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'Intoduction to The Devout Life'; St Francis De Sales

Discussion in 'Books, movies, links, websites.' started by padraig, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. AED

    AED Powers

    I agree. I too made that discovery. She felt a deep compassion for atheists because she understood the darkness and persuasiveness of unbelief. She fought it every single day--not exactly Mother Terrsa but I would say of a similarity. It was an immense darkness that lasted right to the end. I believe I read that it lifted for her right before the end. Reparation of a very Christ like power. Absolute abandonment to Christ with NO consolation. A giant of a saint and one of immense compassion I believe for those who struggle in our grave darkness these days.
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  2. AED

    AED Powers

    I should add that there is a wonderful book called Therese and Maurice--a collection of letters between St Therese and a young missionary priest named Maurice. So worth reading her letters!!
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  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I didn't know this, thanks.

    Another good book is Last Conversations of St Therese.


    Also on DVD


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  4. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels

    Padraig, Et al
    Your thoughts on having/finding a spiritual guide? I have started the Devout life,... and currently on the Ninth Meditation. I think it would be prudent to find a guide but at the same time I am a little unsure if I can find one in the current atmosphere.
    I have been praying about it, and I know I need to act but where to look is the question,...
    Maybe I need to have more faith?
    I took the following quotes from Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P
    Notice the 1st quote and how far we have come to the point of having to discern everything that is coming from the highest leaders of the Church on down? I know we need direction but it is quite scary at the same time:notworthy:


    Though it is not an absolutely necessary means for the sanctification of, souls, direction is the normal means of spiritual progress. In constituting the Church, Christ willed that the faithful should be sanctified by submission to the pope and the bishops with respect to external jurisdiction, and in matters of conscience to confessors, who point out the means needed in order not to fall back into sin and to make progress in virtue.

    Pope Leo XIII, (1) following Cassian and St. Francis de Sales, recalls on this subject the fact that St. Paul himself received a guide from the Lord. When Paul was converted, Jesus did not at once reveal His designs to him, but sent him to Ananias at Damascus to learn what he should do.(2)

    St. Basil says: "Employ all diligence and use the greatest circumspection in finding a man who may serve you as a very sure guide in the work of leading a holy life which you wish to undertake. Choose one who knows how to show souls of good will the straight road toward God." (3) He says elsewhere: "To believe that one does not need counsel is great pride." (4)
    om the
    St. Jerome writes to Rusticus: "Do not be your own master and do not set out upon a way that is entirely new for you without a guide; otherwise you will soon go astray." St. Augustine also says: "As a blind man cannot follow the good road without a leader, no one can walk without a guide." (5) No one is a good judge in his own cause by reason of secret pride which may make him deviate from the right path.

    More here; http://www.christianperfection.info/tta29.php#bk1
  5. padraig

    padraig New Member

    St Teresa of Avila had the very greatest difficulty finding a Spiritual Director, I couldn't help noticing St Faustina had the same difficulty. Though not as bad.

    St Teresa is very commmon sensed and down to Earth and a Doctor of the Church, she recommends keep trying until you find the one who suits and then stick with him. I suppose it is a bit like trying on clothes until you get the right fit. But once you do get the right fit obey the guy implicitly with total obedience. Just make sure it is the right fit first though.

    Its true Modernism is endemic. Avoid Liberal/ Modernists as you would the devil himself. If they are like this it will soon become apparent.

    For instance Modernists hate the mystical /supernatural, they often don;t believe in Christ's miracles or any Marian apparitions. . Their teaching on sexual issues will be crazy and so on. Their Liturgical practises will be just awful, they will avoid the rosary...and on and on and on....

    But there is an old Eastern saying which I love,

    'When the Disciple is ready the Master appears'.

    God won't let you down there are very saintly and good, wise priests everywhere. I see them every day. But it may be a hunt.

