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I write this blog anonymously so as not to tempt myself, who is so very weak, with social status or the other common pitfalls that come with engaging publicly. If the writings posted should bear any fruit it is by the Grace of God alone.
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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Oh, my sweet Jesus please help me as I compose this letter today writing about the small temptations and venial sins that are the ruin of little souls. Those deplorable sins that in their seeming insignificance slip past our minds. Those venial sins which we have, in our wretchedness, fallen into the habit of committing which such frequency that they have become no longer only temptation but routine to our weak and foolish minds. Those sins which cause You, Our Blessed Lord, so much pain on our behalf due to the ease and willingness by which we commit them. We who so often consider not that every sin which we commit pains Your most Sacred and Blessed Heart. How quickly, my God, we offend you. How much we too hurt our souls when we hurt You. When a member of the body aches, it is the head which genuinely experiences the pain. My God if we could be freed, I beg You my Lord through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother Mary ever Virgin – the Immaculate Conception – if we could – by Your Grace – be but freed from all these small temptations how easily would avoidance of more grievous temptations and sins be for we little slaves of Yours. It is these seemingly insignificant sins – actions which in our having committed them so often no longer seem to us to be truly sins at all – which lead us to grow more depraved in the vileness and offensiveness of our way of life. It is the habitual venial sin which leads to habitual mortal sin. It is these little sins themselves which lead us eventually, oh my God may You prevent it, to turn from You entirely unrepentant and fully embracing a life of vile sin and debauchery. A life spent not in loving and serving You, our Beloved Savior, but instead wasted in the pursuit of worthless worldly goods. We become not much more than depraved beasts spending our lives not doing what You command to be good for our spiritual survival but instead giving into our most wretched and vile temptations. If only we could be kept – by your mercy my Lord – from committing these sins with such ease and regularity, but in our wretched nature we can not help but fall into the clutches of the enemy. Protect us then, my Lord I pray, from ever allowing ourselves to grant entry into our minds even the smallest whispers of Satan. Without Your help, my Lord, we little souls have no hope of entering into Your Kingdom. Indeed, we are powerless to do so as it is by Your grace alone that we are granted entrance into Your Kingdom in Heaven. It is little souls who spend our journey continually tripping over the pebbles of sin who find ourselves calloused and hardened to anything upon the way which does not bring us immediate comfort or some depraved pleasure. It is, perhaps, not every day that we commit these tremendous mortal sins – although we indeed commit these often enough to offend You profoundly and cause You grievous suffering; however, it is these small little sins that we commit so frequently without any thought, without any care, without hardly a concern for the pain they will cause you, and lacking all remorse that genuinely lead us – by our choice to turn away from You so often that to do so becomes habitual – into Hell and the clutches of the enemy, Satan. Keep us then, my Lord I pray, from committing these sins and may You bless us with the wisdom, my God I beg You, to be aware of these little temptations as they arise so that they may not pass unknowingly into our minds and expose themselves through our wretched actions. My God if it be Your Will to make us Saints – that purpose for which You created us – and to have us live in union with Your Holy Will please protect us from not only mortal sin but keep us always vigilant against all venial sins as it is these small temptations to sin which will lead us into certain ruin and ultimately away from You, Our Lord whom alone we should love to be near. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My Lord, allow me please I beg you, to say a few little words, even if only of the smallest value, on this most beneficial and holy of topics. A soul as small and wretched as mine will most certainly struggle to say anything of use on such an important topic and therefore, my Lord I pray, You inspire anyone who reads this to seek out priests, bishops, and religious who are far more learned than I am regarding such a profound and divine subject. I am but a humble faithless soul who struggles herself daily against the temptations of this world, and therefore it is with a nervous hand that I seek to write on such a lofty topic. Guide my pen, I beg You my Heavenly Spouse, for without Your inspiration there is but nothing of value which a soul as wretched and vile as mine could ever hope to say upon this subject of spiritual poverty. For we Your servants sojourning here upon this earth the blessing of the love of holy poverty is of extreme benefit. May we gain, by Your grace, a true spirit of poverty – a poverty which is not one which oppresses your servants, although that poverty as well has its value to those who You have chosen to suffer material poverty for their spiritual benefit, but one which liberates we little souls from the entrapment and stares of the Devil. A spirit which frees us to worship You alone with our whole hearts, our whole minds, and our entire souls. Without the poverty of spirit we are left to be servants not of you, our Most Blessed Lord whom we should seek alone to give ourselves over to freely in loving slavery, but we become instead servants of money, of fame, of honors, awards, and accolades – we become, my Lord, servants of ego. We become nothing but servants of the world. We become servants of that master whom seeks only to tempt our souls away from the love of you, our most merciful Lord, and instead spend our days in love and worship of worldly pleasures and comforts. We can not serve two masters – we know this in our souls to be true for you have said it to us Yourself. Why is it then, Lord, that we can not free ourselves from the clutches of this world and instead seek out these temptations of the Devil; temptations which, perhaps, provide some vain and temporary material pleasure but for which we pay with our immortal souls? It is because we are but the weakest and most vile of souls that we trade eternity with You, our most blessed and merciful Lord, for a handful of gold upon the earth. Therefore, my Lord, My Savior, My hope, I beg you to bless all we your servants with hearts overflowing with a profound love of spiritual poverty. Give us the full knowledge, I beg you, of our vile and faithless natures so that we, who are most deserving of only your hatred and justice, may come to know that it is upon you alone, our Lord, whom we should depend for our salvation. It is you alone, and not our fellow men who are just as incapable of raising themselves as we, that we should seek to please – you who has in your infinite mercy for us seen fit to save us from the eternal punishment of Hell which we ourselves have no hope of meriting freedom from, and into which we by our very nature deserve to be cast for all eternity. It is by your mercy alone that we are redeemed. Let us not then seek the rewards, the accolades, the praises, or the benefits which come from a misguided love and seeking after the goods, pleasures, and reputation which can be gained from this world. The price is too high. My Lord, may we never fall into such a wretched state that we see the trade of eternal life in your arms as worth less than the praise of our fellow man. My God forbid this thought from ever entering the minds of your faithful servants. Keep us free, my lord I beg you most earnestly, we little souls who desperately wish to see your face in Heaven, from ever desiring rewards and praises of this world. Let us, knowing fully our wretchedness, seek to be seen by nobody but you, our dearest Lord – and this let us do only with the greatest humility and in a spirit of service and praise. Keep us in our lives seeking to bring glory to you alone through our actions. Let us never seek worldly honors by the use of what little and humble talents You have found fitting to bestow upon us, our Lord, as these You have given to us for a single purpose – to serve and bring glory to You, our Blessed and Merciful Lord. Therefore, let us never, my Lord I pray, seek to dishonor You by seeking to honor ourselves. Bless us with truly humble hearts and fill us with the spirit of true and holy poverty so that we shall never be made slaves to the Enemy. Thusly fortified, my Lord, we shall be set free upon the world as your servants and soldiers and will be strengthened in the warfare being constantly waged against Satan, his minions, and those unrepentant souls whom He as beguiled and corrupted into His most unholy service. Clothe us in the armor of holy humility and arm us with the sword of spiritual poverty and we shall be an army of servants for the Lord against which the enemy and his minions shall never prevail! Thusly fortified we shall be capable, with your Grace our Lord, of resisting even the harshest attacks of the Devil. May we all, your little and timid servants, come to know the true freedom that comes from loving you alone and may we never seek the pleasures given by anyone but you, our Holy Spouse in heaven. Amen

