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I found this in a PDF and am passing it on. 

St. John Chrysostom on Keeping a Fast

We have this fast too as an ally, and as an assistant in this
good intercession. Therefore, as when the winter is over
and the summer is appearing, the sailor draws his vessel
to the deep; and the soldier burnishes his arms, and
makes ready his steed for the battle; and the husbandman
sharpens his sickle; and the traveler boldly undertakes a
long journey, and the wrestler strips and bares himself for
the contest.
So too, when the fast makes its appearance, like a kind of
spiritual summer, let us as soldiers burnish our weapons;
and as husbandmen let us sharpen our sickle; and as
sailors let us order our thoughts against the waves of
extravagant desires; and as travelers let us set out on the
journey towards heaven; and as wrestlers let us strip for
the contest.
For the believer is at once a husbandman, and a sailor,
and a soldier, a wrestler, and a traveler.
Hence St. Paul saith, “We wrestle not against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, against powers. Put on
therefore the whole armour of God.” Hast thou observed
the wrestler? Hast thou observed the soldier? If thou art a
wrestler, it is necessary for thee to engage in the conflict
naked. If a soldier, it behooves thee to stand in the battle
line armed at all points.
How then are both these things possible, to be naked, and
yet not naked; to be clothed, and yet not clothed! How? I
will tell thee. Divest thyself of worldly business, and thou
hast become a wrestler. Put on the spiritual armour, and
thou hast become a soldier. Strip thyself of worldly cares,
for the season is one of wrestling. Clothe thyself with the
spiritual armour, for we have a heavy warfare to wage with
demons.
Therefore also it is needful we should be naked, so as to
offer nothing that the devil may take hold of, while he is
wrestling with us; and to be fully armed at all points, so as
on no side to receive a deadly blow.
Cultivate thy soul. Cut away the thorns. Sow the word of
godliness. Propagate and nurse with much care the fair
plants of divine wisdom, and thou hast become a
husbandman. And Paul will say to thee, “The
husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the
fruits. He too himself practiced this art. Therefore writing
to the Corinthians, he said, “I have planted, Apollos
watered, but God gave the increase.” Sharpen thy sickle,
which thou hast blunted through gluttony–sharpen it by

fasting. Lay hold of the pathway which leads towards
heaven; rugged and narrow as it is, lay hold of it, and
journey on.
And how mayst thou be able to do these things? By
subduing thy body, and bringing it into subjection. For
when the way grows narrow, the corpulence that comes of
gluttony is a great hindrance. Keep down the waves of
inordinate desires. Repel the tempest of evil thoughts.
Preserve the bark; display much skill, and thou hast
become a pilot. But we shall have the fast for a
groundwork and instructor in all these things.
I speak not, indeed, of such a fast as most persons keep,
but of real fasting; not merely abstinence from meats; but
from sins too.
For the nature of a fast is such, that it does not suffice to
deliver those who practice it, unless it be done according
to a suitable law. “For the wrestler,” it is said, “is not
crowned unless he strive lawfully.” To the end then, that
when we have gone through the labour of fasting, we
forfeit not the crown of fasting, we should understand
how, and after what manner, it is necessary to conduct
this business; since that Pharisee also fasted, but
afterwards when down empty, and destitute of the fruit of
fasting.
The Publican fasted not; and yet he was accepted in
preference to him who had fasted; in order that thou
mayst learn that fasting is unprofitable, except all other
duties follow with it. The Ninevites fasted, and won the
favour of God. The Jews fasted too, and profited nothing,
nay they departed with blame.

Since then the danger in fasting is so great to those who
do not know how they ought to fast, we should learn the
laws of this exercise, in order that we may not “run
uncertainly,” nor “beat the air,” nor while we are fighting
contend with a shadow. Fasting is a medicine; but a
medicine, though it be never so profitable, becomes
frequently useless owing to the unskillfulness of him who
employs it.
For it is necessary to know, moreover, the time when it
should be applied, and the requisite quantity of it; and the
temperament of body that admits it; and the nature of the
country, and the season of the year; and the
corresponding diet; as well as various other particulars;
any of which, if one overlooks, he will mar all the rest that
have been named. Now if, when the body needs healing,
such exactness is required on our part, much more ought
we, when our care is about the soul, and we seek to heal

the distempers of the mind, to look, and to search into
every particular with the utmost accuracy.
I have said these things, not that we may disparage fasting,
but that we may honour fasting; for the honour of fasting
consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing
from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only
to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially
disparages it.

