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Book Club – Spiritual Combat – A Troublesome Partner: Part II

June 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

I had to add a post today because I wanted to share an example from King of the Golden City of how easy it is to give into Self, and what happens when we do. Even the slightest submission can affect an entire day, as demonstrated in the following excerpt:

“Six o’clock – time to get up,” said Dilecta, and she was just going to make a spring, when Self’s sleepy voice was heard:

“It can’t be time yet, and if it is, the clock’s fast or wrong.”

“It was right all day yesterday. Come, get up!”

“Oh! I am so awfully tired…and…and I’ve a head..ache..at least I had one yesterday..and I don’t want to..to have one tomorr..ow or I shan’t enjoy..the fa..ir.”

“If we don’t get up we shan’t get our work done. The King comes this morning, and there’s the floor to sweep and the flowers to get.”

“There’s plen..ty of time yet, and five minutes can’t make any..differ..ence.”

Now Dilecta had been warned again and again by the Prince Guardian not to argue with Self, especially the first thing in the morning. He said there was no lawyer to equal Self at that time. The only thing to do was to spring up at once and not listen to her. Dilecta had been listening all this time, and now she said sleepily:

“Oh, ve..ry we..ll..then..just five minutes..an’ we’ll take care to keee..p awaake..” So they turned over and in less than one minute were fast asleep again.

 The sun was shining brightly into the hut when Dilecta woke with a start:

 “Oh! how late it is. It will be too late, and it’s all your fault, Self. I told you we should miss the King. And now he will have knocked and had no answer – and passed us by!

 She spoke of the King, but I fancy she was more vexed with Self than sorry for his Majesty. And Self was angry, too, for she could not bear blame, especially from Dilecta. It made her feel so uncomfortable.

 “It was quite as much your fault as mine,” she said sharply, “and you ought to know better for you’re always preaching.”

 They wrangled in this way all the time they were dressing, and at breakfast, and on the way to school. There everything went wrong, and no wonder, for they were not at peace together, and could not leave others in peace. One thing, however, was curious, but it was a fact.

 Though Dilecta was cross because Self had got the better of her in the morning, she showed her ill-temper by giving way to Self all the rest of the day. And Self, instead of being satisfied with this, got more and more discontented and disagreeable as the hours went on.

 It was late that evening when the Prince Guardian, coming to Dilecta’s hut, saw no light in the little window which was generally a bright patch in the darkness. There was crying within, and, opening the door, he found her sitting on the floor looking hot and angry.

 “How is this, Dilecta, all in the dark. Where is your lamp?”

 Now, the name of that lamp was “Peace.” It was the King’s special gift to his friends and his directions about it were very important. It was to be kept burning at all costs. No wind nor storm was ever to put it out, and it was never to be left near the window, lest Malignus should put his hand in and take it away. He was always trying to get hold of it. He had been heard to say that he thought he had done a good day’s work if he had succeeded in robbing a little child of its lamp.

Sound familiar? Scenes like this have played out in my life more times than I care to count. There have certainly been times when “Malignus” has taken my lamp. In plain English, I have lost my “peace.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the middle of a situation like this, I KNOW I’m there. And although the ball starts rolling with one seemingly small infraction, I watch my day unfold the wrong way, and I often feel powerless to correct it.

On the other hand, when I give up my own will and subject myself entirely to God, I am not only at peace, I also experience a joy that is indescribable. If Self keeps me from feeling that peace, than to “hate” Self is not an overstatement. To reiterate from Tuesday’s post, Self must be kept under control at all costs.

For Discussion: What a fantastic discussion we had on Tuesday’s post!!  For those of you who feel we've adequately addressed the issue of SELF, let’s have a little fun with symbolism today.

As you may have noticed, there’s quite a bit of that in KOGC. What do you think the following things or characters represent and why – the hut, the King, Dilecta, Self, the window, wind and storm, the Prince Guardian and Malignus. What about the the reason Dilecta didn’t want to sleep in – because they had the “floor to sweep and the flowers to get” before the King came? To what do these phrases refer? (There are no Right answers)

The above discussion ideas are suggestions. As always, feel free to take this discussion in any direction you wish, related to Spiritual Combat – after all, this is your book club too.

