Nehemiah, Chapter 4, Verse 8
I made an inspection, then addressed these words to the nobles, the magistrates, and the rest of the people: “Do not fear them! Keep in mind the LORD, who is great and to be feared, and fight for your kindred, your sons and daughters, your wives and your homes.”
The final battle for the kingdom, like here in Nehemiah; will begin with the secular resistance to the rebuilding of a people dedicated to God. The target is the family. Families must not live in fear. Do not let fear take hold of your families and communities. The enemies’ threats and attacks are forthcoming. Do not let your spirit be broken. Take concrete measures to protect your family. You must challenge your fears and only fear God. Depend on God and fight for yourselves. HE will free you from the grip of hopelessness. Begin today by returning to an ardent faith in Christ and His church. Let go of all sinfulness and tepidness and seek individual and family holiness striving for saintliness.
Hike for the Lukewarm
During this hike you will be praying the Divine Mercy Prayer, Christ asked that we pray for the lukewarm.
"Today bring to Me the Souls of persons who have become lukewarm and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."
Most compassionate Jesus, you are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power. Eternal Father turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.
During this hike you will meditate on each of the ways you may have been walking away from God; marking each of the points as you hike stopping multiple times to pray. On the return hike, you will meditate using the walking towards God meditations. Remember every journey away from something is a journey toward something—the first meditations are the seven deadly sins with fear added as an eighth; and you will be meditating on the Beatitudes of Christ on the way back in reverse order.
Pray the chaplet first or if you wish after you finish the meditation on the deadly sins. This meditation uses synonyms of fear, pride, envy, anger, avarice, sloth, gluttony and lust. Words are the music of the human heart; different words carry different emotions and meanings. If a certain word strikes your heart-it is the Lord speaking to you.
Walking Away from GOD
(Have I been/Shown?)
1. FEAR: Terror, Dread, Horror, Fright; Panic, Alarm, Trepidation, Apprehension.
2. PRIDE/HUBRIS: Arrogant, Conceit, Smugness, Self-importance, Satisfaction, Pleasure, Delight.
3. ENVY: Jealousy, Desire, Resentment, Spite, Malice, Meanness.
4. WRATH: Anger, Annoyance, Rage, Fury, Aggravation, Frustration.
5. AVARICE: Greed, Materialism, Covetousness, Acquisitiveness.
6. SLOTH: Laziness, Idleness, Sluggishness, Inactivity, Indolence (condition that is slow to develop or be healed and causes no pain-i.e. fail to resist evil) Apathy.
7. GLUTTONY: Excess, Exclusivity, Over indulgence, Intemperance.
8. LUST: Yearn, Desire, Long for, Hanker for, Hunger for, Ache for, Crave.
Walking toward GOD
(Have I failed to be, do or show?)
8. CHASTITY (PURITY OF HEART): Cleanliness, Wholesomeness, Spotlessness, Clarity; Transparency, Knowledge, Honesty, Wisdom. Opposing Deadly Sin: LUST
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. The clean of heart are those who preserve with care the innocence with which they are invested at holy Baptism, or seek to regain it, when lost, by penance; those who keep their hearts and consciences unspotted from all sinful thoughts, particularly from all unchaste thoughts, desires, words, and acts, and who endeavor in all things to have a pure intention directed to God alone. They shall see God, that is, they shall know Him even here upon earth, for as the eye that is to see must be clean, so only souls that are pure and unstained can behold God. But further, our knowledge is like our hearts; the purer the heart the clearer and greater is the knowledge of God. But in the world above they shall see, know, and possess Him as He is. What blessedness! Strive, therefore, to keep your heart clean. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
7. TEMPERANCE (POOR IN SPIRIT): Sacrifice, Give Up, Forgo, Let Go, Surrender, Tithe, Self-Control, Abstention. Opposing Deadly Sin: GLUTTONY
The poor in spirit are:
· Those who, like the apostles, readily forsake all earthly things, and for Christ’s sake become poor.
· Those who, happening to lose their property by misfortune or injustice, suffer the loss patiently, in resignation to the will of God.
· Those who, like Jesus, are content with their poor and humble position, seek no higher or happier one, and would rather suffer want than enrich themselves by unlawful acts, by fraud or theft.
· The rich and noble who set not their hearts upon the riches and greatness of the world who use their riches and influence to relieve the misery of the needy and oppressed.
· Finally, the truly humble, who, convinced of their weakness, their helplessness and misery, think lowly of themselves, and regard themselves but as beggars, who are always in need of the grace of God. To all these, therefore, in whose hearts the world has no place, there is assured, as their inheritance, the kingdom of heaven; here the kingdom of grace there the kingdom of glory. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
6. DILIGENCE (HUNGER & THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS): Fairness, Impartiality; Righteousness, Evenhandedness, Fair Dealing, Persistence, Effort, Ethics, Rectitude. Opposing Deadly Sin: SLOTH
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill. Hunger and thirst denote the most ardent longing after those virtues which constitute Christian perfection; such as humility, meekness, the love of God and of our neighbor, penance. Whoever longs for these virtues as the hungry man does for food and drink and prays to God for them with perseverance and earnestness, shall have his fill; that is, he shall be enriched with them, and one day shall be satisfied with eternal Happiness. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
5. CHARITY (MERCIFUL): Compassion; Kindness, Pity, Bigheartedness, Clemency, Openhandedness, Forgiveness, Liberality, Understanding, Leniency, Will, Benevolence, Generosity. Opposing Deadly Sin: AVARICE
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. The merciful here spoken of are:
· Those who willingly forgive the injuries done to them.
· Those who have compassion on their poor neighbors, and, according to their ability, sustain them by alms. These shall obtain mercy; that is, God will forgive them their sins and endow them abundantly with the goods of this world and of the world to come. Thus, God deals with us as we deal with others. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
4. PATIENCE (PEACEMAKERS): Relations, Mediation, Negotiation—Prevents Destruction; I.E. Stem Cell/Abortion, Sufferance. Opposing Deadly Sin: WRATH
Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. By peace-makers we are to understand those who have peace with themselves, that is, a quiet conscience, and who endeavor to maintain peace among others, or to restore it when broken. Such are called the children of God, because they follow God, Who is a God of peace, and Who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world with Him, and to bring down upon earth that peace which the world itself could not give. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
3. KINDNESS (MOURNING): Grief, Sorrow; Remembrance, Respect, Loyalty, Integrity. Opposing Deadly Sin: ENVY
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. By them that mourn we are not to understand such as grieve and lament over a death, a misfortune, a loss of worldly goods, or the like; but those who are grieved that God should be in so many ways offended by themselves and by others that His Church should be so heavily oppressed, and thereby so many souls lost that have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. The only evil really to be grieved for is sin, and the tears shed on account of sin are the only tears that are profitable, for they shall be recompensed with everlasting joy. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
2. HUMILITY (MEEK): Modesty, Not Assuming, Reverence, Altruism. Opposing Deadly Sin: PRIDE/HUBRIS
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land. That man is meek who does not murmur against God for sending afflictions upon him, who is not angry at men who do him injury, but who rather suppresses impatience, anger, envy, and revenge, nay, who seeks to recompense the evil done him by his neighbor with good. Such a one is greater than he who takes by storm fortified cities (Prov. xvi. 32); he possesses an unfailing fountain of peace, quiet, and cheerfulness; by his meekness prevails over the most hostile minds, is by such means truly a ruler upon earth, and will one day, for his portion, obtain heaven, the land of the living, there to enjoy eternal peace. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
1. LOVE & COURAGE (FAITH-BE NOT AFRAID): Affection, Adoration, Friendship, Confidence, Courageous, Trust, Valiant, Reliance, Heroic, Assurance, Bold, Conviction, Daring, Belief, Fearless, Devotion, Plucky, Loyalty. Opposing Deadly Sin: FEAR
Love Brothers and sisters do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man”. He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.
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