Monday, April 5, 2010

following Jesus . . . and seeking His Father (and ours) alone, above all . . .


You have never despised a contrite and humble heart.

It is at Your feet that we have a place of refuge from the raging enemy, and it is there that our brokenness is mended and our uncleanness washed away. (from Book III, Chapter 52)

Chapter 53



Son/Daughter, My grace is precious and it allows no intermingling with worldly affairs or earthly comforts. If you desire this grace, you must remove every obstacle to receiving it.

Choose some quiet place for yourself and love to dwell there alone. Don't look for occasions for idle conversation, but pour out your devout prayers to God so that you may continue to preserve contrition in your heart and maintain an unblemished conscience.

Look upon the whole world as nothing and prefer serving God to everything else. It is impossible for you to serve Me and at the same time take delight in ephemeral things.

Withdraw from your acquaintances and close friends, and keep your mind detached from all worldly comfort. This is what the apostle Peter meant when he instructed the followers of Christ to regard themselves as strangers and pilgrims in the world.

2. Great is the confidence of the man, who is about to die, when he knows that he has no attachment whatever to anything in this world. But a weak individual cannot bear to have his heart de­tached from everything, nor can the unspiritual man understand the liberty enjoyed by the spiritual man.

When a man sincerely desires to be spiritual he must renounce all his friends, those near and those far away, and must beware of himself most of all.

If you have completely conquered yourself, you will easily con­quer all other things. The perfect victory is to triumph over one's self. The man who has so conquered himself that his flesh is now subject to his reason, and his reason, in turn, is obedient to Me in all things, that man, I say, is master of himself and lord of the world.

3. If you wish to rise to this degree of perfection you must man­fully begin to lay the axe to the root and dig out and destroy all your hidden unregulated inclinations toward self-love and mate­rial advantage.

From this one vice of self-love proceed nearly all the other vices that need uprooting and as soon as self-love is eradicated, great peace and calm will follow.

Because there are only a few who strive to die perfectly to themselves and, thus, rise far above themselves, countless others remain caught in their own webs and their spirits languish in their incapacity to soar on high.

Whoever wishes to walk freely with Me must put all evil pas­sions and unregulated desires to death and must never cling to any creature through self-love or self-interest.

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