When I was in the monastery, I was allowed time for reading and personal discernment. I read many books,
mostly on the nature of the religious life and the way of perfection. As a person seriously considering and being considered, I had to write notes to Mother Prioress on my progress. We only spoke rarely, but it is the duty of the postulant or seeker to share insights and problems. However, for that order, as explained to me, the Rule of St. Benedict lived daily provides discernment, as well. If one manages to live by the Rule and is inspired by the
Holy Spirit the Rule is actually a daily way of examination of conscience which happens immediately, all day long.
For me, obedience was not difficult. But, God deals directly with a person under obedience in two ways.
One way is directly through the Rule and, in one's superior. The second way of obedience is through one's direct relationship with God especially in deep prayer. The Tyburn order has the great advantage of daily long hours of Adoration, providing time for the postulant to wait on God for insights and direction. Lectio Divina and one's personal reading and to spiritual growth and formation.
A lay person seeking this perfection, which we are all called to do, must do. to be continued... By the way,
I heard a fantastic sermon this morning which I shall share in the next post.
Remember, all the laity are called to perfection, although the convent and monastery are short-cuts.
All are called to be perfect. What is hard is to persevere seeking Christ the Beloved without the short-cuts.
For those in the Dark Night stage, this chart may be useful. Found in Garrigou-Lagrange, part four....
Signs of the passive purification of the senses
Psychological Description According to St. John of the Cross
Theological Explanation By the Gifts of the Holy Ghost
3. Great difficulty in meditating discursively, an attraction for the simple affective gaze toward God.
Inspiration of the gift of understanding, beginning of infused contemplation.
2. Keen desire to serve God, thirst for justice, and fear of sin. Resistance to temptations.
Inspiration of the gift of fortitude, which in the midst of difficulties preserves the hunger and thrist for justice, and influence of the gift of fear to resist temptations.
1. Sensible aridity, no consolation in the things of God, or in created things.
Inspiration of the gift of knowledge, which shows the vanity and emptiness of everthing created, the gravity of sin, whence the tears of true contrition.
40. Cf. R. de Sinety, Psychopathologie et direction, 1934, pp. 66-87.