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Monday, 9 March 2015

Retreat Notes on The Virtues

Father Xavier spoke of the virtues with regard to breaking demonic influences of obsession and oppression.

The virtues on which he concentrated are the cardinal virtues, again defined on this blog in both posts on virtues and posts on the way to perfection.

Father assumed that his audience knew the definitions of these, but he did emphasize some rather than others.

Prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude provide means to counter demonic influences in our lives. Father said plainly that children must be confirmed, and that too many are not being confirmed. These virtues are necessary, not only as natural virtues, according to the ancient Greeks, but as supernatural virtues given as gifts for all confirmed Catholics to use daily.

Father noted that the demons do not want to attack a person who has control over their bodies and their emotions.

There are antecedent appetites which need to be controlled. Father gave the example of people sleeping too much. If one gives into such a pleasure, one is allowing the possibility of demonic  influences over the body. Prudence, which is right reason applied to practice, allows us to be temperate in our lives regarding food, sleep and other things, perhaps connected to the passions which can drive us.

The cardinal virtues inform reason, the intellective appetites, so that we can overcome sin, weaknesses, and demonic influences. Practicing the virtues also gives us confidence in fighting demonic influences. Obviously, if we are slothful, and bombarded by demons of sloth for example, the opposite virtue of temperance would be a necessary practice in our lives. Temperance is won through chastity, fasting, and abstinence, which combat demonic influences. Father emphasized the necessity in spiritual warfare for fighting demons with temperance.

The other virtues, justice, prudence and fortitude, also are necessary in combating evil in our lives.

The importance of battling daily cannot be underestimated. I came away from this retreat realizing that there is little "down time" in the effort to become perfect, to become holy. Father Xavier said to beg God for the virtues and the graces to become holy.

I am begging....And remembering that to overcome even venial sin with the virtues, one should do the opposite of the fault or vice.

One more point which slightly overlapped with my reading of the City of God.

Father said that there are people out there building on purpose the City of Satan. We cannot deny this.
Becoming holy means being a member of the Church Militant.

End of retreat notes....