Saturday, November 20, 2010

St. Thomas Aquinas' words about heaven from the Breviary. Beautiful!

SECOND READING

From a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest
(Coll. super Credo in Deum: Opuscula theologica 2, Taurini 1954, pp. 216-7)

I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen

It is fitting that the end of all our desires, namely eternal life, coincides with the words at the end of the creed, "Life everlasting. Amen."

The first point about eternal life is that man is united with God. For God himself is the reward and end of all our labors. I am your protector and your supreme reward. This union consists in seeing perfectly: At present we are looking at a confused reflection in a mirror, but then we shall see face to face.

Next it consists in perfect praise, according to the words of the prophet: Joy and happiness will be found in it, thanksgiving and words of praise.

It also consists in the complete satisfaction of desire, for there the blessed will be given more than they wanted or hoped for. The reason is that in this life no one can fulfill his longing, nor can any creature satisfy man's desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God. As Augustine says:You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our heart can find no rest until it rests in you.

Since in their heavenly home the saints will possess God completely, obviously their longing will be satisfied, and their glory will be even greater.

That is why the Lord says: Enter in the joy of your Lord. Augustine adds: The fullness of joy will enter into joy. I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen, and again: He who satisfies your desire with good things.

Whatever is delightful is there in superabundance. If delights are sought, there is supreme and most perfect delight. It is said of God, the supreme good: Boundless delights are in your right hand.

Again, eternal life consists of the joyous community of all the blessed, a community of supreme delight, since everyone will share all that is good with all the blessed. Everyone will love everyone else as himself, and therefore will rejoice in another's good as in his own. So it follows that the happiness and joy of each grows in proportion to the joy of all.

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This is what we are living for, it's not about our short time on this earth. If we keep that in mind and just live in the present moment we can handle whatever the good Lord asks of us (the crosses and joys) while we are making our way, hopefully, to heaven. Right? I choose life and eternal peace in heaven with God whatever he asks of me to get there. How about you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beautiful spring evening walk

I just finished a great, sweetly fragranced spring evening walk and took some pictures (with my new cell phone, which I really like) that I thought I would share. This poor blog needs some love and attention! : )


Looks sooooo pretty and smells sooooo good!



The St. Mary's Cemetery view from atop the hill, one of the best views in Bismarck, is getting it's gorgeous summer look. Yeaaa!



I thought this "long road ahead" with the light of God shining upon it from above was perfect. God IS leading the way, we just have to trust and follow where he leads.


Happy spring to all!

Friday, April 02, 2010

The oil of gladness, entertainment, suffering and truth. They all work together!

The last paragraph of Pope Benedict's sermon at the Chrism Mass is below. The Chrism Mass is where holy oils used in sacraments and liturgies over the course of the next year are consecrated and priests renew their vows and dedication to their priesthood. (Thank God and pray for our priests and seminarians, present and future, please!) The whole sermon is very good and I recommend reading all of it here. But this last paragraph in particular struck me as something I wanted to post on the blog.


In the early Church, the consecrated oil was considered a special sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, who communicates himself to us as a gift from Christ. He is the oil of gladness. This gladness is different from entertainment and from the outward happiness that modern society seeks for itself. Entertainment, in its proper place, is certainly good and enjoyable. It is good to be able to laugh. But entertainment is not everything. It is only a small part of our lives, and when it tries to be the whole, it becomes a mask behind which despair lurks, or at least doubt over whether life is really good, or whether non-existence might perhaps be better than existence. The gladness that comes to us from Christ is different. It does indeed make us happy, but it can also perfectly well coexist with suffering. It gives us the capacity to suffer and, in suffering, to remain nevertheless profoundly glad. It gives us the capacity to share the suffering of others and thus by placing ourselves at one another’s disposal, to express tangibly the light and the goodness of God. I am always struck by the passage in the Acts of the Apostles which recounts that after the Apostles had been whipped by order of the Sanhedrin, they "rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the name of Jesus" (Acts 5:41). Anyone who loves is ready to suffer for the beloved and for the sake of his love, and in this way he experiences a deeper joy. The joy of the martyrs was stronger than the torments inflicted on them. This joy was ultimately victorious and opened the gates of history for Christ. As priests, we are – in Saint Paul’s words – "co-workers with you for your joy" (2 Cor 1:24). In the fruit of the olive-tree, in the consecrated oil, we are touched by the goodness of the Creator, the love of the Redeemer. Let us pray that his gladness may pervade us ever more deeply and that we may be capable of bringing it anew to a world in such urgent need of the joy that has its source in truth. Amen.


