Thursday, November 19, 2015

Plan Out A New Life in Christ

The following comes from the Catholic Exchange:

As a result of Original Sin we all experience disorder in our lives. Emotional disorders, dysfunctional families or family disorder, mental disorder, social disorders, economic disorders, personal disorders, work disorders, and finally the most serious of all disorders are moral and spiritual disorders which springs from Original Sin and personal or actual sin.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises invites us through prayer, meditation, contemplation and Examination of Conscience to work on overcoming the disorder in our life so as to know God’s will and to carry it out faithfully. This will give us great peace of heart, mind, and soul. For this reason the Augustinian definition for peace hits the mark:  “Peace is the tranquility of order.” That is to say a prerequisite for peace is interior and even exterior order—a well-ordered life.
The Holy Spirit, being the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, is a God of order. He wants to help us to order our lives. Now is the time! When Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico Dec. 12th, 1531, she told him to climb the hill and to cut and gather the roses and then to put them in his tilma. Obedient to her, she beckoned Juan Diego to come close to her and with her own hands she ordered the roses that were simply cast in a disarrayed fashion in his tilma. Devotion and prayer to Our Lady can be a sure and efficacious means to overcoming the moral disorders in our lives and experiencing a deep peace of soul.
This presentation will suggest ten specific areas in our personal, family and professional life that we can examine closely and honestly and see if we can make some modification so as to order and improve our lives.  If done well and offered as a gift in prayer to Jesus through the hands of Mary, this plan can be a powerful motivation to grow in our spiritual lives and pursue a pathway that leads to sanctity. Jesus commands us: “Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy.”
These then will be ten areas in our lives that we can look at, examine and see what we can do to improve, so as to order the disordered and thereby achieve true peace of heart, mind and soul.
1. “It is necessary to pray always without giving up,” (Lk. 18:1). Examine your prayer life with objectivity. Now, it’s a good time to write down at least one concrete way that you can improve your prayer life after each point.
2. “Unless you do penance you will perish,” (Lk. 13: 5).  For an eagle to soar to the heights of the highest mountains, he must have two strong and health wings. For a follower of Jesus to be faithful he needs the two wings: prayer and penance, which will give power, patience, perseverance and ultimate peace of presence in a painfully morally poor planet!
3. “Be reconciled to God,” (II Cor. 5:20). Confession! We are all sinners and have fallen short of the honor and glory of God. Thanks be to God that Jesus instituted a Sacrament in which we can always filled with hope start again—that is the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation. Make better confessions and work on a better preparation.
4. “I am the Bread of life. Whoever eats the bread I give will have everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day,” (Jn. 6: 22- 71—The  Bread of Life discourse). Make better Holy Communions. Starting now, receive Holy Communion as if it were your first, last, only and on which you will be judged for all eternity.
5. “Love one another as I have loved you,”(Jn. 13:34).  Rewind the film on your social relations. Maybe some relations are harmful more than they are helpful. Get the axe and cut. Sometimes better to sever rather than cultivate.  True friends should help us to get closer to God.
6. “Be slow to quick to listen and slow to speak.” (Read entire chapter of James 3) The saints teach us this principal with respect to speech, speak on three occasions:
  • 1) to praise God
  • 2) to accuse yourself (of your own shortcomings)
  • 3) to edify your neighbor—using words to build up rather than tear down
7. “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before men so that by seeing your works they may give glory to your Father who is in heaven,” (Mt 5: 13-16—Sermon on the Mount). Permanent Formation.  It is incumbent upon all followers of Christ, who is the Light of the world, to work assiduously and constantly on their own permanent formation in the faith.  The more we fill ourselves with the knowledge and love of Christ the more we can give to others.

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