Two very brief ideas from Raissa on perfection..
The first is something which I have said over and over and that is one must be scrupulous in following all the laws of God and His Church. We must begin with orthodoxy.
Those who deviate from orthodoxy are not even on the ladder to perfection. Why? Because obedience is the key to God's heart, where He leads us to love. And, because we cannot decide for ourselves what is truth and what is not. We need Christ through the Church as our mentor.
There is a strong misconception among some Catholics that in order to be "free in the Holy Spirit" one need not be rigorous about following the rules of the Church or the Ten Commandments. Freedom does not come in spite of or by setting aside the law. Freedom comes from obedience to the laws, which free up the spirit to follow higher things.
The second kernel of truth is this, that the world of Jesus, which is opposed to this world, "is quantitatively very small: the salt of the earth, the pinch of leaven which makes the whole dough rise...It comprises those who let themselves be conformed to Him. These are his true imitators and his co-operators in salvation."
I wrote this the other day, that the remnant was very, very small and someone reacted so violently, I took my post off to wait until writing this one in Raissa's viewpoint. As Raissa has more holiness and intellect that STM, I shall let her say the same thing, only better.
"One can also say that there are two categories of men: those who--what mystery!--are capable of assimilating sin, and those who are not capable of doing so (by virtue of some mystery of predestination...) Those who are capable of assimilating sin, of living with sin, almost of living on it; drawing from it a useful experience, a certain human enrichment, a development, even a perfecting, in the order of mercy and humility--of arriving, finally, at the knowledge of God, at a certain theodicy, through extreme experience of the misery of the sinner....."
On the other hand, Raissa writes, "Those who are incapable of assimilating sin, because the smallest deliberate sin is like a fishbone stuck in their throat, cannot rest till they have go ride of it by contrition and confession. These are called to be assimilated to Christ. They can accept or refuse. It is a redoutable moment when they hear that call--it is the voice of Jesus himself."
In my interpretation of the Doctors of the Church and the great writers I have followed on this blog, I believe all baptized Catholics, who have been given the sacraments, the Mass, grace, teaching, fall into this second category, whereas those outside the fold fall into the first category.
to be continued...