From Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen
Jesus has said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments…. If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love; as I also have kept My Father’s commandments, and do abide in His love” (John 14:15 – 15:10).
The perfection of charity consists in the perfect conformity of our wills with the divine will; this divine will is expressed, first of all, in the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. Moreover, it is expressed in a more concrete and detailed way in the duties of my state and the various circumstances of life.
How I must act in daily life, so as to be always in conformity with the divine will: if I am a religious, these duties are set forth in my Rule, the customs of my Institute, the commands of my superiors, and the tasks imposed by obedience.
If I am a priest, my duty is the care of souls; if I am a lay person, my duties are those required by my family life, my profession or occupation, my social activities and by good citizenship.
God’s will is also marked out for me by the circumstances of my life, whether important or not, down to the smallest detail, health or sickness, poverty or wealth, aridity or interior consolation, success or failure, misfortunes, losses, and struggles.
From time to time, God asks me to fulfill special tasks of charity, patience, activity, or renouncement, detachment,submission, generosity, sacrifice. But everything is permitted by God, all is ordered by Him for my sanctification, “To them that love God, all things work together unto good” (Romans 8:28); “everything is a grace!” (Thérèse of the Child Jesus Novissima Verba).
Sanctity properly consists only in conformity to God’s will, expressed in a constant and exact fulfillment of the duties of our state in life” (Benedict XV). This statement confirms my knowledge that sanctity does not consist in doing extraordinary things, but is essentially reduced to the fulfillment of duty; therefore, it is possible for me.
For this reason I must be punctual and persevering in the fulfillment of my duties: punctual, that is, diligent, being careful to please God in all my actions, in order to do His holy, sanctifying will.
Hence, I must accustom myself to see the expression of God’s will in every on of my duties, for then everything I do will be an opportunity to submerge myself in God’s love and to unite myself to Him; persevering, that is fulfilling my duties faithfully, not only when I feel great fervor, but also when I am sad, tired or in aridity; constancy calls for generosity.
“It takes uncommon virtue to fulfill with exactitude, that is, without carelessness, negligence, or indolence….but with attention, piety, and spiritual fervor, the whole combination of ordinary duties which make up our daily life!” (Pius XI)
This untiring, generous fidelity will not always be easy; however, I must not become discouraged by my failures, but begin again every day, fully confident that someday, God will make my poor efforts fruitful.
O my God, in spite of my unworthiness, I have a fervent longing to become a saint. I desire this not for my own satisfaction, nor to obtain the esteem and praise of others, but solely because You desire it; for You have said: “Be ye holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).
My one aim is to conform entirely to Your will and Your desire, to please You, to give You glory, to correspond to Your infinite love, to give You all the love You expect of me and of which I am capable.
You teach me more and more clearly that sanctity does not demand of me great exterior works, but only a strong,generous love which will lead me to fulfill Your holy will perfectly.
O my God, when I consider that You, the Creator and Lord of the universe, have deigned to make known Your will to me,who in comparison with You, am less than a little worm, I am filled with confusion.
A King so great and so powerful speaks to the least of His servants with the goodness with which He would speak to a beloved son! Yes, O my God, You speak to me thus, and manifest Your will by Your commandments, the duties of my state, and all the circumstances of my life.
Everything that surrounds me—every incident,event, sorrow and joy—all express Your will and tell me at every moment what You desire of me.
O my God, how I wish I had that profound spirit of faith to help me recognize each circumstance of my life as a messenger of Your divine will!
Yes, even at difficult moments and in painful experiences, it is You who come to me and ask a special act of charity,patience, sweetness, humility, or self-sacrifice. O my God, how this changes my point of view!
Creatures, circumstances, causes, and human motives, all disappear, and I see only You and Your holy will, which always envelops me and urges me to greater generosity. Seen in this light, even the duties that are hardest and most repugnant to human nature, the “terrible daily duties,” become sweet and lovable, everything seems easy and agreeable.
All I have to do at every moment and under all circumstances is to say a generous “Yes” to Your sweet, lovable will.
I beseech You, O Lord, give me the fidelity I need to persevere with humility and constancy in this path of continual adherence to Your will. With Your help, I will make this practice the center of my interior life.
O my God, shall I ever fall again? Yes, for I am frailty itself; but I know that You will be even more eager to help me rise again than I shall be prone to fall.
My firm resolution and my perseverance will be to “begin again” every day, every instant, humbling myself profoundly for my weakness, but having utter confidence in Your will to sanctify my soul.
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This practice of doing the Twelve Days of Christmas can change your family’s Liturgical holiday life!
Why? Because it will help you make the Christmas Season festive after Christmas has arrived for those twelve specific days (with Epiphany as the 13th Day of Christmas). Knowing you have prepared for this season of Yuletide when it actually arrives will encourage you to focus on Advent more thoroughly so that once you reach the climax of that Penitential season..Christmas…you will be prepared to truly celebrate this amazing time of the Church’s Liturgical Calendar!
Each day has an activity and a lovely coloring page dedicated to it. The activities are simple and doable.
At the beginning of the book there is a checklist for the supplies so that you can gather them throughout the Advent Season. Then you will have everything ready to make the Twelve (actually thirteen, including Epiphany) Days of Christmas special!
So, when all the songs have stopped on the radio, the decorations taken down, the tree thrown out and red hearts begin to appear as everyone anxiously awaits Valentine’s Day, you and your family will be joyfully giving the Baby Jesus His proper welcome into this world!
Why do we call Christmas songs carols? And is the Christmas tree a pagan symbol? Were there really three kings? These questions and so many others are explored in a way that is scholarly and yet delightful to read. Enjoy learning about the history of the many Christmas traditions we celebrate in this country!
Why do we wear our best clothes on Sunday? What was the Holy Ghost Hole in medieval churches? How did a Belgian nun originate the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament? Where did the Halloween mask and the jack-o’-lantern come from?
Learn the answer to these questions, as well as the history behind our traditional celebration of Thanksgiving, in this gem of a book by Father Weiser.
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