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Preliminary Period

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Spirit of the World

Spend this period casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ.


It is worthwhile to consider whether our journey is visible to those who observe us.  Are we behaving consistently with our vocation of service to Our Lord?  Or do we worry more about worldly pursuits or the behavior of others?  We must work hard to make our devotion visible to others, not in public display of prayer or good deeds, rather in the manner in which we conduct ourselves and the effort we put forth to continually align ourselves with the virtuous life with humility. – Bernadette Harmon

The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, Chapter 25 (cont.), Thomas à Kempis

Zeal in amending our lives

Take care lest you be guilty of those things which you consider reprehensible, or if you have ever been guilty of them, try to correct yourself as soon as possible. As you see others, so they see you. 

How pleasant and sweet to behold brethren fervent and devout, well mannered and disciplined! How sad and painful to see them wandering in dissolution, not practicing the things to which they are called! How hurtful it is to neglect the purpose of their vocation and to attend to what is not their business! Remember the purpose you have undertaken, and keep in mind the image of the Crucified. Even though you may have walked for many years on the pathway to God, you may well be ashamed if, with the image of Christ before you, you do not try to make yourself still more like Him.

The religious who concerns himself intently and devoutly with our Lord's most holy life and passion will find there an abundance of all things useful and necessary for him. He need not seek for anything better than Jesus. If the Crucified should come to our hearts, how quickly and abundantly we would learn!

A fervent and diligent man is ready for all things. It is greater work to resist vices and passions than to sweat in physical toil. He who does not overcome small faults, shall fall little by little into greater ones. If you have spent the day profitably, you will always be happy at eventide. Watch over yourself, arouse yourself, warn yourself, and regardless of what becomes of others, do not neglect yourself. The more violence you do to yourself, the more progress you will make.

Prayers for the Preliminary Period

Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort