Why does God call some people to higher forms of prayer (like centering or contemplative prayer) and others not?
Good question. We are all called to a life of prayer. Prayer can take many forms though. The reason we pray is that we have a need and obligation to communicate with our creator. We are practising for what we hope to do for all eternity too - pray. We can all achieve the highest form of prayer which is contemplation. It takes a lot of work though. Not all are called to mystical contemplation though. Everyone can be a contemplative no matter what their vocation is. If you want to learn how to be a contemplative in the middle of the world take a look at the teachings of St Josemaria Escriva. escrivaworks.org/
Why did God call Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and not some other Hebrew? Why does God, without even being asked, heal some people of their diseases and not others? Why does God create one person to be a leader and another to be a servant? Why does God do anything?
Who knows. I assume He has His reasons.
hard to figure out a lot with God. We don’t always understand why He does things, but we know He does things perfectly. Only god can fully know and understand God. I suppose we’ll get to ask all the why’s when we die. God willing.
everyone is called to contemplation
not everyone is given the gift of infused contemplation, a direct gift from God, because not everyone is ready for it.
we do not discuss centering prayer on this forum-banned topic
puzzleannie said it right on.
We are all called to contemplation, but God blesses some with infused contemplation because they are ready for it.
In all, it is God who draws us to contemplation, which is spiritual union with Him.
Our job is to be open to contemplation, through prayer.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.
Mysticism, infused contemplation, is understanding the mystery of Christ. Here is an EWTN article explaining what mystics usually have done before they received this grace out of God’s free will ewtn.com/fatima/apparitions/theology.htm Therefore, its roots lie undertaken in total imitation of Christ. Christ spent 30 years with the Blessed Mother before undertaking his ministry. I don’t know what he was doing at that time but in the finding of Christ at the temple he was teaching the Scribes and Pharisees. Which meant that God found more glory in Christ being a humble carpenter for 30 years than in doing the greatest miracles and converting the whole world. At the end of that time he lived a crucified life as a teacher, always guiding, forgiving, instructing his disciples in the right path.
The Gospel of John and the letters of John very deeply understand the mystery of Christ, they reveal to us the doctrine of the Eucharist, the nature of God that is love, and the book of Revelation is prophecy - which is mysticism, deep understanding of truth (Christ) without deriving them from human understanding, logic, or analysis. John, was the disiple whom Jesus loved, and we especially see this repeated at the Crucifixion where John was the only disciple who stayed with Jesus. All the other disciples were martyred by the end of their lives except for John, who was thrown into burning oil and survived alive, but you seek that he risked martyrdom by staying with Christ at the Cross, he had already conquered self-love and learned deep humiliy long before his death, which may be why he merited mysticism - understanding the mystery of Christ at a very deep level.
We see another Jon in the Bible. David and Jonathan. Remember Christ is called son of David. Jonathan is a sidekick who eventually gives his life for David and loves David deeply but doesn’t seem to achieve fame in this life. And we see another John in the Bible, St. John the Baptist, another one who is martyred in proclaiming the truth of Christ, possessing deep humility as he says "John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."John 1:26-27 Interestingly enough, Mary’s voice sanctified John the Baptist in the womb and John at the Crucifixion experienced and merited Christ giving him his mother and being received at her son.
Now, there is another John, St. John of the Cross, Mystical Doctor of the Church, who wrote Dark Night of the Soul, which is written to be comprehensive enough to cover every imaginable form of suffering possible. He had one wish in life - to suffer greatly. He did suffer in extreme for one year when he was kidnapped and tortured, I believe it was from this experience that he composed Dark Night of the Soul. He was always submissive to St. Teresa of Avila, and she in fact convinced him to join her Carmelites when he was considering something else. He was a Carmelite, an order under the patronage of no known human founder, but rather under Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Elijah. He always reluctantly accepted positions of responsibility. Now is Dark Night of the Soul is extremely influential outside of the Catholic world as well. If you watch the movie The Dark Night, you see in the life of Batman, an entrance into humility - the Dark Night - as he grows to greater perfection in the pursuit of a good cause.
Now consider Judas. Judas, like Eve, betrayed God because he was greedy. Judas’ betrayal did not start at the Crucifixion. He was always doing small things outside the will of Christ, like stealing money from the treasury. We see another Judas in the Bible, not the Iscariot, who in secret rescued and buried Christ. So with Judas, the secret life is worthy studying - unlike St. John who stayed out in open at the Cross with Christ, Judas tended towards serving Christ in secrecy. He would have gotten glory later as the twelve apostles were to judge the world, but he just couldn’t sacrifice and wait enough in the meantime.
If you have watched the Dark Night, consider the difference between Harvey Dent and Batman. Harvey Dent always had a secret life that Bruce Wayne told him to cut out. He was frequently boasting, he was extremely open in his desire to do good and to be a governor and to lead the city and cut out corruption. His whole life was in the limelight, while Batman’s good deeds were always carefully hidden. He was very attached to things of the world - notice his attachment to Rachel and how beautiful he was.
"(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:1-6
Yet, at the end he fell. How have you fallen from the heavens, O morning star, son of the dawn! How are you cut down to the ground, you who mowed down the nations! You said in your heart: “I will scale the heavens; Above the stars of God I will set up my thone; I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly, in the recesses of the North. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will be like the Most High!” Yet down to the nether world you to to the recesses of the pit! When they see you they will stare, pondering over you: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, and kingdoms quake? Who made the world a desert, razed its cities, and gave his captives no release? All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; But you are cast forth without burial, loathsome and corrupt, Clothed as those slain at sword-point, a trampled corpose. Going down to the pavement of the pit, you will never be one with them in the grave.” For you have ruined your land, you have slain your people! Let him not be named forever, that scion of an evil race!Isaiah 14:12-20
Batman was incorruptible. His great poverty of spirit, like St. Maximilian Maria, meant that (see JReducation’s post in Pellman’s thread How do the saints cope with the suffering in the world? forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=4621893&postcount=21) as a Franciscan he was poor, he belonged to no one. He had no earthly attachments, either human or material. He was free to meet our Lord at any time. He lived up to his Franciscan vocation to poverty. When the moment came, he said that he would because he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Batman experienced temptation as well - remember when he was locked in with the Joker at the prison and the Joker told him something along the lines of - you are a freak, they will forget you when they no longer need you, playing on insecurity and need for worldly recognition or power and mistrust. Isn’t that the temptation that Eve experienced, But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad. The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."Genesis 3:4-6
Harvey Dent experienced his temptation after the death of Rachel with the Joker. So they were both tempted but Batman succeeded in resistance, probably because his whole life was a form of self-denial so he was less affected by Rachel’s death, even though he as well loved her. As for losing his beautiful face, maybe he was less attached to looks and so could have survived that temptation as well.
So Judas, Harvey Dent, Two-Face, was not incorruptible. Yet, John and Batman were.
Pray for President Barack Obama please, particularly for his soul and the soul of First-Lady Michelle Obama. He reminds me of Harvey Dent, and his strong support of abortion - though popular now, may eventually become unpopular. Hitler rose to power in large part because the German people were angry about their treatment during WWI, much like blacks have been angry about racism and slavery. Stalin rose to power with communism, a “war on poverty.” Hitler suffered much in early life - he was repeatedly beaten by his Father, lived in a homeless shelter, temporarily blinded when serving in the German army, frequently denied promotions that he deserved. Stalin as well suffered from his Father, from others who laughed at him and he was ugly, scarred by being kicked by a horse. He was also little and we know how short men suffer discrimination. We also see with Barack Obama great sufferings. His Kenyan father abandoned him. His mother may have lacked nurturing qualities or concern for him as she took him all over the world, and, finally, at the age of 12, he left her and her new husband in Indonesia and returned to the United States to live with his grandparents, who were somewhat prejudiced/racist against him. If you read his book, Dreams of My Father, one understands his sufferings.
Could this be why he values life so little that he can wage a war to remove legal restrictions and allow promotion of abortion? And pray for the souls of the future and the prayer given to us by our Blessed Mother at Fatima. ** “O my God, forgive us our sins. Save all souls** from the fires of Hell, especially those most in need of thy mercy.” One day there well may be an openly gay and/or Jewish president, who may struggle to value life even more than Barack Obama values his.
