Category Archives: Heart and Soul

The Giving Tree

Once there was a tree….
and she loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come
and he would gather her leaves
and make them into crowns
and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired,
he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree….
very much.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree
and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and
climb up my trunk and swing from my
branches and eat apples and play in my
shade and be happy.”
“I am too big to climb and play” said
the boy.
“I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money?”
“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I
have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in
the city. Then you will have money and
you will be happy.”
And so the boy climbed up the
tree and gathered her apples
and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time….
and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back
and the tree shook with joy
and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk
and swing from my branches and be happy.”
“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy.
“I want a house to keep me warm,” he said.
“I want a wife and I want children,
and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house ?”
” I have no house,” said the tree.
“The forest is my house,
but you may cut off
my branches and build a
house. Then you will be happy.”

And so the boy cut off her branches
and carried them away
to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time.
And when he came back,
the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
“Come, Boy,” she whispered,
“come and play.”
“I am too old and sad to play,”
said the boy.
“I want a boat that will
take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat?”
“Cut down my trunk
and make a boat,” said the tree.
“Then you can sail away…
and be happy.”
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy
… but not really.

And after a long time
the boy came back again.
I am sorry, Boy,”
said the tree,” but I have nothing
left to give you –
My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak
for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,”
said the tree. ” You
cannot swing on them – ”
“I am too old to swing
on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone, ” said the tree.
“You cannot climb – ”
“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.
“I wish that I could give you something….
but I have nothing left.
I am just an old stump.
I am sorry….”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.
“just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening
herself up as much as she could,
“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting
Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.

 

Author: — Shel Silverstein —

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Prayers for the faithful departed

Here are some prayers I’ve learned from Sor. Geniveve Dulay in her Religion class 14 years ago..

(1) “Jesus, Mary, I love you save souls.”

(2) Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be to the Father (“Gloria Patri”).
“Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.”

or

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

(3) “Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

Another prayer from an online source:

“O most gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in purgatory, have mercy on the souls of Thy departed servants. Be not severe in Thy judgments, but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And do Thou, O merciful Savior, send Thy holy angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.”

***

Seven Offerings Of The Precious Blood

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the propagation and exaltation of my dear Mother the Holy Church, for the safety and prosperity of her visible Head, the Holy Roman Pontiff, for the cardinals, bishops and pastors of souls, and for all the ministers of the sanctuary.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Blessed and praised forevermore be Jesus Who hath saved us by His Precious Blood! Amen.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the peace and concord of nations, for the conversion of the enemies of our holy faith and for the happiness of all Christian people.

Glory be, etc. above

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for the repentance of unbelievers, the extirpation of all heresies, and the conversion of sinners.

Glory be, etc. above

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all my relations, friends and enemies, for the poor, the sick, and those in tribulation, and for all those for whom Thou willest I should pray, or knowest that I ought to pray.

Glory be, etc. above

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all those who shall this day pass to another life, that Thou mayest preserve them from the pains of hell, and admit them the more readily to the possession of Thy Glory.

Glory be, etc. above

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all those who are lovers of this Treasure of His Blood, and for all those who join with me in adoring and honoring It, and for all those who try to spread devotion to It . .

Glory be, etc. above

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son and my Divine Redeemer, for all my wants, spiritual and temporal, for the holy souls in Purgatory, and particularly for those who in their lifetime were most devoted to this Price of our redemption, and to the sorrows and pains of our dear Mother, most Holy Mary . . .

Glory be, etc. above

Blessed and exalted be the Blood of Jesus, now and always, and through all eternity. Amen.

A HIDDEN TREASURE

Appearing to one of the sisters of her community shortly after her death, St. Teresa of Avila told the sister that she would be willing to return to a life of suffering on earth until the end of time if thereby she could merit that degree of glory with which God rewards one devoutly recited “Hail Mary.” St. Paul speaks in like manner when he says: “The sufferings of this life are not to be compared with the glory to come.”

If one short prayer is thus rewarded, what reward awaits those who offer to the Eternal Father, the Precious Blood of Jesus. “An offering,” says Father Faber, “is more than a prayer. In prayer we are the recipients, but when we make an offering God vouchsafes to accept something from us.” In Our Lord’s own words to Sister Mary Martha Chambon, Apostle of the Holy Wounds: “To offer to the Eternal Father the Sacred Wounds of Jesus is to offer Him His Glory, to offer Heaven to Heaven. Each time you offer to My Father the merits of My Divine Wounds, you gain an immense fortune . . . You must not remain poor, your Father is very rich.”

If you and I, at this very moment, were standing on the threshold of eternity, we would see a limitless duration extending before us which our vision would fail to terminate. Looking on this endlessness the awful truth would come to us that the time of merit had passed forever. The saints realized this truth while yet in life, and we can see the vastness of their reward.

