Patience: A Lenten Reflection by an Oblate

img_03905An excellent reflection on a characteristic virtue of St. Francis de Sales much in need in our world today, patience, written by Father William Nessel, OSFS:


Visatandine Lent Week 3

SR ChambonThis week’s meditation takes the form of the Chaplet of the Holy Wounds, a devotional that Our Lord encouraged Sister Mary Martha Chambon VHM, a mystic of the Order, to say and share.

On a certain Sunday in Lent,  her Beloved Lord came to her and said,” I’ll give you an occupation: thou shalt offer thy sufferings in union with the divine for the Souls in Purgatory.”

Offer it me often to win sinners,” encouraged the good Master.
Chaplet of the Holy Wounds

To be said on the Crucifix and the first three beads of an ordinary Rosary:

O Jesus, Divine Redeemer, be merciful to us and to the whole world. Amen.Mighty God, holy God, immortal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.Grace and mercy, O my Jesus, during present dangers; cover us with Your Precious Blood. Amen.

Eternal Father, grant us mercy through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Your only Son; grant us mercy, we beseech You.  Amen, Amen, Amen.

 The following prayers, composed by Our Lord, are to be said using the Rosary beads. On the large beads:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the wounds of our souls.

On the small beads:

My Jesus, pardon and mercy, through the merits of Your Holy Wounds.

Sun Chat Mar 8: Christian Perfection& Devotion

Christian Perfection Challenges Us





The Shroud of Turin
On Sunday we will chat about devotion.
The Ten Commandments served two purposes in the lives of the Israelites: they reminded them of the experience of slavery in the past at the hands of the Egyptians and they offered precepts for avoiding in the future the slavery of sin in all its forms.
Jesus brought us a New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” While not “abolishing the Law and the prophets,” Jesus’ command to love one another makes it very clear that simply keeping the Ten Commandments alone does not meet the standard that Jesus established. In fact, Jesus frequently criticized the Scribes and Pharisees for burdening others with a slavish interpretation of the Law of Moses.
Francis de Sales certainly understood that while we must observe the commandments and counsels of God without exception, observing the commandments and counsels of God without exception is not enough for those who wish to follow the example of Jesus.
We are called to lead lives of devotion.
Francis explained: “Devotion is that spiritual agility and vivacity that enables us to do what is right and good with alacrity and affection.” Christian perfection challenges us to follow the commandments and counsels of God in ways that promote “a cheerfulness and alacrity in the performance of charitable actions.”
In short, it is the cheerful, enthusiastic and life-giving manner in which we do what is good that enables us to “fulfill the law and the prophets” and to make real in the lives of others the New Commandment, to “love one another.”
Many people “give up” things during Lent. What a perfect time to free ourselves from the slavery of minimalism! What a perfect time to give up those affections and attitudes that prevent us from doing what is right and good in ways that are positive, cheerful and enthusiastic! What a perfect time to recommit ourselves to embracing the freedom of the sons and daughters of God by living – each and every day – Christ’s New Law of Love.
Be holy. Be healthy. And while you are doing that, for God’s sake (as well as for your own sake and for the sake of others) be happy, too!
We’ll be talking about leading a life of devotion during our chat session on Sunday. Here are some questions that will guide our reflection:
  1. Last week we asked about the accusation of Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners, and His response was: “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13).  How might this connect with our current reflection on devotion?
  2. It is Catholic teaching that we are saved by faith and works (see James 2:14-26).  However, this reflection shows us that our works are supposed to be more than a mere legalistic adherence to rules.  Therefore, what does this mean (as stated above) that a strict observance of law “is not enough for those who wish to follow the example of Jesus”?  What is “enough”?  Is there a threshold that God looks for, a scale by which God measures our eternal destiny?
  3. Often you might hear someone speak of salvation in Jesus as a gift freely given without any “works” on our part, that all we must do is accept Jesus in faith and we are guaranteed salvation.  However, what we see here is a demand greater than mere “works.” How might we share with someone that this Catholic attitude is not a matter of “earning salvation”?
  4. In connection with the previous question, how do we nevertheless connect the realities that salvation is a free gift from God (see Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 2:16) and yet something we are supposed to merit through good works and love (see James 2:14-26; Galatians 5:6)?
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