Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spiritual Desolation: Part IV

Rodriguez cites the case of a person who persevered forty years in
prayer despite aridity, and experienced great spiritual strength as a
result of it; on occasion, when through aridity he would omit
meditation he felt spiritually weak and incapable of good deeds. St.
Bonaventure and Gerson both say that persons who do not experience the
recollection they would like to have in their meditations, often serve
God better than they would do if they did have it; the reason is that
lack of recollection keeps them more diligent and humble; otherwise
they would become puffed up with spiritual pride and grow tepid, vainly
believing they had reached the summit of sanctity.

What has been said of dryness holds true of temptations also. Certainly
we should strive to avoid temptations; but if God wishes that we be
tempted against faith, purity, or any other virtue, we should not give
in to discouraging lamentations, but submit ourselves with resignation
to God’s holy will. St. Paul asked to be freed from temptations to
impurity and our Lord answered him, saying: “My grace is sufficient for
thee [72] .”

So should we act when we find ourselves victims of unrelenting
temptations and God seemingly deaf to our prayers. Let us then say:
“Lord, do with me, let happen to me what thou wilt; thy grace is
sufficient for me. Only never let me lose this grace.” Consent to
temptation, not temptation of itself, can make us lose the grace of
God. Temptation resisted keeps us humble, brings us greater merit,
makes us have frequent recourse to God, thus preserving us from
offending him and unites us more closely to him in the bonds of his
holy love.

Uniformity With God's Will
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

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