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The necessity of keeping the soul disengaged that God’s Holy Will may operate in it July 30, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, reading, religious, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.

In these times, we have so much to keep us distracted.  Neutral and even good things like telephones, radios, the internet, Catholic blogs, etc, can become both a distraction and a source of emotions that can make us lose our peace.  I am not counseling giving up all of the above by any means (although some Saints might!), but we have to keep things in proper perspective and not allow nominally useful tools, or even very good things, to derail us in our pursuit of virtue.  With so much upsetting news of late, I thought a reminder from Dom Lorenzo Scupoli might be of some use, mostly to myself, but perhaps to some of you, as well. Bear in mind that the following is written primarily for contemplative religious, but has application for those of us in the world, as well.

If we are truly cognizant of the priceless worth of the immortal soul, that sublime temple of God Himself, let us take are that nothing of the world intrude therein. Placing our hope in the Lord, we should wait with a firm confidence for His Coming, and realize that He will certainly enter the soul unattached to worldly things and ready to receive Him alone.  Alone, having no desire but the presence of God; alone, loving only Him; alone, void of all will but the will of Heaven.

Let us learn to do nothing to please ourselves, that we may merit in the soul of the human the presence of the Divine, the comprehension of Whom is far beyond the horizons of created intellects.  [Very, very hard, but this is the path of union with the Divine Will.  We cannot possibly do this ourselves, we can only turn our will over to God and let him work through us to bring about such a powerful, intimate union.]

Let us follow exactly the prescriptions of our spiritual father and of those who govern us in the place of God, that every suffering and good work offered to God may be prudent and salutary.  [Salutary and universally applicable guidance for all of us]

It is sufficient that we keep ourselves ever ready and willing to suffer for love of Him all that He wills and the manner in which He wills it. Whoever acts solely in conjunction with the dictates of his own will would do much better were he to remain in peace, attentive to what God wills to perform in him.  Therefore, we must always avoid attachments of the will which should ever be free and in perfect harmony with the Divine. [When I think of the genocide ongoing in the Mideast, I think how hard it is sometimes to submit to the Will of God.  But it is when pious souls do so, especially under the most awful of conditions, that massive torrents of Grace flow and that Grace has, in past instances, resulted in a great flowering of the Church.  The blood of martyrs waters the Church and makes it grow.  It is one of the profound and difficult paradoxes, if you will, of our Faith, that when it seems to be crushed out of existence, it suddenly flowers anew.  So we must always retain the virtue of hope, even amidst the worse of news]

And since we ought not to act according to our own desires, let us not consciously attach our wills to any one thing; but if we should desire something , let it be in such a way as to leave us as unperturbed as if we had desired nothing, should our desire fail to materialize. [Certainly great advice, especially with regard to earthly/material things.]

For our desires are our chains, and to be entangled in them is to be a slave. To free ourselves from desires, therefore, is to free ourselves from tyranny.  [!!!]

God demands that our souls be alone and unattached that He may manifest His manifold wonders in them, glorifying them even in this life by His Divine Power.

O Holy Solitude!  O desert of happiness!  O glorious hermitage, where a soul may find its God!  Let us not only run to such an exalted place, but beg the wings of a dove that we may fly to it and find there a holy repose. Let us not stop by the wayside; let us not tarry on the way for frivolous conversation; let us leave the dead to bury their dead, forsaking the land of the lifeless for the land of the living.

———-End Quote———-

I am not so ideological or unaware of myself that I do not recognize that someone could easily rebut to me, regarding much of the above “physician, heal thyself.”  And they would be right.

But I shall continue trying to improve.  I don’t know about you, but I have experienced periods where I think there has been some real positive growth in virtue, and others where I have advanced more slowly, or maybe even gone backwards a bit.  But I keep trying.  I know there are at present a number of things – attachments – I need to work on.  And there are positive spiritual works, especially with regard to prayer and meditation, that I need to improve.

So pray for your blogger!  He tries!  He may make a number of mistakes, but tries very hard to always put forward both news and reflections that will help people deal with the ongoing crisis and advance in the spiritual life.  I pray I do not fail to be edifying too often.

And please excuse this public examination of conscience!  I think it necessary sometimes to air such things, bearing my soul, so that readers can gain a little insight into my motivations.



1. Baseballmom - July 30, 2014

Absolutely it is two steps forward and one step back in the spiritual life… For me, the words of St. Therese are most helpful…”when I speak of mortification, I don’t mean the kind practiced by saints…. All I can do is break my self-will. Check a hasty reply, do a kindness without making a fuss about it and lots of similar things… All my strength lies in prayer and sacrifice, these are my invincible weapons and I know they can soften a heart much better than words.”

2. Baseballmom - July 30, 2014

Sent a comment but it did not go through…. 😦

Tantumblogo - July 30, 2014

It is fixed now. Along with several other comments. My apologies to Fr. Anselm Marie for three or four of his being held up. I think its because he had a link in one comment and then the rest got flagged.

3. shari - July 31, 2014

Thank you for your blog. I so look forward to reading everyday. So helpful for my Catholic spirituality. God bless and know that you are in my prayers.

4. ellen - July 31, 2014

Thank you for this. I find so many of your post very edifying. In these times when it is difficult or impossible to find good spiritual direction it is a great help to read good stuff on Catholic blogs. I have terminal cancer and am trying hard to be prepared for death. It is a tremendous grace that I am allowed this time of preparation. I am also suffering some family anger and rejection which causes me to react emotionally even though I understand it is God’s goodness in teaching me to be detached from the things of this world. I felt an instant connection when you quoted from “Divine Intimacy”, which I read every day. So thanks again. Keep up the good work and know how much you are helping some of us out here. God bless you and yours!

Tantumblogo - July 31, 2014

Thanks so much!

Baseballmom - July 31, 2014

May Our Blessed Lord bless you in your suffering. And may all your suffering lead to great graces being poured out upon you, and all who are dear to you.

5. Pseudodionysius - August 1, 2014

I was doing some web browsings of old, original versions of Scupoli and I was amazed at how much the language has been touched up in both the Sophia Press and Tan Books editions. Is there anyone reprinting word for word the old 19th century English translation?

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