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Sunday, 19 April 2015

To Destroy Concupiscence

A few weeks ago in prayer, an inspiration came to me that one could be completely freed from concupiscence. Now, I have never had a spiritual director tell me this, or have I ever heard a priest preach or teach this. I have never been taught that one can be free of the tendency towards sin.

However, in that moment of insight, I could see that if God was moving one away from venial sin, and if one was working on the imperfections, concupiscence would be silenced and eventually disappear. One is not doomed to live in the throes of Original Sin.

Today, reading Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, in his second volume of  The Practice of Christian Religious Perfection, I found this quotation from St. Augustine:

"The diminution of concupiscence is the increase of charity and the greatest perfection consists in having our concupiscence quite extinguished."

Praise God! So, what the Holy Spirit put in my head two weeks ago or so is that if one continues to cooperate with the graces of purification, concupiscence becomes a thing of the past, as one moves out of the consequences of Original Sin into Illumination and Unity.

I am not there by any stretch of the imagination, but the Holy Spirit was encouraging me.  When the inordinate and unruly love of self and love of the world disappear, and when the love of God takes over one's heart, mind, soul, body, concupiscence dies.

Death to self-will forms the basis for all of this movement of the soul to God.

So, why do priests and bishops not talk about this? Because they have not let themselves suffer through purgation. Some have, like Bishop Schneider and Cardinal Burke, who see things clearly, because the world, the flesh and the devil have been, like scales, taken away from their eyes.

Those of us who are not religious, but who are called to aid others in their spiritual lives, even by writing, encouraging, listening, giving advice in the world, are instructed by Fr. Rodriguez, to do mortification in order to become more perfect and a real servant. No one should be ministering in any capacity in the Church as a lay person unless one is willing to be purged of egotism, self-will. I have many posts on this fact.

And, again, I am encouraged in my way after reading in Rodriguez one of my favorite passages used in other posts on this blog.

"The kingdom of God is at hand and the violent are taking it by storm."

We need to be violent with ourselves as I have noted here. Rodriguez quotes St. Gregory the Great:

"It is he, who, after this manner, having broken down the rampart of his passions, ascends with violence to the kingdom of heaven."

Father Xavier told me at the retreat in March that, yes, it is possible to be free from all venial sins.

To even be free of concupiscence provides another impetus to be violent with one's self regarding mortification.

Suggestions for mortification:
  • Eat less
  • Eat less meat
  • Give up desserts, candy
  • Give up snacks
  • Sleep on the floor
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Never complain or mention pain except to your doctor
  • Do not go to the doctor unless something is serious
  • Endure ridicule peacefully
  • Reflect constantly on actions 
  • Do not tolerate any evil or imperfect thoughts
  • Never fantasize
  • Never waste time
  • Correct faults immediately
  • Confess sins weekly if possible
  • Go to daily Mass and Adoration
  • Pray as much as possible for yourself and others
  • Leave off complaining entirely
  • Be humble about your real needs
  • Never tolerate your predominant fault
  • Live out of two or three suitcases of clothes and shoes only
  • Wives, truly be obedient to your good Catholic husbands in matters of religion
  • Children, be obedient to your good Catholic parents

I shall do more soon on this book. Here are some similar posts.

please ignore spacing problems....

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