Loving One's Self


#21
  • Conversation of the Merciful God with a Suffering Soul

1487 Jesus: Pour soul, I see that you suffer much and that you do not have even the strength to converse with me. So I will speak to you. Even though your sufferings were very great, do not lose heart or give in to despondency. But tell Me, my child, who has dared to wound your heart? Tell me about everything, be sincere in dealing with Me, reveal all the wounds of your heart. I will heal them, and your suffering will become a source of your santification.

Soul: Lord, my sufferings are so great and numerous and have lasted so long that I become discouraged.

Jesus: My child, do not be discouraged. I know your boundless trust in Me; I know you are aware of My goodness and mercy. Let us talk in detail about everything that weighs so heavily upon your heart.

Soul: There are so many different things that I do not know what to speak about first, nor how to express it.

Jesus: Talk to Me simply, as a friend to a friend. Tell Me now, My child, what hinders you from advancing in holiness?

Soul: Poor health detains me on the way to holiness. I cannot fulfill my duties. I am as useless as an extra wheel on a wagon. I cannot mortify myself or fast to any extent, as the saints did. Furthermore, nobody believes I am sick, so that mental pain is added to those of the body, and I am often humiliated. Jesus, how can anyone become holy in such circumstances?

Jesus: True, My child, all that is painful. But there is no way to heaven except the way of the cross. I followed it first. You must learn that it is the shortest and surest way.

Soul: Lord, there is another obstacle on the road to holiness. Because I am faithful to You, I am persecuted and suffer much.

Jesus: It is because you are not of this world that the world hates you. First it persecuted Me. Persecution is a sign that you are following in My footsteps faithfully.

Soul: My Lord, I am also discouraged because neither my superiors nor my confessor understand my interior trials. A darkness clouds my mind. How can I advance? All this discourages me from striving for the heights of sanctity.

Jesus: **Well, My child, this time you have told Me a good deal. I realize how painful it is not to be understood, and especially by those whom one loves and with whom one has been very open. But suffice it to know that I understand all your troubles and misery. I am pleased by the deep faith you have, despite everything, in My representatives. Learn from this that no one will understand a soul entirely-that is beyond human ability. Therefore, I have remained on earth to comfort your aching heart and to fortify your soul, so that you will not falter on the way. You say that a dense darkness is obscuring your mind. But why, at such times, do you not come to Me, the light who can in an instant pour into your soul more understanding about holiness than can be found in any books? No confessor is capable of teaching and enlightening a soul in this way.

Know, too, that the darkness about which you complain I first endured in the Garden of Olives when My Soul was crushed in mortal anguish. I am giving you a share in those sufferings because of My special love for you and in view of the high degree of holiness I am intending for you in heaven. A suffering soul is closet to My Heart.**

Soul: One more thing, Lord. What should I do when I am ignored and rejected by people, especially by those on whom I had a right to count in times of greatest need?

Jesus: My child, make the resolution never to rely on people. Entrust yourself completely to My will saying, “Not as I want, but according to Your will, O God, let it be done unto me.” These words, spoken from the depths of one’s heart, can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity in a short time. In such a soul I delight. Such a soul gives Me glory. Such a soul fills heaven with the fragrance of her virtue. But understand that the strength by which you bear sufferings comes from frequent Communions. So approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need.

Soul: Thank You, Lord, for your goodness in remaining with us in this exile as the God of mercy and blessing us with the radiance of Your compassion and goodness. It is through the light of Your mercy that I have come to understand how much You love me.


#22
  1. Conversation of the Merciful God with a Soul Striving after Perfection.

Jesus: I am pleased with your efforts, O soul aspiring for perfection, but why do I see you so often sad and depressed? Tell Me, My child, what is the meaning of this sadness, and what is its cause?

Soul: Lord, the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions, I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evening I see how much I have departed from them.

Jesus: You see, My child, what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons.

Soul: Yes, I know all that, but great temptations assail me, and various doubts awaken within me and, moreover, everything irritates and discourages me.

Jesus: My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self-love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.

Soul: I understand what is the better thing to do, what pleases You more, but I encounter great obstacles in acting on this understanding.

Jesus: **My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for My kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life-for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness.

Soul: O Lord, I feel my heart being filled with Your love and the rays of Your mercy and love piercing my soul. I go, Lord, at Your command. I go to conquer souls. Sustained by Your grace, I am ready to follow You, Lord, not only to Tabor, but also to Calvary. I desire to lead souls to the fount of Your mercy so that the splendor of Your mercy may be reflected in all souls, and the home of our Father be filled to overflowing. And when the enemy begins to attack me, I shall take refuge behind the shield of Your mercy. **


#23

You are in my prayers. :o

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#24

Sometimes when you write posts about your relationships with your brethren and friends, you seem to me to be so so concerned about what they think of you. Maybe that is not God’s will for you to be so concerned. St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe could not have persisted in kindness in the midst of an Auschwitz concentration camp, continuing to be kind despite receiving additional punishments for his kindness if he had spent so much time worrying about what others thought of him. St. Francis of Assisi couldn’t have run naked through the streets “Naked I will go to meet my naked king” and abandoned his father. Mother Teresa never saw her mother and sister again when she left for India. Late Cardinal Nguyen van Thuan was imprisoned for 13 years in a Communist reeducation camp, 9 of them in solitary confinement. He was later released by the Vietnamese Communist government and suffered exile. His messages smuggled to his people while in prison on scraps of paper are compiled in the book The Road of Hope. Another book, Prayers of Hope contains his prayers written in prison. And I think that Testimony of Hope incorporates his experiences and the teachings of His Holiness Pope John Paul II One of his quotes, “A day in prison is worth a thousand autumns of freedom.’ I myself experienced this. While in Prison, everyone wais for freedom every day, every minute. We must live each day, each minute of our life as if it is the last.”

As for your struggles with constantly comparing yourself and seeking fellowship, do this have a deeper root, something that you hate about yourself that makes you feel as if God made a mistake when he made you and so you need the acceptance of others so much? I am trying to understand more about the struggles of those suffering from homosexual orientation and read some good advice from a site concerned with this matter.

Those hidden in secrecy suffer the effects of silence. A person, shamed in the darkness by self or society, experiences profound depression. It is common to consider suicide as a viable option. He or she feels isolated and disconnected, misunderstood, undesirable, unwanted, and unacceptable. This person can feel abandoned by loved ones - similar to the feelings of children of adoption. Even a person who has others who know about the “secret” can suffer when it remains a taboo topic of discussion. He or she feels invalidated and unimportant as if this significant issue in his or her life is still irrelevant to those whose opinions matter. These are people who are still thirsting to be known. They find it difficult to embrace the grace of Christ that is freely available to them. A sense of perfectionism in some of these people is evident because of their constant self-perception of being an imperfect creation. These are people who feel sad, alone, confused, and frustrated.

Paul says in Romans 3:9-11, “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” Further, he says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24). Additionally, he says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) When Peter asked Jesus how many times we ought to forgive our brother when he sins against us, "Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” Matthew 18:21-22 Nehemiah 9:17 describes our Father to be a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. How much more should we be towards one another?

That may be why support groups such as Courage Apostolate might be so beneficial. couragerc.net/ Perhaps when thinking about things such as the words “disordered desire,” one might consider that other desires are also difficult to control. St. Francis of Assisi apparently threw himself into thornbushes in his struggle to cope with chastity, and didn’t those thorns turn into roses? And I read of another saint (unfortunately I forget his name :frowning: ) who had such difficulty controlling his anger than at his death they found an excess of bile or something along those lines (some physical condition) in his body.

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. Psalms 139:13-16

Repeated again!

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. Psalms 139:13-16


#25

1488 My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self-love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.

1685 During Holy Hour today, I asked the Lord Jesus if He would deign to teach me about the spiritual life. Jesus answered me, **My daughter, faithfully live up to the words which I speak to you.
Do not value any external thing too highly, even if it were to seem very precious to you.
Let go of yourself and abide with Me continually.
Entrust everything to Me and do nothing on your own, and you will always have great freedom of spirit. No circumstances or events will ever be able to upset you.
Set little store on what people say. Let everyone judge you as they like.
Do not make excuses for yourself; it will do you no harm.
Give away everything at the first sign of a demand, even if they were the most necessary things.
Do not ask for anything without consulting Me.
Allow them to take away even what is due you: respect, your good name; let your spirit rise above all that. And so, set free from everything, rest close to My Heart, not allowing your peace to be disturbed by anything.
My pupil, consider the words which I have spoken to you. **

You might try to offer suffering up like St. Maria Faustina, “Jesus, I endure this for you!” And consider participating in the Knights at the Foot of the Cross outreach movement for those afflicted with redemptive suffering.

"Declaring the power of salvific suffering,
the Apostle Paul says,
“In my flesh I complete what is
lacking in Christ’s afflictions
for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.'
Thus to share in the sufferings of Christ
is to suffer for the kingdom of God.”

Pope John Paul II
Salvifici Doloris

From St. Maria Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul

[quote]963 Oh, if only the suffering soul knew how much God loves it, it would die of joy and excess of happiness! Someday we will know the value of suffering, but then we will no longer be able to suffer. The present moment is ours.

1017 The Lord said to me, I want to give myself to souls and to fill them with My love, but few there are who want to accept all the graces My love has intended for them. My grace is not lost; if the soul for whom it was intended does not accept it, another soul takes it.

1578 The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is - trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.

1779 Thank you, Eternal Love, for Your inconceivable kindness to me, that You would occupy Yourself directly with my santification. - **My daughter, 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… **

[/quote]


#26

Excellent post Salonika!!!

I don’t tend to hold others to same standard that I hold myself to though. I read once that a saint was extremely strict on herself and extremely merciful towards everyone else.

I try to stop myself thinking that making mistakes means I don’t care
My mother felt that me (and others) making mistakes and/or not being/doing what she wanted was intentional and if I loved her I would overcome them.

I appreciate the reminder. I tend to struggle and see other people’s mistakes as intentional most of the time. Realizing this defect in myself also helps me to forgive someone who once hurt me by her actions taken in response to the assuption that I was intentionally hurting her :o

Don’t assume what other people say is correct
If you are reacting to something said to you, ask “is this accurate or not?” Don’t assume what people say is correct. It may be but it may not be.

Yes, no one except Jesus, Mary, Scripture, and the Magisterium when declaring things infalliably (not when it is not infalliably defined) are completely correct or perfect. Am I missing anyting? I even remember seeing this in St. Maria Faustina’s Diary, she complained about someone intentionally being unkind, ironically enough, and in the footnotes it explained that the sister in question did the act unintentionally, without knowledge of her extreme illness. I have also seen incorrect information written by such greats as St. Thomas Aquinas and once read that St. Francis of Assisi apologized for treating his body so badly at the end of his life.

I suspect, as St. Maria Faustina wrote, that Christ rewards the purity of intention and love, so that is why some saints who practiced severe austerities were rewarded greatly for it - not so much because Christ demanded those severe austerities but because Christ demands Serve the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself and those actions were done purely in that motivation and light from the best intentions possible available to that person at that place and time. That’s one reason why I like True Devotion to Mary so much. St. Louis Mary de Montfort writes that almost all saints, no matter how holy, other than Mary can sometimes subtley reflect Christ imperfectly and thus impede our efforts to follow him.

Ask yourself what is this beating myself up achieving?
Often all it is doing is making us feel worse and this stops us looking at what we can do to undo something we regret doing.

Yes, the time spent in beating oneself up can be spent in prayer instead at the very least. Go to Confession. Be forgiven, forget, move on. God has. :slight_smile:

Ask yourself have I done what was needed
Sometimes we beat ourselves up about not doing something perfectly or as fully as possible.

Sometimes doing things perfectly is necessary - I wouldn’t want a mechanic not to put my car’s wheel back on properly but other times we don’t need to do something perfectly.

Great advice! It is also wise sometimes to smart small in self-improvement and progress slowly at a rate that does not allow for sin but does not cause exaggerated anxiety. Murphy’s Law for spirituality perhaps. :wink:

Ask yourself why did I fail to do something or not do it as well I hoped
Maybe you lacked the skills needed to do it. Maybe you have less aptitude than other people and so take longer to learn the required skills. Maybe you had other things that needed to be done more.

And if I try my absolute best and fail, I don’t worry any more. There’s nothing more that I could do. :eek:

Do not compare yourself to the (usually mythical) perfect person
You will usually be disappointed and probably sabotage your efforts.

:thumbsup:

Never take others for your example in the tasks you have to perform, however holy they may be, for the devil will set their imperfections before you. But imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never err. - St. John of the Cross

And not feel as bad either because one is imitating Christ :thumbsup: :slight_smile: :smiley:

And a few more thoughts - Always do your best and be as humble as possible - don’t think anyone is too unimportant to learn from no matter how lowly. At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. Matthew 11:25 Maybe evaluate things based on logical reasoning and constency with other knowledge and how well it works and where it fits into the Church’s authoritative teaching - is it an obligatory belief or a recommended one - in addition to the prestige of who is saying it and how many people are in agreeement and whether or not one likes it.


