Another, Clearer Moment from the


Another, Clearer Moment from the Same

Spiritual Combat Revisited is filled with much advice and many tips and hints about how to go about some of these things many of us just mill about trying to do. The following passage was a gem:

from Spiritual Combat Revisited Jonathan Robinson of the Oratory

How do we use these first principles in such a way that they will serve as a basis for our spiritual lives and affect our practice? Well, we have to consider them attentively, or meditate on them; that is, we have to think and ponder on those truths of our faith and try to see how they could affect us personally. I do not think it matters whether we call these considerations or this meditation prayer or a preparation for prayer. The important thing is actually to consider and meditate on the first principles and to do so in a regular way. We should be actively engaged, actually using our heads, and not sitting around trying to make the mind a blank in the hope of receiving some ill-defined and comforting illumination.

There is something very homey, and very Teresa of Avila about this down-to-Earth, unnuanced, and possibly terribly unpopular advice. The road to God is not an ethereal parkway that one drifts along, pushed by winds of the spirit. It is a rough-hewn road over which we tread, step by step. No progress is made outside of Divine help, but neither is progress made if we do not exert ourselves, exercise ourselves, and make some solid attempt to align our wills with the will of God. This was one of the great errors of the Quietists, who, as with all heresies, had some things very right and almost everything else quite wrong. We do not sit around waiting for Divine enlightenment, but we actively seek it among those things we know belong to Him. Thus, the words of scripture, the great writings of the saints, and even the words of some modern books and articles can guide us in ways to exert ourselves. I like practical, solid advice such as is offered later in this book when the author tells me--"Here think about these things, and don't just think, meditate on them. Here are some scriptures to help." It's very Ignatian, and reads much like the Spiritual Exercises in some ways. I look forward to using it properly and reporting back to everyone as to its efficacy in at least one case. But don't expect a quick report. If used properly, it may take many months to work through.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 6, 2003 8:12 AM.

Higher Math and Spiritual Combat was the previous entry in this blog.

Another Carmelite Prayer A very is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll