Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Distraction

I have prayers that I pray every day. Sometimes they seem to be a burden, sometimes I withdraw wholeheartedly into them. But more often, I am just plain distracted during prayer. I fear that I may never get beyond the first level! But I persevere in hopes of Divine assistance to increase in my ability to pray with my whole heart, mind and soul.
I came across a page on a diocese website that had a lot of references from Saints and other writers on how to deal with distractions; these are some of the quotes that I found resonated with me:


“To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for Him and lead us resolutely to offer Him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2729

St. Teresa of Avila: “Never address your words to God while you are thinking of something else.” God is worthy of our full attention. It’s admirable to pray as we work or while we drive or do other things — as long as we make the Lord’s presence central.

St. Francis of Assisi, whenever he was about to enter church for Mass or to pray, would say, “Worldly and frivolous thoughts, stay here at the door until I return.” Then he would go inside and pray with complete devotion.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux stated, “I have many distractions, but as soon as I am aware of them, I pray for those people, the thought of whom is diverting my attention. In this way, they reap the benefit of my distractions.” Talking to Him in a very loving and comfortable way, just as we would with any other friend or loved one, can be a helpful means of overcoming distractions.

Some valuable advice on praying comes from St. Paul of the Cross: “When you want to pray, it doesn’t matter if you can’t meditate. Make little acts of love to God, but gently, without forcing yourself.” St. Paul also says, “Concerning distractions and temptations that occur during holy prayer, you don’t need to be the least bit disturbed. Withdraw completely into the upper part of your spirit to relate to God in spirit and truth..”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Working on the virtues

It's a work in progress, this life. The things I like least about myself, I try to improve, often with very little success. Day to day, things just seem the same, and unless I do something to change that, I keep on in the same rut. Change is difficult.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes a sermon, sometimes a conversation, and like today, from  a passage in one of my daily reflections prayer books.

Jesus said to St. Catherine of Sienna: "You test the virtue of patience in yourself when your neighbours insult you. Your humility is tested by the proud, your faith by the unfaithful, your hope by the person who has no hope. Your justice is tried by the unjust, your compassion by the cruel, and your gentleness and kindness by the wrathful. Your neighbours are the channel through which all your virtues are tested and come to birth, just as the evil gives birth to all their vices through their neighbours."

I have evidence of this in my life, literally by my next door neighbours, who are a source of vexation to me. I'm finding them a good source of practising the virtues and I dare to say I am making progress, at least in my actions, although my thoughts need a lot more work!
With my ultimate goal in mind (heaven) it becomes easier to decrease my self importance. I think of those virtues as stepping stones on the journey. And hope I don't fall.....

Monday, June 5, 2017

A gift of the Spirit

Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, and I was given a gift. The gift of feeling and understanding, for the first time, that I am a part of the Body Of Christ; His Mystical Body, the Church. It was a feeling of belonging to God unconditionally, a feeling of communion and an understanding of what it means to participate as part of that mystical Body. It was a realisation of what it meant when Jesus said "My peace I give you".
It makes me feel whole.
Thank You, Holy Spirit.

I found an interesting link to something that I have been wondering about- the explanation of what it means to sin against the Holy Spirit.  And another link on the mistaken beliefs people have about the Holy Spirit.