Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday 7 September 2016 Wednesday of week 23 in Ordinary Time

From a sermon by St Bernard of Clairvaux

On the stages of contemplation
 Image result for images: On contemplation
Let us take our stand on the tower, leaning with all our strength on Christ, the most solid rock, as it is written: He has set my feet on a rock, he has guided my steps. Thus firmly established, let us begin to contemplate, to see what he is saying to us and what reply we ought to make to him.
  The first stage of contemplation, my dear brothers, is to consider constantly what God wants, what is pleasing to him, and what is acceptable in his eyes. We all offend in many things; our strength cannot match the rightness of God’s will and cannot be joined to it or made to fit with it. So let us humble ourselves under the powerful hand of the most high God and make an effort to show ourselves unworthy before his merciful gaze, saying Heal me, Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved. And again, Lord, have mercy on me; heal my soul because I have sinned against you.
  Once the eye of the soul has been purified by such considerations, we no longer abide within our spirit in a sense of sorrow, but abide rather in the Spirit of God with great delight. No longer do we consider what is the will of God for us, but rather what it is in itself.
  For our life is in his will. Thus we are convinced that what is according to his will is in every way better for us, and more fitting. And so, if we are concerned to preserve the life of our soul, we must be equally concerned to deviate as little as possible from his will.
  Thus having made some progress in our spiritual exercise under the guidance of the Spirit who gazes into the deep things of God, let us reflect how gracious the Lord is and how good he is in himself. Let us join the Prophet in praying that we may see the Lord’s will and frequent not our own hearts but the Lord’s temple; and let us also say, My soul is humbled within me, therefore I shall be mindful of you.
  These two stages sum up the whole of the spiritual life: when we contemplate ourselves we are troubled, and our sadness saves us and brings us to contemplate God; that contemplation in turn gives us the consolation of the joy of the Holy Spirit. Contemplating ourselves brings fear and humility; contemplating God brings us hope and love.

Image result for images: AFRICAN BABIES  IN GAMBIA
To help the sick poor. We need your help all the time but especially now as the Malaria season has started. We have plenty of the Anti malaria medicine (Artemether and Lumefantrine tablets) for adults and children over 5 years of age but for the babies, we send them over to the small hospital nearby. We have arranged with the nurses at the hospital, to have them treat the young ones. Often times they need injections of the Anti malaria medicine or the pediatric suspension. They have given us a discounted rate for the laboratory test and
the medicine but we don't have money to cover the cost. I tried begging them to take the babies gratis but the owner of the hospital (a very nice German lady) said she couldn't do that since she has to buy the medicines and the test kits.
We don't treat the babies at Nazareth Hermitage as it can be risky in case of a reaction to the malaria medicine.
When we tell the mothers that they need to go to the hospital they usually tell us they have no money. If we have put aside money for food, the helpers here will  always give up their main meal so we can use the money for the day to help the little ones. But that doesn't go far and then the same problem presents itself again. I have to tell the parents that we don't have the funds and they could try asking the nurses to help them....meds now, pay later! When they are leaving the hermitage I walk them  to the gate and then watch as they turn to go back to their village or home.
Malaria can be a killer and it seems children are more susceptible than the adults. Won't you please help to save these little one?
You can send your donations to:

Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"
Memo reads:  Hermitage sick poor
Address envelope to: Monastery of Christ in the Desert,
>                                      St. Paul's Hermitage
>                                      P.O. Box 270
>                                      Abiquiu NM 87510
My name should not appear anywhere on your check.
The Monastery receives the donation and will send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes (should you need it).
Then your check will go to St. Pauls hermitage (located on the Monastery grounds) and finally the donation will be put into my bank account and the little ones will get the help they need.


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