Sweet Grace (book cover) Sweet Grace, by Theresa Parker, the amazing way a woman lost 250 pounds through prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit on what and how to eat! She had tried everything, before hearing the Lord 'tell her' to stop eating so much sugar and bread and instead more meat, vegetables, and fruit -- which led her to plummet from a sugar-addicted woman of 430 pounds to one who now maintains a normal, inspired, Spirit-filled life! (general Christian) click here 


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LENT IS THE TIME TO PURGE THE SOUL BY CASTING OUT THE 'SENSUALITY OF SELF'

Lent is the time to cast out the sensuality of self. Sensuousness is sinfulness.

Why not devote Lent -- the time of sackcloth and ashes -- to purification? Better purgatory here than in that "great laundromat in the sky."

What exactly, might you ask, is that? Sensuality?

This is carnality, it is worldliness, it is greed, it is gluttony, it is lust, it is letting base instincts rule, it is over-attachment, it is serving the senses instead of God. Sensuousness is sinfulness. Discard what is epicurean -- the dedication to refined pleasures. Don't let that it you into darkness here and in the hereafter.

As the Pope said the other day (3/5/15): The worldly have a heart that is sick, so attached to this worldly way of life that it could only be healed with great difficulty. The Pope underlined that, while the poor man had a name, Lazarus, the rich man in the account does not. [The rich man] had no name, because the worldly lose their name. They are just one of the crowd affluent, who do not need anything. The worldly lose their name.

When we die, we have to purge all sensuous inclinations before we attain direct entry into Heaven. We have to let certain things go. We may not even realize what it is we have to release! The Holy Spirit -- in the quiet of a "desert" -- will tell you. There are things in all our lives that we hold dear -- sinful inclinations that we still somehow can't release.

No sensuous "joy" is worth what it takes to purge the lust in purgatory.

Purge now. This Lent. Seek the right pleasures, the highest of which is virtue. Seek being pleasing to Him, instead of seeking only to please yourself.

On the desert, Christ proved that there was not a bit of carnality in Him.

List what you are a slave to, what evil inclinations you remain attached to, what things you have tried to justify. Bring it to Mass. Go to the base and root sensuality out. As Thomas Kempis said. "True peace of heart, then, is found in resisting passions, not in satisfying them. There is no peace in the carnal man, in the man given to vain attractions, but there is peace in the fervent and spiritual man."

What exactly is implied by the other word, "self"?

We mean that we must put aside devotion to our own egos, our own desires, our pride, our own extravagances, our devotion to our reputations, above those of others; our own yearning to get the "most" out of life (materially) that we can; the most worldly pleasure; the most fleshy enjoyment; the most lurid fantasies. The size of your home. They have no place in our souls. And during Lent, there is a special opportunity to purge them. We purge ourselves or we lose our name. We find our names when in humility we are our true selves (not a facade fashioned by the world).

There should be time during Lent to hear the Holy Spirit direct us. There is the time, in prayer, to ask Him how to go about all this. When we persist in doing that, deliverance will come.

It must be sought. It must be requested. It must be desired, deeply, relentlessly.

Do that and suddenly, one day, perhaps when you least expect it, you will be free -- perhaps after an event that signals purging, perhaps after a major eventuality in your life, but perhaps just as a matter of course in life, the entirety of which should be a purging experience. Ask and you will receive. Put effort into it. Push. Expel.

Nothing feels better than to be clean, and nothing gives us a fresher perspective.

[Resources: Thomas Kempis' Imitation of Christ and What You Take To Heaven' see also: Spirit Daily pilgrimage to Fatima, Avila, Lourdes and Michael Brown retreat, Mass scheduled for 'Betania' site near Boston, May 2]

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