Preparing for Consecration
Preliminary, Day 6: Imitation, Book 1, Ch:18
Spirit of the World
Spend this period casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ.
Today we look at those who should be our role models, those who took the call to perfection in serving Our God to the highest levels. How can we emulate them within the context of our daily circumstances? What examples can we draw from them that can help guide us in imitating the life of Christ each day? It is good to have these examples of holiness and perfection. We are encouraged in this text to learn more about the saints by seeking out their writings. What better way to learn how they fought for holiness. – Bernadette Harmon
The example set us by the Holy Fathers
Consider the lively examples set us by the saints, who possessed the light of true perfection and religion, and you will see how little, how nearly nothing, we do. What, alas, is our life, compared with theirs? The saints and friends of Christ served the Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in work and fatigue, in vigils and fasts, in prayers and holy meditations, in persecutions and many afflictions. How many and severe were the trials they suffered -- the Apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and all the rest who willed to follow in the footsteps of Christ! They hated their lives on earth that they might have life in eternity.
How strict and detached were the lives the holy hermits led in the desert! What long and grave temptations they suffered! How often were they beset by the enemy! What frequent and ardent prayers they offered to God! What rigorous fasts they observed! How great their zeal and their love for spiritual perfection! How brave the fight they waged to master their evil habits! What pure and straightforward purpose they showed toward God! By day they labored and by night they spent themselves in long prayers. Even at work they did not cease from mental prayer. They used all their time profitably; every hour seemed too short for serving God, and in the great sweetness of contemplation, they forgot even their bodily needs.
They renounced all riches, dignities, honors, friends, and associates. They desired nothing of the world. They scarcely allowed themselves the necessities of life, and the service of the body, even when necessary, was irksome to them. They were poor in earthly things but rich in grace and virtue.