NOTE: I purchased the TAN version of Spiritual Combat today because I liked the idea of the short chapters I’d heard about from other readers. As I began searching for my current spot and comparing my new book to the Sophia version, a light bulb went off. The reason so many of you are asking for specific page numbers is because you can’t find the quote I used! Unfortunately, you won’t, because the Sophia and TAN versions are two different translations. The information is the same, but the words are not. I apologize for any confusion this has caused. I’m sure there are many things we’ll have to learn as we go. For the duration of this book, I’ll try to alternate versions; but in the future, I’ll select a version of whatever book we’ll be reading and let you know in advance so you have plenty of time to get the book. In the event that you are reading a different version, no worries – the quotes won’t be the same, but we’ll be discussing the same topics. Actually, it could allow us to learn even more because comparing translations could help us to delve even deeper into these issues.

PS: For those of you who are catching up: Click here for the posts explaining the book club and to get oriented to where we are!

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

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  • jdobbinsPHD

    Two things in particular came to mind as I read this. One was something I read a while back that said one of the most powerful tools Satan has is his temptation to us that we always have more time. Do this or that now, for you always have time later to go to confession or to pray. Live now, and visit with God later.
    The other was the gospel parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Always thinking we are ready when we are really unprepared. We must at all times be ready to meet our King, for He can call us to His side at any time. When He does, He will look to see how much of Himself He finds within us. If He does not find Himself in us, we will hear Him say the most dreaded words in all creation, “I do not know you.” He only knows us by how much of Himself He recognizes in us.

    • Robert Kraus

      I too saw a parallel with the parable of the virgins. The passage shows how even the tiniest of compromises with Self, in this case sleeping in a little extra, and lead to increasing consequences down the road, including, most importantly, failing to be ready to meet the King. As one who tries to make it a point to get up early and go to Mass on Sundays, I identify with this one.

      I’ll be curious what others think the Prince Guardian was. Was it Jesus and the King was God the Father? Or the King was Jesus and the Prince Guardian was….a helpful Church priest? 🙂

      • jdobbinsPHD

        The Prince Guardian might also be our Guardian Angel, or St. Michael. Michael means “he who is like God”, and in the prayer to St. Michael we say after Mass we ask that he protect us in battle, to be our protection against Satan, we call him the Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, and we ask that he cast Satan and the demons into hell.

        • Becky Ward

          I’m with you…..I see the Prince Guardian as our guardian angel. If the gift of the King is peace……we get that from Jesus

  • Alexandra Campbell

    Oh my. I am so guilty of giving in to Self under the guise of: I just got a new job where I work the night shift so it is understandable that when off I must recover…by laying around in bed watching Netflix…
    I have not been to Mass in at least a month or more, yet I have been excusing myself because “I am older and more tired, and my body must recover because of the night shift.”
    I also excuse not having been grocery shopping for my teenage boys under the guise of “I haven’t had time” because of my new job to the point where I am spending inordinate amounts of money on unhealthy fast-food, just to get them fed. The boys, of course, love this, but I know that I should be providing them healthy food.
    So I am failing my God and my family under the guise of the excuse that I am still adjusting to my new job…lets see, I started in March, so I guess I can’t even use the “newness” of the job as an excuse anymore really, can I?
    This, from a woman who had been faithfully practicing the Divine Office with my iphone and attending Mass at least once per week and confession at least two times per month while I was unemployed.
    I am confessing all this because I truly want to be held accountable. I even admitted to myself that sins of omission were my biggest problem and omitting Mass, Reconciliation and properly feeding my children are certainly HUGE omissions.
    I have no Rule of Life, I do whatever I feel like doing, or not doing whenever I feel like doing it because I listen the the voice of Self which says, “you are now working so hard, you deserve ‘a break today’ and could not possibly do anything other than relax.”
    My “house is filthy and my pots are cold” to quote a phrase from Carlos Santana.
    Help! I actually received an offer of spiritual direction from someone I respect and I have not followed up on it out of SLOTH, my besetting sin. How does such backsliding happen? Because I listen to the voice of Self which says to take my ease….Hopefully by admitting all of this to you, my spiritual comrades, I will face my sin, return to regular Mass and Confession and integrate my motherly duties back into my life! I have a feeling I avoided the Spiritual Direction because deep down my Self wanted to be LAZY. But when I do think about standing before God at the Judgment, I realized I don’t want to have to face the fact that I did not become a saint because of neglect of duty and sins of omission. I guess this easy, because when one is not committing huge mortal sins anymore it is easy to ignore the constant venial sins. But surely this will lead me to spiritual death, not the life Christ has planned for me in Victory and progression in Holiness!
    All feedback welcome.

    • Becky Ward

      Dear Alexandra,
      I offer this in all charity to help you overcome at least one of your issues. This is a quote from one of Fr. John’s posts:
      “For instance, a lot of people don’t realize that missing Sunday Mass is grave matter. A lot of people don’t think that getting drunk is grave matter either, but it is.”

      Read more: http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/topics/sin/mortal#ixzz1yRj9YgO9
      Grave matter = mortal sin! It is a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation without a good reason,Of course, to be guilty of a mortal sin, you must know a thing is a mortal sin and still choose to do it ….. the above post covers this as well.
      I did not know this until a few years ago. I kept confessing that I didn’t come to Mass as often as I should….because I knew it was a sin….but not once in twenty years did I receive counsel to help me see the seriousness of what I was doing. Our souls NEED the Eucharist!
      God bless you for your honesty….and your request for help……..I will be praying for you!

      • Alexandra Campbell

        Wow, thank you. How did I forget this! I know this! I guess I was blind enough to think that “my job” and being tired was a good enough reason! No way! thank you thank you! I needed these supportive and truthful comments. I know this Book Club is not about me getting help so i will not hog the forum, but I am going to get started with Vicki’s plan. God bless both of you for the assistance! I think I really do need that spiritual director. I will recontact her and see if she is still available.

        • Vicki

          Please don’t feel that you are hogging for the forum – perhaps your revelation has helped someone else who really needed an eye-opener! We’re all here to learn together. I look forward to your comments in the future.

        • Diane

          your honesty inspires me, I can relate to where you are when reflecting on my own life. When we recognize the distance we have created between God and ourselves it is then that we can long for the connection again. It makes me think of this verse
          James 4:8 – “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you”. Realizing this and remembering to do this has been key for myself and my relationship with our Lord.

          God’s peace.

          • Alexandra

            thank you so much, this group of people is really helping me reconnect with God in a deep way…I wish we had a chat room! I would be in it a lot. maybe this is something Dan can think about doing?

          • judeen

            this is what our faith is all about.. sharing and caring and help eachother grow towards. God .. a book is just a book until you put love into it… then it all makes sense and becomes powerful.. where I am weak so God is stronge… love thy neighbor, that is when you love God… and makes it a good book club… let the Holy Spirit lead all of us God bless

        • GAartist

          I’m really happy with this blog, -distractions and all. It is helping me look at this book from many views, while seeing the application in different peoples lives. I think you all are wonderfully honest and soulful.

    • Vicki

      Alexandra – I would like to applaud you for acknowledging your weaknesses. Many people go through life without ever facing themselves in the mirror. You’ve now taken the first step, which can sometimes be the most difficult. Now, we, as your spiritual friends, will hold you accountable to take Step Number II.

      Choose one of these items you’ve listed and change it (I’m sure you would choose mass at risk of your soul). Just make a decision and change one thing – and don’t give yourself permission to backtrack – EVER. Once you’ve done one thing, others will come easier. Select the next, and the next and so on, to get yourself back on track one step at a time. Each time you make an improvement, I promise you that you will be motivated to continue.
      And please, know that you are not alone in your struggles. We are all fallen, and we all face challenges. Through the grace of God, you can put SELF in her place, and Christ will shine through you!

      I will certainly keep you in my prayers, and please keep us posted, so we know how things are going. We’re all rooting for you!

      • Becky Ward

        Amen!

    • thank you alexandra,when i read your post.I thought of myself.my self getting in my way to have a better relantionship with Jesus.

    • MelissaStacy

      I’m paraphrasing (and someone please correct if this is misquoted) but St. Ignatious, in his rules for discernment of spirit, tells us that in the person who is stuck going from sin to sin, tha t the good spirit “stings and bites” their conscience” so that they start to recognize their behavior. So your expression of feling guilty is to me actually the good spirit at work in you tweaking your conscience to bring you back closer to God.I hope that gives you some consolation. My prayer for you is that you return to Mass, and there in community with others find the support and encouragement to continue to seek God in your life.