#27

It also of extreme importance to combat disordered self-love!

From: Mystical City of God themostholyrosary.com/mystical-city.htm
In Defense of The City of God Mystica Civitate Dei: dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jun/jun10tim.htm - to summarize the research of three priests on the official decision of the Holy Roman Catholic Church regarding The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda and to ascertain thereby whether it is permitted for anyone of any authority whatsoever to forbid the reading of this extraordinary book.

  1. It remains to investigate the motive, which urged Lucifer and his confederates to sin and what was the occasion of their disobedience and fall, for this is the point to which I wanted to come. In regard to this, it was made known to me that they could commit many sins as far as the guilt of sin (secundum reatum) is concerned, although they did not consummate them in act. However, on account of those which they did actually commit freely and of their own depraved wil, they acquired the disposition to all bad acts, inducing others to commit and approving in others those wins, which they could not commit themselves. Following the bad inclinations which from that time on filled Lucifer, he fell into a most disorderly selflove, which arose from the consciousness of being endowed with greater gifts and greater beauty of nature and grace, than the other inferior angels. He tarried with inordinate pleasure in this consciousness; and thus self-satisifed he became lax and remiss in gratitude, which was due to God as the sole cause of all that he had received. Turning again and again in admiration toward himself, he took pleasure in his own beauty and grace, attributing them to himself and loving them as his own. This disorderly selflove not only caused him to exalt himself on account of the superior virtues, which he had received, but also induced him to harbor envy and covetuousness for other gifts and for excellences not his own. Then, because he could not attain them, he conceived a moral hatred and indignation against God, who created him out of nothing, and against all his creatures.
  1. Hence arose his disobedience, presumption, injustice, infidelity, blasphemy, and perhaps also a certain kind of idolatry, for he coveted for himself the adoration and reverence due to God. He blasphemed the divine magnificence and holiness, he failed in the trust and loyalty due to Him; he plotted to destroy all the creatures, and presumed to be able to do all this and much more by his own power. Thus his pride ascends continually (Ps. 73, 23) and perseveres, though his arroagance is greater than his strength, for in this he cannot increase (Is. 16, 6) and in sin, one abyss calls the other (Ps. 14, 8). The first angel who sinned was Lucifer, as is described in the fourteenth chapter of Isaias. He induced others to follow him and therefore his is called the prince of the demons; not on account of his natural gifts, for these would not secure to him that title, but on account of his guilt. Those than sinned were not all of one order or hierarcy, but among all hierarchies there were many who sinned.
  1. It is proper, that I also explain what was made known to me concerning the kind of honor and excellence, which Lucifer aspired to and envied. As in the works of God there is a measure, number and weight (Wis. 11, 21), his Providence decided to show to the angels, immediately after their creation and before they could incline to diverse ends, the purpose for which He had created them with such an exalted and perfect nature. Of all this I obtained the following information : At first they received a more explicity intelligence of the being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence and attributes. All subjected themselves to this command and obeyed it, but with a certain difference ; the good angels obeyed through love and on account of the justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely admitting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other hand, submitted himself, because the opposite seemed to him impossible. He did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between himself and the infalliable truth of the Lord. In consequence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave him on account of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition began with them; for there remained with him a certain weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Lucifer, is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mortally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the precept of God ; but this fulfillment was remiss and imperfect, spring more from a sense of overwhelming compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put himself in danger of falling.

#28
  1. In the second place, the angels were informed that God was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality ; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God-man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferior in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety and equity, of the justice and reasonableness of such a position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of the grace wich they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief. These commands were at once given to the angels.
  1. To this command all the obedient and holy angels submitted themselves and they gave their full assent and acknowledgement with a humble and loving subjection of the will. But Lucifer, full of envy and pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist likewise, as they in reality did, preferring to follow him and disobey the divine command. This wicked prince persuaded them, that he would be their chief and that he would set up a government independent and separate from Christ. So great was the blindness which envy and pride could cause in an angel, and so pernicious was the infection that the contagion of sin spread among innumerable other angels.