Let us compare slavery/colonialism/racism, genocide, abortion/euthanasia, and nuclear war in the level to which they value life. Slavery/colonialism/racism - treats another group of people like dogs, but still wants them alive to work.
Genocide - decides another group of people needs to be exterminated. Abortion/euthanasia - decides than one’s own self or one’s own children need to be exterminated. Nuclear war - potential for exterminating the entire world - nature everything.
A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, 'Cover us!'Luke 23:27-30
When I read St. Maria Faustina’s Diary, I was struck by the fact that she said that God held his hand back from punishing the world because of her prayer. I was also struck by the fact that she mentioned that one city would receive wrath of God for punishment of its sins, like the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the footnotes, it was suggested that this city was one of the cities bombed during the Holocaust. She died at age of 33 - just like Christ - on October 5, 1938. In March of 1938, Hitler invaded his first country in WWII. On January 1939, Hitler announced in a public speech, “If international-finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed once more in plunging the nations into yet another world war, the consequences will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” “Justice is mine,” says the Lord, I will repay."
39 +One day Jesus told me that He would cause a chastisement to fall upon the most beautiful city in our country [probably Warsaw]. This chastisement would be that with which God had punished Sodom and Gomorrah. I saw the great wrath of God and a shudder pierced my heart. I prayed in silence. After a moment, Jesus said to me, My child, unite yourself closely to Me during the Sacrifice and offer My Blood and My Wounds to My Father in expiation for the sins of that city. Repeat this without interruption throughout the entire Holy Mass. Do this for seven days. On the seventh day I saw Jesus in a bright cloud and began to beg Him to look upon the city and upon our whole country. Jesus looked [down] graciously. When I saw the kindness of Jesus, I began to beg His blessing. Immediately Jesus said, For your sake I bless the entire country. And He made a big sign of the cross over our country. Seeing the goodness of God, a great joy filled my soul.
If we receive nuclear war on our country, it will be because of the 45 million people killed as a result of Roe v. Wade. As Mother Teresa said, :eek: "The fruit of abortion is nuclear war. :eak:
We must pray without ceasing.
Mary has been appearing in Conyers, Georgia. Next year a Fatima movie will make it to the mainstream. the13day.com (Notice that Mary is considered by some to be the 13th apostle - hidden apostle - Batman if you might like) Will the United States be punished for the sins of abortion by nuclear war? Will states that have legalized gay marriage suffer like Sodom and Gomorrah? Notice that the states that have done so are the homes of Harvard and Yale, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Sometimes, as St. Louis Mary de Montfort wrote in “The Love of Eternal Wisdom” which some people have written is more important than True Devotion to Mary, that worldly wisdom is at odds with Christ’s wisdom.
The Love of Eternal Wisdom ewtn.com/library/Montfort/lew.htm
Maybe this meditation on the Bible verses on the difference between Martha and Mary and the greater call might help.
Remember the story of the good Samaritan followed by Martha and Mary in the Bible.
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?"
He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, will all your heart, will all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the inkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.‘
Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burned with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” 10:25-42
Prayer is praise/love of God, but it is also immense self-sacrifice. Look how much St. Padre Pio prayed. St. Padre Pio, who said, “The Rosary is The WEAPON”, said as many as 90 rosaries a day in a special form for which he received ecclesiastical permission. Father Thomas Euteneur, President of Human Life International, cites this in The Rosary Batters the Gates of Hell hli.org/sl_2008-10-03.html How is it possible to pray so many Rosaries? Well, he barely slept, only a few hours a day, didn’t really eat, just celebrated the Eucharist, heard confessions, prayed, bore the Stigmata - which he like St. Francis of Assisi prayed at the foot of the Cross to receive -, and was beaten, humiliated, constantly tempted by the devil. Yet, the devil said that he snatched more souls from him than Archangel Michael. In the world’s eyes he was nothing, constantly accused of faking his stigmata or of sleeping with women, but we see what he was in the spiritual warfare.
St. Faustina says that those who receive no great reward from their service in this life are the most like Christ, who was on the outs with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and lawyers for his whole life. Who are today’s Pharisees? Think about the powerful politicians.
Also, consider the greatness of St. Louis Mary de Montfort. He influenced four popes. He influenced St. Maximilian Maria. His formula for sanctity was followed by St. Maria Faustina, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and St. Mary of Agreda without their having read the book to the best of my imperfect knowledge, which shows how powerful it was given that we received the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the Divine Mercy devotion to St. Maria Faustina, and the Mystical City of God to St. Mary of Agreda. If you read about his life, he was persecuted constantly by men and demons. Once he had been seen dragging himself on his hands and knees, pleading, “O Mother of God, help me!” His assailang was Satan, as was confirmed in a letter written by Saint Louis Marie From Paris, saying, “Men and devils make war on me in this great city…” thesacredheart.com/sts/montfor.htm
He revealed many mysteries such as the connection between the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Yet, he has still not been named a Doctor of the Church. He seems to have lived the life of both Martha - preaching to all and serving until he was poisoned - and Mary - the intimate Marian focused prayer life involved with deep spiritual warfare - much like Christ who spent the 30 years in hidden ministry and 3 years in public ministry. Maybe his teachings are just so powerful that his glory will be revealed in the afterlife to us all. Mary herself never really received recognition in this life did she before she became Queen of Heaven and Earth in Heaven, and it is only in the last century that we see her appearing in more glory - Fatima, Kibeho, Kyoto - apparitions. Are these the last days?
Consider the final temptation of Christ before his public ministry - I will give you all this if you bow down and follow me.
Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.
And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and they may help in prosecuting the end for which is he is created.
From this it follows that man is to use them as much as they help him on to his end, and ought to rid himself of them so far as they hinder him as to it.
For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things in all that is allowed to the choice of our free will and is not prohibited to it; so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only that which is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius: nwjesuits.org/JesuitSpirituality/SpiritualExercises.html
“He who is devout to the Virgin Mother will certainly never be lost.” St. Ignatius of Antioch (1st Century)
St. Padre Pio and St. Maximilian Maria were certainly detached. St. Padre Pio spent almost all of his time in prayer. St. Maximilian Maria led the others in Auschwitz. Did he have any Christian community there? Loneliness and isolation is another of one of Christ’s glorious crosses to earn us merit for the afterlife.
**The prayer of a righteous man avails much. ** James 5:16 Notice the word **righteous. ** So perhaps some people are called to contemplative prayer, the work of Mary because (a) they are not called to the work of Martha and (b) they may live lives of greater self-sacrifice, perfection to the will of Christ, humility, purity, obedience, and love of God. See the first link on mysticism and the Fatima apparitions.
If you revert to devout disciplined practice of True Devotion to Mary and the Secret of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet again, you might also want to consider reading the Mystical City of God. Mystical City of God themostholyrosary.com/mystical-city.htm Here is the background of the book and why it ought to be considered worthy of belief. dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jun/jun10tim.htm
At this moment, I know of no other better way to practice meditation on the virtues of Mary and intimate secrets of Christ, than to read this revelation in addition to prayer. Praying might not always be the funnest thing in the world but it is when we do something for love despite its difficulty than we gain the most merit.
“When we know that the way of love - this exodus, this going out of oneself - is the true way by which man becomes human, then we also understand that suffering is the process through which we mature. Anyone who has inwardly accepted suffering becomes more mature and more understanding of others, becomes more human. Anyone who has consistently avoided suffering does not understand other people, he becomes hard and selfish. Love itself is a passion, something we endure. In love I experience first a happiness, a general feeling of happiness. Yet, on the other hand, I am taken out of my comfortable tranquility and have to let myself be reshaped. If we say that suffering is the inner side of love, we then also understand why it is so important to learn how to suffer – and why, conversely, the avoidance of suffering renders someone unfit to cope with life.” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who later became Pope Benedict XVI
Why was it revealed to a woman as well as the other devotions - Divine Mercy and Sacred Heart of Jesus? Or why are many of the greatest autobiographies revealed to women? You have St. Augustine’s Confession, but then it is St. Therese of Liseux, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Maria Faustina? Here is answer proposed in this book.
