Leisure, Contemplation, Gratitude, Charity, and Evangelization
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Leisure > Contemplation > Gratitude > Charity > Evangelization
Leisure – Leisure is essentially “non-activity”; it is a form of silence. Leisure implies an attitude of total receptivity toward, and willing immersion in, reality; an openness of the soul, through which alone may come about those great and blessed insights that no amount of “mental labor” can ever achieve. Leisure implies that a person is freed for this period of time from any social function. Yet leisure does not mean the same as a break. A break, whether for an hour or 3 weeks, is designed to provide a respite from work in anticipation of more work; it finds its justification in relation to work. Leisure is something entirely different. The essence of leisure is not to assure that we may function smoothly but rather to assure that we, embedded in our social function, are enabled to remain fully human.
Contemplation – It has been interpreted to mean: not only in the life to come, but also in his material existence in history, man is, to the very roots of his being, a creature designed for and desiring vision; and this is true to such a degree that the extent of a man’s happiness is only as great as his capacity for contemplation.
St. Teresa of Avila – “Contemplative prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.”
St. Gregory the Great – “the contemplative life is to cling with our whole mind to the love of God and our neighbor, and to desire nothing beside our Creator.”
Aquinas says people’s life are said to be contemplative who are chiefly intent on the contemplation of truth.
“Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. “I look at him and he looks at me”: this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of his holy curé used to say while praying before the tabernacle. This focus on Jesus is a renunciation of self. His gaze purifies our heart; the light of the countenance of Jesus illumines the eyes of our heart and teaches us to see everything in the light of his truth and his compassion for all men. Contemplation also turns its gaze on the mysteries of the life of Christ. Thus it learns the “interior knowledge of our Lord,” the more to love him and follow him.”
Gratitude – is being thankful for understanding reality for what it is. It is a moral imperative that keeps our focus on God, the source of all our blessings.
“Thank God ahead of time.” – Fr. Solanus Casey
CCC 2097: To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name.
CCC1418 “Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is… a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord.”
Charity: “The theological virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.”
Aquinas on charity as “the friendship of man for God”, which “unites us to God”. Aquinas holds it as “the most excellent of the virtues.” Further, Aquinas holds that “the habit of charity extends to only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor.”
The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy.
Evangelization: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Mt 28:19
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