Tag Archives: Perfection

Things to Remember… (p2)

  • “Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth cannot be My disciple.” [Luke, 14. 33.]
  • “Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding, that thou mayst know also where is length of days and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace.” (Bar. 3:14).
  • “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me.” (Jer. 9:23-24).
  • “Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation.” (Ecclus. 2:1)
  • If all the calamities which have existed in the world since the creation, and all the sufferings of Hell, were put into one side of a scale, and but one mortal sin into the other, it would outweigh all these evils, for it is incomparably greater. This is a truth which must be strongly felt and constantly remembered.
  • We are all made to the image and likeness of God, as Jesus Christ. The life question is whether or not we represent His image and likeness in our daily lives and actions.
  • St. Thomas says all sin, proceeds from self-love, for we never commit sin without coveting some gratification for self. From self-love spring those three branches of sin mentioned by St. John: “the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1Jn. 2:16), which are love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of honors. Three of the deadly sins, lust, gluttony, and sloth, spring from love of pleasure, pride springs from love of honors, and covetousness from love of riches. The remaining two, anger and envy, serve all these unlawful loves. Anger is aroused by any obstacle which prevents us from attaining what we desire, and envy is excited when we behold anyone possessing what our self-love claims. These are the three roots of the seven deadly sins, and consequently of all the others. Let these chiefs be destroyed and the whole army will soon be routed. Hence we must vigorously attack these mighty giants who dispute our entrance to the promised land.
  • Perfection consists: First, in a true contempt of one’s self. Secondly, in a thorough mortification of our own appetites. Thirdly, in a perfect conformity to the will of God: whosoever is wanting in one of these virtues is out of the way of perfection.
  • Certain souls, greedy of spiritual dainties in prayer, go in search only of these banquets of sweet and tender feelings; but courageous souls that seek sincerely to belong wholly to God, ask Him only for light to understand His will, and for strength to put it in execution.
  • “Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning.” (Job. 4:14).
  • “If you find difficulty in the performance of a virtuous action, the trouble is soon past and the virtue remains; but if you take pleasure in committing a base action, its pleasure disappears, but its shame continues with you.”
  • We must patiently endure the tribulations of this life—–ill-health, sorrows, poverty, losses, bereavement of kindred, affronts, persecutions, and all that is disagreeable. Let us invariably look on the trials of this world as signs of God’s love towards us, and of His desire to save us in the world to come. And let us, moreover, be fully persuaded that the involuntary mortifications which God Himself sends us are far more pleasing to Him than those which are the fruit of our own choice.
  • Let us acquire the good habit of saying in every adversity: God hath so willed it, and so I will it likewise.
  • Let us, moreover, force ourselves to endure scorn and insult with patience and tranquility. Let us answer terms of outrage and injury with words of gentleness; but as long as we feel ourselves disturbed, the best plan is to keep silence, till the mind grows tranquil.
  • He that prays, conquers; he that prays not, is conquered.
  • The maxim of St. Francis should never be out of our sight: “We are just what we are before God.”
  • Detach your heart from all creatures. Whoever continues bound by the slightest fondness to things of earth can never rise to a perfect union with God.
  • It was said by St. Philip Neri, that “whatever affection we bestow on creatures is so much taken from God.”
  • We must leave all, in order to gain all. “All for all,” writes Thomas à Kempis. Imit. Chr. 1. 3. C. 37.
  • St. Francis de Sales: “I never remember to have been angry without afterwards regretting it.”
  • St. Philip Neri: “We shall have no account to render to God of what is done through obedience.” Which is to be understood, of course, as long as there is no evident sin in the command.
  • All passes away in this life, whether it be joy or sorrow; but in eternity nothing passes away.
  • What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
  • All that comes from God, whether it be adverse or prosperous, all is good, and is for our welfare.
  • We must leave all, to gain all.
  • There is no peace to be found without God.
  • To love God and save one’s soul is the one thing needful.
  • We need only be afraid of sin.
  • If God be lost, all is lost.
  • He that desires nothing in this world is master of the whole world.
  • He that prays is saved, and he that prays not is damned.
  • Let me die, and give God pleasure. 
  • God is cheap at any cost.
  • Every pain is slight to him who has deserved Hell.
  • He bears all who looks on Jesus crucified.
  • Everything becomes a pain that is not done for God.
  • Whoever wishes for God alone is rich in every good.
  • Happy the man who can say: “My Jesus, I desire Thee alone, and nothing more!”
  • He that loves God, finds pleasure in everything; he that loves not God, finds no true pleasure in anything.

    God Bless BJS!!

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    Divine Providence

    ​Many people make themselves miserable worrying over the future. They should have more trust in Divine Providence. Let them do the best they can, and leave the rest to God, Who cares for them. Our Lord said, “Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they? … Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or, ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ for your Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides” (Matt. 6:26-33).

