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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Book Study  |  Topic: Extracts from the Meditations of St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Shin
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« on: May 09, 2017, 02:53:57 AM »

To bring about a cure of our spiritual paralysis, it is not enough
for Jesus to tell us to rise. We too must will this, except when this
paralysis is entirely a trial from God and with no culpability on our
part. In that case God has only to command, and he will be obeyed.
But if anything in us has brought on this infirmity or has contributed
to it, we also must play a part in our cure.

Spiritual maladies differ from corporal ones. To heal corporal
maladies, it is enough for Jesus to say a word or simply to will it, but
in the case of maladies of the soul, we must on our part will to be
cured. God does not constrain our will, although he does exhort and
urge us. It is up to us to welcome his grace, to put it into effect, and
to support his goodwill to cure our spiritual ailments.

Thus, when your movement toward God is, as it were, suspended,
be prompt and responsive to his voice. Rise up at once when he
calls you, and walk, that is, resume the practice of virtue that you
might find difficult, mortify your passions, and strive to overcome
them. Be faithful, especially, to open your heart completely to your
Director; this will, as a rule, prevent you from succumbing to this kind
of weakness.

Finally, go straight home, that is, live in seclusion, recollection,
and silence. Be constantly devoted to prayer, to the other exercises of
piety, and to the exact observance of the Rule of the community.
They are the sure means to restore in your soul the good movements
that have been interrupted.

* * *

In today’s Gospel Jesus Christ tells us that many are called but
few are chosen. He says this in reference to heaven, but this truth is
no less applicable to communities. Although a great number of people
enter them, only a few remain faithful to the grace of their vocation,
take on the spirit of their state, and remain faithful after being
committed to it.

* * *

It is said of Saint John that he preached penance for the remission
of sins, because it is penance that procures the remission of sins
for those who have offended God. Saint Peter said to the Jews in the
Acts of the Apostles, Do penance, and be converted, so that your sins
may be forgiven. For such is the specific end of this virtue; it alone
can appease the heart of God irritated against sinners. God tells us
this in Ezechiel, saying that if the wicked man does penance for all
the sins he has committed, keeps all my precepts, and acts according
to equity and justice, I will no longer remember all his iniquities, and
they will no more be imputed to him. Saint Peter, preaching to the
Jewish people to make known to them the truths of the Gospel, told
them, Do penance to obtain the remission of your sins.

It was also by means of this same virtue that the Ninevites, who
had outraged heaven by their disorderly conduct, induced God to revoke
the sentence he had pronounced against them to destroy their
city. This they could not do except by a conversion of their hearts,
following the preaching of Jonas and the invitation of their king. To
avert the calamity that threatened them, there was no other recourse
for them, says Saint Ambrose, than to fast continually and cover themselves
with sackcloth and ashes to appease the anger of God.

By the same method, you too will obtain the remission of all the
sins you committed in the world and all those you still commit every
day in God’s house. For, as Saint Jerome observes, every day God still
addresses to people the same threats he addressed to the Ninevites,
so that just as these menaces frightened those sinful people, they may
in the same way convince people who are living now to do penance.
Let us, then, profit by such an admirable example.

* * *

There is no less danger in contradicting the moral teachings of
Jesus Christ than in rejecting his doctrine, for usually what causes the
loss of faith is disorder in moral behavior. Jesus did not come so
much to teach us the holy truths of Christian morality as to engage us
to practice them faithfully. Still, it is common enough to see Christians,
and even members of religious communities, who do not accept these
practical truths and who contradict them in their hearts, sometimes
even in their external conduct, as when someone tells them that on
Judgment Day they will have to account for a useless word; that we
must pray without ceasing; that we must enter heaven through the
narrow gate; that Jesus Christ has said, Unless you do penance, you
will all likewise perish; consequently, that it is an indispensable obligation
to put these maxims into practice if we wish to be saved; that
there is a command addressed to them to love their enemies, to do
good to those who hate them, to pray to God for those who persecute
them and calumniate them, so that they may be truly the children
of their Father who is in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the good
and the wicked alike.

How many are there who believe that these teachings are merely
counsels of perfection? Yet Jesus Christ taught that they are necessary
practices and the way to achieve salvation. Take care not to fall
into this gross error, which might lead you astray from the true path to
heaven.

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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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