No Hay Dualidad En El Amor

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“Mi corazon Y mi carne cantan con gozo al Dios vivo” (Salmo 84:2)

¿Han escuchado alguna vez de la dualidad o dualismo? Es un término filosófico para las discusiones sesudos de cómo el cuerpo y la mente (alma) encuentran o no encuentran la unidad. Pero para mi simplemente me alluda para saber que no es posible vivir aquí en este mundo sin un cuerpo y un alma. Frecuentemente nos encontramos escudriñando nuestro cuerpo o nuestra alma debido a las imperfecciones que encontramos en ellos. Esto sucede especialmente con aquellos que intencionalmente buscan la santidad. Pero al cooperar con la obra de Dios de la purificación en nuestra vida a veces solo terminamos metiéndonos en el camino de Dios mientras hace sus obras dentro de nosotros.

Me pregunto, a veces, donde se encuentra la belleza de la pureza. Solía centrar mi atención sobre el funcionamiento interior del corazón; sentimientos, emociones, espiritualidad. Pero a veces terminaba decepcionada por toda la impureza que encontraba en esas áreas. Aunque es un enfoque bueno y necesario, apenas tomaba cuenta del otro lado de esa moneda; el cuerpo. Pureza del corazón es necesario entender pero la pureza del cuerpo es igual de importante.

Es por el amor de Jesús que nos esforzamos arduamente para preparar a un corazón agradable; por amor queremos ofrecer lo mejor de lo mejor, el más alto potencial de la belleza en nosotros. Igual, la castidad del cuerpo tiene un propósito, no solo es una paranoia religiosa de castigo divino o cualquier otra cosa. Nuestro cuerpo es Templo del Espíritu Santo, es una vasija de amor para el Padre Eterno. Nuestro amor, en imitación del amor de Jesús, debe ser puro. Tanto como es un regalo de Dios es también un regalo a nuestro futuro cónyuge. Es necesario comprender por qué hacemos lo que hacemos, de lo contrario se convierte en una costumbre onerosa y vacía que nos puede hacer miserables. Por ejemplo, suprimir los deseos de la carne porque son malos en sí mismos no es correcto, nosotros los atentamos preservar porque son un regalo de amor para ser actualizado después de la bendición sacramental del matrimonio. O para las mujeres y los hombres religiosos es un don que ofrecen a Dios, en su consagración de los votos, como un signo de ese amor perfecto entre Cristo y su iglesia. En una manera también lo hacen por amor a los demás.

Recuerde, trabajamos duro para preparar nuestro corazón para Jesús. Pero, ¿cuánto esfuerzo generalmente ponemos a preparar nuestro cuerpo para él? Como celosos somos para agradar a Dios con mayor potencial por la belleza en nuestro cuerpo?

¡NOS ESTAMOS ESFORZANDO POR LA SANTIDAD! La santidad es la perfección, a través de la santificación, de nuestra existencia en Cristo. Si estamos en orden y unidos a Cristo, la totalidad de lo que somos puede ser puro y Santo. Somos un regalo para Dios, pero también para los demás. El amor es nuestra medida de la santidad y si recordamos, no se puede amar a una persona simplemente por la convicción de la mente o el corazón, ese amor se tiene que actualizar en action. Por esta razón no puede ver dualidad en el amor, no es cuerpo sin alma o alma sin cuerpo; es cuerpo y alma.

“[yo] amo a Dios sobre todas las cosas por su propio bien y [mi] vecino como [yo mismo] por el amor de Dios. ” (CCC 1822) – esto es amor perfecto.

La oración es la clave del perfecto amor. La oración es lo que fortalece las facultades del alma y las capacidades del cuerpo y las hace puro. ¡Todo comienza aquí! Todo comienza con nuestra relación con Jesús.

“oren sin cesar” 1 Tesalonicenses 5:17

No Duality in Love

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“My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Psalm 84:2)

Have you ever heard of duality or dualism? It is a philosophical term for some brainy discussion of how the body and the mind (soul) do or do not find unity. But in my understanding it is simply used to prove that I cannot possibly live here on earth without a body AND a soul. Often, we find ourselves scrutinizing either our body or our soul because of the imperfections we find in them. This specially happens with those who intentionally seek holiness of life. But when cooperating with God’s work of purification in our life we at times just end up getting in the way of what God  is trying to do in us.

