Saturday, 27 April 2013

8 PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS for the interior life for active Catholics - Dom J.B. Chautard, O.C.R.

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To help those on retreat to strengthen those dispositions which are absolutely necessary for the interior life that will make Catholic Action get results:


1. Let the following conviction become deeply impressed upon your mind, namely that a soul cannot lead an interior life without the schedule we have referred to, and without the firm resolution to keep it all the time, especially where the rigorously fixed hour of rising is concerned.

2.Base your interior life on its absolutely necessary element: morning mental prayer. St. Theresa said that, "The person who is fully determined to make a half hour's mental prayer every morning, cost what it may, has already travelled half its journey." Without mental prayer, the day will almost unavoidably be a tepid one.

3. Mass, Holy Communion, and the recitation of the Breviary are liturgical functions which offer inexhaustible resources for the interior life and are to be exploited with an ever increasing faith and fervour.

4. The particular and general examinations of conscience, should, like mental prayer and the liturgical life, help us to develop custody of the heart in which "watching" and "praying" ("Vigilate et orate") -are combined. The soul that pays attention to what is going on inside itself, and is sensitive to the presence of the Most Holy Trinity within it, acquires an almost instinctive habit of turning to Jesus in every situation, but especially when there appears to be some danger of becoming dissipated or weak.

5. This leads to a need for incessant prayer by means of spiritual Communions and ejaculatory prayers which are so easy, to one who wants to practice them, even in the thick of the most absorbing occupations, and which offer themselves in such a pleasing variation, appropriate to the particular needs of every present moment, to the present situation, dangers, difficulties, weariness, deceptions, and so on.

6. Devout study of Sacred Scripture, especially of the New Testament, ought to find a place each day, or at least several times a week in the life of a priest. Spiritual reading every afternoon is a daily duty which no generous soul will ever neglect. The mind needs to be brought face to face with supernatural truths, with the dogmas that generate piety, and with their moral consequences, so easily forgotten.

7. Thanks to this custody of the heart, which will serve as its remote preparation, weekly confession will infallibly be imbued with sincere contrition, with true sorrow, and with an ever more loyal and more resolutely form purpose of amendment.

8. The yearly retreat is very useful, but it is not enough. A monthly retreat (taking up an entire day, or at least half a day), devoted to serious effort to recover the equilibrium of the soul is almost indispensable to the active worker.

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