Why Are We So Good at Grudges?

Out of all the creatures in God’s created world, we humans, are the only ones created in His image and likeness. That says something about who we are… at least it should. We all know that God is love. From the beginning of time to the ending… He is Love. And we… these miserable creatures that we are… are created in this same love. So it goes to figure that we should have the same capacity for love that God has. But because we are marked with original sin, here is where the miserable part comes in… unlike God, we are prone to act on this sin, and often times, because of our nature, we waste our time, allowing that sin, our predisposition to sin, to rob us of our image and likeness to God. Because we are fallen, we often take what rightly belongs to God and we throw it away… or worse, we throw it to the devil.

Holding onto grudges is just that. It is a wasting away of God’s precious gift to us. When we hold onto grudges, we are actively working to remove the grace that God has given us in our baptism, and we are replacing it with our sins… our vices… those imperfections that keep us from holiness. Even if we have been wronged or hurt… we must learn to forgive… seventy times a thousand if we must, otherwise we risk losing it all. And I am not just talking about our relationships with one another here on earth. No, I am talking about losing the one thing that we were created for… and that, is to be with God in Heaven. It is that big a deal.

Now, I know some of you wonder why this is something I keep writing about, well, it is because it is really something that many people don’t even think about anymore. In our society that promotes self, it is a vice that so often gets overlooked and ignored. So many people feel that they love God and still others, figure that since they are good… I mean they go to Church…. what does it matter if they hold a grudge against so and so… they deserve it anyway… Jesus will understand, after all He got mad in the temple… ‘Or better yet, they say ‘my anger is just…’ or some such nonsense as that. Many people don’t realize the gravity that this kind of unjust anger affects in their souls… their sense of peace and joy are gone. Often times, instead of looking inwardly, they want to blame the world for their unhappiness… their lack of joy. But in order for their to be joy… there must be love…. and in order for there to be love there must be charity and in order for there to be charity, there must be God’s grace, and that self awareness of soul that allows us to know, that all of our good…. all of our virtue…. comes from God is precisely where our path to holiness begins. These grudges separate us from this and soon we forget that we were created to be like God…. in His image and likeness…In order to do God’s Will, we must love one another… As we Love Christ…. We cannot separate ourselves from this Truth or we risk the chance, that when we go before the Lord, He will not even recognize us as one of His own.

None of us want that, it is too big a risk, just for the satisfaction of ‘knowing‘ that you were right. But it may not even be that. It might just be the desire to hurt someone, because you are hurting yourself. But as I recently read, no one ever healed their hurt by hurting another. It doesn’t work like that. It never has. It never will. Those whispers of revenge are lies of the devil. He would be more than satisfied to help you on the path to hell. He is after all the Father of all lies… the destroyer of all that God has made as good….Remember that nothing good ever comes from sin.

We are just a few short weeks outside of lent…. when letting go of things…clearing out our  clutter becomes the order of the day… Let us take this opportunity to pray for the grace that God will help us to let go of these grudges that do so much damage to our souls. Once you have made the change from vice to virtue… And when God’s love has been restored, charity will return, and when charity returns, peace will return and there will room in your heart for God’s grace to work wonders in your soul… Returning it to it’s former glory... of being created in the image and likeness of God… And when that happens.…You will be grateful that you let go of the grudge that has held you down for so long. Have a blessed day my friends.

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Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

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“The things that we love, tell us what we are.”

St. Thomas Aquinas said, “The things that we love, tell us what we are.” With this is mind, what pray tell are you? Where does your love lie? Are we like the good St. Thomas Aquinas with eyes turned towards the heavens? No of course not! We are busy in the hectic day to day grind. We barely have time to look up let alone sit and contemplate the grande designs of God. Even so, are we doing the best we can? Are we doing all that we can to insure that we are loving what is best?

Are your days filled things of the world or things of the Lord? So many of us are busy. We have every hour of our day spent doing something. We have our jobs and all our daily tasks. And then, for those of us with a marriage vocation … we have our families to look after and take care of. The list involved with this is long, and most days there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. It is an endless cycle… but even so, it is all part of the plan and we have got to make sure that in the midst of all of our ‘living’ that we don’t lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to spend our eternity with God in heaven… and laying the groundwork for our children … showing them the narrow path.

Of course our vocation is important, it is what we have been called to fulfill … It is our love…. and we wouldn’t have it any other way, and as such it deserves all of the effort that we put into it. But what kind of effort? Are we building up Christ’s Church in our home? Do we spend more time driving the kids to practices and rehearsals than we spend trying to pray an hour of Eucharistic adoration as a family? How about praying the family rosary? Does it keep getting pushed aside for more pressing matters? When we put the emphasis on the ‘material or secular’ aspects of life, what kind of message are we sending to the children? What kind of message are we sending to God?

If God has called you to the vocation of marriage, it is our duty as parents to instill in our children a love of God. It is that simple… many of us will fail and fall short but we have got to try… we mustn’t ever give up hope. (think St. Monica...)The first priority is that we have got to move all of this other stuff off the pedestal and remember that it is not about us and this world but it is about us united with God and His Holy plan for us. We have got to make God the center of our homes, with the Blessed Mother sitting in Her place beside Him. And then, we have got to work all of those otherwise wasted hours, making sure that they reign as the center of not only our homes but our hearts as well! After all, as St. Thomas Aquinas said, we are what we love… May God bless you in your continued efforts to be holy.

