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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Perfection Series VIII Part XXV Grace and Nature

Raissa notes that grace does not destroy nature, but elevates, strengthens,  and refines the intellect, the will and the heart. But, all these things are mortified with regards to the world, and "orients their acts toward eternal life."

Cooperating with grace allows this perfection and re-orientation. But, one must decide to cooperate. And one can pray all day small prayers of giving one's will, heart and mind to God. Small prayers of aspiration, as Raissa states, and abandonment, may be made all day.

Now, one of the most important things which Raissa has written is that those who are following grace in order to be united with God, must not expect peace on earth of the type most people think will happen. I noted this a few days ago, when writing about the peace which passes all understanding.

Raissa writes this: "I have the feeling that what is asked of us is to live in the whirlwind, without keeping back any of our substance, without keeping back anything for ourselves, neither rest, nor friendship, nor health, nor leisure--to pray incessantly and even then without leisure--in fact to let ourselves pitch and toss in the waves of the divine will till the day when it will say: 'It is enough.'"

This takes a great deal of courage and trust in Divine Providence. One feels like one is entitled to breaks, to entertainments, to leisure. I know I feel this need. The intensity of the spiritual way to perfection incorporates the duties and work of our daily lives as well as prayer, but it is a difficult way. We are all called to this. Focusing on God even while doing other things is key.

Raissa writes that meekness is from love and humility from truth. So, we respond to grace to find and develop both love and humility.

Raissa notes that we announce the death of Christ by our own dying to self. Can anyone doubt that this is the way to lead others to Christ?

to be continued....