Dost thou fast? Give me proof of it by thy works! Is it said
by what kind of works?

If thou seest a poor man, take pity on him!

If thou seest an enemy, be reconciled to him!

If thou seest a friend gaining honour, envy him not!

If thou seest a handsome woman, pass her by!

For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and ear,
and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our
bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being pure from rapine and avarice.
Let the feet fast, but ceasing from running to the unlawful
spectacles.

Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves
rudely upon handsome countenances, or to busy
themselves with strange beauties.

For looking is the food of the eyes, but if this be such as is
unlawful or forbidden, it mars the fast; and upsets the
whole safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it
adorns fasting.

For it would be among things the most absurd to abstain
from lawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to
touch even what is forbidden.

Dost thou not eat flesh? Feed not upon lasciviousness by
means of the eyes.

Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in
refusing to receive evil speakings and calumnies. “Thou
shalt not receive a false report,” it says.

 

Fasting is about more than food.  Fasting is about saying no to that which will harm our souls.  Fasting is about doing good works and reconciling relationships.  Lent is a time to grow in our faith. 

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I missed posting on St. Maximilian Kolbe’s feast day on August 14. I still wanted to post something on him so here is a video on his life.

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There are many forms of suffering. We can suffer for our faith.  We can suffer for our beliefs whether religious or political.  We can suffer due to health problems.  We can suffer due to family issues.  We can suffer due to financial burdens.  Right now I am suffering because of my health.  My endometriosis pain has worsened in the past couple weeks.  In addition my joint and bone pain has increased and gotten pretty bad.  Right now I am just trying to cope the best I can.  Praying is one of my coping mechanisms.  Laying down is another.  Sorry I haven’t been around much lately on my blog and haven’t visited your blogs recently but I’ve been feeling kinda awful lately.  I hope to visit your blogs soon.  We need to look to God and all of the saints when we go through suffering.  God is always with us.  He knows what we’re going through.  God is watching over us.  May God make each of our sufferings easier to endure. Keep the faith as I understand that can be shaken when going through suffering. God Bless!!!

 

standfirm

sufferforrightGodreward

Here are some quotes from saints on suffering

The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more we sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future.
St. Isidore of Seville

In the same way that a powerful medicine cures an illness, so illness itself is a medicine to cure passion. And there is much profit of soul in bearing illness quietly and giving thanks to God.
St. Amma Syncletice

Trials and tribulations offer us a chance to make reparation for our past faults and sins. On such occasions the Lord comes to us like a physician to heal the wounds left by our sins. Tribulation is the divine medicine.
St. Augustine of Hippo

We must often draw the comparison between time and eternity. This is the remedy of all our troubles. How small will the present moment appear when we enter that great ocean.
St. Elizebeth Ann Seton

It is loving the Cross that one finds one heart, for Divine Love cannot live without suffering.
St. Bernadette

The wicked exist in this world either to be converted or that through them the good may exercise patience.
St. Augustine

He who wants to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come in conflict with it. 
Blessed Titus Brandsma

Your first task is to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin, and transform yourself into something better. Your second task is to put up with the trials and temptations of this world that will be brought on by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end in the midst of these things.
St. Augustine

 

 

 

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imagesSaint Faustina in her Diary described hearing Jesus say that He would leave the house because there were things that displeased Him.  Faustina had a vision where she saw the Host coming out of the tabernacle and landed in her hand.  The, she placed the Host back in the tabernacle.  This happened two more times her describing the third time how the Host transformed into the living Lord Jesus.  Jesus said “I will stay here no longer!”  A powerful love rose up in Faustina’s soul and she said to Jesus that she wouldn’t let Jesus leave this house.  Jesus disappeared.  Faustina put the Host back into the tabernacle.  Jesus stayed there and Saint Faustina did three days of adoration for the reparation of sins.

To be honest I’m not feeling the greatest today and am having a hard time thinking so please bear with my scattered thoughts.

I find it surprising that St. Faustina would hear Jesus say that He would leave a place because of there having been things that displeased Him.  Wouldn’t He stay there to try to guide persons to change that which displeased Him?  Jesus doesn’t give us any clues as to what displeased our Lord.  Was it something St. Faustina and the other Sisters did or failed to do?  Could that have been an empty threat to wake up St. Faustina, that Jesus never really intended to leave the house?  It just baffles my mind that since a few in His flock had gone astray, going by Jesus’ words, why would He have left them?

