Posting Nine

Today I Want To Teach  You Something About Your Faith
Today I want to teach you something about your faith — and about yourself in relation to your faith. Yes, that is the way I teach you. I do not teach you about things in themselves, abstractly. No, I teach you by conforming you to the things you are learning — because My purpose is to move you to love Me, and in order to do that, it is not enough for you to learn the truth — you must become the truth, even as I know the truth because I an the Truth.
This means that you must learn, not only about Me, about God, but you must learn about yourself at the same time. You must get to understand how in your actions, in your life, you do not conform to the truth about God.  You must learn to see how often you act contrary to that truth. And then, because I move you to love Me even as I teach you, you will want to change, to become more conformed to Me, not only in your understanding, but in your actions, in your motivations, in your very life and being. That is what I want to teach you, and that is the way I want you to teach others, the way I want to teach others through you — to be doers of the word, and not hearers merely.
Yes, I want you to learn in order to love, and that is the way I want you to teach others, so that they may learn only in order to love.
Today I want to teach you, in this way, then, something about Me which you already know, but which has very little reality for you. It is strange, is it not? That you can know a thing so well theoretically and yet in your life it is as though you are in the profoundest ignorance of what you know so well.  You see, there is a very great difference between the things that you know and the things that you live. What I am about to teach you is a striking example of that.
It is about the truth of My continuous Presence within you. That is not only a truth of the Faith, it is a truth accessible to natural reason:  that God is at the very root of your existence, that your existence is nothing but a participation in His, that you could no more exist apart from God than your thought could exist apart from your life, than the little embryo could live apart from its mother, than a fish could live out of the water. And even all these examples are as nothing compared with your dependence on Me.  Yes, God is hidden, and you judge things by what you can see and feel, and so the material things that strike your senses seem more real to you than I do, even though the truth is that all the things you see and hear, like yourself, have their being only in Me.
And as you have your being only in Me, so you depend on My Power for everything you do. And here, too, you judge superficially by your senses, by what you can see, hear and feel, and then it seems as though you acted by yourself, just as you think that you exist by yourself, when actually, as I have told you, you cannot grow a single hair by your own thought: "Without Me you can do nothing.“  Yet think how preoccupied you are with things to help you do what you think is necessary to do, and how little you think of your dependence on Me to know, in the first place, what you should do, and then be able to carry it out.
The truth is that everything depends on Me, totally, and you think and act as if nothing did.  And then, when I allow temptations in order to show you your weakness, in order to draw you to Myself, it is natural in such a state of mind for you to try to conquer them by your own strength — and so you miss the whole point of My purpose in permitting the temptations. I use temptations to show you that you do not have the strength in yourself to overcome them, and that often you do not even have the desire to overcome them.  And I do this in order to show you how little your faith is. Think! Ask yourself how much are you aware of My Presence within you when temptation comes. Is it not true that you think, feel and act in such moments as though you were all alone?
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   My Spirit of Truth Within You
When My Spirit of Truth, within you, moves you to see that there is something you should do, you realize very frequently at the same time that you are not able to do what I am asking of you. It is in fact that same Spirit of Truth who shows you this too.  (He also shows you how you have failed miserably in the past.)  And the reason for this is that We want you to come to Me and ask for everything you need. This disposition, to receive everything from Me, is the reason and purpose of Our inspiring you to feel the obligation to do what of yourself you know you are unable to do.

Our purpose in this is to form you in the likeness of My Son, who receives everything from Me.  In this way We would teach you that your very weakness is your strength, in your trust, as Paul has told you of himself — and it is also the very heart of My Theresa's Little way. But if you look into yourself honestly and simply, you will see that almost always, when you feel a moral obligation to do what is not in your strength to do, you fail to understand that this is an inspiration from My Paternal Love, whereby I would open you a little more to Myself, make you a little more in the likeness of My Son who has nothing which He has not received from Me.

No! You do not understand this Infinite Paternal Love, and as a result you become mistrustful of My Love by the very things which express It. And then you begin to look for ways of finding peace of conscience in yourself, apart from Me, straining after the gnat all the while you are swallowing the camel of an intolerable self-sufficiency, the great lie of your own virtue and strength — in which you yourself do not believe. I cannot tell you how many evils befall your soul as a result of this, not the least of which is an almost continuous agitation of spirit, in which state Satan would do what he wants with you — it is only the Arm of My Merciful Love that restrains him.

When We Fall   
When we fall, it is true, we have offended Jesus, but more important, He is teaching us through that fall what happens when we do not abide in Him — even for a very short time. So it is most important to cooperate with this intention of His, to strive to make our act of love unceasing. That unceasing act of love is, therefore, the expression and proof of real poverty of spirit.

 The First Commandment
Excerpt from the Philokalia, with Reflection
St. Theodosius was so deeply wounded by the
sweet arrow of love and held so fast in love's
fetters that he practiced in actual deed the high-
est of God's commandments: ‘Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy
mind‘ (Luke 10:.27). And this can be achieved by
no other means than concentrating all the natural
powers of the soul in single desire for the
Creator alone. (p. 25) 
Notice this commandment was given by Jesus in answer to the question: "What must I do to possess eternal life?" But the Church teaches that we obtain eternal life if we die "in the state of grace."  Therefore the sign of a person in the state of grace is that he is striving to love God with his whole heart and soul, wit all his strength and with all his mind. 
Do we teach this?
It seems that we commonly teach that a person is in a state of grace if he has not committed any mortal sins since his last confession. But what is the living reality of this state?  Is it the avoiding of mortal sin, or loving the Lord our God as Jesus tells us we are bound to love Him by law,  and incidentally to this, of course, avoiding all sins except those we can't always avoid because of weakness and which never separate us From God?
Thus, it seems to me, the doctrine we tend to teach is negative, placing the center of our spiritual life not within us, as Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, but rather in the all-sufficiency of the sacraments, which then becomes, I am afraid, in many cases, a means of keeping our accounts straight with God without loving Him with our whole mind and all our strength. We can only hope that in this darkness those who teach this and accept it are saved by their ignorance.
Everything Disagreeable
"Transform everything disagreeable that you meet with into little roses; gather them with love and offer them to Me with love."
Jesus to Consolata Betrone
This reaction is necessary because the disagreeable is always the gift of the Father by which He would open our hearts to His Love in the Son. What hurts opens our heart, breaks us from some attachment which has kept our heart closed to Jesus, to the Father.  Or if we are beyond that stage, our suffering is redemptive for those who are not, who resist suffering in this way.

When My Dispositions Are Questioned
O Jesus, why am I so pained and disturbed when my dispositions are questioned? There is only one reason — by a hidden impurity my peace depends, not on the disposition the Father gives me through You, to receive everything from Him, my Father, but on a disposition I would find in myself and have of myself. Therefore I thank you, adorable Father, that You have permitted me to be so disturbed. For in the measure that I was disturbed I needed to be purified. And in the measure that you applied this violence to my stubborn soul, You have loved me, wanting to give me, not only Yourself, but the very disposition by which I was to receive You in Jesus Your Son, in Mary, His Mother and mine.

The Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Trinity
(Excerpt, with Meditation)
"Forget yourself!  Do not occupy yourself with your spiritual or material needs.  When you have all that is necessary, you deprive Me of the joy of taking care of you.”
                                                                                                                              (Tan Books, p. 79)  

When you think of yourself, it is in order to have all that is necessary in your possession, under your control.  That is contrary to My Will, which is to take care of you from moment to moment, to give you your daily bread only.  When you are silent to your word, to your interior word, you hear Me, the Word of the Father, providing everything that you need.  And it is your realization that I am taking care of you, that I love you, that moves you to love Me.
What glorifies Jesus is not what we possess in ourselves, but our dependence on Him for everything — rather, our realization of this dependence — because in fact everything depends on Him totally.  When we realize this dependence, we are open to receive everything from the Father just as Jesus receives everything from Him.  The joy of Jesus in taking care of us is the joy of bringing another child to the Father, another Word, a little word, to Whom the Father may give Himself totally.    
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