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Wednesday, August 1, 2018


AUGUST



August--We may come to appreciate more deeply the various landforms (mountains, deserts, rock formations, valleys, and plains) during vacation time. They give us bearing, direction, and the geological history of our lives. This is the beginning of awareness of the "here" in our lives. The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord shows us the "hereness" of the risen Lord, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks of God's power to the blessed. While we can choose to extend the Savior's redeeming power to our wounded earth, we also can choose to withdraw from this awesome challenge.

Overview of August[1]

The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward. August is often considered the transitional month in our seasonal calendar. It is the time of the year we begin to wind-down from our summer travels and vacations and prepare for Autumn — back to school, fall festivals, harvest time, etc. The Church in her holy wisdom has provided a cycle of events in its liturgical year which allow the faithful to celebrate the major feasts in the life of Christ and Mary. Most notably, during August, we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) and the feast of the Assumption (August 15).

The days of summer have provided a welcome change of pace. However, while vacations afford us the time to relax and refresh, the change of habits and routines can also have a negative impact on our spiritual lives. As if to re-ignite us, the Church offers us in the plethora of August feasts vivid examples of the virtue of perseverance: six martyrs — two who are named in Canon I of the Mass and two who were martyred during World War II; seven founders of religious congregations, as well as three popes and two kings; the apostle, St. Bartholomew; the great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine and St. Monica, his mother; the humble patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, and the patron of deacons, St. Lawrence, who joked with his executioners while being roasted alive. It is never too late to begin — as the life of the reformed sinner, St. Augustine teaches us — nor too difficult to begin again, as demonstrated by the conversion of the martyr, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). We present-day members of the Mystical Body are certain of the reward to which we are called, for Christ's Transfigured body (August 6) is a preview of that glory. Moreover, in the Assumption of his Mother (August 15), Our Lord has demonstrated his fidelity to his promise. Her privilege is "the highest fruit of the Redemption" and "our consoling assurance of the coming of our final hope — the glorification which is Christ's" (Enchiridion on Indulgences). The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most perfect example of Christian perseverance, but she is also our advocate in heaven where she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (August 22). Mary is the "Mother of Perpetual Help", the patroness of the Congregation founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori (August 1). "No one who has fled to her protection is left unaided" is the claim of the Memorare of St. Bernard (August 20). Heretics have returned to the faith by the prayers of her Rosary, first preached by St. Dominic (August 8) in the twelfth Century, and hearts have been converted by the graces received while wearing her Miraculous Medal, promoted by St. Maximillian Kolbe (August 14) and adopted as the "badge" for the Pious Union he founded. Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!


Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney[1]

Dispeller of Satan

O Holy Priest of Ars, the infamous attacks of the devil which you had to suffer and the trials which disheartened you by fatigue would not make you give up the sublime task of converting souls. The devil came to you for many years to disturb your short rest but you won because of mortification and prayers. Powerful protector, you know the temptor's desire to harm my baptized and believing soul. He would have me sin, by rejecting the Holy Sacraments and the life of virtue. But good Saint of Ars dispel from me the traces of the enemy. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Our first path to holiness is through the Eucharist! Yes; prayers, confessions, the rosary and the saints, angels and our Lady help us in that path to holiness, but when we receive honorably we become the resurrected Christ to others and we radiant His presence. Today make the Eucharistic Stations of the Cross.

Eucharistic Stations of the Cross[2]

First Station - Jesus Is Condemned To Death

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Jesus is condemned by his own people by the very ones he showered with his favors. He is condemned as a fomenter of rebellion, he who is goodness itself; as a blasphemer, he who is holiness itself: as one seeking power, he who made himself the least of all. He is condemned to die on the Cross, like the lowest of slaves.

Jesus lovingly accepts this sentence of death: He came down to this earth in order to suffer and die and to teach us to do the same.

In his Holy Eucharist Jesus is again condemned to death: primarily in his graces, which are rejected; in his love, which is slighted; in his sacramental state, by the unbeliever who denies him, by horrible sacrilege. By unworthy Communion, the bad Christian sells Jesus Christ to the devil, delivers him up to his own passions, casts him at the feet of Satan, king of his heart, and crucifies him in his sinful body.