It does seem that He prefers women for private revelation. He chose men to reveal the great public truths of the Bible and to attend to the public teaching, but to women in the new law He seems to have consigned the task of private revelations. At least most of the known private revelations have been furnished us by women and not men. We must infer from this that they are better adapted for this work. In fact, no special learning or great natural insight is required of a messenger; such qualities might tend to corrupt or narrow down the inspired message to mere human proportions, wheras private revelation is given precisely for the purpose of communicating higher truths than can be known or understood naturally. Humility, great piety and love, deep faith are the requisites of God’s special messengers. Women as a rule are more inclined to these virtues than men, and therefore are not so apt to trim the message of God down to their own natural powers of understanding. In choosing women for his special revelations He gives us to understand from the outset, that what He wishes to reveal is above the natural faculties of perception and insight of either man or woman.
But remember, in the Kingdom of Heaven, the first shall be last and the last first. Maybe that means that it is only when we reach eternal Paradise that God will choose to reveal to us that some of the saints that we think of as the greatest of saints pale in significance to some of those that the world thinks of as the littlest of saints. Only God knows who he considers worthy as a humble person, being humble, may always think very little of his or her own efforts. God always chooses the weak and most humble of this world as his greatest instruments. “If God can work through me, he work through anyone” says St. Francis of Assisi
Consider that the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ was no sooner formed within the womb of the Blessed Virgin, than it was inflamed with an immense love for all men, but, as it is the property of love, to desire to be continually with those, for whom this love is felt, a life of thirty-three years appeared to Him too short, to satisfy His excessive desire of being continually with us. It was necessary to work the greatest of miracles, to content the greatest of all desires. This Heart could not place limits to the excess of Its love. Be not afflicted, oh my Apostles, said our loving Jesus, if I am obliged to leave you to ascend to Heaven; my Heart desires with more ardour to be with you, than you desire to be with Me, and as long as there are men upon earth I shall be with them. Ecce ego vobiscum sum usque ad consummationem saeculli. All the motives that led the Son of God to clothe Himself with our flesh have ceased. The work of Redemption is fulfilled. Nothing but His excessive desire of being continually with us, obliges Him to work this constant miracle, and this compendium of all His wonders; His immense love making it, as it were, impossible to Him to be separated from us. Jesus has ascended to His Father: why does He every day return invisbly on earth, if not because He cannot separate Himself from men, and His delights are to be with us? Who would ever have thought that Jesus Christ could have loved us to this excess? From the greatest height of glory, He desires to come and dwell in our hearts, as if something were wanting to His felicity, when He is at a distance from us. A desire must be very violent, when it cannot be satisifed in Heaven, where all desires are fulfilled. Jesus Christ must love men passionately, since not restrained, by the great glory He has enjoyed since His Ascension, He every day places Himself, in a humble and obscure state on our Altars, to satisfy the excess of His love and of His tenderness; proving to us the truth of what He had said by His Prophet, that His delights are to be with us: Deliciae meae esse cum filiis hominum.
For the leader; according to “The deer of the dawn.” A psalm of David.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish?
My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you rescued them.
To you they cried out and they escaped; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me:
"You relied on the LORD–let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you."
Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother’s breast.
Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since birth you are my God.
Do not stay far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me.
They open their mouths against me, lions that rend and roar.
Like waters my life drains away; all my bones grow soft. My heart has become like wax, it melts away within me.
As dry as a postsherd is my throat; my tongue sticks to my palate; you lay me in the dust of death.
Many dogs surround me; a pack of evildoers closes in on me. So wasted are my hands and feet
that I can count all my bones. They stare at me and gloat;
they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, LORD, do not stay far off; my strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword, my forlorn life from the teeth of the dog.
Save me from the lions mouth, my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.
Then I will proclaim your name to the assembly; in the community I will praise you:
"You who fear the LORD, give praise! All descendants of Jacob, give honor; shor reverence, all descendants of Israel!