      • Alexandra Campbell

        In addition to our Club book, I was reading a book on Ignatian discernment by Timothy Gallagher. Thank you for pointing me back to this. Community is so important for fellowship and accountability and I really find that here. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead us all.

        • MelissaStacy

          Alexandra, Talk about synchronicity – I am halfway through that book right now! The Holy Spirit is amazing!

      • judeen

        your right,, God never gives up on us.. if so like moses and others.. they pray for us… and ask HIm not to … and our angels and goodness will give us a hand in what to do what is right… yet we need to decern it .. and make sure it is of God,,,,

    • Guest

      Honesty to self! This is a beautiul post. Our pilgrimage is never without pitfalls and pitstops. This is the school of humility. The important thing is that we may recognize it and ask God sincerely for the grace to change it, We all share this same battle in some form. God bless you for your candidness,

    • judeen

      what is God trying to teach you? you said you have 2 teenage boys.. ok.. your exhausted… for many reasons… but now it is a family time to get going. give out chorse. this is your and your husbands job if you have 1 . they can wash dishes.. clean house even cook.. by the time they are 5 they should start with some chorse in the house… God does not want you to do everything.. in doing chorse.. there is responiblity learned ,how to work, see the chore do it.. , respect for you and all you do.. they will become leaders in doing this.. takeing care of things.. and when your back into the grove. dont have them stop.. ask them what they want to make for the meal.. sometimes it tastes bad.. but try to eat it. hahah.. if they are old enough to drive. send them for grocerys… a deep bond will form , too… with the mix.. remind them to pray and you need them…and thanksgiving … for their help

  • Cynthia

    I’m thinking that Malignus is the Enemy; not limited to the devil, but to the evil influences of the world, the flesh and the devil. Could the hut be the body, the physical container of the soul? Surely we can see the light of peace in our eyes and in the eyes of others.

    • Vicki

      Cynthia – I think that sounds great – I’m with you!

    • The light of peace in our eyes! Yes! Wasn’t that part of the Gospel today? I remembered this post in my prayer this morning. Like jdobbinsPHD said, the graces God gives us in prayer is the oil for our lamps. God’s timing is perfect! 🙂

  • MelissaStacy

     “Though Dilecta was cross because Self had got the better of her in the morning, she showed her ill-temper by giving way to Self all the rest of the day. And Self, instead of being satisfied with this, got more and more discontented and disagreeable as the hours went on.”
    I can relate to this – you start off with a mistake or sin and everything seems to snowball from there. I think part of growing spiritually and maturing in our faith is to recognize when we sin or err, we don’t have to become despondent and let the behavior snowball. Pray, seek God’s forgiveness and help, and then move forward. Also, as we wage “spiritual warfare”‘ remember our God is a God of love. He loves our broken selves today, just as we are. And He loves our good intent and attempts to love, serve and honor Him.

  • littlelamb4him88

    I am at a different stage in my life right now. I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis (grave muscle weakness) in 2007. 2011 retired. I went from a disciplined life of arising each morning at 4 a.m., prayer, Mass and then Adoration before I started work (at a Catholic organization). Although at night I would need to go to bed between 6-7 p.m.
    Now I am retired and trying to discern the symptoms of the disease and age vs. sloth.
    Abandonment to Divine Providence and living in the present moment I believe is key. However, I do struggle with not having a set schedule and each day being somewhat different based on how much sleep I did or did not get the night before (on prednisone and that can affect sleep and a LOT of other things).
    I think that this is working a deep humility and dependance (confidence) on/in God. So I present Him my weakness and “boast about my weakness that the power of Christ may be seen in me.” (Corinthians)

    • Alexandra Campbell

      littlelamb: I love your expression about a deep humility and confidence in God…I am sure that the good God knows your suffering and is pleased with what you offer Him in your weakness. I will pray for you for healing. You have helped me realize what a gift good health is and that I should go to Mass as often as possible while I am still able-bodied!

    • MelissaStacy

      Thinking of you and praying for you today, little lamb! (love your name, by the way!)

      • Becky Ward

        Me too! 🙂

    • Guest

      This is a big cross little lamb. I will join my other brothers and sisters in Christ in praying for you today. Oh blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.

