St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Sin, the Death of the Soul

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Prescription of the Day

Today is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross. He, like so many of the great saints, warns us of the effects of sin.  We, as a society fear physical death.  Here’s what St. John says,

The lack of God…is death to the soul.” from his Spiritual Canticle, 2,7.

So many get surprised when, after some extended period of time away from robust worship of God (for example, regular participation at the Mass), find there are “demons” attacking them.  Now I am not making fun of them; rather, we must always be available to welcome back those who have substantially separated themselves from God’s love.

Why?

Because we all separate ourselves from the love of God on a daily basis.  We must, through thorough daily examinations of conscience, commit to turn back to God, to fill ourselves with God…to not do so, as St. John of the Cross said, is death.

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

 

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St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Letting Anxieties Go.

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Prescription of the Day

December 14th is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, priest and Doctor of the Church. In his work The Ascent of Mount Carmel he suggests that in our times of heavy burden, our Lord offers to take those burdens off from our shoulders.  It’s as if He is telling us,

All you who are tormented and afflicted, laboring beneath the burden of anxiety and desire, cast it aside by coming to Me, and I will refresh you; and your souls shall find that rest of which your desires rob you.”

So ask yourself:

  • Am I willing to give the Lord the burden of my sin?
  • Am I willing to release the allure and desire of sin and accept His refreshment and rest?

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Detachment

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Prescription of the Day

“In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything, Desire to have pleasure in nothing.

In order to arrive at possessing everything, Desire to possess nothing.

In order to arrive at being everything, Desire to be nothing.

In order to arrive at knowing everything, Desire to know nothing…”

From Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book 1, Chap 13, #11

Tough at first glance.  Can you be inspired, without going clinically depressed, to detach yourself…at least a little, at first, and consider putting yourself in a humble position before God?

Let me know your thoughts…

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Obedience

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Prescription of the day

“My intention will not be to deviate from the true meaning of sacred scripture or from the doctrine of our holy Mother the Church.  If this should happen, I submit entirely to the Church, or even to anyone who judges more competently than I about the matter.” (Introduction to Ascent of Mount Carmel.)

A spiritual titan and Doctor of Mystical Theology, St. John of the Cross was also clear about his ascent to the authority of the Church.  Note this is not a blind obedience but one of discernment and well-formed conscience.  Consider:

  • Do you submit to holy Mother Church on matters of faith and morals?
  • Do you recognize the difference between the sinful people who populate the church (many of whom are, thanks be to God, striving for holiness) and the clear holiness of the Church?
  • If you find giving ascent to the Church reasonable, would you care to share how difficult (or comforting) the process has become for you? (in the comments section would be great.)

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Particular Judgment

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Prescription of the Day

“At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”

Recalling what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “There are in the end three things that last; faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13.

The good news is that we have the opportunity to examine our lives daily against this simple concept.  Ask yourself:

  • Has my love increased today?
  • If not, why not?
  • How can I be judged more favorably in accord with love?

And pray for more love…

St. John of the Cross, pray for us!

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/