Sunday, 31 August 2014

O Chosen Soul, be Grateful

An exhortation to those souls not just called, but especially chosen by God

 Never forget dear brethren, that the Lord your God hast delivered you from a lifestyle of vanity, and hast set you firm upon the ways of righteousness. Perhaps you have been intoxicated by the whirls of Satan, the flesh and the world; perhaps you have escaped these evils in advance; or perhaps you currently are immersed in these fouls waters and are being called to live anew; regardless God has delivered you and God has chosen you. This exhortation is tailored for the first two types of soul noted above, yet if you are the latter, by God's grace you shall surely still draw profit; for if you are reading this, chosen you must be, it is just that you have not yet allowed your God to deliver you; so ask Him and ask Him swiftly with earnest and trusting desperation.

Now behold and look around you. Recall to mind all the many people you have known from childhood until this day, look and you will see, you will see that almost all of them live lives of debauchery, of idolatry, of lust, of fornication, tepidity and emptiness. Is there but one among them who does not strive after wind, after things that are base and vain? Who among them prays? Who among them loves God? Who among them desires neither wealth, nor power, nor glory, nor honour or respect? Behold o brother, behold o sister; that you are a blessed soul indeed, for you are a gemstone surrounded by dirt, a standing figure amongst a multitude of lifeless forms. Yet do not congratulate yourself, do not puff yourself up in pride, for who are you to deserve this honour, this privilege, this blessing and most tremendous grace of being delivered from all waywardness and ignorance? Who are you indeed to deserve the lot that has befallen you, the lot that has been given you from above? O if these be wretches all around you, souls who are filled with every misery and blindness; consider then how wretched you must be to have been especially chosen by He? Think not because you are better than they that you have been chosen, nay; for God does not choose in accordance with the natural motives that sway man’s deliberations and favour. For rather God chooses what is base and wretched in the sight of men, in order that His glory might shine forth from such a shattered vessel, therefore confounding the wise and exalting the lowly. Thus it is written: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1:27). Can there be therefore any greater motive to love and give thanks to your God? A God who has dealt so ridiculously kindly with you, to have redeemed you from the pits of hell to which you deserved? A God who delivered you from that ignorance which clouds the sight of almost all men? A God who lavished and continues to lavish you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places? It is frustrating, so very frustrating, to be unable to write in a manner which could at least motivate you to give but an ounce of the infinite gratitude you should have for your God. But that matters not, ask for the grace to be grateful and give thanks with the Holy Spirit, the Living Thanksgiving that gushes forth from God the Father to God the Son, from God the Son to God the Father.

O happy soul! O fortunate pandered little wretch! What pleasure will be yours when you enter the fullness of eternal bliss, where you shall truly realise how much you have been spoilt above any other soul? Do you not realise that God has chosen you? That God has chosen you precisely because you are miserable beyond compare? Why do not despair, but praise your God for your wretchedness, that unsightliness which has seduced your God to covet you in a most profound and unique manner. It would be unthinkable to slouch in idleness and to chase worldly desires in daydreaming bouts; for the Lord your God has chosen you, and therefore for duties sake you are compelled to toil hard with the graces –the talents- that He has given you. Yet do not serve your God out of mere duties sake, even though a duty it is, for what wife wants to be romanced by a husband who acts not from a genuine love but from a cold sense of duty? Ah but what to do? For your heart is dead and numb and it is incapable of loving to any worthy degree a God so great. Fear not o little chosen one, o little worm that God as a hungry bird yearns to feast upon; for God is Love; and thus if you let Him consume you into the blazing breast of His Love, then you shall become and be filled with that Love Divine; rendering you capable of loving Him with His very own Love!

And do not forget your Mother o soul, for She has mourned much over you that you might obtain the blessings that you possess now. Forget not also, that She beheld Her beautiful Son be stripped bare, as a hunter skins its slaughtered prey. That She beheld Her lovely Son be nailed with cold hard iron, in hands and feet -an act so barbaric that any man would squirm if they beheld this done to naught else but a fox or beaver- yet She was this poor man’s mother. And lastly, forget not also, that She held within Her maternal arms the battered corpse of He whom She first held as the sweetest of infants; He to whom She nursed and cuddled with smiles and laughs. Yet then with tears and cries of sorrow never heard by the ears of man either before or since, She caressed the lifeless body of He Her Love. And why did She suffer such horrendous sights, such torments and pains far greater than hell’s? To give birth to you o soul, her sweet beloved child in Christ Her precious Son. And did She suffer such for you to become a sluggard? For you to become a child who aims for nothing high, but merely wishes to grow up to semi-stature? Why surely not! For no mother yearns that her child should grow to become half the being that they were destined to be; and so certainly not this Mother who is the Mother beyond mothers. She gave spiritual birth to you on Calvary with the desire that you would become a saint, that is, a soul who would live and die for naught else but love of Jesus. So cast away your feeble desires and take hold of this Divine Desire that palpitates in the Immaculate Heart of your Mother. This Desire shall enflame you with Love Divine, and shall inspire in you the longing to be unknown, that Christ might be known; to be forgotten, that Christ might be remembered; and to die and to be dead, so that Christ would live in you and in all.

O give thanks o fortunate soul, for the Lord your God has dealt ever so kindly with you; so waste not His blessings and pray fervently on behalf of those who know Him not. Do not judge those who are not as blest as you, for even St. Francis wept over the fact that had another been given the same graces as he, they would have fared much greater than he. So remain little, remain small, and strive to become ever more childish with confidence and loving joy. In this manner you shall let God be your Greatness, your Love and the perpetual fancy of your heart. Now has not your God being too good to you? Well ‘if it’s too good to be true, it can’t be true’ they say; yet we know that this type of worldly thinking is utter idiocy, for indeed when we reflect upon the graciousness of God we know ‘that if it’s too good, it must be true’. This is grateful thinking, but now let us start grateful living.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Divine Will: Prayers at the Beginning of the Holy Rosary

Here is one particular way that you may like to commence your Holy Rosary. It is a devotional means of praying one’s Rosary in the Divine Will by invoking the Holy Trinity and by uniting with the Single Fiat of God, along with the Three Fiat’s of Creation, Redemption and Sanctification. The following method is most suitable for melancholic and/or intuitive types, although non-melancholic and/or sensing types may draw benefit from this method also. Often we rush or skip the beginning of the Rosary as if it were merely something to pass quickly over so that we might begin our meditations. Yet Our Lady gave to us the Rosary the way it is and so it would be foolish to forgo sections without any reasonable cause. If one attempts the following method (and even if one does not) it is most suitable to pray relatively slowly and at a fluid pace with brief pauses of silence in-between prayers. I encourage you to give the following method a go, for although it may not befit you, it might indeed be suitable for you whilst being a means of enriching your praying of the Holy Rosary. It is a method drawn and inspired from St. Louis Marie De Montfort, the Servant of God Luisa Picarretta, St. John of the Cross, St. Maria Faustina, Br. Gilbert of the Divine Presence, Roy Schoeman (who alleged in a vision of our Lady that to be called Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son and Spouse of the Spirit were Her favourite titles), and the Holy Spirit Himself, He who is responsible for any value found in anything.

1.      Prayer before the Rosary

Come O Supreme Will and pray in our praying; as we pray this Rosary -united to every Rosary that has ever been, is, and will be prayed- on behalf of Adam to the last man. Amen.

2.      Intentions for the Rosary

For the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary especially… (name intentions)

3.      Apostles Creed (cross)

4.      Our Father… (large bead)

5.      First Hail Mary (small bead)

Before Hail Mary:       Eternal Father, with the lips of Thy Beloved Daughter we kiss Thee and Thy Fiat of Creation.

After Hail Mary:         For the grace of peace and purity of heart, come O Water of Wisdom.

Unspoken and implied intentions:
·         Increase in Faith
·         Fidelity to Poverty
·         Surrendering of one’s intellect to God’s Wisdom
·         One fuses oneself with every work of creation: i.e. every flower, tree, bird, fish and cloud etc. giving thanks and praise to God on behalf of every created thing (being the voice of creation)..

6.      Second Hail Mary (small bead)

Before Hail Mary:       Eternal Son, with the lips of Thy Beloved Mother we kiss Thee and Thy Fiat of Redemption.

After Hail Mary:         For the grace of Divine Intimacy, come O Blood of Mercy.

Unspoken and implied intentions:
·         Increase in Hope
·         Fidelity to Chastity
·         Surrendering of one’s memory to God’s Mercy
·         One fuses oneself with every work of redemption: i.e. every event of Jesus' life; every intention and desire held by Jesus; every drop of Blood etc.

7.      Third Hail Mary (small bead)

Before Hail Mary:       Holy Spirit, with the lips of Thy Beloved Spouse we kiss Thee and Thy Fiat of Sanctification.

After Hail Mary:         For the grace of Living in Divine Will, come O Fire of Love.

Unspoken and implied intentions:
·         Increase in Love
·         Fidelity to Obedience
·         Surrendering of one’s will to God’s Will
·         One fuses oneself with every work of sanctification: i.e. every prayer ever prayed; every Mass; every Holy Hour; every Communion and grace recieved; every act performed in the Divine Will etc.

8.      Glory be… (large bead)

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all the trust of Mary into Thee; save all souls, purify and humble all hearts, so that all creation may abide in the Will of our Father. Amen.

Except for this first ‘Glory be’ I pray the usual Fatima prayer and the invocation to St. Joseph at the end of each ‘Glory be’.

9.      Meditation of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary…

This is merely one means of praying at the beginning of the Holy Rosary, there are many varied ways people may feel inclined or called to do so. Perhaps this method does not suit you and that is more than fine. Some might find this a useful means of integrating a Divine Will spirituality into a devotion par excellence: the Holy Rosary.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Aging, the Fountain of Youth & the Water of Life

A Tract Concerning the Beautifying Waters of the True Fountain of Youth

Calmly, patiently and gratefully endure the body’s deterioration in aging; and then with greater magnanimity thou shalt receive thy body restored in everlasting youth on the Last Day at the general Resurrection of the living and the dead. One must pass through the night of the body’s deterioration, in order to inherit the Eternal Day of Restoration; that Great Day called Beauty which shall commence with that Great Dawn called Splendour. O if only thou knew what marvels that Day will bring, thou wouldst welcome the pangs of aging as the intensifying embrace of thy eternal birth through She the Lady of Youth Divine. So cease thy complaining and thy lying, for the man of God does not grow old unless he ceases to love; for by Love Divine he grows younger at each days passing.

“Where is the fountain of youth?” they say; it is He who lies hidden beneath the appearance of bread in that Sacrament of Love; the same He who lies hidden beneath the soil of thy heart. Yet so few ever come to taste such delectable Celestial Waters; even though these Waters are available to all. O how many deteriorate not just in body but also soul, because dying they are from dehydration of spirit? “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, come, and let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life freely without price.” (Isiah 55:1a; Rev 22:17b).

Yet how does one reach this Water of Life when it lies hidden and buried? One must dig away at the soil that forms a void between oneself and this Water sublime, so as to dig a well from which one can draw and drink from such Water. Dig one does through prayer and selfless love; a love which lingers not upon oneself, nor upon one’s own needs, but upon God and the needs of one’s neighbours. The more one prays and loves –and these two cannot be parted unless one wishes to toil in vain –the deeper one shall dig; and the deeper one shall dig, the more abundantly shall the Water of eternal youthful life gush and flow forth.

Now how does one drink such invisible, spiritual and secret, eternal water? Through love, for love is an act of the will, and the will is the mouth of the soul; so in loving God in prayer one shall drink; just as the gazelle may sip from the water hole, or as an infant from her mother’s breast.

