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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Perfection Series Starting Up Soon-Come And Rest Awhile

Christmas is coming soon. I witness the craziness of too much solicitude for the outward celebrations, a fact to which I referred in a post yesterday.

But, Christ waits for us to slow down, to reflect, to rest in Him. This takes a bit of time each day. It takes perseverance.

One of the things we learn from the saints is that in order to pursue the Love of Christ, we must have perseverance. Daily, we must choose to do the hard things which bring us closer to God.

St. Therese, the Little Flower knew this. St. Francis de Sales knew this. One must never give up.

For people in my generation and younger, giving up is just one more option among many. People now grow up not knowing what commitment and perseverance are. They have been able to change and make different choices more frequently than in previous generations.

The stability of the family, and the stability of society are gone. The individual faces the world alone.

This makes perseverance almost impossible. St. Francis de Sales helps us, but reminding us of where we get our spiritual energies.

Here is a snippet from his Introduction to the Devote Life:

I have already spoken of that mental solitude into which you can retire when amid the
greatest crowd, and furthermore you should learn to like a real material solitude. Not that
I want you to fly to a desert like S. Mary of Egypt, S. Paul, S. Anthony, Arsenius, or the
other hermits, but it is well for you to retire sometimes within your own chamber or garden,
or wheresoever you can best recollect your mind, and refresh your soul with good and holy
thoughts, and some spiritual reading, as the good Bishop of Nazianzum tells us was his
custom. “I was walking alone,” he says, “at sunset, on the seashore, a recreation I am wont
to take in order somewhat to lay aside my daily worries.” And S. Augustine says that he often
used to go into S. Ambrose’ room—his door was open to every one,—and after watching
him absorbed in reading for a time, he would retire without speaking, fearing to interrupt
the Bishop, who had so little time for refreshing his mind amid the burden of his heavy
duties. And we read how when the disciples came to Jesus, and told Him all they had been
doing and preaching, He said to them, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and
rest awhile.”