    Does God see us? — God sees us, and watches over us with loving care.

    God preserves and governs the world. If He were to take away for one instant His sustaining power, the whole creation would at once fall back into nothingness
    It is as if He held us in His hand. If He withdrew it for a moment, we would be nothing. “When thou shalt take away their breath, they shall die, and return again to the dust” (Ps. 103:29)

    Nothing happens without the will or permission of God. Our Lord tells us that not one sparrow falls to the ground without the will of our Heavenly Father, and that the very hairs of our head are numbered.

    God is to the world and men as the engine is to a train, as the pilot is to a ship. He guides the whole universe and all creatures. He guides the nations. “Cast all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7)

    What is God’s loving care for us called? — God’s loving care for us is called Divine Providence, His plan for guiding creatures to their proper end.
    Divine Providence is good, constant, and just. It watches over even the humblest and most despised creature on earth.

    Of the paternal tenderness of God, Holy Scripture speaks thus: “Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands; thy walls are always before my eyes” (Is. 49:15,16).

     God has special care for those who are poor, despised, and forgotten by the world. He has often shown forth His glory by means of the humble
    So poor shepherds were the first to receive news of the birth of the Saviour. So poor fishermen were His Apostles. So a poor maiden was His Mother.
     

    If Divine Providence is good, why do poverty, sickness, sufferings, and other physical evils exist?
    — Physical evils are often the result of the weakness of creatures in body and mind.
    Although we often do not understand God’s arrangements, we must have faith and exclaim with the Apostle: “How incomprehensible are God’s judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33).
     
    Physical evil is partly a punishment for actual sin. It serves to sanctify the good, and helps them attain eternal salvation. The greatest sufferers have often been the greatest saints. God sends suffering to the just man in order to prove his love.
    So holy Job lost everything he had, yet loved God more. So Tobias became blind and poor, and only proved his love for God.
     
    God never sends anyone suffering beyond his strength. To gain merit, we must be patient and resigned under suffering. Let us imitate Our Lord in the Garden, whose prayer was, “Father, not my will, but thine, be done!” Our Lord taught us to say, in the Our Father, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
    He who resigns himself joyfully to the will of God, in sickness, death, poverty, persecution, and other misfortunes, obtains true peace of heart; he will be blessed even on this earth.
     
    God often sends physical evil to sinners in order to bring them back into the right way. It serves as a warning to them.
    Among those who were converted through bodily sickness, we may mention St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius of Loyola.
     
    Sufferings can be a boon, and should be welcomed. By sufferings, patiently accepted, the punishment due for sin is diminished or cancelled. The more we suffer in this world, the less would we have to pay in the next life, in purgatory.
    As St. Paul said, “I am filled with comfort; I overflow with joy in all our troubles” (2 Cor. 7:4). “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us.” And St. Ignatius spoke from experience when he said, “When God sends us some great trouble, it is a sign that He designs great things for us, to raise us to great holiness.”
     

    If Divine Providence is just, why do the good often suffer misfortunes, and the wicked enjoy prosperity and honors?
    — The misfortunes and satisfactions of the world are not real and lasting, and cannot gauge God’s justice.
     
    No sinner has true happiness; his conscience will not give him inner peace. Riches, honor, and pleasures can never give peace to the spirit. On the other hand, no lover of God has true misery, for he possesses inner peace and a good conscience. Real reward and punishment begin only after death.
    On earth sinners are rewarded for whatever good they do. Their good fortune lasts only for this life. The just are punished on earth for whatever sins they may have committed. Their reward is full in the other life.
     
    We must therefore resign ourselves lovingly to the will of God. Thus we shall have peace of mind even in the midst of the greatest trials. Suffering should remind us that this is not our true home, and that we are citizens of heaven.

    “The Lord ruleth me, and I shall want nothing”
    (Ps. 22:1). “In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, because thou hast saved my soul” (Ps. 30:1, 8).
     

    Is God responsible for sin?
    — God is not responsible for sin; sin is the result of man’s wrong use of his free will.
     
    God does not will or cause sin; He forbids it and will punish the sinner. He permits sin for His own reasons, to sanctify the good, by trying them and giving them opportunities for more faithful obedience.
    God created man free to choose good or evil. He wishes us to choose good, in order that we may merit heaven. But since we are free, we can, if we so wish, choose evil. God is not responsible for our sins.
     
    Even the evil that God permits to happen, He turns to our good. He draws good out of evil.
    The wicked persecutions of the Church make the Gospel better known and loved among the just. Thus the patriarch Joseph said to his brothers, “You thought evil against me, but God turned it into good” (Gen. 50:30). “For those who love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. 8:28).

    Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.


    God Bless BJS!!

