There is a war raging inside us between divine love and self-love. How do we allow divine love to win out in our lives?
Why do you think we are so prone to self-love? How can we surrender more of our will and passions to God’s will and good pleasure?
Why with the grace of the sacraments is this pursuit of divine.
Why with the grace of the sacraments is this pursuit of divine love still so seemingly difficult? Where do you think our passions will be in heaven?
The following is a recent discussion of our weekly Salesian chat. Why not join our chat this Sunday? Learn more at the Visitation Sisters’ “Living Jesus Chat Room.”
Wisdom of St. Francis de Sales
Visitation Sister: Glad you are all here!
Briana: Hello, everyone.
Visitation Sister: Hi, all!
Rebecca: Hi, Lydia, Hi, Sister Susan Marie and Briana!
Denise: Hi, Sr Susan. Briana, Rebecca, Lydia, Blessed Advent!
Visitation Sister: These days divine love is so prominent- we must think on what Jesus has done by coming to earth and that can reduce our inordinate self-love.
Lydia: Mother, what do you mean Divine Love is so prominent?
Visitation Sister: Jesus’ Love is outstanding at Christmas time.
Lydia: Oh, yes.
Lydia: His humility too…as a baby.
Rebecca: It is hard for me to understand the point of view of St Francis de Sales. When I catch myself “hating” myself, I know that it is the work of Satan or one of his assistants. When I renounce that self-love and claim my relationship to Our Lord, I am able to again praise Him.
Denise: His mercy, and his graces.
Visitation Sister: Which part of his point of view.
Lydia: When I feel like I cannot do something I tell God that I need Him to make me do it.
Visitation Sister: Or give you the grace to do so?
Lydia: Yes, Mother the same thing.
Lydia: Sometimes I just have to say I cannot, so I need You to help.
Rebecca: Correction: renounce that self-hating. When I acknowledge who I am as a daughter of the Father, a child of God, I am healed.
Rebecca: I am again able to be who He intends me to be.
Rebecca: It seems to me that healthy self-love is essential to any healthy relationship. That is what God wants of his children.
Visitation Sister: Yes, healthy self-love.
Visitation Sister: But St. Francis de Sales usually means unhealthy.
Visitation Sister: I think divine love wins out when we deeply concentrate on that love.
Lydia: We have free will, but we must learn to control it.
Rebecca: It is only the exaggerated, distorted sense that one is better, smarter, kinder, than the one who is the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier of us all that gets a person into trouble: ARROGANCE!
Lydia: Obvious sins are easier to avoid, but sins we do not see right away are ones that are harder.
Lydia: If we try, we get holier with time.
Rebecca: I easily perceive it in many of my physician-peers. But do I guard sufficiently against it in myself? God will make it clear if I take time to LISTEN to Him.
Visitation Sister: I think we are prone to self-love BECAUSE we are supposed to have healthy self-love but like all good things it gets distorted by sin.
Lydia: The devil is tricky.
Rebecca: And we MUST take the time every day.
We Have a Choice to Make
Briana: At some points in our lives we must make a choice between self-love and divine love and ask God to give us wisdom and self-denial to choose divine love. There’s no easy way to go about it.
Lydia: Baptism gets rid of Original Sin, but it feels like the sin of just being born into the world is still there.
Rebecca: You said it, Lydia. The devil is tricky, and nowadays he is working at destroying the Church from the inside. He won’t succeed. We have Christ’s promise.
Visitation Sister: Yes. Amen.
Rebecca: Somehow, I do not think that self-love and love of God are opposed to one another.
Denise: Cause to ponder, Rebecca.
Visitation Sister: No not necessarily, but only if self-love is inordinate: God comes first, even in our interior.
Lydia: Yes, Mother.
Rebecca: How can, how should we not love, what God loves? God loves us, each one of us. So we must love ourselves, too.
Lydia: Rebecca, I think they mean wanting your will rather than God’s.
Visitation Sister: Yes, but not selfishly to the point of excluding love of others or God Himself.
Visitation Sister: However, we can have untamed passions drives, addictions etc. that get in the way.
Rebecca: And faults, disabilities, ignorance.
Rebecca: But if we love ourselves properly, we — together with his grace — work at these.
Visitation Sister: Placing all in the Heart of Jesus through our prayer can heal much.
Lydia: Jesus keeps us safe.
Visitation Sister: Now please carry on - I am going to leave early because of the retreat. I will pray for you all that Christmas is very blessed!
Lydia: Blessed Christmas, Mother.
