Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mass Chat: Three Sayings of St. John of the Cross...

+ Never take others for your example, however holy they may be, for the devil will set their imperfections before you. But imitate Christ, who is supremely perfect and supremely holy, and you will never err.

+ Take neither great nor little notice of who is with you or against you, and try always to please God. Ask him that his will be done in you. Love him intensely, as he deserves to be loved.

+ Reflect that many are called but few are chosen [Mt. 22:14] and that, if you are not careful, your perdition is more certain than your salvation, especially since the path to eternal life is so constricted [Mt. 7:14].


  1. Please pray for me. I get so scared about lines like the last one. I think I understand what he means, but I'm always second guessing everything I do, every though I have, every decision I make. Sometimes I feel like being vigilant means being constantly in fear of losing my salvation at every turn.

    And if I'm that worried about myself - don't even get me started on the people I love (wife who divorced me, brothers and sisters, lifelong friends); I'm hardly in any position to preach, so the best I can do is try to love God and set a good example - and to pray for them. But my efforts are so pathetic.

  2. michael r.8:05 AM

    In relation to the Gregorian Masses discussion, I came across another good quote from St. John of the Cross: "These people attribute so much efficacy to methods of carrying out their devotions and prayers and so trust in them that they believe that if one point is missing or certain limits have been exceeded their prayer will be profitless and go unanswered. As a result they put more trust in these methods than they do in the living prayer, not without great disrespect and offense toward God."

  3. I love the rosary, and it has been very helpful in my life - but I know some Catholics believe one MUST pray the rosary to be saved.

    This excludes just about every non-Latin Catholic rite (and several Latin Catholics who do not pray it, but pray the Office every day, or do some other serious praying). Go figure.

  4. Dear Mercury,

    When I was a boy, there was a man that walked around talking to himself. People would ridicule him, they often times would call him a fool, crazy.

    Everyone around him died. He is still alive today.

    I spoke with him once, and found he was crazy. But his conversations were with the Lord. He would walk around every where, speaking to the Lord. When he spoke with me, he encouraged me to go to the cross.

    Abraham used to speak to the Lord and everyone called him crazy also. He got a visit from Melchizedek.

    For those unfortunates that cannot attain crazy, we are left to other means.

    The Holy Rosary is not just repetitive prayer. The early Christians were required to sing the 150 Psalms each day. The Holy Mother lightened our load by replacing that with the Hail Mary's.

    When we pray the Holy Rosary we are taking a spiritual walk in the garden of Heaven, with our Mother at our side. Do not run through the garden, and take time to talk to our Mother. No whining. She already knows what we want. She is a good Mother. Talk to her of the worthiness of the souls you are the steward of. Recommend those souls that are most in need of God’s mercy. Ask that she, as the Dispenser of Divine Graces, allow the grace of final repentance to those you love.

    Be like my childhood friend Mitch; talking with our Lord and His Mother to the point where everyone thinks you are crazy.

    Never was it known that anyone that sought her help and protection was left unaided.

    One day you will die.

    Each Hail Mary that you have ever said will be an arrow into the heart of Satan who will be your accuser.

    Each Hail Mary that you have ever said for someone will be revealed as multitudes of graces rained down upon those you prayed for by our Mother.

    You will not outdo the Holy Mother.


  5. michael r.11:15 AM

    I love the rosary too. I think the point of the quote from St. John of the Cross is that people can become too hung up on fastidious detail. Pray, but if you miss a beat for some reason(distraction, loss of concentration, etc), no reason to start all over. Your effort is indeed prayer.

    I think I got the quotation from a some traditional group, like SSPX, that says that if there is a break in the Gregorian Masses, you have to go back and start from the beginning, or there is no efficacy to the practice. Sorry, if it was inappropriate to post it here. I had just found it by coincidence.

  6. God is not a vending machine. If you pray 3 rosaries a day and the Divine Mercy chaplet and blahblahblah you aren't going to get what you want when you want it.

    Jesus, I TRUST IN YOU.

  7. Loving Jesus and Mary is all that is required.
    How you do it is really secondary.
    St. John of the Cross and St. Therese, as Mr. Terry has said very eloquently, requires trust and confidence.
    Jesus loves us so very much; we only have to calm down and receive His Love.
    Mary loves us as a Momma...and my Momma (God bless her!) just held me and told me everything would be okay when I was worried or in pain.
    That's it.
    Just love Jesus and Mary and entrust yourself to them.
    They will do everything that needs to be done.
    They truly love you...they really do!

  8. Pablo - thanks for your word about the rosary. I wasn't knocking it at all - it's a very powerful devotion, and I pray it every day. It's hard for me to concentrate on the mysteries (I don't even know how to meditate on the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, for example), but I try to at least do it as sincerely as possible, and if my mind wanders thinking about people or problems, I offer these things too.

    I credit the Holy Rosary with curing me of some very sinful past habits - let's just say that the little adage "a rosary a day keeps the devil away". Do I have daily temptations, do I fall and sin daily? of course. But as far as grave sin goes, I have MUCH easier time avoiding it.

  9. Terry - what I mentioned before, my problem is that I feel myself sometimes being tempted to take the most rigoristic outlook on things that I can, just "to be on the safe side." This can be especially true when worrying about sins of impurity - imagining sins where there is none, or imagining mortal sin where there is only venial.

    My parish priest is an old-fashioned Benedictine, and I sometimes talk to the Benedictines at the abbey nearby. They recognize the ridiculousness of some of the things I worry about, and they tell me to just trust Him and to trust the teaching authority of the Church. They advise me to avoid private revelations, even good ones (though devotions like the rosary and Divine Mercy are of course helpful), and the private opinions of certain individual saints, even great ones.

    But you see, we all know that's the hardest part ...

  10. Mercury: Julian of Norwich is a great Saint for worriers, belive me. I am one.
    Get yourself an early Christmas present, one of her books.

    Peace of Christ to you, that the world cannot give, nor circumstances steal.


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