    If I was seeking I would try the Religious Orders. They are better trained for; but be careful for some reason the Religious Orders are heavily tainted, a for instance the Jesuits.
    If you come up zilch so far it is always good to go to the same good holy Priest for confession and get to know him and he, you.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  6. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Some people call her the Atheist's saint, which is cool.
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  7. padraig

    padraig New Member

    St Tereasa of Avila also said that if she had choice between a wise and learned Spiritual Father and and a Holy one she would pick the learned one. This is a bit surprising a bit at first but think you think about it , it is very sensible. The spiritual director at times is there to guide us through real minefields of choices and on such occasions learned thoughts are much more needed than kind ones.

    Ideally though better if they are both Learned and Holy. St Francis De Sales and St John of the Cross are good examples .

    On the other hand again the lives of the saints are littered with the names of saints who were superb directors and were despised by the world for their lack of learning. St Padre Pio, the Cure of Ars, St Leopold Manic, Blessed Solanus Casey and so... God raising up the weak to shame the wise of this world.

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  8. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I would say that perhaps one of the biggest signs of a good Spiritual Director is that she or he is meant for you. That you are both singing from the same spiritual hymn book, that you are, in the same choir, that you have a spiritual affinity.

    A good example in this is your Angel Guardian who is after the Holy Spirit Himself your very own guide and Director given you by God to Protect, to Lead and to Guide you.

    The mystics say that this angel is specially given to you by God, before you are even born. He is destined to be with you forever if you be saved in the very same Choir in Heaven, in the very same seat so close to you he is. We must always listen to his constant words of Guidance and Instruction.


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  9. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Chapter Five.

    Here St Francis talks of the beginning of what Mystical Theologians call the Purgative Way, the turning away from sin. He very beautifully describes it as being like the Dawn in that it comes in stages and does not happen all at once.

    For myself it began pretty quick. :):) I gave up my old friends, I turned my back on politics and the war. Mine was a sudden conversion so I turned pretty quick. It was not so much a Dawn as a nuclear blast. :D:D One minute not believing in God the next praying my head off. Talking too Our Lady will do this to you. It reminds me of St Paul when he entered Damascus blind. He lost everything and found it all at the same time.

    But generally speaking as St Francis says conversion is a life long enterprise. Slow but certain if we cling to grace.

  10. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think as far as sin is concerned as the Book of Sirach says, 'The just man falls several times a day'.

    But when you read the lives of Saints like Gemma Galgani, Padre Pio or St Francis of Rome is concerned I sometimes read them complaining of faults that I find hard to even recognise:):) They are at such a stage of sanctification that they can see things , their conscience is so healthy, that they rest of us would not even recognise. St Francis of Rome , for instance could see her Guardian Angel non stop and on at least one occasion actually hit her hard for a fault. I think the fault was she was not paying enough attention to a scripture. If my Guardian Angel had been given such power he would be beating me to death with a baseball bat.:)


  11. padraig

    padraig New Member

    But I believe what St Francis is particularly talking about here in terms of Purification is Mortal Sin, the sin which St James talks of in scripture as the sin which leads to Death of the Soul.


    The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides:

    [1855] Mortal Sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God… by preferring an inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, though it offends and wounds it.
    [1861] Mortal sin… results in… the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell…
    [1862] One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or complete consent.
    [1863] Venial sin weakens charity… and… merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However, venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace, it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently, eternal happiness.”


    The biblical reality of mortal sin
    The bible clearly teaches the reality of mortal sin and the possible loss of salvation . . .

    [​IMG]The Bible describes sins that are mortal (or “unto death”) and those that are not mortal, which we commonly call venial (see 1 Jn 5:16-17).

    Christians are capable of committing mortal sins, thereby rejecting the gift of eternal life, a gift that cannot be taken for granted. However, Christians who choose to persevere in faithfulness — and seek reconciliation through the sacrament of Confession should they sin — may be confident in God’s infinite mercy and his fidelity to his promises.

    There are two closely related questions here. First, is it possible for a Christian to lose sanctifying grace (i.e., his salvation) by committing a serious sin? Second, if it’s possible for a Christian to commit such a sin, does this mean that our salvation is in jeopardy?

    We must begin by realizing that at the heart of Jesus Christ’s mission was the proclamation of good news — God’s mercy to sinners. The angel announced to St. Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21).

