Prayer and Wisdom against Temptation & Spiritual Danger

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.(Matt. 26:41, Mark 14:38)

Spirit is willing, flesh is weak

St. John Chrysostom: “Inasmuch as Christ Himself came to instruct us in all virtue, He both tells us what ought to be done, and does it… He commanded men to pray for their enemies (Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:28) and teaches this by means of His acts; for when He had ascended the cross He said, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).’ Therefore, as He commanded men to pray so does He Himself pray, instructing you to do so by His own persistent utterances of prayer.

“Since then He commanded them to pray ‘lead us not into temptation [but deliver us from evil] (Matt. 6:13),’ He instructs them in this very precept by putting it into practice Himself, saying ‘Father if it be possible, let this cup pass away from Me (Matt. 26:39).’ Thus teaching all the saints not to plunge into dangers, not to fling themselves into danger… not to rush forwards themselves, or to be the first to advance against terrors. Why pray this way? Both to teach us lowliness of mind, and also to deliver us from the charge of vainglory. On this account it is also said in this passage that… after He had prayed He said to His disciples ‘Could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation.’ Jesus not only prays but also admonishes, ‘For the spirit indeed is willing,’ He said, ‘but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41, Mark 14:38).’

“Now this He said by way of emptying their soul of vanity and delivering them from pride, teaching them self-restraint, training them to practice moderation. Therefore, the prayer which He wished to teach them, He Himself also offered… instructing us to pray, and even to seek deliverance from distress; but, if this be not permitted, then to acquiesce in what seems good to God. Therefore He said ‘Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt (Matt. 26:39);’ not because He had one will and the Father another; but again, that He might instruct men…

“By means of this prayer, Christ taught both these truths, that we should not plunge into dangers, but rather pray that we may not fall into them; but if they come upon us we should bear them bravely, and postpone our own will to the will of God. Knowing these things then let us pray that we may never enter into temptation; but if we do enter it let us beseech God to give us patience and courage, and let us honor His will in preference to every will of our own. For then we shall pass through this present life with safety, and shall obtain the blessings to come: which may we all receive by the favor and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom be to the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, glory, might, honor, now and forever world without end. Amen.”  (St. John Chrysostom (347-407), Excerpts from Against Marcionists and Manichaeans)

Christ Jesus and His Church

The Archbishops and Bishops of the United States in Conference assembled, to their Clergy and faithful people — Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Venerable Brethren of the Clergy,
Beloved Children of the Laity:

“One true reform the world has known. It was effected, not by force, agitation or theory, but by a Life in which the perfect ideal was visibly realized, becoming the light of men (John 1:4)*. That light has not grown dim with the passing of time. Men have turned their eyes away from it; even His followers have strayed from its pathway; but the truth and the life of Jesus Christ are real and clear today for all who are willing to see. There is no other name under heaven whereby the world can be saved (Acts 4:12).

“Through the Gospel of Jesus and His living example, mankind learned the meaning, and received the blessing of liberty. In His person was shown the excellence and true dignity of human nature, in which human rights have their center. In His dealings with men, justice and mercy, sympathy and courage, pity for weakness and rebuke for hollow pretence, were perfectly blended. Having fulfilled the law, He gave to His followers a new commandment (John 13:34). Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (John 13:1). And since He came that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10), He gave it to them through His death.

“The Church which Christ established has continued His work, upholding the dignity of man, defending the rights of the people, relieving distress, consecrating sacrifice and binding all classes together in the love of their Savior. The combination of authority and reasonable freedom which is the principal element in the organization of the Church, is also indispensable in our social relations. Without it, there can be neither order nor law nor genuine freedom.

“But the Church itself would have been powerless save for the abiding presence of Christ and His Spirit. “Without Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5)“; and, “Behold, I am with you always (Matt. 28:20).” Both these sayings are as true today as when they were spoken by the Master. There may be philosophies and ideals and schemes of reform; the wise may deliberate and the powerful exert their might; but when the souls of men have to be reached and transformed to a better sense, that justice may reign and charity abound, then more than ever is it true that without Christ our efforts are vain.” (A letter from the U.S. Bishops assembled in conference, September, 1919. )

* Scripture references added from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE), © 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America. Published by Thomas Nelson for Scepter, Princeton, NJ.

Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me: The Way, and the Truth, and the Life

 I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father…(from the Nicene Creed)

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“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
Christ Taking Leave of the ApostlesPhilip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves (John 14:1-11).”

The Sacred Heart of Jesus ~ an Inexhaustible Fountain

6/7/13 Solemnity ~ The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of JesusSt. Margaret Mary Alacoque: “The sacred heart of Christ is an inexhaustible fountain and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble so as to free them and prepare them to lead lives according to His good pleasure. From this divine heart three streams flow endlessly. The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts sentiments of contrition and repentance. The second is the stream of charity which helps all in need and especially aids those seeking perfection in order to find the means of surmounting their difficulties. From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of His friends who have attained perfection; these He wishes to unite to Himself so that they may share His knowledge and commandments and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing His glory. This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, into which the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need. Are you making no progress in prayer? Then you need only offer God the prayers which the Savior has poured out for us in the Sacrament of the altar. Offer God His fervent love in reparation for your sluggishness. In the course of every activity pray as follows: “My God, I do this or I endure that in the heart of Your Son and according to His holy counsels. I offer it to You in reparation for anything blameworthy or imperfect in my actions.” Continue to do this in every circumstance of life. But above all preserve peace of heart. This is more valuable than any treasure. In order to preserve it there is nothing more useful than renouncing your own will and substituting for it the will of the Divine Heart. In this way His will can carry out for us whatever contributes to His glory, and we will be happy to be His subjects and to trust entirely in Him.” (From a letter by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque)

Ecumenism is NOT, by John Paul II

John Paul II“…the Decree on Ecumenism mentions the way of formulating doctrine as one of the elements of a continuing reform. Here it is not…

✝ altering the deposit of faith,
✝ changing the meaning of dogmas,
✝ eliminating essential words from them,
✝ accommodating truth to the preferences of a particular age,
✝ or suppressing certain articles of the Creed under the false pretext that they are no longer understood today.

The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety.

✝ In matters of faith, compromise is in contradiction with God who is Truth.
✝ In the Body of Christ, “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), who could consider legitimate a reconciliation brought about at the expense of the truth?”

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On Commitment to Ecumenism
Blessed John Paul II, May 24, 1995
READ THE FULL CHAPTER

“A “being together” which betrayed the truth would thus be opposed both to the nature of God who offers His communion and to the need for truth found in the depths of every human heart.” John Paul II

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