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Resentment is Poison for Our Soul

 

 

As we begin this New Year, many of us have hopes of being better than we were last year, we have made our resolutions and are trying to change our vises into virtues.  It is a noble cause, yet after so many years of failed attempts at sainthood, we find that the road of sanctity still stretches far ahead of us… seemingly just beyond our grasp. And that even with our daily ‘battles’ we still have so far to go to reach our reward. As we approach this second week of the new year, we might feel a bit daunted by our resolutions, but as Catholics… as Christians... we must continue to fight the good fight…

One of the most damaging things we do to our souls, is that we hold onto things. Both physical things and spiritual things. Things that we shouldn’t hold onto in the first place. Most of these things we should discard or more importantly…  give over to the Lord. But we are stubborn…. and we hold onto these things...these ‘precious’ things‘  one such of which, is feelings of resentment.

Resentment.… It is that bitter beat in our heart, put there by our own free will. Without our consent, it would have no room to grow. But we are stained, marked by sin, and without even realizing the damage that we are allowing… we give it room to grow. Once we allow it to reign in our hearts it has the ability to destroy all the good that God wishes to give us. It is that poisonous!

When we hold onto resentment, we lose our hold of the Lord… we slip... and we begin to fill those places in our heart with bitterness and anger… We, you and I, replace the good with the bad… We are stubborn, and we continue to think that we can punish someone else with our resentment… but all we are doing is punishing ourselves. Someone once said that resentment is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die!

It is an active work against the Lord and it will consume all that God has seen as good… and when we allow it to fester, it will take over … Given free reign in our hearts, it will take on a life of it’s own, crushing us and making it impossible for us to grow the way God intended. And instead of growing in the Lord, we end up giving to the devil what rightly belongs to God…. None of us want that, do we? So during these tempting times, let us hold fast to our goals and give all of our burdens to the Lord, praying that His mercy may be upon us and guide us through our difficult days…

To read an awesome article on this same topic, please click on the following link to a post by Father D. Longenecker.  The Dark Beast of Resentment.

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Happy New Year on This Feast of the Solemnity of the Mother of God

Jan. 1 - Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God newAs we enter into the new year, we begin by celebrating Mary, the Mother of God. This young Jewish girl who with her ‘Yes’, began for all of humanity the road of salvation.

The Church teaches us that by agreeing to the Will of God, Mary not only became the Mother of Jesus, but became the Mother of God as well! But it doesn’t end there!!! Regardless of how fantastic that is … She became our mother as well! She cares about each of us who love Her Son….Regardless of how un -perfect our ability to love Him is, She is always there with the most precious… the most sweet and the most patient love you could ever imagine, waiting… wanting to guide us, wanting to carry us to Her beloved Son, Jesus.

It really is an awesome thing. She is the Mother that all of us need. The mother who will console you when the rest of the world is willing to destroy you. She is there trying to shield you, trying to hold back the torrents of pain that the world wishes to consume you with.

It is into her tender arms that we often fall, when  the strength of our arms is spent.  It is She who carries us, close to Her bosom and places us in the tender embrace of Her gentle Son… Who like the Good Son that He is… cannot deny His Mother… our Mother…. Mary, Queen of the Universe … Mother of our God…. anything!!! Happy New Year and God bless!

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6th Day of Christmas – December 30th

This is a post I wrote two years ago, it contains a bit of good information that I once again wish to share, and since I haven’t much time to rewrite…I have chosen to just re-post the whole thing. Don’t worry though, most of you didn’t read it back then, so it will still be ‘new’ to you, but please take the opportunity to read through it now…as there are a few indulgences the Church has attached to the next few days that you may just want to take advantage of. Merry Christmas and God bless.

SecondHandSaintsblog

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On the sixth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me….six geese a laying, five golden rings…. four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a Partridge in a pear tree…”

As we round out the first week of this the Christmas season, we are fast approaching the final days of this year…fast approaching the first day of the coming New Gregorian Year. And even though we haven’t accumulated the great number of gifts that we have been singing  about in the “Twelve Days of Christmas“… We do have a great and loving Father Whose generosity will not be outdone! Just this week alone we have have had much to rejoice about and be glad…starting with Nativity and the birth of Christ…God has started this season with the Best…yet he still keeps on giving…And this weekend as we ring in…

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Happy 4th Day of Christmas

As we head into the weekend following Christmas, and we notice how all the hustle and bustle of the secular world has calmed down a bit, let us not be lulled into the misguided thinking that “Christmas is over”… For it has just begun! Regardless of the piles of tinsel laden Christmas trees we now see lying on the curb or the isles of red valentines that have replaced the jolly elves and Santa in the stores…. As Catholics… as Christians; our lovely encounter with the Child Jesus should not be coming to such an abrupt end… Rather, it is only beginning and we should be striving to carry this love that has exploded in our heart for the Baby Jesus, out into the rest of the world.

When a child is born into a family, it is not a one day and done kind of ordeal… No, there are weeks of congratulating the new parents and countless opportunities of oohing and awing over the new baby… showering them with your love. How could we treat the Baby Jesus to any less than that?

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Spend time in front of the creche… contemplating over the Holy Family and the tiny Babe in the middle of it all. If you haven’t already done so, open your heart to Jesus. Ask Him what He wants of you during this season of Christmas. What gift do you have for Him?

If you find that you are having a hard time finding a way to love sweet Baby Jesus, take a look at the beautiful picture I saw posted earlier today on Facebook. Take a look at this sweet little girl, her actions sum up what our response to Him should be, perfectly…. We all should be approaching the Baby Jesus with the innocence of a little child… and sharing with Him everything we have to give. Merry Christmas and God bless.

 

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Merry Christmas

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Sometimes…when man uses the gifts that God has endowed him with…wonderful things happen… the above painting is one such example…. Handel’s Messiah: Hallelujah, is another… Merry Christmas and God bless!

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