Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wisdom from Mount Carmel - II

All of the following quotes are taken from the work: St. Teresa's Bookmark: A Meditative Commentary, by Blessed Lucas of Saint Joseph, OCD who was a martyr in Spain during the Communist revolution in the 1930s. The entire work can be found for free here:

“Souls dearest to God are always those who, though bowed down by sorrow, do not allow themselves to be depressed, nor place their confidence in creatures; but, raising their eyes towards heaven, hope for consolation only from God.”

“What neither reason nor eloquence nor justice could obtain will be won by the patient, enduring and generous heart. This is the secret of the Saint's strength.”

“Heaven seems wholly beautiful when on earth we weep. The memory of God is sweetest when without being discouraged we suffer much.”

“Time testifies to the truth of these assertions. When rulers were men filled with the spirit of God, such as Recaredo, St. Ferdinand, Cisneros and Isabel the Catholic, little was said about truth and virtue, and much done. In times of unbelief, statesmen have withdrawn from God, at any rate they do not want Him at their side while they legislate. You cannot deny their talent, for they are scholars and doctors and speak with fascinating eloquence; but good sense is lacking. In their minds there is light, but it is an artificial light, which stupefies Saint Teresa's and dazzles, killing the noble energies of the souls of individuals and of nations. Ah! it is because these minds have not God; and if the mind that hath God wanteth nothing, the mind bereft of Him has scarcely anything of avail.”

“To all those men who persist in their unbelief, and in withdrawing from heaven try to be happy on earth, and in the same manner to those who believe, God alone can suffice.”

“Here is the dividing line that separates naturalism or rationalism from Catholicism. The former wants to establish harmony in our being, by quenching all idea, all sentiment of the infinite; erasing all traces of God imprinted in our souls. It pretends to counterbalance this most distressful world of the human spirit, not by Saint Teresa's raising what is less noble to what is most perfect and lofty; but on the contrary by lowering what is highest to what is less perfect, the spirit to matter. It takes away the infinite element, so that having, unlike the brute, more than material and coarse elements, tendencies and aspirations, we shall have in our soul a clear distinction between virtue and vice, between the temporal and eternal, between the aspirations and our effort to satisfy them. To rationalists the infinite is but a foolish fancy; to think of it, desire it and love it, is a chronic disease of the human spirit. To cure it, rationalists hold that our heart must be restrained to the end that it may never think of anything beyond the confines of time and of matter. So that not thinking of God, nor desiring anything beyond the material and sensible, earth would suffice us; on it, they imagine, we would be contented and satisfied, live in complete peace, happiness and freedom. But it will not be possible for rationalism to complete its work; it would be necessary to recast human nature and form it in another and an impossible mould.”

“If the rationalist's mind wanders from its efforts to disbelieve, it immediately thinks of God; and very easily does a prayer escape his lips when he suffers acute pain or serious loss. Then he unconsciously confesses he is wrong, or is ashamed of his bad logic. When some sudden inspiration of truth flashes through his mind, without giving him time to reflect that it would best suit his purpose to feign unbelief, he readily accepts it. If the sorrows and avowals that have escaped from the lips of the most marked rationalists and greatest enemies of Catholicism were recorded, numberless volumes would be written.”

“Those who have been elevated in this manner practice certain acts that the rest of men cannot practice. Yes; with grace, that is to say, supernatural faith, hope and charity, we perform acts which exceed the natural capacity of man.”

“Whoever does not feel in his heart that strength of patience and warmth of faith and charity, necessary to co-operate in the spiritual and divine regeneration of souls and assist them in their infancy, is not suited for the Catholic apostolate.”

“A simple, angelic child of four summers, seated beneath a tree in the garden, whilst a tiny bird trilled forth his joyous song, was saying to her little brother who wept inconsolably for his sweet mother, who had just died: "Why do you cry so, my little brother? See, that little bird doesn't cry: hear how happily he sings!" "The birds sing here," replied the sad little orphan, "because there is no other heaven for them. We who are of heaven weep here on earth." (Marshall, Hope for Those Who Weep, chap. XIV.)

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