Skip to comments.Imitation of Christ: 1, 11, Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection [Devotional]
Posted on 09/14/2007 7:32:53 AM PDT by Salvation
Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection
WE SHOULD enjoy much peace if we did not concern ourselves with what others say and do, for these are no concern of ours. How can a man who meddles in affairs not his own, who seeks strange distractions, and who is little or seldom inwardly recollected, live long in peace?
Blessed are the simple of heart for they shall enjoy peace in abundance.
Why were some of the saints so perfect and so given to contemplation? Because they tried to mortify entirely in themselves all earthly desires, and thus they were able to attach themselves to God with all their heart and freely to concentrate their innermost thoughts.
We are too occupied with our own whims and fancies, too taken up with passing things. Rarely do we completely conquer even one vice, and we are not inflamed with the desire to improve ourselves day by day; hence, we remain cold and indifferent. If we mortified our bodies perfectly and allowed no distractions to enter our minds, we could appreciate divine things and experience something of heavenly contemplation.
The greatest obstacle, indeed, the only obstacle, is that we are not free from passions and lusts, that we do not try to follow the perfect way of the saints. Thus when we encounter some slight difficulty, we are too easily dejected and turn to human consolations. If we tried, however, to stand as brave men in battle, the help of the Lord from heaven would surely sustain us. For He Who gives us the opportunity of fighting for victory, is ready to help those who carry on and trust in His grace.
If we let our progress in religious life depend on the observance of its externals alone, our devotion will quickly come to an end. Let us, then, lay the ax to the root that we may be freed from our passions and thus have peace of mind.
If we were to uproot only one vice each year, we should soon become perfect. The contrary, however, is often the case -- we feel that we were better and purer in the first fervor of our conversion than we are after many years in the practice of our faith. Our fervor and progress ought to increase day by day; yet it is now considered noteworthy if a man can retain even a part of his first fervor.
If we did a little violence to ourselves at the start, we should afterwards be able to do all things with ease and joy. It is hard to break old habits, but harder still to go against our will.
If you do not overcome small, trifling things, how will you overcome the more difficult? Resist temptations in the beginning, and unlearn the evil habit lest perhaps, little by little, it lead to a more evil one.
If you but consider what peace a good life will bring to yourself and what joy it will give to others, I think you will be more concerned about your spiritual progress.
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Thanks for today’s lesson, Salvation.
My pleasure, MacNessa. Thanks for stopping by.
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THE IMITATION OF CHRIST
A very powerful spiritual guidance for the soul who seeks to imitate Jesus Christ.
Learn from me, because I am meek and humble of heart. Mat. 11:29
Like I tell my kids, "everyone wants to save the world, but nobody wants to clean the toilet." Saving the world, and your own soul, begins with cleaning the toilet. Every act is important to God, and every sacrifice especially so, if its done for the sake of God or neighbor.
If we tried, however, to stand as brave men in battle, the help of the Lord from heaven would surely sustain us.
I think the biggest problem today is that people are chasing worldly things. How many people, even Christians, know what the purpose of life is? If you remember, at every moment of the day, that the purpose of life is to become a saint, then becoming a saint becomes easier. You can't achieve sainthood if you're pursuing everything but.
Excellent reflections, fan.
Especially about cleaning the toilet! Little things count. I would always get upset with my sister when it was time to do the dishes. She would be out on top of the chicken coop, singing as though she were on a stage. LOL!
She turned out to be an excellent vocalist, BTW. (But the dishes still counted!)
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And most of us lead "little lives," which is why St. Therese of Lisieux is so popular. She's my daughters' favorite saint.
The Little Way, for the uninitiated.
Thanks for that link. Someone will appreciate it!
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Imitation of Christ: 1, 10, Avoiding Idle Talk [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 11, Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection [Devotional]
**Why were some of the saints so perfect and so given to contemplation? Because they tried to mortify entirely in themselves all earthly desires, and thus they were able to attach themselves to God with all their heart and freely to concentrate their innermost thoughts.**
The saints also chose to suffer WITH Christ, and we can make the same choice!
**Our fervor and progress ought to increase day by day; yet it is now considered noteworthy if a man can retain even a part of his first fervor.**
Is your fervor (zeal) for Christ stronger today? Or was it stronger when you were younger?