#29
  1. Then happened that great battle in heaven, which St. John describes (Apoc. 12). For the obedient and holy angels, filled with an ardent desire of hastening the glory of the Most High and the honor of the incarnate Word, asked permission and, as it were, the consent of God, to resist and contradict the dragon, and the permission was granted. But also another mystery was concealed in all this : When it was revealed to the angels that they would have to obey the incarnate Word, another, a third percept was given them, namely, that they were to admit as a superior conjointly with Him, a Woman, in whose womb the Onlybegotten of the Father was to assume flesh and that this Woman was to be the Queen and Mistress of all the creatures. The good angels by obeying this command of the Lord, with still increasing and more alert humility, freely subjected themselves, praising the power and the mysteries of the Most High. Lucifer, however, and his confederates, rose to a higher pitch of pride and boastful insolence. In disorderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be consummated in him.
  1. The decree constituting him inferior to the Mother of the Incarnate Word, our Mistress, he opposed with horrible blasphemies. Turning against the Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation and calling upon the other angels, he exhorted them, saying : “Unjust are these commands and injury is done to my greatness ; this human nature which Thou, Lord, lookedst upon with so much love and which though favorest so highly, I will persecute and destroy. To this end I will direct all my power and all my aspirations. And this Woman, Mother of the Word, I will hurl from the position in which Thou has proposed to place Her, and at my hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall come to naught.”
  1. This proud boast so aroused the indignation of the Lord that in order to humble it, He spoke to Lucifer : “This Woman, whom thou refusest to honor, shall crush thy head and by Her shalt thou be vanquished and annihlated (Gen. 3, 15). And if, through thy pride, death enters into the world (Wis. 2, 24), life and salvation of mortals shall enter through the humility of this Woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and they followers have lost.” To all this the dragon, filled with indignation against whatever he understood of the divine will and decrees, answered only with pride and by threatening destruction to the whole human race. The good angels saw the just indignation of the Most High against Lucifer and his apostates and they combated them with the arms of the understanding, reason and truth.
  1. The Almighty at this conjuncture worked another wonderful mystery. Having given to all the angels a sufficiently clear intelligence of the great mystery of the hypostatic Union, He showed them the image of the most holy Virgin by means of an imaginary vision (I speak here according to our way of understanding such things). They were shown the perfection of the human nature in the revelation of an image representing a most perfect Woman, in whom the almighty arm of the Most High would work more wonderfully than in all the rest of the creatures. For therein He was to deposit the graces and gifts of his right hand in a higher and more eminent manner. This sign or vision of the Queen of heaven and of the Mother of the incarnate Word was made known and manifest to all the angels, good and bad. The good ones at the sign of it broke forth in admiration and in canticles of praise and from that time on began to defend the honor of the God incarnate and of his holy Mother, being armed with ardent zeal and with the invincible shield of that vision. The dragon and his allies on the contrary conceived implacable hatred and fury against Christ and his most holy Mother. Then happened all that which is described in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, which I will explain, as far as it has been given me, in the following chapter.

#30

We are created in the image and likeness of God. We are litteraly created to love God, and furthermore, God litterally gives himself to us. We must not overestimate our worth, but at the same time, we must not underestimate it.

God would not become incarnate live among and die for us if we were garbage.

Our shortcommings and failures should not stop us from loving God. In fact, they become the very means by which we gain in grace and merit in the eyes of God. Our highest priority in this life must be to love God above everything. It is more important that anything, more important even than loving ourselves. The more this becomes your all consuming preocupation, the less you think about yourself, and the more you think about how to please God in all things.

Become obsessed with pleasing God. Stop caring about whether you have sinned or not, or ar in a state of grace or not. If you have sinned, go to confession, because it pleases God. If you have failed somehow in your duty, ask God to give you the grace to succeed the next time, and trust in his ability to lift you out of your darkness, not because you want it, but because He wants it. Let the task of loving God become the very air you breath so that no action, not even one thought is done without reference to this all consuming goal. Love God to the point that it no longer matters to you whether you go to Hell or Heaven, just so long as you do all things for the love of God.

This is the most important thing you will ever do in this life. From this one goal of loving God above all things, flows all that you need to fulfill all of the other commandments. It is the first commandment.

This is what St. Bernard says concerning the love of God.

You want me to tell you why God is to be loved and how much. **I answer, the reason for loving God is God Himself; and the measure of love due to Him is immeasurable love. Is this plain? **Doubtless, to a thoughtful man; but I am debtor to the unwise also. A word to the wise is sufficient; but I must consider simple folk too. Therefore I set myself joyfully to explain more in detail what is meant above.

ewtn.com/library/SOURCES/LOVEGOD.TXT

God bless,
Ut


#31

I think this is an excellent thing to talk about.

