Just trying to organize some thoughts here. I slept badly last night and woke up this morning with a real sense that my “spiritual life” is pretty much running on fumes these days, and that if certain actions are not swiftly taken, the last state will be worst that the first (cf. Luke 11:26). The source of this spiritual malaise…not sure. I think it is at least related to reading the Pope’s book, realizing again who Jesus is and what my response to that should be. He describes somewhere, I cannnot now find it, a manner of Christian living in which God is, at best, superfluous, and maybe even a nuisance. It was one of those descriptions that, at first, made me chuckle. But it is now one of the things that seems to have stuck. That’s me. God is a nuisance, always making me do things I wish not, and always preventing me from doing what I want. He’s the Daddy and I’m the spoiled child who wants his way.

Rosaries, Scripture readings, mental prayers, eucharistic adoration, so many things that one undertakes at certain points in our lives because we want to grow close to Jesus, because we love him and want to love him more. And then slowly, over time, the initial zeal fades, the love weakens, but we keep on doing the “acts of love” out of “discipline”, or of guilt, or “commitment”, or whatever. I do these things because I know I should want to do them, but it’s just one more thing that I don’t want to do, but feel compelled to do. And also out of fear, because if I don’t do them, what else is there? What separates my life from that of the pagans? All charity and selflessness has long since dried up. All desire for intimacy with Jesus is gone. I just want to lead an easy life, with as little effort expended as necessary, in the comfort of my favorite pet sins. Woe is me.

How shall its saltness be restored (cf. Mat 5:13)?

“As they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature (Luke 8:14).”

How to free oneself from the choking cataract of one’s enslavements? “Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts (CCC 1734).” “Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God’s commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer (CCC 2340).”

“You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first (Rev 2:4-5).”

“You have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent (Rev 3:1-3).”

“You are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see (Rev 3:15-18).”

Awake! Remember! Repent! Do the works!

“What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

1) Submit yourselves therefore to God.

2) Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

3) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

4) Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind.

5) Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection.

6) Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you (Jas 4:1-10).”


~ by Rob on May 20, 2007.

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