    God’s mercy is greater than our sins. In the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, we discover the utter delight our Heavenly Father takes in showering his mercy on those who turn to him for forgiveness. Christians are called not only to experience reconciliation with God, but to be ambassadors of reconciliation to the world.

    The fact that Christians may choose to sever their relationship with God through mortal sin demonstrates that in making us his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, God leaves intact our free will and thus our ability to turn away from him. However, he is waiting to embrace each prodigal son and daughter who turn back to him. The possibility of mortal sin, then, should not be a cause for undue anxiety or worry.

    The Bible makes a clear distinction between mortal and venial sin: “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and He will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly” (1 Jn 5:16-17).

    Mortal sin is called “mortal” because it “kills” the life of grace in a Christian. Saint James speaks of saving a brother from mortal sin (Jas 5:19-20) and St. Paul notes that there are sins which, if unrepented, will prevent a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.

    Some people teach the idea “once saved, always saved.” They claim that once a person has received Jesus, he can never lose his salvation. After all, since salvation can’t be earned (see Eph 2:8-9), how can it be lost? The Bible clearly teaches the reality of mortal sin and the need for repentance, endurance, and perseverance — remaining in God’s grace and not committing mortal sin — in the life of a Christian.

    This column is reprinted with permission from “Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions, Vol. 1,” by Leon J. Suprenant Jr. and Philip C.L. Gray (Emmaus Road Publishing, emmausroad.org, 1999).

    Catechism 101

    Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture, became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.

    Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us — that is, charity — necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of Reconciliation.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1854, 1856

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think one of the difficulties often for Catholics,especially newly converted ones is that they confuse Venial for Mortal sins.

    Now consider the case of two gentleman who are supposed to have converted. One of them is a Professional Bank robber and the other has a mistress. Both of them have , 'Converted' and go to confession. However after their confession one sees a nice fat bank ripe for the picking and goes for it, while the other gentleman starts missing his mistress and heads back to be with her.

    Well the question then arises how serious was the conversion in the first place.

    But imagine the Bank Robber kept going back to confession and just kept on robbing banks.

    Or again imagine the other guy kept on going to confession but kept on heading right back to his mistress.

    Clearly this is a nonsense. A real conversion means a turning away from grave sin. Padre Pio picked up on this very well in his own role as confessor in the sacrament and if he saw there was no real conversion would not give absolution.

    What a pity more priests do not do this.

    But what leads to a real confusion is that Catholics often think a Venial sin is Mortal and that a Mortal sin is Venial.



    Missing Holy Mass

    In about 1950, a young doctor went to confess to Padre Pio. He confessed his sins and then he remained silent. Padre Pio asked the young doctor if he had other things to add but the doctor answered he had nothing else. Then Padre Pio told the doctor: "Keep in mind that on holy days you cannot miss Mass, because this is a mortal sin". Suddenly the doctor remembered he had "jumped" Mass with a Sunday appointment, a few months before.


    One day, Padre Pellegrino asked Padre Pio: "Father, this morning you denied absolution to a lady who confessed to an abortion. Why have you been so rigorous with this poor unfortunate? ".

    Padre Pio said: "The day, in which people, frightened by the economic boom, from physical damages or from economic sacrifices, will lose the horror of the abortion, it will be the most terrible day for humanity. Abortion is not only homicide but also suicide. And with these people we see on the point of committing two crimes…do we want to show our faith? Do we want to save them? "

    "Why suicide?” Padre Pellegrino asked.

    "You would understand this suicide of the human race, if with the eye of reason, you could see the Heart populated by old men and depopulated by children: burnt as a desert.”

