Skip to main content

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sirach, Chapter 21, Verse 11
Those who keep the Law control their thoughts; perfect fear of the Lord is wisdom.

If you have not had much success with your habitual sins and find yourself always confessing the same sins over and over: perhaps this verse will provide a key to real change: those who control their thoughts keep the law; for where the mind goes unchecked the body will follow. The body is a good servant but a poor master.

One of the most remarkable characteristics[1] of all forms of organic life is the power to adapt itself to the circumstances in which it is placed. It will endeavor under the most altered conditions to live, and, in order to live, it will resort to all kinds of contrivances, sometimes effecting such changes in its outward appearance that none but a trained eye could detect its identity. Yet with all these adaptations, it will preserve its identity. Man possesses this power in perhaps a higher degree than any other form of life. He can find his home in any country, in any climate, under an almost infinite variety of conditions. He can live and adapt himself to circumstances involving the most violent contrasts and soon settle down and find the means of making himself at home.

But man has other needs and another life beside that of his physical nature. He is something more than an animal and needs more than food and shelter. For the life of man is above all things a mental life. He can never rid himself of the companions of his mind. He is not the mere creature of his outward circumstances. There are other surroundings that are far more intimate and closer to him than any external things, however nearly they may touch upon him. These things can but touch the surface of his being; his thoughts enter into the sanctuary of his soul. The beast is wholly dependent upon what it finds around it. Man can live a life practically independent of most of these things. In the utmost solitude, he can gather around him a company of his closest and most intimate friends, and in the crowded thoroughfares of life, he can be alone with them. You may tell a man by his friends, but there are no friends so intimate as his thoughts. If you know the companions of his mind, you will know what kind of man he is.

It is not the sufferings or the consolations of life that di­rectly affect character, but the thoughts that men call around them at such times. No external thing can in itself affect the inner life of the soul. Men are material; the soul is spiritual.

Choose which thoughts to listen to

 

We often attribute to such things some moral characteristic, but in themselves they are neither good nor bad. The same things do harm to one person and good to another: suffering has been a curse to some and a blessing to others; poverty has closed the door of Heaven to some, and to others it has been the source of beatitude. The value of these things comes from the thoughts the soul calls around itself when it encounters such things. Some trouble comes into a person’s life, and instantly there gathers around him, through the door opened by that trouble, a crowd of thoughts, anger, rebellion, bitterness, and discontent and, at the same time, thoughts of penitence, acceptance, and the example of our Lord. The outward trouble has thrown open an unseen door into the spiritual world, and in flow this mixed crowd of thoughts, swarming around the soul and clamoring for a hearing. The soul must choose among them all which it will listen to and which it will reject, and by that choice, it rises or falls. One person chooses thoughts that heal, encourage, and strengthen him; another, those that stir him to bitterness and revolt. The morality lies not in the thing but in the person.

The soul must choose, and what it chooses it will probably choose again and again, until that chosen thought gains the right of entrance, and closes the door to all others, and becomes the constant companion of the soul. And in every event, great and small, it enters and takes its place, instructing its pupil as to its meaning, interpreting it, explaining it — its hidden purpose, its power for good or evil — or misrepresenting it and making the good seem evil and the evil good, and gradually becoming master of its whole life, the molder of its character.

Indeed, it is true. These secret and unseen companions of the soul, intangible and volatile as they are, affect our whole view of men and things around us. The hard, substantial facts of life are interpreted by them; they become plastic in their hands, and change their appearance and coloring at their bidding. These phantom forms that rise out of the darkness and return to it again, colorless, impalpable, ethereal, that speak in inarticulate whispers and touch us with ghostly hands, are more real to us than the solid earth and the strong mountains. They can veil the heavens for us and take the brightness out of the sunshine and deepen the shadows at noonday or make the darkest day seem bright. For they come from the same land whence the soul comes; they are of closer kinship than any material thing can be. And it is the mind that sees, not the eye. It is in the light that burns within that all outward things are seen. Amid the pleasant laughter and genial companionship of friends, some thought silently enters, holds up its lantern and casts its pale light around, and, seen in that light, all is suddenly turned to ashes, the voices lose their ring, and the laughter becomes hollow and cheerless. One thought in an instant has changed the whole scene from life to death.

It is thus in the thoughts men choose as their companions on their way through the world that the key to their interpretation of life is to be found. Different men view the same things in different ways. And the same men, in the course of a few years, alter their whole view of life. They have simply changed their companions on the road. Indeed, the breaking with one set of people and the forming ties of friendship with others of a different type is often but the outward evidence and result of a hidden and inward change of the more intimate friendships of the mind.

Drive bad thoughts out with good ones

 

There is a better way: the positive rather than the negative way. Let not your mind be overcome with evil, “but overcome evil with good.” The emptying the mind of evil is not the first step toward filling it with good. It is not a step in that direction at all. If you succeeded in emptying your mind of every undesirable thought, what then? You cannot empty it and then begin to fill it with better thoughts. No, you must empty it of evil by filling it with good. Nature abhors a vacuum. You drive out darkness by filling the room with light. If you wish to fill a glass with water, you do not first expel the air; you expel the air by pouring in water. In the moral life, there is no intermediate state of vacuum possible in which, having driven out the evil; you begin to bring in good. As the good enters, it expels the evil. Therefore, the effort of the soul must be to fill the mind so full of healthy thoughts that there is no room for others — trying not so much not to think of what is evil as to think of what is good. The mind is ever working, never at rest. It will feed upon whatever food is given it. If it is given wholesome food, it will develop and grow strong.

He, therefore, who wishes to overcome any habit of evil thoughts must do so indirectly rather than directly, trying not so much not to indulge in anger as to fill the mind with loving and kindly thoughts, meeting discontent by rejoicing in the will of God, self-consciousness by wrapping himself around in the presence of God — turning as promptly as possible to think of something bracing when he is conscious of the presence or approach of evil.

This, and the constant effort to keep the mind interested and occupied about healthy subjects that it can enjoy without strain or weariness will do much to recover it from the ill effects of the lack of discipline. It is a great matter to know how to give it relaxation without laxity and, by its studies and recreations, to prepare it for prayer and the more strenuous work of life. A mind that has a wide reach of interests and is constantly kept busy will have no time and no care for morbid thoughts. And the mind that is constantly fed on healthy and nourishing food will turn away from poison, however daintily served. All this, it will be perceived, can be done with little introspection or self-analysis. It is based on the wisest of all systems: that nature works best if she is not too closely watched. A person who is always anxious about his health will never be healthy. Nature knows her own laws, and it is not good to interfere too much, even for the sake of putting them right. It is not an unknown experience that torturing scruples may take the place of mental laxity and a ceaseless introspection, which is the enemy of all freshness and spontaneity. We must take heed so that, in the efforts to overcome one evil, we do not fall into a worse one. We have to change the habit of the mind without giving it any undue shock, to keep it well in hand without seeming to watch it, to bring it under control without enslaving it and while seeming to leave it in perfect liberty. And to do this we need to have some confidence in its power to rectify itself if it is healthily fed and duly exercised.

By Fr. Basil W. Maturin (1847–1915) who was an Anglican priest who became a Catholic priest at age 51. Both before and after his conversion, he was famous for his preaching and psychological insight: he had a profound gift for guiding souls. In 1915 he was on board the Lusitania when a German U-boat sank the ship; he drowned after helping numerous other passengers to safety.





Holy Living[2]

Ways to cultivate a loving reverence for Christ in the Holy Eucharist. As other sons and daughters of Mary, let us honor her son and our God by visiting the tabernacle.

Mindful Habits of Reverence

·         Pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible; even a "pop" call is better than none.
·         Receive Holy Communion frequently, daily if possible.
·         Approach the Communion devoutly; make sure your attire is in keeping with the sacredness of the occasion.
·         Avoid all unnecessary noise during the sacred moments of the Consecration of the Mass.
·         Attend weekday Mass whenever possible.
·         Prepare to receive our Eucharistic Lord. Following the Mass prayers by using a Missal is recommended.
·         Spend at least fifteen minutes in prayer as an act of thanksgiving after receiving Christ's Body and Blood in Holy Communion.
·         Often make a spiritual communion, particularly when attending Mass without receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist.
·         Have Holy Masses read for the souls of your loved ones.
·         Participate in the Forty Hours Devotion of our parish churches.
·         Get into the habit of reciting ejaculatory prayers in honor of the Real Presence.
·         When genuflecting before the tabernacle say: "Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I adore and love You."

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Nineveh 90 Day 16
·         Fitness Friday Week 11
·         Please pray for me and this ministry

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Monday, August 12, 2019

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast [1] After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t

Thirty Days with Mary-Day 26-September 9

    30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger Mugwort   (Artemisia vulgaris) 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8 He urged his men not to  fear  the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty.   As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks.   Heavenly Intercession [1] "Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16   Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on th

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID .   Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m. [1]   Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines

SPREAD THIS NATIONAL 54-DAY NOVENA FOR OUR COUNTRY IN CRISIS.

Dear U.S. Grace Force, I believe we are facing a watershed moment. I am feeling we need to be in intense prayer right now. Today, I received on strong calling that we should do a 54 Day Novena of intense mortification and prayer from All Saints (November 1) to Christmas (December 24).  I don't know where folks are at. For some, this may be overkill since we just finished a 54 Day Novena. For others, they may be sensing what I am sensing, and want to go all in.  Then, after receiving this calling, I was made aware of what of these two blood brothers, Fr. James Blount and Fr. Tony Blount, have already prepared. The Blount Fathers are in exact sync with all of us. LET'S JOIN THEM!! All of the information is here:  https:// queenofpeacemedia.com/54days/ Here is a short video in which the Blount Fathers (brothers) explain this prayer campaign:

Thursday, April 14, 2022

  Holy Thursday   Jeremiah, Chapter 30, verse 10-11 10 But you, my servant Jacob, do not FEAR ! —oracle of the LORD—do not be dismayed, Israel! For I will soon deliver you from places far away, your offspring from the land of their exile; Jacob shall again find rest, secure, with none to frighten him, 11 for I am with you—oracle of the LORD—to save you. I will bring to an end all the nations among whom I have scattered you; but you I will not bring to an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.   Secularist and pagans still tremble with fear because of God. Why? People fear what they do not understand or have to compete with. Every person is born with the spirit of God within them; it is the spirit of truth which they have lost or suppressed.   Christ referred to this when he told the parable of the sower. The seed is the spirit of truth (spirit of God) that the sower sows. Christ tells us, “A sower went out to sow. and as he sowed, s

Friday, April 8, 2022

  Fifth Week of Lent Friday of Sorrows HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY   Jeremiah, Chapter 23, Verse 4 I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer FEAR or be terrified; none shall be missing—oracle of the LORD.   During the season of Lent, we offer our suffering up to Christ to unite with His suffering and as our shepherd, He guides us through this time to bring us into his glory.   The Presence of God [1]   For Jews, there was only one Temple. It was the one place on earth that could truly be called holy. It was the place where God’s Spirit dwelt. The Temple was a place where they could withdraw from the pollutions of the world and know God’s presence in purity. As Christians by the action of Christ we, our bodies, are the temple of God, and He is always with us. No longer was God’s presence and his purifying ritual confined to a single geographic location. No longer were they the exclusive privilege of a single ethnic group. Now the

THE GODLESS AGENDA: From Davos to the Vatican

 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

   Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent   Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not FEAR the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, so that the Lord had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.”   Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him.   Dire Straits [1]   At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up north: it'll be devastated, but the