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

Oh God, please assist me in writing this letter so that it may be beneficial to others and prevent me, my Lord I pray, from appearing to say that one method of prayer is superior and acceptable alone by You, our Lord, who accepts any petition offered with devotion, faithfulness, and humility. Keep what I write in conformity with the teachings of the church, and when I speak about the beauty of the Latin language, the language of Your Holy and Catholic Church, the language which I have been inspired by Your Mercy, my God, to approach you each day in my daily prayers allow me, please I beg You, to do so with an attitude of profound humility. Allow those who read this letter to understand that I do not write this for any sort of self aggrandizement or in order to esteem myself to them for praying in the language of Your Church but that I do so only that my devotion to You, my Lord, may grow more and more each time that I pray in the Latin language. It is an act of humility, my Lord, and an acknowledgement of my unlearned nature that I am unable to think of you so naturally and fluently in my daily language with any level of devotion. If only I knew You more perhaps I would be able express my love for You as intimately as I would to another creature, but I, in my wretchedness, am lacking in love for you and so I humbly pray to you in the words and the language used by Your Holy Church. May the devotion with which You have so mercifully blessed me be shared – and by Your grace – perhaps inspire others to consider making the humble devotional act of learning and praying in the Language of Mother Church. It is a great blessing you have graced us with that we are able to come everyday and speak to you in prayer. If only we knew how great a blessing this was, my Lord, perhaps we lowly creatures would be more willing to set aside our petty distractions and turn to you in loving conversation. May you never cease to increase the devotion and prayerfulness of Your flock. Oh my God if only every prayer we offer You would be as devout, as humble, and as sincere as a Pater Noster offered by a truly repentant sinner in the language of the Church how much more would the praises and prayers of Your people bring joy and happiness to your Sacred Heart. If only this would be true that Mass was offered with this devotion daily I do not think my soul, in its wretchedness, could bear to continue in my vile ways nor that of any other sinner as lowly and faithless as I. In my weakness, my God, I am often unable to separate my daily thoughts, my daily emotions, and my worldly cares from that which is Divine and Holy when I speak to you in the common vernacular of my country. These petty concerns and worldly emotions distract my attention from settling solely upon You. That is why, my Lord, I have chosen to follow your inspiration and come to you in my Office, in my daily rosary, and all other prayers whenever possible using the language which many of your great saints, your servants, and those whom we should be inspired to follow, after only you Our Lord Jesus Christ, prayed. I beg you Lord, my God, that you inspire more of your flock to take up this beautiful yoke so that they may learn and pray in a language through which you have inspired so many Saints, Holy Fathers, Priests, and Religious; a language which requires such reflection, such deliberate thought, and such emotion to express truly what it is that we wish to say to you, our Lord in Heaven, that our prayers can not help but sing out to you the depth of love for you with which you have blessed us. I pray to you most earnestly as I sit and compose this letter that you, my God, guide my hand to write only that which will help others come to understand why you have given us, through the teachings of you Holy and catholic church, the choice of not only praying in the languages of our daily tongue but those of your church, it’s fathers, her holy saints, and all your priests and deacons of old; and I pray that you inspire and fortify more of your flock that they may take up this most rewarding devotional exercise. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

O My Lord, how much you desire the consolation of those whom you have called to Your Church; however, it seems that it is from those of us You have personally called into your embrace that the most significant pain is caused to your Most Blessed and Sacred Heart. Yet we foul and lowly creatures who You in Your endless Mercy have, through your incarnation, sorrowful passion, and glorious resurrection raised to higher glory than even Your angels – a reward to which, without your profound love, we wretched and faithless sinners could not have even aspired – offend you most of all. Why is it that we forget our profound debt to you and fall away from Your never-ending Love only to seek after worldly gain and carnal pleasures? Forgive us, Lord, for we are but the weakest of your creatures and most incapable of producing any good whatsoever. In our feebleness against the worldly temptations and snares of the Devil we are quite unable to resist. His vile and depraved inclinations, which he gives us against the holy and sanctifying uses for which You have deemed all to be good for us, leads us instead to the ruin of our souls. How much our turning from you to the world must pain your Most Adorable and Blessed Heart. Yet still, these of your servants whose offenses you endure cause yet even less suffering than that which is caused by those of us faithless and most foul sinners who – wishing to appear Holy and removed from the influences of the world, and to whom you have bestowed the greatest Grace of ample occasion for prayer, fasting, and penance – squander this greatest of Blessings chasing after vile, depraved, and foul pleasures. For truly, what is a better reward on earth than the ability to spend our lives in intimate conversation with You, Our Most Blessed and Love-able Jesus? Yet, in our lowliness and despicableness we come to you not begging for Good and Holy priests to shepherd your flock, we come not for an increase in vocations to religious and consecrated life, not for the souls of those murdered by abortion each day or for those suffering in purgatory, nor for an increase in the number of your faithful servants, indeed not even for our own sanctification or begging You to bless us with even more faith and love for you that we may eventually be inspired by the Holy Ghost to seek You for these far more holy intercessions. Not for these holy and pure requests do we come to You in prayer, but instead we come to You whining and sniveling about some discomfort or mild annoyance we must suffer, some vanity we can not afford for ourselves, or with the desire for some equally depraved and offensive request. Yet You, ever Merciful Lord, see our pitifulness and in your Great Kindness towards your creatures You fulfill these shameful petitions of we wretched and miserable sinners. You Love to Love us Lord. If only we knew the true depths of your great affection for us most undeserving creatures – if we but knew how much more the pleasure is to You, our God, when we give ourselves entirely to You in order that You, in Your perfection, may make us pure and holy servants upon whom you may bestow spiritual graces, consolations, and divine suffering, a pleasure far surpassing the profound joy it brings you to see your servants praise and glorify you in our religious and pious use of what material goods You do bestow upon us for our spiritual enrichment – we would not squander so readily the valuable little time we have with you in asking for such disgusting and offensive requests as money, fame, or comfort. Instead, if we but truly loved You as You love us, My God, we would implore You to grant to us more faith, love, and an ever greater devotion to You, My Dearest Lord, so that we may become better and more holy servants of Yours here on earth. We would pray that we may be Blessed with intimacy with You, Our Most Blessed Lord, not to fulfill some fleeting worldly desire, but to bring about your Will upon earth and through this to bring more souls – through your Grace and as your instruments alone – from the vile and evil clutches of Satan into the Holy embrace of Your Holy and Catholic Church. O my God, how much the holy and righteous prayers of your servants console your Precious and Adorable Sacred Heart. May you bless us Lord with such profound Love and devotion for You that we, trusting in You to give us all that we would ever need to fulfill your Will for us on earth, come to you in prayer asking only for these most pious and sincere requests: to pray for your Church and all Her servants, to pray for our priests in particular and to beg you for their sanctification – for them to ever increase in their Love for you, Our Lord – and to pray that you keep us ever growing in our devotion and love for you. Let us no longer petition you for that which is selfish and vain. Purify the hearts of your servants, O my God, until that for which they alone long is that to which you Will them to desire. Let us grow in devotion to you, Our God, until there is no will left in us but Your Holy and most perfect Will. Grant this to us, we beg You our Most Loving and Beautiful Lord, through the intercession of Your Holy and Blessed Mother Mary. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