    • GHM_52

      Wow, littlelamb, St. Therese must be influencing you backstage!!! In your illness you are “discovering” her “little way”. What a blessing you are receiving, littlelamb! Our Lord Himself told us that such a way (the little way of dependent children) was a straight path to heaven! I will certainly pray for your healing, littlelamb, but I am going to ask you to pray for me so that I may also learn your “little way”!

    • Mary@42

      I have just read your Response. Your life situation,
      littlelamb, and the way you have surrendered everything to God will turn your painful situation into Blessings, not only for yourself and sanctification of your Soul, but your daily life is a source of allowing God to grant you Indulgences for you and others. God is working wonders through your sufferings, believe me. Helping Jesus carry His Cross daily means you are living each moment with Him…..you are His Simon of Cyrene. May we all learn how to offer our daily lives, pains, illnesses, setbacks, frustrations, disappointments and all to God so that we can save the dying who would otherwise end in Damnation and release hundreds of Holy Souls from Purgatory. That is what God does when we offer Him our weaknesses and sufferings. We open the floodgates of His Mercy which He pours upon the deserving Souls

  • Alexandra

    Hi Vicki, Just want to make sure I’m in the right spot in our book. I have a free internet version that I downloaded. I have read Chapters 1 and 2, Distrust of Self. Should I be going on the Chapter 3, Of Trust in God? Thanks and have a Blessed day!

    • Becky Ward

      Alex, In my copy there are 66 chapters to The Spiritual Combat, as well as additional supplemental material. The chapters seem to correspond to what you have stated here. Thirty pages for week one brings us to chapter 16 (I’m not there yet). I believe that the main group is reading the second ’30 pages’ in prep for Tuesday’s post…which brings us to chapter 31. Hope this helps….I’m spending this rainy day (at least where I live) catching up.

      • Alexandra

        Great! Thanks. My version also has 66 chapters so now I am oriented to where I should be. I will be reading a lot to catch up! God bless you!

  • littlelamb4him

    Thank you for your kind comments and especially for your prayers! How very sweet to share on the principles of a book and then have the blessing of others prayers! This is my first discussion group. I am grateful that it can be around a book so rich and deep. Prayers for you all.

  • My good people of God. You will soon notice that my responses to these Posts are elementary…this “Self” whom I call the “mad woman in my house” can cause untold misery when one has not learned how to respond to her….Providentially, age has mellowed me somewhat. In my younger days working in the Corporate World, a wife and mother, I had to fight this “mad woman in my house”…often she won and messed up my whole day…..as a consequence, when that happened, no one had peace at the place of work that day or at home. Again, by God’s Grace my employers and colleagues understood me. My husband was a Rock of Strength and a stabilizing Power during these disruptive moments. As my family grew up with me (we had married very young) I learned to put the “mad woman” in her place for the sake of peace and harmony at home and at my place of work. It was not easy, but once again, my colleagues and my Husband had a unique way of calming me down. My darling husband (the best husband any woman has ever had) was to remain my precious friend, a caring loving companion, a devoted buddy and father to his children. His unique gift of fostering a harmonious environment – at home and at work – changed my entire outlook of life and my whole personality. By and by I began to emulate his lovable, calm, peceable, patient, kind and dependable character. The same wonderful atmosphere he nurtured in all the Ministries he worked for 39 as a Civil Servant in the Kenya Government.

    Now as I enter what I call my 4th Last Quarter of Life,( and a widow these 18 years) “the mad woman” is somewhat weakened by the Spiritual Rule of Life I have adopted. I wake up at 5.45 am to say my morning prayers, in order to be ready for my 7.00 a.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet. (The Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy pray the Chaplet around the Clock and each one has a Hour allocated to them). After breakfast, I come to my Friend, the Divine Mercy Image, in my little Office and we go through my Mail together on my Laptop. During these hours we “discuss” what I am reading or writing…..(you know, old people talk to themselves. But I have found a Friend with Whom I talk to about anything and everything). These hours are very joyous and the “mad woman” is locked out, and fuming, since I am in touch with My Friend and God.

    Rarely do I take lunch – just a snack – and then off for the 3.00 O’Clock Holy Hour Adoration. This is followed by another one and a half hours of talking, listening, or just sitting quietly before the Blessed Sacrament as He converses with my heart and soul ( a conversation I am oblivious to with my human senses) before I go for the Holy Mass. Tuesday afternoons we have the Divine Mercy Cenacle at 2.00 p.m. followed by the Adoration at 3.00 O’Clock, a short socializing interlude and I am off for the Holy Mass.