For God has not spurned or disdained the misery of this poor wretch, Did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out.
I will offer praise in the great assembly; my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.
The poor will eat their fill; those who seek the LORD will offer praise. May your hearts enjoy life forever!"
All the ends of the earth will worship and turn to the LORD; All the families of nations will bow low before you.
For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations.
All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage.
And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.
The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.
More excerpts from St. Maria Faustina’s Diary:
#404 When I entered the chapel to say goodnight to the Lord before retiring and apologized for having talked so little to Him when I was at home, I heard a voice within my soul, I am very pleased that you had not been talking with Me, but were making My goodness known to souls and rousing them to love Me.
#1767 My daughter, I want to instruct you on how you are to rescue souls through sacrifice and prayer. You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone. I want to see you as a sacrifice of living love, which only then carries weight before Me. You must be annihilated, destroyed, living as if you were dead [dying to self?] in the most secret depths of your being. You must be destroyed in that secret depth where the human eye has never penetrated; then will I find you a pleasing sacrifice, a holocaust full of sweetness and fragrance. And great will be your power for whomever your intercede. Outwardly, your sacrifice must look like this; silent, hidden, permeated with love, imbued with prayer. I demand, My daughter, that your sacrifice be pure and full of humility, that I may find pleasure in it. I will not spare My grace, that you may be able to fulfill what I demand of you… You shall accept all sufferings with love. Do not be afflicted if your heart often experiences repugnance and dislike for sacrifice. All its power rests in the will, and so these contrary feelings, far from lowering the value of the sacrifice in My eyes, will enhance it… Although you will not feel My presence on some occasions, I will always be with you. Do not fear; My grace will be with you…
"741. Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one’s condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it- a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. There are special tortures desitned for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each sould undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it had sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one say what it is like.
#1760 My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare. Never trust in yourself, but abandon yourself totally to My will. In desolation, darkness and various doubts, have recourse to Me and to your spiritual director. He will always answer you in My name. Do not bargain with any temptation; lock yourself immediately in My Heart and, at the first opportunity, reveal the temptation to the confessor. Put your self-love in the last place, so that it does not taint your deeds. Bear with yourself with great patience. Do not neglect interior mortifications. Always justify to yourself the opinions of your superiors and of your confessor. Shun murmurers like a plague. Let all act as they like; you are to act as I want you to.
Observe the rule as faithfully as you can. If someone causes you trouble, think what good you can do for the person who caused you to suffer. Do not pour out your feelings. Be silent when you are rebuked. Do not ask everyone’s opinion, but only the opinion of your confessor; be as frank and simple as a child with him. Do not become discouraged by ingratitude. Do not examine with curiosity the roads down which I lead you. When boredom and discouragement beat against your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart. Do not fear struggle; courage itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us.
Always fight with the deep conviction that I am with you. Do not be guided by feeling, because it is not always under your control; but all merit lies in the will. Always depend upon your superiors, even in the smallest things. I will not delude you with prospects of peace and consolations; on the contrary, prepare for great battles. Know that you are now on a great stage where all heaven and earth are watching you. Fight like a knight so that I can reward you. Do not be unduly fearful, because you are not alone.
#1761 My daughter, today consider My Sorrowful Passion in all its immensity. Consider it as if it had been undertaken for your sake alone.
#1762 Application: When I began to immerse myself in the Divine Passion, the great worth of the human soul and the great evil of sin were revealed to me. I understood that I did not know how to suffer. In order to gain merit for my suffering, I will unite myself more closely, in suffering, to the Passion of the Lord Jesus, asking of Him grace for dying souls, so that the mercy of God may embrace them in this grave moment.
#1763 My daughter, consider the rule and the vows which you have offered to Me. You know how highly I value them; all the graces that I have for the souls of religious are connected with the rule and the vows.
John 19: 37 - And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.” … ]
#1768 My daughter, in this meditation, consider the love of neighbor. Is your love for your neighbor guided by My love? Do you pray for your enemies? Do you wish well to those who have, in one way or another, caused you sorrow or offended you? Know that whatever good you do to any soul, I accept it as if you had done it to Me.