The imagery of what St. Faustina visioned has me wondering what we could have seen if a camera had been there to take pictures.  Would we have seen Jesus? Or an outline of Him?  There have been witnesses that have seen outlines and figures of ghosts so I don’t think it is far-fetched to think and hope that we could have seen our Lord in a photo.  I have seen different pictures depicting our Lord but do you have an image in your mind of what you think Jesus looks like?

In “Song of the Sparrow” Fr. Bodo talks about the love of God and how many people find it hard to believe that they are loved and lovable.  Yet God sent His only Son to die for us in the ultimate act of love.  An unbelievable act of love. Since Jesus died on the Cross for each of us in an unbelievable act of love is it so  It seems logical to me that the weak persons of little faith have trouble believing the “unbelievable.”  It takes great faith to believe the “unbelievable” so we should encourage those of little faith and try to understand why the person has trouble believing certain things.  I would ask, why wouldn’t God love us this much?  Why do you doubt that God would have sent His only Son to die that we may be saved?  God loves us and is waiting for each of us to know, feel, and show Him love in return.  God is Love.

God-love-1john410

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purgatoryThis is from Saint Faustina’s Diary.  St. Faustina stood before God’s judgment and He said to her “you are guilty of one day of fire in purgatory.”

This had me thinking . . .  What could have St. Faustina have done for God to send her to the fire of purgatory for one day?  Is this for sins not confessed?  Or if this time in purgatory is for our life in totem: all of our failings, inaction, actions, thoughts but not necessarily sins?  I wish I had either a rear view mirror or a time machine to be able to look back into my life to be able to change mistakes and right wrongs that I committed.

We need to pray often and rely on God’s grace to guide us in our decision-making as we go through each day.

God ended up sending Faustina back to earth to endure great suffering for a short period of time, to go through her purgatory here on earth instead of in the afterlife.  This had me wondering, how many of our sufferings here on earth is Jesus looking out for us and having us endure the pain in the present in our lives on earth, living out our purgatories here on earth,  instead of experiencing a harsher penalty, a harsher pain, in the afterlife?  Our Father knows best for us so if we are going through sufferings and tough times here on earth there must be a very good reason, whether it be God has a special mission for us in this life or in the next life.

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Jonah Chapter 2

1
But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
2
From the belly of the fish Jonah said this prayer to the LORD, his God:
3
Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice.
4
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me.
5
Then I said, “I am banished from your sight! yet would I again look upon your holy temple.”
6
The waters swirled about me, threatening my life; the abyss enveloped me; seaweed clung about my head.
7
Down I went to the roots of the mountains; the bars of the nether world were closing behind me forever, But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD, my God.
8
When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple.
9
Those who worship vain idols forsake their source of mercy.
10
But I, with resounding praise, will sacrifice to you; What I have vowed I will pay: deliverance is from the LORD.
11
Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.

My Reflection:  Do you think God sends us our own “whales” to point us in the right direction? To influence our decision making?

I believe that God sends us “angels” on this earth to assist in our faith, prayer life, and decision making. But I also believe Satan sends “false angels” on this earth that appear to be good but are in fact deceiving us and leading us away from Christ.

We are called to follow the First Commandment, to worship only God, not false Gods. In this scripture passage the Holy Spirit guides Jonah to say “those who worship vain idols forsake their source of mercy”.  We are not to worship anyone or anything besides God.

God is ever merciful, but it is up to each of us to follow His Commandments, avoid idolizing objects or persons, and repent our failings.  The merciful God is always waiting with open arms for His Prodigal Children to come home.

As St. Faustina reflected on the Holy Trinity, on the essence of God, Faustina stated that she wanted to know and fathom who God is.  Then Faustina saw a light. In the light our Savior appeared to her with His Shining Wounds. St. Faustina heard a voice coming from the light which said, Who God is in His Essence, no one will fathom, neither the mind of Angels nor of man. Jesus said to Faustina, Get to know God by contemplating His attributes. 

So in our minds we will never have the capacity to fully understand who God is? God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, since we are unable to be all three of these things and it is impossible for us to experience what it is like to be the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit it makes perfect sense that Jesus would have said that neither man nor Angels can fathom who He is, we cannot know who God truly is.

We can try to know who God is by studying and pondering on His attributes.  As humans we will always have a skewed view or an altered view of the reality of God, who God is.  Plus, as individuals each of us can try to know God by using different methods, through different experiences, different prayers and types of prayer, by having different interactions with people of faith and people of no faith.  This is why each of us needs to work our hardest to know God the best we possibly can. There is always more to know about God. We can always become closer to God. Here are some divine attributes of God that each of us can contemplate on: Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent, Omnipresent, immanent, transcendent, graciousness, holiness, incorporeality, infinity, incomprehensibility, eternity, and love.

