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Master Class on Self Mastery

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Title: Master Class on Self Mastery


1
Master Class on Self Mastery
  • The Art of Discipline

2
Discipline and the world
  • We observe a consumer-driven, pleasure-seeking
    society, based on having whatever they feel like.
  • We observe alarming increases in out of control
    behaviour, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, high risk
    sexual activity, assault...
  • Self Mastery or discipline seems like an archaic
    concept and a wet blanket!
  • The search for happiness goes on apart from God.

3
Do as I say not as I do!
  • If you read the lives of great people, you find
    that the first victory they ever won was over
    themselves...
  • All great, successful people have discipline

4
Chastity and Discipline
  • The following acronym HALT identifies some key
    factors that contribute to us falling into this
    kind of sin.
  • H unger. Ask a person who is in a habitual sexual
    sin about their eating habits, and inevitably
    youll find its all over the place.
  • A nger. People who are upset, frustrated and
    stressed are very vulnerable to this.
  • L oneliness. Feeling lonely, depressed, stressed
    are perhaps the most important precursors to
    sexual sin. After all these actions ultimate seek
    the intimacy of the sexual embrace.
  • T iredness. We seem to never have enough time or
    adequate rest. This is the devils favourite
    moment to attack and the time when we give in
    most easily.

5
What is Discipline?
  • Means to grip or take hold of
  • Aristotle says its the ability to test desire by
    reason. The intellect vs the will.
  • Discipline is doing what you dont want to do
    when you ought to do it!
  • When we are foolish we want to conquer the world.
    When we are wise we want to conquer ourselves.

6
Start with yourself
  • A sagely old man said of this Looking back, my
    life seems to be one long obstacle course, with
    me as the chief obstacle. Jack Parr.
  • The first step to making any ground in the area
    of discipline is accepting responsibility for who
    you are.
  • Psychologist reports on prisoners.
  • AA the first step is to admit that you have a
    problem.
  • Challenge your excuses. List their reasons. Then
    challenge and dismiss each one. Dont leave
    yourself any reasons to quit.

7
Set your priorities
  • Think about the top three or four areas of life
    that are most important to you.
  • Write them down, along with the disciplines that
    you must develop to keep growing and improving in
    those areas.
  • By writing down your priorities, you can release
    yourself from everything else that is ultimately
    not important, to follow through on what is.
  • Develop a plan to make the disciplines a daily or
    weekly part of your life. Discipline is not a one
    off event.
  • Develop systems and routines.

8
List the reasons
  • List all the reasons and benefits of practising
    the disciplines youve just listed.
  • Post the benefits someplace where you will see
    them daily.
  • On those days you dont want to follow through,
    re-read your list.

9
Remove the temptation
  • Hunt for the Red October. Sean Connery line
  • When Christopher Columbus arrived at the new
    found land, he burned his boats to inspire his
    men!
  • We need to burn our bridges when it comes to
    sin.
  • The exhortation of Christ in Sundays Gospel is
    very clear on this. (cut off anything that leads
    you to sin)
  • www.k9webprotection.com (a good internet filter)
  • People, friends, places, trashy movies etc...
    this applies across the board.

10
Becoming Accountable
  • Everyone knows that the easiest way to get into
    exercise is to have someone your accountable to,
    eg someone you meet.
  • Regular Confession will make you accountable very
    quickly. Plus there is sacramental grace
    available.
  • Bring a friend with you if you tend to drink to
    much, or flirt to much... Use the computer in a
    more public area than your room.
  • Theres something fishy about Stephens car...
  • (explained that the fish on my car keeps me
    accountable for my driving behaviour.)

11
The spiritual battle plan...
  • Chastity is not possible without the Eucharist.
  • The Eucharist is the fuel of true love.
  • Have an intention at mass.
  • Adoration of the blessed sacrament is an
    inexhaustable source of holiness.
  • You will soon come to know what true love is.
  • We all want to look like a knight, but we dont
    want to bleed like one...
  • JPII 20 visits a day!
  • Journaling

12
The Plan Part 2
  • Develop that personal prayer time.
  • Spend 5 minutes every morning (do it by the clock
    if you have to!)
  • Pray for souls as you fall asleep.
  • Carry a rosary, medals.
  • Spend that time driving in prayer. Switch off the
    radio.
  • Guardian angel, St Michael, Patron Saint
  • St Joseph
  • Mary, true femininity. The more she dwells in a
    soul, the more the Holy Spirit, in fact the more
    the Trinity enters in!

13
Other spiritual helps...
  • Holy souls
  • Nuns (the heavy ammo in this spiritual fight)
  • Fasting sharpens our prayers.
  • Putting off rewards is a great way to stay
    focussed on the task at hand. It could be
    delaying opening your mail, checking that sms, TV
    program, favourite snack etc.
  • Tame your tongue next time you want to lash
    out, hold your tongue for five minutes (even just
    one if that seems too hard!!)
  • Lent in the Catholic Church is for our benefit in
    this area.

14
Stay Busy...
  • Stay busy and engaged in meaningful things. Each
    time the devil finds you (metaphorically), he
    should find you busy and go away!!
  • Keep your mind active and focused. A To-Do List
    is perhaps the best way of making the most use of
    time and avoiding distractions.

15
Disciplined Emotions
  • Understand the HALT warnings.
  • Be willing to look at self esteem issues.
  • Feelings of inferiority comparing ourselves to
    perfect people all the time
  • Feelings of powerlessness feeling our life is
    out of control, their is no progress in our
    lives.
  • We need to commit ourselves to firming up our own
    sense of worth and value.