O, my most Precious and Adorable Jesus, how deeply You suffered to redeem us from ourselves yet how little we wretched and ungrateful sinners are willing to endure in order to keep ourselves from succumbing to even the littlest of temptations. Indeed, without Your willing it to be we terrible souls cannot but help falling into sin, yet we – who are powerless to save ourselves – seem so often to refuse the great Grace of Salvation You have died to give we unworthy servants of Yours. Why do we turn away from Your infinite Mercy to gain some fleeting worldly fancy? Why do we, the most miserable of Your creatures, run not into your loving embrace but towards the cold snares of the devil with such unceasing frequency? Why do we foul and sinful souls choose so often to cause You greater suffering through our endless and ever-increasing depravity? O Lord, if You would keep us from falling into the greatest of sins, we would still reject You and Your promise of salvation for nothing more than a morsel of material gain or carnal pleasure. Therefore, I beg You my Lord, my God, through the intercession and prayers of Your Most Holy and Blessed Mother who never fails to come to the aid of Your servants when we earnestly cry out to Her, take from us, Your pitiful, weak, and most undeserving servants, all great temptations. We are but little souls incapable of resisting those great temptations and vices with which You forge Your most celebrated and holy Saints through their resiting and persevering, by Your Grace, against the attacks of the Devil which You allow for their spiritual benefit. Instead, I beg You profusely my Lord, send us who know ourselves to be but weak and feeble souls only the littlest and most straightforward of trials as these will be all that we can bear. Keep us from wishing for that which is for those greater souls so that we, who unlike Your Saints, are most inept at keeping ourselves pure and sinless when put to even the mildest of trials may exercise our faith against that which we miserable, and most ungrateful slaves can hope – with the aid of Your Grace – to remain vigilant against and withstand. Through these little trials at which greater and more holy souls than ourselves would merely scoff yet which pose for us little souls, such insurmountable obstacles guide us so that we may be made more pure and holy growing in our faith and ability to serve You in more meaningful and sacred ways. Until then, my Most Holy Love, keep us safe from these greater temptations, I pray, and may our struggle against these often forgotten and seemingly insignificant trials, by our uniting them with Your most Perfect Sacrifice and after the hands of our Blessed Mother embellish them, be made fruitful offerings unto You, Our God. Against the smallest temptations keep us constantly vigilant, my Most Blessed Lord, so that we may grow – if it be Your Will – into servants capable of suffering yet greater trials for Your Glory. And if it be not Your Will for us that we should take upon ourselves these feats fitting only to Your spiritual giants, and if You deem it better for our spiritual progress that we should wrestle merely against these smaller temptations all our days, accept our lowly sacrifice and pitiful efforts and bless us, I beg You, with the prudence to seek out no greater trials than those which You have deemed us worthy to battle against, and keep us, my Lord, I pray, satisfied with the lot You had cast for us in Your infinite wisdom when You created us. Keep us from trying to soar with the Saints when we yet but struggle to writhe with the worms. May You keep us ever humble and devoted to You alone, My God, and satisfied by all which You deem us worthy to receive and against which You have found it just for us to struggle. Amen.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My God, I pray that you bestow upon me as I, a most unworthy and faithless servant, write this letter the inspiration to convey appropriately and with adequate emphasis the importance of prudence when stepping into the castle that is the interior life of prayer and recollection. Allow the wisdom of Your Saints whom You chose to inspire with the knowledge to compose, and through whose hands You decided to write, the priceless manuals of prayer and meditation which are the treasure of Your Church and by which I have learned all that You have taught me concerning the prayerful life. Allow their words, O Lord I pray, to overshadow mine and shine gloriously so others may come to know the most beneficial teachings which Your Saints have left as guides for Your faithful as we struggle in this Valley of Tears. Protect us little and humble souls, I pray my God, who, although trembling from knowing our own inability to accomplish any good whatsoever by our own actions, step forward and grasp Your outstretched hand with the loving trust of a child as we follow Your call to a life of prayer and fasting beyond that which we little souls could ever hope to endure if left to ourselves, and which, through Your grace, will guide us towards and strengthen us to live a life far higher than we writhing and most wretched creatures deserve. Keep us humble, my Lord I pray, and safe from the countless pitfalls which we, who are so weak, fragile, and meek will, unaided by Your Infinite Mercy and Grace, fall so readily into and from which we have no hope of escape without Your willing us to be free. Amen.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as I was praying about which topic I would address in this weeks letter my eyes happened upon a book which has been my constant companion since well before I came into full communion with the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. This profound piece of spiritual writing has inspired countless Saints, numerous Popes, and has enriched the spiritual lives of the faithful for centuries since it was first written. Once entirely lost, as predicted by its author, this masterpiece of St. Louis de Montfort was, by the Grace of God alone, rediscovered and made available to the lay faithful, the Clergy, and Religious alike. “True Devotion to Mary” is most certainly one of the most cherished — if, indeed, not the most cherished — work regarding Marian spirituality ever produced. In this text St. de Montfort outlines not only the complex topic of devotion to our Lord through His Blessed Mother, but he lays out an easy to follow, but no less rigorous, method of consecration to our Lord through His Blessed Mother. However, as valuable as the entirety of St. de Montfort’s work may, indeed, be to anyone who desires to grow closer to our Lord, I wish to focus on only a small part of his masterpiece. In particular, I would like to discuss how St. de Montfort’s description of True Devotion can help us wretched and minuscule souls, those of us who in our weakness struggle daily against even the smallest temptation and know ourselves to be genuinely incapable of exercising any devotion near perfect enough to be worthy of reception by Our Lord Jesus Christ, to, by the Grace of God, move closer to the holy life our Lord and Savior wishes us to lead while we are exiled here in this garden of sorrows.