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While talking about Lent today I thought, “What is the meaning of Lent and when did it start?”. Since Kevin didn’t know I looked the term Lent up on the internet and what I found was quite interesting.  The word “Lent” originally simply meant the spring season.  It was then used to translate the Latin term Quadragesima which means “forty days” or more literally “fortieth day” and has been used from the time of the Anglo-Saxon period.  Quadragesima was the Latin rendering for the Greek name for what we now call Lent, tessarakoste (fortieth), a word formed on the analogy of Pentecost (pentekoste).

As I continued to read about Lent on the New Advent Catholic site I noticed that from the time of Eusebius and St. Irenaeus to St. Athanasius to the time of St. Gregory in the 6th century there was a no consensus on whether Lent would last forty days or a shorter period of time.  There was also no consensus on the type and timing of fasting among the Church Fathers during this period of time.  At the time of St. Gregory in Rome there were six weeks and six days per week that people fasted, which equaled thirty-six days of fasting.  The medieval writers continued this tradition and described the thirty-six day period, one tenth of three hundred sixty-five days, as spiritual tithing. It wasn’t until a later date that Lent as being a total of forty days starting from Ash Wednesday came into fruition.  This makes perfect sense since the Latin term Quadragesima means “forty days”.

“Some of the Fathers as early as the fifth century supported the view that this forty days’ fast was of Apostolic institution. For example, St. Leo (d. 461) exhorts his hearers to abstain that they may “fulfill with their fasts the Apostolic institution of the forty days” — ut apostolica institutio quadraginta dierum jejuniis impleatur (P.L., LIV, 633), and the historian Socrates (d. 433) and St. Jerome (d. 420) use similar language (P.G., LXVII, 633; P.L., XXII, 475).”

But there was such a wide spectrum of practices regarding Lent and Easter during the first three centuries that the modern scholars nearly unanimously reject the view by some of the Fathers that the forty days fast was of Apostolic origin.  But could the forty day period have been a revival from time of the Apostles? Were the Apostles following Jesus’ example of prayer and fasting in the desert for forty days?

 

jesus-desert

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Saint Faustina in her Diary said:

“O Jesus, do You hear how my soul is moaning? Deign to hear the painful whimpers of Your child. I trust in You, O God, because heaven and earth will pass, but You word will last forever.” 

Matthew 24: 35, Luke 21: 33, Mark 13: 31 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

All three of these scripture passages say the same thing, the very same thing that Saint Faustina wrote down while she listened to our Lord. Truth is timeless. God’s word is Truth. God’s word is everlasting.

 

 

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Teresa Rice:

I just recently became aware of the prophecies of St. Malachy via Christopher at Conservative Perspective and honestly didn’t know much about them or there authenticity. But this sheds some more light on St. Malachy and the one specific prophecy which claims the next to last prophecy of the popes which refers to Pope Benedict. That would mean that the last pope would be whoever is the next pope. It looks like there are some holes in the prophecy or some things that cast doubt about the legitimacy of the prophecy (ies). But the prophecies may still be true.

Originally posted on theraineyview:

In the early 1990s, someone who was a Christian but not a Catholic told me that John Paul II was the third-to-last Pope.

It worried me,though I couldn’t understand my anxiety. After all, I didn’t believe any of it, so what did it matter to me?

It turned out it came from a prophecy some say was written by St. Malachy in the 12th Century — but some say it wasn’t.

Jimmy Akin explains it well. It’s a list of popes, found in 1595, centuries after it was allegedly written. Each pope is identified by  phrases — and those up to 1590 have obvious connections to the popes in question, while those elected after that date are more tenuously associated with the predictions. In fact, there would be some links between almost any public figure and almost any phrase through chance alone, so it may mean nothing.

Or it may…

View original 228 more words

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questions for God

 

In her diary,  Saint Faustina described how she saw Jesus while she attended a dance. She heard Jesus ask her “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?” 

Those words had me thinking…

Does God ever wonder “When are people going to wake and smell the coffee? When are they going to say Yes and follow me? When are others going to start believing in me?”

Does God ever get frustrated that people do unchristian things, sick of the immorality, get a little sad because of all the unbelievers in the world?

When wars are happening across the globe, there is widespread immorality and faithlessness could this cause Jesus’ stigmata to hurt (increase in pain), and bleed more and more due to many in the World doing things to offend Him?

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