Jesus is more cruelly treated by bad Christians than by the Jews. In Jerusalem he was condemned only once but in the Blessed Sacrament he is condemned every day and in thousands of places, and by an appalling number of unjust judges.

And yet Jesus allows himself to be insulted, despised, condemned: he still continues his sacramental life in order to show us that his love for us is without condition or reserve, that it is greater than our ingratitude.

O Jesus forgive, I beseech you, all sacrileges! Should I ever have committed any, I want to pass my life making reparation for them and loving and honoring you for those who despise you. Grant me the grace to die with you!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord, R Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Holy Mother, pierce me through. In my heart each wound renew of my Savior crucified.

Second Station - Jesus Is Made To Bear His Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

In Jerusalem the Jews lay a shameful and heavy Cross upon Jesus. It was the instrument used at that time for the punishment of the basest of men. Jesus joyfully takes upon himself this overburdening Cross; he receives it eagerly, kisses it lovingly, and bears it with meekness.

In this way he wishes to make it sweet to us, lighten it for us, and consecrate it in his Blood.

In the divine Sacrament of the altar, bad Christians lay a much heavier Cross upon Jesus, one much more shameful for his Heart. This Cross is their acts of irreverence in the holy place, their distracted thoughts, their coldness of heart in his presence, their lukewarm devotion. What a humiliating Cross it is for Jesus, to have children so lacking in respect, disciples so worthless!

Jesus also bears my crosses in his Sacrament. He places them on his Heart to sanctify them; he covers them with his love, with his kisses, in order to make them attractive to me, but he wants me to carry them for him, to offer them to him; he is even willing to listen to the outpourings of my grief, to let me weep over my crosses and ask help and consolation of him.

Oh, how light is the cross that comes by way of the Holy Eucharist! How beautiful and radiant it comes forth from the Heart of Jesus! How good it is to receive it from his hands and to kiss it after him! To the Eucharist then I will run for refuge in my troubles; to him will I go for comfort and strength; to him will I go to learn to suffer and to love!

Forgive, O Lord, all who treat you irreverently in your Sacrament of love! Forgive my moments of indifference, of forgetfulness in your presence! I wish to love you; I do love you with all my heart!
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Third Station - Jesus Falls the First Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus has lost so much blood during the three hours of his agony and beneath the blows of the scourge, he is so weakened by the cruel night passed under the guard of his enemies, that after walking a short distance he falls beneath the weight of his Cross.

How many times Jesus Eucharistic falls in particles of the Sacred Species without anyone being aware of it!

But what makes him fall from grief is the sight of a soul sullied by mortal sin!

Ah, how much more painfully Jesus falls in a young heart that receives him unworthily on the day of its First Holy Communion! He falls on that icy heart which the fire of his love cannot melt; on that proud and dissembling spirit without being able to touch it; in that body which is but a tomb full of rottenness. Alas, ought we to treat Jesus like that the first time he so lovingly visits us? O God! So young and already so guilty! To begin so soon to be a Judas! How painful to the Heart of Jesus must be the sin of this sacrilegious First Communion!

O Jesus! I thank you for the love, which you showed me in my First Communion: never shall I forget it! I am yours, wholly yours, for you are wholly mine: do with me, as you will.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Fourth Station - Jesus Meets His Holy Mother

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Mary accompanies Jesus to Calvary. She endures a real martyrdom in her soul on the way; but when one loves, one desires to suffer with the beloved.

Today, on his way of suffering, Jesus Eucharistic often meets with the children of his love the spouses of his Heart, the ministers of his grace among his enemies. But far from consoling him as Mary did, they join with his tormentors in humiliating, blaspheming, and denying him. How many are the apostates and renegades who forsake the service and love of the Holy Eucharist as soon as that service calls for a sacrifice or for an act of practical faith!

O Jesus, my good Savior, with Mary my Mother, I will follow you amid humiliations, insults, and injuries, and make amends to you with my love!
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Fifth Station - The Cyrenian Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus was giving way more and more beneath his burden. The Jews, wishing to have him die on the Cross in order to complete his humiliation, urged Simon of Cyrene to help him bear the Cross. The latter refused and had to be forced to take upon himself an instrument of death so ignominious in his eyes. He yielded and merited that Jesus should touch his heart and convert him.