    The Perfections of God

    ​God is eternal: He has no beginning and no end. Before there ever was anything, there was God. He always was, is, and ever will be. With God there is no time: everything is present. We cannot imagine eternity, but we can understand what it is to be without beginning or end

    What do we mean when we say that God is eternal? — When we say that God is eternal, we mean that He always was and always will be, and always remains the same.
    God had no beginning; there never was a time when there was no God. God can never cease to exist; He will have no end. He will always be living, immortal.
    There is no time with God: with Him there is neither past nor future; everything is present. “One day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:8). “Before the mountains were made, or the earth and the world was formed, from eternity and to eternity thou art God” (Ps. 89:2). “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (Apoc. 1:8).
    God will always remain the same
    God cannot change. The God that is God now is the same God that has ever been, the same God that will ever be, from and throughout all eternity, the “Father of Lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration” (Jas. 1:17).

    What do we mean when we say that God is all-good? — When we say that God is all-good, we mean that He is infinitely lovable in Himself, and that from His fatherly love every good comes to us.
    God is Himself love. Love is part of His nature. Compared to God’s infinite goodness, the goodness of man is nothing, only the shadow of a shadow.
    Men, creatures of God, are good because God made them to His image and likeness. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is sweet” (Ps. 33:9).
    Out of His goodness, God created angels and men, although He had no need of them. God loves His creatures far more than a mother loves the children she has borne.
    God gives us the beautiful world to live in. He takes care of our body and soul. He showers benefits and graces on us day after day. He prepares for us a place in heaven. Above all, He sent His Son down to earth to die for us.

    What do we mean when we say that God is all-knowing? — When we say that God is all-knowing, we mean that He knows all things, past, present, and future, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.
    God is all-knowing. Before His eyes all secrets, even the most hidden, are clear, even secrets that will not be thought of by man until the end of the world.
    God knows us for what we are: we cannot hide anything from Almighty God. “All things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we have to give account” (Heb. 4:13).
    God, all-knowing, will one day make everything known to everybody, disclosing our entire lives for all to read and know.
    If we think of this power of God to see and know all things, and His promise to make everything manifest on the last day, we can more easily resist temptations to sin. “For there is nothing hidden that will not be made manifest; nor anything concealed that will not be known” (Luke 8:17).

    What do we mean when we say that God is all-present? — When we say that God is all-present, we mean that He is everywhere.
    God is all-present, because there is nothing that can have existence apart from Him. All creation exists in Him as thought exists in the mind. There is no place where God is not.
    “‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ saith the Lord” (Jer. 23:24). “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). However, we must not make the mistake of thinking that God, in Whom everything exists, is limited by this everything. He has no limits, and exists outside as well as in all creation.
    God is all-present, present everywhere, at the same time. He is not like man, that cannot be in two places at the same time. God is wholly everywhere at the same time
    The presence of God should be an incentive for us to do everything to please Him. As we are careful never to do anything wrong in the presence of our mother, how much more careful should we be in the presence of God! “Shall a man be hid in secret places, and I not see him?” (Jer. 23:24).
    Although God is everywhere, we do not see Him, because He is a spirit, and cannot be seen with our eyes.
    Similarly, we cannot see our own soul or that of another. “God is spirit, and they who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

    What do we mean when we say that God is almighty? — When we say that God is almighty, we mean that He can do all things.
    God can do anything, by a mere act of His will. Nothing is impossible to God.
    “Things that are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). The only thing God cannot do is to make a contradiction:– He cannot will wrong, because wrong is a contradiction of His goodness.

    God’s omnipotence or power is known to us especially by the magnificence of creation, and by His miracles.

    Yet God created all the immensity of the heavens with nothing except His word. “Be light made. And light was made.” (Gen. 1:3). In the same way Our Lord worked many of His miracles. “Great is the Lord … of his greatness there is no end” (Ps. 144).

     Is God all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just? — Yes, God is all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just.
     
    God is all-wise. The more we learn of the wonders of the universe, the more we are amazed by the infinite wisdom of God, by His almighty power. His knowledge is infinite. He knows how to direct all things to the highest ends, and by the most fitting means.
     
    God is infinitely holy in Himself. He loves good and hates evil. Therefore He is also all-just. He will punish the wicked and reward the good. “Be ye holy, because I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2).
    Partial justice is done in this life, for often the good are happy, and the wicked are tormented by their conscience. But complete justice will not be accomplished till the next life.
     
    God is infinitely merciful He gives sinners time for repentance. He receives us back with joy when we repent. But merciful as He is, we must not presume on His mercy, for “God will not be mocked.” “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, long suffering and plenteous in mercy” (Ps. 102:8). “He is long-suffering, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

    Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.
    God Bless BJS!!