Amen!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

celebrating the single life...

The Crescat wrote:

... what a blessing it is to be alone.

Let me explain...

To be alone is not the same as experiencing loneliness. There is much joy to be had in being alone and single. When you are alone in life you can not use your personal relationships as crutches to support you through the turmoil. You either lean or Christ or you fall. In fact when things in my life are at the most tumultuous is when I feel nearest to Christ. I call on him more. I pray fervently. There are some days when I give of myself till there is nothing left. I am spent from work, then I am spent from class, then I come home and what remains is spent on my son. At night, when it's quiet and lay in my bed there is nothing left for me. No shoulder. No word of encouragement. No spouse for comfort. I can let this swallow me in sadness. Or I can pray. I can cry myself to sleep out of frustration and sheer exhaustion, or I can pour out my heart in prayer in the solitude of my room.

Even though I would not choose my current state in life and my circumstances are not ideal, I gladly except it. I still have joy. I refuse to be miserable.

When people ask me, why does God let bad things happen? I can answer, so we can experience His joy.


Amen, sister!

I know that my single life is the reason I am as close to God at this point as I am. And there are reasons for everything that happens, not that it makes them any easier. We just need to be open to what God is saying and showing to us in each situation.

As a single person I have the opportunity to "talk" in silent prayer with God most mornings before starting the busyness of the day and again at night before drifting off to sleep. I have prayer journals full of these "talks," some are my words, some are from God.

I do still hope that God has a husband in mind for me to share life with when the time is right, though. God's will be done ...

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Roe v. Wade destruction

Can you imagine going home right now and killing your living, breathing, healthy, beautiful children? Can you imagine PAYING someone to tear your beautiful children apart, limb by limb, part by part or stabbing them in the back of the skull killing them instantly while you stand by and watch?

No!

Then WHY is abortion OK? Because those questions you just answered No! to are EXACTLY what is happening during an abortion. Living, growing, beautiful babies, gifts from God, are being brutally murdered. Which these babies FEEL, by the way. And for what? Convenience. Convenience of supposedly making someones life "easier."

In this "choice" of making things supposedly easier, these parents obviously aren't considering the fact that they are committing murder and destroying their own souls in the process. You just can't make that choice if you have the facts and know the truth.

Abortion is NOT OK in any way, at any time. It's just not. The facts spell that out.

But if you have been hurt by abortion there is help, and there is hope. You can find help and healing with Rachel's Vinyard and many other good organizations out there. And through confession, if you're Catholic. But do seek help. Talk to a priest or someone you trust so the healing can begin.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The dangers of a hard heart

This is the "Meditation of the Day" today from Magnificat:

What was the sin of Lucifer, but the resolve to be his own master? What was the sin of Adam, but impatience of subjection, and a desire to be his own god? What is the sin of all his children, but the movement, not of passion merely, not of selfishness, not of unbelief, but of pride, of the heart rising against the law of God, and set on being emancipated from its trammels? What is the sin of Antichrist, but, as St. Paul says, that of being "the Lawless One," of "opposing or being lifted up against all that is called God, or worshiped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God"? If, then, the very principle of sin is insubordination, is there not a stupendous meaning in the fact, that He, the Eternal, who alone is sovereign and supreme, has given us an example in His own Person of that love of subjection, which in Him alone is simply voluntary, but in all creatures is an elementary duty?

O my Brethren, let us blush at our own pride and self-will. Let us call to mind our impatience at God's providences towards us, our wayward longings after what cannot be, our headstrong efforts to reverse His just decrees, our bootless conflicts with the stern necessities which hem us in, our irritation at ignorance or suspense about His will, our fierce, passionate willfulness when we see that will too clearly, our haughty contempt of His ordinances, our determination to do things for ourselves without Him, our preference of our own reason to His word. Let us pray Him who is independent of us all, yet who at this season became as though our fellow and our servant, to teach us our place in His wide universe, and to make us ambitious only of that grace here and glory hereafter, which He has purchased for us by His own humiliation.

Venerable John Henry Newman
(Homily from 1st Sunday after Epiphany, 1857. Preached in the University Church, Dublin.)


Ooh, I do blush at how much of this struck right at my heart because of guilt. Please, don't give up on me, Lord. We have a long road ahead ...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday fun: New alarm clock for ya?

OK, this made me laugh out loud for several minutes just now, and since it IS Friday this had to become a Friday funny on the blog. Thanks, Patrick Madrid!

Go watch, er, listen, I guess ...

I sure hope he feels better now! Or worse?


Happy new year, by the way. 2010 is going to be a great year. Can't you just feel it? I can!