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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana










As soon as a man wants to progress higher toward God in his faith--by this I mean, when a Christian wants to grow in the image of God by becoming stronger in his character--the enemies of faith will take aim at him. Their evil words will be like arrows shot at a target. 

If you have never had to endure these evil tongues, then it is likely you have never really tried to advance in your faith. Whoever is afraid of what others will say will not even try to advance. 

I urge you to set out for a higher point in your faith, even though you will become a target for evil words that are like the arrows of an enemy.

This is the sure way to ascend to God and invite the devil's attack on oneself: first, set your heart to be close to God.  Secondly, in your heart decide that all earthly, fragile and temporal things are hateful if they keep you from progressing in faith. And thirdly, set the eyes of your soul upon God alone.

As you do this, you will begin to find that a marvelous freedom comes; you are neither overly pleased by seeking earthly gains, nor upset when losses occur. 

At this point your heart becomes compassionate; you become uncomfortable with excesses since they choke your soul. Suddenly you want to sell all things and give them to those in need.

When you reach this point in your spiritual life, BEWARE!. . . you are in danger of attacks from the evil ones. They will, first, mock you for your goodness. That these mockers are enemies of God and all that is godly will be obvious to you.

BEWARE of an even subtler attack that will come from false "spiritual counselors." They will turn you away from the path of holiness under the pretext of giving good advice.

This is a true Godly counselor: He will always point you toward the salvation of your soul, even if the advice seems unpleasant or hard for you. The false counselor will always offer you an "easier" path. Beneath the fake benevolence, the false guide is hiding a hatred and deadly rebellion against the Word of God. Though he seems to be making things easy for you, his words are killing arrows--and you are the target. 

The false counselors always say: "No one else is living such high standards among Catholics. Why should you be the only one." Or, "To be saved is not difficult. Why struggle so hard? You are doing well. Take it easy." You follow their advice and you begin to slip back into a worldly, self-seeking way of life. That's how the devil always does it. 

Defend yourself by being steadfast in prayer: "Deliver my soul from treacherous tongues."

St. Augustine







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