Loving myself is always something I’ve had an issue with. People often tell me all sorts of things about myself; I’m smart, I’m pretty, I’ve got strong character, I’m motivated, I’m wise, I’m open and loving…but I don’t believe them. Of course I appreciate the compliments, but part of me just says, “They say that because the don’t really know you, if they knew the real you they wouldn’t say such nice things.”

Loving oneself, to me, is about accepting your imperfections. I may be smart, but I’m still going to forget things and look for my purse while it’s right over my shoulder every once in a while. I may have strong character, but I still need a moment to cry every now and then. I may be caring, but I’m still going to get mad at other people from time to time.


#32

For those who don’t love themselves I would suggest that they meditate on the fact that they were in the mind of God even before they were born. He wanted them, loves them, and is ever-ready to give them all the graces they need to draw closer to Him.

When we repent and ask for forgiveness, He gives it. He wants us to be so sure of His Infinite Mercy that he does not want us to dwell on the past.


#33

If God can forgive and love us with all our imperfections, than who are we to remain unforgiving and unloving of ourselves.


#34

maybe one of the hardest things to accept about yourself is that you don’t like yourself… but i figured something out: No one likes / loves himself as much as he should… or could… well, i guess there are those who were spoiled by their parents and their parents sent that message to them that they could do no wrong… yes, there are those… (God, save me from them… :eek: :smiley: )

but most people didn’t have such parents… or maybe one parent was like that and the other one was abusive… or uncaring/unloving…

(by the way, that is an awful combination of parents to have… creates psychopaths and etc…)

anyway… i guess part of loving yourselve involves accepting that you don’t always love/like yourself…
I went through this phase where i worked on trying to change every fault i saw in myself, every weakness… but one day it occurred to me that God maybe didn’t want me to change certain things… and even if he did, I am human… and will never perfect myself… The only perfection i need be concerned about is not sinning…


#35

I’ve told myself that…

only what i said to self was usually more like

“If God loves you and doesn’t hold your faults (& supposed imperfections) against you, why do you care so much what others think? If they don’t like you, that’s their problem…”

only problem is: most of the time… head and heart are miles apart… :hypno: :banghead: :hmmm:


#36

From **The Way of Perfection **catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/way/wayofperfection4.cfm#CHAPTER%206 by St. Teresa of Avila founder of the Discalced Carmelites, an order that includes St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Liseux, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, Sister Lucy of Fatima, and St. Edith Stein (she was a Jewish convert to Catholicism, her and her sister were, gassed in Auschwitz during the Holocaust on August 9, 1942) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Stein

Chapter 6
Returns to the subject of perfect love, already begun.

Excerpt from Chapter 6: Now it seems to me that, when God has brought someone to a clear knowledge of the world, and of its nature, and of the fact that another world (or, let us say, another kingdom) exists, and that there is a great difference between the one and the other, the one being eternal and the other only a dream; amd of what it is to love the Creator and what to love the creature (this must be discovered by experience, for it is a very different matter from merely thinking about it and believing it); when one understands by sight and experience what can be gained by the one practice and lost by the other, and what the Creator is and what the creature, and many other things which the Lord teaches to those who are willing to devot themselves to being taught by Him in prayer, or whom His Majest wishes to teach - then one loves very differently from those of us who have not advanced thus far.

It may be, sisters, that you think it irrelevant for me to treat of this, and you may say that you already know everything that I have said. God grant that this may be so, and that you may indeed know it in the only way which has any meaning, and that it may be graven upon your inmost being, and that you may never for a moment depart from it; for, if you know it, you will see that I am telling nothing but the truth when I say that he whom the Lord brings thus far possesses this love. Those whom God brings to this state are, I think, generous and royal souls; they are not content with loving anything so miserable as these bodies, however beautiful they be and however numerous the graces they possess. If the sight of the body gives them pleasure they praise the Creator, but as for dwelling upon it for more than just a moment–no! When I use that phrase “dwelling upon it”, I refer to having love for such things. If they had such love, they would think they were loving something insubstantial and were conceiving fondness for a shadow; they would feel shame for themselves and would not have the effrontery to tell God that they love Him, without feeling great confusion.

You will answer me that such persons cannot love or repay the affection shown to them by others. Certainly they care little about having this affection. They may from time to time experience a natural and momentary pleasure at being loved; yet, as soon as they return to their normal condition, they realize that such pleasure is folly save when the persons concerned can benefit their sous, either by instruction or by prayer. Any other kind of affection wearies them, for they know it can bring them no profit and may well do them harm; none the less they are grateful for it and recompense it by commending those who love them to God. They take this affection as something for which those who love them lay the responsibility upon the Lord, from Whom, since they can see nothing lovable in themselves, they suppose the love comes, and think that others love them because God loves them; and so they leave His Majesty to recompense them for this and beg Him to do so, thus freeing themselves and feeling they have no more responsibility. When I ponder it carefully, I sometimes think this desire for affection is sheer blindness, except when, as I say, it relates to persons who can lead us to do good so that we may gain blessings in perfection.

It should be noted here that, when we desire anyone’s affection, we always seek it because of some interest, profit, or pleasure of our own. Those who are perfect, however, have trodden all these things beneath their feet- [and have despised] the blessings which may come to them in this world, and its pleasures and delights - in such a way that even if they wanted to, so to say, they could not love anything outside God, or unless it had to do with God. What profit then, can come to them from being loved themselves?

When this truth is put to them, they laugh at the distress which had been assailing them in the past as to whether their affection was being returned or no. Of course, however pure our affection may be, it is quite natural for us to wish it to be returned. But, when we come to evaluate the return of our affection, we realize that it is insubstantial, like a thing of straw, as light as air and easily carried away by the wind. For, however dearly we have been loved, what is there that remains to us? Such persons, then, except for the advantage that the affection may bring to their souls (because they realize that our nature is such that we soon tire of life without love), care nothing whether they are loved or not. Do you think that such persons will love none and delight in none save God? No, they will love others much more than they did, with a more genuine love, with greater passion and with a love which brings more profit; that, in a word, is what love really is. And such souls are always much fonder of giving than of receiving, even in their relations with the Creator Himself, This [holy affection], I say, merits the name of love, which name has been usurped from it by those other base affections.


#37

[quote=apromisemade]I think this is an excellent thing to talk about.

Loving myself is always something I’ve had an issue with. People often tell me all sorts of things about myself; I’m smart, I’m pretty, I’ve got strong character, I’m motivated, I’m wise, I’m open and loving…but I don’t believe them. Of course I appreciate the compliments, but part of me just says, “They say that because the don’t really know you, if they knew the real you they wouldn’t say such nice things.”
[/quote]

I have a variation on this - people wouldn’t say this if they knew how much effort I have to make to be like this, to do what I have done or the mistakes I made along the way.

Thinking about this, this is not what I would say about someone else. I would be applauding them for effort and stickability.

[quote=apromisemade]Loving oneself, to me, is about accepting your imperfections. I may be smart, but I’m still going to forget things and look for my purse while it’s right over my shoulder every once in a while. I may have strong character, but I still need a moment to cry every now and then. I may be caring, but I’m still going to get mad at other people from time to time.
[/quote]

Spot on.

Think it is these mixtures that make people so interesting and likeable.

I think a perfect person would be very boring.


#38

Since I’m allergic to pdfs, I have read some of these posts with interest and a bit of confusion. Some of it makes it seem like to be Catholic is to be assured of abandonment by friends and family (and country, and the medical profession, and oh, the police, and the Coast Guard) and subjected to physical and mental torment here on earth.

:confused:


#39

:popcorn: :rotfl: I’m often wrong so I may be wrong about this: but I believe that the reason that Catholicism is so often tied with suffering is because Catholicism calls us to think of our eternal lives instead of our earthly lives. Take a student at high school, s/he could be promiscuous, have an unwed baby, and drop out of high school as a single parent living in poverty for the rest of his/her life. Or s/he could buckle up and study and maybe get into an Ivy League college. One involves more restrained desire, chosen suffering, than the other but the less restrained route eventually involved greater suffering at the end. So it may be for our pilgrimage on this life and our eternal destination: Heaven or Hell.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnance, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears out to hear.

**The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchang searching for fine perals.
When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sellas all that he has and buys it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.”

And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” ** Matthew 13:37-52

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisified.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:3-16

If Christ and Mary did not escape the Cross, what makes us believe that we will escape it if we do Christ through Mary’s will? :confused: :slight_smile:


#40

Excerpt from: Mystical City of God themostholyrosary.com/mystical-city.htm
In Defense of The City of God Mystica Civitate Dei: dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jun/jun10tim.htm - to summarize the research of three priests on the official decision of the Holy Roman Catholic Church regarding The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda and to ascertain thereby whether it is permitted for anyone of any authority whatsoever to forbid the reading of this extraordinary book.