    Two Sundays in a month, we take the Divine Mercy Message to Rural Parishes in the Archdioceses and Dioceses in Kenya. In between, we go back to these Parishes where we spend a whole Saturday with the Catechists, the Proclaimers of the Word, the Chairpersons of the Small Christian Communities to deepen their understanding of the Divine Mercy Devotion, to distribute the reading Materials of the Divine Mercy Devotion to ensure the Message continues to spread to all the Faithful in their Parishes. The First Fridays of the Month, we wake up early to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine which is about 50 kms from Nairobi City Centre for a Day of Recollection, praying Stations of the Cross climbing the steep Hill, Worship and Adoration in the Chapel on top of the Hill, ending with the Holy Mass.

    In conclusion, I have discovered the best way to manage one’s Spiritual Life and fight the Spiritual combat is to live a very active Sacramental Life, stick to the times one has set aside to be with God in Prayer and to cut out unnecessary distractions and worthless information which clog one’s mind with irrelevant thoughts and drown the small Voice of God. I no longer watch the TV or read the Newspapers. When difficulties arise, or when I slip and fall – and believe me I do this very often – I have realized berating myself for failing God, does not help. That is what the Evil One loves me to do so as to discourage me. This only ends by making me depressed and unhappy which is exactly what the Evil One wants me to feel. The remedy to this, which I have found most effective is to just go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, let Him read everything which is in my heart and mind, call my Holy Mother for intercession. I then pray to the Holy Spirit to guide and help me to encounter Jesus in His Tribunal of Mercy. There, I lay before Him my wretched, sinful and repentant heart and confess my sins. He listens to me, advises me, consoles me, encourages me and then forgives me my sins with an Absolution and a Blessing.

    And yet, even with all this carefully laid Rule of Life, the “mad woman in my house” and the Evil One are ever alert and watchful to pounce on any opening where they can thoroughly disorganize me using my brokenness, woundednes, self-doubt or when Ill health makes me prone to feeling sorry for myself. The Golden Rule is Vigilance to stop them before they act. And if they catch me off-guard, Jesus is my Refuge because I know no matter how often I offend Him, He loves me with Divine Infinite Love, just as I am, as only God can Love and He will never abandon me as long as I strive to remain His Friend.

    • Cynthia

      Dear Mary@42, what a delight you are! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I will think of you when I think of my “mad woman in the house”!

    • Alexandra

      wow, I am so thankful for your post. I am so glad to have found this group to share with, you are an inspiration to me, as are all the other wonderful people who responded to my confession.
      Today, partly due to all of your prayers, I am sure, I was able to do my duties more faithfully. At my job doing psychiatric evaluations in the ER, I was able to talk about God to two Christian clients. My job is to decide whether or not to commit people to a psych hospital for at least three days, or to let them go home. they are usually there with serious suicidal ideation or attempts, or psychotic breaks. When a patient is open to talking about the Lord I do this with them and together we might pray and invoke his aid in their situation. Tonite I saw a young man with a previous head injury and drug abuse, but he was such a strong believer in the Lord and loves Him very much. At one point he told me that he could see and feel the Holy Spirit “shining” out from me (and he was not psychotic-lol!) I promised to pray for him and I will. He was able to go home with his grandmother. I feel so blessed to have this position for my job right now and will do it as long as my body holds up. I could make more money doing private practice, but I feel I am right where God wants me right now, to be His Light to these people in crisis.
      When I got home at 1am, my sons 14 and 12 were still up ( school is out) and begging me to make them bagels and cream cheese. At first I wanted them to do it so I could rest, but then I brought my thoughts to the Lord and my duty and after a few minutes of relaxing, I got up and provided for them. They were so happy!
      I know I need to spend less time surfing the web for news and watching netflix, and more time in deep meditation and contemplative prayer and study. With your prayers I feel like today was the first day back towards following Jesus more faithfully and I will try to get to Mass tomorrow, although I am on call from 2pm until 8 am Monday morning (and then all night mon and tues).
      I just received the dvd entitled the Seventh Chamber about St. Teresa Benedicta a Cruz, or Edith Stein and finished watching it today before I got called in.
      I highly recommend the film. seeing her sacrifice made me realize what God is asking of me at this point in my life, to do my duties with Him in mind and to pray much more when I am home so that I can stay in deeper communion with Him (and attend the Sacraments as much as possible). Thank you all again for your encouragement and I am not berating myself right now. I feel his love shining through all of you. Thank you all and most of all thank you Jesus!

