Chatting about: The Spiritual Condition

If the soul is the higher part of our being (above the body), why do you think it is so easy for us give into the desire for things instead of desiring and seeking holiness to that degree?
How often do you ponder the eternal perspective? Meaning, how often are you actions, thoughts, and words done with eternity in mind? Where in your life could you use some eternal perspective?
How can we find the balance of detesting the sin in others without being judgment or “high and mighty”?

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Judy (Guest): I think that the crucifix is a good reminder of eternity. Seeing the image of Jesus hanging on the cross, dying for the salvation and entrance into eternity of all people, should remind us of eternity.

Oct 15, 7:42 PM

SrSusan (Guest): With all the sad news of disasters it is not hard to think of eternity!

Oct 15, 7:43 PM

Lisa C: I do not think about eternity so much, I think about God now

Oct 15, 7:43 PM

Lisa C: Eternity will take care of itself

Oct 15, 7:43 PM

SrSusan (Guest): God is eternal and infinite

Oct 15, 7:44 PM

Judy (Guest): I think of eternity in the sense that I am eagerly awaiting the day when I see the face of the Lord in person.

Dawn (Guest): I think of, visualize I guess, seeing Him

Oct 15, 7:45 PM

Lisa C: Pray for the soul of the person Dawn

Oct 15, 7:46 PM

Lisa C: Please pray for Margaret, she has psoriatic arthritis

Oct 15, 7:47 PM

Ruth (Guest): I have a skull near my crucifix.

Oct 15, 7:47 PM

Ruth (Guest): Same reason.

Oct 15, 7:47 PM

SrSusan (Guest): Oh my what is that exactly?

Oct 15, 7:47 PM

Ruth (Guest): It’s not a real one, or even a good cast. But a good reminder.

Oct 15, 7:48 PM

Lisa C: It is an autoimmune arthritis

 

Oct 15, 7:48 PM

Lisa C: The treatments are probably as bad as the condition

Oct 15, 7:49 PM

SrSusan (Guest): WE will pray especially for Margaret. What are the treatments

Oct 15, 7:49 PM

Judy (Guest): Thinking about the first question regarding the higher place of the soul, regardless of the fact that it is higher, we remain forever human beings, subject to concupiscence, and weakness. We have not yet reached perfection, and so we give in to th desire for things. But, hopefully, as we continue along the spiritual path, we should see these desires gradually diminishing and being replaced by the desire for holiness.

Oct 15, 7:49 PM

Lisa C: I thought she had it years about and brought her to a bunch of Rheumatologists who said, no it is not that. Now she was officially diagnosed.

Oct 15, 7:49 PM

Lisa C: Treatments are immunosuppresives

Oct 15, 7:50 PM

Lisa C: Sometimes chemo

Oct 15, 7:51 PM

SrSusan (Guest): The balance between the material world and spiritual world is sometimes askew even in those who pray but at least there is a striggle going on

Oct 15, 7:53 PM

SrSusan (Guest): Well for example say a priest or religious who buys all the latest technology or any o

Oct 15, 7:53 PM

Ruth (Guest): Dawn, earlier someone asked if anyone had a special celebration. And I was not sure I understood the question.

Oct 15, 7:53 PM

Dawn (Guest): thats it Judy. on Saturday a group of us met at a park on main st and prayed the rosary. there was a small statue of Fatima. quite a celebration for these parts!

Oct 15, 7:53 PM

SrSusan (Guest): which may distracrt them from prayer

Oct 15, 7:54 PM

Dawn (Guest): good example Mother, and a real one in the world today

Oct 15, 7:56 PM

Lisa C: Yes, but it also depends how they use the technology. Many Priests and Nuns put spiritual articles on line. Some use it to read Catholic news, etc.

Oct 15, 7:56 PM

SrSusan (Guest): Also in general people do not encourage holiness or even speak of it except in religious circles so the material world seems overwhelmingly present

Oct 15, 7:57 PM

Dawn (Guest): along those lines, with social media there are many good edifying things, but perhaps there is so much it can become a distraction from time for personal prayer

Oct 15, 7:57 PM

Ruth (Guest): On Saturday about twenty or thirty of us gathered around a statue of Mary (moved from the now closed church St. Paul in Bloomingdale to in front of St. Bernard’s School) and prayed the rosary and some other prayers, litanies, etc. It’s right on the edge of the main highway through town. Pedestrians and motorists saw/heard the prayers.

Oct 15, 7:58 PM

Lisa C: The material world is definitely overwhelmingly present for people outside monasteries, but the point is to bring Jesus into it constantly.

Oct 15, 7:58 PM

Judy (Guest): My greatest distraction from prayer is the television. Since I downgraded my Optimum services, there are wonderful old programs like “Little House on the Prairie”, MASH,The Andy Griffith Show” and great quiz shows like “I’ve got a Secret”To Tell the Truth” and “What’s My Line” I tend to get caught up in them. I am making a resolution not to watch TV in the morning and early afternoon, except to check on the weather. That will give me more time for prayer.

Oct 15, 7:58 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): Here we had a Rosary Procession after Mass to the Blessed Mother of Fatima statue, on Friday The 4 Mass attendees joined the Sisters and our assistrant principal

Oct 15, 7:58 PM

Lisa C: I used to tell Margaret every morning to bring Jesus to school with her, because she was not in Catholic school

Oct 15, 7:59 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): Even reading spiritual books can be a distraction if one is supposed to be praying

Oct 15, 8:00 PM

Judy (Guest): But sometimes the books are supplying the grist for prayer.

Oct 15, 8:00 PM

Lisa C: We cannot make the material world go away, it is there, and we have to live in it.

Oct 15, 8:00 PM

Ruth (Guest): My computer almost always gobbles up more time than I would like. But I don’t watch TV – except occasionally on the computer. Good stuff, by choice.

Oct 15, 8:00 PM

Lisa C: We can pray while we work, and help people when we see they need help.

Oct 15, 8:01 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): Simply uniting ourselves with the Lord in every action becomes prayer and a focus

Oct 15, 8:01 PM

Lisa C: Mother, Sr. Margaret Mary always told us that

Oct 15, 8:01 PM

Ruth (Guest): Sometimes with others I feel a bit out of the loop because I am not watching what they are watching. When I taught secondary school I made a point of watching, at least some of the time, all the programs the kids watched, so that I could “speak their language.

Oct 15, 8:01 PM

Lisa C: Every action should be a prayer

Oct 15, 8:01 PM

Dawn (Guest): For me it is helpful to do an occasional fast from all modern tech for a day or two. it quiets my soul and I hear more

Oct 15, 8:02 PM

Judy (Guest): I think that the main question is whether or not we truly desire holiness and are opening ourselves to receive this gift ffom God.

Oct 15, 8:02 PM

Dawn (Guest): yes, thank you Judy!

Oct 15, 8:02 PM

Lisa C: Friday on EWTN they had a rosary procession in celebration of Fatima at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Oct 15, 8:03 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): a low self esteem can lead to an inability to even consider holiness as possible but a great love of God overcomes that

Oct 15, 8:05 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): In school we were always given examples of holiness and lives of saints

Oct 15, 8:06 PM

Dawn (Guest): I do desire holiness, and I believe silence is where we can be with God, in silence. Taking time out of the worldly things and just being quiet, still. I am trying for even 20 30 min a day

Oct 15, 8:07 PM

Judy (Guest): Question 3 asks us how we can identify “unimportant matters” and “unworthy objects. We need to look at them in the light of the Gospel to see if they are leading us closer to the Lord or farther away. For example, certain movies are surely “unworthy objects” because of their salacious content. these can lead us to wander from the path of goodness and holiness, to a downward spiral that could lead to serious sin.

Oct 15, 8:07 PM

Ruth (Guest): Last night I “chatted” through facebook messages with the granddaughter of my friend Mary Ellen Keith, who died recently. The granddaughter is a grown woman who used to post to my website things I would delete. She’s a corrections officer. Even her teenage daughter, a very good student, is a bit embarrassed by her mother’s rough, tough speech. But last night we got kinda’ earnest. She was planning to go shoot a deer to put meat in the freezer. A treestand can be a good place to meditate.

Oct 15, 8:09 PM

Judy (Guest): Did you address the matter of her speech?

Oct 15, 8:11 PM

Judy (Guest): What is a treestand?

Oct 15, 8:11 PM

Ruth (Guest): No Judy, not directly. I didn’t need to. Her daughter, in her presence, sometimes “translates” into more appropriate language. And last night it did not come up. And she stopped sending me the sexually overtoned pictures, etc.

Oct 15, 8:12 PM

Judy (Guest): Good!

Oct 15, 8:13 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): Unworthy objects, yes, can be the way we speak, drawing us away from holiness

Oct 15, 8:13 PM

Ruth (Guest): Oh, it helped that I had learned about tree stands – platforms that are attached to a tall tree as a place to stay and wait for deer to come past, to shoot them. We had to learn about them in my Bow Hunting course. I have a life time Sportsman’s license and a bowhunting certificate, but I’ve never killed any wildlife, except with my car! Deer and one moose!

Oct 15, 8:14 PM

Ruth (Guest): And I cooked a rabbit I hit accidentally.

Oct 15, 8:14 PM

Ruth (Guest): And have skinned and cooked a bear.

Oct 15, 8:14 PM

Dawn (Guest): life in the mountains Ruth!

Oct 15, 8:14 PM

Ruth (Guest): Skinned a bear and cooked some of its meat, that is.

Oct 15, 8:15 PM

Ruth (Guest): Yes, you learn all sorts of things when you get hungry enough!

Oct 15, 8:15 PM

Dawn (Guest): yes!

Oct 15, 8:15 PM

Ruth (Guest): I sure would like to stop having to carry water, though.

Oct 15, 8:16 PM

Dawn (Guest): you do carry water? how far?

Oct 15, 8:16 PM

Ruth (Guest): It was sort of “romantic” at first, even in the snow.

Oct 15, 8:16 PM

Ruth (Guest): Yup!

Oct 15, 8:17 PM

Judy (Guest): Question 4 treats of finding the balance between detesting the sins of others without becoming judgmental. We can do this by recalling our own sinfulness, weakness, and lack of attention to the spiritual life. We must remember, again, that we are human beings and that at any time we are as capable of falling intosin as anyone else. We need to remember the Biblical axiom in Proverbs 29:23,Haughtiness brings humiliation; but the humble of spirit acquire honor.

Oct 15, 8:17 PM

Ruth (Guest): From a public spring to my car and from the car into the house, up a flight of stairs. Not very far, but it IS WORK.

Oct 15, 8:17 PM

Dawn (Guest): living so close to nature offers a wonderful balance to this increasingly secular world

Oct 15, 8:18 PM

Judy (Guest): Often translated “Pride goes before a fall. And the words of Jesus “Remove the plank from your own eye before attempting to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Oct 15, 8:18 PM

Dawn (Guest): Amen

Oct 15, 8:20 PM

Judy (Guest): All of this indicates the necessity of developing true humility in our lives.

Oct 15, 8:21 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): St Francis de Sales always asks us to look for the good in another

Oct 15, 8:21 PM

Dawn (Guest): if we think of understanding our self, gaining self knowledge, this helps. but as I see dysfunction in myself I then see it in another as well, better perhaps

Oct 15, 8:21 PM

Ruth (Guest): St. Thomas Aquinas told his sister that what you have to do to become a saint is DESIRE IT.

Oct 15, 8:22 PM

Dawn (Guest): ...do I see it in myself

Oct 15, 8:23 PM

Ruth (Guest): I DO desire, so much to know the will of God and DO IT, that in the last few years I’ve almost forgotten to pray for good things – even health and a long life; Saturday my confessor told me “Pray for good health and a long life.

Oct 15, 8:24 PM

Ruth (Guest): But I DO waste a LOT of time trying to make order in TOO MANY THINGS. THINGS!

Oct 15, 8:24 PM

Judy (Guest): I think that all of us have a desire for holiness or else we would not be here each week.

Oct 15, 8:24 PM

Ruth (Guest): True, Judy.

Oct 15, 8:25 PM

Dawn (Guest): true. yes

Oct 15, 8:25 PM

Lisa C: We can never give up trying to be more holy

Oct 15, 8:25 PM

Ruth (Guest): And that is at least part of what draws me here every week . YOU! Each of you.

Oct 15, 8:26 PM

Judy (Guest): I just keep trying to remember that holiness is a gift from the Lord and that I can do nothing to acquire it, or merit it, on my own.

Oct 15, 8:26 PM

Lisa C: Maybe the Holy Spirit in us more than us

Oct 15, 8:26 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): He leads us to holiness by LOVE

Oct 15, 8:26 PM

Lisa C: Judy, I think we can cooperate with the gift

Oct 15, 8:27 PM

Judy (Guest): Oh yes, and we need to be open to it.

