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Spiritual Combat

This afternoon our parish continued our St. Paul Speaker series with Fr. Jerry Pokorsky speaking on Spiritual Warfare. This was a wonderful presentation with so many take home points that it is amazing Father only spoke for thirty minutes. I easily could have listened to him for twice that length of time. The discussion of spiritual warfare dealt with individual spiritual combat. Each of us is called to be a warrior for Christ. He ended his talk with a recommendation of the book The Spiritual Combat by Lorenzo Scupoli. The few excerpts that he read convinced me this was a book I had to have. Consider this:

Therefore, let everyone examine himself, let him direct all his actions to this most excellent and noble end. If he discovers that he is performing a work of piety in order to avoid punishment, or to gain the rewards of the future life, he should establish as the end of his undertaking the will of God, Who requires that we avoid hell and gain Heaven.

It is not within man's power to realize the efficacy of this motive. The least action, no matter how insignificant, performed for His sake, greatly surpasses actions which, although of greater significance, are done for other motives.

For example, a small alms, given solely in honor of God, is infinitely more agreeable to Him than if, from some other motive, large possessions are abandoned, even if this is done from a desire to gain the kingdom of heaven. And this, in itself, is a highly commendable motive, and worthy of our consideration.

The practice of performing all of our actions solely from the intention of pleasing God may be difficult at first. With the passing of time it will become familiar and even delightful, if we strive to find God in all sincerity of heart, if we continually long for Him, the only and greatest Good, deserving to be sought, valued, and loved by all His creatures. The more attentively we contemplate the greatness and goodness of God, the more frequently and tenderly our affections will turn to that Divine Object. In this way we will more quickly, and with greater facility, obtain the habit of directing all our actions to His glory.

In conclusion, there is a final way of acting in complete accordance with this very excellent and elevated motive. This is fervently to petition our Lord for grace and frequently to consider the infinite benefits He has already given us, and which He continues to bestow every moment from an undeserved and disinterested affection.


To my delight, this sixteenth century book is published in its entirety here. I love being able to scroll through the book and cut and paste sections as needed, but bibliophile that I am, I will be purchasing a hard copy as well.

Comments

Lydia said…
Hi Denise:
I just found your blog and I am enjoying your posts.

I am also currently reading this book and I highly recommend it. The commentary on the book said that St. Francis the Sales always carried this book in his pocket. And the is only bad thing about my copy - that is not pocket size so I can carry it with me at all times especially when assailed by temptation :)
Peace.
RAnn said…
Want to join a Lenten Reading meme?

http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2009/02/lenten-reading-please-join-in.html

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