Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: The Spiritual Combat: Ch 22. HOW SENSIBLE THINGS MAY AID US TO MEDITATE
Posted on 05/28/2009 2:35:22 AM PDT by GonzoII
IT HAS BEEN SHOWN how we may rise from the consideration of sensible things to the contemplation of the greatness of God. Now we must learn how to relate these things to the memory of the sacred mysteries of Our Lord's life and death.
Everything in the world can be related to this end. Consider just the fact, as we have already suggested, that God is the First Cause of all things, that He has given to every creature, even the most exalted, its being, beauty, and all the perfections with which it is endowed. Then admire the infinite goodness of this Sovereign Master of the universe, Who condescended to become man, and suffer an ignoble death for your salvation. He even permitted His own creatures to plot against Him and to nail Him to the Cross. If you want to enter into the details of His sufferings, everything about you will be a reminder of them.
Weapons, cords, thorns, reeds, nails, hammers, will readily bring to mind the instruments of His agony.
A humble cottage will represent the stable and manger where He was born. The rain falling on the earth will call to mind the bloody sweat with which He watered the Garden of Olives. The stones are figures of the rocks which split at His death. When you gaze at the sun or the earth, remember that when He died the earth trembled, and the sun grew dark. The sight of water will recall the water flowing from His side. A thousand other objects will lend themselves to these considerations.
When you drink, think of the gall and vinegar which was offered as refreshment to our amiable Savior by His enemies. If you take too much satisfaction in perfumes, consider the stench of the dead carcasses that greeted Him on Mount Calvary.
When dressing remember that the Son of God clothed Himself with our flesh, that we might be clothed with His Divinity. In removing your clothes, think of Him, stripped at the hands of His executioners, about to be scourged and nailed to the Cross for your sake.
Any tumultuous din should recall the horrible cries of the enraged populace against their Lord: "Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
Whenever the clock strikes, remember the anguished beats of the Sacred Heart of Jesus when, in the Garden of Olives, He contemplated His approaching Passion and Death. Or it may call to mind the strokes of the hammer with which the soldiers nailed Him to the Cross. In brief, whatever you suffer yourself, or see others undergo, is far short of the pains of body and soul that your Savior suffered during His Passion.
None shall be crowned who has not fought well.
2 Tim 2:5.
Taken from the book of the same title by DOM LORENZO SCUPOLI
The Spiritual Combat is known as one of the greatest classics in ascetic theology, along with The Imitation of Christ. In both cases the authors are shrouded in mystery. Several 17th century editions were published under the name of the Spanish Benedictine, John of Castanzia. Some writers of the Society of Jesus have ascribed the book to the Jesuit, Achilles Gagliardi, but most critics however consider Fr. Lawrence Scupoli as the author of this famous treatise. The first known edition was published in Venice in 1589 and contained but 24 chapters; later editions appeared with more chapters, so it is possible that the Theatines or another religious order may have been part of the composition. Whatever may be the solution of the problem of the author, doubt of the actual one or ones, can take nothing away from the value and efficacy of this "golden book" as St. Frances de Sales called it. It was "the favorite, the dear book" of this great master of the spiritual life who, for 18 years, carried in a pocket a copy which he had received from Fr. Scupoli in Padua himself. The Saint read some pages of it every day, entrusted to its supernatural and human wisdom, the guidance of his soul, and recommended it to all under his direction. The purpose of the work is to lead the soul to the summit of spiritual perfection, by means of a constant, courageous struggle against our evil nature, which tends to keep us away from that goal.
The author was a genius, the kind that can only be inspired by the grace of God and his book is a Catholic treasure and one of the greatest gifts God could have given any age, but most especially this benighted age which has lost its appreciation for the kind of simplicity necessary for sanctity.
Chapter One: PRELIMINARY WORDS ON PERFECTION
-- THE FOUR THINGS NECESSARY FOR THIS COMBAT
Chapter Two: DISTRUST OF SELF
Chapter Three: OF TRUST IN GOD
Chapter Four: HOW TO DISCOVER WHETHER WE
DISTRUST OURSELVES AND PLACE OUR CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Chapter Five: THE MISTAKE OF CONSIDERING COWARDICE A VIRTUE
Chapter Six: FURTHER ADVICE ON HOW TO OBTAIN A DISTRUST OF ONESELF AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Chapter Seven: THE RIGHT USE OF OUR FACULTIES. THE UNDERSTANDING MUST FIRST BE FREE OF IGNORANCE AND CURIOSITY
Chapter Eight: AN OBSTACLE TO FORMING A CORRECT JUDGMENT. AN AID TO THE FORMATION OF A CORRECT JUDGMENT
Chapter Nine: ANOTHER METHOD TO PREVENT DECEPTION OF THE UNDERSTANDING
Chapter Ten: THE EXERCISE OF THE WILL. THE END TO WHICH ALL OF OUR ACTIONS, INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR, SHOULD BE DIRECTED
Chapter Eleven: SOME CONSIDERATIONS WHICH WILL INCLINE THE WILL TO SEEK ONLY WHAT IS PLEASING TO GOD
Chapter Twelve: THE OPPOSITION WITHIN MAN'S TWOFOLD NATURE
Chapter Thirteen: HOW WE ARE TO ENCOUNTER SENSUALITY. WHAT THE WILL MUST DO TO ACQUIRE VIRTUOUS HABITS
Chapter Fourteen: WHAT TO DO WHEN THE WILL IS APPARENTLY OVERPOWERED
Chapter Fifteen: FURTHER ADVICE ON HOW TO FIGHT SKILLFULLY. THE ENEMIES WE ARE TO ENGAGE, AND THE COURAGE NECESSARY TO FIGHT THEM
Chapter Sixteen: THE SOLDIER OF CHRIST MUST PREPARE EARLY FOR THE BATTLE
Chapter Seventeen: THE METHOD OF FIGHTING YOUR PASSIONS AND VICES
Chapter Eighteen: HOW TO CURB THE SUDDEN IMPULSES OF YOUR PASSIONS
Chapter Nineteen: HOW WE ARE TO FIGHT AGAINST IMPURITY
Chapter Twenty: HOW TO COMBAT SLOTH
Chapter Twenty One: THE PROPER USE OF OUR SENSES. HOW THEY MAY HELP US TO CONTEMPLATE DIVINE THINGS
Chapter Twenty Two: HOW SENSIBLE THINGS MAY AID US TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSION AND DEATH OF OUR SAVIOR
Complete title: HOW SENSIBLE THINGS MAY AID US TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSION AND DEATH OF OUR SAVIOR