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JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, frequently referred to only as Confession, is probably one of my favorite Sacraments; however, I often hear people mention that it is an intimidating experience. I can, of course, understand why one may feel a sense of anxiety when standing in line or waiting in a pew before entering the confessional. However, I am firmly convinced that the hesitancy to participate in this extremely worthwhile Sacrament stems from a misconception of the Sacrament itself. I hope to share in this entry a few things that with the Grace of God helped me make a drastic shift in my perspective of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and has allowed me to embrace what was once an intimidating and uncomfortable obligation into the foundation of my life. Continue reading

JMJ

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My God, I pray that as I write this, You inspire me. Any good whatsoever that may be found in the following is from You alone. All errors stem from my lack of understanding and wretchedness. May You guide my hand as I write this, and may You bless those who read this with the intelligence to turn away from this writing should it offend You in any way. May I not shine, but Your Glory shows through my writings if it be Your Will. May I, a wretched and faithless sinner, ever decrease except that my vileness may be known so that Your Glory and Honor and Might may increase. May I be merely Your instrument, my Lord. I lay myself at Your feet as a most unworthy servant. Use me as You please, my God. Amen.

I have been reading through “The Way of Perfection” by St. Teresa of Avila once again – I recently purchased the study edition from the Institute of Carmelite Studies, and have been enjoying working through the questions for discussion in my journal as I read. One question struck me following the first chapter: “After Teresa’s example what ‘little that is in our power’ can we do to become good friends of the Lord?” This question came at a very opportune time for me as I am also participating in a small group at our parish called “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” which deals with Divine Mercy and building an intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The question seemed well-timed – thanks Holy Spirit! – and so I felt I would share some of the reflections I had while wrestling with ways I – and we all – could become better friends, indeed “good friends,” of our Lord. Perhaps you will find something useful in here as well.

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