Jesus calls people to him in his Sacrament, and almost no one responds to his invitations; he invites them to his Eucharistic Banquet, and they have a thousand pretexts for refusing to come to it. The faithless and ungrateful soul refuses the grace of Jesus Christ, the most excellent gift of his love. He has his hands full of graces but nobody wants them; people are afraid of his love!

Instead of the honors due to him, Jesus receives most of the time only disrespect. People are embarrassed at meeting him in the streets; they turn quickly away as soon as they see him; they have not the courage to give him the outward evidences of their faith.

O divine Savior, can this be so? Alas! It is only too true, and I feel the reproaches of my own conscience. Yes, often, bent upon an earthly pleasure, I have refused to hear your call; often, in order not to be obliged to amend my ways, I have rejected the invitation of your table with which you in your love have honored me. I regret it from the depths of my heart; I know that it is better to let everything else go than by my own fault to miss a single Communion, the greatest and the sweetest of your graces. Forget the past, dear Savior, and accept my resolutions for the future and by your strength help me to keep them!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Sixth Station - A Holy Woman Wipes The Face Of Jesus

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

The face of the Savior no longer looks human; the executioners have covered it with mud, spittle, and blood! He, the splendor of God, is unrecognizable, and his divine Face is covered with defilements. Holy Veronica braves the soldiers. Beneath the pollution she has recognized her Savior and her God, and moved with pity, she wipes that august countenance. Jesus rewards her by imprinting his features upon the cloth.

O divine Jesus, your adorable Sacrament is greatly outraged, insulted, and profaned, and where are the compassionate souls who will make up for these abominations? Ah, it is saddening and appalling that so many sacrileges should be committed so lightly against the sublime Sacrament. It would seem that Jesus Christ is nothing more among us than an unregarded or even contemptible stranger!
It is true that he veils his face beneath the appearances of very weak and lowly species: that is in order that our love may discover in them his divine features. O Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, Son of the living God and I adore your holy Face, full of glory and majesty, beneath the Eucharistic veil! Lord, I beseech you to imprint your features in my heart, that wherever I go, I may carry Jesus with me, Jesus Eucharistic!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Seventh Station - Jesus Falls The Second Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

In spite of Simon's help, Jesus succumbs a second time to his weakness, and it is a cause of new sufferings for him. His hands and knees are wounded by his falls on this laborious way, and the ill treatment inflicted by his executioners increases with their rage.

Oh, how ineffectual is human aid without the help of Jesus Christ! And how many falls are in store for him that relies on others!

How often the God of the Eucharist falls nowadays by Communion in lukewarm and cowardly hearts that receive him without reverence, and let him go without an act of love and gratitude! Thus Jesus' stay within us is fruitless because of our coldness.

Who would dare to receive one of the great of the earth with as little attention as the King of Heaven is every day received?

Divine Savior, I apologize to you for all my Communions that have been lukewarm and without devotion. How many times I already have received you in my heart. I thank you for them and I mean to be faithful to you in the future; only give me your love, that is enough!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Eighth Station - Jesus Consoles the Holy Women Who Weep For Him

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

It was the Savior's mission in the days of his mortal life to comfort the afflicted and the persecuted. He desires to be faithful to it at the very time of his greatest sufferings. Thus he forgets himself and dries the tears of the holy women who weep over his sorrows and his passion. What goodness!
Very few people come to visit and to adore Our Lord in his Sacrament of divine love. And even fewer people remember to offer him reparation for their own sins and for those of all mankind. He is with us day and night, alone. Oh, if his eyes could weep, what tears they would shed for the ingratitude and neglect of his own! If his Heart could still suffer, what torments he would feel at seeing himself forsaken in this way, even by his friends!

Yet, for all that, as soon as we come to him, he receives us with kindness, listens to our complaints, to the often very long and selfish tale of our woes, and he forgets himself to comfort us and strengthen us. O divine Savior, why do I so often depend on human consolation instead of coming to you? I feel that this wounds your Heart, which is jealous of my own. In your Holy Eucharist be my only consolation, my one confidant! One word, one look of your loving kindness will suffice for me. Let me love you with all my heart, and then do with me as you will!
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Ninth Station - Jesus Falls The Third Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

How greatly Jesus suffered in this third fall! He lies overcome by the weight of his Cross, and his executioners with all their cruelty can hardly raise him up again.

Jesus chooses to fall a third time before being lifted up on his Cross, as though to give evidence of his regret at being unable to carry it over the whole world.

Jesus will come to me a last time in Viaticum before I also leave this land of exile. Lord, grant me this grace, the most precious of all and the completion of all the graces of my life!

But, oh, let me receive you worthily in that last Communion so full of love!

How terrible is it when one dying receives Holy Communion for the last time in the state of mortal sin! In this way he adds the crime of sacrilege to all his past sins, who receives unworthily him who is going to judge him and thus profanes the Viaticum of his salvation!

In what a grievous state Jesus must find himself in a heart that detests him, in a spirit that disdains him, in a sinful body that is given over to the devil!

But what will be the judgment passed on these unhappy souls? One trembles at the thought. Forgive them, O Lord forgive them! We beg of you for all the dying: grant that they may die in your arms after they have received you worthily in Viaticum!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Tenth Station - Jesus Is Stripped Of His Garments

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

How much he must suffer in this cruel and pitiless stripping off of his garments! They tear off his clothing that has stuck to his wounds, they reopen them, they tear his flesh.

How much he must suffer in his modesty, treated as one would blush to treat a low wretch and a slave, who dies at least in the shroud that is to cover him in the grave!

Jesus is, as it were, stripped of his garments also in his sacramental state. Not satisfied to see him stripped, through his love for us, of his glory and his divinity, of the beauty of his humanity, his enemies rob him of the honor of divine worship, pillage his churches, profane his sacred vessels and his tabernacles, and cast him on the ground. He, the King and Savior of men, is delivered up to their sacrilegious will as on the day of his Crucifixion. By allowing himself to be stripped thus in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus wishes to lead us to the state of voluntary poverty, wherein we may be clothed with his life and his virtues. O Jesus Eucharistic, be my only possession!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Eleventh Station - Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

What agony Jesus endures when he is nailed to the Cross! Without a miracle of his power, he could not have suffered it and lived.

But the wood to which Jesus is nailed on Calvary is without fault or defilement, whereas in an unworthy Communion, the sinner crucifies Jesus in his guilty body. It is as though one were to attach a living body to a corpse that is in a state of corruption.

On Calvary, he is crucified by his declared enemies; here, by his children, who crucify him in hypocritical devotion.

On Calvary, he is crucified but once; here every day and by how many Christians!

O divine Savior, forgive me for having failed to mortify my senses; most cruelly do you atone for my fault!

You desire, by your Holy Eucharist, to crucify my nature, to immolate the old man without cease and to unite me to your own crucified and resurrected life. Grant, O Lord, that I may give myself to you without reserve or condition!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Twelfth Station - Jesus Dies on The Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus dies in order to redeem us. His last mercy is the forgiveness he grants to his executioners; his last gift of love is his Holy Mother; his last desire is the thirst for suffering; his last act is the abandonment of his soul and his life into the hands of his Father.

In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus continues to love with the love he showed to me at his death. Every morning he is immolated in the Holy Sacrifice and loses his sacramental existence in them that receive him: in the heart of the sinner. He dies for that soul's condemnation.

From his Host he offers me the graces for my redemption, the price of my salvation. But in order that I may share therein, he wishes me to die with him and for him.

Grant me that grace, O my God, the grace of dying to sin and to self and of living only to love you in your Holy Eucharist!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Thirteenth Station - Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross and Placed In the Arms of His Mother

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus is taken down from the Cross and confided to his Mother, who clasps him to her heart and offers him to God as Victim for our salvation.

Now it is for us to offer Jesus as Victim on the altar and in our hearts for ourselves and for others. He belongs to us. God the Father gives him to us; he gives himself to us, so that we may offer him for our salvation.

How unfortunate it is that this infinite price lies unused in our hands because of our indifference!
Let us offer him in union with Mary and pray this good Mother to offer him with us.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Fourteenth Station - Jesus Is Laid In the Sepulchre

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus chooses to undergo the humiliation of the tomb, and he is given over to the custody of his enemies; he is still their prisoner.

But it is in the Holy Eucharist that Jesus is, as it were, entombed; he remains there not just for three days, but for all time, and we are the ones he asks to guard him. He is our prisoner of love.
The corporal covers him like a shroud; the lamp burns before his altar as before the place of the dead; around him reigns the silence of death.

When Jesus comes into our heart in Holy Communion, he is as if entombed within us. Let us make ready for him a sepulchre that is worthy of him, one that is new and white, unoccupied by earthly affections; let us anoint him with the perfume of our virtues.

Let us come to do him homage for those who do not come; let us adore him in his tabernacle, forgotten by those who call themselves his friends; let us beg of him the grace of recollection and of death to the world, that we may lead a hidden life in the Holy Eucharist!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail, Glory of the saved, avail, To give fresh merit to the saint, And pardon to the penitent.


[1]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1129
[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1254


AUGUST 1 Wednesday
SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI

2 Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 20-21
20 For I fear that when I come I may find you not such as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; that there may be rivalry, jealousy, fury, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, immorality, and licentiousness they practiced.

In the gospel Christ warns us much like Paul. Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”

Although Paul exhorts the Corinthians, but I can hear Christ saying this same warning to modern man; the same warning has been repeated by Mary at Fatima. Change your hearts.

Pure hearts want to live the Shema Yisrael which Christ Himself practiced:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.

Strengthening the mind, heart and soul[2]

Dr. Daniel Amen a noted Psychiatrist tells us; our thoughts are often negative and seem to at times come automatically severely limiting a person’s ability to enjoy his or her life. How you think “moment-by-moment” plays a large role in how you feel (a deep limbic system function). Negative thoughts may cause you to feel internal discomfort or pain and they often cause you to behave in ways that alienate you from other people. Hopeful thoughts, on the other hand, influence positive behaviors and lead people to feel good about themselves and be more effective in their day-to-day lives. Hopeful thoughts also are involved in helping people connect with others. Healing the deep limbic system requires a person to heal their moment-to-moment thought patterns. Most people do not understand how important thoughts are and leave the development of thought patterns to random chance. Did you know that every thought you have sends electrical signals throughout your brain? Thoughts have actual physical properties. They are real! They have significant influence on every cell in your body. When your mind is burdened with many negative thoughts, it affects your deep limbic system and causes deep limbic problems (irritability, moodiness, depression, etc.). Teaching yourself to control and direct thoughts in a positive way is one of the most effective ways to feel better. Here are the actual step-by-step “thinking” principles that I use in my psychotherapy practice to help my patients heal their deep limbic systems.

STEP #1 KNOW that every time you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals. That’s how our brain works…you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals, an electrical transmission goes across your brain and you become aware of what you’re thinking. Thoughts are real, and they have a real impact on how you feel and how you behave.

STEP #2 Every time you have an angry thought, an unkind thought, a sad thought, or a cranky thought, your brain releases negative chemicals that make your body feel bad (and activate your deep limbic system). Think about the last time you were mad. How did your body feel? When most people are angry their muscles become tense, their hearts beat faster, their hands start to sweat, and they may even begin to feel a little dizzy. Your body reacts to every negative thought you have.

STEP #3 Every time you have a good thought, a happy thought, a hopeful thought or a kind thought, your brain releases chemicals that make your body feel good (and cools your deep limbic system). Think about the last time you had a really happy thought. How did you feel inside your body? When most people are happy their muscles relax, their hearts beat slower, their hands become dry and they breathe slower. Your body also reacts to your good thoughts.

STEP #4 Your body reacts to every thought you have. We know this from polygraphs or lie detector tests. During a lie detector test, a person is hooked up to equipment that measures: hand temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle tension and how much the hands sweat. The tester then asks questions, like “Did you do that thing?” If the person did the bad thing his body is likely to have a “stress” response and it is likely to react in the following ways: hands get colder, heart goes faster, blood pressure goes up, breathing gets faster, muscles get tight and hands sweat more. Almost immediately, his body reacts to what he thinks, whether he says anything or not. Remember, the deep limbic system is responsible for translating our emotional state into physical feelings of relaxation or tension. Now the opposite is also true. If he did not do the thing the tester asked about it is likely that his body will experience a “relaxation” response and react in the following ways: hands will become warmer, heart rate will slow, blood pressure goes down, breathing becomes slower and deeper, muscles become more relaxed and hands become drier. Again, almost immediately, your body reacts to what you think. This not only happens when you’re asked about telling the truth, your body reacts to every thought you have, whether it is about work, friends, family or anything else.

STEP #5 Thoughts are very powerful. They can make your mind and your body feel good or they can make you feel bad. Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have. That is why when people get emotionally upset, they actually develop physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach aches. Some physicians think that people who have a lot of negative thoughts are more likely to get cancer. If you can think about good things you will feel better. Think of your body like an “ecosystem.” An ecosystem contains everything in the environment like the water, the land, the cars, the people, the animals, the vegetation, the houses, the landfills, etc. A negative thought is like pollution to your system.

STEP #6 Unless you think about your thoughts they are automatic or “they just happen.” Since they just happen, they are not necessarily correct. Your thoughts do not always tell the truth. Sometimes

STEP #7 You can train your thoughts to be positive and hopeful or you can just allow them to be negative and upset you. Once you learn about your thoughts, you can choose to think good thoughts and feel good or you can choose to think bad thoughts and feel lousy. That’s right, it’s up to you! You can learn how to change your thoughts and you can learn to change the way you feel. One way to learn how to change your thoughts is to notice them when they are negative and talk back to them. If you can correct negative thoughts, you take away their power over you. When you just think a negative thought without challenging it, your mind believes it and your body reacts to it.

STEP #8 As I mentioned above, negative thoughts are mostly automatic or they “just happen.” That is why I call these thoughts “Automatic Negative Thoughts” or ANTs. Think of these negative thoughts that invade your mind like ants that bother a couple at a picnic. One negative thought, like one ant at a picnic, is not a big problem. Two or three negative thoughts, like two or three ants at a picnic, becomes more irritating. Ten or twenty negative thoughts, like ten or twenty ants at a picnic, may cause the couple to pick up and leave the picnic. Whenever you notice these automatic negative thoughts or ANTs you need to crush them, or they’ll ruin your relationships, your self-esteem and your personal power. One way to crush these ANTs is to write them down and talk back to them. For example, if you think, “My husband never listens to me,” write it down. Then write down a rational response; something like “He’s not listening to me now, maybe he’s distracted by something else. He often listens to me.” When you write down negative thoughts and talk back to them, you take away their power and help yourself feel better. Some people tell me they have trouble talking back to these negative thoughts because they feel that they are lying to themselves. Initially, they believe that the thoughts that go through their mind are the truth. Remember, thoughts sometimes lie to you. It’s important to check them out before you just believe them!


Here are nine different ways that your thoughts lie to you to make situations out to be worse than they really are. Think of these nine ways as different species or types of ANTs (automatic negative thoughts). When you can identify the type of ANT, you begin to take away the power it has over you. I have designated some of these ANTs as red, because these ANTs are particularly harmful to you. Notice and exterminate ANTs whenever possible.

ANT #1: “Always or Never Thinking” This happens when you think something that happened will “always” repeat itself. For example, if your partner is irritable and she gets upset you might think to yourself, “She’s always yelling at me,” even though she yells only once in a while. But just the thought “She’s always yelling at me” is so negative that it makes you feel sad and upset. It activates your limbic system. Whenever you think in words like always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything those are examples of “always” thinking and usually wrong. Here are some examples of “always” thinking: “He’s always putting me down.” “No one will ever call me.” “I’ll never get a raise.” “Everyone takes advantage of me.” “You turn away every time I touch you.”
“My children never listen to me.” “Always thinking” ANTs are very common. Watch out for them.

