Listen to Father Broom talk about this crucial topic in two dynamic talks.
Our Spiritual Life is a daily
combat! Therefore, to prepare well for
spiritual we have to be “Soldiers of Christ” well prepared for the battle! The following are ten concrete counsels to
fight the good fight, to run the race, so as to receive one day the crown of eternal glory!
THE HEROIC MOMENT! Conquer from the very outset! As soon as
the Alarm-clock sounds, you are on your knees, making the sing of the cross and
consecration the day to Jesus through Mary.
The Founder of Opus Dei calls this the “Heroic moment”. For many whose predominant capital sin is
Sloth/Laziness, this major victory could be the beginning of many other
victories during the rest of the day!
Time wasted is never recovered.
This very day will never return as the water that rushes down the stream
will never be seen again. St. Alphonsus
Liguori mad a private vow, “The seraphic
vow”--- meaning, he made a promise to never purposely waste time! St. Alberto Hurtado S.J. expressed it
succinctly: “There are two places to
rest: the cemetery and heaven”.
FORGIVE IMMEDIATLEY! We have built within us the Old Testament
Law of Talon--- namely, “Eye for eye and
tooth for tooth.” In other words, a
desire for revenge is our inheritance as a result of Original Sin. When hurt, the time for victory, must be
immediate! If we do not choose
forgiveness and mercy, the process of death possesses us: anger, resentment,
bitterness, coldness, hatred and finally active revenge! Shakespeare stated wisely, “To err is human,
to forgive is divine.” Still better are
the words of Jesus in the Our Father,
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
Still the clincher is Jesus scourged, nailed to the cross and almost breathing
His last, uttering words of the most tender mercy: “Father forgive them for they know not what
they are doing.” A saint that could exemplify this virtue is
SAINT MARIA GORRETI. After having been stabbed 14 times she still forgave her
assassin and her mother did the same! Love triumphs over hatred!
STUDY DILIGENTLY! Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed the “Year
of Faith”, starting October 2012, concluding November 2013. The Supreme Pontiff issues a clarion call to
go back to basics and to learn our faith.
We cannot love what we do not know!
Jehovah witnesses meet at their church congregation weekly, study in
family weekly and go out to witness and preach weekly. What would happen if Catholics would do the
same???? Many Catholics today can
identify with the closing verse of the book of Jonah: “These poor people cannot distinguish between
their right hand and their left hand.”
Another spiritual writer, put it even more bluntly: “Many Catholics cannot tell the difference between a
Sacrament and a bicycle pump! Therefore,
the Holy Father challenges us to read and study the CATECHSIM OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH and the Documents of Vatican II. Let us dive in now! St. Albert the Great, as a youth struggled
with his studies! Once while escaping
from his studies he met Mary who asked him to ask her for facility in studies.
Immediately upon asking the Mother of God, the Holy Spirit enlightened his mind
and he became one of the most brilliant men in the Church as well as the world!
MORTIFICATION COURAGEOUSLY! Jesus said that unless we deny ourselves and
pick up our cross and follow Him, we cannot be His followers.” Lent is a
penitential season in which we go with Our Lord to the desert to Fast and pray.
However, never learned our forgot by huge numbers of Catholics FRIDAYS are days
of penance. That means that we all are called to practice some
form of penance all the Fridays of the year.
Giving up meat, abstaining from desserts, drinking water rather than
beverages, simply eating less, or giving up television or visiting that elderly
sick and abandoned grandma in the nursing home—all of these (an there are many
more) are ways that we can practice penance.
Be motivated! Do it to repair for
your past sins, those of your family and the whole world; also, following the
words of Our Lady of Fatima for the conversion of poor sinners! Blessed Jacinta Marto could not exert
herself too much in making sacrifices!
Why? She understood the value of
a soul! It was redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus!
SERVE JOYFULLY! A true follower of Jesus, undoubtedly will
be a servant. Jesus said it and lived it!
“The Son of man has not come to be served but to serve and give His life
in ransom for many.” What a marvelous
example, there at the Last Supper, Jesus washing the feet of the Disciples and
serving them, taking the position of slave and servant! Satan said, “I will not serve, thereby
meriting hell! Mary said, “I am the
handmaid(servant) of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your
word.” With these words, “The Word
became flesh and lived among us.”Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta insisted on
the SMILE—serving with joy—as a clear sign of God’s presence among us!
PRAY FERVENTLY! Many of us, perhaps lately, have lost out
fervor in our prayer life! Why not beg
for a renewal! Beg the Holy Spirit for FIRE! We ask for money, pleasure, power and ease in
life! Why not beg for FERVOR OF FIRE in
your prayer life! “Ask and you will
receive…” (Mt. 7:7) St. Philip Neri
prayed and fasted for 9 days before Pentecost in one of the catacombs in
Rome. RADICAL PENTECOST EXPERIENCE! The Holy Spirit came down in balls of fire
and entered his mouth and heart! Young
men tempted against purity upon placing their heads on the heart of St. Philip
were freed from temptations against purity!
BECOME A GOOD SAMARITAN ON THE HIGHWAY OF
LIFE! How easy it is to become
indifferent to others in need! How
common it is for us to cross the street when we see the beggar approaching
us! How tempting to turn on the TV when
the Holy Spirit is clamoring in my spiritual ears to sit down and talk and
encourage a lonely person in my family!
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta pointed out that the poorest city in
the world that she ever visited was New York City! Poor not in money nor possessions,
but bankrupt of love and tenderness!
Jesus became a Good Samaritan to you in many ways, persons and
circumstances; now it is your turn to be the Good Samaritan! Now! St. Martin of Tours the soldier, one cold
winter night, saw a poor, half-naked man on the ground shivering, took his
cloak, cut it in two with his sword, gave half to the poor man. That night Martin saw Jesus wearing the
cloak. This gained for Martin conversion to Catholicism, the priesthood,
Episcopacy, sanctity of life and now we call him SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS!
DAILY RETREAT WITH THE LORD! Martha was rebuked for her activism! Mary
was praised for sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him, talking to Him
and loving Him. Why not cultivate the
contemplative in you and set apart every month a day of retreat! Plan it way ahead! Maybe some holiday, vacation day, free day on
your calendar! Give 3-4 hours of
meditation, Holy Mass, Rosary, Lectio Divina, some good spiritual reading;
maybe dust your soul off with a good confession. Recharge these spiritual batteries once a month
and you will find that the rest of the month, spiritually, will flow much more
smoothly! In Montserrat the soldier,
wounded in the battle of Pamplona, had a vision of Mary, who gave him the
outline and blueprint for the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES, the greatest retreat program
in the world! Spiritual Exercises done
well can transform lives, societies and the while world! Let us do them and
SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: ORIENTATION/FOCUS/
PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION. Hard as it
might seem due to the lack of directors, still it is extremely necessary to have
a “Spiritual checkup” periodically!
Whittle away prayer time, give in to resentments, allow the bad thoughts
to enter and remain, not fight desolation manfully and immediately, allow the
winds and dust of worldliness to settle--- all of these are often signs of a
lack of “Spiritual direction”.
Spiritual direction fosters a more fervent prayer life but also can
serve as wonderful preventive medicine!
St. Faustina Kowalska commented that one of the greatest graces and keys
to grow in holiness is to find a good spiritual director and to be submissive
and obedient to him. St. John of the
Cross, “Patron of Spiritual Directors”, pray for us!
10. MARIAN COLLOQUY! Call to mind the Oblates of the Virgin
Mary’s motto: “Maria cogita, Maria invoca”—meaning, to think of Mary and to
invoke Mary! A sure sign of growth in
holiness is a fervent, warm and loving devotion to Mary, the Mother of the
Church, the Mother of God and my Mother.
Our Lady said to St. Therese that she was Queen, but more than Queen she
is 1st Mother! St. Bernard,
the Marian mystical poet, portrays Mary as the “STELLA MARIS”--- meaning the
STAR OF THE SEA! In the midst of the
tempests, torments, and earthquakes of life, lift up your eyes and contemplate
Mary, STAR OF THE SEA! She will direct the ship of your soul safely
to the shore of heaven!