Unselfish with God

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Unselfish with God

CHRIST:

MY CHILD, do not look for spiritual consolation or interior good feelings in your prayers and good works. Serve Me for My sake, as I deserve. Let your service depend on My word, and not on any pleasant feelings which I may send you. If I gave interior consolation and joy for every good work, many a worldly man would follow My commandments for the sake of these gifts.

2. As long as you are in this life, you will be tempted by the blind selfishness of fallen human nature. Turn frequently to Me and let Me guide your self-interest. I desire your self- interest to be intelligent and well-ordered. Place Me above all persons and things created.

3. I am far greater than all My works. I am your greatest Treasure! Seek Me above all else. Consider what I mean in your life. What do I deserve of you? What have I a right to expect of you? Can you draw your next breath or take your next step without My consent and assistance? Could you exist another instant if I withdrew My support? Only by facing these facts, and living on them each hour of the day, can you give Me the intelligent service which you owe Me.

4. Spiritual consolation is only a temporary gift to encourage one who is earnestly trying to serve Me. This gift is not at the command of any man, and it will not be given to anyone who seeks it for itself. Such a person is too much like the man who seeks his entire happiness in the pleasures, satisfactions, and honors of this world. A frank and intelligent remembrance of your unworthiness, will help you perform your prayers and good works without expecting spiritual consolations in return.

THINK:
Jesus is right. I do not deserve the least of His gifts. I already owe Him so much that I should be glad to do His Will, without looking for further gifts. He owes me nothing, and I owe Him everything. If He chose to leave me in misery and sorrow, He would be doing me no injustice, since all that I am and have belong to Him.

PRAY:
Lord, I know that You will never treat me as poorly as I deserve, as long as I am truly trying to improve my daily life. You will never be outdone in generosity. Each holy desire and every good deed of mine will be rewarded a hundredfold. You will not leave me in my misery and troubles any longer than is necessary for my real good. I have deserved little, but I need You and hope in Your help. Let me follow Your wise and holy Will by seeking You first, and Your gifts only as far as You want me to have them. Amen.

Saint Bruno

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Saint Bruno

Founder of the Order of the Chartreuse or Carthusian Order
(1030-1101)

Saint Bruno was born in Cologne in about the year 1030, of an illustrious family. He was endowed with rare natural gifts, which soon shone with outstanding brilliance in Paris, though he was studying among other gifted young men. Ordained at Cologne, his native city, he became a Canon of its cathedral, and then was a Canon at Rheims, where the direction of studies in theology was entrusted to him. He already had a very strong distaste for honors, and a great desire for the life of contemplation.

On the death of the excellent Gervais, Archbishop of Rheims, the region fell for a time into evil hands, and Bruno, who had resisted the decay of religion, became the object of a persecution. He stood firm and called for a papal legate; a council was assembled at Autun, of which Bruno was the soul, and the intruder at Rheims was repulsed, to die later in total obscurity. Bruno was not yet forty years old, but all desired that he assume the charge of the see; yet he could not bring himself to accept this honor. He retired from Rheims, and resolved to forsake the world definitively, to live a life of retirement and penance. Others joined him in retreat, desiring the pursuit of perfection, according to the means Christ prescribed. If you will be perfect, go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. (Matthew 19:21) Saint Bruno aspired to a desert and, inspired by God, looked towards the Alps of the east.

With six companions, four priests and two laymen, Saint Bruno applied to Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble, who led them to a wild solitude called the Chartreuse. There they lived in poverty, self-denial, and silence, each apart in his own cell, meeting only for the worship of God, and employing themselves in copying books. From the name of the solitude the Order of Saint Bruno was called the Carthusian Order. Six years later, Urban II called Bruno to Rome, that he might benefit from his counsel. Bruno tried to live there as he had lived in the desert; but the echoes of the great city disturbed his solitude, and, after refusing high dignities, he finally obtained, by force of persuasion, the permission of the Pope to resume his monastic life, this time in Calabria, with only a few companions. There he lived, in humility and mortification and great peace, until his blessed death occurred, in the arms of his faithful monks, in 1101.

Reflection: O everlasting kingdom, said Saint Augustine; kingdom of endless ages, whereon rest untroubled light and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, where the souls of the Saints are in rest, and everlasting joy crowns their heads, where sorrow and sighing have fled away! When shall I come and appear before God?

Feast of the Holy Rosary

Feast of the Holy Rosary

Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B.
The Liturgical Year, 1903.

It is customary with men of the world to balance their accounts at the end of the year, and ascertain their profits. The Church is now preparing to do the same. We shall soon see her solemnly numbering her elect, taking an inventory of their holy relics, visiting the tombs of those who sleep in the Lord, and counting the sanctuaries, both old and new, that have been consecrated to her divine Spouse. But today’s reckoning is a more solemn one, the profits more considerable: she opens her balance-sheet with the gain accruing to our Lady from the mysteries which compose the Cycle. Christmas, the Cross, the triumph of Jesus, these produce the holiness of us all; but before and above all, the holiness of Mary. The diadem which the Church thus offers first to the august Sovereign of the world, is rightly composed of the triple crown of these sanctifying mysteries, the causes of her joy, of her sorrow, and of her glory. The joyful mysteries recall the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Birth of Jesus, Mary’s Purification, and the Finding of our Lord in the Temple. The sorrowful mysteries bring before us the Agony of our Blessed Lord, His being scourged, and crowned with thorns, the carrying of the Cross, and the Crucifixion. While, in the glorious mysteries, we contemplate the Resurrection and Ascension of our Savior, Pentecost, and the Assumption and Coronation of the Mother of God. Such is Mary’s Rosary; a new and fruitful vine, which began to blossom at Gabriel’s salutation, and whose fragrant garlands form a link between earth and heaven.
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