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Living in the Spirit of Christ July 1, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, priests, religious, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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From St. Peter Julian Eymard, and hauntingly echoing the words I heard in a sermon yesterday, how to live in Christ.  From The Eymard Library Vol 3 pp. 283-4.

If we examine ourselves carefully, we find that nature reasserts itself at the slightest opportunity and tries to rule us. Our mind is constantly inclined to yield to the activities, the frivolity, and the curiosity which are natural to it, our heart, to its own preferences and human affections. Our will, so impetuous in everything it does by chioce and by impusle, follows languidly the inspirations of God. Our whole soul, but lately calm and recollected in holy Red_Domincan Rite_NLMmeditation, loses its recollection in an instant and no longer thinks of God. Such is this nature of ours which, far from being dead, is neither conquered nor even well controlled, and which at every moment gets out of hand.

Alas, our spiritual life is a tree without roots! We are like hot-house plants which wither or freeze if moved outdoors. This indicates that our inner life is forced and artificial; it is alive when warmed by the fire of prayer, but icy cold as soon as we are left to ourselves or go about our outside occupations.

What causes this?

There are two causes. The first is that, apart from prayer, we draw no spiritual nourishment from what we are doing. When we study, it is not from devotion, but from zeal, from natural diligence. We make intercourse with others a distraction instead of finding therein an opportunity to work for God. 7053901535_a8b2ed67a4_zConsequently, our various occupations are like a fever which weakens and consumes us.

Certainly we must work, but, at the same time, our spirit must find nourishment in the virtue of labor. We must do our work with recollection in God, see in it the accomplishment of God’s plan, keep ourselves in His Holy Will, and say before every action: “I am doing this to give glory to God!”

The second cause is this: we lack a spiritual center to which we may retire to recruit our spent forces, restoring them in proportion as we use them up. Our life flows on like a torrent, all rushing sound and movement.

The thought of God’s presence, or of His Will, or of His Glory, or of some mystery or virtue should be habitual to us. In short, we should live in awareness of Jesus Christ, beneath His eye, by His inspiration, just as He lived in union with His Father. “For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (1 Phil 2:5)

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I so understand what St. Peter Julian Eymard is saying!  I don’t live the Faith, I put it on!  I have used the metaphor of a box on a shelf to describe what I am trying to say.  Most people, at best, treat their faith as an object they take down off the shelf for an hour or two on Sunday, and perhaps one or two other times a week, they play with it a bit, and then put it back on the shelf until next time, forgetting about it.  Their faith is just one more accoutrement in their lives. I fear I am the same way.  My box may be a bit bigger, and I may take it down more often, but I don’t think I really live the Faith, have it truly subsume every thing I say or do, as I should. I find myself back in those old destructive habits so quickly. I find my practice of virtue fly out the window at the first sight of difficulty.

But Christ doesn’t want just part of us. He doesn’t want us part time. He wants all of us, all the time. He wants to be, and should be, our all.  Lord, may I cooperate with Your Grace to make that a reality! And have mercy on me until I do!

 

 

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