Preparing for Consecration
Preliminary, Day 5: Imitation, Book 3, Ch:40 (cont)
Spirit of the World
Spend this period casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ.
We examine our perspective of ourselves. How do I regard myself? Am I so self-absorbed that I exalt myself for my achievements, even when they are in the name of Our Lord? But be on guard because the reverse can be true as well. Do I tear myself down, thinking constantly what little value I am?
Let us think not of ourselves, neither well nor poorly, rather keep our eyes focused on the wonder of God and the perfect way he can work through us when we allow him access to our entire being. – Bernadette Harmon
Hence, if I knew well how to cast aside all earthly consolation, either to attain devotion or because of the necessity which, in the absence of human solace, compels me to seek You alone, then I could deservedly hope for Your grace and rejoice in the gift of new consolation.
Thanks be to You from Whom all things come, whenever it is well with me. In Your sight I am vanity and nothingness, a weak, unstable man. In what, therefore, can I glory, and how can I wish to be highly regarded? Is it because I am nothing? This, too, is utterly vain. Indeed, the greatest vanity is the evil plague of empty self-glory, because it draws one away from true glory and robs one of heavenly grace. For when a man is pleased with himself he displeases You, when he pants after human praise he is deprived of true virtue. But it is true glory and holy exultation to glory in You and not in self, to rejoice in Your name rather than in one's own virtue, and not to delight in any creature except for Your sake.
Let Your name, not mine, be praised. Let Your work, not mine, be magnified. Let Your holy name be blessed, but let no human praise be given to me. You are my glory. You are the joy of my heart. In You I will glory and rejoice all the day, and for myself I will glory in nothing but my infirmities.