Oct 15, 8:27 PM

Ruth (Guest): It is a gift, offered to everyone; everyone is called to be holy. But we each have our own path.

Oct 15, 8:27 PM

Lisa C: It is not just God, there is some free will mixed in with grace

Oct 15, 8:28 PM

Lisa C: We do have to make an effort

Oct 15, 8:28 PM

Ruth (Guest): And we CAN cooperate with the Holy Spirit or not. Though even the desire to cooperate is GIFT.

Oct 15, 8:28 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): We keep trying and the Lord accepts our efforts and intention as He fills us with Himself

Oct 15, 8:28 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): I will be in DC next Sun nite- I may or may not get to this chat I will try

Oct 15, 8:29 PM

Sister Susan Marie (Moderator): Have a blessed week Happy and blessed Feast of St Margaret Mary tomorrow and special prayers for Lisa’s Margaret

Oct 15, 8:29 PM

Dawn (Guest): much thankfulness for all of you meeting here. truly a gift

Oct 15, 8:29 PM

Judy (Guest): Remembering that the Lord is the potter and we are the clay, let us place ourselves in the hands of the potter and give Him free reign in molding each of us as He sees fit.

Oct 15, 8:29 PM

Ruth (Guest): Thank you, Sister, for setting this up, and moderating.

Oct 15, 8:30 PM

Lisa C: Please ask all the Sisters to pray

Oct 15, 8:30 PM

Judy (Guest): Thank you, all of you, for enriching my life.

Oct 15, 8:30 PM

Lisa C: God bless

Oct 15, 8:32 PM

Judy (Guest): Have a good trip, Mother.

Oct 15, 8:32 PM

Ruth (Guest): Safe travels!

Oct 15, 8:32 PM

Dawn (Guest): my prayers for all of you and for your intentions. have a safe travel Mother. thank you all <3 Praise be to Jesus. goodnight~

Oct 15, 8:34 PM

Ruth (Guest): Good night, and God bless you!

Assembly Video- St Jane de Chantal’s Cell

FrC in St Jane cell

Our Spiritual Condition- Test It!

Test the passions and ascertain your spiritual condition

 

 

 

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We continue our series with Part V, Chapter 7, “Examination As to the Affectations of the Soul, from An Introduction to the Devout Life. Here Saint Francis continues our examination by considering the things our soul desires.

I have dwelt thus at length on these points, on a due examination of which all true knowledge of our spiritual progress rests; as to an examination of sins, that rather pertains to the confessions of those who are not eager to advance. But it is well to take ourselves to task soberly concerning these different matters, investigating how we have been going on since we made good resolutions concerning them, and what notable faults we have committed. But the summary of all is to examine into our passions; and if you are worried by so detailed an investigation as that already suggested, you may make a briefer inquiry as to what you have been, and how you have acted, in some such manner as this:– In your love of God, your neighbour, and yourself.

In hatred for the sin which is in yourself, for the sin which you find in others, since you ought to desire the extirpation of both; in your desires concerning riches, pleasure, and honour.

In fear of the perils of sin, and of the loss of this world’s goods; we fear the one too much and the other too little.

In hope, fixed overmuch it may be on things of this world and the creature; too little on God and things eternal.

In sadness, whether it be excessive concerning unimportant matters.

In gladness, whether it be excessive concerning unworthy objects.

In short, examine what attachments hinder your spiritual life, what passions engross it, and what chiefly attracts you.

It is by testing the passions of the soul, one by one, that we ascertain our spiritual condition, just as one who plays the lute tries every string, touching those which are discordant, either raising or lowering them. Thus having tried our soul as to love, hate, desire, fear, hope, sadness and joy, if we find our strings out of tune for the melody we wish to raise, which is God’s Glory, we must tune them afresh with the help of His Grace, and the counsel of our spiritual father.

 

Questions to ponder:

  1. If the soul is the higher part of our being (above the body), why do you think it is so easy for us give into the desire for things instead of desiring and seeking holiness to that degree?
  2. How often do you ponder the eternal perspective? Meaning, how often are you actions, thoughts, and words done with eternity in mind? Where in your life could you use some eternal perspective?
  3. How can we find the balance of detesting the sin in others without being judgment or “high and mighty”?