Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Do not deprive yourself of something so advantageous . . .

Today, this was the reading we had at a woman's prayer/study group I attended. And man, this surely kicked my butt! The things I considered most important I made bold. Read it, think about it, and amend your life as needed! May we all learn to spend quiet time reflecting on GOD! :)

The Imitation of Mary: Chapter 4, pg 110,

♥ The Believer

O Cave of Bethlehem, let me experience what Mary felt when the shepherds came to adore Jesus in the manger! Or rather, do you yourself, Virgin Mother, show me the thoughts and feelings that were in your heart at that moment.

♥ Mary

My child, the deeply moving sight of God become an infant, in a manger, and wrapped in poor rags was for me a wide and inexhaustibly deep theme for my reflection. I could never weary of meditating on that great mystery. What I saw and heard was forever written in my heart and affected me profoundly. Even more than the shepherds did I wonder at the great things that were taking place; all the powers of my soul were concentrated on them. Countless tender affections sprang continuously from my heart, and I never ceased my praise and blessing of Almighty God.

My child, if you want a deeper understanding of the mysteries of faith you must take them seriously and meditate attentively on them.

Many Christians have but a weak faith because they neglect to nourish and strengthen it through meditation. The world is filled with so much crime and disorder, and the forgetfulness of the eternal truths is the reason for it. By meditating often on the perfections of God and the nothingness of things human the saints achieved detachment from creatures and were able to concentrate their affections on the Creator. Through this holy exercise they learned to value only what is great and valuable in God's eyes and their hearts were set on fire with a holy love that sought to lose itself in the bosom of God.

Therefore, let no day pass without feeding your soul on some salutary truth. That is how to learn the science of the saints. Do not excuse yourself with the claims that you have no time for meditation. What you lack is the will, not the time.

You have only one important business in life: to save your soul. Should you not think about it everyday?

You always find time to think seriously about the transitory business of this world. And yet there are no concerns closer to you or of greater importance to you than those of eternity.

Do not excuse yourself by saying you cannot meditate. You are quite able to reflect on countless matters of pure curiosity. Can you really claim that you are unable to think when it comes to reflecting on the great mysteries of faith and eternity? Admit rather that you have no great love for the Lord; admit that you are ungrateful. My child, your life will always be well ordered if you examine yourself daily in the presence of God and if you are what you ought to be in His sight.

Death will surely not take you by surprise if you learn each day how to die well. Spend just a quarter of an hour each day meditating before the altar or your crucifix on the greatness, mercy, threats, and promises of the Lord, and you will acquire a knowledge infinitely superior to that of all the philosophers whose works teach everything but the knowledge of eternal salvation.

Of what use is it for a man to have stocked in his mind with all the knowledge the world regards as practical and worthwhile if he lacks the knowledge the saints had, the knowledge that made them saints? You do not become virtuous simply by desiring it; you must seriously study and learn the means of becoming virtuous.

Never weary of asking Jesus for the grace to overcome your repugnance to an exercise from which the devil would gladly dissuade you, knowing as he does how important it is to you.

Do not deprive yourself of something so advantageous not only for yourself but for those who will be more especially entrusted to your care.