How does one draw forth such Water from a well so deep to appear to be unreachable, undrinkable and even fanciful and unreal? Through faith, for faith is the bucket and rope by which one can draw forth such Youthful Waters of life. Without faith one cannot drink of this Water, for such Water is beyond our means to reach and is incomprehensibly tasteless to our minds. This bucket and rope called faith cannot be crafted by human hands, for it is a spiritual gift that only God can craft and give. All those who are baptised possess this bucket and rope of faith, yet most never make use of it; whilst the few who do, use it sparingly and never seek to enquire of God that He might make their rope of faith longer and their bucket of faith larger. However there are those who implore God to do this –either directly by petitioning or indirectly via acts of faith, especially those acts of complete surrender to God’s Will –and such souls are able to draw forth the deepest of Waters, Waters which are exceedingly fresher and sweeter to the taste.

Now how much of this Water can one drink? As much as one so desires; yet the extent of one’s desire (or thirst) for this Water will depend upon the measure of their hope (or trust) in God; for hope is the stomach of the soul. Thus the degree of one’s hope determines the quantity of Water that one can drink. The smaller the stomach of one’s hope, the less they shall desire the Water of Life, the less they shall drink, and the thus the lesser their capacity to feast and love will be in the Eternal World to come. However, the larger the stomach of one’s hope, the greater they shall desire the Water of Life, the greater they shall drink, and thus the greater their capacity to feast and love will be in the Eternal World to come.

The Varying Degrees of Beauty of the Blessed
It can be said that all those who are saved will shine with a youthful beauty beyond all description and imaginability; for all the blessed would have inherited this reward from having drunk the Water of Life from the Fountain of Youth –a necessary means of Salvation. However although all the saved will shine with such beauty, the degree and splendour of this youthful beauty will vary from person to person. This is because the degree to which one drank the Water of Life –by loving selflessly in this life–is the degree to which one is transformed in the youthful beauty of the Resurrection, a youthful beauty which is beyond the compare of the youth and beauty we see and know here bellow. There are some saintly persons –excluding the Virgin Mary followed by St. Joseph who both shine with a beauty beyond all beauty –who will shine so magnificently so as to blind the angels and even God Himself with His very own Beauty which these righteous ones shall possess as their own. These are they who St. Louis Marie de Montfort spoke of when he said: “Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints [in the latter days] who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.”[1] Indeed the latter days are upon us, and already the first fruits of these great saints have walked the earth among us. By God’s grace may we strive to drink the Water of Life as abundantly as we can from the Fountain of Youth, by drinking with the very mouth of Christ Himself in the Blessed Virgin Mary; for then we shall give perfect glory to God by our lives.

Queen Esther

By opening the mouth of our will to the Water of God’s Will in each moment, we shall drink abundantly in each moment from the Fountain of Youth. In this manner we shall fulfill His Will to the exalted degree to which He has called us here in this life, and therefore we shall forgo the fires of purgatory which are reserved for those who did not thirst and thus drink from God’s Love to the degree to which they were called. These saintly persons who will shine beyond the compare of all the blessed, are they who not only drank abundantly from the Water of Life –the Divine Will –but they who allowed God to envelope and drown them in His Waters Divine. Such souls forfeited the right to give breathe to their own will, and sought only to die to self so that God might live and reign in them. Truly this is a fulfillment of the words of our Saviour: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done”, for in such persons God’s Will and thus His Kingdom reign supreme. Esther (a Babylonian name meaning ‘star’) is a typology of these the most exalted of all the saints who shall shine like stars, for of her it is written: “For she was exceeding fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable in the eyes of all.” (Esther 2:5), even among the crowd of the blessed. Furthermore, concerning such saints among the saints it is written: “She hath tasted, and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp [the fire of her love made Divine] shall not be put out in the nightShe hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow: for all her domestics [her spiritual faculties] are clothed with double garments [divinised with the double garments of Divine Beauty and of the Strength of Divine Virtue]. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry: fine linen, and purple, is her covering…Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day.” (Prov 31: 18, 20-22, 25). 

Truly we are called to be such saints, if only we trust in God, believing that He will answer our prayers. We must bear with our false-selves, our 'old man' as St. Paul writes, since our infirmities of a deteriorating body, and a soul blemished by sin, and speckled with imperfections, are our cross and means of sanctification. St. Paul writes: "And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful" (2 Cor 12:9-10). For when I am old, then am I young and beautiful.

[1] True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis Marie de Montfort.