Thứ Sáu, 28 tháng 6, 2013

Spiritual readings _ Keeping our hand to the plough in prayer


Keeping Our Hand to the Plough in Prayer
I desire that you do not pray less, or keep vigils less often, or do any other good works any the less when divine grace is withdrawn from you than when it is in your possession.
Blessed Angela of Foligno[1]
Keep in mind... that no creature has ever bound me through hatred or love - or ever will. Do not pay attention to exterior signs, because they are not always true. There is a love that can be demonstrated by signs, and a love which cannot be demonstrated by signs. I ask you... to become infused with the love that is totally inexpressible, the love that has no exterior signs.
I desire with my whole self that you be renewed in the love and pain of the suffering God-man. I also desire with my whole self that you feel my love without my need to express it....
I desire very much... that you be reborn and renewed. I also desire... that you rid yourself completely of negligence and laziness. Furthermore... I desire that you do not pray less, or keep vigils less often, or do any other good works any the less when divine grace is withdrawn from you than when it is in your possession.
It is a good thing and very acceptable to God... if you pray, keep vigils, and perform other good works when the fervour of divine grace is with you, but it is altogether most pleasing and acceptable to God that, when divine grace is lacking or has been withdrawn form you, you do not pray less, keep vigils less often, or perform fewer good works. Act without grace just as you do when you have grace.
Therefore... if divine fervour or warmth impels you sometimes to pray, keep vigils, and devote yourself to spiritual discipline and exercises, then, when it is God's pleasure to withdraw this fervour or warmth from you - either because of some deficit in you or, which is most often, to amplify and increase his grace in you - strive to do your utmost not to pray less, or keep vigils less often, or be less persistent in dong good works. Even if you suffer tribulations or temptations, which serve to punish and purify the sons of God, and grace is taken from you, strive nonetheless not to pray less, keep vigils less often, or be less persistent in doing good works; likewise, strive to resist and fight against temptations just as much as ever, in order to overcome them. Thus by your continual prayers, vigils, tears, spiritual discipline and exercises, and every kind of importuning, may you at least force God to deign to restore to you at some time the fervour and warmth of his grace.
Do your share... for God will do his part well. Forced prayers... are particularly pleasing to God.


[1] Blessed Angela of Foligno (d. 1309) was a wife and mother who later became a Franciscan tertiary and an esteemed mystical writer.

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