16
Start small
  • What you are going to be tomorrow, you are
    becoming today.
  • List five areas in your life that lack
    discipline.
  • Place them in order of your priority for
    conquering them.
  • Take them on, one at a time.
  • Secure resources, such as books and tapes, that
    will give you instruction and motivation to
    conquer each area.
  • Ask a person who models the trait you want to
    possess to hold you accountable for it.
  • Spend 15 minutes each morning getting focused in
    order to get control of this weak area in your
    life.
  • Do a five minute check-up on yourself at midday.
  • Take five minutes in the evening to evaluate your
    progress.
  • Allow sixty days to work on one area before you
    go to the next.
  • Celebrate with the one who holds you accountable
    as you show continued success.

17
Organise your life
  • Set your priorities
  • Place priorities in your calendar
  • Allow a little time for the unexpected
  • Do projects one at a time
  • Organise your work space
  • Work according to your temperament
  • Use your driving time for light work and growth
  • Develop systems that work for you
  • Always have a plan for those minutes between
    meetings
  • Focus on results not on the activity

18
Start now
  • All worthwhile men have good thoughts, good
    ideas, and good intentions, but precious few of
    them ever translate those into action John
    Hancock Field.
  • Lord Nelson, the English Naval Commander. He was
    responsible for destroying Napoleons' entire
    fleet. Yet he suffered sea-sickness his whole
    life.
  • Often we experience a little sea-sickness in
    life, we never seem to find the right, ideal
    conditions to begin. Yet the challenge of
    discipline never seems to find an ideal moment to
    begin.

19
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • The struggle of temptation trains us in
    faithfulness and love.
  • We start practising and preparing to make a gift
    of ourselves, to gain self mastery so that we can
  • Doing bench presses at the gym. Resistance builds
    muscle fibres... So it goes with our yes to
    loving purely and selflessly.
  • Only the chaste man or woman is capable of
    authentic love.
  • St Francis De Sales says that marriage is the
    greatest mortification on earth!

20
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • It lets us earn merit in heaven
  • We often dont think about heaven.
  • Heaven seems like some eternal Church service!!
  • St Paul says though that eye has not seen, nor
    ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of
    man what God has in store for those who love
    him.
  • Like a soldier who has fought hard is honoured
    when he arrives home, so temptation is not given
    to us unless there is an opportunity for merit
    and grace.
  • The devil tempts so that he can ruin, God tempts
    so that he can crown. St John Chrysostom

21
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • Penance for past sins
  • God always forgives
  • Love always wants to make amends for injuries and
    offences caused
  • The devil sometimes uses our past sins against us
  • Each time we resist temptation there is much
    grace merited.
  • Acts of resistance against these are acts of love
    acts of reparation.
  • No matter what temptation you go through,
    temptation of lust, anger or pride, we can apply
    this rule to all of them.

22
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • More frequent prayer
  • If we prayed every time we were tempted, think
    about how much more praying we would do every
    day.
  • Dont just pray against the temptations, pray for
    the temptations. If its an impure thought, pray
    for the person, the subject of that thought.
  • Spiritually adopt these people.
  • Love is victorious because it prays. - JPII

23
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • For the growth in humility.
  • With humility we realise how dependent we are on
    God and that without Him we are nothing.
  • Its only in humility that God can use us.
  • When a child witnesses danger, they cling all the
    more tightly to their dad. So God allows
    temptations so that we see how weak and prone to
    falling we are and that we would cling more
    tightly to him.

24
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • To prove your love for God.
  • Temptation comes from the Greek word to test.
  • Refining fire, reveals the true value of the
    metal. So temptation burns away much of our self
    love and thinking about how good we are, cause we
    realise through it how weak we are.
  • Each time we resist temptation we demonstrate our
    strength and our love for God.
  • St Francis Temptation is a ring by which the
    lord espouses the soul of his servant to
    himself... It requires a choice, an act of the
    will.

25
Why Does God give us these temptations?
  • So that we will think about sex (you heard it
    right!)
  • We joke about it, we sing songs about it, we
    laugh about it, but we rarely stop and think
    about why weve been given these powerful drives.
    Why did God make us this way?
  • JPII tells us That man cannot find himself
    except through a sincere giving of himself. When
    we make this total gift of ourselves whether
    married or single or celibate, we fulfil the
    meaning of our being and our existence. This gift
    of sexuality is the call to love in the image of
    Gods likeness.

26
Throwing away the bandaids...
  • When you desire to exercise you no longer need
    the discipline of exercising!
  • Do we desire to go to heaven?
  • Do we desire to be chaste?
  • Chastity is the road map to the proper ordering
    and fulfillment of the deepest longings of our
    hearts.
  • for intimacy and relationship, and the desire to
    be loved and to love others... we are tapping
    into the wellspring of pure joy!

27
The redemption of our lusts
  • The remedy for lust is a conversion of heart!
    When we begin to truly understand the dignity of
    the human person and the truth about our call to
    love, we no longer desire to lust.
  • Lust is a weak, poor, whimpering whispering thing
    when compared with the richness and energy of
    desire which will arise when lust has been
    killed. -C.S. Lewis
  • Only when you empty yourself for the good of a
    beloved will you see that all other joy is an
    illusion.

28
Dare to love...
  • The Canadian nursery story...
  • The best time to plant a tree is twenty five
    years ago, the next best time is today!
  • So plant the tree of discipline in your life
    today.
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