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  13. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels

    I have a friend I have known for many years, whom I think I must give up,... she is one of my very few friends,...
    But she is in an adulteress relationship I cannot condone:(
    Her conscience has convicted her recently and she broke off with this man who cannot and wishes not to marry her :barefoot:
    She had told me that she did not want to be "the woman at the well"
    But alas, she is back with him and I don't know how I can be in her company and pretend that all is well:cautious:
    I will pray for her and I ask you all to pray for her too
    She is a very attractive woman and can do much better but she stumbles so many times when it comes to the things of the world,...
    I know she loves me as a friend, but she needs to know the love of God first
    This will be hard for me to let go, but I fear for her soul
    So please say a little prayer for me also
    Thank you
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  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    It is so hard to know what to do one time. My sister is a widow and lives with a man previously married. My father stopped speaking to her and when I asked him about this he said it was not because he was angry but because he wanted to save her soul and was trying to shock her into a new course.

    I do not have much to do with her now. This has caused much heart searching on my part. A nun said to me one time when I spoke to her about this and said,

    'You do not change people by not talking to them'.

    This impressed me quite a lot. But on reflection I think this. Oil and water do not mix. Some people take one road and others another. There is a mystical reality to this. I think it is difficult to walk a road with someone who is going in another direction.

    When I lost all my friends it was not simpyl a matter of choice it was a recognition that they were in a place were I am not. It is hard to put into words.

    I know this seems very hard but if you look in the New Testament in the Epistles you can see this put into effect. People who go away from Christ are put out of the community of believers. This sounds harsh but it simply recognises a mystical reality.

    I know this forinstance in work. Very ,very few of them follow Christ, perhaps one or two. I get on well with them all, but it is as though we occupy different planets. I know this and I think at some level they know this too.

    This is not to give up hope. My sister who died a few years back was a New Age Teacher. Our Lady promised me all my family would be saved because of the Rosary. For the first time last night I dreamy off her smiling down on me and know she is in heaven now. I have seen all my family now who died and all have gotten to heaven.

    But while alive if they were far from Christ there was always this distance; this gulf. It cannot be otherwise. Either you are a believer or you are not a believer.

    This is totally at odds with what Modern Catholics go along with. I can only say in my own spiritual life I have found it to be true, Either you pray and go to heaven or you do not pray and walk the road to hell. In between only the Mercy of God can save poor souls from the abysss.

    This is what Our Lady meant by the Fatima prayer.

  15. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I know most people believe these days that most or all souls will go to heaven. But I think this is very,very,very far from the truth. It is certainly not what the saints taught.

    We must pray very much for poor sinners

  16. AED

    AED Powers

    I have struggled with this with my family and my friends. I have given up many friends not because I don’t like them but they live on a different planet. They eat sleep think politics—leftist politics. I can’t engage with them any more. When you said it is hard to walk with someone when you are walking in different directions I thought”Yes! Exactly.” It breaks my heart where my loved ones are concerned. I trust Our Lady and I pray. But my circle of friends has dwindled to a few seriously devout Catholics. I am SO grateful for them. But I feel sad to drift from so many old friends.
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  17. padraig

    padraig New Member

    It is a mystery; perhaps we are experiencing now in the Flesh what will happen in Eternity. It is a billion miles from what a Modern like Bishop Barron might suggest that there is no such place as hell. But we have only to look around us; hell begins right here for folks that have no God in their lives, we can see this all around us. There is no happiness, no joy without God. It is all just meaningless nonsense. We were meant for love.
  18. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think one of the things that seperates people who choose the Path to Hell from those who choose Eternal Life is a hunger for God , or a lack of it.

    But for those who choose God this Hunger can show itself in many forms. Sometimes by running away from God we show this very hunger. St Augustine was a good example of this as was Mary Magdalene. There can be a frenetic crazy period in our lives when we seek God in other things. Which is maybe we should be slow to judge others or write a bottom line account on their souls.

    I feel sorry most of all who loose God in very small things, like say watching pornography on the web, or spending endless hours watching day time TV shows. What a very small sad way to go to hell. It I have to have sinners give me big ones who take a big bad bite out of life.

    I think Jesus was pointing to this when He said He preferred people to be hot or cold but the lukewarm , that the luke warm He would spit out of His mouth.

    Better to have a hunger . A real biting hunger about something, either for the things of this World or the things of the next rather than to kind of nibble our way to hell.
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  19. padraig

    padraig New Member

  20. padraig

    padraig New Member

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