Skip to comments.Imitation of Christ: 1, 19, The Practices of a Good Religious [Devotional]
Posted on 09/24/2007 4:33:35 PM PDT by Salvation
The Practices of a Good Religious
THE life of a good religious ought to abound in every virtue so that he is interiorly what to others he appears to be. With good reason there ought to be much more within than appears on the outside, for He who sees within is God, Whom we ought to reverence most highly wherever we are and in Whose sight we ought to walk pure as the angels.
Each day we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervor as though it were the first day of our religious life. We ought to say: "Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution and in Your holy service. Grant me now, this very day, to begin perfectly, for thus far I have done nothing."
As our intention is, so will be our progress; and he who desires perfection must be very diligent. If the strong-willed man fails frequently, what of the man who makes up his mind seldom or half-heartedly? Many are the ways of failing in our resolutions; even a slight omission of religious practice entails a loss of some kind.
Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions. In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes, and God's way is not man's. If a habitual exercise is sometimes omitted out of piety or in the interests of another, it can easily be resumed later. But if it be abandoned carelessly, through weariness or neglect, then the fault is great and will prove hurtful. Much as we try, we still fail too easily in many things. Yet we must always have some fixed purpose, especially against things which beset us the most. Our outward and inward lives alike must be closely watched and well ordered, for both are important to perfection.
If you cannot recollect yourself continuously, do so once a day at least, in the morning or in the evening. In the morning make a resolution and in the evening examine yourself on what you have said this day, what you have done and thought, for in these things perhaps you have often offended God and those about you.
Arm yourself like a man against the devil's assaults. Curb your appetite and you will more easily curb every inclination of the flesh. Never be completely unoccupied, but read or write or pray or meditate or do something for the common good. Bodily discipline, however, must be undertaken with discretion and is not to be practiced indiscriminately by everyone.
Devotions not common to all are not to be displayed in public, for such personal things are better performed in private. Furthermore, beware of indifference to community prayer through love of your own devotions. If, however, after doing completely and faithfully all you are bound and commanded to do, you then have leisure, use it as personal piety suggests.
Not everyone can have the same devotion. One exactly suits this person, another that. Different exercises, likewise, are suitable for different times, some for feast days and some again for weekdays. In time of temptation we need certain devotions. For days of rest and peace we need others. Some are suitable when we are sad, others when we are joyful in the Lord.
About the time of the principal feasts good devotions ought to be renewed and the intercession of the saints more fervently implored. From one feast day to the next we ought to fix our purpose as though we were then to pass from this world and come to the eternal holyday.
During holy seasons, finally, we ought to prepare ourselves carefully, to live holier lives, and to observe each rule more strictly, as though we were soon to receive from God the reward of our labors. If this end be deferred, let us believe that we are not well prepared and that we are not yet worthy of the great glory that shall in due time be revealed to us. Let us try, meanwhile, to prepare ourselves better for death.
"Blessed is the servant," says Jesus Christ, "whom his master, when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen I say to you: he shall make him ruler over all his goods." [Luke 12:43, 44]
No, you didn’t miss the ping this morning. The site had crashed, and I am just now getting back to the computer.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Imitation of Christ Devotional Ping List.
Also, many Protestants have asked me to put them on this ping list. I have gladly done so, and will add your name also if you FReepmail me. I reassure you that will not get all the Catholic pings.
Absolutely no flaming! These daily threads are intended to be devotional in nature. If a particular day's offering says nothing to you, please just go on and wait for the next day. Consider these threads a DMZ of sorts, a place where a perpetual truce is in effect and a place where all other arguments and disagreements from other times and places are left behind.
I can attest from personal experience (Salvation's) that reading from Imitation of Christ daily will almost certainly change - not one's faith - but one's perspective of his/her own faith, and open up new vistas in your spiritual life. If - when - this happens to a reader of these threads, and they choose to share what has happened within them - we are treading on hallowed ground. Be respectful.
- Religion Moderator
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
**The Practices of a Good Religious **
Although some of the remarks in this are specifically about and for priests; I think that a “Good Religious” might be any of us.
What do you think?
Imitation of Christ: 1, 7, Avoiding False Hope and Pride [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 8, Shunning Over- Familiarity [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 9, Obedience and Subjection [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 10, Avoiding Idle Talk [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 11, Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 12, The Value of Adversity [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 13, Resisting Temptation [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1. 14, Avoiding Rash Judgment [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 15, Works Done in Charity [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 16, Bearing With the Faults of Others [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1. 17, Monastic Life [Devotional]
Imitation of Christ: 1, 18, The Example Set Us by the Holy Fathers [Devotional]
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.