Those who have passed into eternity realize that there will be no further opportunities for additional merit, for time has passed forever. If regrets were possible in Heaven, unused opportunities would be the cause, for the blessed know what greater capacity for giving accidental honor to God they would have had if they had used all their opportunities. Because of God’s mercy they have no regrets, but their status is sealed forever.

The position of the priest in heaven must be tremendous for he offers daily a Victim-of-Infinite-Worth; and yet each one of us can offer the same Victim in a different manner by sincerely saying:

“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the merits of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.”
Just suppose that if you were to make the Seven Offerings each day; it would take only a few minutes of time, and yet the vast merit gained would last eternally.

What an investment!

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD AND HEAVEN

Promises of Our Lord to Sister Mary Martha Chambon
Those who pray with humility and who meditate on My Passion, shall one day participate in the glory of My Divine wounds. Their members will receive from them a resplendent beauty and glory.
The more you shall have contemplated My Painful wounds on this earth, the higher shall be your contemplation of them glorious in Heaven.
The soul who during life has honored and studied the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ and has offered Them to the Eternal Father for the Souls in Purgatory will be accompanied at the moment of death by the Holy Virgin and the Angels; and Our Lord on the Cross, all brilliant in glory will receive her and crown her.

REFLECTIONS
Life is short and death is sure; the hour of death remains obscure.
A soul you have, and only one; if that be lost all hope is gone.
Waste not your time, while time shall last; for after death ’tis ever past.
The all-seeing God your Judge will be, and Heaven or Hell your destiny.
All earthly things will fleet away, Eternity will ever stay.

School Prayer

[SP0001]

Lord our GOD,
in Your wisdom and love
You surround us with the mysteries of the universe.
In times long past You sent us Your prophets
to teach Your laws
and to bear witness to Your undying love.
You sent us Your Son
to teach us by word and example
that true wisdom comes from You alone.

Send Your Spirit upon these students and their teachers
and fill them with Your wisdom and blessings.
Grant that during this academic year
they may devote themselves to their studies
and share what they have learned from others.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

(Patron Saint of: Headaches)

St. Teresa of Avila

 

Image taken from http://www.bridgebuilding.com/narr/mi425.html

ST THERESA OF AVILA

West of Madrid, there is a small town, called Avila. Teresa of Ahumada, called later Teresa of Avila, was a nun of the Carmelite Order – from “Encarnacion” – for the reincarnation of Jesus Christ- , who was punished several times by the Inquisition because of the stubborn reports on meditation. The scandal started on the 24th of August 1562 and the general opinion was unanimous: “A woman should not be allowed to do such a thing”.

On the pretext that she had to help her sister move out, Teresa of Avila left her monastery in the morning and met four nuns who were friends of hers, in a house in the San Rouque region. They secretly arranged the house for the purpose of later becoming a monastery, known under the name of “At Saint Joseph of Avila.”

The new monastery had no income, as no parent or brother had signed any contract to support it. The monk Angel of Salzar was assaulted by the angry crowd in the town, who knew nothing of what these women had done. This is when the courthouse and the consistory were called in, which decided that the monastery should be evacuated, even if it meant the forceful removal of the women out of the building. Blinded by fury, violently, some throw stones, some pushed on the monastery’s door while screaming “You mad woman!” An order to evacuate the monastery is emitted along with a papal order to excommunicate anyone entering the premises.

400 years later, Teresa of Avila becomes considered as the most renowned saint of the Catholic Church, while also being a classic of the Christian meditation. Pope Paul the 6th offered her, in 1970 the highest Catholic title: “Doctor Ecclesiae – professor of Christianity”.

At Salamanca, next to Avila, is the most renowned university of the 16th century. Professor Domingo de Spoto (1495-1560) said: “There are excluded from all the church’s dignities: women, bastards, who are rather women than men, and the mentally alienated who have no chance of getting better”, while Ignatius of Loyola, the most prestigious saint of the era supported the idea that “Satan behaves just like a woman does.”

Teresa of Avila was born on the 28th of March, 1515. She would write in her autobiography: “The thought that I was born a woman makes me mad”.

In 1535, at the age of just 20, she decides to become a nun and leaves to a Carmelite monastery.

She believed that there is an adventure a woman can live just as well as a man: the journey itself and this journey is called meditation.

In the Middle Ages the women monasteries were true meditation schools, the nuns of the Carmelite Order (after the Carmel Mountain in Palestine) –with the colors of their vestments brown and white- have always had a special inclination towards meditation

At first, Teresa of Avila discovered nothing more in herself than fear and boredom. Wanting to have it all at once and fast, she had a mental shock, which accentuated, and for 9 months suffered of total paralysis. On the 15th of August 1539 the rumor that Teresa has died started to spread. The long Spanish vigil started, but four days later, Teresa’s eyes opened: she had survived her mental illness.

Teresa of Avila

Following the model of the first monastery, Teresa of Avila would found, throughout Spain, one after another, 17 monasteries. In the discussions she carried with the authorities she proved to be perseverant, a true businessperson.

As a main reform, Teresa introduced in the monasteries’ schedule two hours of meditation.

In 1575 she was accused by the priests of the Seville Inquisition, of things allowed only to a male monk (preaching and receiving confession). To escape, she obeyed  the questioning and gave proof of great amiability, then changed her spiritual guides often, and also her confession priests – informers, who were sending reports on her visions  to the church authorities.

If she had problems with the Jesuits, she demanded help to the Dominicans and then to the Franciscans, and if she fought all the monk church orders, she asked for help from the monk John of the Cross – monk of the Order of the Carmelites of Salamanca, who became a great mystic, together with her.

In 1568, Teresa of Avila trusted Saint John of the Cross with a branch of the Carmelites, this time with male members, who were to respect the rules established by her in the Reform program. The entire Spain is amazed: “A nun has created her own monk order!”

One of the men to bow with dignity in front of her and receive her blessing was the Seville archbishop, Christobal de Rojas. Felipe Sega, who was part of the papal court, denounced her to the pope as a “restless woman, wandering, disobedient and hidden.”

She had always managed to keep her interior peace, so necessary to write her two books, become classic now, which treated the subject of Catholic meditation: “The road to perfection” and “Soul bastion”.

Teresa of Avila believed, like the masters of the Japanese Zen, that meditation offers the possibility to break the barriers of logic: “If you want to be everything at the same time, you don’t have to be someone in particular.”

Before dying, at the age of 67, on the 4th of October 1582, she gathered her last powers to officiate the opening of the Alba monastery, moment in which her face lighted, filled with an indescribable joy.

St. Teresa of Avila

Teresa lived in an age of exploration as well as political, social and religious upheaval. It was the 16th century, a time of turmoil and reform. She was born before the Protestant Reformation and died almost 20 years after the closing of the Council of Trent.

The gift of GOD to Teresa in and through which she became holy and left her mark on the Church and the world is threefold: She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man’s world of her time. She was “her own woman,” entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman “for GOD,” a woman of prayer, discipline and compassion. Her heart belonged to GOD. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification and suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous and faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to GOD in life and in prayer. Her writings on prayer and contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical and graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for GOD.

Teresa was a woman “for others.” Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time and energy seeking to reform herself and the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired and gave life.

Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.

In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: doctor of the Church. She and St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

***

Ours is a time of turmoil, a time of reform and a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire and imitate.

***

Teresa knew well the continued presence and value of suffering (physical illness, opposition to reform, difficulties in prayer), but she grew to be able to embrace suffering, even desire it: “Lord, either to suffer or to die.” Toward the end of her life she exclaimed: “Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for You is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love You if we understand its value.”

***

In The Book of My Life, Saint Teresa of Avila writes of seeking time to pray even as a child and turning often to the Rosary, a prayer dear to her mother.

Later as an adult and as a spiritual guide for her Carmelite sisters and brothers, Teresa wrote about the importance of being present to GOD in prayer: “Before we begin reciting the Hours or the Rosary, [let us consider] Whom we are going to address, and who we are that are addressing Him, so that we may do so in the way we should?” (The Way of Perfection).

Teresa calls you to be mindful in all of your spiritual practices that you are, in this moment, in relationship with our GOD.

Whom are you going to address?

***

Prayer of St. Theresa of Jesus

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift
of a Holy fear, and a respect of You
and all that You are.

In being mindful of this
help me to always
keep Your Name Holy.

Equip me to be concerned
with those things that
concern You.

May I seek to never offend
or sadden You.

Penetrate my innermost heart,
that I may set You, my Lord
and my GOD, before my face
forever and shun all things that
are not a part of Your will.

May I always remember
the forgiveness and Grace that You
offer and readily provide, to all
who come to You and ask for it.

I Love You and thank You! Amen…

***

Quotes:

“Vocal prayer . . . must be accompanied by reflection. A prayer in which a person is not aware of Whom he is speaking to, what he is asking, who it is who is asking and of Whom, I don’t call prayer—–however much the lips may move.”

“Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”

“One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to GOD, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.”

“Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.”

“Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
GOD never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses GOD lacks nothing:
GOD alone suffices.”

Source: American Catholic dot org

 

Teresa of Ávila

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Love Notes & Quotes

Some love’s a pill and some love is a candy cane.
It tastes so sweet but leaves you feeling sick with pain.
Your love is air, I breathe it in around me.
Don’t know it’s there but without it I’m drowning.
~MIKA, “The Origin of Love”