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Monday, April 16, 2018

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Looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 St. Paul

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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Dear brothers and sisters, I pray God may open your eyes and let you see what hidden treasures he bestows on us in the trials from which the world thinks only to flee. Shame turns into honor when we seek God's glory. Present affliction become the source of heavenly glory. To those who suffer wounds in fighting his battles God opens his arms in loving, tender friendship. That is why he (Christ) tells us that if we want to join him, we shall travel the way he took. It is surely not right that the Son of God should go his way on the path of shame while the sons of men walk the way of worldly honor: "The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant greater than his master."
--from a letter by Saint John of Avila

Thursday, April 5, 2018

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Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: "Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven."

When I heard these words, a strong force came upon me and seemed to place me in the middle of a street, so that I might say in a loud voice to people of every age, sex and status: "Hear, O people; hear, O nations. I am warning you about the commandment of Christ by using words that came from his own lips: We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions. We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul."

"If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men."

--from the writings of Saint Rose of Lima

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

36.  To say frequently to yourself, I have come to the convent, not to indulge in pleasure, but to suffer; not to lead a life of comfort, but of poverty; not to be honored, but to be despised; not to do my own will, but the will of others.

37.  To renew always the purpose to become a saint, and not to lose courage in any state of tepidity in which you may find yourself.

38.  To renew every day the vows of your profession.

39.  To conform to the divine will in all things opposed to the senses, in sorrows, infirmities, affronts, contradictions, losses of property, death of relatives or of other persons that are dear to you.  And to direct all your actions, Communions, and other prayers to that end, always asking of God to make you love him, and fulfil His holy will in all things.

40.  To recommend yourself to the prayers of other devout persons; but to recommend yourself more to the saints in heaven, and particularly to the Blessed Virgin, setting a great value on the devotion to this divine mother, and endeavoring to infuse it into others.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

31.  To offer to God the affronts that you receive, and not to complain of them to others.

32.  To observe punctually the rules of the monastery.  St. Francis de Sales used to say that the most austere penance of a religious is to deny self-will, and to be content that the observance of the Rule be the priest that every moment offers such a sacrifice to God.  He would frequently say that the predestination of religious is annexed to the love of their Rule.  And to Superiors he used to say, that to fulfil their office they should do nothing else than observe the Rule, and see that it be observed by others.

33.  To regard the Superiors as the person of Jesus Christ, and therefore to obey them punctually and without reply.

34.  To love the most lowly offices.  To select the poorest things.  To humble yourself even to inferior sisters.  Not to speak of yourself either well or ill:  for speaking ill of yourself sometimes foments pride.  Not to excuse yourself when reproved, nor even when you are calumniated, unless it is absolutely necessary to excuse yourself in order to prevent scandal to others.

35.  To visit the sick, and to assist them according to the best of your ability, particularly those that are abandoned.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

26.  When you are disturbed, you will do well to remain silent until the mind is composed; otherwise you will commit a thousand faults without perceiving them.

27.  In correcting others, endeavor to select a time when neither you nor the person to be corrected are disturbed; otherwise the correction will do more harm than good.

28.  Always to speak well of others, and to excuse the intention when you cannot excuse the action.

29.  To assist others to the best of your ability, and particularly those that are opposed to you.

30.  Neither to say nor to do anything disagreeable to others, unless when it is more pleasing to God that you should say or do it.  And when you sometimes fail in charity to your neighbor; to ask pardon, or at least to speak to the person with kindness; and always to speak with meekness, and in a low tone.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

20.  To banish melancholy, preserving tranquility, and a uniform serenity of countenance in all crosses.  He that wishes what God wishes should never be afflicted.

21.  In temptations, to have recourse immediately and with confidence to Jesus and Mary, and to continue constantly to repeat the names of Jesus and Mary as long as the temptation lasts.

22.  To place all your confidence, first, in the Passion of Christ, and then in the intercession of Mary, and to ask every day this confidence from God.

23.  After a fault, never to give way to disturbance of mind or to diffidence, even though you should relapse several times into the same fault; but instantly to repent of it, and trusting in God, to renew your resolution to correct it.

24.  To render good to all those that treat you badly, at least by praying to God for them.

25.  To answer with meekness all those that offend you by acts or words, and thus to gain them to God.