Posts tagged ‘love’

What is meant by the final purification? Understanding the Catholic notion of purgatory requires knowing the difference between a temporal consequence and an eternal consequence; this difference has nothing to do with damnation and salvation. Some people reject the idea of purgatory because they misunderstand its purpose. In this video, Fr. Mike explains why purgatory is needed and straightens out some of those misunderstandings.

To learn more about purgatory, check out these articles on Ascension’s Great Adventure Blog:

Furnace of Divine Love: The Biblical Roots of Purgatory (http://bit.ly/2pQQv80)
A Fiery Faith for All Souls (http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/souls/)

MORE FROM ASCENSION:

Ascension Press main website: http://ascensionpress.com
Ascension Presents website: http://ascensionpresents.com
The Great Adventure Blog: http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/blog

Consider the following excerpt from Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis:

Love rejoices with others
109. The expression chaírei epì te adikía[“rejoice over wrongdoing”] (1 Cor 13:6) has to do with a negativity lurking deep within a person’s heart. It is the toxic attitude of those who rejoice at seeing an injustice done to others. The following phrase expresses its opposite: sygchaírei te aletheía: “it rejoices in the right”. In other words, we rejoice at the good of others when we see their dignity and value their abilities and good works. This is impossible for those who must always be comparing and competing, even with their spouse, so that they secretly rejoice in their failures.

110. When a loving person can do good for others, or sees that others are happy, they themselves live happily and in this way give glory to God, for “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Our Lord especially appreciates those who find joy in the happiness of others. If we fail to learn how to rejoice in the well-being of others, and focus primarily on our own needs, we condemn ourselves to a joyless existence, for, as Jesus said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The family must always be a place where, when something good happens to one of its members, they know that others will be there to celebrate it with them.

  • What are some joys we have experienced in our family? Are there ways to build upon these joys to create a more joyful home?
  • In what ways could we add more joy to our family? Could we be more cheerful in giving and complain less? Could we focus less on our own needs and more on the happiness of a family member? Could we rejoice in our family’s love by affirming each other more with compliments? Could we smile more at our family members?
  • Do we base our lives on the joyful awareness that we are beloved sons and daughters of God, or do we let something rob us of the joy of the Gospel? What is it that robs us? Is it anxiety, fear, or impatience? How might prayer help with these things?

I invite all of you who follow Jesus, wherever you are, to spend time every day renewing your personal relationship with him, letting him touch your hearts.

Scripture

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9

Prayer
Loving God and Father, open my mind and heart to the realization that Jesus is one of the greatest gifts in my life. You invite me through him to a new way of seeing and loving. Beginning today, I will try to be more conscious that Jesus loves me and abides with me, and I will try to renew my relationship with him in all I do today. Amen

Practice
Today I will set aside a space in my home, if only a small corner, where I can light a candle as a reminder that Jesus abides in me, here and now, and always.

When we get caught up in our own interests and concerns, we no longer have room in our hearts for others, no place for the poor. We forget the quiet joy of God’s love. – Pope Francis

Read Romans 12:15-16

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=402728180

Prayer
O beloved God, If I have closed my heart to you, please open it wide that I might reach out beyond my own interests and concerns to be aware of the needs of others, especially the poor. Your Son Jesus become one with all those who have little of this world’s goods, and he proclaimed your kingdom to them first of all. Make my heart like his, dear God.
Amen.

Practice
Today I will think about Pope Francis’ words and try to let them into my heart.

https://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf

 

Paragraph 286 from Amoris Laetitia

 

286. Nor can we ignore the fact that the configuration of our own mode of being, whether as male or female, is not simply the result of biological or genetic factors, but of multiple elements having to do with temperament, family history, culture, experience, education, the influence of friends, family members and respected persons, as well as other formative situations. It is true that we cannot separate the masculine and the feminine from God’s work of creation, which is prior to all our decisions and experiences, and where biological elements exist which are impossible to ignore. But it is also true that masculinity and femininity are not rigid categories. It is possible, for example, that a husband’s way of being masculine can be flexibly adapted to the wife’s work schedule. Taking on domestic chores or some aspects of raising children does not make him any less masculine or imply failure, irresponsibility or cause for shame. Children have to be helped to accept as normal such healthy “exchanges” which do not diminish the dignity of the father figure. A rigid approach turns into an overaccentuation of the masculine or feminine, and does not help children and young people to appreciate the genuine reciprocity incarnate in the real conditions of matrimony. Such rigidity, in turn, can hinder the development of an individual’s abilities, to the point of leading him or her to think, for example, that it is not really masculine to cultivate art or dance, or not very feminine to exercise leadership. This, thank God, has 216 changed, but in some places deficient notions still condition the legitimate freedom and hamper the authentic development of children’s specific identity and potential.

1 Corinthians 13:4–13:7

4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Read Matthew 6:24-34.

In this Gospel reading, before Jesus tells his listeners not to worry, he says “No one can serve two masters.” Who is Jesus refering to? One master is God(Love), surely, but who is the other?

Could Jesus be refering to more specific “evils” – evils that cause us to worry and make us miserable?

What kinds of worry are normal? What kinds of worry lead to debilitating anxiety?

Consider the character Tony from Wm. Paul Young’s, “Cross Roads” – after reading Chapter 3. What “masters” does (or doesn’t) he serve? What other ideas come to mind?

Survey:

[polldaddy type=”iframe” survey=”2B906FAD4C9FD372″ height=”auto” domain=”dsader” id=”conscience”]

Bible Readings:

Skim these Scripture passages. Pick one that appeals to you and

  1. summarize its main point,
  2. tell how it relates to the theme “Understanding Conscience”,
  3. list one or two thoughts that entered your mind when you read it.

Reflect:

The reflection will take effort, but it is an effort to focus – for yourself – an ego-conscience. If that’s not worth the effort, you will always have a personality, but it is unlikely you will ever develop character.

Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side of the line, list the do’s and don’ts your parents, teachers, and media (other external forces) have taped on your Superego that you have already checked against reality and find are now wrong – or at least far too simplified. On the other side, write the elements of your Superego that you now see for yourself are valid.

Quotable Quotes:

“Faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

“The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by the objective standards of moral conduct.” – The Church in the Modern World, 16

“Return to the root and you will find the meaning.” – Sengstan

“A man’s action is only a picture book of his creed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud.” – Sophocles

“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Activity:

Choose:

  1. Roughly how many of your peers do you guess cheat routinely on homework, quizzes, and tests? What are the reasons most would give for doing that? Why is “Well, everybody does it” not a legitimate excuse? If trust and honesty are the glue that holds together the web of our human ecology, what is the effect of widespread cheating on the web of society?
  2. When schools discover that a great deal of cheating is going on, the administration frequently will encourage teachers and exam supervisors to have greater vigilance and require strong punishment when someone is caught cheating. Similarly, with the increase of crime in our cities, the almost automatic response is to call for an increase in the number of police. What would be a better way to attack the problems of cheating and crime at their roots?

Virtually all climate scientist are making it plain that the time for drastic action on the environment is now, and they caution that it may already be too late to stop some of the change. Some people reject the scientific consensus and say we need more time to study the problem. Pope Francis says that attempts to discredit calls for radical change come from the same forces that keep the world from addressing the issue of global poverty. Poverty has many faces – neglect of nature leads to neglect of humanity. He urges us not to continue our blindnesss but begin to reach out in love and compassion to the poor.

Ponder
Who and where are the poor where I live?

Pray
God of creation, break the hardness of my heart so that I may hear the cries of the poor and then do more to work on their behalf.

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