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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana


 
 
 

 

 


THE WORLD




 

ASH WEDNESDAY

        The acts of man, because of his fallen nature are motivated by the desire for human glory and/or abundance of earthly goods.  So in the Old Testament, God often rewarded obedience to His commands with worldly glories and earthly wealth.  "The Lord shall make thee higher than all the nations who dwell on the face of the earth.  The Lord shall make thee abound in all good things."

          Now Christ forbids it.  Heavenly glory and heavenly wealth must be sought in its place. 

        For when we seek worldly glory, there is so much ostentation.  Among all the vices of man, the desire for glory is the most dangerous.  It torments more those seeking God rather than those serving the devil. 

        To overcome the desire for glory is easy if no one is offering it to you.  It is almost impossible to resist it when offered. 

        The desire for human glory steals upon the human heart in secret.  It needs great watchfulness to notice it.  It is our heart that we must watch, for this desire is an invisible serpent that secretly destroys everything good within our hearts. 

         If the heart is pure, the righteous man soon feels that there is a stranger within, but if the heart is full of wickedness, he does not readily perceive the suggestion of the devil.  So Christ taught us first, be not angry, lust not, for he who is under the yoke of sin cannot watch over his heart. 

        Only the saints are safe in performing good works before the eyes of men; because they would certainly be dong it for God's sake. . .and even receive praise for doing them.  The weak, because they have not developed contempt for human glory, must hide those good deeds that they do. 

        If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.  All beginners in the spiritual life are in danger of doing good to please men.  Only the saints are able to please men that they may win them for Christ. "I please men in all things," St. Paul says.  But we are no St. Paul. 

        The tendency to do things to please men will always come first whenever we do good; but let the judgment of the soul raise us up in that we please God alone. 

St. Thomas of Aquinas

 

 

 

 

 

(08-04-10)

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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