my failures and allowing God to work through them requires TRUST that God KNOWS what He’s doing.  He doesn’t choose people arbitrarily, nor does He choose those who are necessarily perfect and well disciplined.  Nope, often times He chooses the weak, the down trodden, those who seem (at least to themselves), to fail over and over again…

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not now how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs to deep for words.

And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the Will of God.

We know that in everything God works for good with those who LOVE Him, who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:26-28

So I can join St Paul and rejoice in this present suffering…

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Romans 8:18

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope… ~Romans 5: 3-4

For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. ~Romans 8:24

…and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s LOVE has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ~Romans 5:5, emphasis added

 

The Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and believe in the Gospel!

And that, my friends, is the WHOLE POINT of the Desert Journey.  To prepare the servants of Christ the Returning King for the Glory that is to come that IS HIS, purifying His people for the service He has called us to in preparation for His return that follows on the evangelization of the world…

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. ~Mt 24:14

Which is in God’s time, not ours, but as His servants are prepared so too will His church be, which will then bring her into that Spiritual Desert as well.  For all of us are called to “Pick up our cross and follow Him”, and as I, and many others who adhere to the teachings of the Church Christ established on the Cross, have shouted from the roof-tops…

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believersThe persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. ~CCC§675

Be ready… be prepared… allow Him to take you through your Spiritual Desert so that you may be the instrument of LOVE that God requires to complete His plan for His children’s salvation, the peace which only God can give, and the reign of His Son in the hearts of all men!

God Bless you ENORMOUSLY during your journey!  My prayers are certainly with each and every one of you. 🙂

The below presentation is a BEAUTIFUL confirmation of what this post says. Please take a moment to watch and take to heart it’s continued message of doing all things in the LOVE of Christ FOR the LOVE of Christ.

The Power of the Cross from Mark Mallett on Vimeo.

Recommended Reading:

Landslide

The Coming Passion

The Seven Seals of Revelation

Like a Thief

Paralyzed by Fear

Entering the Prodigal Hour

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12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit…Goodness

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 17, 2017

Does your life reflect Christ?

A brief recap…

(1) Charity – Cause us to perform our actions out of love for God

Compliments Wisdom and Piety

“The virtue which inclines us to love God above all things for His own sake, AND our neighbor for the sake of God. In the Old Testament the word charity occurs three times, the same Hebrew word being elsewhere translated LOVE (Prov. 10:12; Song. 2:4; 8:7).” ~Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

CHARITY = LOVE (Agape = Love of God, not to be confused with Eros = love of man)…

Read more about Charity…

THE SECOND FRUIT… JOY!

(2) Joy – Keeps us happily aware of God’s infinite goodness

Companion to UNDERSTANDING and PIETY

 “God is Love” (cf. 1John 4: 8, 16), and love is His first gift, containing all others. “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us,” (Romans 5:5).  ~CCC§733

And as one can read, Joy is a RESULT of CHARITY which is LOVE…

Read more about JOY…

(3) Peace – Results from joy and renders us tranquil

Also a companion to Piety and Understanding

“Harmony between God and man and between men among themselves. The fall of our first parents disturbed this harmony. Sin constituted man an enemy of God (Rom. 5:10) and there was need of a reconciliation.”

“It was the promised Messiah… marked out to bring this reconciliation and restore peace to man. Our Lord and Savior brought peace of soul to all men who would receive Him (Luke 2:14; John 14:27).” ~ Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM.

Read more about PEACE…

(4) Patience – Resigns us to endure the disagreeable circumstance of life and the suffering of deaths

Companion to: Knowledge

“The patience of Job is proverbial (Job 2:9; 7:2). The patient man quiets strife created by passion (Prov. 15:18); he is to be esteemed above the valiant (Prov. 16:32). The Christian must be patient with those who afflict him (Matt. 5:38-40), rejoicing in tribulations as a trial of virtue (Rom. 5:3). Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed by Paul (Gal. 5:22).” Encyclopedic Dictionary, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

Read more about PATIENCE…

AND NOW COMES…

(5) Goodness – Inclines us to wish to do good to everyone without distinction

Companion to: Fortitude

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us…

“Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (2Cor 6:11), “sanctified … [and] called to be saints,” (1Cor 1:2). Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1Cor 6:19).

