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FOOD FOR THOUGHT




 

 

SPIRITUALITY

 

 

 

 

THE TONGUE

 

The tongue is the hand of them that pray and, by it, we lay hold of the knees of God; therefore defile it not lest to thee God say, "Though ye make many prayers, I will not hearken."

 

Control your tongue lest it be wanton and luxuriate; like a river, keep it within its banks. A rapidly flowing river soon collects mud; a talkative tongue soon speaks dirt.

 

St. Ambrose

 

 

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Although a soul is overwhelmed by sins, although it should find its inclinations to evil increasing daily instead of diminishing in favor of virtue, yet it must not fail to place its confidence in God; it must not be discouraged or abandon its spiritual works.  On the contrary, it must arouse itself to a new fervor and redouble its efforts against the enemy.

 

Scupoli

 

 

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THOUGHTS ARE LIKE DEEDS

 

"Speech, when put to use, has of itself the effect of a deed; and wicked deliberation is condemned no less than an evil deed. An unlawful look convicts, as will an evil deed. Anger slays equally with the sword. Savage envy wounds as cruelly as a spear. And a false accusation will prepare a pit of destruction. Let us fly from evil thoughts. For things dwelt on in thought are judged in the same way as deeds."

 

St. Ephraim

 

 

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USELESS THOUGHTS

 

When Moses put off his sandals, he symbolized an important duty of ours -- the laying aside of all dead and groveling thoughts. Let us then, my brethren, purify ourselves from every earthly imagination, and from all the disturbances and confusion of life, that we may receive with unclouded vision, the radiant splendors of the Divine Word, and have our souls nourished with the spiritual bread which is the angel's food; and, passing within the veil, may learn clearly the divine passion for the salvation of the world. 

 

St. John of Damascus

 

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Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember that he of whom you are speaking is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation, God can make him a saint ahead of you. 

 

St. Thomas of Villanova

 

 

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A poor man becomes more conscious of his own deprivation when he looks at the rich; a sinner, reading the lives of the saints, becomes more conscious of his sinfulness.

 

 

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MAN'S POTENTIAL

 

Man has within him the capacity for both greatness and vileness. He can behave lower than the animals or higher than the angels. It is dangerous for man to be ignorant of both; it is helpful for him to know both, then hope he chooses to be like the angels.

 

 

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THE PRESENT MOMENT

 

Every moment comes to us pregnant with a command from God, only to pass on and plunge into eternity, there to remain forever what we have made it, says St. Francis de Sales.

 

At this very moment, I may, if I desire, become the friend of God, says St. Augustine.

 

God does not ask of us the perfection of tomorrow, nor even of tonight, but only of the present moment, St. Sophie Barat reminds us.

 

 

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WE LEFT ALL THINGS

 

Saint Peter said: "We have left all things." Saint James said: "We have given up all things." Saint John said: "We have nothing left." Yet we try to own all things. When shall we leave all things? When we leave everything conceivable, expressible, audible, and visible - then and then only have we given up everything. Having done this, we become flooded with light, exceedingly bright with God. 

 

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God wills all men to be saved; but that is if they come to Him. For He does not will that they be saved who do not want to be saved. He wills that they be saved if they themselves also will it. 

 

St. Ambrose

 

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WASTING TIME

Do not deceive yourselves into thinking that one time can make up for another that was wasted. The day is not long enough to allow you to repay in full your debts to the Lord. Time lost is forever lost. You just have to make the most of what is lost. 

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The demons have no means of taking possession of a man's spirit or body, no power forcibly to enter his soul, unless they first deprive him of all holy thoughts, and make him empty and devoid of spiritual contemplation. 

St. John Cassian

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MY OPINION

A man will abandon other habits (though it may be hard to tear himself from them) more easily than he will surrender his opinions. Those who have become accustomed to them don't easily put even the former aside. Houses, cities, villages, and intimate acquaintances are not willingly given up when we favor them. This, therefore, was a reason why many of the Jews at that time disregarded the clear testimony of the prophecies, the miracles Jesus did and the sufferings it has been said He endured...because they held to their erroneous opinions about the Christ. 

Origen

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RUN FAST . . . AND NOW

Take my advice. Be slow to do evil but swiftly run toward your salvation. For readiness to do evil and tardiness in doing good are equally bad. 

When you are invited to a purely good time, don't be quick to go. If you are tempted to backslide, leap away. If a group of evildoers say to you, "Come with us, share our blood-guiltiness, let us hide in the earth a righteous man unjustly," don't even listen to them. 

You will benefit greatly in two ways: you will make the other people realize their sin, and you will save yourself from keeping evil company. 

Gregory Nazianzen

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THREE THINGS PLEASING TO GOD

The first is illness suffered with patience. The second is good works done without show but for God’s love only. And the third is perfect self- denial to the will of Him Who loves us. This last one will secure the greatest crown in paradise.

St. Isidore said: “Earthly punishments contribute to our salvation, so that the righteous should be happy to suffer, and the evil doer unhappy in suffering and prosperity. Punishments wipe our guilt ONLY if it reforms our way of life.

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(02-29-04)

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