Denise: Goodnight Sr Susan. Blessed Christmas to you, the sisters, and those on retreat….
Kate: God bless and Merry Christmas, Sister.
Rebecca: God bless you! Have a wonderful Christmas!
Rebecca: Scratch the surface of any arrogant person, and you find a scared, self-loathing individual struggling to feel less unworthy.
Briana: Very true, Rebecca.
Rebecca: I don’t have divided screen and was just checking back to get another look at the passage Sister sent us. And the questions.
Denise: 2. Why do you think we are so prone to self-love?
Denise: 3. How can we surrender more of our will and passions to God’s will and good pleasure?
Denise: Did we cover these?
Rebecca: There is a war raging inside us between divine love and self-love. Our questions for today:
- How do we allow divine love to win out in our lives?
- Why do you think we are so prone to self-love?
- How can we surrender more of our will and passions to God’s will and good pleasure?
- Why with the grace of the sacraments is this pursuit of divine love still so seemingly difficult?
- Where do you think our passions will be in heaven?
The Grace of the Sacraments
Denise: I believe it depends on our starting point, whether someone that has lived the faith most of their life, or someone who is called later in life. What do you think?
Rebecca: The Sacraments HELP — a lot — but we are imperfect beings in an imperfect, broken world, and we are often not able or open, completely, to receive the precious gifts of Grace that God offers us in the Sacraments.
Denise: I agree…we may see this in Reconciliation.
Denise: Confession is pure love.
Denise: But, one time may seem not quite to the point. and then, another time, especially if we pray before for God to help us, can be transforming.
Denise: My personal experience.
Rebecca: God also blesses those called later in life with the blessings they, personally, need. The long journey of those who’ve lived a life with the Sacraments certainly helps, but when I look at the people, e.g., many of those blogging, who are converts “proselytites” as they were once called, who run some of the Catholic blogs and do a good deal of the radio interviews, etc., we see deeply committed Catholics, so grateful for their conversions, that they really want to share.
Rebecca: Yes, Denise, that is why it is recommended that we go to Confession often, perhaps every other week. God wants to give us ALL the graces he has in store for us, and to help and heal us. Reconciliation/the Sacrament of Penance is one precious means of giving us those graces.
Denise: It is a precious gift.
Denise: So, number 4 asks Why with the grace of the sacraments is this pursuit of divine love still so seemingly difficult? I think it has to do with our self-will, and actually going. Saying Yes! and preparing. Also, being distracted by daily life and situations can inhibit and make it more difficult. it truly is about choices, I think.
Rebecca: It is normal that one time we may find it more powerfully impacting our lives, another time perhaps less so — or we do not SEE what he is working in us. EVEN when a priest is not what WE feel to be a “good Confessor” (I had one literally verbally abuse me! And so loudly it could’ve been heard outside the Church building! I probably should have reported it to the Bishop; but I knew that a lot of other people had also already reported him.) Still, Jesus Christ can and does work through the Sacraments, even when the priest is what we might call “counter therapeutic.”
Denise: Number 5: Where do you think our passions will be in heaven? I don’t think I will have passions in heaven. Maybe I don’t understand the question.
Rebecca: You are right, Denise, our preparation is so important. And it is so easy to be distracted.
Denise: Having also had a questionable experience, not verbal abuse but other things. But God can and does sometimes work in that situation, not only for our good but for the good of the priest! Amen.
Denise: I am going to sign off here and will look for you over there. God bless everyone viewing and a Blessed Christmas to all.
Denise: Oh, did we finish number 5?
Rebecca: As to heaven, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” I think by “passions” St. Francis de Sales means “movements of the soul”: LOVE, JOY. Or how about that uplifting experience when we hear great music? It is a “foretaste” of the “heavenly choirs.” Or think of breathing deeply when the air is fresh and clean — a “foretaste.” Or looking into the eyes of someone whom we love and who loves us. Or the smile of a child.
Rebecca: Laughter! Free, happy laughter, not derisive.
Denise: Thank you, this clarifies “passions”. where do you think yours will be?
Rebecca: I don’t know what heaven will be like. I sure want to learn. Sometimes I can even be a little impatient . . . But, hey, all in His good time!
Denise: In the foretastes you mention, maybe as close as we can know now. Jesus does tell us it is paradise.
Rebecca: A blessed Christmas to you, Denise. When I looked back at the questions, I saw you had sent me an email. I’ll get back to it. Peace, my dear friend, and joy fill your heart this Christmas and always.
Denise: Peace be with you my friend.
Denise: Good night, talk soon.