Growing in Love in All Life Decisions: Let’s Act for a Better World.

“Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” -Joel 2:12-13 // “Eppure anche ora, dice il Signore, ritorna da me con tutto il tuo cuore, con il digiuno, il pianto e il cordoglio, strappa i tuoi cuori, non le tue vesti, e torna al Signore, tuo Dio. Per grazia e misericordia è lui, lento all’ira, ricco di gentilezza, che si accontenta di punire “. -Joel 2: 12-13

*Note: due to my new language learning goals, I will slowly be starting to write posts in English/Italian or Spanish/Italian…please don’t mind the many grammar mistakes that Google translate will bring us as I move from 1 word onward in the Italian language.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I look forward to explain some items that I learned to share with all of us life learners who happen to come upon this blog and find themselves learning about stress and where to avoid temptations:

Weight Loss through Faith and Prayer _ Weight Reduction with Catholic Resources

Notably, there are a few elements of interest:

  • “You can live within normal and healthy weight limits if only you love God’s mercy more than you desire to punish yourself. Right now you use food to numb your emotional distress, and you fear that without using food and excess body fat as psychological defenses your life will be nothing but empty pain.”
  • “Therefore, to overcome the habit of constantly reaching for something to deaden pain, endeavor to teach yourself to act in new ways through love. Recognize the urge to use food as a way to numb emotional pain, and hten return food to its proper place in your life: not as a psychological defense but as a holy gift of nutrition. This takes considerable conscious effort– still, it is all possible through graceful trust in God’s help and protection.

Moreover, the Catholic Church offers a centuries-old form of relaxation and emotional support: prayer.

The Devil (very much present: a greatest trick is to make humans believe that the devil does not exist and act negatively in our lives. It is often said that our amazing Lord has a perfect plan for our lives, but we must acknowledge with reverence that the devil is more powerful than us, and he has a plan that he absolutely intends for us to falsely rationalize and implement in our lives that will lead to our ruin). We must acknowledge that the devil exists in our imperfect lives if we are to face issues in our lives with an understanding of his power and a greater understanding of the greatest power that God maintains in all things.


There are three basic steps to changing unwanted behavior:
1. To know how ugly the behavior is and how destructive it is to yourself and to others.

2. To know the damage caused by the behavior.

3. To know the benefits of new and different behavior.


The fear of unwanted behavior’s consequences is not a sufficient motivation.

The hope of positive changes IS a sufficient motivation. This requires frequent daily meditation, speaking of positive changes in life with others and naming the struggles that you strive to overcome, seeking advice, and seeking Reconciliation (and spiritual direction from the priest during that time in the confessional) as often as necessary.

The great article advises us to use a method of meditation twice a day (or as needed, if more temptation exists):

  1. Enter a state of relaxation: a quiet setting and a restful posture.
  2. Create a negative mood state as you visualize harmful and disgusting effects of the unwanted behavior. (Body swelled and fat, muscles weakened, bones carrying too much excess weight, shortness of breath, cholesterol coating arteries and heart). After this has entered your mind fully, pray a ‘Hail Mary’.
  3. Contemplate how miserable and hopeless your life will be if this behavior doesn’t change. Think of yourself having trouble breathing, barely enduring physical work, think of your children suffering these consequences as a result of your implicit example of habits. Pray another ‘Hail Mary’.
  4. Consider the realities of Purgatory’s necessary cleansing for your poor choices here during life on earth: every unneccessary mouthful of food you have ever taken will be purged from you.
  5. Create a positive mood state to visualize beneficial effects of new, healthy behavior. You may want to make a point of calling out and rejecting any devil’s distractions of automatically thinking that your small action changes could ‘never build into your ideal health state’. These miracles are God’s territory and not always within our capacity to understand, but we must lead in faith by each small ‘insignificant’ action.
  6. Reinforce the positive mood state by seeing yourself as confident, healthy in appearance and interior functioning, relaxed and able to concentrate, free of frustration and tension, and as a positive influence on others. Enjoy a peaceful state of mind and deep sense of hope and love for others. Pray a ‘Hail Mary’.
    1. Memorize and repeat the following Truths to move great steps forward in the Lord’s plan:
      “Lord, when grounded in prayer, I work calmly and confidently. Give me the grace to not let my self-confidence be bothered by small mistakes. In You, I can overcome all obstacles with total confidence.
    2. “In You, Lord, there are no “good” days or “bad” days, there is only love.”
  7. Finally, pray this wildly powerful prayer for the strength of God to be felt in this moment of temptation:

Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Through the grace of your purity, may this unclean habit cease. From habit and slavery, pray for my release: Hail Mary…

From anger, fear, and anxiety, pray for my release: Hail Mary…

For health and calm and peace, pray for me: Hail Mary…

For emotional sensitivity, pray for me: Hail Mary…

To be filled with all the fullness of divinity, pray for me: Hail Mary…

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that, by Christ redeemed, we choose to live in purity. Amen.

I will be praying this for my own protection (please keep me in your prayers), for friends J, C, P, C, D, A, B, C, E, M, R, L, I, M, L, E, B, H, D, M, T, T, K, D, A, T, M, M, A, J, J, J, H, L, K, J, E, B, P, A, C, P, D, M, K, J, F, L, B, T, A, M, M, F, L, A, L, A, R, C, M, T, A, M, C, L, L, K, L, E, A, S, K, M, L, L, M, K, B, S, G, E, B, F, C, A, A, C, L, L, L, S, A, A, A, K, J, M, K, J, V, J, J, C, M, K, S, C, K, M, M, T, R, J, E, S, L, J, A, F, J, B, G, J, J, E, M, A, H, C, E, C, and J who need the grace to view this area of their life realistically and as God intends (challenges fully included) and respond in God’s strength and positive action, and for the ever-increasing acts of holiness of our world…may I lead, God willing! Amen.

To be Free to Experience its Greatest Joys, the Heart Must Become Pure

Are you planning on being a parent one day? Are you already a parent (pregnant or with small children) and looking to allow your children to live in the freedom that God allows? Then we can’t ignore a current crisis in every corner of society.

El pase de diapositivas requiere JavaScript.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of another by seeing what it would take to overcome a great struggle. Let’s work extra to allow EACH human to have enough knowledge to choose the freedom of a clean heart.

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I want to bring up a trending topic in the Catholic young adult world: purity. It seems to have no place in anyone’s life, but yet there are strong examples of purity both in single life and marriage, because both are called to live purely within each season of life or vocation (St. Gianna Molla, St. Maria Goretti, numerous sisters and nuns of religious vocations including St. Teresa of Avila, St. Faustina, St. Mother Teresa, etc.). I have been around very impure environments, such as a large U.S. public campus university, and I have had to leave because I was seeking what I could not find: a peace of heart. Now, after 5 years of learning how to successfully find this in my life (through many trials and many experiences full of more trust in God and learning), I have to admit one thing: habits created to guard a pure environment (internally and externally) can be inspired by God and kept as a strong, never-ending desire; it will always be a desire to be renewed daily and we must pray to maintain great conviction in this loving desire. In other words, you will always have to choose concerning personal purity (there is no ‘neutral space’, for to not explicitly act toward the highest good is to do less than you are called to do). You must renew the correct choice to desire God’s gift of purity in heart, mind, and soul all the time because it will be in danger more often than you’d like due to the low societal expectations of virtue today (or at least this has been my experience when I must live away from strong nets of life-giving, refreshing, awakening Christian communities tucked within the problematic U.S. society as a whole). However, there is no greater joy than living by how God gives this Catholic Church (meant for every single one of us, even including non-Catholics) to teach the world by maintaining a pure heart (mind, body, and by the soul, which must be often restored to life by Jesus through His mercy in Reconciliation, as the lovely Audrey Assad explained in the following video).

I am not asking you to read this JUST for the sake of your own knowledge, but instead for something much bigger than the individual. I seek society change and help amongst neighbors and friends. I am asking you to know the problem that we must overcome as a society. I am asking you to realize that there are brothers and sisters among us who may need to learn from you but may not be willing to pick up this book. It’s not exactly a coffee table book, but it’s well worth reading for anyone who is involved with a family dynamic…so, everyone. Everyone knows someone who could benefit from this book, and I don’t even mean that it must address the specific problem areas that are mentioned most regularly. Just insert the grave concern of choice, and this book still functionally addresses it: dwelling on the negative actions of others/being just too intimate with partner/overeating and feeling too full are exactly the material that gives the Devil his space to thrive.

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“Pleasure is one dimensional…on the plane of physical. The clean of heart are able to live intensely on all planes—with a full awareness of all the world, of the music, of the flowers, of the children, friends, and above all the supernatural. Those of unclean heart become increasingly blind to these other dimensions of love and beauty…” (Scott, 2006, p. 24).

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“By removing the distortions of lust, a clean heart will help you to make peace with and appreciate your sexuality. You will ultimately begin to see it as a friend rather than an enemy, as a blessing, not a curse. Pray for the grace to appreciate the virtue of chastity, to want to be chaste according to your state in life, and to desire to do God’s will in this matter. Thank God for your sexuality and realize it is a blessing that God gives us to be used only in marriage. Ask Him daily to help you want to only use it according to His will” (Scott, 2006, p. 25).

Side note for any readers not familiar with Audrey Assad’s bold, brilliant artistic talent:

Let’s close in a prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas:
O holy, innocent Master, thou leader of the most pure of soul, I now begin to understand what gained for thee the title, ‘Angel of the Schools.’ The eye of an angel must indeed be able to contemplate that which constitutes an angel’s blessedness. Well didst thou understand that saying of the Holy Spirit: ‘Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sin.’ Thou hast told me that the heart that gives itself up to sensuality, must be weak, bad, and subject to low instincts. I believe thee, and I will follow thy counsels. Never will I have aught to do with what might endanger the lovely, the precious purity of my soul. When the tempter suddenly appears, may I like thee in the hour of thy fiery and memorable victory, seize the flaming brand of holy love with which to put my enemy to flight. I solemnly promise thee, my holy Leader, to flee from every shadow of danger, to be watchful in the choice of my books, my friends, my conversations, my recreations, yes, even in my food and drink as far as in me lies.
But do thou, O heavenly Protector, obtain for me the divine assistance in those encounters from which so few come forth victorious. I will conquer, I must conquer! Protect me from whatever could wound purity in the least degree and keep me in the love of this beautiful virtue till the end, that I may belong to those who in heaven thank thee for thy guard over them and contribute to thy glory, O thou triumphant Leader and renowned Hero of virginity! Amen.”

 

 

Dios Me Ha Creado Para Amar Primero y Soñar Inspiridoramente

“La clave de la perfección es el amor. Quien vive de amor, vive en Dios, pues Dios es amor, como dice el Apóstol.”

“Limpia tu corazón de toda pasión terrenal. ¡ Humíllate en el polvo y reza ! Así encontrarás con certeza a Dios, que te dará serenidad y paz en esta vida y eterna beatitud en la otra. ”

 

Las cosas cuales me gustan ver son ideas de esperanza, honrando lo que podría venir algún dia en el futuro.

Todas las frases vienen de St. Padre Pio, todas las imágenes vienen de Pinterest. Ahora sigamos…

“Dulce es el yugo de Jesús, liviano su peso, por lo tanto, no demos lugar al enemigo para insinuarse en nuestro corazón y robarnos la paz.”

 

Siempre con algunas metas personales que ya empiezan esta semana, no? Claro que si!