      • Becky Ward

        God is good. What an amazing opportunity you have in your job – and what a beautiful blessing and message from the Lord you received through that client! Thanks for sharing this.

      • judeen

        wow , your on the front lines… to grab a hand and say come to a better life…
        Just need to let you know.. it has been told by drug cartles.. at they curse the drugs.. so if someone is addicted to a drug.. and your praying for healings.. also break all curses on the drugs they took… 3xs . father cropie also talked about the curse on whole semis of drugs.. … also pray for old wounds in their lives to heal..and fill the empty spot in their soul right away .. with virtues ,graces and the Holy Spirit.. do not leave it empty.. you will see God work wonders… God blesss judy

      • Did you get the Seventh Chamber from Netflix?

    • judeen

      you know the battle.. and reconize the war… between good and evil. and how easy it is to be caught in grips of the devils pain , and sin…
      I too. very seldom , now I see quick things the devil puts in, lust, selfishness , vanity.. to steal purity… and when that is stole so goes grace.. and gifts… aren not stronge..
      I long for the day to work as you do.. working in Gods house to glorify God… to bring many back to Him.. I search .. ask , seek bible studies.. book clubs about moral, and God. or wounded people to find their gifts God has given them so they too can help other wounded people. God bless judy

  • Christina Solt

    Dilecta is the positive portion of the dichotomy of our soul. She seeks God and His will. But Self is the negative part of our soul. Each of us has a dichotomy within us. The dwelling place of the soul is likened to the “hut.” It is a place we must keep clean and fresh for the King (the LORD) must have the BEST presented to Him. Each time the wind blows…(a negative whisper) we can brush the annoyance aside and continue with God’s Will or we can listen and be swayed by the wind. (Sin). The problem is, once we are swayed, the wind picks up speed. Like a Hurricane. Each time we listen and are swayed, we now have to contend with a heavier onslaught on whispers not just swaying us but rocking our resolve to keep a clean house for the King. (Sinless soul)
    It doesn’t take long for that Lamp (Peace) that has been enduring the wind to be blown out if we don’t take precautions against the storm by frequenting confession and tending your soul by disregarding SELF. It is indeed important to pluck the weeds out of SELF leaving him/her without fodder and weak. It keeps your “hut” clean and fragrant, the lamp of your heart full of peace and ready to answer when the KING arrives and beckons us.
    I thought Cynthia’s comment on Malignus and all he encompasses was very insightful.

  • GHM_52

    Dear Alexandra Campbell: God is blessing you by gently calling you back to Him and the duties owed Him. If that is not the best of news, I don’t know what is! First, let’s talk physiology. Night shifts are deadly for the body. You have just started this awful regimen (March=just yesterday). Your body is adjusting. Don’t forget that we, human beings, are a UNIT of spirit and flesh; the one affects the other. In short, make sure to take as good care of the valid needs of your body as you care for the needs of your spirit. Make doubly sure you do not needlessly berate yourself over your faults….Remember that one of the names of the Enemy is “the Acusser”; that is what he does day and night. Your Good Shepherd is calling you. Obviously, you are His as you have recognized His voice…Well, run to Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, participate in the Mass every Sunday, and as much as you can, if you can, other days; live out your life in awareness of His presence, make acts of Spiritual Communion several times a day (or night while you work) and just see Him as the most fiery lover of your soul that He is…and ask Him for the grace to correspond to that love. You will not miss the target if you follow this recipe!!!! PS: By the way, sloth is a very common sin, so you have a lot of company! Most of us fight against it time and time again with our Lord’s help!

    • GAartist

      Re; slothfulness. I know it well. At work I have a prayer to St. Josemaria Escriva at my work table. It really helps. I found it on the web. while I was researching Opus Dei’s founder. Thought I had it on file in my computer, but as well as being a procrastinator, I’m also unorganized, sorry. Slothfulness is also contagious. Besides fighting my own, I have to wade through my co-workers from time to time. On slow days when it is easy to slack off, I literally take a brief prayer brake to remove myself from the offenses.Pray; Then return re-energized with a plan of action.