ANT #2 (red ANT): “Focusing on the Negative” This occurs when your thoughts only see the bad in a situation and ignore any of the good parts that might happen. For example, I have treated several professional speakers for depression. After their presentations they had the audience fill out an evaluation form. If l00 of them were returned and 2 of them were terrible, but 90 of them were outstanding, which ones do you think they focused on? Only the negative ones! I taught them to focus on the ones they liked a lot more than the ones they didn’t like. It’s important to learn from others, but in a balanced, positive way. Your deep limbic system can learn a powerful lesson from the Disney movie, “Pollyanna.” In the movie, Pollyanna came to live with her aunt after her missionary parents died. Even though she had lost her parents she was able to help many “negative people” with her attitude. She introduced them to the “glad game,” to look for things to be glad about in any situation. Her father had taught her this game after she experienced a disappointment. She had always wanted a doll, but her parents never had enough money to buy it for her. Her father sent a request for a second-hand doll to his missionary sponsors. By mistake, they sent her a pair of crutches. “What is there to be glad about crutches?” they thought. Then they decided they could be glad because they didn’t have to use them. This very simple game changed the attitudes and lives of many people in the movie. Pollyanna especially affected the minister. Before she came to town he preached hellfire and damnation, and he did not seem to be very happy. Pollyanna told him that her father said that the Bible had 800 “Glad Passages,” and that if God mentioned being glad that many times, it must be because He wants us to think that way. Focusing on the negative in situations will make you feel bad. Playing the glad game or looking for the positive will help you feel better.

ANT #3 (red ANT): “Fortune Telling” This is where you predict the worst possible outcome to a situation. For example, before you discuss an important issue with your partner you predict that he or she won’t be interested in what you have to say. Just having this thought will make you feel tense. I call “fortune telling” red ANTs because when you predict bad things you can make them happen.

ANT #4 (red ANT): “Mind Reading” This happens when you believe that you know what another person is thinking even when they haven’t told you. Mind reading is a common cause of trouble between people. I tell my wife, “Please don’t read my mind, I have enough trouble reading it myself!” You know that you are mind reading when you have thoughts such as, “She’s mad at me. He doesn’t like me. They were talking about me.” I tell people that a negative look from someone else may be nothing more than they are constipated! You don’t know. You can’t read anyone else’s mind. You never know what others are really thinking. Even in intimate relationships, you cannot read your partner’s mind. When there are things you don’t understand, clarify them and stay away from mind reading ANTs. They are very infectious.

ANT #5: “Thinking with Your Feelings” This occurs when you believe your negative feelings without ever questioning them. Feelings are very complex, and, often based on powerful memories from the past. Feelings sometimes lie to you. Feelings are not about truth. They are about feelings. But many people believe their feelings even though they have no evidence for them. “Thinking with your feelings” thoughts usually start with the words “I feel.” For example, “I feel like you don’t love me. I feel stupid. I feel like a failure. I feel nobody will ever trust me.” Whenever you have a strong negative feeling, check it out. Look for the evidence behind the feeling. Do you have real reasons to feel that way? Or, are your feelings based on events or things from the past?

ANT #6: “Guilt Beatings” Guilt is not a helpful emotion, especially for your deep limbic system. In fact, guilt often causes you to do those things that you don’t want to do. Guilt beatings happen when you think with words like “should, must, ought or have to.” Here are some examples: “I ought to spend more time at home. I must spend more time with my kids. I should have sex more often. I have to organize my office.” Because of human nature, whenever we think that we “must” do something, no matter what it is, we don’t want to do it. It is better to replace “guilt beatings” with phrases like “I want to do this…It fits with my goals to do that…It would be helpful to do this….” So, in the examples above, it would be helpful to change those phrases to “I want to spend more time at home. It’s in our best interest for my kids and I to spend more time together. I want to please my spouse by making wonderful love with him (or her) because he (or she) is important to me. It’s in my best interest to organize my office.” Get rid of this unnecessary emotional turbulence that holds you back from achieving the goals you want.

ANT #7: “Labeling” Whenever you attach a negative label to yourself or to someone else, you stop your ability to take a clear look at the situation. Some examples of negative labels that people use are “jerk, frigid, arrogant and irresponsible.” Negative labels are very harmful, because whenever you call yourself or someone else a jerk or arrogant you lump that person in your mind with all of the “jerks” or “arrogant people” that you’ve ever known, and you become unable to deal with them in a reasonable way. Stay away from negative labels.

