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Friday, 3 July 2015

Continuing with The Soul of The Apostolate

I suggest to my readers, as I did before, to get and read this book.  

God wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but never more than ourselves, that is, never to such an extent that we harm our own souls. And in practice, this is as much as if He demanded that we take more care of our own soul than of those others, since our zeal must be regulated by charity, and “Prima sibi charitas”4″ is an axiom of theology. “I love Jesus Christ,” said St. Alphonsus Liguori, ” and that is why I am on fire with the desire to give Him souls, first of all my own, and then an incalculable number of others.” This is a practical application of St. Bernard’s Tuus esto ubique” and that other principle of the holy abbot of Clairvaux: “No man is truly wise, who is not wise for himself.” 45 St. Bernard, who was himself a rare miracle of apostolic zeal, followed this rule. Geoffrey of Auxerre, his secretary, depicts him as: Tot us primum sibi et sic totus omnibus. “He belonged, first of all, entirely to himself, and thus he belonged entirely to all men.”  

When I lose my peace, it is because I have not prayed intently. When I am impatient, it is because I have not prayed enough. I have to rely entirely on God for all goodness which is in me.

God has given me the grace to recognize that the big obstacle to my acquiring a peaceful and fruitful interior life is my natural activity, and my tendency to be carried away by my work. And I have recognized, besides, that this lack of interior life is the source of all my faults, all my troubles, my dryness, my fits of disgust, and my bad health.

Too much activity causes a whirlwind of chaos in families. Jesus is our example--30 years of silence, 40 days of retreat, and then, and only then, three years of active ministry.

Let us consider the mortal life of Our Lord, a perfect realization of the divine plan. Thirty years of recollection and solitude, then forty days of retreat and penance are the prelude to His brief evangelical career. How often, too, during His apostolic journeys, we see Him retiring to the mountains or the desert to pray: “He retired into the desert and prayed,” or passing the night in prayer: “He passed the whole night in the prayer of God.”

More later....