This excerpt may help explain why such persecution exists for those who devoutly follow Christ

  1. This was the first time in which the Word in the name of his humanity interceded for men before the Divinity, and in which, according to our mode of conceiving such things, the eternal Father conferred with the other Persons of the blessed Trinity in regard to this petition. He also partly revealed to the holy angels the decree of this divine consistory, saying, in regard to the sacramanets resolved upon: “Lucifer has raised the banner of pride and sin and will persecute with all his malice the whole human race. With cunning he will pervert many men, availing himself of their own passions for their destruction. In the blindness of sin and vice men will prevaricate, heedless of danger. But his lying pride, his sins and vices, are infinitely distant from our nature and wishes. We will therefore bring out the triumph of virtue and sanctity; for this purpose the second Person will assume human nature; He will exalt and teach humility, obedience and all the virtues, and thus will secure the salvation of mortals. Being true God He will become humble and submissive. He will be the Just Man, the Model and Teacher of all virtues. These alone shall be accredited before our tribunal and shall always triump over vices. We will raise up the lowly and humble the proud (Matth. 11, 28) ; we will make labors and endurance praiseworthy in our sight; we resolve to help the afflicted and the sorrowful. Let them be corrected by afflictions and thereby advance in our grace and friendship and, according to their capabilities, reach salvation in the practice of virtue. Blessed will be they that weep (Matth. 5, 3), and happy the poor and those that suffer for justice sake and for Christ, their Chief; and the insignificant ones shall be magnified, the meek of heart exalted. The peaceful shall be loved as our sons. Most dear shall those be to us, who forgive and suffer injuries and love their enemies. We will assign to them copious benedictions of our grace and an immortal glory in heaven. Our Only-begotten will put in practice these decrees, and those that follow Him shall be our chosen ones, our cherished ones; they shall be refreshed and rewarded by Us; their good works shall be engendered in our own mind, which is the first cause of all virtue. We give permission to the bad ones to oppress the good, thus helping them to gain the crown, while for themselves they increase the punishment. Let there be scandals (Matth. 18, 7) for the common good; unhappy be those that cause them, and blessed they that are proved by them. The vain and the proud will afflict and despise the humble; the great and the powerful will oppress the lowly and abject ones. They will give benediction instead of curses (I Cor. 4, 12). While they are pilgrims, they shall be rejected by men, but afterwards they shall be ranked with the angelic spirits, our sons, and they will enjoy the seats and crowns, which the unfortunate and unhappy apostates have lost. The stubborn and the proud shall be condemned to eternal death, where they will recognize their foolish proceedings and their perverseness.”
  1. “In order that all my have a true model and superabundant grace, if they wish to use it, the Son will descend, capable of suffering and as a Redeemer, and He shall save men (whom Lucifer defrauded of their happy state) ; and He shall raise them up through his infinite merits. We have resolved and determined upon the salvation of men, through a Redeemer and Teacher, who shall be able to propitate and to teach, who shall be born and live poor, shall die despised, condemned by men to a most ignominous and frightful Death; who shall be esteemed a sinner and a criminal, and yet shall satisfy our justice for the guitl of sin. On account of his foreseen merits We will show mercy and kindness. All will understand, that those who are humble and peaceful, those that practice virtue, taht suffer and yet forgive, are the followers of Christ and our sons. Nobody will be capable of entering by his own free will into our kingdom, unless he denies himself, and, taking up his cross, follows his Chief and Master (Matth. 10, 22). Our kingdom shall be composed of the perfect, who have legitimately labored and fought, persevering to the end. These will take part in the reign of our Christ, now begun and determined upon. For the accusor of his brethren has been cast down; the triumph of Christ is secured; to Him belong exaltations and glory, since He is to wash and purify men with his blood. Therefore only He shall be worthy to open the book of the law of grace (Apoc. 5,9), He is the way, the light, the truth and the life (Joan 14, 6), through which men may came to Me. He alone shall open the gates of heaven ; He shall be the Mediator (I Tim. 2, 5) and the Advocate of mortals, in Him they will have a Father, a Brother (I Joan 2, 1), and Protector after having been freed from their accuser and persecutor. And the angels, who like true sons, have shared in the work of our salvation and power and have defended the reign of my christ, shall likewise be honored and crowned through all the eternities of eternities in my presence.”

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