Tuesday, January 12, 2010

St. "Al" is a real 'hero of the faith' for me...

Reading this astounded me. It's from an experpt I read at Catholic Encylopedia a while ago about St. Alphonsus Liguori:

...He had a pleasant smile, and his conversation was very agreeable, yet he had great dignity of manner. He was born a leader of men. His devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady was extraordinary. He had a tender charity towards all who were in trouble; he would go to any length to try to save a vocation; he would expose himself to death to prevent sin.

There's so much to 'unpack' here, it's going to take a while. In just a few sentences, to learn of such great devotion, love, zeal, of this man, makes me so glad I'm Catholic, and can read about such heroes, such dedication of the Saints' lives to their Beloved Spouse. Anyone considering a religious life, if you're being called to a vocation as priest, or nun/sister or brother, please read "The True Spouse of Jesus Christ." I've been reading it for over 2 months now. It's a slow read, with so much to digest, to ponder. I've just read the section on "Detachment to relatives" and "Detachment to Persons" and it is so deep and so wise. It's a very hard couple of sections in this chapter, and something I never knew. If there were this kind of "true devotion" to Jesus in the hearts of religious and priests, we'd see such holiness abound in parishes, but instead, religious often "mix with the world" to an unhealthy degree, by unwise choices and slow increments that before you know it, we have scandal abound instead of holiness. This is not a condemnation but a glorious work to fully prepare the hearts of those seeking religious life, and what will/should be required of them, both men and women. I think much of the problems of the past 40 years were the 'relaxation' of many of the Rules of orders. It's quite disheartening, but there is hope as a "new wave" of seminarians and religious are filling seminaries and convents now to discern religious life. It's evident to see that "strict" and "traditionl" monasteries are on the rise, as others diminish due to their lack of fervor and "true devotion." As I've written and said many times, Judgment begins in the House of God, and His cleansing power is being felt now, throughout our Church, cleaning out the dross and replacing it with resplendent "diamonds in the rough" and pure gold/silver/and jewels, radiant lives of holiness to lead the faithful is the only way we will survive what is to come. For what is to come is beyond all we can imagine, and most "anti-Christ" so "anti-Church" than we've yet seen, it should sober us up fast and cause us to really "tremble" with holy fear, that we must 'work out our salvation with that same fear and trembling.' The thing is, that is a far and very distant concept since Vatican II, and those who 'worship the spirit of Vat. II' more than the Lord Himself. When devotion to Our Lady and her rosary went "out the window" with the "bathwater" and we lost the Baby Jesus, too, we are fooling ourselves if we think we can 'tip-toe through some tulip field' of "religion the way I want it," with blatant disregard for His Will. Lord have mercy!
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. Save souls! Amen.


Caroline said...

Was so glad to discover you tonight. I have been visiting a number of Christian blogs but not yet landed on one that is Catholic too. I am Catholic and I love watching EWTN. Isn't Mother Angelica wonderful!! I love the photo of her you have up there and the comment underneath!
I really love our faith and I am continually learning of it and its richness.

Joyful Catholic said...

Hi Caroline~ welcome! How did you happen to come across my blog? Was it a certain search or key word? Just curious, but glad you stopped by and for your kind words. I've been a practicing Catholic now for 5 years and I do love it! I love Mother Angelica and just finished reading her bio, by Raymond Arroyo,over Thanksgiving. Your comment was a very pleasant surprise. Do come again! God bless -

Caroline said...

I happened to click on a comment you left on one of the blogs I visited. I cannot remember now which one, that is how I discovered you.
I was born and raised Catholic. But in my adult years have come to truly appreciate my faith. I really enjoy learning more and more about it.
I have Mother Angelica's bio too. I read it maybe about 2 years ago.
I will definitely be visiting you. Keep up your great work with this blog. God Bless.

Joyful Catholic said...

Thank you, Caroline! I'll look forward to your visits. It's funny, because I was becoming a little discouraged, kind of bummed lately, to not get as many comments as I'd hoped for here and seriously thinking of possibly quitting this blog, or at least slowing way down. Then today I find 3 of your comments. Thank you again, the timing was "Divine Design."