January 13, 2015

 Isaiah, Chapter 29, verse 13-14:
13 The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And fear of me has become mere precept of human teaching, 14Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion: The wisdom of the wise shall perish, the prudence of the prudent shall vanish.

This verse deals with spiritual blindness and perversity of the Israeli Leaders.  The Israelis' failed to apply the standards of God’s covenant in their military and political plans.  They failed to pray and offer to God their concerns and because of their unbelief they merely made a show of their piety.  They rejected the advice of their prophet’s.

Nothing ever changes.  The key to living a life fearlessly is to have our hearts close to God’s. When we do this we will soon discover that the mind is designed to implement your heart’s desire.  Is your heart at peace?  What are the desires of your heart?  What should the desires of our hearts be?  The old Baltimore catechism states that our purpose and our desires should be to know, love and serve the Lord.

According to paragraph 1718 of Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it:  We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated. How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you. God alone satisfies.

When our desires are not on God we become spiritually ill.  Christ implemented the sacrament of reconciliation to heal our hearts.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently commented that without daily prayer, regular participation in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily contact with God’s Word, and a “spirituality translated into charity,” we may die spiritually.
  
Pope Francis went on to list 15 spiritual “sicknesses” that are “more usual” in “our life”.
The 15 include not being self-critical and thinking oneself indispensable, “Martha-ism” (excessive Martha-like busyness), hardheartedness, excessive planning, failing to work with others, “spiritual Alzheimer’s” (forgetting one’s spiritual journey), and rivalry and vainglory.

Other spiritual sicknesses, the Pope added, include existential “schizophrenia” (living a double life that is “often dissolute”), gossip, careerism and flattering superiors, indifference to others, a severe “funeral face” (rather than self-deprecating good humor), the “disease of closed circles,” and “worldly profit, exhibitionism” (through “calumniating, defaming, and discrediting others,” even in the media “in the name of justice and transparency”).

These temptations, he continued, are a danger to every Christian and every community.[1]

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