ANT #8: “Personalization” Personalization occurs when innocuous events are taken to have personal meaning. “My boss didn’t talk to me this morning. She must be mad at me.” Or, one feels he or she is the cause of all the bad things that happen, “My son got into an accident with the car. I should have spent more time teaching him to drive. It must be my fault.” There are many other reasons for behavior besides the negative explanations an abnormal limbic system picks out. For example, your boss may not have talked to you because she was preoccupied, upset or in a hurry. You never fully know why people do what they do. Try not to personalize their behavior.

ANT #9 (the most poisonous red ANT): “Blame” Blame is very harmful. When you blame something or someone else for the problems in your life, you become a victim of circumstances and you cannot do anything to change your situation. Many relationships are ruined by people who blame their partners when things go wrong. They take little responsibility for their problems. When something goes wrong at home or at work, they try to find someone to blame. They rarely admit their own problems. Typically, you’ll hear statements from them like: “It wasn’t my fault that….” “That wouldn’t have happened if you had….” “How was I supposed to know….” “It’s your fault that….” The bottom line statement goes something like this: “If only you had done something differently, I wouldn’t be in the predicament I’m in. It’s your fault, and I’m not responsible.” Whenever you blame someone else for the problems in your life, you become powerless to change anything. The “Blame Game” hurts your personal sense of power. Stay away from blaming thoughts and take personal responsibility to change the problems you have.

Summary of A.N.T. Species:
  1. “Always” thinking: thinking in words like always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything.
  2. Focusing on the negative: only seeing the bad in a situation.
  3. Fortune telling: predicting the worst possible outcome to a situation.
  4. Mind reading: believing that you know what another person is thinking, even though they haven’t told you.
  5. Thinking with your feelings: believing negative feelings without ever questioning them.
  6. Guilt beatings: thinking in words like “should, must, ought or have to.”
  7. Labeling: attaching a negative label to yourself or to someone else.
  8. Personalization: innocuous events are taken to have personal meaning.
  9. Blame: blaming someone else for your own problems.
Today is my deceased father’s birthday. My father was not always a blameless and upright man but he had a great devotion to St. Jude. He always swore it was St. Jude’s prayers and intercession that brought him home from the war in the pacific and maybe it was. He got my grandmother to sign the papers and he was in combat before his 18th birthday. He was a ghost diver during WWII; his job was to scuba dive in before invasions set up radio beacons for the invasion and avoid detection or capture. He went on 26 missions with 11 others in frogman teams. The normal mortality rate for these teams was 50%.  

After the war; my father drank a lot to forget. As his disease of alcoholism ramped up he stopped going to church refusing to go to church drunk. I don’t know if my father was aware St. Jude admonishes false teachers who used the church as a sort of country club and caroused fearlessly looking after themselves. My father did not see the church as a social institution but as a place where one encounters our Holy God, our Holy mighty one; our Holy immortal one.

My father knew he was a sinner. He always said that St. Jude was his patron saint because; St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and my father swore that’s what he was. As his disease progressed he stopped going to church but built a shrine to our Mother Mary. Every day he would cut fresh roses for the shrine and sit at twilight, with beer and cigarette in hand; silently staring at the shrine.
In the end my father did receive his last rights and was ushered into our Lord by our Lady and St. Jude.


Prayer Of St. Alphonsus Dc Liguori To The Sacred Heart.

O adorable heart of my Jesus, heart created expressly for the love of men, until now I have shown towards Thee only ingratitude. Pardon me, O my Jesus. Heart of my Jesus, abyss of love and of mercy, how is it possible that I do not die of sorrow when I reflect on Thy goodness to me and my ingratitude to Thee? Thou, my Creator, after having created me, hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me and, not content with this, Thou hast invented a means of offering Thyself up every day for me in the Holy Eucharist, exposing Thyself to a thousand insults and outrages. Ah, Jesus, do Thou wound my heart with a great contrition for my sins, and a lively love for Thee. Through Thy tears and Thy blood give me the grace of perseverance in Thy fervent love until I breathe my last sigh. Amen.

The Way[3]

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

29.  Could it be true — no, no, I can't believe it — that in the world there are not men but bellies?

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.
·         Peace Through Strength
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 8

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