I often question where the beauty of purity can be found and before, I used to center my attention on the interior workings of the heart; feelings, emotions, spirituality. But I sometimes ended up disappointing myself by all the impurity I found in those areas. Although it is a good and necessary approach, I hardly gave consideration to the other side of that coin; the body. Purity of the heart is necessary to understand but purity of the body is just as important. The love of Jesus is why we strive so hard to prepare a pleasing heart; we want to offer him the best of the best, the highest potential of beauty in us. Just the same, our chastity of the body has a purpose, its not just a religious paranoia of divine punishment or whatever else. Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is the Father’s vessel of love. Our love must be pure. As much as our body is a gift to God it is also a gift to our future spouse. It’s necessary to fully understand why we do what we do, otherwise it becomes a burdensome and empty custom that can make us miserable. For instance, We do not suppress the desires of the flesh because they are bad in themselves, we preserve them because they are a gift of love to be actualized after the sacramental blessing of marriage. Or for religious men and women it is a gift they offer to God, in their consecration of the vows, as a sign of that perfect love between Christ and his Church. In a way they are also doing it for love of us.

Remember, we work hard to prepare our heart for Jesus. But how much effort do we usually put into preparing our body for him, how zealous are we to please him with the highest potential of beauty in our body?

WE ARE STRIVING FOR HOLINESS! Holiness is the perfection, through sanctification, of our existence in Christ. Our holiness lies in using the whole of our personhood, body and soul; intellect, will and emotions. If rightly ordered and united in Christ, the entirety of who we are can be pure and holy. We are a selfless gift to God but also to others. Love is our measure of holiness and if we recall, a person cannot love simply by conviction of the mind or heart, he has to act in that love as well. This is why there can be no duality in love, it is not body or soul; it is body and soul.

“[I] love God above all things for his own sake, and [my] neighbor as [myself] for the love of God.” CCC 1822 – This is perfect love.

Prayer is our key to perfect love. Prayer is what will strengthen the souls faculties and the bodies capacities and make them pure. It all begins here! It all begins with our relationship with Jesus.

“Therefore, pray ye!” Matthew 9:38

 

Purity of Heart: A unique charism responding to a Universal Call!

By: Sr. Maria

slide1 I am a Sister in a Contemplative Community dedicated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are at the center of our spiritual life, and the conformation and union of our hearts with theirs is desired and pursued and so naturally you will find a strong emphasis on purity of heart within our Charism.
In Particular, we try to cultivate this purity by striving for a right interior disposition of the heart, and emptying ourselves of the ulterior motives that infect our intentions.
So for instance, there is the call in our charism to let go of all agenda and ambition. Having an agenda is the same thing as having an expectation; whenever we do something, we usually do it with a strong belief or hope that a particular result or response will come from it. But in our striving for purity of heart, we try to surrender these hidden expectations that lie deep within us, and do everything with love for God and neighbor without having some result in mind, or expecting our love and service to be responded to in a certain way.
Even in prayer or in works of mercy, our hearts have to be purified from having an agenda while expecting particular results. Another area we focus on (in order to keep our hearts and intentions pure) is the emptying of ourselves and the rooting out of our hearts all ambitions. Ambition is the subtle, self-interested motive often woven into the fabric of mans intention and it usually has to do with some gain the individual is seeking. It is an ulterior motive directed to a different end than that which was sought.
For instance, a student may receive an “A” on her paper, yet not care very much about the subject she seemed invested in and labored to articulate so well in, because her ambition was for the accomplishment of receiving high grades for the semester. Likewise, a businessman may not be as interested in the good of his company when he is driven to make a notable contribution as he is in receiving a better position in the company. In the spiritual life too, a subtle ambition can easily start to taint our good decisions and behaviors.
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Continually cultivating purity of heart apart from self-interest can help prevent falling into a common and subtle snare in the spiritual life that those who have dedicated their lives to God are susceptible to the mistake of harboring ambition to be holy for ourselves rather than for God’s sake. It is easy in the spiritual life to proceed unaware that our desires to be a saint can spiritually shift our focus from living the first commandment to undertaking holy practices for the wrong reason. This is what happens when a person firsts seeks to be holy rather than first seeking to please God. They mistake the means for the ends, and because of this, they will be preoccupied with the outward appearance of holiness and being recognized by others as being holy, which will be a great obstacle in the true spiritual growth necessary.
Finally, we strive to live purity of heart by having a humble heart. This is at the core of our charism. This humility of heart, which calls for self-acceptance and simply being who we are, without embellishment or compensations, or trying to make our personality something it is not, leads to simplicity and purity of heart. Through this purity and simplicity of heart, we come ever closer to being the individual servant God made us to be. This humble self-acceptance and emptiness is what makes the pure intentions and dispositions of the Sacred Heart live in our own hearts.
I will close with the community prayer we daily say- simple and yet the greatest expression of our charism- which requests that the dispositions and motives of the Sacred Heart fill our own hearts, se that our hearts may be a reflection of the Purity of His Heart.
Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to empty myself and be filled with Your love, peace, patience, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and understanding. Let every beat of my heart and every breath that I breathe be for You. Let every word that I speak be reflective of You. Let every glance I give be a mirror of You. Let every hand I touch feel Your gentle care. Let every step I take be on Your path toward Your Light. Let every word of praise I may receive be directed to You in humble thanksgiving. Let every angry word said to me or against me be returned with words of love and mercy not anger and revenge. Let every desire I have be for You. Let my will conform to Yours. Touch every cell of my body, Lord, and make me the person, the servant, You want me to be. AMEN.
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For more information on the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary please visit  http://heartsofjesusandmary.com/

