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Posts Tagged ‘Interior life’

“The charity of Christ should compel you”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/12 at 12:00 AM
You need interior life and doctrinal formation. Be demanding on yourself! As a Christian man or woman, you have to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, for you are obliged to give good example with holy shamelessness. The charity of Christ should compel you. Feeling and knowing yourself to be another Christ from the moment you told him that you would follow him, you must not separate yourself from your equals – your relatives, friends and colleagues – any more than you would separate salt from the food it is seasoning. Your interior life and your formation include the piety and the principles a child of God must have in order to give flavour to everything by his active presence there. Ask the Lord that you may always be that good seasoning in the lives of others. ( The Forge, 450)

A Christian can’t be caught up in personal problems; he must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.

Concern for one’s own spiritual improvement is not really a personal thing, for sanctification is completely bound up with apostolate. We must, therefore, develop our interior life and the christian virtues with our eyes upon the good of the whole Church. We cannot do good and make Christ known, if we’re not making a sincere effort to live the teachings of the Gospel.

If we are imbued with this spirit, our conversations with God eventually aid other men, even though they may begin on an apparently personal level. And if we take our Lady’s hand, she will make us realize more fully that all men are our brothers — because we are all sons of that God whose daughter, spouse and mother she is.

Our neighbours’ problems must be our problems. Christian fraternity should be something very deep in the soul, so that we are indifferent to no one. Mary, who brought up Jesus and accompanied him through his life and is now beside him in heaven, will help us recognize Jesus as he crosses our path and makes himself present to us in the needs of our fellow men. (Christ is passing by, 145)

Who Inhabits Your Soul?

In 14 Book Corner on 2014/04/25 at 12:00 AM

A question based on the excerpt from Saint Teresa of Avila’s  Way of Perfection, ch.28 (© Institute of Carmelite Studies)

In my opinion, if I had understood as I do now that in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often. I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean. But what a marvelous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur would enclose Himself in something so small! In fact, since He is Lord He is free to do what He wants, and since He loves us He adapts Himself to our size.

So that the soul won’t be disturbed in the beginning by seeing that it is too small to have something so great within itself, the Lord doesn’t give it this knowledge until He enlarges it little by little and it has the capacity to receive what He will place within it. For this reason I say He is free to do what He wants since He has the power to make this palace a large one. The whole point is that we should give ourselves to Him with complete determination, and we should empty the soul in such a way that He can store things there or take them away as though it were His own property. And since His Majesty has the rights of ownership, let us not oppose Him. And since He doesn’t force our will, He takes what we give Him; but He doesn’t give Himself completely until we give ourselves completely.

This fact is certain; and because it is so important, I bring it to your minds so often. He never works in the soul as He does when it is totally His without any obstacle, nor do I see how He could. He is the friend of all good order. Now, then, if we fill the palace with lowly people and trifles, how will there be room for the Lord with His court? He does enough by remaining just a little while in the midst of so much confusion.

“To pray is to talk with God. But about what?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/02/15 at 9:11 AM
You write: ‘To pray is to talk with God. But about what?’ About what? About Him, about yourself: joys, sorrows, successes and failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petitions: and Love and reparation. In a word: to get to know him and to get to know yourself: ‘to get acquainted!’ (The Way, 91)

“A prayer to my living God.” If God is life for us, we should not be surprised to realize that our very existence as Christians must be interwoven with prayer. But don’t imagine that prayer is an action to be carried out and then forgotten. The just man “delights in the law of the Lord, and meditates on his law day and night.” “Through the night I meditate on you” and “my prayer comes to you like incense in the evening” [1]. Our whole day can be a time for prayer — from night to morning and from morning to night. In fact, as holy Scripture reminds us, even our sleep should be a prayer.

Our life of prayer should also be based on some moments that are dedicated exclusively to our conversation with God, moments of silent dialogue, before the tabernacle if possible, in order to thank our Lord for having waited for us — so often alone — for twenty centuries. This heart‑to‑heart dialogue with God is mental prayer, in which the whole soul takes part; intelligence, imagination, memory and will are all involved. It is a meditation that helps to give supernatural value to our poor human life, with all its normal, everyday occurrences.

Thanks to these moments of meditation and to our vocal prayer and aspirations, we will be able to turn our whole day into a continuous praise of God, in a natural way and without any outward display. Just as people in love are always thinking about each other, we will be aware of God’s presence. And all our actions, down to the most insignificant, will be filled with spiritual effectiveness.

This is why, as a Christian sets out on his way of uninterrupted dealing with our Lord, his interior life grows and becomes strong and secure. And he is led to engage in the demanding yet attractive struggle to fulfill completely the will of God. (Christ is passing by, 119)

[1] Cf Ps 140:2

“Stages: Seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/12/15 at 9:11 AM

Interior life is strengthened by a daily struggle in your practices of piety, which you should fulfil – or rather which you should live – lovingly, for the path we travel as children of God is a path of Love. (The Forge, 83)

I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with Christ: seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him. It may seem clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven [1].

Try to commit yourself to a plan of life and to keep to it: a few minutes of mental prayer, Holy Mass — daily, if you can manage it — and frequent Communion; regular recourse to the Holy Sacrament of Forgiveness — even though your conscience does not accuse you of mortal sin; visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle; praying and contemplating the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and so many other marvellous devotions you know or can learn…

Please don’t forget that the important thing does not lie in doing many things; limit yourself, generously, to those you can fulfil each day, whether or not you happen to feel like doing them. These pious practices will lead you, almost without your realising it, to contemplative prayer. Your soul will pour forth more acts of love, aspirations, acts of thanksgiving, acts of atonement, spiritual communions. And this will happen while you go about your ordinary duties, when you answer the telephone, get on to a bus, open or close a door, pass in front of a church, when you begin a new task, during it and when you have finished it: you will find yourself referring everything you do to your Father God. (Friends of God, 300 and 149)

[1] cf Phil 3:20

“You should walk at God’s pace, not at your own”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/06/16 at 9:30 AM
You say yes, you are determined to follow Christ. All right. Then you should walk at his pace, not at your own. (The Forge, 531)

You want to know on what our faithfulness is founded? I would say, in broad outline, that it is based on loving God, which makes us overcome all kinds of obstacles: selfishness, pride, tiredness, impatience… A man in love tramples on his own self. He is aware that even when he is loving with all his soul, he isn’t yet loving enough. (The Forge, 532)

In the interior life, as in human love, we have to persevere. You have to meditate often on the same themes, keeping on until you re‑discover an old discovery. “How could I not have seen this so clearly before?” you’ll ask in surprise. Simply because sometimes we’re like stones, that let the water flow over them, without absorbing a drop. That’s why we have to go over the same things again and again ‑‑ because they aren’t the same things ‑‑ if we want to soak up God’s blessings. (The Forge, 540)

God does not let himself be outdone in generosity. Be very sure that he grants faithfulness to those who give themselves to him. (The Forge, 623)