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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana









We must die to the world before we die bodily. For all who live for the world are dead to God, and no one can begin to live for God unless he first dies to the world. By this world, we understand the assembly of all sinners who love the world and are loved by the world. "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. But because you are not of the world. . .therefore the world hates you."


"Do not love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." "Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God."


To live in the world and to despise the goods of the world is something truly difficult. To see nice things and not love them, to taste sweet things and not to take delight, to despise honors, to seek labors, gladly to seek the last place, to yield to all others the higher position and to live in the flesh as if without flesh, these are all difficult, for this is the angelic life.


For those who have wives to be as if they had none and those who weep as though not weeping; and those who rejoice as though not rejoicing and those who buy as not possessing; and those who use this world as though not using it. In short, be alive to the hope of the heavenly happiness and to be as little affected by earthly things.


Let them love their wives, but with as moderate a love as if they did not have wives. If it is necessary to weep because of loss of loved ones, let them weep moderately as if they were not saddened. If good fortune or honors come, rejoice moderately as if there is nothing to rejoice. If they buy a house, behave as if they did not possess them. If we live in this world, live as if we are strangers, not citizens. This way, death is not feared but considered as gain, "For me to live in Christ and to die is gain."


Dying to the world is the way to learn how to die well in the flesh and attain salvation. Unless you die to the world, you will die a bad death and be condemned with this world.


To die to the world, one does not have to give up riches. . .only the immoderate love of these things. Abraham, David and Hezechiah, Josiah were all wealthy but close to God. And we have many holy kings and emperors.  Willing to sacrifice his only beloved son, Isaac, Abraham would have easily given up his riches.


It is the desire for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life that is opposed to love of God. The desire for the world must lessen if love of God must increase. What seems to be an unbearable burden, the giving up of the world, when done for love God, becomes easy, gentle, sweet and light.


St. Robert Bellarmine













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