#1770 Now you shall consider My love in the Blessed Sacrament. Here, I am entirely yours, soul, body and divnity, as your Bridegroom. You know what love demands: one thing only, reciprocity…
#1779 Thank you, Eternal Love, for Your inconceivable kindness to me, that You would occupy Yourself directly with my sanctification. - My daugher, let three virtues adorn you in a particular way: humility, purity of intention and love. Do nothing beyond what I demand of you, and accept everything that My hand gives you. Strive for a life of recollection so that you can hear My voice, which is so soft that only recollected souls can hear it…
#1789 + Today I saw the glory of God which flows from the image. Many souls are receiving graces, although they do not speak of it openly. Even through it has met up with all sorts of vicissitudes, God is receiving glory because of it; and the efforts of Satan and of evil men are shattered and come to naught. In spite of Satan’s anger, The Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be worshiped by all souls.
#1790 I have come to know that, in order for God to act in a soul, it must give up acting on its own; otherwise, God will not carry out His will in it.
#1791 When a great storm was approaching, I began to say the chaplet. Suddenly I heard the voice of an angel: “I cannot approach in this storm, because the light which comes from her mouth drives back both me and the storm.” Such was the angel’s complaint to God. I then recognized how much havoc he was to have made through this storm; but I also recognized that this prayer was pleasing to God, and that this chaplet was most powerful.
#1793 The moments which are most pleasant to me are those when I converse with the Lord within the center of my being. I try my very best not to leave Him alone. He likes to be always with us…
#1794 + O Jesus, eternal God, thank You for Your countless graces and blessings. Let every beat of my heart be a new hymn of thanksgiving to You, O God. Let every drop of my blood circulate for You, Lord. My soul is one hymn in adoration of Your mercy. I love You, God, for Yourself alone.
#1795 My God, although my sufferings are great and protracted, I accept them from Your hands as magnificent gifts. I accept them all, even the ones that other souls have refused to accept. You can come to me with everything, my Jesus; I will refuse You nothing. I ask You for only one thing: give me the strength to endure them and grant that they may be meritorious. Here is my whole being: do with me as You please.
#1797 Today, the Lord came to me and said, My daughter, help Me to save souls. You will go to a dying sinners, and you will continue to recit the chaplet, and in this way you will obtain for him trust in My mercy, for he is already in despair.
#1798 Suddenly, I found myself in a strange cottage where an elderly man was dying amidst great torments. All about the bed was a multitude of demons and the family, who were crying. When I began to pray, the spirits of darkness fled, with hissing and threats directed at me. The soul became calm and, filled with trust, rested in the Lord.
At the same moment, I found myself again in my own room. How this happens… I do not know. +
1799 J.M.J. I feel that there is a power which is defending me and protecting me from the blows of the enemy. It guards and defends me. I feel it very distinctly; it is as if I am being shielded by the shadow of His wings.
#1800 My Jesus, You alone are good. Even if my heart were to make every effort to write of Your goodness, at least in part, I could not do so-this is beyond all comprehension.
#1801 One day during Holy Mass, the Lord gave me a deeper knowledge of His holiness and His majesty, and at the same time I saw my own misery. This knowledge made me happy, and my soul drowned itself completely in His mercy. I felt enormously happy.
#1802 On the following day, I had a clear awareness of the following words: “You see, God is so holy, and you are sinful. Do not approach Him, and go to Confession every day.” And indeed, whatever I thought of seemed to me to be a sin. But I did not omit going to Holy Communion, and I resolved to go to Confession at the prescribed time, as I had no clear impediment. But when the day for confession came, I prepared a whole mass of those sins of which I was to accuse myself. However, in the confessional, God allowed me to accuse myself of only two imperfections, despite my efforts to make a confession according to what I had prepared. When I left the confessional, the Lord said to me, My daughter, all those sins you intended to confess are not sins in My eyes; that is why I took away your ability to tell them. I understood that Satan, wanting to disturb my peace, has been giving me exaggerated thoughts. O Savior, how great is Your goodness!
These last few lines especially comforted me, I deeply suspect they will provide comfort to you as well Epistemes. :eek: :eek: