Sunday, 30 December 2012

Dealing with Suffering

    Suffering is just one of those things that gets in the way of life. Suffering is a topic everyone usually avoids in Catholic discussions, and so I shall talk about it today.

   So how can we explain it? Well, with God in the picture, we can easily do this. Firstly, suffering is not an end in itself, rather it is a means to a greater good. God uses suffering for many things, but a main one is to show His love for us. He sent down His only Son to suffer every possible iniquity in order to show us how much He really loves us, but also it reveals the fact that we must suffer in order to get to the next life. We can firstly use suffering to repay God's love for us. If we unite it to the Passion of Our Lord, we are then able to repay His love for us, and show Him that we are willing to serve someone else other than ourselves.

   Secondly, we can make up for our sins. In doing this, we will be able to avoid Purgatory (which I will cover in another article) and satisfy the temporal punishments due to sin. According to justice, we must make up for our offenses against God in one way or another, and it is much easier to do it on earth, because we cannot avoid suffering anyway. This then gives us reason to suffer, and uniting it to Jesus' Passion, we are able to overcome it, and advance in our spiritual lives.

   Thirdly, we can overcome our passions, and enter into a whole new way of life. If we're just concerned with how we feel throughout our lives, we cannot give ourselves to others and be able to overcome our passions. If we let our passions go wild, we can blind our intellect, and become like a savage. This is what has happened to our world today. If you are afraid to suffer, you will not be able to serve a higher power but yourself.

   In meriting through suffering, we then become Christ-like, and no longer have to be slaves to ourselves. This is true freedom which is found outside of an individual in serving others.


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  Finally, I would like to thank all those who read my articles, and I was wondering if any of you had any ideas for articles for me, or advice, comments, or questions. Please contact me at fromthecatacombs@gmail.com and have a blessed Christmastide :)!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Guardian Angels

  As you read this very sentence, I think you should know that someone is staring at you. I don’t mean God, Our Lady, or the Saints. I mean an angel who was picked just for you from all eternity. These perfect creatures may not speak, but they are simply waiting for us to start the conversation. Now, if you haven’t heard about Guardian Angels before, or don’t really acknowledge yours, hopefully this article will put a smile on your face, for a best friend is waiting.
  Firstly, they were appointed to help us. If God gave us our own angel, then they must do something, right? Well, Guardian Angels mainly protect us from temptation, the Devil, and physical harm. There are many true stories about how they have protected individuals from physical harm, such as this one: There was once a man who had to drive three hours to go to St. Padre Pio’s priory. He was extremely tired and fell asleep. After a long rest, he woke up, and found himself already at the priory. He asked St. Padre Pio what had happened, for St. Pio was a mystic and knew these things. He told the man that his guardian angel had taken the wheel right before he was about to crash. I took this story from a book called “Send me your Guardian Angel” which was based on St. Pio’s angel (please read it, it is an amazing book.) Therefore, if you need protection, call upon yours.
  Secondly, these angels know us better than anyone else, and so they want you to talk to them! How bored so many must be, as their appointed person ignores them. They will be there to listen, and if you have questions, have faith and ask, I promise you will suddenly know the answer. Even just saying hello to them, they would really appreciate it (try it now!). We can be more relaxed when we speak to them, because they are not our Heavenly Father who we must have perfect respect towards, but we can be more relaxed, with respect of course, but can talk to our guardian angels as a friend, rather than a Father.
  Thirdly, they are our fastest travellers. You know, he’s just waiting there, so send him somewhere! Send him to an abandoned church or someone in extra need. They are able to travel as fast as light, for they do not have bodies, and will always carry out our request, because they wouldn’t deny us some good. Another thing St. Pio used to say is that if you send him your guardian angel with a message, or request, he will get it, and carry out our prayers if it be for the betterment of our soul.
   Finally, they want to share in our joys and be our best friend. If this is true, then speak often to your dear angel, ask him for favours, and thank him for being so generous.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Brighter Side

   Now I think it’s necessary to say that Catholicism is not just about avoiding sin. Many people, I fear, are put off by Traditional Catholics because it seems as if many focus only on the negative. If this were true, I would not be where I am today. I think it’s much easier to not base who God is on others, because if you did so, God would be a strict, joyless God. Here are some points that really brightened up my Faith, while keeping it strong.
   
  Firstly, rules are only the beginning. They are road maps to our lives. For example, if you went to a summer camp, it is common sense for some rules to be set, but once the camp starts, you don’t ponder and worry about rules, rather you keep them in mind and follow them, but they stay at the back of your mind while you have fun. I find it almost impossible to continue the Faith if we are constantly worrying about every little detail. Jesus Himself said to the Pharisees that they only followed the letter of the law, not the heart of it. This meant that laws give us the obvious boundaries, but we mustn’t constantly worry about them. Therefore keep in mind the rules, but look on the brighter side of the Faith.
   
  Secondly, don’t worry! God has formed our hearts and knows how they work. If we are in the state of grace, pray, and keep the law, we must do all the things that come after! We can then hope for heaven, speak to our great friends, the saints, and rejoice that God is watching over us. Worrying causes us to have a dark feeling about life, and consequently can lead to despair. As St. Padre Pio said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” If the infinitely good Master is watching over us, we can then begin to hope for our next home. Therefore, rejoice, for God is with you!
   
  Finally, have fun, smile, laugh, and relax, for everything is being taken care of. Jesus said that if we search for our heavenly home now, all the necessities of life will be freely given to us. Life is too short to be wallowing in the seas of sorrow, rather we must carry our cross happily to God. How are we to enjoy heaven, if we are sad all our lives? Let us then take advantage of this Christmas season, be truly joyful that the Infant Child was born, and be blessed by the infinitely good God.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Benefits of Tradition

     As for serving God in His Church, over the years it has been split into two, the more modern Catholics, and the Traditional ones. As a Traditional Catholic, I shall tell my reasons for being so, and how it can be more meritorious to your soul.

   Firstly, in the Traditional Latin Mass for example, there is a much more profound respect and solemnity. This is found in receiving Our Lord in the Host on the tongue, and keeping a peaceful silence. This is where we can find God, in the silence of it all. Of course many say that the New Mass is more enjoyable, but if you look closely, the people are at the centre, not God. This can also be found in our society. There is no longer silence, but blasting music to distract the soul from finding God.
   
  A second reason why I prefer Traditional Catholicism is that it follows more closely what Jesus Himself practiced. For example, it has many days of fast and abstinence to purify our souls. Jesus gave us a good example to follow when He fasted for forty days in the desert. This helps us to purify our souls, and get over our own will.
   
  Thirdly, I find in Traditional Catholicism a much more stable foundation. What I mean by this is that if you concentrate on feelings alone, it is hazardous to give up all hope when there are trials, which the good Lord always sends us. But if you build your Faith on your will, and chastise yourself here and there, you will be able to withstand God’s tests, get over your changing feelings, and have a true Faith, rather than one made upon feelings.
  
  In conclusion, I find it much easier to overcome ourselves in the Traditional way, because it is more silent, more total, and quicker to get to Our Lord.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

So Who is God?

   Since we are travelling through the world of Catholicism, let us establish who God truly is. Of course we all know that God is three Persons in One, but who is He? You can say a person has brown hair and blue eyes, yet never truly discover who they are. Therefore, we must ask who God is, what He does for us and so forth.

   Firstly, God is our most loving Father. If it wasn't for Him thinking of us every second of every day, we wouldn't even be here! Not only does He watch us intently, but He waits eagerly for us to even think of Him for a single moment, in order to fill us with His grace and love. What amazes me is that many souls can go a whole lifetime without even knowing who God is, and yet He still gives them another chance at the end of their lives.
   
  Secondly, God is our best and closest friend. He not only knows exactly how our hearts and minds work, but He carefully crafted us in order that we may one day find Him. This is why we are happiest when we trust in Him, because He knows exactly what we need. Not only is He our best friend, but He sacrificed His only Son for us, even knowing that thousands of souls would reject His love.  God never doubted sacrificing His Son for us, knowing many wouldn't accept Him and His Church, which is another great proof of His love.

  Thirdly, He is our Protector. Of course there is suffering and confusion in the world, but He only sends us these things so that we can finally turn to Him. Once we turn to Him in prayer, as I've said in my last article, He will flood us with everything we were ever searching for, and brighten the darkness of these days. He shall then, and only then, show us the true path which leads to heaven, but we must do this first.
   Now that we've established some of His great qualities, I ask you to briefly look around and see how He has been forgotten. How much more must we run to Him in these times, and show Him that we are ready to fight for Him. Therefore search for God, and He will lift the veil of tears, and give life an infinite meaning.

  

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Beginning of a Long Journey

  As time goes on, the faithful have witnessed the Catholic Church develop for 2012 years. It's been through ups and downs, but what's going on now? Why do we no longer see martyrs and heroic saints? It is because in our modern day, the Church has been silenced with a false "world wide peace."

   This past year I have been observing and comparing how people treated the Faith even a hundred years ago, to those now. I find the truth of it all is that most people today just don't care any more, we have better things to do. With our eyes fixed on a screen, with our ears hearing obscure music, and our hearts in the hands of the media, we try to squeeze our Sunday Mass in somewhere and continue to live our lives in this world.
  
Many Catholics are simply confused about everything, and therefore live a clouded life, trying to find a beam of light in this valley of tears. How sad it is when they can no longer take it any more and give up. 

  But why all this falling away? Why is the Faith so hard to find? I would now like to introduce you to my worst enemy, he who is in control these days: Satan. Satan has most definitely grabbed everything in sight, and is slowly dragging the majority of souls down to his eternal abyss. Either he floods your mind with materialism, or sends a stream of confusion to flow through all the cracks of your mind. This is why so many people are unhappy, because if their hearts belong to the world, or the Devil, they begin their hell on earth, whether they know it or not, "For where thy treasure is, thy heart is also." (Matthew 6:21)

   And yet, where is the Truth? Where is the Lord? I am blessed to be living in these times, for finding the Truth has become more rare and precious than ever. The Lord is hiding, and once He's found, He will show you the hidden path, which is found in the beginning through prayer. Prayer, the most obscure and meaningless thing seen in the world's eyes, yet here He will be found. It is like that one single light that will lead you to God. 

   In these days, because we have abandoned God, God has left us on our own, which is the greatest punishment. Yet it is also a test, for those who seek Him shall find Him. It is like if someone had been abandoned by everyone and everything, and then one person comes along and wants to be his friend. Would not the Eternal God reveal unto you the Truth? 

   Therefore my dear reader, search in prayer for the Lord, and I promise you, you will find Him. This is the heart of my blog, my mind unmasked to the public, as the Saviour inspires my writing. May He bless you, and show you the infinite light of Truth. Behold, we now start our long journey to eternity!

Introduction

Introduction to the Catacombs

Welcome to "From the Depths of the Catacombs." This blog is by a Traditional Catholic, named Alexandra Reis. On this blog, I shall be talking about modern topics, the truth about Catholicism, ways to improve the soul, and my own point of view of the world. May all the readers, then, discover the Truth through Our Lady and Christ, and may God Bless you now and forever!