South Africa: offering the culturally curious a heady mix of flavours. Atlantic Podcast A three-part series exploring the mystery of Peter Bergmann - the man who came to Sligo to disappear. Through their example, basking as they are in the Grace of the Holy Spirit, the saints show us our real freedom, unburdened by any selfishness, be it material or spiritual, and imbued with the selfless love for God and other people.
This is the key that can solve all the problems tormenting us today, both personal and social. In this life we sail, as it were, in an unknown sea. One way to do this is to apply ourselves wholeheartedly to the performance of our duties of the moment, and to strive to do well whatever we are doing at the moment.
Another way is to employ the memory and imagination; pious exercises which nourish these faculties: searching Scripture, studying Liturgy, reading the most beautiful similes and richest imagery.
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And if the imagination issued to enter into God's presence, to try and picture the details of these Mysteries. The Mortification of the Passions Another reality beginners have to deal with is the right ordering of the passions. There are eleven: Love Hatred Desire Aversion Joy Sadness Courage Fear Hope Despair Anger Passions are said to be ill-ordered when directed toward some sensible good which is forbidden, or even towards a good which is lawful, but is pursued with too much eagerness and without any reference to God.
Ill-ordered passions produce blindness of soul. They weary and torture the soul, they weaken the will and they blemish the soul.
John of the Cross says: "I do not hesitate to affirm that one single disordered passion, even if it lead not to mortal sin, is enough to cause the soul such a state of darkness, ugliness and uncleanness, that it becomes incapable of intimate union with God so long as it remains a slave of this passion. They are live, powerful forces that stir our mind and will to action and thus are of signal help to us.
How to wage war against ill-ordered passions: Have to avoid exterior acts and gestures which would stimulate or intensify passion. If we feel roused to anger, we should avoid excited gestures and words, holding our peace until calm is restored. If it is a question of too ardent attachment to some person, we should avoid any meeting, any conversation with that person, and above all we should refrain from showing even in an indirect way, the affection we feel.
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In this way , passion gradually subsides. If it's a question of a pleasure passion, one must strive to forget the object of that passion, divert ourselves long enough for the passion to cool and then exercise in the consideration of supernatural realities in order to strengthen ourselves. And then positive acts directly opposed to the passion must be elicited. Example: Nothing so empties the heart of bitterness, as a prayer offered for an enemy. In order to bring about the right ordering of passions, nothing is so effective as meditation accompanied by devout affections and generous resolutions.http://ipdwew0030atl2.public.registeredsite.com/335385-phone-tracker.php
3 Ways of the Spiritual Life
But even when the passions are directed toward good, one has to know how to temper them, to make them obey the dictates of reason and the control of the will which are guided by light and faith. Otherwise, the passions by nature run to excess. Otherwise, the desire to pray fervently could become a strain; love for Jesus may manifest itself in forced emotions which wear out both body and soul, untimely zeal results in overstrain, indignation degenerates into anger, and joy into dissipation of mind.
Wise direction is very necessary here. There must, in the training-of passions and desires, always be a certain habitual moderation, a kind of calm tranquility, without strain. Prudence also demands that one put a certain curb or rest upon our ambitions, even the most legitimate, following the example of the Lord Who told His disciples to rest: Come apart into a desert place and rest a little.
Everyone must study that which pertains to his state and duties, but the foremost duty is that of knowing God in order to love Him. Curiosity is a disease-of the mind, which is one of the causes of religious ignorance, for it leads us to seek too eagerly the knowledge of things that delight us, rather than things that are profitable to us. In order to overcome curiosity we must study before all else, not that which is pleasing, but that which is profitable. What is necessary, comes first. Everything else is only by way of recreation, and even then it is better to read that which feeds the mind rather than the imagination in a worldly way.
Also note here that curiosity even colors the study of spiritual things when it is done not for the sake of the purification of the heart and the practice of mortification, but when it is done out of pride and curiosity. The Will also has to undergo a training. It is the governing faculty in man, and therefore the discipline of the will means the discipline of the entire man. It has to become strong enough to govern the lower faculties and to submit them to God.
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Takes difficulty to bring the sense-faculties and passions under the sway of the will. And likewise great effort to yield full submission to the will of God. And mortification is invaluable here. Have to help them understand that God does not tempt but rather allows temptations for our benefit, and will never allow anything beyond our strength or the grace He gives us to combat them. He wants to make us merit heaven.
That is His will, even though he could have bestowed it upon us as a free gift. He did not.