This “Spirit of the Son” teaches them to pray to the Father (cf. Gal 4:6) and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22, 25) by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation (cf. Eph 4:23).

He enlightens and strengthens us to live as “children of light” through “all that is good and right and true” (Eph 5: 8-9). ~CCC§1695, emphasis added

With our wounds healed we are then reminded that…

The way of Christ “leads to life”; a contrary way “leads to destruction,” (Mt 7:13; cf. Deut 30:15-20).  The Gospel parable of the two ways remains ever present in the catechesis of the Church; it shows the importance of moral decisions for our salvation: “There are two ways, the one of life, the other of death; but between the two, there is a great difference,” (Didache 1, 1). ~CCC§1696, emphasis added

So in the truest sense of reality, we are called to live in God’s “goodness and wisdom” for it was in this that…

“It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal Himself and to make known the mystery of His Will. His Will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature.” ~CCC§51, emphasis added

A divine nature that is only possible because of Jesus Christ…

God, who “dwells in unapproachable light,” wants to communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in His only-begotten Son, (1 Tim 6:16, cf. Eph 1:4-5). By revealing Himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to Him, and of knowing Him, and of loving Him far beyond their own natural capacity. ~CCC§52, emphasis added

To re-echo from the posting on PEACE

By this power of the Spirit, God’s children can bear much fruit. He who has grafted us onto the true vine will make us bear “the fruit of the Spirit: . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control,” (cf. Gal 5: 22-23).  “We live by the Spirit”; the more we renounce ourselves, the more we “walk by the Spirit,” (Gal 5:25; cf. Mt 16:24-26).

“Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God ‘Father’ and to share in Christ’s grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory.” ~ St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, 15, 36.

~ CCC§736, emphasis added

To refute our Relativist World that tells the lie, “it depends greatly on your own point of view”…

A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, AND of the circumstances together.  An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself (such as praying and fasting “in order to be seen by men”).

The object of the choice can by itself vitiate [destroy] an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts – such as fornication – that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil. ~ CCC§1755, emphasis added

Because…

It isan error to judge the morality of human acts by considering ONLY the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context.

There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery.

ONE MAY NOT DO EVIL SO THAT GOOD MAY RESULT FROM IT. ~CCC§1756, emphasis added

“This is a hard teaching…who can stand it?” (cf. John 6:60b)

It does tell us WE ARE CULPABLE, and RESPONSIBLE for our actions – ALL OF THEM…

They did not serve Thee in their kingdom, and in Thy great goodness which Thou gavest them, and in the large and rich land which Thou didst set before them;

And they did not turn from their wicked works. Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that Thou gavest to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves.” ~Neh 9:35-36,emphasis added

Does not the above passage describe our very world?

And yet, if we would only turn back to God with our whole hearts, seeking His GOODNESS…

I will recount the steadfast LOVE of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel which He has granted them according to His mercy, according to the abundance of His steadfast love. ~Isaiah 63:7

…the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to His goodness in the latter days. ~Hosea 3:5

Though this passage originally speaks of the days before the birth of Christ, I believe it
also speaks directly to our days as we await His return… For Sacred Scripture is timeless…
But Jesus will return not as the gentle Savior, but as the Just Judge

SO WAKE UP!  REPENT!

The day of JUSTICE will soon be at hand.  But my HOPE is in the LORD…

Be strong and take heart, all you who HOPE in the LORD. ~Ps 31:25 (NAB)

For He chastises those whom He LOVES best…

“Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has He done so with us. It is by way of admonition that He chastises those who are close to Him.” Judith 8:27

THEREFORE…

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD! ~Psalm 27: 3-4

Recommended Reading:

Soon Arrival of Pentecost
7 GIFTS of the Holy Spirit

Removing the Restrainer

The Readings Concerning the Coming Passion of Christ’s Church

Lesson in Sacred Scripture
Part I
Part II
Part III

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