Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You cannot tell by careful watching ...

The world revolves, but the cross remains the same.

One translation of Luke 17:20 warns against 'careful watching' to perceive the reign of God, because the kingdom is already in our midst ...

I think of this  Gospel all of the time, since it more or less forms the basis for my prayer.  The practice of the presence of God, the prayer of recollection is the awareness of the indwelling of the most Holy Trinity in our souls.  The kingdom of God is within you.  "Realize that your soul is the temple of God - it is St. Paul who teaches this.  At every moment of the day and night the three Divine Persons are living within you." - Elizabeth of the Trinity

Therefore, if the mountains fall into the sea, the earth quakes and every structure collapses - nothing can separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ.  It is Christ who begs us, "Remain in me": "It is the Word of God who gives this order, expresses this wish.  Remain in me, not for a few moments, a few hours which must pass away, but 'remain' - permanently, habitually.  Remain in me, pray in me, adore in me, love in me, suffer in me, work and act in me." - Elizabeth of the Trinity

So.  It is not by careful watching, judging the orthodoxy of others, questioning every report and searching every word to see if it indicates this or that, is true or false, or may open the door to error, and so on.  None of that is necessary for simple souls ... not even for ordinary people.

Why do you concern yourself with who goes to communion?  What they are wearing?  What their posture, their demeanor is like?  Are you worthy to receive?  Do you prepare your soul to receive the sacred humanity - body, blood, soul and divinity?  Do you stay a long time with Jesus when you do receive him?  Do you acknowledge him?  Do you cling to him in love, in recollection from one communion to the next?  Why do you care about the interior lives and practices of others?  Is it love?  Is it out of charity that you are so concerned?  Or is it care-filled watching others?

You can't tell by careful watching - because the conscience of others is hidden - it is the sacred place of encounter within each person ...  God is the judge.  God dwells in the soul.  If you spend all of your time watching, you necessarily leave the presence of God - you become a voyeur - and the devil shows you your subject's faults.  Sometimes real, but often false - because neither can he read the conscience - God alone is judge.  In the end, the accuser of our brothers is cast out - be careful, lest you are cast out with him.

You can't tell by careful watching ...  If you cry out, "But father!  But father!" Do it only to the One, using the words Christ taught us, "Our Father ..."

Remain within, in Him ... ask Him to make you entirely teachable.  Only cry out 'Abba' - don't go to strangers.

It sounds too simple?  Too ordinary?

It is.

Keep yourself in peace
and thousands about you will be saved.

Just a note:  Live the Catholic faith, stay with the Pope.  Stay away from the doomsayers.  Trust in God.  I'm not a follower of Mark Mallet, but he has a good post on why sticking with the Pope and ignoring media reports and gossips is more necessary than ever.  For your consideration: Peter Speaks.

Pray for priests - especially for those who squander their lives and vocation on matters outside their obedience, engaging in partisan politics and polemics, neglecting themselves and the ministry they were ordained for.

Song for this post here.


  1. The perfect post!! Contains the reasons why I took myself off of Facebook and why this is my favorite blog. The perfect song with the perfect artist singing it. Thank you so much.

  2. More spiritual food for thought, thanks Terry.

    Mark has another very good post today on his blog, The Dipping Dish. I only started reading his blog yesterday when his blog post caught my eye on NEW ADVENT. I like what he has to say so far with these two posts since I found myself in agreement with it all.

  3. You said what I need to hear today - thank you!

  4. Just went over the blog post you linked to - WOW! Will be going back there again. Faithful and sensible - just what we need!

    1. I bookmarked the blog right after I read the post this morning.

  5. I know what you're saying, but I must admit I am somewhat taken aback by the remarks of this Pope at the close of the Synod. Along with some of the other speeches he's given, they just seem rather mean-spirited, and petulant. I honestly don't know what to think of him. It's probably just me.

    1. No it's not just you. I read some of speech and wondered how many folks would take offence. I wondered whom he speaks of and can only guess. I found myself among those whom he criticizes. I can't tell you how many times I acted and spoke as if I knew it all towards my parents and my brothers, especially the ones with drug addictions. I took on an air of superiority just 'cause I was a "born again Catholic." I got knocked down and fast.

      Now? I just want to be small and on fire for Jesus and the Church and truly know what it means to forgive and ask for forgiveness.

    2. I'm just very confused right now,as many people are. The whole Communion question is very strange- how can something be taught as intrinsically evil and then be taught as okay because it's merciful. And it doesn't seem right to call those defending the former view as cold-hearted because they are simply defending what has always been taught as true. I don't know- confusing.

    3. thomas, something that has helped me is to remember that truth and love are not the same. I recently read (here, I think? maybe from a Cardinal?) that you can have truth without love but not love without truth. 1 Cor 13 confirms this. When Francis seems to go after "what has always been taught as true" I think he's going after the way it's been taught and lived, not the truth of the doctrine. There is nothing heterodox about Francis in terms of doctrine. He is "heterodox" in some practice if we see the status quo as "orthodox" (obviously these terms aren't really the right ones). Francis does not question the indissolubility of marriage. It's foolish to assume he does because he lets some Cardinals who do speak freely. It just doesn't logically follow.

      Anyway, the "theory" I find most convincing is that, like Paul VI with Humanae Vitae and the question of contraception, he's letting everyone say their piece so that when the teaching is affirmed no one can legitimately claim dissenting voices were silenced and therefore not really considered.

    4. I agree Joshua.

      TT - I feel bad that you feel bad - sometimes I feel like a dad who can't take away the pain when the kids don't understand - and of course I don't mean that in a condescending sense at all.

      Remember when everyone was offended at the Christmas speech? Even Ganswein remarked it seemed a bit harsh. I didn't think it was so bad, nor do I think the Holy Father has tantrums over those who may disagree with him. I have the impression he is aware that time is short, that he has a sense of urgency - that he doesn't want us to live in our illusions.

      Anyway - something from Elizabeth of the Trinity again comes to mind: "To attain the ideal life of the soul, I believe we must live on the supernatural level."

      I think we need to try and live with a greater supernatural awareness in order to persevere in peace. That's why I say I'm not concerned about who goes to communion and all of the arguments everyone seems to be embroiled in right now. The fact is doctrine and teaching have not changed. The Pope hasn't yet issued any type of exhortation on the synod. Everyone is worried about what will happen, that the door is open to all sorts of evils, and so on. We have no control over the future - we can only live in the present moment and trust our Lord for the future.

      I'm content to let people make fun of me and say I'm sticking my head in the sand - but salvation is so uncertain - I need to reform my own life.

      God bless!

    5. Well said, Terry. Words to ponder, and I will do so.

  6. Thank you Terry......."careful watching". It really can be simple until we screw it all up. howtofindpeace.org: as I really like Father Ruotolo: often, lately, with my concentration just Shot: I am so grateful for something like the novena of surrender: so simple. so kind of God. we are so very weak.

  7. If you're at all interested in knowing . . . the Catholic Dogma . . . that we *must believe* to get to Heaven . . . I list it on my website > > > www.Gods-Catholic-Dogma.com

    The Catholic God knows . . . what we think and believe . . .

    Catholic writing of Romans 1:21 >
    "They ... became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened."

    Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Deuteronomy 31:21 >
    "For I know their thoughts, and what they are about to do this day."

    Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Job 21:27 >
    "Surely I know your thoughts, and your unjust judgments against Me."

    1. Mike, was God Catholic before Pentecost? If so, how could that be without an incarnation? If not, does that mean God changed?


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