Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘lent’

The Prophetic Wisdom of Venerable Fulton Sheen…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 14, 2018

God Love You!

As we make ready for Lent, I thought it appropriate to feature a single chapter in parts of Venerable Fulton J Sheen, Archbishop’s radio broadcast that took place in the early spring of 1949, and was transcribed by the National Council of Catholic Men. You can no longer find this book, so I’m happy to have it, and happy to share one chapter with you that talks in great detail about the importance of purifying oneself through the many practices of Asceticism.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, glossary of terms defines Asceticism – or Ascesis – as:

The practice of penance, mortification, and self-denial to promote greater self-mastery and to foster the way of perfection by embracing the Way of the Cross.

Now hang with me, this really is very easy to understand:

The way of perfection passes by [the] Way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation [letting goand spiritual battle (cf 2Tim 4). Spiritual progress [and that’s what Lent is all about, isn’t it?]entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually leads to living in the PEACE and JOY of the Beatitudes.

He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows. ~St Gregory of Nyssa

CCC§2015, emphasis and commentary added

Archbishop Sheen weaves these spoken TRUTHS beautifully throughout this featured chapter which is why I decided to share it with those visiting, especially as many have clicked on already featured writings of Sheen’s found within his own link created on the sidebar to your right. 😉

When it is appropriate, I will also connect his thoughts with those of Sacred Scripture and messages from Our Blessed Mother when applicable. Sheen’s words, though spoken 69years ago, are more connected to today’s world than ever before. He truly was a prophet in our time, and I hope his cause is advancing.  I will also occasionally add [my own thoughts] when appropriate.

These will be posts for the next four days to prepare us for, I hope, an amazing Lent!

*****

God Love You!

A Chapter from: The Love that Waits for You, Venerable Fulton Sheen, Archbishop,
emphasis added by me

Asceticism

Friends:  From the beginning of time, souls have asked themselves this question –

“How can I love sin and hate it at the same time” or “Why do I love alcohol and hate being an alcoholic?”  

The answer is: Every sin has a double element: material and formal.

The material element is the good thing on which sin centers, e.g. alcohol, flesh, wealth.

[Good in themselves but perverted by evil when misused.]

The formal element is the particular attitude we take toward it, or the evil way we abuse these good things. It is man’s will which turns love of the flesh into lust, alcohol into drunkenness and wealth into avarice.

What the sinner loves in sin is the matter of sin, which is good; what the sinner hates in sin is the unhappiness, remorse, melancholy and sense of defeat which comes from the perversion or abuse of what is good.

He loves the creature God made; he hates himself for turning it from its true purpose to his own selfish pleasure.

The principle psychological effect of sin is the constant anxiety in the soul of a sinner due to the inner contradictions between loving and hating, between desiring and despising at one and the same time. Caught by passion or bad habits, such distraught souls are really in constant agony, Ovid described them:

I see and approve the better things of life; the worse things of life I follow.”

[Or as St Paul says, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For i do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” ~Romans 7:15, 18c-19]

The soul craves for the infinite and it gets the finite. It demands gold and receives tinsel. This inherent disproportion between the anticipation of a pleasure and its impoverished realization only intensifies the anxiety, for no sin ever realises its promises.

Desires increase, but pleasure decreases; compulsion continues, but pleasure degenerates into repetition. Man tries to escape this inner dissatisfaction by more and more pleasures, more and more riches, but these make hungry where most they satisfy.

[Or in other words, they do the opposite of what they promise to do.]

No matter how fast the greyhound runs, he can never catch up with the mechanical rabbit.

This inner tension can be overcome ONLY by resisting and taming our errant impulses and egoistic desires, which is done by self-discipline.

Here one touches on a pathway to peace of the soul of which the modern pagan is totally and completely ignorant. [Why?]

Because his god is his own ego, he cannot understand why he should detach himself from anything.

But as a great violinist will abstain from ditch-digging because he knows it would spoil his artistic touch, so the man of God will abstain from what is harmful to the art of being peaceful in God.

Man’s heart adheres more intimately to ONE THING… The purpose of detachment, therefore, is to reduce the many to ONE, to restrain the body for the sake of the soul, and to seek less instead of more.

To be continued…

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3rd Week of Lent: Midweek check-up

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 7, 2017

MID-WEEK CHECK-UP!

Updated for Wednesday, March 7, 2018

“The Feast of Sukkoth comes about the end of our month of September or at the beginning of our month of October.  The Jerusalem Campaign will last a little over six months, with a preaching and teaching campaign that brought memories of Isaiah and Jeremiah in the same city centuries before.  And the city is waiting for this new Prophet and everyone is wondering what will happen in Jerusalem when He gets there.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, 2nd Sunday of Lent, Homily.