      • Alexandra

        Amen! I will use your tips!

  • GHM_52

    Love this little story about our main duty in this life; to prepare our huts for our Lord’s (King’s) visits and in so doing, to fight against the King’s and our Enemy as well as against our own false selves, with the help of our Angel Guardian, St. Michael and our friends and benefactors on Earth, in Purgatory and in Heaven! How encouraging!

  • DiannaWorm

    Oh what wonderful timing God has! I have been struggling with a lack of peace for a few weeks now. I have been wondering if I should be prayed over or go to therapy. (Truthfully, I’d prefer to just be prayed over because it’s much less time consuming!) My issues compound on each other when I realize I SHOULD be full of joy and peace from Christ and since I don’t have either joy or peace, I must not be doing this whole Christian thing right. And then I read this beautiful passage and the Holy Spirit comes in and reminds me who should be in control. I won’t find peace by my own doings, by finding the exact formula in life to be peaceful and joyful. I find it by completely letting go – by ignoring SELF – and by allowing God to reign in my heart.
    The part that touched me was to remember to not put the lamp by the window. Don’t do the things that will sweep me away into a lack of peace and joy. Be centered on Christ always – ALWAYS – and then the peace and joy will be there. Even when unrest is lurking outside the window.

    • GHM_52

      Dear Diana, you are so right in saying that there is no peace without closeness to God. However, God uses many means to bring us His peace. Most times Mass attendance does it; a good examination of conscience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receiving the Eucharist do it. Many times, praying the Rosary does it. But, some of us may have issues requiring therapy….preferably, Catholic-informed therapy with a well-formed Catholic psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. Don’t forget that God uses many human, earthly means to come to our aid. In short, ask the Holy Spirit to advise you on whether the additional means of therapy might be of special help to you…By what you wrote, it seems clear you know that God will answer your sincere prayers! I’ll be praying for and with you!

      • judeen

        I have found a good bible study with people who really love God… and talk about putting it into practice in our lives , is better than any theriopy.. , sorry.. a deep heart to heart about God can heal the deepest wounds . plus 1s wounds will help others in the group also.. and a person can see God working before our very eyes…

  • Kathy

    Dilecta represents our most authentic selves, the fullest expression of a life of love, peace, and joy in union with the one true and everlasting God. She is the full expression of who we are created in God’s image. The Self is the aspect of our being that God gave us so that we may have the free will to choose God or not. Self can, in any given moment, seek the guidance of God, or be tempted by and choose other appealing choices that, although they may seem good in the moment, take our gaze off the one who gives us life. Self could have chosen God(to have gotten out of bed in time to prepare to receive the King), but chose not to in the story. I actually think it is simplistic to say that we can always choose. Our choices can be conscious or unconscious, and I don’t see how we can consistently choose God, especially in our unconscious decisions, until we have given our entire will to God consistently. Maybe this is when we get to be Dilecta all the time. I think we were given Self for a reason. I believe that we are not to hate Self, but hate the choices Self makes when it goes against her conscience and against God’s desire for her in any given moment. Not all of Self is bad. I think we are only to hate the part of Self that chooses that which is not God. I guess in the end it depends on how you define Self. I think that sweeping the floor and getting the flowers is like going to confession(or at least doing an examination of conscience) before receiving the Eucharist(Jesus, the King in the story). My experience is that I receive the Lord more readily and with a greater openness if I have taken the time to do some spiritual house cleaning(an examination of conscience). I come to Christ in a fuller awareness of what separates me from God, and a stronger need/desire to receive his reconciling sacrament.

  • GHM_52

    Dear Diane Reiber, Alexandra C.’s honesty inspires me too and I also have been there many times. But your response to her is equally inspiring… It was good to have pointed out that it is we who create distances from God. And it was even better when you reminded us that to erase the distance, we just need to let Him know we want and need to grow close to Him again! Our sincere desire and prayer for closeness will lead us fast to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and that desperately needed closeness will be instantly re-established. I like your
    hopeful attitude!

  • Thank you mary for your wonderful insights,i loved reading your comment,it was eyeopening God Bless You. And people please pray for me and my family.Love you guys Debbie. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.

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