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The Order of the Sacred and Immaculate
Hearts of Jesus and Mary
48765 Annapolis Road
Hopedale, Ohio 43976
                                                                         Telephone: (740) 946-9000

                                                     e-mail: twohearts1@mac.com

 

“Me dijo ‘Ven'”

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Oh tu de poca fe, porque dudas?” Mateo 14:31
Cuando las aves vuelan, se acostumbran a volar hacia arriba o recto. Es raro ver un pájaro volar hacia abajo o al suelo. Si se dirige en esa dirección, lo más probable es que este asumiendo una mala decisión y podría necesitar ayuda cuando llege a el piso.
Igual, cuando vamos a un nuevo viaje, generalmente estamos acompañados de la aplicación de Waze o Google maps. El controlador normalmente confía en el GPS y la dirección que está dando. Porque sabe que el GPS no puede saber lo contrario.
Un día en Misa, mientras los bancos se llenavan de familias, jóvenes y ancianos, un huesped se unió a la congregación. La iglesia no era muy grande pero su cúpula tiro claro hasta el altar y estaba adornada con hermosas ventanas. El amigo pequeno emplumado debe de haver perdido su camino y miró alarmado por el repentino recinto. Instintivamente él voló hacia la cima de la cúpula. La Misa había comenzado y se proclamó el Evangelio pero la mitad de la iglesia estaba demasiado distraída por la pobre criatura y el sacerdote se dio cuenta. “El evangelio del Señor”, dijo, un poco más fuerte que de costumbre. “Yo soy el camino” comenzó su homilía.
El pájaro, obviamente, estaba atorado, y con miedo. Pero ha optado por pánico ir hacia arriba de la cupula en ves de mirar hacia abajo para notar la amplia puerta abierta debajo de él. ¿Cuántos de nosotros pueden relacionarse con el? Caminamos a través de las puertas de la vida y gravitamos inmediatamente hacia los quebradores de gusto. Nuestros sentidos nos guian, nuestras emociones nos guian, nuestro intelecto nos guia, con estas guías estamos seguros abarcan muchas cosas. Nuestra sed de conocimiento nos lleva instintivamente a la educación, las emociones conducen hacia la búsqueda de la felicidad, nuestros sentidos llegan a satisfacciones naturales. Pero, ¿con qué frecuencia permitimos conducir al corazon? La “norma”, lo “común”, y “generalmente” es nuestro pan de cada día, es nuestra comodidad y orgullo.
“mira ese pájaro, está haciendo lo único que sabe cómo volar hacia arriba. Volar en otra dirección parece lo contrario y casi imposible de considerar… “el padre continúa,”si no basta  su búsqueda hacia arriba y  no se inclina ante lo que está debajo de él, él morirá en su testarudez. Podemos llamar hacia él pero no escuchará si no está abierto a oir nuestra voz.”
La muerte es inevitable, pero la vida es una opcion. La vida es dada y ofrecida pero no es forzado sobre nosotros. Dios abre la puerta pero nosotros decidimos cruzar su umbral. El único requisito es escucharlo; a su dirección como nuestro compañero en el viaje. Si podemos fácilmente entregar nuestra confianza a Siri, Waze o Google maps cuando viajamos el camino desconocido, ¿por qué nos resulta tan difícil de confiar en el Creador del camino espiritual recorrido? Él nos llevara a veces a tomar un giro inesperado. Nos pedirá que salgamos de la “normalidad” y que caminemos en una dirección diferente. Cuando lo hagamos, de repente nos encontraremos en la posición de la criatura voladora y decidiremos “mirar hacia abajo?, me inclinare?, se humilde y redirige?
Jesús llamó a Pedro fuera del barco, “él dijo, ‘Ven'” y en ese momento Pedro tenía una decision que hacer. ¿Dejarías la seguridad de tu embarcación o arriesgarías tu vida para hacer el absurdo y caminar sobre el agua?
Jesús nos llama, él quiere guiarnos, está intentando llamar nuestra atención. Su voz no se encuentra en los quebradores que desee. Su voz no está en las cosas que atraen los sentidos. Podemos oir, pero elegimos escuchar? Podemos conocerlo pero decidimos aceptarlo? Si no; nuestro orgullo obstinado nos acompañará hasta el final del tiempo.

“He Said, ‘Come!'”

untitled“oh you of little faith, why do you doubt” Matthew 14:31

When birds fly, they tend to fly upward or steady and straight. It is rare to spot a bird coming toward us or flying down toward the ground. If it is headed in that direction, most likely it is plunging unwillingly and might need help when it reaches the ground.

Also, when going on a new trip, we are usually accompanied by the Waze app or Google maps. The driver more often than not trusts the GPS and the direction it is giving. Because after all the GPS cant know otherwise.

One day at Mass, as the pews were being filled with good looking families, young and old, an uninvited guest joined the congregation. The church was not that large but its dome shot clear up the altar and was adorned all around with beautiful stain glassed windows. the little feathered friend must have lost his way and looked alarmed at the sudden enclosure. Instinctively he flew up toward the peak of the dome. Mass had begun and the Gospel was being proclaimed but half the church was too distracted by the poor creature and the priest took notice. “The Gospel of the Lord” he said, a little louder than usual. “I am the way” he began his homily.

The bird is obviously stuck, he is scared and fluttered. But it has chosen to panic above without  looking down to notice the wide open door underneath him. How many of us can relate? We walk through the doors of life and immediately gravitate toward the fulfillers of want. Our senses lead, our emotions lead, our intellect leads, with all these guides we are sure to embrace many things. Our thirst for knowledge instinctively leads us to education, emotions lead toward the search for happiness, our senses find their way to natural satisfactions. But how often do we allow the heart to lead? The “norm”, the “common”, the “usual” is our bread and butter, it is our comfort and pride.

” look at that bird, it’s doing the only thing it knows how, it is flying upward. Flying in any other direction seems contrary and near impossible to even consider . . .” father continues, “if he does not give up his seeking and bow down to what is beneath him, he will die in his stubbornness. We can call out to him all we want, he will not listen if he is not open to hearing our voice.”

Death is inevitable, but life is a choice. Life is given and offered but it is not forced upon us. God opens the door but we choose to cross its threshold. The only requirement is to listen to Him; to his guidance as our companion on the journey we travel. If we can so easily surrender our trust to Siri, Waze or Google maps when traveling the unknown road, why do we find it so hard to trust the creator of the spiritual road we travel? He will ask us at times to take an unexpected turn. He will ask us to step out of the “norm” and walk in a different direction. When he does, we suddenly find ourselves in the position of the churchgoing creature, and we ask “will I look down, will I bow, will I become humble and redirect?

Jesus called Peter out of the boat, “He said,’Come'” and at that moment Peter had a choice to make. Would he leave the safety of his boat or would he risk his life to do the absurd, and walk on water?

Jesus calls us, He wants to guide us, he is attempting to grab our attention. His still small voice is not found in the fulfillers of want. His voice is not in the things our senses gravitate toward. We can hear but do we choose to listen. We can know him but do we choose to accept him. If we do not; our stubborn pride will accompany us to the end of time.

Who Am I?

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Be who God made you to be and you will set the world on fire” (St. Catherine of Sienna ).

I was once convinced that a good description of me was “free spirit”. At least that’s how people portrayed me. I went with the flow; I blew with the wind. I was Phlegmatic. Whether I was introvert or extrovert is a whole other story, I believed to be a blend of both. If I was with others; Praises God!!!! If I was alone; Praise God!!!! I enjoyed it all.

In short: “[friend calling] Hey, do you want to go for coffee?; [Me working on a project] Sure, give me 10 min.”

But now when I pause and reflect within the deepest recesses of my soul, I find myself asking: “Who Am I, Truly?” I have found a portion of me; one that allows me to respond with a personality. But have I found the whole of me? Can I fully be alive with this unlocked mystery or is there still more mystery to uncover; that of divinity maybe?

Faith and reason go hand in hand, so too biology and divinity go hand in hand. There’s the person with his many faculties intellect, emotions, senses, personality, and all bodily capacities but then there is that side of divinity that needs to be realized; the life of Christ in us. The capacity to become comes from the union of both. It can be said that this becoming is our sanctification. When we put the two together we have a person fully alive because we have a person fully united to God. “Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself” (CCC 1999).

Therefore, the learning of who we are serves as a means for knowing what we have to offer in our service to God. Christ uses our capacities in order to fulfill them. He takes my friendly self and inserts a divine intervention of love into the use of it. He takes my clumsy ways and attaches a virtue of humility in them while at the same token a virtue of hope in someone else who witnesses my imperfect actions. Christ makes himself available because he wants to unite himself to us; he wants to make us whole. Without Jesus we are a portion of ourselves, the perfection in us is in Him.

Seems we sometimes inundate ourselves with our self. Temperament/personality, it is given to us by God as a mark of unique character. It helps us learn how we best relate, get along, work, rest, etc. In it we find a unique touch of identity. But is it the end all, be all? Can we measure our way of living by it? should we use it alone to discern moments of our life?

I once arrived at a social gathering and was quickly greeted by two scenarios. On one end of the room was an outgoing crowed and on the opposite end was a young man eating some carrots he must have picked up at the buffet line. Instinctively I gravitated toward the social group because I figured “I’m social, their social, together we make totally social”. But deep inside, I looked at the young man and thought “I’m social, he’s totally not social, together we make semi-social.” Now, I have been used to entering into conversation but creating it and sustaining it was not a forte of mine. On his end, he was far from entering in and far from sustaining any form of communication. I realized at that moment that we were both putting our personal traits aside, those that gave us comfort, and united we were stepping out of our comfort zone. Out of our default way of relating.

“Be who God made you to be and you will set the world on fire” (St. Catherine of Sienna ). We should not place a measure on ourselves according to identity. We were meant to know what our comfort zone is only to surpass it. We are becoming, which means we are growing at every moment; spiritually, emotionally, psychologically. If a child never gets on the bike he will never learn to ride it. Living at the edge of our comfort zone is striving to become wholly the person we were meant to be.

Authentic, unique, one-of-a-kind we are all of these things; not because of character but because we were created by the Creator. when St. Catherine said “be who God made you to be” she did not mean that aside from our identity as children of God. That which is given to us at Baptism. Just as we have personal traits we too have the capacity to respond and to embody our spiritual traits those we call virtues; virtues that come from grace which is the life of Christ in us. So next time we believe we have uncovered our truest self let us remember “for to me life is Christ” (Phil 1:21).

“Grace is a participation In the life of God . . . The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. (CCC 1997, 1999)