Monday, 14 March 2011

Imitation 5

Today's reflection from The Imitation, though it is obviously aimed at monastic life, can be easily applied to life in the world. It speaks of being transparent in the sense that we are on the inside what we present on the outside, not "whitewashed sepulcres" like the Pharisees that Jesus criticised. Also important is the final phrase, which shows that there is no ambition (in the good sense) without discipline. This raises the question, "How much do we want to change this Lent?" By God's grace change is possible, but only with our commitment:

The life of a good religious ought to amount to all virtues, that he may be interiorly as he appears to men on the outside. And with good reason ought he to be much more in his interior than he appears on the exterior; because it is God who beholds us and we should stand in great awe of him, wherever we are, and like angels walk in purity in his sight. Every day we ought to renew our resolution and excite ourselves to fervour as if this were our first day in the monastery, and say:
   "Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution and in your holy service, and give me grace now this day to begin truly, for what I have hitherto done is nothing."

According to our resolution, so our progress will be; and he has need of much diligence who would advance much.

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