The purpose of our growing in union with God

“The purpose of our growing in union with God, becoming more holy, is never, never, just for ourselves, that we may grow in sanctity…. The final purpose is that we become more holy, and united with God, that we may be more effective channels of His grace to others. This is the purpose of becoming holy. This is the fundamental motive for growing in sanctity. Why? So, that being united with God ourselves, we might then be used by God, in the measure of our union with Him.”

“Holy people are used by God to sanctify others,
humble people to bring humility to others, patient people to bring patience, chaste people to bring chastity.” (Fr John Hardon, S.J.)

Cause of Our Goodness

“God is love, but not “LUV” like love was in the sixties. It is a love that is life-giving from all eternity.  He has loved us into existence. He is going to love us all the way to the end, and He doesn’t t love us because of how good we are. His love is what causes our goodness, just like His Love is what caused our existence, and His Love is what is going to cause us to become saints.”   Scott Hahn

 

The Slave of the Slaves

From a letter by Saint Peter Claver, priest
To preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim pardon to captives

Yesterday, May 30, 1627, on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, numerous blacks, brought from the rivers of Africa, disembarked from a large ship. Carrying two baskets of oranges, lemons, sweet biscuits, and I know not what else, we hurried toward them. When we approached their quarters, we thought we were entering another Guinea. We had to force our way through the crowd until we reached the sick. Large numbers of the sick were lying on the wet ground or rather in puddles of mud. To prevent excessive dampness, someone had thought of building up a mound with a mixture of tiles and broken pieces of bricks. This, then, was their couch, a very uncomfortable one not only for that reason, but especially because they were naked, without any clothing to protect them.

We laid aside our cloaks, therefore, and brought from a warehouse whatever was handy to build a platform. In that way we covered a space to which we at last transferred the sick, by forcing a passage through bands of slaves. Then we divided the sick into two groups: one group my companion approached with an interpreter, while I addressed the other group. There were two blacks, nearer death than life, already cold, whose pulse could scarcely be detected. With the help of a tile we pulled some live coals together and placed them in the middle near the dying men. Into this fire we tossed aromatics. Of these we had two wallets full, and we used them all up on this occasion. Then, using our own cloaks, for they had nothing of this sort, and to ask the owners for others would have been a waste of words, we provided for them a smoke treatment, by which they seemed to recover their warmth and the breath of life. The joy in their eyes as they looked at us was something to see.
This was how we spoke to them, not with words but with our hands and our actions. And in fact, convinced as they were that they had been brought here to be eaten, any other language would have proved utterly useless. Then we sat, or rather knelt, beside them and bathed their faces and bodies with wine. We made every effort to encourage them with friendly gestures and displayed in their presence the emotions which somehow naturally tend to hearten the sick.

After this we began an elementary instruction about baptism, that is, the wonderful effects of the sacrament on body and soul. When by their answers to our questions they showed they had sufficiently understood this, we went on to a more extensive instruction, namely, about the one God, who rewards and punishes each one according to his merit, and the rest. We asked them to make an act of contrition and to manifest their detestation of their sins. Finally, when they appeared sufficiently prepared, we declared to them the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Passion. Showing them Christ fastened to the cross, as he is depicted on the baptismal font on which streams of blood flow down from his wounds, we led them in reciting an act of contrition in their own language.

Be Holy

The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy. Revere your mother and father, and keep my sabbaths. I, the Lord, am your God.

You May Have Noticed

Although I picture sanctity robed in the gentle manner of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, I think I need to find another saint to show me how I can tame sarcasm, anger and cynicism.  Is there some sort of “Way” for me?  St. Jerome may be my man, since he won a halo despite his reputation for fury.  I haven’t read anything, however of his having tempered his temper or tamed his tantrums.  Perhaps, my best bet is to be myself and allow life to wear my down like a rock in a tumbler chipping away turn after turn.  The prospect hurts!  I know,  the saints  “Count it all joy!”  Turning up the prayer  can’t hurt.  I’m a candidate for your prayer list, wouldn’t you say?  I change very slowly,  so this blog probably won’t witness any miracles.  I’m open to one,  though!