“It is part of the discipline of God to make His loved ones perfect through trial and suffering.
Only by carrying the Cross can one reach the Resurrection.”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen
(fall leaves doing what they do, fall / Julie Cook / 2020)
Reading the late great archbishop’s words…I would imagine that some readers don’t
much care for the notion of man’s enduring trials and suffering while on this earth…
that of carrying the Cross…with each as a means of reaching the final end goal—
that of our being Resurrected with Christ.
We don’t like to think that we are meant to carry a cross, that we are meant
to suffer or endure…a loving God should want us happy and content right??
A loving God shouldn’t allow those He created and supposedly loves to suffer
or to encounter pain, violence, or be handed a heavy cross to bear…
What we need to remember is that we live in a fallen world.
Sin shadows our every move.
In our lifetime we will each experience various trials.
Avoiding them as best we try, trials will still come regardless of our vain attempts
to keep them at bay.
However, our best recourse is to rid ourselves of ourselves…
To sever our ties to the trappings of this earth.
To completely empty our hearts.
For it is in that emptying, as St Liguori reminds us, that we are allowed
be open ourselves for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
We must detach ourselves from ourselves and from the world in order to save ourselves.
And it is only through following Christ, first to Golgatha then to that empty
tomb, that we will find our true peace and joy and everlasting life.
“The heart cannot exist without love; it will love either God or creatures.
If it does not love creatures, it certainly will love God.
In order to become holy, we must therefore banish from our heart all that is not for God.
When anyone came to the Fathers of the desert and desired to be received by them he was asked:
‘Do you bring an empty heart that it may be filled by the Holy Ghost?’
And they were right, for a heart that is filled with the things of earth has no room
for the love of God.
He who brings a vessel filled with earth to the spring will never be able to fill it
with water until he empties it of the earth with which it is filled.
How does it happen that so many pray and go frequently to Holy Communion and still make
no considerable progress in the love of God?
The reason is doubtless because the heart is full of self-esteem, of vanity, of self-will,
and of attachment to creatures.
He, therefore, who wishes to arrive at the perfect love of God must practice poverty in spirit.
He must be detached from worldly possessions, from temporal honors,
from his fellow creatures, and from himself.”
St. Alphonsus Liguori, p. 114-5
An Excerpt From
12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation
***off for a few days in order to find a few more falling leaves with the Mayor and the Sheriff