    God the Supreme Being

    ​God created the world in six days. On the first day He made light and darkness, day and night. On the second day He made the sky and divided the waters. On the third day of Creation, God caused dry land to appear out of the waters, and bade plants to spring forth from the land. On the fourth day God made the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the fifth day He made creeping things, birds and fishes. On the sixth day God made beasts, and finally, man. Then on the seventh day God stopped working: He rested. “The heavens show forth the glory of God.” (Ps. 18:2).

    Who is God? — God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, Who made all things and keeps them in existence.
    God made everything — men, beasts, plants, planets, stars, everything. Not only that; God keeps everything in existence. Were He to take away His hand from what He created, everything would disappear into nothingness quicker than thought. Without a cause, there could be no effects. Without God, could there be anything at all?
    “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). “In him were created all things” (Col. 1:16). “It is he who gives to all men life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:25).
    The traditions of all nations and races support the idea of the existence of God. All nations and peoples have an inner convictionof God’s existence; their intellect supports their instinctive trust.
    Even among the wildest, most remote, and most degraded pagans there is invariably found the worship of some deity recognized as supreme, on whom man depends. There are savage peoples without ruler, laws, or even settlements, but never without some god that they worship with prayer and sacrifice

    What do we mean when we say that God is the Supreme Being? — When we say that God is the Supreme Being, we mean that He is above all creatures, the self-existing and infinitely perfect Spirit.
    “I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no god” (Is. 44:6). “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,’ says the Lord God. ‘who is and who was and who is coming'” (Apoc. 1:8)

    What is a spirit? — A spirit is a being that has understanding and free will, but no body, and will never die.
    God is a pure spirit. As God has no body, when we speak of His eyes and His hands we only speak in a figurative manner, in order to make ourselves more understandable according to our human way of speaking.
    Our Lord said to the Samaritan woman at the well: “God is spirit; and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Yet God has often taken on visible forms, in order to be seen by men. Thus he showed Himself in the form of a dove at the baptism of Jesus, and in the form of tongues of fire on Pentecost. God is neither a dove nor tongues of fire; He merely assumed those forms in order to be seen by mortal eyes.
    Angels and devils are pure spirits. Men are only partly spiritual, because they have a body. Man’s soul is a spirit, absolutely independent of matter, and by creatures indestructible.
    As spirits, God and men have this in common, though in different degrees: all have understanding, intellect, and free will. By his free will man can even defy his Creator, God.

    What do we mean when we say that God is self-existing? — When we say that God is self-existing we mean that He does not owe His existence to any other being.
    God made us, but who made God? God said to Moses, “I am who am” (Exod. 3:14). He exists of Himself, deriving His Being from no other. God is the First Cause.
    All other beings and things owe their existence to God. In comparison to Him, we are nothing.

    Man can never have a complete knowledge of God. Man is finite and cannot fully understand the infinite. A cup can contain the immensity of the ocean more easily than man can fully understand the Infinite God.

    We know God only partly, from the order, harmony, and existence of things, from our conscience, and from God’s revelations to man.

    What do we mean when we say that God is infinitely perfect? — When we say that God is infinitely perfect, we mean that He has all perfections without limit.
    God is immense and eternal, “an ocean without shore or bottom,” the unchangeable Being that only Himself can fully understand: “Of his greatness there is no end” (Ps. 144:3)
    God is so great and wonderful that He needs nothing to make Him greater or more wonderful. He possesses all perfections, countless, innumerable, illimitable, boundless.
    God cannot be better, holier, or more perfect than He already is. He is at the acme of perfection, the uncreated, the Infinite. “Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee” (3 Kings 8:27).
    So perfect is God that He is infinitely incomprehensible, incapable of being completely understood. Reason can verify the revelation that God made of Himself. But when we make our reason or our emotions the final authority, we make ourselves our own god, and shut the road to the supernatural, the Infinite.
    God alone can bridge the chasm that yawns between the finite and the infinite. When we take advantage of His grace to seek Him in loving trust, He holds out His hand, a Father calling to children, to cross the chasm safely to Him.
    The Creator is above all the created, though something of Him, some likeness of His Being, may be found in every creature. But even were all creatures, from the most glorious seraphim to the lowliest of moss, to combine their powers and perfections, theirs would be a faint shadow of God’s all-encompassing supremacy.

    What are some of the perfections of God? — Some of the perfections of God are: God is eternal, all-good, all-knowing, all-present, and almighty.
    God’s perfections do not exist separately in Him, but are one and identical with Himself. They are only various manifestations of His one nature and perfection. In God, for example, His goodness is one with His wisdom and power. His perfections, besides being one and the same in Him, are also identical with Him: that is, God Himself is infinity, wisdom, goodness, power.

    Taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distrubutor.
    God Bless BJS!!