Jesus said in his words to St Faustina: Let the greatest of sinners place their TRUST in My MERCY. They have the right before others to TRUST in the abyss of MY MERCY… tormented souls…that make an appeal to My Mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces then they ask… Write: Before I come as a just Judge, I first open WIDE the DOOR of My MERCY. He who refuses to pass through the DOOR of My MERCY must pass through the Door of My JUSTICE. ~Diary of Divine Mercy, §1146, in part, emphasis added.

Folks, the Open Door was the Year of Mercy from November 2015 to November 2016, on the feast of Christ the King. We were granted an extended period of GRACE from then until the end of 2017. Now that we’re in 2018, we should prepare for that Door of Justice, the Church’s purification the time of reaping what mankind has sown. There will ALWAYS be God’s Mercy available to us at all times, make no mistake; there is always HOPE.

St Peter and St Paul tell us that:

…the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? ~1 Peter 4:17

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But REJOICE! in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also REJOICE! and be glad when His GLORY is revealed. ~1Peter 4:12-13, emphasis added

REJOICE! in the Lord always; again I say REJOICE! Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have NO ANXIETY about anything, but IN EVERYTHING, by PRAYER and Supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of GOD, which [sur]passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Phil 4:4-7

Of of my favorite readings occurred during the cycle in 2002, when the Annunciation didn’t fall on the Second Friday of Lent, and Jesus told of the parable of the man who owned a vineyard.  From Matthew, chapter 21, verses 33 to 43 :

“Hear another parable. There was A HOUSEHOLDER WHO PLANTED A VINEYARD, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and LET IT OUT TO TENANTS, and went into another country.

Vineyards are everywhere throughout the Holy Land because wine is a very great commodity in both religious Jewish life and in export to the rest of the world.  In Jesus’ time, it made for a common reference for the everyday man to connect with the Kingdom of which Jesus often spoke.

In fact, there are quite a few passages where Jesus speaks of vines and pruning those which bear little to no fruit.  Even Jesus refers to the obtaining of our salvation by using a vineyard reference…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. ~Jn 15, 1-2 (the sub-title of this chapter is: Christ, the True Vine)

Got to bear fruit if you are to remain on the Vine which is Christ.  Again echoing St. James when he said…

But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I BY MY WORKS WILL SHOW YOU MY FAITH. ~James 2:18, emphasis added.

But Jesus does remind us if we will Abide in Him…

As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, UNLESS YOU ABIDE IN ME.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him,.. it is [he] that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. ~John 15: 4-5 (does that sound familiar?), (emphasis added)

Now back to the story…

“When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them.

**

What inheritance do you think these tenants believe they’re going to get?

“Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘ This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’

“And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

Do you think these tenants may have fallen victim to that temptation of worshiping a fallen angel so they can have power over kingdoms?  Or do you suppose they fell into the temptation of wanting to do their own thing regardless of what God wants?  Or maybe they just believed in their own understanding of God’s word so that when THE WORD came to reveal the Mosaic truths found in scripture He was rejected, hat-out-of-hand ?  Is this any different from today?

Have not politicians, misguided prelates, and those who hunger for power twisted and manipulated scripture for their own ends?  Does not our society today try to justify alternative lifestyles when they take passages referring to the Love of Neighbor out of context?  What do you suppose will happen to them which do these very things for their own ends?…

They said to Him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,  while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” ~Mt 8:11-12

**

“I AM the Vine, you are the branches…” Jn 15:5

We must, therefore, be counted among the branches of THE VINE; and when God prunes us and leaves behind the remnant BUT FAITHFUL few, the fruits HIS VINE will bear will be greater than before!

…My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch of Mine that bears no fruit, He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit HE PRUNES, THAT IT MAY BARE MORE FRUIT.~ Jn 15: 1-2

It is WHY we MUST PRACTICE saying: Lord, YOUR WILL BE DONE!  I can DO NOTHING without YOU!  Bless me, and make me holy…

 

Let me sing…

Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?

Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge; their honored men are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst.  Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure,…  Man is bowed down, and men are brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are humbled. But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows Himself Holy in Righteousness.

~ISAIAH 5: 1-4, 13-14a, 15-16

Further Recommended Reading:

The Judas Prophecy

7 Seals of Revolution
The Season of Faith

Like a Thief…!

What It Means to be Reconciled

How Do You Respond to Mistakes?

Entering the Prodigal Hour

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