The Nature of Mortification
Temptation also needs to be seen as a purification, and a school of spiritual progress, a school of humility and distrust of self. As well, it is a school of love of God, for it is here especially that we throw ourselves into the arms of God for strength and shelter. We come to be grateful to Him for His unfailing grace, and we begin to act toward Him as children to a Father, having recourse to Him in all things.
The frequency, as well as the violence of temptation vary greatly. Some people are often and violently tempted; others are tempted but rarely and without being deeply stirred. There are many reasons for this diversity: temperament and character education those schooled in love of God vs. There are some persons who because they enjoy consolations think they have already attained to a certain degree of sanctity; if the consolations vanish and spiritual dryness or aridity takes their place, they think themselves lost.
They have to know that there is a distinction between sensible consolation s which are tender emotions that affect our sensibility and cause us to experience a feeling of spiritual joy tears, beaming features, more energy and spiritual consolations which are generally granted to more advanced souls. These are of a higher order.
They act upon the intellect by enlightening it and upon the will by drawing it to prayer and the practice of virtue. These two kinds of consolations often intermingle, and so what is said about one can in some measure be applied to the other. The beginner profits from knowing that consolations proceed from 3 sources; From God Who is attracting us From the devil who is seeking to divert From our own nature which depending on our temperament, imagination, etc, naturally finds food for the emotions in pious exercises.
Consolations assuredly have their advantages: They facilitate the knowledge of God They strengthen the will effect They help us to for habits of recollection, prayer, obedience, love, etc. Consolations also have their dangers: They excite a sort of spiritual greed, which makes us cling to the consolations of God rather than the God of consolations. Another thing that can happen is that even though one may enjoy such consolations: Tears at the suffering of Our Lord often the devotion is not solidly grounded in virtue, for the person is unwilling to make this or that small sacrifice.
Francis de Sales says that: "There are many souls who experience these tendernesses and consolations, and who, nevertheless, are very vicious and consequently, have not a true love of God, much less true devotion. The Church prays that "we may ever enjoy His consolation," and as such they can aid us in our sanctification. When such consolations are received, they should be acknowledged with gratitude and humility, in the awareness that we are unworthy, and that all is the grace of God.
Boasting of them is the surest and quickest way of losing them. We need also to realize that as yet we are not being fed with solid food. Francis de Sales tells us to profit by them.
machinations and mortifications Manual
Aridity is a privation of those sensible and spiritual consolations which make prayer and the practice of virtue easy. In spite of all effort, one no longer relishes prayer, and even experiences a sense of weariness, irksomeness, and boredom. One is able to act only by a sheer force of will. Aridity, when it is not our fault carelessness etc. God humbles us also by showing us that consolations are free gifts, and not ours by right.
God also effects in this a further purification of the soul from past faults, present attachments, and self-seeking. God will also remove consolations because of carelessness, spiritual sloth, seeking after too human consolations, and by a want of frankness with our spiritual director which Francis de Sales likens to trying to deceive the Holy Spirit. A moment arrives however, when God's grace is less sensible, and when they grow weary of effort.
It is then that the soul is liable to relax and falter. The tendency to inconstancy and tepidity shows itself in our spiritual exercises which are performed with less attention, shortened or omitted; in the practice of virtue especially as we begin to find penance and mortification more difficult; and in the habitual sanctification of our actions-offering of all we do to God for purity of intention. The result is that many of our actions soon become inspired by routine, curiosity, vanity, an sensuality.
Nothing assures constancy so much as the faithful practice of the particular examination of conscience. The chief cause for this is the substitution of one's own activity for that of God. Instead of reflection, prayer to the Holy Spirit, consultation with a spiritual director, such souls plunge head-long into an action, and afterwards confront him with the accomplished fact.
Many imprudences and wasted efforts are the result. Often presumption is a cause. Many would like to emerge hastily and arrive at the desired union with God, unaware of the obstacles that at times may even cause them to fall grievously. At other times, it is curiosity that predominated. They constantly seek new means of perfection, try them awhile and discard them before they have a chance to produce results.
The result is a loss of interior recollection and no solid gain. The chief remedies are submission to and entire dependence upon the action of God, mature reflection before acting, prayer to obtain divine light, and consultation with and docility towards a spiritual director. Just as in the workings of nature, it is not violent force that yields the best results but rather well controlled energy.
So too in the spiritual life.. It is not feverish but well-directed and calm efforts that make for progress. This is not restricted to beginners.
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